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Craftsman Riding Mower rear axle help...

Saybet's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 4

04-09-07, 08:46 PM   #1  
Craftsman Riding Mower rear axle help...

I have a mid 1990's Craftsman 42" riding mower, with automatic transmission (hydrostatic) model # 917.270781. It needed new tires all the way around so I went to Wal-Mart, purchased the tires and proceeded with removing the old ones. I started to remove the left rear wheel and it was virtually welded to the axle due to rust. I soaked it in wd-40 and it wouldn’t budge. I pulled out the BIG hammer and bar, and started striking the rim from the frame side. After 30 minutes of banging, including my hand, the rim came off. The only problem is the rear axle came out too!. My question is, where can find a breakdown of parts for the transmission to see what holds the axle in place and is this a job I should even tackle given I’m not a lawnmower mechanic but am fairly mechanically inclined except in this instance! By the way, all the other tires and rims came off easily and have been replaced. Thanks for any help……..

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cheese's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator

Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 16,567

04-09-07, 10:14 PM   #2  
I don't know about an internal breakdown of the transaxle...you'd probably have to look at one from the unit manufacutrer instead of the mower manufacturer. Probably a dana/spicer.

I believe the axle is just held on by a snap ring. The axle slides into a gear in the differential, and a snap ring holds it in place. Be very aware of dirt when you begine to open the tranny. These hydros don't like contaminants. You might want to pressure wash the tranny after you get it out, and before opening it up, to help keep dirt out of it.

"Who is John Galt?" - Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged)

God bless!

tommyj3's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 102

04-09-07, 10:24 PM   #3  
By the Sears site this is the hydrogear unit in your tractor 319-0650

Heres a parts breakdown:


There's snap rings on the end of axles inside part #44 in the hydro unit.

dayhawk's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 12

04-10-07, 01:03 PM   #4  
Saybet mower

Join the club of the big hammer users.I endured an identical problem as you.Dern repair shop said no big deal we can replace the clip,bring it in.Strange thing when I arived with mower they said their shop wasn't clean enough to break the tranny seal.I ordered my own unit from a Florida ditributor.Cost a couple hundred.
Good luck.

Saybet's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 4

04-10-07, 09:04 PM   #5  
Thanks for all the help. Now I guess I need to decide wether to break it down myself or not. By the way is there a repair manual or disassembly guide I can find for this and should I replace the seal kit if I tear it down?

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