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Craftsman steering wheel sticking


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05-08-09, 09:34 AM   #1  
Craftsman steering wheel sticking

The steering wheel on my 917.273080 craftsman lawn tractor keeps sticking/catching only when I turn to the left. I replaced the lower gear (part 35) two years ago and it worked perfectly fine all last year, but now it's doing it again. Gear teeth look fine but lower gear seems to ride up and down the teeth on the shaft. A. Could it be a bushing or shim? B. How do I get a look at part# 21 at the top of the shaft? I removed steering wheel and bolt but cannot past part #44. Steering wheel won't come off???
link to parts breakdown http://www.searspartsdirect.com/partsdirect/getSubComp.pd?modelNumber=917273080&productCategoryId=1509200&brandId=0247&modelName=TRACTOR&diagramPageId=00004&componentDescription=STEERING&documentId=P9120342&backToLink=Return%20to%20Sub%20Components%20list[/URL]

 
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05-08-09, 10:13 PM   #2  
Before you get too far with taking the steering sector apart, check the drag link between the front tires. Often they get bent upwards and cause the wheel to oversteer and lock. If the link is not straight, take it off and straighten it.


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05-09-09, 07:38 AM   #3  
I inspected it closely last night and a couple gear teeth look sheared off at the tips right at the point where the steering sticks (slips) preventing wheels from turning any more in that direction. I replaced gear tooth two years ago for exact same reason. My drag link seems very loose at both ends and steering wheel has lots of play. Is drag link meant to be that loose? And what would tighten up the steering wheel? I'm trying to figure out what is causing gear teeth to get sheared off so I can order all necessary parts. Do you see this often?

 
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05-09-09, 11:32 PM   #4  
Sears parts is closed right now, so I can't see your setup, but I'm thinking you have the shaft support (black plastic "T" shaped piece at end of steering column). If so, replace this, the sector gear, and the bushings on the sector shaft and the steering assembly should be set for several years to come. Replacement of the sector gear without replacing the shaft support only buys you a little time. By now your column gear may be shot too, so you may have to replace it. Look at the gear on it to see if they are worn. You can buy the whole assembly for around $60 I think, pre-assembled, so this might be worth doing.


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05-10-09, 05:36 AM   #5  
I don't see any black plastic "T" on my diagram. Please check out diagram when you can. 917.273080 tractor. I still can't get steering wheel shaft out. Once I get steering wheel cover off off I can't figure out next step, steering wheel is stuck on there??? However the gears on the steering wheel shaft look OK. I'm wondering what is causing the gear sector to shear. Something must be out of line. Tie rod looks straight but drag link wobbles in place a lot. Is it designed to rotate a bit on it's bolt?

 
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05-10-09, 04:27 PM   #6  
I'd like to have a look at the top end of the steering shaft, but can't figure out how steering wheel comes off. I've removed bolt #25 but steering wheel won't come off. Can you help with this? Gears at bottom of steering shaft look good so I'm going to order part #35 (gear, sector steering) again. It sheared off same teeth two years ago and steering wheel "slips" when I turn left (exact same as this time???) I took it all apart and it appears some bushings and washers are missing. I'll order extras of these also. But any idea why my steering is so loose? Bushings/washers? Drag link?

 
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05-11-09, 11:01 PM   #7  
Ok, this model doesn't have the "T" shaped piece I was thinking of. #36 is the link I mentioned being possibly bent. It should not be loose where the tie rods bolt on.

Looks like parts #6 (x2), #27 (x2), #32, 33, and 34....most particularly both #27 bushings, are the parts that would be of most importance. Also whatever bushing is at the end of #16 should be replaced.

I believe the steering wheel pulls straight up to get it off once the bolt is removed. It might be stuck.


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05-12-09, 07:40 AM   #8  
Thank you!! I'll give the steering wheel a tug and have a look at part #16. I appreciate your help. And you say drag link bolts should not be loose? Wow, maybe that's my problem because the bolts at the end of drag link #16 wobble a lot!
Peace and many blessings to you!!!
dw

 
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05-13-09, 12:07 AM   #9  
The part #16 shouldn't wobble at all. If it does too much, it will cause gear failure. Other things that wear steering components prematurely is underinflated front tires and lack of grease in the front axle.


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

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