Craftsman mower stopped moving fwd & back - broken spring?

Reply

  #1  
Old 10-16-09, 09:24 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Jackson, NJ
Posts: 428
Craftsman mower stopped moving fwd & back - broken spring?

Craftsman 42" tractor (Model# 917272453) stopped moving. I felt the brake/clutch go down with a clunk right before it happened. When in gear I can pull UP on the clutch (engaging the belt) and it moves just fine. I thought the belt had stretched and failed, this happened in 2003 (when mower was 1 year old). Sears service came and replaced the belt (whopping 250 bucks!) but it doesn't drive right. when in high gear, it starts out real slow, then eventually picks up speed. The repair guy said it's a new belt so it should be smoother. ?? He also said I don't need to step on the clutch to shift, this just delays the belt from tensioning. After he left (of course) I noticed a spring just hanging in a hole on the front right frame (gear side) and it looks like the other side of the spring snapped off (no hook). To me (SOMEWHAT mechanically inclined) it looks like this is the problem, some sort of clutch spring, but of course the owners manual doesn't appear to show it. If it does show it (#152 on mower deck diagram) it doesn't show where it attaches to the frame.

Is this the source of my problem? I would like to find out before I call sears and demand them to come back.
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 10-16-09, 05:32 PM
Member
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: usa
Posts: 755
Sounds to me your problem began with the clutch cable (152) coming loose. That would explain your statement, “brake/clutch go down with a clunk right before it happened”.

The clutch cable is connected to the idler pulley and brake/clutch pedal. When the clutch is depressed, the idler pulley is moved to remove tension from the ground drive belt and transaxle pulley and the mower comes to a stop. Letting your foot off the brake/clutch pedal causes the idler pulley to place tension on the belt to drive (turn) the transaxle.

With the cable disconnected, the tension stays on the pulley at all times. You can shift gears but this will result in damage to the transaxle shift keys, page 48, Key No. 8 in owner‘s manual.

Did you see the belt that was removed? Was it damaged or broken? The belts made today will have cracks in them if they are stretched. They are next to impossible to stretch.

Your mower was not fixed and possibly the belt was unnecessarily replaced. You you were given incorrect operation instruction that could result in damage to the transaxle. I would speak with Sears about the repair, they are generally very helpful.

On page 13 of the Owner’s manual is the following statement:

IMPORTANT: Bring tractor to a complete stop before shifting or changing gears. Failure to do so will shorten the useful life of your transaxle.

Owner’s manual:

http://www.managemyhome.com//mmh/lis...M/L0205018.pdf
 
  #3  
Old 10-17-09, 08:19 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Jackson, NJ
Posts: 428
Sears is coming back Tuesday, and I will show them the broken spring. I agree with you and sounds like the clutch cable was the culprit. The belt was not cracked, but may have been 'slightly' worn. The fact that it moves now without physically lifting up on the clutch pedal is prob. because the new belt is a little tighter, being brand new. This prob. didn't need replacing, and I will bring that up to Sears as well. I also agree with your comment about damaging the mower without clutching, another great point.

Thanks. Will post an update next week.
 
  #4  
Old 10-21-09, 07:38 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Jackson, NJ
Posts: 428
Sears repairman shows up yesterday morning and tells me they had to order the spring, this was WITHOUT HIM EVEN LOOKING A THE MOWER. In fact, he didn't yet order it, but wanted me to pay for the part so he could order it. I asked if he needed to see the mower, and he said no. He said he was "thinking about the problem after he left my house" and figured it must be the spring. So yesterday was another waste of time, I stayed home for nothing. Somebody could have called me to say they needed a part and not to wait home.

Repairman says to make an appointment sometime after 7 days (for the part to arrive). Local Sears Parts store has the part in stock, and actually a few bucks Cheaper. I may just go buy the part and put it in myself, just want to check first to see where it attaches on the clutch side. It's hanging from the frame, so that side I know. I heard springs can be tricky to install, any tips here?

And if I believe the old belt was ok, Sears would take the new one off and put the old one on, and refund me the cost of the belt. Who knows if the belt was damaged when being removed, so I will just keep the new belt at this point and keep the old one as a spare.
 
  #5  
Old 10-21-09, 10:06 AM
Member
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: usa
Posts: 755
I believe Sears subs out most of their work. I suggest you call sears management and vent on them. I would demand my money back, since they did not fix it. These people are con artists in my opinion and they give the business a bad name.

If it is the clutch cable with the spring on the end, there is nothing to it. In fact, no matter which spring it is it is not difficult.
 
  #6  
Old 10-22-09, 07:05 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Jackson, NJ
Posts: 428
It's not the clutch cable, it's the clutch pulley spring (no cable attached). I can see where it attaches to the pulley, so I bought the part for 6.99 at the parts & service center (sears repairman ordered the part and supposedly being ups'd to my house on Monday.. ??? )

I will replace the spring today and won't let sears anywhere near my mower. I will follow up with sears management, not sure how to get in touch with the higher-ups.

Any tips on installing the spring (i.e. what to use to stretch the spring without taking my eye out!).

Thanks.
 

Last edited by daronson; 10-22-09 at 07:07 AM. Reason: typo
  #7  
Old 10-22-09, 03:07 PM
Member
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: usa
Posts: 755
I made a tool from 3/16 inch diameter steel rod about 12 inches long. I bent (180 degrees) a short loop in the end, this loop is used to grab the spring. I cut off about four inches of a broom handle and drilled a 3/16 inch hole through it at mid point. I inserted the rod through the hole and wrapped about 1-˝ inches of the rod around the handle.

Install one end of spring and grab other end with the loop end of rod. Pull on handle until you can get spring in hole it belongs.

I have also used vice grip pliers. However, you can bust knuckles if you are not careful.

You can even buy the tool:

SLP Spring Installation Tool - DennisKirk.com

Good luck
 
  #8  
Old 10-22-09, 03:45 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Jackson, NJ
Posts: 428
I installed the spring, both eyes still intact!! The trick was to insert the pulley-side in first and then stretch to the frame. I tried the other way around first to no avail. Also took off the heatshields for better access, and used my crimping tool from my sprinkler system clamps (about 12" long) and crimped down on the OLD spring (only one of the hooks snapped off when it broke) and used the hook end of the spring just as you described above to pull the new spring through. Didn't think to look for a tool, just tried to make do with what I have around the garage.

Thanks Again, now just Sears to deal with, and when the part arrvies I will tell them what they can do with it!
 
  #9  
Old 10-01-11, 08:48 PM
Member
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: usa
Posts: 1
Craftsman clutch brake/ spring

I don't know if you guy's are still out there, but i am having a similar problem. My spring keeps breaking at the bottom of the hook. There are no sharp edges on the frame or idler puller arm. I've replaced it three times this season. When it breaks, one thing that it odd, the break look's the same way as if you took a pocket knife and cut a twigg at a 60 degree angle. Defective metal ? I don't know. The other problem i think that is associaited with this is that it keeps throwing the drive belt. Could it be the tension is not tight enough ? Please help, i'm tired of removing the deck. Thanks, drs
 
  #10  
Old 10-02-11, 10:22 AM
cheese's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: USA
Posts: 16,815
Which end is breaking? The end up front, or the end at the tensioner pulley bracket? If at the tensioner end, look for something rubbing it at either end of it's travel. If nothing like that is found, It would seem that the spring is being stretched too far and the hardened ends are snapping under the pressure. Are you sure the spring is the right number for the mower? Are you sure you're connecting it in the right places? The front end hooks at the front of the frame just over and next to the muffler. The other end hooks into a notch or hole in the tensioner arm. I've seen them break before, but never 3 in the same year, or even 3 on the same mower for that matter.
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes