Craftsman 917.272030 Lawn Tractor *APPEARS* to Have Transaxle Slipping Problem

Old 06-30-14, 07:55 PM
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Craftsman 917.272030 Lawn Tractor *APPEARS* to Have Transaxle Slipping Problem

I have a Craftsman 18.5HP Electric Start 46" Mower, Model Number 917.272030 with a 6 Speed Transaxle. The manual can be downloaded here:

As I'm riding, the mower appears to be slipping as if it's having trouble going forward. If I have it in the third gear, for example, it will ride for 30 seconds or so and then jerk a little (like a sputter, but without any sputtering sound) and come to a stop. This happens very consistently. The problem appears to happen more quickly the higher the gear, for example, it does it after just a couple seconds in the fifth gear. I rode it around my driveway in first gear without it happening at all, but I did not do it long enough to confirm that it does not happen. I also have not noticed this in reverse. After it "slipped" and stopped moving one time, I (unsafely, I admit) got off, keeping it in gear with the seat depressed and confirmed that the motion drive belt was indeed moving and appeared to be moving properly. I do not hear anything loud or extremely abnormal when this happens, but that may just be my inability to hear over the tractor itself. I have not noticed any effect of having the blades engaged or disengaged; it appears equally bad either way.

Does anyone have any ideas about what might be going on? I'm really nervous that it might be an issue with the peerless transaxle assembly. IF this is the case (and I realize I'm getting ahead of myself), the assembly (Craftman part# 794691) is $405.42 from, which is a little steep for me. Again, IF this is the problem, please let me know if anyone has any recommendations on finding the specific problem within the transaxle assembly so that I can only replace a part or two rather than replace the entire $400+ assembly. Thank you in advance for your help.
Old 06-30-14, 11:10 PM
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Sounds to me like the shift fingers or selectors are worn and slipping. You might pick up a good used unit at your mower repair shop for less than half the price of a new one.

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