Tecumseh 6291P Transaxle from Craftsman Riding Mower - Did I Break It?

Old 08-26-15, 03:39 PM
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Tecumseh 6291P Transaxle from Craftsman Riding Mower - Did I Break It?

First off, new member here, and hope to contribute as well as benefit.

I am building a steampunk-themed airship engine for a parade float. I salvaged a manual transaxle from an old riding mower to serve as gear reduction - 90-degree drive adapter. Input will be electric motor / pulley / belt to the input shaft pulley, output will be a wooden airplane propeller on one of the axle shafts.

Casting on the bottom of the case says Tecumseh 6291 P. If needed, I can likely get info on the mower, but it's two hours away, so I hope this is enough to go on.

The wheels (C clip and square key) were stuck on pretty well; one I hammered off with a shop hammer and 2x4, the other wouldn't budge, so I whaled on it with a sledge hammer and 2x4, and ended up having to cut the wheel off. (Hammering done after removing the clips, of course.)

I went to count the ratios for each gear by counting the rotations of the input shaft for one rev of the axle; was surprised when the counts were not repeatable. That's when I noticed that while the axles spin in opposite directions upon rotating the input shaft (as expected), you can grab the axles and stop them easily as the input shaft is rotated. You can turn the axles with no movement of the input shaft. This is true in all gears. The axles do not come out of the tranny when pulled on; there is maybe 1/16" play and a solid clunk.

I'm assuming that this is a direct-geared box with no internal clutch. It's slowly dawning on men that hammering on the wheels may have been a bad idea. It's also possible that the tranny was pre-busted when I got it. What am I faced with now? Any ideas? Thanks.
Old 08-26-15, 04:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Water Hammer
". . . hammering on the wheels may have been a bad idea . . ."
Not the best . . . . I think it's only another "E" Clip that holds the axle(s) inside the differential. It seems everyone does it . . . . and the worst case is (after you've excised an axle) that you then have to open the case up and partially disassemble the unit just to reinstall the axle(s).

You catch me on the heels of just re-building a Tecumseh/Peerless/Lauson 639 and an 813; but I never saw a 6291P. Are you sure it's not a Sears/Craftsman Number. Is it a 4 speed or a 5 speed; "H" Pattern, or Linear ?

Your description sound's like the transaxle is still behaving like normal; wheels rotating in opposite directions is what you'd expect because of the integrated differential. But whether it is in good condition can not be ascertained at low speed. Bearings, bushings and gears are usually on their good behavior at low speeds, and start acting up when asked to peed up . . . . or do work !

Getting a good parts diagram and parts list is the 1st step . . . . which means being absolutely certain of the Tecumseh/Peerless/Lauson Number. Everything I know about is 3 Numeric Numbers followed by an alpha character . . . . not 4 numbers.
Old 08-26-15, 10:41 PM
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Turning both axles the same direction produces no movement of the input shaft while in gear? If so, it's broken inside.
Old 08-30-15, 10:29 AM
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Thanks to both for your replies. On further examination, the problem was that I didn't immobilize one output axle while I counted revs on the other. The thing apparently works like a limited slip; if you grab one axle, power shifts to the other.

I vise-gripped one side and blocked it, the other side turns repeatably. If you grab both axles and turn them, the input shaft turns. I think the thing's ok.

The bottom casting does appear to have what look like really fine spider cracks; I'm hoping these are just casting residue, and not damage. It shows no sign of any leakage. It will only be turning a fan, and if it blows up, it will be contained.

Anyway, thanks again for the replies.

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