Craftsman Garden Tractor 917.258873

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  #1  
Old 09-17-15, 02:43 PM
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Craftsman Garden Tractor 917.258873

Just bought this old garden tractor knowing it had steering issue but thought the Kohler Command engine & rest functional would be worth it. Prior owner tried some fixes so not sure what might have gotten messed up.

It will turn right with no issues but not left. The steering shaft gear has some grooving in it but not bad. The steering shaft does not seem to have play in it & looks good down to the end gear. When trying turn left the sector steering gear (which appears to be new) & the steering shaft end gear don't fully engage & slip by each other. Turn toward right & all is fine. Prior owner did replace the Tie rod but not sure proper part as label on it is 532186799.

I've read other forums with steering issues but just not sure where to start with this one.

One thing did notice is where the Sector steering gear is connected he has a large stack of new washers on the top side of where it connects to the gear tighter to the steering support assembly. But why would it turn right but not left?

Thanks for any ideas as just don't see what is letting it not engage.
 
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Old 09-18-15, 05:49 AM
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Just went through a similar thing with a neighbor's Cub, turned barely okay one way and less than okay the other way. On his, there was a bushing at the bottom of the shaft, which wasn't much more than a thick washer with a hex on one side to hold it in place, and the center hole was worn from round to something that looked like a Mickey Mouse head silhouette. Consequently, the gear and sector appeared to have good contact, but, when the steering wheel was turned, the shaft would rotate into one of those ears, and the gear turned free of the sector. Don't know how similar yours is to his, but assume they are both built by MTD, so might get you looking in the right area.
 
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Old 09-18-15, 07:34 AM
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Craftsman Garden Tractor 917.258873 (1990's)

To get to those parts looks like need to remove the steering shaft. My shaft has what appears to be rounded plastic coating on end just below the gear. Can't tell if a nut under it or not as it is fairly rounded & coated/sealed. Or is the only way to remove the shaft to raise the mower & remove all parts from bottom (including deck) so can pull it out from underneath? There must be better way as that shaft is not short unless that gear end comes off somehow then can pull out from the top? Sorry if basic question
 
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Old 09-18-15, 11:36 AM
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Unless there is a pocket that it would fit into, I suspect that you are seeing a mixture of grease and dirt, which should wipe off, and I think you will find a nut. With that nut off, and there may be an intermediate brace, I think the steering wheel and shaft can be pulled up. If you need a parts diagram, you should be able to download it for free at searspartsdirect.com.
 
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Old 09-18-15, 07:20 PM
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Check out my replies in this thread... it covers your problem and how to fix it. I'd recommend replacing the sector if the gears have much wear.

http://www.doityourself.com/forum/ou...g-problem.html
 
  #6  
Old 09-21-15, 07:05 PM
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Thanks cheese, if my mower 917.258873 #19 which is steering support assembly needs to be replaced what is #66 you mentioned. Key part numbers don't go that high on the diagrams so I'm stumped.

I'm thinking need to pull the whole steering support assembly #19 & then be able to determine if there are any missing/worn parts. If #19 hole(s) have enlarged/elongated then wouldn't parts 34,33,32,6,27 &/or 31,30,6 29 also need replacing. Is there a kit to buy all these bushings/clips...in one package (don't see one listed).

Thanks for your help. Live very rural so going to need to order via internet. Don't want to order more parts than necessary (but better than not enough with more shipping costs & time delay) to get the job done.

Thanks for any other pointers you can provide.
 
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Old 09-22-15, 12:09 AM
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I don't know if I messed up or what, but when I looked up your model before I replied I saw the style of steering sector that is discussed in the thread I linked to. Now when I look it up, it shows a different style and that discussion doesn't apply.

On yours, usually bearings 27 and 29 are the problem. Sometimes 35 needs replacing too. There are two #27s on that shaft.
 
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Old 09-23-15, 12:24 PM
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Thanks, ordered parts. Probably didn't need to but took out the entire support assembly. #29 certainly needs replacing. The steering shaft has worn a significant grove around the bottom of the support assembly...looks like where the gears came into contact with the support assembly. The bearing & ring klip were on the shaft. Will that be an issue once replace the worn parts or will that support assembly need replacing because of that worn groove?

Prior owner had an extra thick spacer between the sector steering gear & the support assembly which put the gear farther away from the support. He used some non standard parts on that shaft which certainly didn't help. But looks like other than removing some things on that shaft & replacing the bearings #27 that part should be good to go as all tight & not worn.

Since I only want to have this thing apart once...let me know if that steering support assembly should be replaced as well.

Thanks for your help.
 
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Old 09-23-15, 09:03 PM
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If there is enough of a groove to be of concern, I'd replace it. No point in having to do it again later on.
 
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