Craftsman tiller

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  #1  
Old 11-28-15, 01:47 PM
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Craftsman tiller

917.293970 17" Counter rotating tines, 5.5 HP Briggs

Pretty sure I have done one of these some several years ago for the same problem. The engine runs great, the tines will turn, but the drive for the wheels will not engage.
In some of my research this thread Showed up from DIY. Of course our infamous Mod cheese has posted, and yes the wheel pins are in. Also Puey, a name I have not seen here for quite sometime, and his last comment I believe is irrelevant since there is only one input shaft to the transmission that drives both the wheels and the tines, and since the tines turn, any key way for the pulley on the input shaft is not likely an issue.
I agree with the consensus of the thread that the problem is internal to the ground drive chain as was the case on the last one I did. This seems to be a normal occurrence on these tillers. This is a time consuming diagnosis and therefore, time consuming repair. From what I can find this unit is made by the same that make Husqvarna, which makes sense since I know AYP makes both Craftsman and Husqvarna Yard and garden OPE. The only difference I have noticed between these in the same Sears stores, is that the Husqy's are not available with the lower priced options (IE: Hydro, PTO, Heavier gage steel all on the Husqy's)
I have also seen others post about using a chain from a Husqy model? My thoughts initially were to size out the chain and simply get some industrial chain to replace it. However, if there is a better chain already meant to fit the same application that may prove to be an easier option. Also, being in a small town that I am, I may not be able to find and compare said chain.

In my 15 years of doing this, I have yet to see an Orange painted Tiller with the Husqvarna name...but they do apparently exist, so I was wandering if any have seen an orange version of this model....





Az
 
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  #2  
Old 11-28-15, 02:23 PM
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I had one that was made in 1988 I think. Good tiller and would get it on my 40X40 garden. I remember I had to tear the transmission apart 4 or 5 times but I got it right. Old school paper service manual I had to order from sears.

I think you gonna have dig deep in the tranny Excuse the pun ~!~!
 
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Old 11-28-15, 02:47 PM
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Was yours a husq or craftsman?
I know the repair and likely problem, I am looking for a better replacement part, which might be the chain that Husqy uses versus the cheaper made craftsman.
 
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Old 11-28-15, 04:51 PM
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It was a Craftsman and a damn good one too. I put that thing to hell and back. I let a buddy use it and when he brought it back.... Well you know the rest of the story. I think he said a root or something jumped in front of the tines. I had a lawn mower shop at the time, but that was the 1st time me breaking into the tranny , hence the reason I ordered a service manual for it. It was about 8 years old when I did that. So that was about 20 yrs ago
 
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Old 11-28-15, 05:43 PM
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so how if you did, repair it? and what do you have to offer to my question?
 
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Old 11-28-15, 08:33 PM
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Ok I'm back from my LSU game. They won by the way

The chain failed and a teflon bushing also. Also there is is a small shaft that moves back and forth that gave me a problem. It was bent and I didn't know it.
 
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Old 11-28-15, 11:49 PM
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The chain is a common size, you can get chain like it from a go kart shop, snapper dealer, or many small engine shops. It's usually what causes the problem. I'd replace everything that looks suspect because that is such a pain in the rear to get to. Everything has to come off. Everything. The gear selector arm also gets rusty and may jump out of the ollar that selects the gears. I load them up with double ought grease before closing them back up. I should say I used to, because I try to stay away from tearing into those units anymore. Too many hours and dollars in parts to make the repair bill tolerable for the customer.
 
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Old 11-29-15, 11:15 AM
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cheese:
I have been into a couple before but it has been sometime. I do recall the hours it takes however and had it not been free, and off season and the rest of the unit in extremely great shape, I may well have passed on it, or pulled the engine to use in another application.
This seems to be a regular occurrence with these and yet, they still make and sell them. This unit looks to have very low hours on it, and yet it is broken. I imagine it something to do with the fact the counter rotating tines need time to dig while the wheels are still trying to drive the unit.
I am in Po dunk Kansas and have limited resources for suppliers. Likely the local farm supply will have it but I just want to put back the best possible chain since I will be selling it and my rep will be on the line while trying to start my shop back up in a new town and new clientele.
As always, thx for the reply and info.
 
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Old 11-29-15, 04:49 PM
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Hello BFHFixit,

Color makes no difference in the chain cases, they both came off the same assembly line.

Once you get inside, look at the side plates of the links, most will have the size stamped.

It's been many years since I was inside one, but for some reason #35 comes to mind.....

Have fun !

31
 
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Old 11-29-15, 05:21 PM
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Holy cow Tech good to see you still about!!!

Soon as I recover from Turkey weekend I will get into it, just trying to get some heads up in the mean time.

Thanks!
 
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Old 11-30-15, 03:42 PM
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Thanks BFHFixit,

I'm still kick'n rocks...... After a couple computer meltdowns and loosing all my files, I slap forgot about this place (don't get ole). Maybe I'll stick my head in once and a while and see if I can help.....
 
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Old 11-30-15, 04:50 PM
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Well only one way to beat getting old so, glad to see ya.

I got the beast all tore down today in couple of hours, gonna spend tomorrow cleaning up the cases before I split it.
 
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Old 12-01-15, 03:25 PM
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Finally got the case split today after wrestling with a stubborn seal on the tine shaft that rolled on me.

Here is what I started with:



Transmission before spitting the case:


Case split with broken ground drive chain:



And the real kicker:

 
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Old 12-01-15, 04:29 PM
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I load them up with double ought grease before closing them back up.
cheese:
Since I will have to special order this or get lucky, how much do you think I will need?/Should use?
 
  #15  
Old 12-01-15, 04:44 PM
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I don't remember, probably a whole quart bottle. You might even drill a fill hole and put a plug in it so you can add to it over time.

Yours looks much better than probably any of them that I ever opened. Usually they are rusty as heck inside when I get in them, and often there is water in the bottom mixed with the grease. Since yours isn't like that, it won't take a load of grease to get it all working slick again.
 
  #16  
Old 12-02-15, 03:15 PM
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Parts ordered 2 weeks out

Still have the rest of the tranny all cleaned up and ready to go back once parts arive. (Will add pics later, still in the shop).

Have spent some time looking for grease and yet to find 00 grease locally. I am thinking about using lithium grease which from what I can find is rated at 10W as opposed to the 00.
At any rate anything better than the gp purple crap originally has to be better.

From my research, 00 and 000 grease is almost pourable at room temperature and yeilds better in preventing leakage from leaking seals and such that normally require 80W or 90W gear oil. I can get lithium locally at wallmart and I am thinking that will suit this application just fine.
I am also familiar with lithium as it is used on camshafts of Aircraft engines mostly for break in.

Open to opinions and other suggestions. I have time
 
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Old 12-02-15, 05:15 PM
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Some minor cleaning to do once the new parts arrive but mostly good.
 
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Old 12-02-15, 08:07 PM
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The lithium will probablybe fine. Bentonite would also work fine. What I like about the 00 grease is that it doesn't just sling out and stay in globs out of reach of the chain and gears, it runs back down to be picked up and slung around by the chain and gears again, constantly re-applying itself.
 
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Old 12-03-15, 10:40 AM
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Even better, found some 00 that is lithium based.
 
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