blades won't disengeage


Old 05-08-17, 07:08 AM
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blades won't disengeage

I have a Craftsman lawn tractor, model 917.273811. I can't seem to find the problem with the blades not disengaging. I've pulled the deck about nine times now and tried everything I can think of to fix it. It has a new belt. The only real work I've ever had to do on this deck is a new mandrel on the left side. I keep the deck clean, scrape and paint the underside every spring.
The problem seems to be where the blade pulley arm drags on the against the part below it. (with the deck off), I can release it manually by pulling on the right brake arm. Unfortunately when the blades are spinning, I'm not sticking my hand in there to do that:NO NO NO: I can see where it has scraped the paint off down to bare the metal. (I highlighted that area in grey.) The schematic doesn't show it but there is a small peg that locks into that groove. It is on both right and left brake arms.
The only thing I haven't tried is replacing the spring on the right brake arm. Lower left corner of the schematic. The spacer is fine, it shows no wear. I also lubricated the cable that runs from the blade engagement arm on the tractor down to where it comes out. Sprayed both ends and pulled the cable back and forth.
This is a real PITA. I depend on this tractor to mow 3 other lawns besides mine. Can anybody shed any light on the problem for me???
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Old 05-08-17, 10:19 AM
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With the cable disconnected does the blade engagement/disengagement work OK? Has anything struck the top of the mower and possibly bent the hardware? And finally when you had the cable disconnected did it work freely?
Old 05-08-17, 10:28 AM
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There are rollers on #53 and the other side has one as well. These roll on a contour on #55. The rollers need to turn freely, #55 needs to turn freely, and sometimes #55 gets little dimples in it where the rollers ride and it makes it hard to turn to shut the blades off. I either grind those dimples out or replace 55 when it gets like that. Usually just lubricating the rollers on the brake arms and the pivot point on 55 is enough to fix the problem. 55 should also have a spring going to the front of the deck that pulls it forward to disengage the blades when you turn them off. If that spring is missing (it commonly is), they won't disengage well.
Old 05-08-17, 12:30 PM
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Hi Guys
The cable is free and seems to work fine. Cheese had the answer, apparently I didn't have those rollers as well lubricated as I thought. Went back and did a "do over" and it works fine now. Thanks for the tip on the dimples. I may just replace all of those parts. This is a pretty old mower and it's seen some tough use. I don't mind a $50 or $60 parts repair if it alleviates headaches down the road.
Thanks again

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