Question about Craftsman 17.5 hp 42 in. Deck Lawn Tractor - CA Model

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My problem is blades won't disengage.

I have an old Craftsman 42inch machine that refuses to disengage the blades; in other words, the blades keep spinning, even though the blades have been put in the disengaged position. What needs to be replaced?

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  • Dennis Dietrich Oct 24, 2008

    I have 15 .5 hpin MA and have same problem. Also,

    Deck lift lever onlycan bring it all the way up or all the way down.

  • johnball Nov 12, 2008

    I have the same problem. There is a cable that engages the belt (or in this case disengages, so will not run). If that cable breaks (or in my case, separates from where it is connected to bottom of frame) the blade will not shut off. This has been irritating and somewhat dangerous but I consoled myself "at least it's not the reverse situation, where I could not cut the grass!"
    Check the cable to see if it's broken or detached.

  • masterafe9 Mar 07, 2009

    blades will not disengage while the engine is running. I replaced the cable thinking that perhaps it was defective but no joy. If I shut it down and re-start the blades aren't turning. the interlock switch seems to be working as you cannot start it with the handle in the up position, or engaged.?????????? Oh lthis is a Craftsman 17.5 42' deck bought new in 2003.

  • richardawhit Mar 14, 2009

    I have the same problem? Does anyone have a fix for this????

  • rluhmann119 Mar 15, 2009

    I also have this same problem. The cable that "engages" the blades moves a pulley to put pressure on the drive belt. When the lever is moved to disengage the pulley does not return to the original position. It almost appears that there should be a spring to pull the pulley back, but I do not see one. Hopefully someone can come up with a solution for this. It seems to be a common problem.



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Have you tried the safety switches?

Posted on Oct 16, 2008


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