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

2 Answers

No forward progress

I have a Craftsman Lawn Tractor with a Kohler engine. When I engage the transmission, there is no forward progress initiall until it seems the oil heats up. When progress is achieved, it is slow and without power to go uphill. The balsed function well when engaged, just the transmission. Fliud has been changed regularly and fluid levels are OK. Air filer is clean.


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  • almaraz Dec 09, 2008

    I have the same tractor and it is just starting to act up like that, especially after it has not been used in a whyle. I am suspecting it to be internal in the drive unit. mine will make a loud whine and you feel it in the lever. it wont move forwards or reverse. then for no ryme or reason it will start working ok.

  • dmorrow25 Feb 01, 2009

    I just experienced a simillar problem, I have a snowblower attached on the front on my craftsman and took it out this week and the second pass around I heard a weird noise and then a grinding. The tractor only moves backward now, will not go forward and it grinds if you put it in gear and neutral, I had no trany fluid on the ground, so does anybody have any idea what it could be and where do I start, buy a new transaxle or try to have somebody rebuild the existing one?

    JERRY ABELL May 11, 2010

    hello! you took the time to ask question. i took the time to answer your question. could you take the time to rate the answer. thank you.

  • Al Perry May 11, 2010

    Can you push the tractor easily in neutral?

    JERRY ABELL May 11, 2010

    hello! yes is it a belt drive or a hydraulic system; could you find time to answer the question!!!!!!!

  • Antonio Boscia
    Antonio Boscia May 11, 2010

    is it a belt driven system or a hydraulic drive system?

  • Captian Bill Aug 28, 2013

    there is a button on the console between you legs. It operates the parking brake. If the brake is stuck in park, the little spring came off the rod that controls the brake making it stick in park. Look under hood and move the switch back and forth and you will see the rod move



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Seems that your clutch needs adjustment, no biggie here. Get your needle nose pliers and a spare ¼ inch bolt or pin. A small Philips screwdriver will also work. The needle nose pliers are for removing the cotter pin and the screwdriver (or bolt) will hold the brake lever in place while you make the adjustment. Then, check under the right side of the deck (side where the grass discharges) right under the plastic mat where your foot rests and next to the tractor's frame you will see the brake lever with the long spring attached. Have a helper move the brake/clutch pedal so you have a better idea of what's going on down there. Then:

1. Remove the cotter pin, washer, and brake spring from the
adjustable nut
2. Disconnect the adjustable nut from the brake lever assembly
and the parking brake latch.
3. Align the hole in the brake lever with the hole in the frame. Hold
the brake lever in place with your 1/4 inch pin, bolt or the screwdriver.
4. Pull the clutch rod forward until tight. Turn the adjustable nut
until the nut will fit through the hole in the brake lever.
5. Assemble the adjustable nut to the parking brake latch,
brake lever and brake spring. Fasten with the washer and
cotter pin.
6. Remove the 1/4 inch (6 mm) pin, bolt or scredriver.

That should return everything to normal. Assuming that there are no broken or bent parts in your clutch mechanism.

These are the general instructions for this type o tractor. If you find any discrepancies in the description of parts or location of mechanisms, please consult the owner's manual of your particular model under “How to check and adjust the clutch”.

I hope you find this solution helpful. Please rate it and thanks for using Fixya.

Posted on Nov 05, 2009

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  • 138 Answers

First thought would be the brake sticking or the belt slipping, but then you said the fluid has been changed regularly [i'm guessing this is a hydro trans?] did you change it? what fluid did you refill it with? most hydros use regular 10w-40 motor oil, few use ATF. you could have some air in the hydraulic system and that will cause loss of power. to purge the air, pull the trans bypass rod out, start the engine, release the brake and move the shifter slowly to the forward position, then slowly back and to reverse, do this about 10 times, it should purge any air trapped in the system

Posted on Aug 17, 2009


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