It depends on the model, but it hooks up to the handle, on the underside. If it is the personal pace handle (the one where the whole handle moves) It is usually on the lower right corner of the handle. if it does not have personal pace, and just regular self propel, there should be a small hole somewhere on the lower handle. The hole would most likely be on the left side.
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Yes it makes sense. I was working on a throttleless one and it would not come up to speed, I had hooked it up to the wrong side of the shaft, or conceptually, the pivot point. It was doing the opposite of what it should have. I suggest taking a really close look at the attachment piece looking for wear or rub marks to indicate which hole it should be in.
The self propel cable needs to be adjusted. This can be done with a 7/16 wrench. loosen the nut that holds the self propel cable in place. You may need to pry this open with a screwdriver. Don't overdo it or you could break the plastic. Once the cable is loose pull it toward the mower deck, once the slack is out of the cable press the self propel handle in about a half of an inch. This should be close to what it was from the factory. Then re tighten the nut. And check the self propel to make sure it is engaging properly.
If you hear a grinding noise when trying to engage the transmission then you will need a new transmission. Depending on if it is a front or rear self propel the part alone is either $60-$75 retail. Most repair shops will charge an hour to do this repair.
I hope this answers your question.
It may just be a matter of adjusting the cable. Sometimes they dont get them adjusted just right from the factory,heres what you do. Locate the plastic shroud in front of the push mower that covers the drive unit.Determine which screwdriver or torx bit is needed to remove shroud and remove it. After removal you will see a pulley with belt around it, as you pull the handle back to engage self propel you should see the pulley move into the belt to put tension on the belt. You can do this with it running to see if enough tension is being put on the belt,if not, locate the cable end where the small bracket holds the cable in place. Loosen the cable bracket and move cable until you have correct tension again,hope this helps.