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

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Clutch issues: release clutch and mower doesnt move.

I have a craftsman 16 hp riding mower. The engine cranks and runs very good. The problem is when I press the clutch, engage the gear (reverse or forward) and release the clutch, the mower does not respond. It sounds as though the clutch engages. The motor hums down as under a slight load, but the mower doesnt move. The mower has been in my garage since last season (6-7 months) and I just took off the right rear tire to replace. I dont know if that may have any bearing on the problem but thought I would add it anyway. Any suggestions? Thanks in advance.

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  • Anonymous Apr 16, 2009

    I have the same problem, but I have not replaced the tire and I can't tell if anything fell out.

    Thanks,

  • Jerry Depoy Apr 29, 2013

    this mower has auto trans, or hydro drive

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"....I just took off the right rear tire to replace."

Make sure the key hasnt fallen out of the right rear tire. It has to have the key to work. Its a peice of metal about 3 inches long and flat on all sides. It should slip into the grove on the tires shaft. Hope that helps.

Posted on Apr 16, 2009

  • BillyBaroo Apr 16, 2009

    That was it! Found the key had fallen out about 5 feet from the area I removed the tire. Thanks BillyBaroo! Your the Man!!

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I have a sears craftsman riding lawnmower LT2000 model #917.273751 18hp intek engine 42in deck.Engine runs fine but when I release the clutch-brake pedal engine stalls.seems like an intermitent problem...


There are other safety switches as well. The electrical diagram shows (2) of the interlock switches (part no. 16 in diagram) in the electrical system. The location of the 2nd one could be on the transmission or the clutch/brake pedal. It could also be on the PTO system (blade actuator if you will). See if you can find the other switch on your unit. I have an LT1000 and have NOT looked for them. Here is an electrical diagram on your unit.

http://www.searspartsdirect.com/partsdirect/part-model/Craftsman-Parts/Riding-mower-tractor-Parts/Model-917273751/0247/1509200/P0403265/00001?blt=06&prst=&shdMod=

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My sears craftsman riding mower will crank just fine, but as soon as I try to either put it in gear and release the clutch to go forward or backward, it shuts off. It also shuts off when I attempt to...


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It may think you are in reverse and is killing the motor to keep you from backing up with the blade running. Look for switch that is telling it when you are in reverse, maybe it is stuck with grass or other debris. another possibility is that the blades are jammed and they are stalliing the motor. Mines stalls easily when cold.

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1 Answer

Craftsman 16 hp 42 in. riding mower won't run when clutch is released


If the engine feels like it is being choked, then something might be catching or bound up...for example the blades may have been installed improperly and will not rotate. Make sure that you can rotate the blades by hand...if not they may have been tightened and are binding against the mower housing.

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