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

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Craftsman 42" mower deck won't disengage

I checked the belt and it looks fine. I can push the engage lever all the way up to completely engage the blades but the lever won't come down to the complete disengage level. Since the mower blades won't disengage the tractor won't restart.

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  • Anonymous Mar 16, 2014

    Have checked and belt is fine

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  • 57 Answers

Try pulling on the cable coming down to deck. This cable might be your problem. Also check that the spring on the end of this cable is present and functional.

Posted on May 19, 2009

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1 Answer

How do I determine why the blades will not engage on my mower


With the mower turned off and the deck at its lowest setting, check the top of the deck for any debris like rocks or sticks. Then watch the top of the deck while you move the engage lever. If nothing is moving, you either need to adjust the cable, reattach the cable, or install a new cable. If you see the lever with the pulley on it moving, when the engage lever is locked on, check the tightness of the belt. If it's loose, that is your problem and it could be a stretched belt.

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1 Answer

Blade does not stop spinning when lever disengaged.


Under seat of tractor theres a plate that says model # it looks like 917. 000000 i need that # please and i can help you with the problem it sounds like the belt isnt disengaging which will cause blades to continue to go.

Jun 09, 2014 | Craftsman 20 hp 42 in. Deck Lawn Tractor -...

1 Answer

Blades wont disengage completely


The lever has worn out....thus it is not locking up immediately when fully disengaged. You'll need to trace down the lever right down to the blade mechanism and then you'll notice a fork shaped part that shows signs of wear....very common on craftsman riding mowers.

Dec 03, 2013 | Craftsman 17.5 hp 42 in. Deck Lawn Tractor...

1 Answer

Craftsman 56" lawn tractor auto trans dose not drive forward or revers. tryed purging trans no go checked engagment rod ok, belt seems good. I can push the mower by hand as if the trans were not connected...


somehow did the little freewheel lever get pulled in the rear of the tractor to disengage transmission?..usually out is disengage and in is engaged. look around the back panel behind the rear axle for a small lever you can pull or push in.

Aug 18, 2013 | Craftsman 20 hp 42 in. Deck Lawn Tractor -...

1 Answer

Blades won,t disengage


Assuming this is a lever actuated deck (not electric p.t.o style) I would be checking the belt pivot tensioner assembly which the cable would be hooking to a lot of times moisture will get between the pivot and the deck and rust up not allowing the heavy return spring to slide the pivot back removing the tension from the belt. If you spray the pivot with a good lubricant and hand work the pivot tensioner back and forth it should loosen up. Usually it's the other way around and the 1st time of the year you use it you can't get it to engage.

Jul 13, 2013 | Craftsman 17.5 hp 42 in. Deck Lawn Tractor...

1 Answer

Disengage mulch drive


Have you looked beneath the deck with someone engaging or disengaging the blade lever? Get underneath and observe how the belt travels from the engine pulley back, and follow it in the loop it travels to see how it works with the lever engaged and disengaged.

Jun 08, 2013 | Craftsman 17.5 hp 42 in. Deck Lawn Tractor...

2 Answers

Blade engagement lever won't disengage


If this is a manual engagment system all the lever does is to pull a jockey wheel into the back of the belt to tention it thus starting the blades to turn, so either the cable is jammed that pulls the jockey wheel in, or the jockey wheel arm is seized and needs freeing off to allow the jockey to to move to the relaxed position.

Jun 23, 2012 | Craftsman 20 Hp 42" Deck Lawn Tractor

3 Answers

42 inch Craftsman blades won't engage


model 917258862 mower was given to me. sat outside numerous years. I've managed to get it to start run and drive, but cant get blades to engage. don't know what the wires are for or do that go to some sort of pulley attached to the bottom of motor. can somebody help me pls ?

Jun 13, 2009 | Craftsman 17.5 hp 42 in. Deck Lawn Tractor...

1 Answer

The blade engage lever on my 42" craftsman mower will not disengage completely


Get a can of penatating oil and spray the pivot point of the idler arm on the deck. That's the one that moves back and forth when you lift the blade engagement lever.

Jun 06, 2009 | Craftsman 20 Hp 42" Deck Lawn Tractor

1 Answer

Can't get stick to move down to disengage, push with all my power


With the engine off, reach under your deck and pull on the belt. This will force the idler arm back into disengaged position so you can start it. You can probably free the mechanism up with penatrating oil by spraying the pivot point on the idler arm ( the bracket the idler is mounted to that moves back and forth) while alternatly engaging the lever and pulling the belt till it frees up and returns by itself.

May 25, 2009 | Craftsman 42 in. Deck 19.5hp Lawn Tractor

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