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I have a 15hp 42" deck it is old style set up on tension pulley w/ round bars instead of cable.But it does engage on dash.Can i convert to cable deck & itall hook up?

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You should be able to it might take some fabercating

Posted on Jun 28, 2009

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Craftsman mower deck belt tensioner keeps bouncing and shaking the deck


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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.

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After painting the deck I reinstalled deck following instruction manukal; however now blades are engaged in the disangaged positiond. What did I DO WRONG?


Did you check for freedom of movement of the arms on the deck that actual move the tensioning pulley? You may have removed the springs and painted the deck in place and the paint is holding the mechanism engaged. If this did not happen, what type of actuation do you have, cable or linkage? What is the model number of your mower?

Aug 08, 2011 | Craftsman 42 in. Deck 19.5hp Lawn Tractor

1 Answer

Blade engager is disconected under the mower where the cable comes out. theres a spring at the end of the cable and i do not know where it hooks.


There are four pulleys on your deck. The two larger ones drive the blades, the two smaller ones are idler and tension. The idler is on the left, the tensioner is on the right. On top of the small one on the right, in and forward of the one that drives the right blade, this is the tension pulley. With the deck fully lowered, feel the skinny metal piece that rises out of the middle of it, at the top there is a hole. A bee clip goes in the hole. The spring on the end of the cable hooks over this rod and the clip keeps it in place. Your clip either has broken or become dislodged. Look on the mower deck for it. If you can not find it the clip is very similar in size to the one that holds the cable in place on the back of the deck. If necessary, remove this one and test fit it in the hold above the tensioner pulley and go to the hardware store for a replacement.

If youare unable to locate a replacement, let me know and I will describe for you how to order one.

Jul 25, 2011 | Craftsman 17.5 hp 42 in. Deck Lawn Tractor...

1 Answer

Where do attach cable that engages blades


On a lot of Craftsman decks that are cable operated, the right side idler pulley is the tensioning pulley and at the top of the bolt that holds it in place is a hole for a retaining clip. With clip removed, slide the cable end over the post and install the clip. The cable will be kinda loose with the blades disengaged, but it will not come off. By the way make sure that the cable is routed through the holder towards the back of the deck and is properly secured.

Jul 08, 2011 | Craftsman 20 hp 42 in. Deck Lawn Tractor -...

1 Answer

I change belts on decks now they are smokeing hot every time engage blade why ? I put it on the same way it came off. beckidoug@yahoo


Check the pulley that has the engagement cable attached to it, there should also be a spring that pulls the pulley back when you disengage it. If that spring is not there, the belt will still have a little tension on it causing it to rub on the drive pulley creating heat.

Jun 13, 2011 | Craftsman 21 Hp 42" Lawn Tractor Riding...

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My craftsman 18.0 42" lawn


First check to make sure you can turn each blade by hand, with the mower off. If neither blade spindle is frozen remove the deck and make sure all the pulleys move freely and function like they should. The cable should have been operating a spring loaded pulley arm that applied tension to the deck belt to make the blades function. Some times build up with block that from moving or rust will make it stick.

May 26, 2011 | Craftsman 17.5 hp 42 in. Deck Lawn Tractor...

2 Answers

I need to tighten belt for the mower deck, how is that done? it is a 2004 craftsman 17.5HP 42 " deck. Can you help me


Each of the pulleys on top of the deck should have tensioners. These tensioners are usually the type which have a bolt for you to tighten while attached to the pulley. While you tighten the bolt, the pulley puts tension on the belt.

Aug 05, 2010 | Craftsman 17.5 hp 42 in. Deck Lawn Tractor...

1 Answer

PTO cable is real loose. My deck blade will engage on their own after running for awhile. I could not see where PTO cable attaches to idler pulley on belts?


Sounds like the belt is stretched or the tension spring has become detached or stretched. Also check that the pulleys are mounted solidly and run flat and do not wobble. Also check that the idler are has not cracked and twisted (mine did last month and then threw a chukof steel out sideways).

Sep 30, 2009 | Craftsman 17.5 hp 42 in. Deck Lawn Tractor...

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I have a craftsman riding lawnmower and the blade engagement is not starting the blades when i lift it. It feels loose when i lift it.


Sounds like you PTO cable is broken. Part # 175067. It goes from the lever on the dash down to a deck mount and hooks to the idler pulley. When you lift the lever, it should pull the pulley and idler arm towards the rear of the deck to tighten the belt to engage the blades.

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