Question about Craftsman 20 hp 42 in. Deck Lawn Tractor - CA Model

1 Answer

Blades won't engage but belts are fine

The cable attached after the spring might be broke

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If the cable is broken, replace it. If not have someone sit in the seat and engage the blades (WITH THE ENGINE OFF) while you check to see if the belt tightens up when it is engaged. It is possible that it is dirty and/or rusty and not letting the engagement pulley do its job

Posted on Sep 14, 2009

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1 Answer

Was cutting a yard and the blades just shut off and they won't engage at all now. Everything else is fine. What could be causing this?


I suspect that either the drive belt for the blades broke or spring tensioner broke. You may need to have someone fix this for you. What is the make and model of the tractor?

Jul 13, 2015 | Garden

1 Answer

Why will blades will not disengage?


check your return spring on the deck. it goes from hole in bracket welded to deck to hole in moving lever that one of the deck pulleys is attached to. if spring is missing or broke, it will not dissengage or may dissengage slowly. If spring is there, the moving lever may have debris under it or may be bent. If spring is there, remove deck and try pushing the pully with the spring to see if it breaks free.

Aug 04, 2014 | Craftsman 17.5 hp 42 in. Deck Lawn Tractor...

2 Answers

Craftsman 20hp lawn tractor blades won't engage


check to make sure your cable is in tact its called a pto clutch cable about 20 buck on ebay it may be broke inside

Sep 26, 2012 | Craftsman 20 Hp 42" Deck Lawn Tractor

1 Answer

I have a troy bilt riding mower blades will not engage in the 1 or 2 deck setting


There is a spring attached to a tensioner that probably came unhooked while changing the belt. Higher deck settings push the deck backwards enough to spin the blades, the lower setting need the spring tensioner to take up the slack in the belt.

Jun 27, 2012 | Troy Garden

1 Answer

Found large spring at end of cable unattached lying on top of deck cover. Where does the spring attach in order to engage the blades on the riding mower? The lever is very loose and when checking, I found...


There are 4 pulleys on your deck. Two for the blades, these are the big ones on the outsides. To the insides there are two, one on left side is an idler and the one on the right is a tenioning pulley that hooks to the blade engage lever throught the cable you found. Look on top of this pulley and see if it has a piece sticking up. If so the spring at the end of the cable attaches here. Slide it over. You also need to find the clip that goes through the little hole in the end that keeps it from sliding off. Make sure that the cable is properly routed and attached near the back of the deck. If it is still attached, good, if not you will have to find that pin also.

If this is helpful, please rate.

Jul 10, 2011 | Craftsman 17.5 hp 42 in. Deck Lawn Tractor...

2 Answers

Two springs broke underneath the riding lawn mower 3800 and we don't know where to replace them at, they engage the gears.


First make sure you can still engage the blades.Many mowers use a cable attached to a spring to engage the blades.If that is one of the springs,you need a new cable.For the other I will need more information,like what kind of mower is it?How many blades?Another thing to look for is worn or torn holes that the springs attach to.

Jun 29, 2011 | Garden

1 Answer

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

Cable streched on swisher trailmower


Pull the belt cover off on the side of the engage lever and you will see that it is not a wire cable that engages the idler pulley. It's a rod connected to a long spring. Perhaps the spring came off or is defective as it puts tension on the idler pulley against the drive belt when you engage the blades. Further, there is a return spring to pull the idler pulley away from the drive belt when you disengage the blades. Check all the connections for the springs and see that the engage lever is mounted tightly. Also check the idler pulley itself.

Jun 22, 2009 | Swisher T14560 T - 60" Trailmower with 14...

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