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How to remove the drive pulley, and install a new Woodruff Key?

Craftsman Garden Tractor GT5000 26 HP 48" Mower, 6 Speed Transaxle Model No. 917.276072
I have the ''Ring Retainer'' (Snap ring), and thrust washer off. But, can't get the pulley off the shaft. The shaft appears to be extra long, there's play between the snap ring and transaxle housing.
So, this makes it about 1/8 inch too long to get the pulley off. (Being blocked by the HI-Lo Shift Rod and Frame). Is it possible to install a new woodruff key with the pulley almost off the shaft? If not, how do you remove the Spring Clip (connecting link) Part: 122268X for the Hi-Lo Shift Rod? Or, would it be easier to drop the front part of the transaxle down by loosening it up the rear bolts, and removing the rest.
Sure seems like an awful lot of work, do something that should be simple!

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Wayne Train Hi Bobbyak, if you still need to know, there is no key. It is a D shaped shaft, the pulley has the D cutout built in. It is a tight fit to pull off, but it will come off with some wiggling effort. There is just enough room. Remove the belt. Mark the side facing the trans for when you refit. Don't give up and don't drop the transaxle. I just didn't catch the reason you wanted to remove the pulley.

Posted on Dec 06, 2010

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link below:
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