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

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Tractor starts, stalls when blade is engaged, or brake released

Craftsman 42" riding tractor starts & runs - - when blade is engaged, or brake is released, tractor stalls.

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  • ccmaxse Sep 28, 2009

    It putters out like I shut it off with key. Tractor is an older model (don't have the # in front of me). Blade engages via pulley. Has a seat 'safety' device. Wierd part is that was working (cutting, moving, etc.) and then suddenly stalled on me and now, won't stay running when lift off brake, or, engage blade. RPMs are good when sitting and running.

  • Matt Wurth
    Matt Wurth May 11, 2010

    is it stalling immediately or does it putter out like if you shut it off with the key. Is your blade engage by belt or is is an electric engage. Often times on the newer mowers, there are several saftey switches (one for reverse if blades are engaged, one for the seat, on for brake, and one for blades) These have been issues for me. How are your rpms when the motor is running, if it starts and runs normally just sitting there, start going through your saftey switches (many times you can just disconnect them all together)

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  • Master
  • 437 Answers

You have a safety switch malfunctioning or a transistorized relay not working properly. Go to www.partsdirect.com, this is sears website. It should be able to find and illustrated parts list for your mower.

Posted on Sep 28, 2009

  • Brad Locke
    Brad Locke Oct 08, 2015

    This problem is usually caused by the PTO safety switch for the operation of the mower blades. If your tractor hasn't a PTO push or pull knob ,but uses an engagement mower handle,it still would be the safety switch,usually located beneath the control panel.

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I have a craftsman 917.287030 and it will not stay running. i put it in gear and it stalls. any ideas??


Check the seat safety switch. For example, start the mower and then engage the blades. If the seat safety switch is faulty, then it will die. Same thing with putting it in gear and releasing the brake.

I hope this is helpful for you.

Aug 22, 2011 | Craftsman 17.5 hp 42 in. Deck Lawn Tractor...

1 Answer

I have the Craftsman 20.5 Model 944.609800 42 in mower I can get it to run but when i put it in gear or take my foot off the brake it stalls it also stalls when i engage the mower blades can you help i...


I agree it is the seat switch. This switch will let you start the mower as long as it is in neutral, the brake is set and the mower blades are not engaged. I think it is just two wires, maybe you can jump them together and see if it runs.
Gary

Aug 06, 2011 | Craftsman 17.5 hp 42 in. Deck Lawn Tractor...

1 Answer

My lawn mower will start easily and continue running as long as the clutch brake is depressed but when I lift the clutch or try to engage the blades while the clutch is depressed the mower will stall.


This is a shot in the dark. I think you have a failed "operator presence safety switch". Rule this out by finding the switch and jumping it.

Your mower should run with no one in the seat IF THE PARKING BRAKE IS SET.

If the brake is released and no one is on it, it should shut off.

If you are on it and the brake is released you should be able to engage the blades (probably an electric clutch)

Purpose of this interlock is the shut the machine OFF should you fall off or jump off the machine. Do not disable this valuable safety feature.

Let me know what you find.

Thanks for your question @ FixYa.com

May 15, 2011 | Craftsman 20 hp 42 in. Deck Lawn Tractor -...

1 Answer

Craftsman Model 917.259566 Tractor starts perfectly, but stalls out when the clutch is released. Whats happening?


Most likely your seat safety switch is not working. In order for the engine to run with blade engaged, the operator present switch must be made when the brake is taken off (releasing clutch).

Oct 30, 2010 | Craftsman 42 in. Deck 19.5hp Lawn Tractor

1 Answer

My Craftsman 42" 18.5hp lawn tractor will start fine but when I disengage the brake or engage the blades it cuts off. It was recently left out in the rain while I was working, did something short out? It...


there is a safety switch under the seat. to stay running after the brake is released or deck engaged you have to be sitting on the seat or it will die. if this switch is bad it will die as soon as you release the brake.

Aug 25, 2010 | Craftsman Garden

1 Answer

Idles fine, shuts down when release brake.


It could be the brake switch bad, if this model came with one. When it is depressed it will start, but when it is released it may not be switching to stay running.

Mar 27, 2010 | Craftsman 20 Hp 42" Deck Lawn Tractor

1 Answer

Craftsman LT1000 tractor not moving


hello otto i would check the belt that runs to the rearend but the brakes could be also froze up i would try to jack it up & see if it will move then go from there

Jun 08, 2009 | Craftsman 17.5 hp 42 in. Deck Lawn Tractor...

1 Answer

Tractor Will Not Move And Dies When Brake Is Released


I would check the wires and clean the connectors and make sure seat switch is working. If that is not working, it's like getting off the seat without holding the brake/clutch pedal down or getting off seat with blades engaged. Both will cause engine to die.

May 26, 2009 | Craftsman 17.5 hp 42 in. Deck Lawn Tractor...

1 Answer

Craftsman 42" 19.5 briggs runs great , shuts off


check seat switch make sure it is plug in good you can unplug it and jump it with a jumper wire to see if switch is bad

Apr 27, 2009 | Craftsman 20 hp 42 in. Deck Lawn Tractor -...

1 Answer

I have 16 hp Craftsman riding mower with a Kohler engine.


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.

Mar 09, 2009 | Craftsman 17.5 hp 42 in. Deck Lawn Tractor...

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