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

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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?

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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).

Posted on Sep 30, 2009

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1 Answer

A PTO that is engaged constantly,


On that type PTO engagement there is slack in the belt that disengages the deck, in some case there is a arm with a idler pulley that swings against the belt to tighten it and engages the deck , in other cases like older MTD:s the deck swung backwards as it was let down and tightened the belt and was lifted to turn it off. Most of the decks had a brake of some kind on the deck pulleys to stop freewheeling of the blades when disengaged .

May 26, 2016 | Garden

1 Answer

I have a MTD yardman 1999,2000 ride mower that won't start because it says the pto is engaged when it's not actually engaged if you could comment an image of the same 42 inch deck?


Check your PTO switch operation which is at the engagement handle.

As for hooking the cable spring to deck idler pulley and brake assembly it goes in the hole closest to the idler pulley on the G deck which different then the F deck which uses the same idler arm assembly as the part is design to fit both decks.

Also make sure your using an OEM spec as a will fit will not work properly. You also must the spindle pulleys belt retainer covers in place so the belt will stay on.

May 10, 2015 | Mtd Garden

1 Answer

Sears troubleshooting


It is likely that the pto engagement cable has broke and needs to be replaced. Lower the deck all the way down. With the engine off, kneel on the right side of the mower. look under the mower and find the end of the cable on the deck. It will be near the center rear of the deck and will have a spring on the end of the cable. Once the cable is located reach up and operate the pto lever and watch the cable. The end of the cable should move with the lever, pulling the idler pulley back and tightening the belt. If this movement does not happen replace the cable.

Jul 21, 2014 | Craftsman 20 hp 42 in. Deck Lawn Tractor -...

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...

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 have a model 13aq609g063 troy bilt riding mower. It has a 18hp briggs & stratton, 2 cylinder, ic engine. the engine runs fine, the bottom pulley on the engine for the pto belt turns when running, and...


Another possibility, is a broken spring or a tight/ rusted idler pivot arm.
with the engine off & the deck down, engage the pto & pull on the belt to see which pulley is the tensioner

Nov 07, 2009 | Garden

1 Answer

PTO Issue


It sounds like you got the cable to tight. The brake cable applys the brake to the pulley to help stop the blades when PTO is disengaged. With it being tight it might be applying the brake and that is the reason your blades are not running at full speed. If you keep using it that way it will wear out your brake and possibly damage a pulley. I suggest you loosen the brake cable or replace it with a new one.

Aug 31, 2009 | Garden

1 Answer

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.

Jul 29, 2009 | Craftsman 20 hp 42 in. Deck Lawn Tractor -...

1 Answer

Cable for pto is loose and when done mowing will not disengage, the blades still spin. You can turn the mower off and then they will stop, and the tractor will restart with no problem, as if the pto is not...


It's probably not the cable, but the idler arm on the deck that the pulley that tightens up the belt is not moving back and forth freely, probably from rust. Spray penatrating oil on the pivot point while working it back and forth until it frees up. If still having problems, let me know. Dwain

Jun 10, 2009 | Garden

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