Question about Craftsman 42 in. Deck 19.5hp Lawn Tractor

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Engine slows down with blades are engaged?

The engine runs fine when the mower deck blades are not engaged, once they are engaged the engine slows way down. There is no grass buildup on the deck, I have replaced the belt and the gas filter. I don't know what else could be the problem.

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Sounds like the blade spindles are binding, many have Zerk fittings to grease them. with belt disengaged try turning the pulleys they should turn easily and have no wobble in them. if either is wrong replace spindle and best to change in sets. this is the most common issue.

Posted on Apr 23, 2010

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My tractor with 27hp Kohler engine runs fine without engaging the mower deck. Once engaged and I start cutting grass or go uphill, the engine starts to slow down. Also, it smells like exhaust fumes.


Try blowing the air filter out with compressed air. Or replace the filter. Make sure the choke butterfly in the carb is fully open, adjust the choke cable for correct function.

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Craftsman Model Number: 917.377151 motor shuts down when blades engaged


The engaging of the mowdeck is cause an excessive demand of your engine. From that, we can assume your problem is in the deck. Since the power drive is all about belts and it threw the belts, from your information I can only deduce that either an object (stick-wood-rock) has wedge into a position that has stopped rotation of the blades. Also, each blade has a pulley/spindle. These have bearings which must be free to rotate.
A bearing failure or seizing can also cause the problem you report.

Follow safety rules in your manual to insure the engine cannot start. Attempt to rotate each blade to check for free rotation. If the do not you most likely will need to remove the mower deck and check further. An obstruction or seized spindle should be easy to determine and sit repair is easily possible.

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Engine seems to run fine but when pto is engaged engine loses power


whatever the pto is hooked to,is putting pressure on it and slowing it down,if its a deck,then the spindles are bad or binding,blades need to turn freely

Jul 11, 2015 | Garden

1 Answer

When deck is lowered blades do not engage


Is the belt in place that drives the blades?
Is the belt at the correct tension?
With the mower engine off.....try to turn each pulley the belt drives and on the mower deck with the mower in up position and or down....do they turn a little......this is to check for a seized bearing on one of the pulleys also look under the deck for something stuck........ jamming a blade.
Also check for the mower belt safety system (which stops the blades quickly when disengaging them) that may be stuck in stop mode.
With the mower engine running.....have some one engage the blades while you look under at the belt system....is the engine driving the belt.....is the belt driving the blades.
DO NOT TOUCH ANYTHING......MOVING OR STOPPED while the engine is trying to drive the blades.

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check your blades to make sure that they are not hitting the deck,, this would cause the knocking sound

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Jul 03, 2009 | Craftsman 42 in. Deck 19.5hp Lawn Tractor

1 Answer

Engine cutting off


Depends on how it cuts off. If it gradually slows down over a few minutes or surges, it's likely the carburetor needs to be cleaned and rebuilt. But if it's an immediate cut off, it's likely to be a safety switch such as the one that shuts down the engine when you get off the seat if the mower is running. Sometimes this happens frequently to a light person who bounces on the seat when mowing.

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