Question about Craftsman 42 in. Deck 19.5hp Lawn Tractor

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The steering just went out on my crastman 42" riding mower. The steering arm seems to have slipped off the ball joint. Is there a part or something that holds it on the ball other than a rubber sleeve? Please advise on how to fix. Thanks!

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You have to replace the rod end, it is not repairable. Go to your local sears store, or sears parts direct.com

Posted on May 03, 2010

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One front wheel is toed out how do I adjust it


If you mean it feels like it's dragging, then you likely need to replace the lower ball joint. there is no adjustment. If you have a failing Ball joint, the wheel may buckle under the vehicle while you are driving, causing damage to the wheel, the car and possibly worse. You will want to have this checked out at a shop ASAP, or if you have a jack, jack the wheel up by the jack point ( not the suspension ) and take a pry bar and try to move the lower control arm away from the steering knuckle. If they can be separated at all, that ball joint is worn and needs to be replaced.

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Look at the ball joints top and bottom--- tail shafts u-joints and shaft slip joints---steering ball joints and idler arm pivot point---moving shafts and arms on the transfer case . If it is a late model it probably won't have any.

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The rod on my John Deere tractor fell off that makes it steer...how do I fix it ?


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1 Answer

The steering arm came off the steering ball and rubber sleeve. Is there nothing else holding the arm on than the sleeve.


Probably not. If yours unscrews from the steering rod, get a replacement joint at the hardware store, Sears or at the other big box store. If yours was line mine at the job, you will have to order a new steering rod (not the official name) from Sears. If you are handy and have the tools, you can cut off the old and thread or weld on a replacement.

What happens? They wear - the ball wears and the spring looses some of its tension.

Jul 27, 2011 | Craftsman Garden

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Was mowing the lawn when all of the sudden i heard a pop and the steering went on the mower. The steering wheel just spins and the rod underneath the engine is just hanging


There is probably a ball joint connection that broke, or something could have just came loose. Not a hard repair, if you are not mechanically inclined, any mower shop can fix it, or if you have a neighbor that works on cars etc can fix it easily.

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How to replace lower left front ball joint ?


Removal & Installation NOTE This procedure requires the use of the following special tools: J 9519-E Lower Ball Joint Remover and Installer, J 34874 Booster Seal Remover/Installer, J 41435 Ball Joint Installer, J 45105-1 Ball Joint Flaring Adapter and J 45105-2 Receiver.

  1. On 4WD vehicles, remove the wheel center cap and drive axle nut.
  2. Raise and support the vehicle.
  3. Remove or disconnect the following:
    • Tire and wheel
    • Wheel hub and bearing, if necessary
    • Outer tie rod retaining nut
    • Out tie rod from the steering knuckle using a suitable puller
    • Brake hose bracket retaining bolts and bracket
    • Upper control arm-to-steering knuckle pinch bolt and nut
    • Upper control arm from the steering knuckle
    • Lower ball joint retaining nut
    • Steering knuckle from the lower control arm using a suitable ball joint removal tool
    • Steering knuckle from the vehicle
    • Lower ball joint flange with a chisel
  4. Install tools J 9519-E and J 34874 to the lower ball joint, then use those tools to remove the lower ball joint from the lower control arm.
To install:
  1. Install or connect the following:
    • Lower ball joint to the lower control arm, using tools J 9519-E, J 41435 and J 45105-2
  2. Remove the tools from the lower control arm.
    • Tools J 9519-E and J 45105-1 to the lower ball joint
  3. Flare the lower ball joint flange with J 9519-E and J 45105-1, then remove the tools from the lower ball joint.
    • Steering knuckle to the lower control arm
    • Lower ball joint retaining nut and tighten to 81 ft. lbs. (110 Nm)
    • Upper control arm to the steering knuckle
    • Upper control arm pinch bolt and nut and tighten to 30 ft. lbs. (41 Nm)
    • Brake hose bracket to the steering knuckle
    • Brake hose bracket retaining nuts and tighten to 7 ft. lbs. (10 Nm)
    • Outer tie rod to the steering knuckle
    • Outer tie rod retaining nut and tighten to 33 ft. lbs. (45 Nm)
    • Wheel hub and bearing, if removed
    • Tire and wheel
  4. Lower the vehicle
    • Drive axle nut, if 4WD, and tighten to 103 ft. lbs. (140 Nm)
    • Wheel center cap, if removed
  5. Check the front wheel alignment.

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1 Answer

Turning rod keeps slipping off


Replace the bolt with a new bolt. Sounds like the bolt is not tighting down enough to make the joint tight like it should be

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