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

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Is it possible for the belt to stretch out so much that it won't engage the blades. It worked last year and now it doesn't. I have looked at all the obvious possible problems and it appears that none of the springs are broke or missing. The belt has at least two to three inches of slack even when engaged.

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Your belts will stretch out and only have a life span of 1 or 2 seasons. There should be nearly no slack once the blades are engaged. Make sure it didn't slip off any of the pullys and the belt tensionor is on correctly. Check belt for cracking or fray makrs on edges as these are clear signs of a worn belt.

Posted on May 14, 2010

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Are the blades turning when you lower the deck? If not, your belt may be slipping or it's off the pulley. Once you lower the deck and lift your foot off the the brake / clutch it should engage because the slack is now taken up on the belt, so slipping, belt jumped off or belt stretched out.

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When I engage the blades nothing happens. Any ideas?


I have a YTH 150 with a similar problem. The mower has an electrically powered clutch which is activated when you engage the blade button. If the drive belt has no tension on it, engaging the clutch doesn't do anything because the drive wheel will just spin but the blades won't. Look for broken tension springs on the mower deck and replace.

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Blades will not engage on Husqvarna riding mower.


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You have to hold the mower blade engagement lever, which engages the mower blades to turn.Poulan model PXT12530


sounds like the belt is stretched, check the belt or get a smaller belt, doesnt take but a quarter inch to effect engagement

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This is too late, but for the next person: There is an extension spring around the cable attached to the blade engage/disengage lever.

On my tractor one end of the spring had the hook broken off or it. Because it is around the cable it is still in place but doesn't stretch when you engage the blade (so can't pull the pulley out and slacken the belt when you disengage).

The replacement is a few dollars and can be bought on ebay or Amazon.

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1 Answer

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first make sure the belt is not hitting anything when the blade is engaged (engine off), the if ok remove belt and look in pulley grooves for rocks or chips., then run finger all around groove to make sure there is no catches or spurs. If that is all ok then with belt on and engine idleing as slow as possible and blade engaged look and see if pulley is wobbling, BE CAREFULL !! look at the engine pulley first then with EXTREME CAUTION look under deck from opposte side of chute. ( Check with deck at highest setting)

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1 Answer

BLADE DRIVE BELT ADJUSTMENT


Well, most riding mowers have a "pully idler", meaning once you have the belt on there (and it is the RIGHT size), the idler automatically gives the belt tension when you engage it (in fact, the idler pully is what IS engaged when you engage the belly mower).

Couple things to check (super simple):

The Belt. Look to see if she is wore smooth out.
Sometimes....they WILL stretch on you, instead of busting/coming apart, and give you noise (when she is engaged, but wore out enough to flop around a little)

The Deck Blade Bearings. Straight away, that is what it sounds like, or bent blades.

Check your Blade Bearings (super simple):
1. Pick up your deck to the highest high setting (mower off, just sitting).
2. Reach under, and grab your mower blade (do this for both sides), and TILT your blade UP (meaning, don't LIFT the blade straight up).
Seriously, jiggle it at a TILT. If you feel some slack in the bearing, the bearing IS shot. Straight up and down is most of the time OK, IF it is VERY little play on your blade bearings. As you do it, look at your belt pulley directly on top, if you see that pully bobbing....

However, if you grab one side of the blade only, then tilt the blade up, and she moves.....
Bearings need replaced, both the upper AND lower bearings PER blade.

They are not hard to replace, and not expensive either! (Though unfortunately, most are "sealed" junk nowadays!)

Bad Bearings show up (make themselves known) in only a few ways: Tons of Noise (grinding, squealing) & Vibration.

Go check them thar Bearings!

May 28, 2009 | Craftsman 17.5 hp 42 in. Deck Lawn Tractor...

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