Question about Craftsman Garden
I had the same problem with my Craftsman Lawn Tractor. The Drive Belt (which is not adjustable) is only engaged when the Brake Pedal is released (the Brake Pedal is located on the left side of the tractor, near the foot rest on my Tractor).
The Symptoms: My Tractor lacked driving power, and would not go up an incline, but the mower deck was powerful and working fine, even though the Tractor seemed to lack power and moved slower than usual, and would not travel up an incline.
I too, changed the Drive Belt, which initially seemed to help somewhat for a very short period of time, and then the same, lack of power problem, re-appeared again. The belt was not the problem, but only seemed to work somewhat due to the rougher texture of the belt's surface against the pulleys.
I also changed the Plastic Clutch Pulleys that engage the Drive Belt, thinking that they may have been worn down to a point that the Drive Belt could not fully engage with these Pulleys. No Luck.
NO ONE, NOT EVEN SEARS ON-LINE REPAIR ADVICE CENTER HAD A SOLUTION. THIS WAS VERY FRUSTRATING INDEED.
There had to be a solution: After much investigation, I eventually discovered the problem, which actually was easy to solve, and I would like to share this simple solution with others facing this same Frustrating Problem.
The Brake Pedal, when released, causes the Drive Belt Clutch Pulleys to move, and thus Tighten the Drive Belt. When you look under the Tractor, there is a Protective Metal Plate mounted to the Bottom of the Main Tractor Frame which covers the Brake Pedal Shaft and attached Mechanisms. Over time, Grass Builds up in between the Protective Metal Plate and the Tractor's Main Frame Deck, creating a very narrow space between these two pieces of metal.
This area is very difficult to get at, and almost impossible to clean out. Over time, Grass Clippings accumulate in this hidden area, and harden to an almost rock hard clump.
These Hardened Clippings accumulated between the Brake Pedal Mechanism and its fully released metal stop position. Thus, preventing the Brake Pedal Mechanism from moving to its fully engaged position.
I used a long screw driver to break up the compacted grass clippings, and an Air Compressor Blow Gun to break up the packed grass and blow the area clear. It takes awhile to do this cleanup, and is a bit messy, so do it outside, but be patient, and be sure to clean out all the grass that is lodged in this hidden area.
What was happening was that the Packed Grass was so dense that the Brake Pedal could not Fully Release, thus only Partially Engaging the Clutch Pulleys and the Drive Belt, hence the appearance of a loose Drive Belt even when the Brake Pedal was released.
Once the Packed Grass Debris was cleaned out, you will immediately notice the Drive Belt being tighter than it was previously when the Brake Pedal is released, and when you test drive the Tractor you'll find that everything works perfectly, like it was brand new.
Posted on Nov 15, 2010
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Posted on Jan 02, 2017
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