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Question (about Lawn Mowers)

Craftsman riding mower won't move forward

my craftsman riding more (10+ years old) will start, run, engage the blades -- however, when i put it into gear it won't move. As far as I know, nothing bad happened to the mower -- when I last used it, all was well. When the mower is turned off, I can freely push / pull it while it's 'in gear'. Any suggestions on where to start looking?

9 Answer

  • droopmcc droopmcc | United States
    A friend of mine had pretty much the same issue. After multiple trial and errors, he ended up having to replace the transmission. Hopefully that is not the case but I'm afraid it may be.
  • paulcleston paulcleston | United States | Subject Experience (show)
    The only suggestion that I would have is to inspect the traction belt that drives the transmission.If it is on all the pulleys and is not damaged, You probably have a problem inside your transmission. That belt should be tight unless you have the clutch/brake pedal depressed. Hope this helps.
    • bro_ken bro_ken
      how can I locate the traction belt - where is it? what does it look like? if it's loose, how would i tighten it?

      30 Sep 2005
    • paulcleston paulcleston
      The traction belt runs from the engine pulley back to the transmission pulley. Usually through a series of idler pulleys. Sometimes this belt is hard to see because it is above the belt that drives the mower. The only time that this belt should not be tight is when you depress the pedal that is used for the clutch and brake. When you depress the pedal, it moves a pulley away from the traction belt making it loose so it does not drive the transmission.It sounds like something is causing this belt to be loose. If not, the problem is probably inside the transmission.
      Things to look for. Belt could be broken. Belt could be damaged and loose. Belt may have come off a pulley. Pulley that moves when pedal is depressed may be stiff and not returning to tighten belt. I hope this helps. Paul
      30 Sep 2005
    • bro_ken bro_ken
      Thanks for the specifics -- I think that you may be onto something -- I'll check on it tomorrow.

      Thanks a million!!
      30 Sep 2005
    • paulcleston paulcleston
      Let me know if it works. If so. Glad to help. paul
      30 Sep 2005
  • cottom cottom | United States
    Start with checking the drive belt, and in particular the nylon/plastic idler pulley (near the transaxle) that tensions the belt. It has a reputation for failing, giving the symptoms you describe. If you go to, click on a text link in the upper left that says "Parts" it will take you to screen where you can put in your model and serial numbers. This will take you to an Illustrated Parts List, pictures! And I know you can fix anything if you have the pictures. (and the model number!)
  • halliday halliday | United States, Virginia | Subject Experience (show)
    Sorry I can't add to the answers given
  • satmaster satmaster | United States | Subject Experience (show)
    This is a normal problem your belt may be streached fliped over or broken. Is the pully on top of the trans turning? If not thats the problem.
    If the pully is turning then your trans is bad.
    Try to get a used one from the junk man.
  • sajeal1 sajeal1 | United States | Subject Experience (show)
    maybe something came off the reaer or bad rear i have a couple of craftsmans live in nj
  • cholbach cholbach | United States | Subject Experience (show)
    Two really good answers so far. The only thing that I can add is that after looking at the diagrams, make sure that all the springs connected to the pulleys are there and not broken. Also, if the drive belt is an older belt, replace it. A stretched belt can cause the symptoms that you stated. Good luck
  • jcoyote jcoyote | United States | Subject Experience (show)
    I dont think I can add to the answers already given
  • KatrinaK KatrinaK | United States
    I know this question is old but just in case someone else has the same question I think it needs an answer.
    The problem is if you have recently taken the wheel off, you didnt replace the Key to the wheel. There is a long rectangular piece of mental that goes in the wheel. Its a half inch to an inch long.It may have fallen out unnoticed when you removed the wheel. There is a grove that it goes into. It is sort of the 'wheel key'. Find it and put it back in and and put your wheel back on and your problem is solved.It engages the transmission. Thanks to yahoo questions and answers we fixed ours!! We would have never figured it out otherwise!! Hope this helps someone!!

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