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Repair information and troubleshooting for Craftsman-brand riding lawnmowers.

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Reverse gradually fades to zero

When I start my Craftsman Mower Model 917.289240, full forward speed is about 75%, and just nudging the shift lever past neutral makes the mower shoot backwards at a nearly uncontrollable speed.

It takes me about 45 minutes to finish my lawn, and in that time, reverse gradually fades to a crawl - forward speed stays about the same.

In between, pushing the lever all the way reverse gradually gets me less and less speed, but if I leave it there, the full 'rocket' speed will eventually kick in. By the time I'm done, it won't do that. Reverse is a very slow crawl, no matter how long I wait.

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I have a manual transmission in a Craftsman GT5000 model 917 250241. I recently replaced the drive belt due to it continuesly fell off. After that I have been unable to get the shifter to change gears after engaging the 1 st shift after starting the engine. I checked the tensioner, belt config and linkage several times and they all look fine. When the engine is off it shifts smooth. Any thoughts? Thanks in advance.

da

Reverse not working on my 2014 Craftsman Garden Tractor. Found frame to be cracked in half on both sides. The angle changed the reverse pedal travel so it does not engage.

da

I have a G5600 craftsman tractor and my reverse has went to almost nothing. Forward is ok but reverse is very slow to none if your trying to back on a slight incline . It has a forward and reverse peddle. Any thoughts ?

da

I had a similar problem with my crafstman lts2000 where it didnt reverse all i did was adjust the lever thats underneath the battery and started goin in reverse again

da

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Craftsman Mower Model 917.289240 is a YTS3000 with a hydrostatic drive. The issue your mower displays appears to originate in the transaxle. I am sure that you already checked all the belts etc. so it is possible that you may have to purge the air out of the system. the instructions for that should be in your owners manual. If you do not have it, this should work for your mower:

To ensure proper operation and performance, it is recommended that the transmission be purged before operating tractor for the first time. This procedure will remove any trapped air inside the transmission which may have developed during shipping of your tractor.

IMPORTANT: Should your transmission require removal for service or replacement, it should be purged after reinstallation before operating the tractor.

1. Place tractor safely on a level surface - that is clear of objects and open - with engine off and parking brake set.

2. Disengage transmission by placing freewheel control in disengaged position (See "TO TRANSPORT" in this section of manual).

3. Sitting in the tractor seat, start engine. After the engine is running, move throttle control to slow position. With motion control lever in neutral position, slowly disengage clutch/brake pedal.

CAUTION: At any time, during step 4, there may be movement of the drive wheels.

4. Move motion control lever to full forward position and hold for five (5) seconds. Move lever to full reverse position and hold for five (5) seconds. Repeat this procedure three (3) times.

5. Move motion control lever to neutral position. Shutoff engine and set parking brake.

6. Engage transmission by placing freewheel control in engaged position (See "TO TRANSPORT" in this section of manual).

7. Sitting in the tractor seat, start engine. After the engine is running, move throttle control to half (1/2) speed. With motion control lever in neutral position, slowly disengage clutch/brake pedal.

8. Slowly move motion control lever forward, after the tractor moves approximately five (5) feet, slowly move motion control lever to reverse position. After the tractor moves approximately five (5) feet return

the motion control lever to the neutral position. Repeat this procedure with the motion control lever three (3) times. Your transmission is now purged and now ready for normal operation."

Should this have no results check your mower's transaxle carefully and see if yours has a filler plug on the back top side of the transmission. Most of these units should be sealed units, but some actually did have a plug. If yours does, remove the plug and measure from the edge of the plug hole down to the oil. It should measure from 1.25-1.5 inches down. If yours has more than that it would mean that the transmission oil is low. You can add 20W50 motor oil to bring it up to the right level.

If yours does not have a plug, then we definitely would need to identify which transaxle model your mower has. See if you can find any identifying marks or tabs on the axle and let us know.

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Thanks for the tip. I went through the routine 3 times, but to no effect.

My transaxle does have a plug, and I managed to remove it. The reservoir is full to the bottom of the filler hole. I dipped an allen wrench into it and it looks like clear motor oil.

Any other ideas?

da

Steve VanKirk, check or a shift linkage adjustment perhaps, see link below, this person was having similar issue.

http://www.doityourself.com/forum/outdoo...

da

Steve VanKirk any tags any identifier on the transaxle? From what I can see Craftsman uses a lot of Hydrogear trans axles. a possibility would be a Hydro 336-0510 since it has been used in Craftsman equipment. There is a filter in that trans axle that may give you grief. Image added, it is number 45 in the diagram and it should be accessible from the bottom. Of course, before anything else, you did make sure that the belt is not starting to slip etc.

da

Sears parts bot confirmed the filter, as much as that can trusted.

From the schematic, it looks like the tranny has to be split to get at it. Parts schematics not my strong suit - can you confirm? If so, that is going to go a bit beyond my back yard mechanic's abilities.

They were happy to provide a link for a new transaxle - only $250+shipping for the exact short-lived piece of **** I already have.

Might be looking for tips on who makes a good mower.

Thanks for your help - you got me a lot further down the road than I was.

da

Steve VanKirk yes it does look like it will be a PITA to change it. It does not appear as having any kind of access from the bottom.

da

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I had a similar problem and checked various threads. My machine had 560 hours and is just shy of five years old. I had never replaced the drive belt and figured it would be an easy fix. Put a new one in...the old one was noticeably worn. But no improvement at all. So I checked various threads, did the steps above to bleed, checked the linkage (nothing loose) and still no improvement. I took the right rear wheel off to inspect the rear end closer and voila, there was the problem. The frame was broken right in front of the transaxle. I did a search for that online and found that this was quite a common problem. Luckily it was three weeks before the 5-year warranty was up on the frame.

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Hello my tractor won’t go farward or backwards what’s the problem

da

My Craftsman lawn mower has a hydrostatic transmission and it only has 50 hours on it and the reverse is very very slow. It

used to run faster in reverse what can I do to make it gain a little more speed. This is a brand new lawn mower I've only had one cutting season on it.

da

It's a 13AOA1Z5O93. It has the 18 horsepower Kohler motor. When I look up the model it says MTD.

da

Hi my name is Ron I have a Craftsman lawn tractor model number 917 to 88583 when it gets hot it will not go up the hill and hydrostatic transmission is there a filter inside that transmission

da

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Recently I too have been having the lack of power on my tractor (19.5HP). Full speed was anything but and reverse was really slow. The engine runs full speed and is in good shape. I sprayed some belt dressing on the drive belt and the power is back. It is kind of tough to get at - I lowered the lawn mower deck and got the tractor up on ramps and I could see the drive belt way up there. I let it run with the brake on and this allowed the belt to continue turning while I sprayed - the little straw on the spray can helped direct the spray to the belt. This stuff makes the belt stickier. So it seemed that as the transaxle is loaded up and needs more power, the belt would start to slip and limit the power transfer to the transaxle. Probably time to replace the belt (perhaps it has stretched at bit) but I thought I’d share my solution (at least as long as the belt dressing lasts) with others.

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Yes, the belts do stretch and they develop a glaze over time, both contribute to slipping under load. I had a similar problem with my Craftsman LT1000 with hydrostatic transmission and where reverse was weak. I used a mighty vac to remove suck all of the oil out of the transaxle and replace it with new. I did this twice with a short run time between “flushing” the old oil looked pretty dirty. It is much better now and has been a couple years.

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I have a craftsman gt5000 garden tractor with less then 100 hours . when it eas about 43 years old the you would be using it & after a little while it would just start slowing down till it stoped . let it set over night . & it would just do the same thing . can anyone please help.

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I had the same problem with a 20 year old Craftsman tractor as described above but found I also needed to change the transaxle oil. There isn't a drain - only a fill hole (in mine anyway). Take the back off the tractor - the area behind the wheels under the seat. A couple of bolts on the side and the back comes off. There you should see a fill plug. Take the plug out and get yourself a vacuum sucker or just a small plastic hose and suck as much oil out as you can. Once drained, refill with 20W50 oil. You might have to do this a couple of time to get all the old oil out. Your problem now is that once the oil heats up, it looses its viscosity and the internal hydraulic pump can't produce enough pressure because it is worn. New thicker synthetic oil will help. It seems to have worked on mine. Check You-tube. However most show you have to remove the transaxle - alot of work and not necessary if you can drain with a sucker. There are 2 manufacturers - Hydrogear or Tufftorq - very similar. Also spraying some belt dressing on the belt from the engine to the transaxle will help a bit.

da

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Where is the parking brake located on the transmission on a sears craftsman 18 hp koler engine 46 in. cut 1987 model

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Steve VanKirk sarà eternamente grato.
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