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The forward and reverse drives of my lawn tractor will not engage.

The forward and reverse gears of my Craftsman Lawn Tractor will not engage. There was no indication that something broke. The clutch seems fine. Where should I (an amateur) begin to look to find the problem? Model 917.272056, 2002, 16hp, 42", 6 speed transaxle. Thanks

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Craftsman , Lawn Tractors , Lawn Mowers
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4 Answers from these members:
Manage My Life
Thanks for the information. The belt had popped off the pulley and it was an easy fix. We're up and running again.
by Manage My Life
July 20th, 2010
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Mark T
The most common cause of tractors not moving is the drive belt coming off the pulleys. I have provided you with the instructions for installing the belt on your tractor. if the belt seems to be fine check the linkage from the shifter to the transaxle. I have seen it come loose although it is not common. The last thing is if you have removed the rear tire the axle key might not be in place. The axle key is a 1/4 inch square metal piece that allows the axle to drive the wheel. I have provided an image with a red arrow pointing to the axle key. If the large pulley on the transaxle is turning, the shifter is attached, and the axle key is in place most likely the transaxle needs to be replaced.

You can have it repaired at your home by a Sears technician. Here is a link for the website:

Sears Home Services

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Here is a link to order any parts you need.

Sears Parts Direct

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by Mark T Earned 1,607 community points in Craftsman
July 20th, 2010
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Manage My Life
Thanks - I think I'm looking at a different problem.
by Manage My Life
July 18th, 2010
Answered in 19 minutes
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Manage My Life
Hello, I can understand how frustrating it can be when something you invested money in doesn't work. I researched your question and found someone asked a question similar to yours. Here is what was posted by an expert, I have provided the link below. I hope this helps!
by Manage My Life
July 18th, 2010
Answered in 11 minutes
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