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Manage My Life

Craftsman riding lawn mower 917.271141 will not move or free wheel

by Manage My Life Last activity date:
February 24th, 2011

I just bought a house that came with a free craftsman 917.271141 16hp 42" automatic riding lawn mower. It starts fine, but when I put it in gear you only here a small grinding noise. I read the manual and it said something about purging the transmission. I performed the purging procedure and it moves in reverse a little and when i change it into fwd it just tries to move but it does not actually move. I checked the free wheel operation and it will not work. It acts like its in gear. Is there something I should try adjusting before I buy a drive belt?

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Craftsman , Lawn Mowers
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Answers (4)
Manage My Life
I'm glad you got it going. With the hydraulic transmission if it sits for extended periods of time all of the oil will run down into the pan. It has to be purged like that to get the oil all the way back through the system. If you use the tractor every couple of weeks or even once a month, this issue should not come back.
by Manage My Life
February 24th, 2011
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Manage My Life
The brakes were not the issue. I worked the shifter like you said and it eventually started moving. The neutral lever started working also. Thank you for your help
by Manage My Life
February 24th, 2011
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Manage My Life
I don't think replacing the belt is going to solve this issue. Take the mower out to where you have a little bit of room. You may have to lift one back wheel off the ground to get it to roll. When you have it on a relatively level surface with plenty of room make sure the bypass lever is pushed in. Then crank the engine and run it up to full throttle. Place the shifter in neutral (with foot off the brake) and move the handle slowly forward as far as it will go. When it's all the way, count to 4 then slowly bring the handle back to reverse as far as it will go and count to 4; cycle like this several times. If after about 10-20 cycles is has not started to move or move better we may have something major wrong.

If that does not work for you the brake may be stuck. Now that I think about it, check the brake before you do the previous procedure. If you look on the right side of the transmission (you will need to get down on your knees low to see it) you will notice a rod going through a flat lever piece and a disk sitting to the left of that. Those are all parts of the brakes. Make sure the parking brake is not set and use a screwdriver to push the flat lever part forward. If you have someone that can help you with this it will work better to already have the tractor starter and foot off the brake/clutch then push the lever forward. If the tractor drives fine then, it's just a brake sticking and the lever will need to be oiled. If oiling it does not fix it, you will need to lightly sand the rod where it goes through the lever then put some oil on it.

Let me know what you find and we can proceed further if necessary.

Thank you for using Manage My Life!
Answered in 19 hours
by Manage My Life
February 18th, 2011
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Joseph Perez
I understand your concern toward wanting to make sure you have a good working lawn mower so that you can keep your grass nice and trimmed. While you are waiting for an expert answer, I did manage to find a link that will provide you with some good tips about what may be causing your problem. I hope my link is useful.
Answered in 6 minutes
by Joseph Perez
February 17th, 2011
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