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Craftsman YS 4500 tractor will not move forward or backwards.

Craftsman YS 4500 Limited Edition tractor will not move forward or backwards. Tractor operated a little sluggish last fall on soft ground and slight grades. Had to move lever back and forth to get it to move at all. Moved at a very slow rate. Have checked the transaxle drive belt tension and it seems to be good. Have changed the belt, checked keys in wheels, and linkage to the transaxle and all are good. Tractor will not move at all now.

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Craftsman , Lawn Mowers
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12 Answers from these members:
Mark T
I am sorry you are having problems with your tractor. Without a model number, I am not sure what type of transaxle you have. I will give you the general information for a tractor not driving. Please read the following information and if it is not helpful please reply with a model number and details.

I will try to give you all information needed to fix the tractor. The first question is have you removed the rear wheels. The rear wheels have a square axle key that drive them. I have provided you with an image below showing the placement of the axle key.

If the axle key is in position, the next check to make is if the drive belt is still on. With the tractor on a level surfaced and the engine off look under the tractor at the drive belt. The belt should be free of slack and go around all of the pulleys.

If your tractor has a hydrostatic transaxle, I recommend you try to purge the air out of the system. The purging instructions can be found in your owner's manual and I have posed them below.

Next check the brake lever on the transaxle. If it has been sitting for a long period of time it might be stuck on. The lever is located on the right side of the tractor inside of the frame. I recommend working the lever back and forth to make sure it is moving freely.

When you are looking under the tractor, have someone move the shifter. When the shifter is moved, you should see the shifter on the transaxle move. If the shifter is properly attached, have someone start the tractor and let out on the brake. Now carefully look under the tractor at the Trans axle drive pulley. The drive pulley should be spinning. If the pulley is spinning, the problem is most likely a defective transaxle.

I hope this helps get the tractor going. If you need further assistance, please reply with the details of what you have found.

Here is a link to order any parts you need.

Sears Parts Direct

.

If you do not feel confident repairing this problem yourself, then you can have it repaired at your home by a Sears technician. Here is a link for the website:

Sears Home Services

.

Thank you for using Manage my life.

Mark T.
by Mark T Earned 1,607 community points in Craftsman
April 13th, 2011
Answered in 19 hours
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dan thomas
The axle key was my problem
1 votes
Kevin Bowley
Without knowing your type of usage history on the machine, it would seem that your transmission has failed. It has a light duty transmission and is not designed for heavy torque loading such as heavy hauling, plowing etc. That said, ensure that the release control on the back of the tractor near the hitch is push fully inward. There are a few steps we can perform to confirm a failure; First lets purge the transmission to ensure its not air locked. to purge, pull the release valve for pushing the tractor at the rear near the hitch. start the engine and allow to run for a couple minutes at low idle. Increase throttle to mid range and place the transmission control to full forward and then full reverse, pausing for 10 seconds in each range. repeat three times and then turn off the engine. Now place the transmission release back into the operate, push it inward fully, restart the engine and bring to mid throttle. Abruptly engage forward then revers three times. your transmission is now purged and you can test for any improvement. Check the transmission fluid level to ensure it is full in the resevoir. If the transmission is still slipping than it has likely failed and will need to be replaced.
by Kevin Bowley Earned 14 community points in Craftsman
April 13th, 2011
Answered in 8 hours
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1 votes
Mark T
I have done some checking and found Tuff torx transaxle. I posted the instructions for checking the oil below. If the oil level is ok, I suspect the problem is going to be an internal problem with the transaxle. Please let me know if you need further assistance.
by Mark T Earned 1,607 community points in Craftsman
August 21st, 2011
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0 votes
Manage My Life
I see a black rubbery hinged cover with a white nib in the middle. (It's quite oily under the cap.) What do I do? Do I pull off the black rubbery cap? Thanks
by Manage My Life
August 19th, 2011
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0 votes
Mark T
To check the fluid level in the transaxle remove the battery first. Then clean the top of the transaxle and look for the plug on the top of transaxle. Remove the plug and measure from the top of the transaxle to the oil level. It should be about an inch down. If it needs oil use 5W-50 synthetic oil. if the oil level is fine and all else is fine I suspect the problem is a failing transaxle.
by Mark T Earned 1,607 community points in Craftsman
August 19th, 2011
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0 votes
Manage My Life
Hi Mark.

The brake pedal is already all the way back and the spring looks fine.

Model 917.288360

Thanks very much.
by Manage My Life
August 19th, 2011
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0 votes
Mark T
Try pulling back on the brake pedal when you are experiencing the problem. If the tractor picks up speed and acts normal, I suspect the problem is a broken return spring. If it does the same, I recommend checking the oil level in the transaxle. I will be happy to give you the information on checking the oil. Please reply below with the model number under the seat so I make so you get the correct information.
by Mark T Earned 1,607 community points in Craftsman
August 19th, 2011
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0 votes
Manage My Life
As per above - I realize more info might help. The tractor drives, but very slowly forward and back. It does get up a bit of speed sometimes, but it is very variable and tends to be extremely slow.

I checked the brake and that moves freely. I also purged the air out of the transmission (tried this a few times) and no joy.

Thanks.
by Manage My Life
August 18th, 2011
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0 votes
Manage My Life
Hi Mark.

I have a YS4500 with a similar problem. The drive belt has some slack (I don't no how taut it should be.) The trans axle drive pulley spins, but weakly and variably - and it also squeals quite a bit. What do you think?

Claude
by Manage My Life
August 18th, 2011
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0 votes
Manage My Life
The operator is weighs about 250-275lbs and with the slope that he mows I was thinking that the transmission is slipping. How do you check the transmission fluid level or where is the reservoir? I don't seem to be able to find it.
by Manage My Life
April 13th, 2011
Answered in 17 hours
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0 votes
Manage My Life
I know how important it is to have a good working tractor in your home so that you can keep your grass maintained. While you are waiting for an expert answer, I did manage to find a few links that will provide you with some good information about what may be causing your problem.
by Manage My Life
April 12th, 2011
Answered in 10 minutes
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0 votes
Manage My Life
Here's what I'm seeing. The rubbery cap is off, revealing a rubbery disk with a plastic nib in the middle. Around and below this is what looks like a metal cap. I hope the pic helps. Thanks Mark.
by Manage My Life
August 19th, 2011
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-1 votes
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