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why won't my craftsman lawn tractor pull itself up a grade and has very little reverse?

New belts,pulleys and idlers are ok. tractor just won't pull itself up a hill. The pulley above the rearend turns without turning the wheels even with the push lever in the back engaged? It's a 25hp 48 cut DLT with hydro transmission. Purchased in 2000. I can turn the wheels and hold the drive pulley above the rearend from turning??? Is this normal? The drive pulley above the electric clutch has some wear so i'm replacing it but don't think it's the problem. Any ideas?

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Craftsman , Lawn Tractors , Lawn Mowers
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8 Answers from these members:
ROBERT DISBERGER
My tractor speeds up after I put my foot behind the brake pedal and pull up. Is the spring your talking about located on the transmission? 917272263
by ROBERT DISBERGER
September 10th
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Manage My Life
Ok Mark, Thanks
by Manage My Life
April 26th, 2011
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Mark T
Thank you for the reply.

There is a filter that is internal but we do not recommend opening the transaxle for service because it usually does not end well. If the system is contaminated it will ruin the pump and motor quickly. Before spending the money on the replacement spring hook your foot under the brake pedal and pull it back while going up hill. If the tractor speeds up the spring should be replaced. If the operation is the same, the spring will not make a difference.
by Mark T Earned 1,607 community points in Craftsman
April 26th, 2011
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Manage My Life
Thanks Mark for the info. I checked the oil last weekend and as soon as i put my finger in the hole i had oil on it. I'm sure i have at least .015" play in the disk for the brake. Probably more. So you're saying there is no filter or screen for the oil? I did find a lot of debri built up behind the speed control lever but i dont think that would cause it not to pull a hill. It might help reverse though. the lever will go further into reverse now. I don't know....i'm going to put the new front drive pulley on this weekend and see what it does. I might replace the tension spring for the drive belt and maybe the belt will get tighter. I'll get back to you after i do these things. Thanks again!
by Manage My Life
April 25th, 2011
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Mark T
Thank you for the reply.

I have added the instruction for checking and adding oil to the transaxle. I also recommend checking the brakes on the transaxle before replacing it. Please let me know if you need further assistance.
by Mark T Earned 1,607 community points in Craftsman
April 25th, 2011
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Manage My Life
The model # for this lawn tractor is 917.272201. I would like instructions to check the oil level in the transaxle. Is there a filter or screen in the transaxle that can be replaced or cleaned? if so where?
by Manage My Life
April 23rd, 2011
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Mark T
Thank you for your question.

I am sorry you are having a problem with the tractor. Without a model number, I can only give you general information. By what you have stated I suspect this is a tractor with and hydrostatic transaxle. I recommend purging the transaxle first. This will remove the air out of the system. I have posted the instructions for purging the transaxle below. After you have purged the transaxle, leave the tractor in transport mode and push it a little. This will ensure the brake is not hanging up. If you can push the tractor easily, put the tractor back in drive mode and tests the operation. If it still slows down going up a hill, hook your foot under the brake pedal and pull it back. If the drive of the tractor does not improve, I suspect the transaxle is the problem. One last thing you could check before replacing the transaxle it to check the oil level in the transaxle. If you would like to do this please reply with a model number and I will provide you with the instructions.

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 21st, 2011
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Manage My Life
Having a Tractor not preforming as usual can be a frustrating time. I have placed a similar question to your links. You can take something from it while you wait for the experts response.
by Manage My Life
April 19th, 2011
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