Brake job on Craftsman Tractor


Subject: 1997 Craftsman garden tractor. 18 horse Kohler engine. Model 917.251492
This beast needs a brake job and it looks to be a real bitch to get to the transaxle housing mounted rotor and pads. It appears that the best way might me to remove the bolts holding the housing from the frame and drop the whole rear end, but maybe not. I would appreciate hearing from anyone who has tackled this job. Thanks
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Not sure which setup you have, but most of them the caliper drops out the bottom with little effort and the friction material is then free. Generally it is in a terrible place to work though, lifting the rear of the tractor helps a lot. It isn't all that heavy, but still block & jackstand it properly, it would still hurt. If you really want to disassemble something, removing the fender pan would give good access from the fop.
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texas slacker wrote:

DId you try adjusting them? I have never see lawn tractor brakes wearing out. You hardly never need them and when you lock them on it's usually not moving and wearing.
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LSMFT

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I have a John Deere 285 that has a small drum brake .. .. it not only has worn out .. .. JD wants almost $100 for the BRAKE SHOES !! !! !!
There is still plenty of friction material there, but it won't expand enough to grab the drum .. .. SOOOOO .. .. we welded up the cam a bit and ground it smooth, yielding more travel, hence more shoe expansion. Worked like a charm.
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"<<<__ Bøb __>>>" wrote:

I don't understand why you need to use the brakes so much. Do you push the clutch too hard? If you have hydro why do you need brakes?
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LSMFT

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I need brakes because sometimes I park on a steep incline and need to lock the brakes. I need new pads because all the adjustment is used up and the tractor still rolls downhill with the brake lock on.
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Here is the parts page for what it is worth: http://www.searspartsdirect.com/partsdirect/getSubComp.pd?modelNumber=917251492&productCategoryId=1509200&brandId=0247&brandDescription=CRAFTSMAN&modelName=TRACTOR&diagramPageId=00003&componentDescription=GROUND%20DRIVE&documentId=10041977&blt=06
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On Thu, 15 Jul 2010 16:03:55 -0700 (PDT), texas slacker

Park perpendicular to the "steep incline"?
It might have to roll over to get downhill.
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On Thu, 15 Jul 2010 16:03:55 -0700 (PDT), texas slacker

If you wore out the brakes from using them as a parking brake, I would carefully check the actuating mechanism and cable. It sounds as if the brakes were adjusted too tight or the cable was not releasing completely, causing the brakes to always be dragging a bit.
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LSMFT wrote:

Mine wore out, but it is 40 years old so that's not too bad.
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I had to replace one about ten years ago on a similar model and it was a very frustrating job. We use ours around the farm for hauling so it gets more wear than the typical lawn-mowing machine. The break liner had separated from the metal.
Very tight quarters to work in. I remember that jacking it up helped. Removing the old one was bad enough but getting the replacement in was worse. My hands were too big to get in to get the initial bolt into the threads; it took my wife and I both working together, reaching in from opposite sides of the tractor, to get it assembled.
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