Craftsman lawn mower has bent crank shaft

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Hi All,
I'd appreciate any help or direction here... I managed to bend the crank shaft on my Craftsman lawn mover (model 917.378641) and this type of repair is not covered under warranty... so I was wondering if this is something I can repair myself. How difficult is replacing the crankshaft? I've done lots of suspension, exhaust and engine work on my car and have all the standard tools... any special tools needed? Is there anywhere I can find a service manual that can step me through this kind of repair?
Thanks and appreciate any help, RR
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RR,
Such repairs are not difficult if you have the skills needed to rebuild an automobile engine. It may be better to deal directly with the engine manufacturer or his local sales rep.for parts rather than Sears. I think you can get small engine manuals at many auto stores. Check the price on a new engine and decide if you want to tackle the job. If the lawn mower is old a new engine may be the better choice but you indicate that the mower is still under warranty.
Good luck, Dave M.
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http://www.repairfaq.org/sam/lmfaq.htm try this and see if it helps any.

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Did you check with Sears - if they ask how it happened just feign ignorance - they will usually look the other way rather than lose a future customer (just from what I have heard ;-) )

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Don't tell Sears of your diagnosis, just tell them it doesn't work right, or that it shakes when running, or if it won't start, tell them that.

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In alt.home.repair

You know, this sucks and is part of what is wrong with America. This guy runs his mower into a tree stump or a brick or something and now you're encouraging him to fuck Sears because of his mistake. He needs to eat this one. The more people that play this game, the more we ALL pay for stuff from Sears. Grow up and take responsibility for God's sake.
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One: his diagnosis may be wrong!
Two: Sears will check the engine out, or at least that is their job to do.
Three: Sears will then decide whether to send him an estimate of the repair, or they will decide to replace his mower under warranty. That is their choice and their decision.
Four: Not telling Sears of his suspected diagnosis is not cheating nor is it morally wrong. However, his diagnosis may taint the service staff's opinion with the idea that the shaft is bent, and they may not check to see if it is something else, which they should do. Often things are not what they seem to be.
wrote:

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In alt.home.repair

Well, to quote him, "I managed to bend the crank shaft on my Craftsman lawn mower." He seems to be pretty clear that there was an "incident" that bent the crank.

Sure but he should expect a charge for that if it isn't a warranty covered repair.

Fine but again, he should expect a bill.

I agree that it is ok to provide only symptoms if he takes it there but it would be morally wrong to NOT say, "I was mowing, heard a loud bang, motor quit. When I lifted the mower, I found a boulder hidden in the thick grass. It vibrated after I started it again."
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I will not comment on any 'moral' issues here, but this is excellent advice when trying to repair almost anything, be it DIY or having it done by someone else.
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Henry77 wrote:

I have a framed sign on my office wall. It reads:
"There is no right way to do the wrong thing."
Your advices speaks for you and says a lot about your lack of morality sir.
Just my .02,
Jeff
--

Jeff Wisnia (W1BSV + Brass Rat '57 EE)

"If you can smile when things are going wrong, you've thought of someone
  Click to see the full signature.
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In alt.home.repair

Amen Jeff.
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Umm - whatever. The point of my post was to have Sears determine if they would cover it (as someone else suggested). If you are looking for Morality and are looking on the Internet for it your in for a rude surprise. Unfortunately it's a dog eat dog world out there in the real world.

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RR... Take it a local auto parts store that has a machine shop. Quite often the crank can be straightened on a jig if they have one in the shop. Then get rid of this thing and buy a mower with a Briggs And Stratton engine on it so the key shears before the cranks bends. Most of the time the Sears mowere uses a Tecumseh engine with a hard steel key in the flywheel that does NOT shear when you hit something. B&S uses a soft aluminum key that will shear and thus cut out the engine by virtue of its timing to the magneto.
snipped-for-privacy@comcast.net (Rich R) wrote in

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FYI the key in the flywheel is there to prevent damage to the flywheel only. Hitting rocks will still damage the crankshaft briggs or techumseh. Do Not Straighten the crank. It has been weaken when you bent it and to straighten it will weaking it some more. You will run the risk of it breaking off while in use and flying out possibly causing injuring.

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all rotary mower engines used alluminum keys with techumseh and briggs. i've replaced and straightened hundreds of cranks in both engines. it depends on where the impact occured as to whether the crank bends. Chip
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You might wanna check with a well equipped mower shop. There used to be a tool that was designed to straighten bent vertical-engine cranks in the engine. It was a crude procedure as i recall but often worked well and saved a lotta money on a rebuild.
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In alt.home.repair snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (PAROADHOG) wrote:

Yeah, it's called a 10 ton press, a set of V blocks and a dial indicator. No sweat.
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I know it seems crude but the shafts can be straightened in the engine using a dial indicator and a piece of pipe. The hardest part is holding the engine to withstand the bending force applied by the pipe. Mine has been running fine for a couple of years since straightening using this method. Don Young
(PAROADHOG) wrote:

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The only special tool you will need is a flywheel puller, I usually hold a block of wood on the top of the crank and hit it with a hammer to remove the flywheel.
Find all the numbers you can on the engine cowling and take them to a small engine place. They should be able to cross reference them to the engine model and supply you with the correct crank. Buy a mechanics handbook for you engine while you are there, about $10.00 iirc. Check the condition of the bearings before replacing anything, the bent shaft could have trashed the bearings.
Nate
-- http://www.NateTechnologies.net:8000
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On 21 Feb 2004 14:46:02 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@comcast.net (Rich R) wrote:

Pain in the ass to do yourself, but usually realatively inexpensive at a mower repair shop.
Jeff
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