I've got a Craftsman mower (917.372852, roughly ten years old or more)) that
worked fine until one day last week when cutting heavy, wet grass. Since then,
the self-propelled mechanism has little power. It'll work on a bare surface
but gives up whenever there's any resistance. So the behavior is like
night-and-day, from before that one day.
I took the top cover off and can see that the belt looks okay and the inside
area is *not* all clogged with debris. However, I cannot see where the belt
wraps the pulley underneath the engine, on the main shaft. That part has a
heavy cover underneath, that prevents access but also presumably prevents
grass from getting up in there.
Drying for a week didn't help.
What should I check next? What part would be slipping?
The belt tensioner would be first guess....I've got slow dialup so
didn't try to look up parts diagram to see the particular details, but
that's where I'd start to see how it actually is put together.
Got to be some way to replace the belt so keep digging to see the drive
end/in-betweens. The answer's gotta' be in there somewhere. Or the
hand lever isn't actually moving the idler linkage to engage it, perhaps?
Agree. I have a Craftsman that is about 5 years old and it
had the same problem. There is a spring about 4 inches long
under a plastic cover at the rear top deck area. It broke.
If that is what it is, you may be able to fix it, temporarily
at least, with some bailing wire or a plastic tie wrap.
Work the drive lever while you look at how the mechanism
See page 15 of this document:
Remove the Drive Cover from near the left wheel to expose the drive
mechanism. Engage the the drive control.
You should be able to tell what the cable is controlling and from
there you might be able to determine the cause of the problem. Loose/
worn belt, cable not taught enough, worn gears, etc.
thanks to all for the replies
yes, DerbeyDad, that is the manual exactly. Note the instructions on that page
to change the belt say to begin by pushing down on the pulley. That pivots the
pulley+gearcase down and loosens the belt. I don't see any way to adjust tension.
But note on page 22: there is some sort of clutch mechanism inside the
gearcase. So, is it worth it for me to remove and disassemble the gearcase, or
will that requires special tools to re-assemble?
[I ran the mower just now with the gearcase cover removed. The belt it always
turning the pulley. When I push the lever on the handle to engage the drive,
that moves the shifter (part 3 on page 22 exploded view), which apparently
works part 11 Clutch Yoke. From the diagram, I can't tell how the clutch works.]
As a fallback, would it be possible to disengage the wheels from the drive
mechanism to make itr all run justr like a regulkar mower? It's twice as hard
to push a self-propelled that isn't working right.
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