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Craftsman 917272244 20hp Twin Kohler Transmission Problems


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#1 reddsky OFFLINE  

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Posted January 08, 2012 - 02:46 PM

Just had mower serviced for upcoming spring e.g. oil changed, new mulch kit installed, new deck belts, new drive belt. (obviously new drive belt did not resolve issue) :(
It was noted that mower was VERY sluggish moving in both forward & reverse. Svc. tech. told me he had to clean out a ton of grass/debris in and around transmission which could have caused transmission to over heat resulting in sluggish movement. Said it may last a while. It runs great, but sloooooow which is not acceptable since I have an acre to mow.
What should I expect to find and/or pay in order to repair?

I am a girl w/NO real mechanical knowledge so I my goal is to just not get ripped off. If it makes better sense to purchase another mower, then so be it. :mecry:

TIA :smile1:

#2 NUTNDUN OFFLINE  

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Posted January 08, 2012 - 04:35 PM

Just had mower serviced for upcoming spring e.g. oil changed, new mulch kit installed, new deck belts, new drive belt. (obviously new drive belt did not resolve issue) :(
It was noted that mower was VERY sluggish moving in both forward & reverse. Svc. tech. told me he had to clean out a ton of grass/debris in and around transmission which could have caused transmission to over heat resulting in sluggish movement. Said it may last a while. It runs great, but sloooooow which is not acceptable since I have an acre to mow.
What should I expect to find and/or pay in order to repair?

I am a girl w/NO real mechanical knowledge so I my goal is to just not get ripped off. If it makes better sense to purchase another mower, then so be it. :mecry:

TIA :smile1:


I don't know if the transmission on your tractor is serviceable or not but if it is then a new filter and new tranny fluid definitely wouldn't hurt.

#3 HI N LO OFFLINE  

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Posted January 08, 2012 - 06:07 PM

Looked up the parts diagram. Just about every part is available, if you wanted to have the hydroworked on. The parts themselves could easily be $300+. Depends on the labor rate, too. There's not really anything you can do externally by yourself.

#4 reddsky OFFLINE  

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Posted January 08, 2012 - 08:07 PM

Thank you NUTNDUN ! I will have to see if it is or not.

#5 AcreFarm OFFLINE  

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Posted January 08, 2012 - 08:35 PM

Did the service tech purge the transaxle? Air in the system could cause slow, surging, or a "spongy" response from the drive. Basically it's something you can do right at home; engage the free-wheel lever (like you were going to push the mower) Then start it up, and move the drive lever all the way forward... hold for a few seconds then move it to full reverse. Hold it there for a few seconds. Repeat that 3 times, then shut the mower down and set the free-wheel lever to its normal position. Start & operate the mower as normal... hopefully that will solve the problem.
By the way...
:welcometogttalk:

#6 MH81 ONLINE  

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Posted January 08, 2012 - 09:01 PM

Looked at some of the posts online here and there. Sounds like Sears claims the unit is not serviceable, but we know that that is false about 50% of the time. There was one interesting post, there is a pipe plug on the top of the tranny. The oil level should be 1.25 to 1.5" down from the top of the tranny. If it's low, that could cause air in the system problems. The post I saw called for 20w50 engine oil as what to top it off with. Also verify the free-wheel lever isnt half-way.

Here is a link to air purging instructions http://media.fotki.c...14775img-or.jpg

You may also want to check for brake drag or at least proper adjustment. http://media.fotki.c...19837img-or.jpg

Edited by MH81, January 08, 2012 - 09:06 PM.


#7 reddsky OFFLINE  

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Posted January 10, 2012 - 02:26 PM

Thanks! As soon as the weather cooperates, I will give this a whirl. Service tech. hasn't done anything thus far other than clean out the debris and replace drive belt. At least I can try this on my own. :)

#8 reddsky OFFLINE  

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Posted January 10, 2012 - 02:27 PM

HI N LO ugh If that ends up being the case, I will definitely have to replace. It's not cost effective. Thank you for your help though!

#9 reddsky OFFLINE  

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Posted January 10, 2012 - 02:32 PM

Looked at some of the posts online here and there. Sounds like Sears claims the unit is not serviceable, but we know that that is false about 50% of the time. There was one interesting post, there is a pipe plug on the top of the tranny. The oil level should be 1.25 to 1.5" down from the top of the tranny. If it's low, that could cause air in the system problems. The post I saw called for 20w50 engine oil as what to top it off with. Also verify the free-wheel lever isnt half-way.

Here is a link to air purging instructions http://media.fotki.c...14775img-or.jpg

You may also want to check for brake drag or at least proper adjustment. http://media.fotki.c...19837img-or.jpg


Thank you! Will have to defer to hubby for brake drag, but I am hoping the air purging does the trick!!! *fingers crossed*

#10 flagtrax OFFLINE  

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Posted January 24, 2012 - 10:06 PM

This may sound redundant or remedial but in my years of troubleshooting I've always been told to look for the obvious (and perhaps the cheapest) first. Since someone changed out the drive belt, I'd make sure the right one was put on. A slipping belt can mimic a lot of issues...and if I read correctly you didn't have the problem prior to servicing.....just my 2 pennies...




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