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New To Forum; Question About Mower Decks


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#1 LTM OFFLINE  

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Posted March 18, 2014 - 09:41 AM

I have never owned a tractor (Never needed one).  I bought a Craftsman 18 HP Twin IC 44 inch 6 speed craftsman tractor about a month ago. It is model #917-254450.  I am not sure when the tractor was made as there is a letter as part of the first six digits of the serial number.  The engine was made in 91.  I am not sure if this is the original motor. The tractor is not anything pretty to look at and did not come with a mower deck although it has the mounting brackets for a deck. I bought the tractor to attach a tiller and was able to mount a sleeve hitch.  The manual says it is a garden tractor although in my research,  I have seen people call it a lawn tractor and say the transmission will not hold up the the punishment of ground engaging attachments.  Any thoughts on this?  After researching and working on the tractor I have decided to restore it.  The engine runs strong and seems to begging to be returned to it's former glory.  I have tried to find a mower deck.  Part number is 125728X.  Sears Parts Direct says the deck is no longer available.  Can anyone tell me if any 44 inch deck from the 917 models will work with this tractor?  Thank you for taking the time to read my lengthy post and providing some answers. 


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#2 Alc ONLINE  

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Posted March 18, 2014 - 10:34 AM

Welcome to GTTalk LTM  !!   I can't help with your mower deck question but I'm sure the Sears members will be able to .


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#3 hamman ONLINE  

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Posted March 18, 2014 - 10:34 AM

Welcome to the forum. You will see there a re a lot of great people here. A picture of your tractor would be great help. Doing a little research (very little) I found in the instructions that it does not mention a tiller as an attachment. It lists, dozer blade, roller, plug aerator, lawn sweeper, lawn vac., and dethatcher. 

I am not familiar with your tractor but there are others on here that will be able to give you more information than I.    Thanks. Welcome and let us know how the restoration goes.                                              Roger.


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#4 Bmerf ONLINE  

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Posted March 18, 2014 - 10:36 AM

:welcometogttalk: Thanks for joining. Any pictures? Not familiar with craftman numbers. Someone will be along shortly to help you out.


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#5 KennyP OFFLINE  

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Posted March 18, 2014 - 10:48 AM

:wave: Welcome to the forum! After looking it up, I would say it would not handle ground engaging equipment. That transaxle does look a bit puny for that. The rear wheels don't have 5 lugs, do they?

The folks here love pics, so look at the bottom of my post here for help with uploading them. It also halps us see what you are talking about.


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#6 jd.rasentrac OFFLINE  

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Posted March 18, 2014 - 10:51 AM

:welcometogttalk:


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#7 TX_Dj OFFLINE  

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Posted March 18, 2014 - 11:09 AM

Welcome aboard!

 

Keep in mind, I'm no expert - but "91" sounds accurate.  That model was made for a while.

 

As to "917" tractors, 917 is simply a sears source code for Roper/AYP manufactured items... The 917 products encompass a great number of things (not just tractors) and stretch back into the 1960's.

 

It will be important, in sourcing a mower deck, to have the correct one for mating up to your machine.  For instance, a mower deck from a 1970's Suburban (all of which both the tractor and the deck begin with 917) is not going to fit your tractor.

 

As you point out - yours has the attachment points for the mower deck, which is the reason for the 917.254450 model number - they also sold it without the deck as a 917.250020.

 

Unfortunately, I'm not finding anything about a model number for the deck itself - since it appears it wasn't a separate option (because they made one that came with, and one that didn't).  And the problem I've seen with this kind of thing is that if the seller doesn't know what it went to (or can't be specific beyond "a sears/craftsman tractor") you're pretty much out of luck finding the right thing.  That doesn't mean it's impossible, it just may be more difficult.

 

Now, if you hang out around crazy tractor people like us, you might quickly be convinced that a better idea than attaching/detaching difficult implements like a belly deck is more trouble than it's worth, and it's a better idea to have one tractor that's your mower, another that's for pulling towables, another for 3-points/sleeves, and another for front end loader or what have you.  If you hang out here long enough (I haven't yet, but I've been lurking here far longer than I've been registered and posting) you'll start looking for justification to build an extra shed to house the fleet you're soon to amass.

 

As to the transaxle question, I'm not familiar enough with the model, so I can't tell you for certain - but in looking at the parts diagram in the owner's manual, I see a couple points that I would think would be a little weak - though I can't tell exactly how they fit together.  For one, there's a chain in the drive, which looks rather small.  If it remains lubricated, and if it is substantial enough, it shouldn't become too much of an issue - but in general, chain rollers and sprockets tend to wear over time, and any "stretch" in those dimensions can cause a chain to slip a tooth, or break entirely.  The other seems to be the shift selector, which seems to move a set of "teeth" thru the main shaft grooves to engage each gear - i could be very wrong about that.

 

But chances are... if it doesn't have a deck on it, and it has a hitch on it, it's been used for ground engagement.  If it's working for you, and its price was reasonable to you to take a gamble, I'd say keep on trucking and replace it when it breaks.

 

:welcometogttalk:


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#8 boyscout862 ONLINE  

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Posted March 18, 2014 - 11:12 AM

Welcome to GTT. The more info you provide, the better we can help. Good Luck, Rick


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#9 jms180 ONLINE  

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Posted March 18, 2014 - 12:34 PM

http://www.craftsman.../917.254450.pdf

This may be the same link as TX-DJ is referring to. You could take a look see if maybe helpful.


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#10 TX_Dj OFFLINE  

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Posted March 18, 2014 - 01:35 PM

http://www.craftsman.../917.254450.pdf

This may be the same link as TX-DJ is referring to. You could take a look see if maybe helpful.

Ah yes.  Sorry, I should have posted the link to it.  Thanks for that.


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#11 Gabriel OFFLINE  

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Posted March 18, 2014 - 02:10 PM

WELCOME! Any pics?

#12 olcowhand ONLINE  

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Posted March 18, 2014 - 02:17 PM

Even if the transaxle is on the weaker side, using a tiller shouldn't over-tax it in my opinion.  Now a turning plow would be a whole different matter, and might blow the trans in a hurry.  I am assuming you are speaking of a self powered tiller....one with it's own engine?


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#13 LTM OFFLINE  

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Posted March 18, 2014 - 02:52 PM

Thanks everyone for welcoming me and for the information provided.  I have attached some pictures.  As you can see the tiller is a self powered craftsman tow behind tiller with a Brinly Hitch.  Last year I bought the tiller and fabricated a hitch to pull the tiller behind my ATV.  The system worked OK but could have used a few tweaks.  However the major issue was that the ATV would over heat since it is liquid cooled and I was not going fast enough to push air through the radiator.  I never thought this would be a problem.  I searched for a garden tractor on Pennswoods Classifieds and Craigslist and found this tractor for 125.00.  Thought it was a great deal since the tractor ran.  As I learn more, I am not sure it will meet my needs.  Nonetheless, I do want to restore it.  100_1469.jpg 100_1471.jpg 100_1472.jpg 100_1473.jpg 100_1474.jpg


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#14 TX_Dj OFFLINE  

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Posted March 18, 2014 - 03:08 PM

I'm with olcowhand on this... if you're pulling that tiller, you shouldn't have to expect any problems with the transaxle.  

 

The hitch and the gauge wheels hold up the weight of the machine, the tractor just pulls it along while it does the work.  You can lift up the front of the machine until its level and pull it along by hand.  With it on the ground, this gives you some idea of what the "weight" it's pulling will be... which is honestly less than most riders, I think.  You just have to keep in mind that when the blades are touching dirt, when the tiller's running, they'll be cutting up the stuff they are trying to drag over when you pull it by hand, making it actually easier.  If that makes sense.  So the tractor will have no problem doing that either.

 

Depending on your soil, you may need to take several passes, so start at the highest setting that the tiller will easily engage, put the tractor into low gear at idle and let it just putt along while the tiller does the hard work.  If you're too deep and too fast, you'll stall the tiller... 


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#15 propane1 ONLINE  

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Posted March 18, 2014 - 04:22 PM

great information. I like reading stuff like that. i dont know any thing about sears other than i have a lawn tractor that i use for cutting grass.  its a great tractor . noel






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