Small Engines (Lawn Mowers, etc.)/Peerless Transaxle problem


Hi Eric,
While snowblowing with my Craftsman 917.271833 tractor yesterday, I heard a heard a quick metal-on-metal "ping." After that, the machine wouldn't move in any gear and the drive belt started burning at the engine pulley. After dragging it into the garage and getting under it, it seems that the transaxle's (Peerless 206-545C) input shaft is getting stuck like something's in its way and it won't rotate.  I can feel this by moving the trans pulley manually. When it gets stuck like this, if I rotate it the other way a little bit it seems to get unstuck and I can then continue rotating it in the normal direction until the next time it gets stuck. Every time I release the clutch with the engine running the shaft gets stuck again.  The shift lever appears to be working and I can shift through all six forward gears and reverse, but the rear wheels remain locked up like it's in gear even when it should be in neutral. If I move one of the rear wheels with the rear end elevated, the wheels counter-rotate like they should when in gear. Sorry for the verbosity of this question, I'm just trying to provide as much detail as possible.  Any help appreciated.

Sounds like something broke inside.  Could be input shaft needle bearings or pinion gear.

Repair manual link:

You might want to check the brake just in case it is not functioning but based on what you described I'd suspect something internal.

Take a look at the manual before removing the transaxle.  Pay attention to the washers, one side is beveled, the shaft bushings as they have a indexing tab and the detent spring and's easy to loose if you are not paying attention.  When seperating the case it should seperate easy...if the cases won't split you missed a screw, usually under the pulley.   If the pulley is seized or difficult to remove you can get to the case bolt with the pulley in place and then remove the pulley later, when you can heat and beat the input shaft without causing any damage.

It is a pretty simple gear box to repair but you may need to have the needle bearings pressed in if they are bad.  

Let me know what you find.


Small Engines (Lawn Mowers, etc.)

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Eric A. Jones


Lawnmower Repair . Certified Master Service Technician from B&S. Have 23 years experience on B&S, Lawn Chief, Weed Eater, Echo, Peerless, Wheel Horse, Snapper, Atlas, MTD, McCulloch, Homelite and many other numerous brands. Specialize in electrical repair.


Born and raised in the midwest. Started tinkering with engines when I was about 14 on my Suzuki RM-80. I began lawn mower repair at a small hardware store. I knew absolutely nothing. I read lots of repair manuals and met an older fellow who taught me many lessons. I continued working on small engines through high school and paid my way through college working on mowers at the same hardware store. Decided to get away from the midwest and mower repair so I joined the Air Force. I repaired air traffic control electronic equipment and ended up in Hawaii where I got a part time job at Small Engine Clinic. I gained a lot of experience from the Small Engine Clinic and had a blast repairing small engines. I then took the Briggs and Stratton Master Service Technician test and earned my MST. I then traveled to Wisconsin where I attended the factory update training seminar and received formal training. Continued working on mowers part time as I completed 20 years of military. Retired from the military on a Friday and continued in the lawn and garden industry the next Monday.

MAS Aerospace Operations BA Mathematics AAS Electronic Communications AAS Electronic Technology

©2017 All rights reserved.