Small Engines (Lawn Mowers, etc.)/Craftsman 42


QUESTION: Craftsman 17.5hp 42" LT1000 Lawn Tractor. I changed the deck belt and the first time I used it the blades engaged fine. The second time I cut the grass, it took about 30 seconds for the blades to engage. Now the blades will not engage at all. I checked to see if any springs or parts were missing or bad. I do not see any. The cable moves the pulley and puts it in the engage position, but nothing happens. Also the new belt seems to loose to me. I don't know if it is suppose to be that way or not. I bought the right belt from Sears.

ANSWER: The belt should be fairly tight when you engage the blades.  Is the idler pulley loose?

Did you re-check the belt routing?  The flat part of the belt (back) rides on flat pulleys and the V part of the belt rides in pulleys with a V.

Are the quill assemblies in good shape, no loose bearings?

What is the Sears model number on the product ID sticker?

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: I took a photo of the deck so I remember how the belt goes. I looked at photos in the manual. I have the belts on right. What is the quill. The mandrel assembly? I changed one of them because it was cracked. The model number is 917272673

Quill = mandrel.  How is the other mandrel?  Did you use the V belt PART NUMBER: 144959?

With the mower off, spark plug removed, when you engage the blades does the belt tighten at all?

Did you download the manual?  Page 21.


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.