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Small Engines (Lawn Mowers, etc.)/Craftsman lawn tractor gear problem


I have a Craftsman lawn tractor (model #917.254920).  I am having trouble getting into the higher gears (3 thru 6).  I just replaced the drive belt and I'm having the same problem.  It runs fine in the lower gears and it will shift into the higher gears, but it bucks and slips.  My local repair shop does not believe it is a gear problem (apparently they say that is rare).  Is there anything else to adjust or replace that might fix the problem?

Make sure the bolts holding the transaxle to the mower frame are tight.

Is the brake properly adjusted? The brake should not allow the mower to move when the parking brake is set but the brake should allow the mower to roll easy when the parking brake is off and the mower is in neutral?

Do you have a Foote transaxle model number 4360-7?  The brand and model number are located on the transaxle itself.  If you do, then there are some shift keys inside the transaxle that do break or wear and causing bucking when shifting gears.

Let me know if you have a Foote transaxle.


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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

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