Craftsman GT3000 with transaxle problems

lopehaJanuary 4, 2014

Unit is about 15 years old & is hard to get in & out of gear. The parts diagrams show the replacement to be a Peerless 184596. Is this unit repairable? The motor & deck are still in very good condition so hate to get rid of it. Planning on rebuilding the steering again this winter. Need to know if it's worth it to repair the transaxle or try & find a replacement.

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Could you also post the tractor model from below the seat? I get nowhere with that #. 917.XXXXXX? Before you pull in to teardownville, you will want to know that the traction belt isn't still trying to turn the transmission pulley. If it shifts hard all the time, with the tractor running or not- then most likely it is binding internally. Some Peerless manual transmissions used a bentonite grease (clay based) with years of moisture and corrosion- needs to be cleaned out.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2014 at 5:50PM
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Model number is 917.274953; I changed the drive belt out last year for the first time. Only had it run backwards once!

    Bookmark   January 4, 2014 at 9:01PM
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Did you check page 18 of your owners manual for checking the oil level?

    Bookmark   January 5, 2014 at 10:31AM
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These transaxels were nearly bullet proof. If an internal problem existed, some parts are still available. Did the problem start after the belt replacement and did you use the 137153 belt? This belt installation can be somewhat tricky if you haven't had to do one before. Any thoughts on possible installation errors?

    Bookmark   January 5, 2014 at 12:13PM
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FWIW, I have a GT and it is very sensitive to drive belt length. If you google mine, there are two "hits" and there's a half inch difference between them. From personal experience, one works, the other doesn't.

Good luck,


    Bookmark   January 5, 2014 at 10:57PM
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OK to answer the responses.
1) I did review the manual & did check the level -it was fine

2) Will have to check on which belt I used. Did use the diagram to insure correct installation. Installed backwards first & immediately corrected that.

3) It had been getting a bit harder to get in gear the last few years. Last summer is when it seemed like the pattern got "mushy".

4) The problem did start after the belt replacement. Will order new correct belt & reinstall when I rebuild the steering again. (BTW - learned the hard way best method is to replace all the bushings & small pieces at one time).

Thanks for all the responses. I drive a truck so will only be looking at this once a week, so don't fret if I don't answer right away.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2014 at 3:44PM
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Here's a belt cross reference which may be of interest.

Good luck,


Here is a link that might be useful: Belts

    Bookmark   January 9, 2014 at 3:51PM
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