Craftsman Steering Link Broke

btlt(South Florida)January 21, 2008

I have a 2000 Craftsman LTX1000 w/ a 21.5 HP Intek V-Twin. This has been a great little all around utility tractor for mowing and pulling a cart or fertilizer etc...

On Saturday, all of a sudden the steering wheel spun and I had no steering. It appears the steering "Drag Link" broke. It appears that it was a ball & socket connection that has come apart, the socket popped right off the ball. It is on driver's side and below where the connecting rod is fastened right next to the front left wheel. I was able to fix it by using "Vice Grips" to compress them and it popped back on, only to pop off again a few minutes later. My question is what part do I replace? If I purchase a Drag Link from Sears parts-direct does it come w/ a Ball & Socket connetion that bolts through the plate on the front left?

Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks,

BT

West Palm Beach, Florida

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tomplum

Look it up www3.sears.com using your 917. # under the seat or look at the illustration in your manual to be sure. The few links I've replaced have come w/ the ends.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2008 at 12:41AM
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johninmd

And stores like tractor supply i believe has replacement ball/socket joints as well. Unless yours is part of the whole arm and doesnt screw out.
Another option, heim joints. you can find heim joints in link, not saying that site has what you need, but they will outlast those cheap ball sockets 100 to 1

Here is a link that might be useful: heim joints

    Bookmark   January 22, 2008 at 7:04AM
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rustyj14(W/PA)

When all else has failed, or parts are not available, here's what i have done.
First use a bolt with the head cut off, and longer than the original stud. Long enough to take 2 nuts on the end that goes thru the tie rod. Weld the headless bolt into the part that threads onto the steering rod. Stick the bolt/rod assembly into the steering arm, then double nut the bolt, tightening one against the other, to make a loose fit, but not sloppy. Works for me!

    Bookmark   January 22, 2008 at 12:24PM
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cherokee_140

A heim joint might work as well if the original part is unavailable

    Bookmark   January 22, 2008 at 1:55PM
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craftsman_gardener

hey guys the rod comes with the joints already on the rod
i was cutting grass and the tractor veered to one side and i coundnt turn it and i found out that the joints had came lose
i went sears web site and ordered it when it came in it fits pefectly and his still on there, been on there for bout 7 years

    Bookmark   January 22, 2008 at 7:46PM
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btlt(South Florida)

I received the part from Sears Parts-direct and I'll put the ol' Craftsman under the wrench this weekend. I examined the construction of the replacement part it appears that the original drag link "Ball & Socket" seperated from each other. It looks to be a pretty straightforward replacement. I'm surprised that a strong part like that would break but over time I guess it makes sense. I'll let you klnow how it goes. Thnx for the help.

Watch out wilderness here comes the Craftsman 1000!

    Bookmark   February 1, 2008 at 9:08PM
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tom_k_de

Insert the ball into the socket.With a hammer and punch,mash some of the socket material around the ball.OR Use a piece of 1/8"thick flat iron x3/4"W to about 3" long .Drill a hole in one end to fit over stud.Install stud in hole and draw nut tight. Bend the flat iron into a "U" shape under the joint socket.to hold the ball into the socket.No slop and last for years. I wonder how ofen anyone ever lubricates (oils) these light weight hard working littls joints.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2008 at 8:29AM
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tomplum

Take this opportunity the lube the wheel bearings and axle pins as well. This will keep it steering easily.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2008 at 12:31PM
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exchoice

Sears drag links fail. What I have done is screw a heavy spring THAT IS JUST SLIGHTLY LARGER THAN THE SHAFT onto the shaft threading it through the link.
I have done this on two sears mowers and they never have come apart Cheap fix

    Bookmark   November 28, 2010 at 11:46AM
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