Replace engine or replace tractor

philblackAugust 10, 2008

My craftsman (7 years old)DLT2000 917.272261 with the 25HP B&S Intek shattered BOTH connecting rods after 272 hours - maintenance was regular as prescibed. Engine is model number 45777-0154-e1. I found engine model number 445777-0315 for $580. Is this a direct bolt-in replacement?

I have already rebuilt the deck, replaced the front spindles and am worried about the Hydrostatic drive. Is it worth the $ to replace the motor or should I be looking for something a bit more durable?

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"25HP B&S Intek shattered BOTH connecting rods after 272 hours"

Unfortunately, this series of B&S engine does not seem to have very good longevity. IF you replace the engine, I would look for something else, a B&S Vanguard for instance.

Might try Small Engine Warehouse and Tulsa Small Engines, both on line, that price seems kind of high. They have interchange info as well.

Craftsman Riding Mowers/Tractors do not have a very good resale value, around here at least.

For that series of engine, you have to replace the crankshaft and both connecting rods as a set, they are not available separate in case you thinking of repairing the old engine. About $250 I think but you can check Sears Parts Direct.

Walt Conner

    Bookmark   August 10, 2008 at 10:12PM
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Some of the Briggs engines on Craftsman mowers suffered wear out failures due to warped air filter covers. Dirt was ingested because the filter element was not sealed properly. The redesigned filter with the 4 thumb screws did little to solve the problem. The next redesign requires the oval filter element is I believe this design will work properly. Sears replaced some engines with very low time.

The next problem with the Briggs V twin was bent intake push rods due to sticking valves. The techs on this board reported the valve guides gummed up due to deteriorated fuel. This problem is often reported on engines produced by other manufacturers also.

Yours is the first post I recall with a connecting rod failure.

$600 to replace the engine is a high price to pay on a 7 year old tractor. The original price was probably in the $1500 neighborhood.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2008 at 12:54AM
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Original engine is listed as a 445777-0154-E1

The 445777-0315 lists a different PN for the crankshaft, so SOMETHING is different about it. Might be PTO dimensions or ???
Also, some different date codes list different cranks, but the Type 0315 is unto itself.

It appears that as long as the Type# ISN'T 0112, 0133 or 0315, the crank should be OK.

Type #'s 0113, 0117, 0126, 0127, 0248 & 0266 have a different alternator, but you could swap your old flywheel & stator to the new engine.
This is true for Model 445777 Only. Although a 446777 is virtually identical, it's a different "research project".

    Bookmark   August 11, 2008 at 2:30AM
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I think your mower entered the jalopy stage of it's life some time ago. The jalopy stage is when some part is always failing, or falling off. I would go for a new mower and junk the old one, or keep it and look for a used motor you might get for nearly nothing, and then you would have a spare.

Seven years is not a bad life span for some low end mowers.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2008 at 5:40AM
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I vote for a new mower, 5-7 years is about all you can expect from that tractor, less if it is used hard or not maintained well.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2008 at 11:36AM
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You might see if you can find a used engine, perhaps on a "donor" tractor from craig's list ( or freecycle (

A lot of it is how much you enjoy the challenge and thrill of getting the most out of it, versus the need to have it be reliable.

I enjoy having 40+ year-old tractors and keeping them running, but I do have 2 so I can keep the lawn cut!

Best of luck.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2008 at 9:37AM
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Wheelhorse_of_course is correct... Some of us keep our stuff running just to see it run (kinda like mountain climbers - climb mtns because of the challenge).

I do agree that at some point of time you will enter into the jalopy stage and start fixing it more than your mowing... Many times I think - "hey just another 50-100 dollars will get me through another season..." and sometimes its hard to tell when your in too deep...

I kinda use my wife as the gauge for when im in too deep. When she starts complaining that im spending too much time (and money) on these things then i sit back and assess where im at with the machine.

My perspective on things (and possibly yours too) might be different if i actually had any spending money...

Perhaps what you may want to do is assume the worst case scenario... Add the cost of a replacement motor and a replacement transaxle and factor in your appetite to fixing the old dinosaur.

Then compare that too your appetite to driving around something newer (hopefully well built and reliable). Sometimes the price is not all that much different.

I (and my tight budget) would probably go on craigslist and see if you can find something comparable and build yourself Frankenstein machine.

It can be a tough call sometimes.

good luck.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2008 at 10:06AM
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I'm going to stand next whoc on this. I too, enjoy the challenge of returning defective machines to working order and good condition, BUT......I am a mechanic by vocation, and as such, I see problems as being much smaller than would a lot of folks without this kind of background. I would encourage ANYBODY to try improving their mechanical skills and knowledge.....if that is what they want to do. Look at it like this: If you want, you can label any project as a "learning hobby" (hobbies are kind of like opinions). BUT, if you don't enjoy mechanical things and don't like dirty hands, or are only interested in getting quick results.........leave the "big stuff" to the pros or buy new machines every few years. I am not pointing a finger at anyone, I'm just offering a point of view. People will generally have to make choices based on their personal circumstances of ability, tools, working space, finances, etc. (and that makes for a huge "gray area").

    Bookmark   August 12, 2008 at 10:28AM
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