Craftsman 24 HP, 42 inch Tractor

joesfNovember 18, 2010

I have a Craftman 24 HP tractor. The spring return part number 401971 failed so the blades spin when engine is shut down. I see where one end goes but the parts diagram in the manual is worthless as to where the other end goes. I know if I removeve the deck it will be obvoius.Can someone save me the trouble and tell me where this darn little spring goes on the other end?

thank you


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This must be an 04 or newer unit with that part #? The old style spring hooks to the idler cam ahead to a slot in the housing on the top of the deck. The slot typically fills up nicely w/ gunk so as to remain stealth.... The new style hooks to the brake arm and the other end I THINK to the bracket on the deck.You may want to remove the deck anyways to clean the pivot of the idler cam/ brake arms of debris.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2010 at 1:01AM
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Yes , it is about 2 years old and has 88 hours on it. Model number is 917.286260. It has been reliable so far and I am glad I got the extra HP for my acre plus. Sears has the part for 2 bucks plus 8 dollars shipping. I hate that but at least I can get it. Maybe I can find a similar spring at the hardware store.

Thanks for the help and advice Tom.


    Bookmark   November 19, 2010 at 9:27AM
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I am pretty sure the image below will match your deck (thank you tomplum :^)

I can't say as I agree with going to a hardware store and blindly picking a "might work" stock generic spring for this application.
A better tactic would be to order the OEM spring from Sears.
Then, when you have that spring in your hand, take it to a hardware store and "match it up" to what is available. If you find a suitable spring at hardware store prices, go ahead and buy one for a spare. If you don't want to buy a second spring to keep as a spare, at least record the store's item number or the manufacturer's part number somewhere (with a Sharpie marker, write the number directly on the deck) that it won't get lost.

Just my opinion.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2010 at 11:29AM
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Hi mownie,

I have the old spring, so I should be able to match it if possible. If not Sears. It failed on one end and was still attached and hanging down vertically on the the other. It is high enough of the deck to do so , so i think your photo is for a different model.
The part numbr is 401971, or key number 147 on the diagram sears gives. One end was still atached to the ArmBrake (key # 63). It must attach to the link brake arm (key # 64 )somehow as I cant find another slot. My deck is clean , I clean it after every use with a blower and my hands. Ocassionaly a hose.
here is the link to the manual diagram.

Also does having used it to mow without it hurt anything other than the loss of blade brake?

Thanks ,

    Bookmark   November 19, 2010 at 12:01PM
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Ok I found it. The other hole is located on a flange welded to the mower deck, it is the one part 188, 189 goes through. There is a hle in it level with the other that would allow the spring to function.
Other than operating the brake whose pad is going to wear out by the way, I dont see anything else this spring does.
I am still replacing itjust in case that brake is ever necessary to keep somebody from getting hurt.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2010 at 1:04PM
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Good deal. Thanks for verifying the other attachment point. I seem to recall thinking it was a good idea for them not to hook the spring through the deck as they did before.You should be able to have any local shop order that spring for you I would think. Or a good hardware store to match as you were thinking. I've not ever had that spring, but order the old style by the sack... You will probably find that the blades disengage fine w/out it- just that there is more positive braking.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2010 at 3:01PM
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Sure Tom, Thanks again to you and mownie for your help. I hope this thread helps someone else with the same issue.

So far so good with this model. I change oil and fliter every 25 hours or at least 6 months. I grease all 5 points regularly and keep air filter clean. I clean the tractor and mower deck after use often and it is garaged. The first craftsman we had ( the old gray metal ones ) lasted 18 years. We shall see how this one goes.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2010 at 3:13PM
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