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Craftsman 22 front drive gear repair

Posted by keeblerman (My Page) on
Wed, May 9, 07 at 19:49

I have a craftsman 22 inch self propelled lawn mower and was wondering if anyone new where to get the gears to rebuild the gear box (transmission)? I hate to spend $85 for the part (702511) if it is possible to rebuild for much less. The belt and pulley system seem fine but there is no power to the wheels. I am guessing the gears are worn off as I read in an earlier post but before I rip everything apart is there anybody who knows if it is possbile/feasable to repair and where to get parts? Thanks in advance!!

Dan


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Craftsman 22 front drive gear repair

Iguess it wouldn't hurt to pull it apart- you could break it? If there aren't parts shown at Sears parts site -going could be tough. Maybe it's a pin or something simple. Be sure to enter the original part # into the models query to see if it is broken down. Many weren't. Also consider rusty, hard to get apart or worn pivot arms that add to thecost of the repair.


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RE: Craftsman 22 front drive gear repair

Go to "outdoor Distributers" the part is $61.81. I always find their prices better than sears.


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RE: Craftsman 22 front drive gear repair

Hi All.
I'm new to this forum, but been hanging around GW for a while.

I'm having problems with my 917.372473 22" Craftsman self-propelled lawn mower. I bought the lawn mower new back in Jan 1992 for $179 and its been pretty reliable. I replaced the 2 rear wheels, spark plug, cutting blade and rear bag. Other than that, I change oil every year and clean or change the air filter. The thing still starts on the first pull.

The front drive gear started working intermittently. I really need a self-propelled mower for my lot. I haven't torn apart the gear box to inspect yet.

I'm fairly handy, but I'm wondering if its worth fixing at this point? It's a 15 year old lawn mower. I'm sure I got my monies worth out of it, but I'm suffering from sticker shock too.

Your feedback is appreciated.

-jasper


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RE: Craftsman 22 front drive gear repair

You might check to see if the engagement lever needs adjustment or whether one the cable clamps have come loose. If it seems to pop out of gear every once in a while those could be the cause.

If the gears are stripped they don't usually work intermittently.


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RE: Craftsman 22 front drive gear repair

You might check to see if the engagement lever needs adjustment or whether one the cable clamps have come loose.

yeah, I'll double check that. The lever does stay engaged.
FYI. The belt and pulley seem fine too.

Do you think I need to lubricate, if so, where? The wheels were locking up almost completely before. I sprayed some WD40 around the wheels and drive shaft, but the wheels still freeze up for a second or two. (I know WD40 is not the proper lubricant, but it was all I had on hand).

thanks,

jasper


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RE: Craftsman 22 front drive gear repair

http://www3.sears.com/
Plug in your 917.xxxxx number and you can see an exploded parts diagram.

Often, if you Google the part number, you can find a cheaper source. Use AYP pn. Example, helical gear 133804 use "AYP 133804".


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RE: Craftsman 22 front drive gear repair

"Do you think I need to lubricate, if so, where? The wheels were locking up almost completely before. I sprayed some WD40 around the wheels and drive shaft, but the wheels still freeze up for a second or two. (I know WD40 is not the proper lubricant, but it was all I had on hand). "

From your description it sounds like the wheels and any drive shafts could use some cleaning and lubrication. If you don't have an owners manual just use a light grease on any bearing surfaces.


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RE: Craftsman 22 front drive gear repair

bill, roadbike:
I have my original manual.
I will remove the wheels and give everything a good cleaning and lubrication as suggested.
Hopefully, this will do the trick. I would like to avoid opening the gearcase.
FYI. My gearcase cost $85 (132232/48281). The only cheaper route is to rebuild it.

I'll post back soon with the results.

thanks,
jasper


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RE: Craftsman 22 front drive gear repair

I'll post back soon with the results.

It's still not working. Heres an update...

I checked the wheels and gears and everything looked clean. I gave it a good lubrication anyway.

1) I removed the pully wheel cover.

2) Then started the engine and made sure the pully wheel is turning and the belt is not slipping.

3) I engaged the trans and it fully engages and locks.

4) One thing I noticed is the wheels don't turn until I push the mower forward. Even then, it works in a jerky fashion, i.e. it doesn't work continuosly.

I'm not sure what to do at this point. I noticed there is something called the "worm shaft" located next to the gear case. Does it require adjustment? I checked the manual. It doesn't discuss any adjustments.

-jasper


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RE: Craftsman 22 front drive gear repair

Make sure the outer coil spring is still attached where it hooks on. And, look for any breaks in the control cable. these come from loosening the top part of the handle, and swinging it the wrong way for storage, or putting in the back of yer SUV! If the outer plastic housing is broken, that may be yer trouble! I have had that problem. Only thing that fixes it is a new one! (You can't tape it--it won't work!) And, next time ya fold the handle bars, bend them the other way!
Greasing or oiling the front wheel assemblies is a good idea, too. And, the front coil spring under the plastic cover sometimes comes off, or a hook breaks, and that causes problems. Check for a loose top pulley on the tranny. and a too shiny drive belt.
All of the preceding might have been already addressed by you, but i mention them in passing, in case you missed one.
If all else fails, try to find a used mower like yours, and change the tranny. Or, use the parts to make a good one. And, fill it with some light grease before reassembly. I've fixed a bunch of them as described above, so its worth the effort!
Rustyj


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RE: Craftsman 22 front drive gear repair

So the pinions (part#13) turn, or is the problem deeper in the transmission.
Looking at the diagram, it looks simple enough to disassemble and replace individual parts if necessary. Could be as simple as a bad key on the pinion gear or axles.


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RE: Craftsman 22 front drive gear repair

Yeah, I guess my next step in to open the gearcase. I'll try to identify any worn parts.
Probably won't get to this until the weekend.
thanks,

jasper


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RE: Craftsman 22 front drive gear repair

I have a 2000 model Craftsman mower that had the same problem (no drive). I took the gearcase apart and found that the gears were worn almost smooth. I also found a quantity of grass and other debris in the gear case; probably the cause of the failure.

I ordered the replacement gearbox from the Sears parts website; $75.00 plus shipping and tax. What I received was a completely different appearing gearbox already attached to a new front axle. The attachment points were the same, however, and it works just fine.

This failure came after about 300 hours of use (I have an hour meter on my mower). I now have about 420 hours of use on this mower, and I have also replaced all 4 wheels. The two rear wheels split apart for some reason, about a year apart, and the fronts had worn off smooth and lost traction. All four cost a total of about $50.00. In the past, I would not have spent these amounts to repair a $300.00 mower; I would have junked it and bought new. This mower has the Honda 5.5 hp 160 GCV engine, and it runs so well that, since I am retired with plenty of spare time, I have decided to see just how long this engine will last.

This Honda engine has never used a bit of oil in a one year oil change interval. I average 60 to 65 hours a year. I have always used Mobil 1 5W30 motor oil. I use it year round, cleaning up leaves through the fall and winter, and usually changing the oil in March.


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RE: Craftsman 22 front drive gear repair

Jasper, If cost is an issue, have you called around to find a shop that sells used parts?
I know of 3 in the chicago area- 1 of them will sell u a whole "busted" mower for $10.


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RE: Craftsman 22 front drive gear repair

Jasper, If cost is an issue, have you called around to find a shop that sells used parts?

I did try ebay and craigslist for parts. No such luck.
I will just replace with new parts if I repair it.

I ordered the replacement gearbox from the Sears parts website; $75.00 plus shipping and tax.

Yeah I'm thinking about just replacing the whole gearcase if I can't see anything obvious wrong inside. It's a whole lot simpler. Plus like you said, I think I can get many more years of service out of it.

thanks,
jasper


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RE: Craftsman 22 front drive gear repair

After going through quite a few of these Craftsman mowers over the years (with good maint. and upkeep)...I have replaced a fair # of gearboxes. One new gearbox crapped-out after less than a year. I just don't think they are a well made part. I've got a perfectly good (minus the gearbox) Craftsman 22" in the shed now. Runs very well as a push mower, but I finally said goodbye to Crapsman and purchased a Snapper. I was very surprised at the comparision between all those Craftsman and this snapper...big improvement on many levels. Wish I saved myself the trouble long ago. Just my 2 cents.


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RE: Craftsman 22 front drive gear repair

Well, I'm back again. FYI. 917.372473 Craftsman self-propelled lawn mower.

After a long restful winter, I decided to replace the entire Gear Case Assembly (#48281). I picked-up the part today from Sears and thought it would be an easy swap.
Anyway, I guess not easy for me. Also, no instructions came with the new part and the owner's manual isn't descriptive.

I'm stuck trying to figure out how to remove the old Gear Case Assembly (with attached drive shaft) from the mower.
I removed the front wheels and the belt. Also, I removed the pinions from the drive shaft. No bolts or anything are holding the gear assy in place except for the drive shaft. I can't seem to free the drive shaft from the mower body.

Basically my question is how do you remove the drive shaft w/gear assy attached?
Shouldn't the entire assembly just slide out so how?

thanks,
jasper


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RE: Craftsman 22 front drive gear repair

I would think there would be clips that retain the shaft outside of each adjuster assy. It would be easier to see the groove on the new assy. If no groove, than maybe on yours the adjuster itself holds it in. In that case, you unbolt the adjusters.


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RE: Craftsman 22 front drive gear repair

Yea, I was looking at the adjuster assy last night, thinking it wouldn't help to remove it.

Also, this morning I found a transmission removal procedure on-line. Sure nuff, they say it has to come off. I'll give it a try. Thanks for your help.

-jasper

Here is a link that might be useful: Troubleshooting Craftsman Mower Front Wheel Drive Problems


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RE: Craftsman 22 front drive gear repair

Got her done!
One tip I would add is to be careful when removing the
pinion gears. There are (2) little keys that engage the the pinion gears to the drive shaft. These guys are very small and could easily get lost.

Shes running like a champ now. Hopefully she'll go another 16 years.

Thanks all for your help.

jasper


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RE: Craftsman 22 front drive gear repair

Hello. Does anyone know if the gear assembly #702511 can be used in place of the 48281 unit? Thanks for any info. Dave


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RE: Craftsman 22 front drive gear repair

I havehad exactly the same problem, and since i am cheap, i am going tgo attempt to rebuild the gearbox, by ordering Part # 137050, which costs about $8.

This is the gear which was worn down completeley. Hopefully I will just be able to replace this gear, pack it full of Mobile 1 grease and have a working gearbox again.

I will let you all know if this was the problem with my 2000 Craftsman...


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RE: Craftsman 22 front drive gear repair

I have been perusing the posts this morning, concerning the repair of a Craftsman gear-box, and would like to say THANK YOU to all for taking the time to talk to, and lend a helping hand to one-another.

Obviously, (since I am here) I too am having tranny troubles. It started by periodically popping out of gear; so in a pinch, I simply attached a bungee cable to the control lever to hold it in the "engaged" position and went about my business. Being the E X T R E M E procrastinator that I am, I've left I this way for months. While I believe this is simply a matter of adjustment, my main issue is that slowly but surely, I have lost power to my wheels. It's like a clutch slipping in a car.

Any ideas guys?


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RE: Craftsman 22 front drive gear repair

I have ben ready all of the post. My wheels are locked. I used the mower one week ago. The tires are very slick, but there was no indication of the gears gradually wearing down. I looked at the belt, it is turning, but when self propell was enganged, the belts stops turning completely. The wheels will not turn when I try to turn them by hand. Can any one give me any suggestions as to what my problem may be.


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RE: Craftsman 22 front drive gear repair

To Brian D-
i just spent 2.5 hours pulling the whole gear/transmission assembly apart last night on my Sears Crafstman 6.5 HP #917.377151; no big deal; just keep track of the E clips of the wheel drive gears; they can go flying! You have to remove the right front wheel height adjuster to get clearance to slide the gear/shaft assembly over and out. It's tight, but it goes. So I took the gear case apart. The grease inside the gear box was solidified. Moving the actuator arm, the components are engaging fully and working. There is 'slight' wear on the wheel gear, but the worm gear is fine. I put on a new belt (pulling the blade adapter was a real treat, too)put it all back together, and i still had the intermittent engagement and chugging- it IS the power engagement handle/cable assembly. If I hold it down hard, the drive mechanism operates great. It appears that the cable has finally slacked over the years and wont hold the engagement arm back all the way, and as you mow and roll over the yard, the cable slacks and allows the pinion gear shaft to lift enough to chug and clunk. Those gears are hardened pretty good; you'd really have to beat the thing to smithereens over many years to damage those gears. I'm ordering the control handle/cable assembly, and then will wash out the gear box and put fresh high temp grease in it and get another 11 years out of it. Oh, and don't forget to put the plastic tube back on the long shaft side! It keeps wires and strings from being wound up around it.


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RE: Craftsman 22 front drive gear repair

I am changing the front wheels, the left pinion slide off easily but the right pinion will not come off. Any suggestions?


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RE: Craftsman 22 front drive gear repair

Try a good, wet dose of PB Blaster penetrating oil and let it soak fer a while!


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RE: Craftsman 22 front drive gear repair

Thanks all who posted - helped me confirm a bunch of things so far. I'll post a picture of a badly worn pinion gear when i get a chance.

I've ordered and replaced the worm and pinon gears in the gearcase, added lube and put it back together with everything looking and "feeling" good. But without the drive belt attached, I cannot move the drive pulley by hand (too hard), and when I attach the belt and engage the drive, it drives the wheels but the gear case gets pretty warm after just a little use.

I'm worried I'll end up replacing these same gears after just a few hours of use. is there a trick to aligning the worm and pinion gear when re-assembling the gear case? Or do they 'self align' when the drive is engaged. OW, the gear case, axle, and wheel gears are in good shape so I don't want to have to spring for a whole new gear case if i don't have to.

Thanks.


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RE: Craftsman 22 front drive gear repair

Is there a trick to just freeing up the wheel so it rolls. I could care less about self propelled. Never the right speed anyhow and it's been more trouble than it's worth.


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