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CylonRed
Premium,MVM
join:2000-07-06
Bloom County

Self propelled mower

14 year old Craftsman self propelled mower - when on grass it has trouble moving and needs to be pushed. Not sure what can be done but teh front wheels have not been replaced. Can this be an issue of the wheels not being able to get a grip. Not sure if there is anything else mechanically that can cause the problem.

Any ideas other than replace the wheels?
--
Brian

"It drops into your stomach like a Abrams's tank.... driven by Rosanne Barr..." A. Bourdain



shdesigns
Powered By Infinite Improbabilty Drive
Premium
join:2000-12-01
Stone Mountain, GA

When the wheels wear to where they are smooth, they will spin rather than grip.

If the wheels don't stop turning, then replacing the wheels will be the only thing you can do.



Rojo_P

join:2001-10-03
Lancaster, OH

1 edit
reply to CylonRed

Generally a slow-moving or lawn mower that will not propel is an indication it is time to replace a belt, but in case that is not the problem here's another interesting idea:

»youtu.be/COZBXl6edaQ


mix

join:2002-03-19
Utica, MI
reply to CylonRed

Do the wheels spin on the grass or stop moving?



seaquake
Premium,MVM
join:2001-03-23
Millersville, MD
reply to CylonRed

Last season my 17 year old craftsman lawn mower's drive wheels just stopped working. After investigating I found that the pulley that drove the belt had seized up. My limited abilities were unable to release the pulley so I ended up just cutting and removing the drive belt. Then I removed the gears from the front wheels so the mower would be "free" from that drag while manually pushing.

I only did this cause I only use the mower for limited tight areas and trimming where my rider can't get to. I use it maybe for a total of 5 minutes. You likely will not go this route but it is an option if you don't want to pay to have it repaired and can't repair it yourself.


Hellrazor

join:2002-02-02
Abyss, PA
reply to CylonRed

Not sure about crapsman but older ariens self propelled push mowers act that way if both drive wheels aren't at the same height. Make sure one wheel wasn't mistakenly set a bit higher or lower than the other.



Lurch77
Premium
join:2001-11-22
Oconto, WI
kudos:4

2 recommendations

reply to Rojo_P

said by Rojo_P:

Generally a slow-moving or lawn mower that will not propel is an indication it is time to replace a belt, but in case that is not the problem here's another interesting idea:

[video]

I took it a step farther. Mind you this is my "rough cut" 1987 Toro, used for the wooded back area of my property, not the nice manicured lawn area. Obviously it's not gentle to the turf. But I can tell you it is darn near unstoppable.




Corehhi

join:2002-01-28
Bluffton, SC
Reviews:
·Hargray Cable
reply to CylonRed

I have a Craftsmen and simply the inside of the wheels wore out. Don't know if yours is the same set up but the inside of the front wheels have teeth and they slowly get ground down. Wheels will still turn on pavement but in high grass they stopped turning and I had to push.

End result I bought new wheels. I also changed the belt while I was at it.



CylonRed
Premium,MVM
join:2000-07-06
Bloom County
reply to CylonRed

They stop when put down into grass. The heights are fine (and it will mow of they are of different heights) .

I have to say - for a mower that rarely has the oil changed, gas used has had some amount of alcohol in it for many years - it still runs and starts on the second pull. Never had to work on the carb (though I make sure to run the gas out completely at the end of the year) and fuel lines had not leaked.

I will have to try and find the model of the mower and get replacement wheels and maybe see how to replace the drive belt.
--
Brian

"It drops into your stomach like a Abrams's tank.... driven by Rosanne Barr..." A. Bourdain



seaquake
Premium,MVM
join:2001-03-23
Millersville, MD

Definitely a good plan as the belt may be slipping or the wheel teeth may be rounded. The gears are pretty heavy duty so I doubt that's the issue.

Mine stills starts on the first pull. Granted it's a very light use mower but still starts like I just bought it.



CylonRed
Premium,MVM
join:2000-07-06
Bloom County
reply to CylonRed

The belt looks good and no play in it - tons of grass stuffed under the cover. If I do change the belt - then I would remove the blade, take off the plastic housing (however that is done) and then loop it around the drive shaft. Then pull it forward to go around the drive pulley - correct?
--
Brian

"It drops into your stomach like a Abrams's tank.... driven by Rosanne Barr..." A. Bourdain



Corehhi

join:2002-01-28
Bluffton, SC
Reviews:
·Hargray Cable
reply to CylonRed

Yes. You'll have a bunch of grass in there as well. There's a spring in the front section that will give you the room to get the belt on.

Side note, sharpen the blade, clean everything up, give the mower a good once over if you're taking things apart.



Hall
Premium,MVM
join:2000-04-28
Germantown, OH
kudos:2
reply to Lurch77

said by Lurch77:

Obviously it's not gentle to the turf.

As long as you don't let them spin, it shouldn't be bad, right ? I'm real tempted to try your method or the re-tread option in the YouTube video (need to find an old bike tire first though !).


Msradell
P.E.
Premium
join:2008-12-25
Louisville, KY

said by Hall:

said by Lurch77:

Obviously it's not gentle to the turf.

As long as you don't let them spin, it shouldn't be bad, right ? I'm real tempted to try your method or the re-tread option in the YouTube video (need to find an old bike tire first though !).

Just go buy a new bicycle tire, you can find cheap ones at Walmart, Kmart etc.
--
Written using Dragon NaturallySpeaking


Hall
Premium,MVM
join:2000-04-28
Germantown, OH
kudos:2

Looked at Walmart - $16-20 for just a tire. Inner tubes are cheap, like less than $10.



Lurch77
Premium
join:2001-11-22
Oconto, WI
kudos:4
reply to Hall

If you're going to do it on a well cared for lawn, I would do the tire method. Just studding the tire like I did gives you great traction, but it tears up the grass and/or topsoil when you turn or when they spin. If your lawn is more of a "meh, it's green, good enough for me" type of lawn, you could probably get away with it.



CylonRed
Premium,MVM
join:2000-07-06
Bloom County
reply to Rojo_P

My wheels are far bumpier - likely too bumpy to get good adhesion.



Bubba
GIT-R-DONE
Premium,MVM
join:2002-08-19
St. Andrews
reply to CylonRed

Reminder that carburetor side goes up when tilting mower on it's side. Good chance craftsman pdf is online showing how to remove belt.