1998 Craftsman EZ3 42" Rider - MyTractorForum.com - The Friendliest Tractor Forum and Best Place for Tractor Information
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post #1 of 31 Old 09-19-2019, 10:15 AM Thread Starter
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1998 Craftsman EZ3 42" Rider

Howdy all!

Last weekend a co-worker gave me a 1998 Craftsman Rider. Model: 197.271110 Serial: 041398A006336.

It has the Kolher 16.5 Command Engine in it and runs very smooth. I would like to keep it and take it to our cabin and keep it there for mowing/bagging duty. I am going over the mower to make sure I address anything it might need. What's the difference between this rig and the LT1000 series?

Here is what I have found that needs repair so far:

1. Front wheels have play on the spindles. Wheel bushings probably worn out. Considering the bushing to bearing upgrade.
2. Battery was not being charged. I found the stator was not producing any AC voltage. I replaced the stator and all is good now!
3. Brakes are weak even after adjusting them. They are better than they were but I think they should be better. I plan on removing the brake assembly and inspecting the brake pucks to see how much life they still have.
4. Seat is pretty bad. Looking for a replacement now.
5. This mower has the knob to adjust the cutting height. However it does not have a height indicator scale on the left side of the dash panel. The manual doesn't show one but I'm pretty sure it had something to indicate where the mowing height was set.
6. Right side of deck has surface rust. I plan on removing the deck and wire wheeling the surface rust off then priming and paint.


Here is what I need:
1. 3-bin bagger assembly for it
2. Mower Deck discharge guard/flap
3. Mower height scale with pointer that mounts on the end of the lift shaft.
4. I would like to add a front mount thatcher but I don't know if its compatible with this mower.


Is this rig worth keeping? It seems to mow very nice. If you have any of the parts I need for sale please let me know!

As always your comments are appreciated.

Hec
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Last edited by Hec In Omaha; 09-19-2019 at 11:28 AM.
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post #2 of 31 Old 09-19-2019, 11:04 AM
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Re: 1998 Craftsman EZ3 42" Rider

Hey that looks like a pretty serviceable machine! Nice.

My Craftsman 1996 deck rusted out and now has about 12 inches of patch steel on the right front corner of the deck. Suggest keep that clean and dry as you can.


Nice machine, Congratulations!!

X 500 48" Deck 48" blade
Cyclone Rake
Stihl BR 600
Sears Suburban Super 12 1968
Craftsman 1990 something LG Tractor 46" deck
Original Kohler 8hp Giant Vac early 1960s
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post #3 of 31 Old 09-19-2019, 11:29 AM Thread Starter
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Re: 1998 Craftsman EZ3 42" Rider

Alien5044

D'oh! It's outside in the rain now. Need to get a cover for it too!

Hec
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post #4 of 31 Old 09-19-2019, 12:02 PM
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Re: 1998 Craftsman EZ3 42" Rider

Sears stop making parts after the product becomes 15 years old. I bought a discharge flap for my 2000 tractor and it took three months to get. I bought the chutes for the bagger system as well.

You can buy the rubber discharge flap at https://www.searspartsdirect.com/

The bagger system you can buy there but they stop making parts after 15 years so what you buy you will have to modify to fit your machine. I just bought a bottom chute and top chute and found out it wasn't long enough so I had to add on some 7 inch sheet metal duct to extend it into the bagger system. So, I had to make a modification.

The front mount dethatcher Sears use to make a front mounted dethatcher # 24312, you maybe able to google search it and find one at a Sears outlet store. I think they stop making the front mounted ones. I know they sell a tow behind one #24315.

https://www.sears.com/craftsman-40-i...2&blockType=G2

Husqvarna has a front mounted one that may or may not fit/ or you make modifications.

https://www.husqvarna.com/us/accesso...her/967343801/

HomeDepot has a BrinlyHardy front mounted dethatcher. You will have to make modifications to mount it.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Brinly-H...38RY/307606515

Don
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post #5 of 31 Old 09-19-2019, 01:21 PM
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Re: 1998 Craftsman EZ3 42" Rider

nice tractor...the newer decks are cable actuated instead of rod actuated and the older ones are getting extinct....take care of that deck! The Kohler command is IMO the best mower engine ever built.
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post #6 of 31 Old 09-19-2019, 10:07 PM Thread Starter
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Re: 1998 Craftsman EZ3 42" Rider

Howdy All,

Tonight I pulled the right rear wheel off. To inspect the brakes. Pulling the wheel off was a bear but I got it off using a small bearing puller. The brake pucks are definitely worn out! The outer puck was about 1/8" thick and the inner one was about 1/4" thick. I ordered a new pair of brake pucks on Ebay for $11 including shipping! The listing description specs them out as 11/32" thick. So the new ones should help with the stopping power of this rig. Tomorrow I will pull off the front wheels and inspect the wheel bushings.

Hec
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post #7 of 31 Old 09-21-2019, 03:44 PM
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Re: 1998 Craftsman EZ3 42" Rider

You pretty much have an LT 1000. It just may not have a label.
Charging system/drive train typical for that model.
Owners Manual here-
https://www.searspartsdirect.com/man...e-lawn-tractor

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post #8 of 31 Old 09-22-2019, 09:15 AM Thread Starter
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Re: 1998 Craftsman EZ3 42" Rider

Bill,

That's what I was thinking. I wonder what the differences are between it an the LT1000?

Yesterday I mowed with it and it really mows well! I also learned that it doesn't like climbing steep hills. I tried mowing up a grade in my back yard and it stalled. It must be due to the gravity feed fuel delivery system and not having a fuel pump. I had to coast backwards to flat ground and she would then start and run fine. So I had to zoom up the hill to keep it from stalling, then turn around and mow downhill. Before I mowed I cleaned the contacts on the ignition switch and the 3 relays. I also applied dielectric grease to the connections. Oh yeah I noticed that the two yellow wires that run from the stator to one of the relays were getting hot. I swapped relays and they cooled off. When they heated up the ammeter was showing a discharge. I must have a bad relay. After I mowed I pressure washed it and it cleaned up nice! I have some parts ordered to make some necessary repairs. I ordered new brake pucks and a bushing to bearing conversion kit for the front wheels. I also have ordered a mower deck height indicator with pointer. Lastly I found a nice seat for it. Now I need to find a 3 bin bagger for it!

Hec
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post #9 of 31 Old 09-22-2019, 01:29 PM
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Re: 1998 Craftsman EZ3 42" Rider

I think you better recheck your 917.xxxxxx
A 271110 shows a 3 Amp charge system and ONE relay.

2 Yellow wires from the stator is a much higher capacity charging system.
Yellow wires plug into the Voltage Regulator.
Incorrect terminology is confusing.

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post #10 of 31 Old 09-22-2019, 03:13 PM
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Re: 1998 Craftsman EZ3 42" Rider

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hec In Omaha View Post
Bill,

That's what I was thinking. I wonder what the differences are between it an the LT1000?

Yesterday I mowed with it and it really mows well! I also learned that it doesn't like climbing steep hills. I tried mowing up a grade in my back yard and it stalled. It must be due to the gravity feed fuel delivery system and not having a fuel pump. I had to coast backwards to flat ground and she would then start and run fine. So I had to zoom up the hill to keep it from stalling, then turn around and mow downhill. Before I mowed I cleaned the contacts on the ignition switch and the 3 relays. I also applied dielectric grease to the connections. Oh yeah I noticed that the two yellow wires that run from the stator to one of the relays were getting hot. I swapped relays and they cooled off. When they heated up the ammeter was showing a discharge. I must have a bad relay. After I mowed I pressure washed it and it cleaned up nice! I have some parts ordered to make some necessary repairs. I ordered new brake pucks and a bushing to bearing conversion kit for the front wheels. I also have ordered a mower deck height indicator with pointer. Lastly I found a nice seat for it. Now I need to find a 3 bin bagger for it!

Hec
U may find out the LT 1000 came with a 2 bin bagger.. not a 3..


the round fenderd JD's
4-JD 60's.. 2-JD 70's.. 6-JD 100's.. 2-JD 110's.. 2-JD 112's..

3 JD LT 155's.. JD R-72.. JD Scotts 2048.. JD 111.. JD Sabre 1742..
WH RJ-58.. WH Lawn Ranger.. WH 654.. WH 854.. 2- MF 14's..
Craftsman GT 6000.. CC 70.. CC 100.. CC 129..
total tractors is 30..
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give a monkey a wrench & he can ruin the world.. whirly 7/27/2018
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post #11 of 31 Old 09-22-2019, 11:23 PM Thread Starter
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Re: 1998 Craftsman EZ3 42" Rider

Bill,

The owners manual for this thing is poor. Especially the electrical diagram. It shows only one relay in the electrical diagram but I have three. Today I worked on the tractor some more. I pulled the tank and installed new fuel line and filter. I had noticed that my fuel filter was never really filling up with gas. On two occasions I had the engine cut out on me, like it was out of gas, only to find it still half full. I topped off the tank and it fired right up again. Yes the vent on the gas cap is clear. Today I found a youtube video of a guy that was experiencing the exact same thing.
His fuel filter and fuel line routing was just like mine too. See my first post to see how the fuel line was routed! What was happening was I was vaporizing the fuel in the line and filter. I replaced the fuel line with new 1/4" hose, and I tucked the filter next to the carb. I ensured that the fuel line was supported by the cradle attached to the throttle mechanism. As soon as I filled it up with gas the filter filled up with fuel too. I'll report back on this next week when I mow again to see if it does it again.
While I had the tank out I inspected the wiring to the relays. I found one relay plug connector to have wear marks in it in multiple spots. Some of the spots wore completely though and exposed the spade connector inside. I wonder if this was what was causing me all my grief with the yellow wires getting hot? Something going to ground that shouldn't. So I wrapped electrical tape around the plug as a temporary fix. I have ordered a new plug to replace the damaged plug. While I was at it I also tie-wrapped each solenoid to the wire loom so they can't flop around and rub against the frame or dash metal.
I also removed the front tires and popped out the wheel bushings in preparation for my front wheel bushing to bearing kit arriving tomorrow. Both outer bushings had a lot of slop. The right wheel was missing one of the washers too! Luckily for me the spindles didn't get damaged. I also noticed that the spindle bushings are worn too, especially the right one. So new bushings have been ordered for both sides. Hopefully the new spindle bushings will help tighten up the steering.

That's all for now

Hec
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Last edited by Hec In Omaha; 09-22-2019 at 11:44 PM.
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post #12 of 31 Old 09-23-2019, 03:55 AM
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Re: 1998 Craftsman EZ3 42" Rider

Your tractor sounds more like a 917.271071.
Since you weren't willing to check, I'm done.

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post #13 of 31 Old 09-23-2019, 07:53 AM Thread Starter
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Re: 1998 Craftsman EZ3 42" Rider

Bill,

I did recheck, as I stated in my first post on this thread Model: 197.271110 Serial: 041398A006336. Attached is a picture of the Name Plate under the seat. This tractor was a co-workers Father In-laws, who passed away. His Father In-Law was the only owner. According to my co-worker, the tractor was only taken into a local mower shop now and then for belts, blade replacement, and oil changes. He doesn't think the fender deck was ever replaced and judging by the nuts and bolts on this thing a wrench has never touched them.

I'm stumped.

Hec
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Last edited by Hec In Omaha; 09-23-2019 at 08:09 AM.
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post #14 of 31 Old 09-23-2019, 12:01 PM
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Re: 1998 Craftsman EZ3 42" Rider

Here's a schematic for a system with 3 OPR's.
I can't guarantee it matches since there's over 200 different craftsman schematics.

This has a Kohler CV16S--43519
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post #15 of 31 Old 09-23-2019, 04:46 PM Thread Starter
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Re: 1998 Craftsman EZ3 42" Rider

Bill,

Thank you for the circuit diagram! That sure looks like it! I think someone on the assembly line goofed on my model number sticker! So the two yellow wires that were getting hot that I referring to are for a stator brake! I can tell you that the stator brake works! When I shut down the engine you can hear brake stop the flywheel. I thought it was stopping on a compression stroke. At least now I know it has a stator brake. By the way my engine is a Kohler CV16S-43513.

Hec
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