I'm new to the forum, but it looks like there are a lot of knowledgeable folks here!
We recently bought a house that came with an old (and apparently, rare Canadian model) Craftsman lawn tractor that was left outside for who knows how many years. Both my wife and my father-in-law said I'd "never get that old piece of junk running." To me, that sounded an awful lot like a challenge!
Now, I know what some of you may be thinking: "this is the MTD forum, not the Craftsman one," but after some checking around I discovered my Craftsman was actually made by MTD, model 135-715-000 (7-speed Transmatic with a 16HP B&S engine) from 1985. The first thing I had to do was to buy a new key for it, since I couldn't find one on/near the tractor, and I'm thankful that MTD only had one or two types of key! I downloaded the manual, as well as the Briggs & Stratton one, pushed the old tractor into the garage and got to work.
I removed the deck, which was completely seized up, went through the wiring, took off the engine shroud and cleaned it up a bit. Had to take off the starter (also seized), which I took apart and got moving again. When I put the starter back - man, that was hard to get back together with all the points in place - and added a bit of gas to the carburetor, it started up with no problem. So I added some gas to the tank, started it and the engine sounded pretty good, if a bit smoky!
It wouldn't move, however, and kept throwing one of the belts, so I removed the variable speed pulley (you guessed it, seized up) which my father-in-law brought to his lawnmower man, who knocked the sheave loose again. Now that I've got it all back together again, cleaned up, and adjusted the throttle cable a bit, the "old piece of junk" drives just fine. Did I mention I like challenges? It's a good feeling, fixing up something that was left for dead, that's for sure.
Anyway, just thought I'd share that with you all - some of the posts on here definitely helped me sort through some things with it - and I'll post some pictures soon. I plan on using it as a yard mule to pull rocks, wood, etc. around for now, though I might take apart the deck and get that going again sometime too. Also, I'd definitely like to find a snowthrower attachment for when winter comes!