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In Spring 2011, my wife & I purchased a GT6000, model number 917.288611. We don't use it commercially, and our property is just under an acre. To date, it has served us well, even though it has had a few unusual issues, two covered under warranty and as discussed here, one resolved on its own.

At the end of last season, I noticed that the reverse portion of the drive pedal was 'sinking'. Thinking it was a stretching drive belt - and hearing the tales of woe regarding *that* replacement - I decided that I would pay a professional to swap out the belt at the start of this season, and save my sanity.

Well, the tech from Craftsman came out and he immediately diagnosed the problem: (As the title states), I have a GT6000 with cracks in the frame!!! The cracks are in almost the same locations on each side of the tractor, directly above the back of the mower deck. (See pictures.) We discussed some possible solutions, and even though there is a "lifetime" warranty on the frame, that is apparently only for parts; any labor isn't covered.

We told the tech that we needed to think about it. This is WELL above my DIY abilities; not to mention that I have been unable to locate anything online that gives me any guidance on how to actually perform the repair. (I did find a repair kit for a cracked frame at the front of the frame, which is a 5-wrench skill level and doesn't seem to be what I need.)

So, here we are. My wife & I are not happy. Is this something I should bump up the food chain with Craftsman? Or, should we just bite the bullet and have the thing repaired?
 

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Briggs powered Sears.
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In Spring 2011, my wife & I purchased a GT6000, model number 917.288611. We don't use it commercially, and our property is just under an acre. To date, it has served us well, even though it has had a few unusual issues, two covered under warranty and as discussed here, one resolved on its own.

At the end of last season, I noticed that the reverse portion of the drive pedal was 'sinking'. Thinking it was a stretching drive belt - and hearing the tales of woe regarding *that* replacement - I decided that I would pay a professional to swap out the belt at the start of this season, and save my sanity.

Well, the tech from Craftsman came out and he immediately diagnosed the problem: (As the title states), I have a GT6000 with cracks in the frame!!! The cracks are in almost the same locations on each side of the tractor, directly above the back of the mower deck. (See pictures.) We discussed some possible solutions, and even though there is a "lifetime" warranty on the frame, that is apparently only for parts; any labor isn't covered.

We told the tech that we needed to think about it. This is WELL above my DIY abilities; not to mention that I have been unable to locate anything online that gives me any guidance on how to actually perform the repair. (I did find a repair kit for a cracked frame at the front of the frame, which is a 5-wrench skill level and doesn't seem to be what I need.)

So, here we are. My wife & I are not happy. Is this something I should bump up the food chain with Craftsman? Or, should we just bite the bullet and have the thing repaired?
well if you lived near me i would of gladly took the job of replacing frame. but it will just happen again. problem is newer machines are not built good. in this line of work i see mtds and husquarna (ayp) and john deeres made box store machines worn out busted frames and what not with 300 400 hours. sometimes less. and then they tell you oh these newer machines can do gardening and what not then hitch plate rips off lol. there has been a couple posts of that here before. but what size is your deck? last year at local shop they had 2 tuff torq transmissions come in with left rear axles broken off and one was a husquarna (should be same frame has your craftsman) and frame was busted and has to be welded at 400 hours. i am not bashing your equipment but if it was me i would look to get it welded to get by until something else puts it out of comission completly.
 

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I expected the crack to be in the front where the frame is notched out for the axle, not the back. Whether you get the frame replaced or weld it up, I'd consider getting a piece of flat stock that fits inside the channel to spread out the load. Not sure how much clearance there is for that though.
 

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well if you lived near me i would of gladly took the job of replacing frame.
Nope, Indiana is not right next door. :tango_face_wink:
they tell you oh these newer machines can do gardening and what not then hitch plate rips off lol. there has been a couple posts of that here before.
We used it 99% for cutting the grass. About 1% was towing a cart, which was never very heavy.
but what size is your deck?
54"
i am not bashing your equipment but if it was me i would look to get it welded to get by until something else puts it out of comission completly.
LOL My wife actually said the exact same thing as I was keying the original post! :tango_face_grin:
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I expected the crack to be in the front where the frame is notched out for the axle, not the back.
That appears to be what the Frame Repair Kit that Craftsman sells is for. I'm not sure if that helps me or not. I doubt it. It looks pretty specific to cracked front axle brackets.
I'd consider getting a piece of flat stock that fits inside the channel to spread out the load. Not sure how much clearance there is for that though.
Good idea. Some holes would need to be drilled for existing bolts.
 

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No love for this type of tractor.Right (pic)I would weld the whole bracket to the frame.Left (pic)I would weld right side of bracket to the frame.
 

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Nope, Indiana is not right next door. :tango_face_wink:
We used it 99% for cutting the grass. About 1% was towing a cart, which was never very heavy.
54"
LOL My wife actually said the exact same thing as I was keying the original post! :tango_face_grin:
i bet your yard is really bumpy too. thats same size deck has one the local shop repaired if i remember correctly ( i went to help the pickup and delivery guy get it bc it only had 3 wheels attached lol) yard where it was from was mainly flat but lots of bumps. the steel that things are made from suck anymore. what shop owner did (i am NOT allowed to give out names) was welded it up then weld a plate over it.
 

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It is very difficult to get service out of a sinking ship
Cheap and dirty would be matching pieces of 3x 2 angle iron 8''-10'' long.
2'' L at bottom.

Remove the two side brackets
Clamp the 3'' side to the inside of the frame, positioning it so that you have metal 1'' past the edge of the front two open holes.

Start with the front holes, drill the iron, bolt in place after checking for slippage.
Drill the iron thru the two bracket holes.
Further down drill two more holes , one inch from the edge of the iron.
Use longer bolts for the bracket if need be, Use grade 5 bolts with lock nuts for all.
Welding unknown grades of C*** steel is sometimes a bad bet.
If you got lucky and found some c channel you could also bolt it to the top.
You want the L at the bottom where the tension is.
 

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Had same with my Craftsman from early 1990s. Welded it several times before giving up and buying a JD X500.

You can get more life from it, but suggest you find a way to add strength along the bottom edge such as a piece of 18th" steel bar stock at least 1 inch wide and as long as you can fit in there. Correct the frame sag, weld in the new steel bar, then weld up the existing cracks. I've also heard of folks welding rebar along the inside lower edge of the frame.

On mine, it looks like there are just too many holes stamped in the frame for various options and the frame is just too thin to support the constant "bounce" from the deck and engine mounting. Mine cracked from the bottom up to the rear engine mount holes As I recall some of those punched holes were square. That is a sure bet to start cracks in the sharp corners.

Good luck.
 

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Okay, I have found a shop that will attempt to weld a plate over each crack. :tango_face_smile: However, the guy who will be doing the welding is pretty insistent, that for safety purposes, the gas tank has to be removed. Sounds reasonable, right? Well, I cannot for the life of me figure out how to do this on my tractor. Pretty much everything that I've read or been told is that the fender(s) need to be removed, giving access to the gas tank. Well, this tractor doesn't have two fenders, but instead one large part, onto which several other things are bolted, (including the lower dash console and maybe part of the ground drive belt pulley system).


All of that said, it doesn't seems logical that any engineer would design a tractor so that it isn't possible to replace a plastic gas tank without completely disassembling half of the tractor. :swow:



Any help would be appreciated. A video (or link to one) would make me ecstatic!
 

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Well if it's anything like my Husqvarna, then yes the seat pan, seat and hydro lever on the fender pan all has to come off. I was able to squeeze the foot rests that are part of that seat pan and fenders past the center console with some help from a friend. Don't forget to unplug your seat safety switch and the hydro lever disconnect the linkage underneath. Go on Youtube and watch videos on how to remove this stuff...It was a great help to me to see what was all involved. Now mine may be a bit different, but the full pan and feet are all one piece. The seat i took off just to lighten the load. I had a fuel leak which is why I had to rip mine apart. Change your fuel line and put a new grommet in the tank while the body is off.
 

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some of those frame cracks are caused by diagonal crossing thru a ditch.
 

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Given the will not cover the labor, I'd push to get the replacement frame, indicating I would do the work myself over time. Whether or not you accomplish that task in short time is your business. IOW, get them to supply the 'warrantied' replacement part. Put it on the shelf for later use.
The pan on most can be removed by unbolting. I have removed mine, though I can't remember why. Just a bunch of bolts and the shift lever(ball?) needed removal(gas cap too) and it came free. Not the easiest thing to handle, but doable by a 70 year old.
My method of repair would be to remove all things bolted to the crack area, and fit reinforcing, L-shape, flat, or U-shape if some can be found. The frame is subject to vertical loads from weight, and to twisting loads from uneven ground crossing(ditches as noted above). You don't want to make ALL the twist happen ... right at the end of the reinforced area, or you'll be welding it sooner rather than later.
I think I would tend towards a flat plate on the surface that had cracked as that is the obvious place that needs reinforcement. Removing the original bolts and replacing with longer that go through the plate would be best, IMO. Adding more bolts, with washers, through the factory holes would help carry the load, avoiding the perforated metal, and reinforce the metal that is already there. I don't know if welding, except at the crack itself, would transfer the load to areas that can carry it. The frame is not real thick, and you concentrate the load from frame to plate where they are welded together. I am not an engineer, but it makes sense that the original metal may have been too thin, and welding to that may just cause failure a bit further away from the original load. Clamping in several places, with a flat plate that is wedged into the U of the frame, tight, would spread the load IMO. That and a nickel...
tom
 

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I’d find a local welder and have them reinforce it. As others have suggested I’d do the same- brace with more metal from behind, drill out any holes.

A local welder can give you an accurate estimate with some pics. They may even have a smaller mig machine they can bring to you if you can’t transport the mower.




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FWIW I once saw a GT come into a local shop for some custom welding, nothing was broken, owner wanted some special adapters mounted. Same thing, shop wouldn't touch it with the gas tank in place. Owner laughed and unscrewed the gas cap and said, check it out. He had drained it and filled with water. Don't know how it turned out as I left shortly thereafter, but it sounded like they were going ahead with the welding.

Not saying you should do that, but it would be easier than major disassembly, particularly if you're not comfortable doing it.

Personally, I'd be going with angle iron and flat iron wherever I could fit it in, "once bitten." Should you go this route, make sure it's tightly bolted with appropriately fitted bolts. e.g. 3/8" bolt in 3/8" hole so it can't move.
 

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A 115V MIG with .030" wire will take care of those in a matter of minutes, maybe an hour if forming and welding in some 1/8" reinforcement plates. A local shop should not charge much to do that repair.
 

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That frame cracking is typical of "value engineering". I had a 1990's GT6000 and the whole frame had been welded together by the time I got it. I pulled the onan out of it and sold the chassis for $100. good riddance. Stuff out there today unless you're spending $4000 and up in my opinion is mostly junk. I'm all for older machines.
 
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