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Discussion Starter #1
Picked up this tractor recently, want to use it more for towing stuff around and not so much for mowing. Wondering if anyone has a link for a manual, tried sears and managemyhome, nothing.

Anyone know more about these models? Are they pretty heavy duty and able to stand up to some abuse? It has an 18HP twin briggs horizontal.
 

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Kevin,

Can you post a pic of that machine? I'd like to know the vintage.

I'm guessing it's a hydro, and not a manual?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
It's actually not a hydro, i've been trying to find one that wasn't, figure the gears will hold up longer and pull more weight. I think it's an 83 or around there, i checked the numbers, but forgot. don't have a picture, i'll take one. it's grey with a 44 inch deck with two seperate square headlights.
 

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Hmmm, in that case, it sounds like you found a pretty good work horse.

I'm not an expert on those older machines, but from what I gather, they were built very sturdy, and something with an 18HP twin and 44" deck back then was likely a true, well-built garden tractor.

And I can only speak for the newer manual trannies - but when it comes to pulling, towing, and low speed torque - it's definitely the way to go! You can probably pull a car with that thing!

I'm sure the experts on this vintage Craftsman will be along to shed some light.

Good luck, and looking forward to some pics!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
It looks identical to that, thank you. Now if I could just find the engine numbers on it. I'm going to just use the one from the manual for parts, should be fine
 

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We have several of those old Craftsmans pulling away in our tractor pulling club. They seem to do ok and haven't really seen too many break over the last 10 years or so. Here is one or two:
Ron


 

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Discussion Starter #8
What would a stock one safely pull around the yard for weight without breaking anything? Any idea?
 

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I would change the fluid in the transmission 1st thing and put the recommended fluids back in it. The tractors above are hooked to a 4 to 5 thousand lb transfer sled, so.......

Ron
 

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Discussion Starter #10
sounds good, i'll do that too. is it all in the manual how to do it? I've never worked on one of these, always newer ones
 

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The old Sears/Craftsman hi/low ranges have been around a long time. I would jack up the rear of the tractor just good enough to take the left rear tire off and then lower the jack back down till the tractor is level again. Then reach down there with a wrench on the bottom side of the transmission and drain the fluid out into a catch can/pan. Then there should be a fill spout that you take the cover off with a wrench. I would have gone by Wally World and picked up me some gear lube and fill till it is overflowing and put the cover back on. You should be good to go. (That is the way I do it - may or may not be per the manual)...

Ron
 

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It looks identical to that, thank you. Now if I could just find the engine numbers on it. I'm going to just use the one from the manual for parts, should be fine
Both the 255914 & 917 list the Briggs 422437-1209-01
That and the apparently same transmission are what I used for the manual referal-
 

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perhaps this will help.

1987 Sears Craftsman II 18 HP.- 917.254410
1989 Sears Craftsman II 18 HP.- 917.255919

as a guess i would say its a 1988 model. color is a silver-gray with red piping on hood and a black grill with red piping and the 44 inch deck was standard.

yes i have both and they are good machines but are noted for certain problems.

1. watch for fatique cracks on front axle, there not cast iron and will crack with age requiring plating on the bottom.

2. the 44 inch deck spindle units have no grease fittings, the pulleys are welded on the top and can't be removed so the whole assembly has to be replaced. i not sure you can get them anymore. simple cure is to remove them and drill, tap, and install grease fitting about 1 inch above blade.

3. starters can be a pain to get off these, look where its located at and you will understand.

4. fuel pump is located on a steel firewall between engine and battery, this is not a problem but the fuel line between the pump and engine will go bad with age causing little rubber bits to enter carb and plug main jet which leads to them starving for fuel. this a easy fix, remove hex cover cap on carb for main jet hit with carb and choke cleaner spray to unplug.

As far as durability goes my 87 still runs good but after mowing 2 and 1/2 acres for 20 years along with pushing snow in the winter the briggs 18 twin is about wore out. 10 ounces of oil used in 4 hours run time.:eek:

the 89 sears i picked up 2 years ago had less than 70 hours on it and had only been used for pushing snow in the winter, the deck was still new.
it is my current mower and runs great with no oil use.

they are good machines, the peerless rearends used in these are sturdy units that will take a lot of use and abuse. my 87 has 100lb weights on each wheel, 50 lbs on back of tractor along tubes in tires and they are calcium filled along with chains on the tires. I've never had a problem with it.

minor differences between the two.

87 has idiot light for low voltage.
89 has amp gauge.

87 has adjustment for main drive belt tension near hi-lo shift lever, the 89 has no adjustment.

one last thing drive belt to deck is easy to change, take about 4-5 minutes because they use a sping loaded tensioner.

if you got this for a good price you cant go wrong on these machines.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I paid $75, still not running though. Fuel pump is shot, can't seem to find a replacement or rebuild kit so i'm going to buy a generic pulse one and hook it up. I did a quick compression check came up with around 100 on one side and 120 on the other so i think it might burn a little oil. I'm going to remove the deck and sell it. This is going to be used to move a trailer, boat and splitter around. No mowing so it isn't going to be used too much.
 

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the original metal pumps are no longer sold, walbro has a generic fit all to replace it. has it been a long time since it was run, carb may be all gummed up on it and have to be taken apart and cleaned.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Was able to clean up the pump and carb without replacing any parts, just fuel line. Fired right up, runs great
 

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Also looking for some info on my 917-2559** models... The pdf file manual I have does not show a part # for the mower deck drive belt off the electric PTO but shows 2 belts in the engine section that have the same configuration and part #. Is the primary deck drive belt the same as the transmission drive belt (Part# 101342N)?

And does anyone have a line on where I can get a rear box scraper blade w/sleeve hitch for my 917-255910? CL down here is totally void of Craftsman attachments. Sears has a model # 486-242411 for $229 but I don't know if it will fit my old GT 18. ~FH
 

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Also looking for some info on my 917-2559** models... The pdf file manual I have does not show a part # for the mower deck drive belt off the electric PTO but shows 2 belts in the engine section that have the same configuration and part #. Is the primary deck drive belt the same as the transmission drive belt (Part# 101342N)?

And does anyone have a line on where I can get a rear box scraper blade w/sleeve hitch for my 917-255910? CL down here is totally void of Craftsman attachments. Sears has a model # 486-242411 for $229 but I don't know if it will fit my old GT 18. ~FH
The 2 manuals I have show a 106381X belt for the mower deck.
 
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