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Discussion Starter #1
hi all, ive got an older craftsman lawn tractor with an 18 hp engine.i dont know any model numbers.i was using it and ran out of gas.put gas in it and it wouldnt start.had to charge the battery up.put battery back in.started.put it in gear, and it wouldnt move.i went thru the gears and it didnt work.at that time, i realized the seat kill switch wasnt working.when i would get up off the seat, it would still run.does that have anything to do with it not moving?? im at a totally loss.any suggestions would be very welcome at this time....thanx...debbie
 

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I would guess you have one of the following:
1. A missing drive belt.
2. A stretched drive belt that isn't gripping the drive pulleys.
3. A drive belt that has fallen off of one of the drive pulleys.

I'd check this before thinking it could be a transmission problem.

What kind of Craftsman is it? Year? Model No.?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
hello everyone, i'll let my brother-in-law know.thanx for the quick responses.so none of this is related to the safety switch? can i just leave it?
 

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The Magnificent
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Welcome to the forum, btw.

Hoping it's just a belt.

But, is this is one of those vari-drive MTD Sears, it could be that the bolt that holds the pulley on top of the transaxle has come loose. I've seen this on 2 MTDs this year.

If the brakes are set, you should be able to get off the seat with the engine running (but not with the mower deck engaged). I'd recommend you have your BIL check out the interlock system once he fixes the motion problem.
 

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I would highly doubt the kill switch has anything to do with the drive system. Normally, the switch would only trigger and kill the engine if the mowing deck is engaged.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
update: went out today to check mower.it looks like the belts are all there,but when engine is on,i only see one belt moving. looks like it goes to rear of mower.the other belts dont feel like their slipping.still no movement. when i engage the blades, like im going to mow,the engine cuts out.i tried a couple of times to make sure.i got the model #917.255970.i bought this off of someone.....suggestions??...thanx...debbie
 

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The Magnificent
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Is the brake stuck? Can you push it in neutral with the engine off? In gear with the engine off?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
i did push it when it was off.i didnt try the other way.how do i tell if brake is stuck?ive worked on cars, but this is so foreign.what do you think about belts not moving, or engine cutting out when i drop the blades?
 

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The Magnificent
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I think you have a couple of issues.

The brake is a band type brake on the shaft of the transaxle (on the left side I think). If you can push the tractor in neutral, then the brake is not stuck. If you can push it easily in gear, then the belt is loose or misrouted, or you have stripped the key on the transaxle shaft.

Forget about the deck and blades for a second, and let's focus on getting the tractor moving.

You say you see one belt moving when the tractor is idling (with or without you in the seat, but in neutral).

Now you need a helper. With you in the seat, you depress the clutch and shift into any gear. Your partner is watching for the belt to slow or stop when the clutch is in and for it to start moving when you release the clutch.

If you are not moving, repeat this test for each gear. Does the transmission grind at all? As if it is turning internally?

If the transmission's pulley is turning with the engine and you are not moving, maybe you are lucky and have a stripped key on the pulley shaft. Otherwise, you may have an internal problem in the tranny. Or you could have a really silly problem like the gear shift linkage has come loose.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
i have been thru the gears.im not getting any grinding.i'll have to check the belt again tomorrow.i was watching it,but didnt pay attention if it slowed or stopped.the transmission pulley is what comes out of the bottom of the motor?thats the only belt moving.i'll check again tomorrow....thank you so much for your help.im disabled to where i cant mow the lawn with a regular mower.will have to get nephew to come over for visit!.....thanx again.....
 

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The transmission pulley is the one at the other end of the belt, under the seat. The engine pulley drives the belt, and the belt drives the pulley that is on top of the transmission. If possible, have someone watch the transmission pulley while you attempt to drive the tractor, not just the belt. Let us know if the transmission pulley keeps turning or not when you put it in gear and let the clutch out. We'll go from there. You've gotten good advice so far, the good folks here will pull you through! :trink40:
 

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High-low range in neutral . ???
I forgot about this... On my old Craftsman II, sometimes that high-low lever will get stuck in the middle and you have to fiddle with it to get it in the right setting (high or low).

Worth a shot! Just make sure you have your foot on the clutch so you don't grind gears.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
i've got someone to come look at it for me.when i get this going again,i'll post back what it was. thanx so much for everyone's help!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Re: older craftsman-not moving-Good News!!!

yippeeeee! ok, here goes.my bro-in-law had been over the week before.ive got something drawing the battery down.little did i know he was going to 'help' me.apparently he was flipping the high\lo lever up and down.i was talking to him about the tractor again, and not moving.he says 'o yea, check that lever on the right side.i was moving it back and forth.'argggggggggg.... i could just.......anyways.....thanx to everyone for putting up with me and my lawnmower.......
 
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