Ages ago in the early 90's, I bought a Craftsman 5hp rear tine tiller. It had the B&S engine on it. For some reason, Sears modified the housing for the pull starter rope, and the rope was not a replaceable option. So I gave Sears all of the pertinent numbers and ordered the housing with pull starter.
Six months later, they notified me that the part was in, and upon pickup, found that a washing machine part, with my part number, was sent.
Once the proper part had been shipped and installed, the engine, after running a while, started spitting sparks and went south. It has sat outside since until this spring.
I bought a new Honda 6 HP engine and put it on, cleaned everything as best I could and started the tiller up. All works except the wheels don't engage. This is a model that allows Forward, Forward and Till, Reverse, or Neutral to be selected. I have searched everywhere trying to find a manual, or anything on Craftsman Tillers, but they don't seem to exist. The large wheel on the side of the gearbox is belt driven, but I have no idea what's inside.
Can anyone give me a clue as to where I might find firstly, a repair manual for the gearbox, and secondly, what might be inside and might be the problem(gear, belts, shear pins) and thirdly, how are these usually opened? I certainly don't want to return it to Sears for repair after the original parts fiasco.
I realize that without numbers, the exact procedures might not be accurate, but I was hoping to just get an idea until I can get the numbers and return.
Thanks for any help.
Craftsman tiller Wont Shift
this one hasnt let me down i bought it this way i just want to fix it
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I had one apart a month ago. Takes awhile to break it down. The engine has to be removed, 4 bolts, the handle has to come off and the cover for the tines as well as the tines have to all come off. Same for the two weights on the front of the tiller which is held on by a long bolt that goes all the way through both. The pulleys on the left side and the drive belt and cover gotta go too. You need to remove all the bolts holding the two cases together and then pry it apart. You'll need to replace the gasket when you put it back together. What you'll find inside is most likely a bunch of brown grease covering the chain drives and a few pulleys. Quite the mess I must say. The shift lever has probably fallen out of place and you could have a broken chain as well. There are a few You Tube videos where a couple guys have tackled the job. Unfortunately I have another one waiting for me at work to tear apart. Good luck, hope this helps
Big thanks to this site Sears reartine tiller
That tear down isn't so bad, if you believe in blank stickers or taped on notes. Seriously. If you just tape a note to each screw, bundle like screws together and don't mind drawing crude schematics, it's not all that bad. I've been on a mission for some time, to not let guys get ripped off on that deal with Sears.
But,,, the pictures weren't taken until most of the tear down was complete. They will show you the tranny disassembly process and that's the most important part. Tiller comes apart by 'section' (think factory assembly floor ) and you just need to type notes and small drawings of every single thing you take off.
You'll start on all cables and those have to be drawn as to the correct re assembly, there's a particular 'grip clip' midway up the handle and it has a couple grated clamps, and is vital that it be put back where it started, so that's one you give special attention to, placing electrical tape on the cable for later hook up ( all this advice is for not, if you have a good owner's manual or service manual )
At the carb, same thing, firmly placed tape will save hours, again and again. Even the front weight 'axle' has a particular system of it's own, take a bolt off, draw it, tape drawing to any space of frame where it won't get scrapped off later. Everything comes off and though that seems daunting, it isn't. One thing at a time, drawing, then tape drawing.
Cables are off. Whole handle comes off. Then, pull wheels, weights and engine, with the intervening pully cover and pully being of utmost importance, especially the 'key' so involved there, that it has to go back right.
It's real easy if you draw as you go, even if you have a manual, I wouldn't do it any other way. So, look at that pully cover and pully real close. Keeper 'ring clip' has to go back, of course. I guess I'm just saying that unless you do it for a living, this is one where you better take intricate notes, or you'll have a pile of junk. With emphasis that if you do notes and tape them around, even drawing a decent bolt pattern for the main tranny housing, with the exact number of holes for exact number of bolts, you will find this a cakewalk. If you plan to 'remember things', take it to the scrap yard and buy a new one.
When you're down to the tranny, with the axles sticking through, the real surprise is that everything stays in one place, since the central axles are fixed to one side of the tranny's housing, from inside.
Lot of guys tried pounding them out, but it's not that way, you spread the housing apart and one side slides up the axles and you can raise it pretty high for visual. So, one side of the housing, up on wood blocks, so the few inches of axle extending out don't touch the table below, but rest a half inch or so above the table, with the housing resting on the blocks.
So, you removed the main bolts and now you're going to spread the housing apart. Flat head screwdriver, fitted in the crease and you pry around the seam and it'll slide upward.
What you're looking for is the 'gravity gear' ( my name for it, they used a lot of them on old farm equipment which I seem to live inside of). It's dead center below the actuating arm hook from your shift lever, where it meets the center top of the housing. You know, the arm that would bend if you tried to shift any harder.
Sear's contractor used passable gasket but was too cheap to add a little RTV goop to finish the job. So, you won't need a new gasket, I tried not to tear it too much and just laid it back together later, with the new addition of a dollars worth of RTV on the rim.
Point is, if you look at the machine before you take it apart, the thing sits so it creates a 'pool', directly above the internal shift mechanism, that 'low spot' is right above an internal sliding 'gravity gear' which of course, gives all forward, reverse and the rest. Guys broke bolts, bent steel rod arms, snapped handles, you name it. Understandable really, the directions tell a guy to 'adjust, adjust, adjust'.
Okay, you're spreading the housing and you have notes taped everywhere and since it's a $600 plus machine, it's worth every cent, if not just principle alone.
Your goal is the gravity gear and you won't miss it, since it will be what looks like a hopelessly rusted mass. It's not. But it's to be respected, since yes, you can remove it just by lifting it out. But don't. DRAW it. Draw it first and do not turn it upside down, don't turn it around, just be very careful of 'top' versus 'bottom'.
Because it will and can, go back together wrong, it will reassemble upside down if you want it to. If you do that, you will 'bench test' it and it will work fine on the bench. It will shift, wheels will turn, you'll think you have it. You'll put it back together and fire it up, but standing upright now, it will be the same. I'll just say, that at this critical juncture, if top from bottom has gotten away from you, the only way to know is process of elimination, that is, risk it backwards and then tear the whole machine down again.
You'll likely find red grease, rusty looking, just leave it, there's no internal hydraulics anyway and no internal pressure. I mean if you want to dig the grease out and change it fine, I just stirred mine up. It doesn't get heated to burn level, ever and I can't go dumping old still workable never heated grease out of the machines I repair, it's just too costly.
The 'Gravity Gear'.
It's rusted. I used an equal mix of WD 40 and Brake Fluid and some cheap rust loosener fluids you get at bargain stores. Soaked the thing for three days. Tapping, very lightly, several times a day. Guy could just order the gear, I suppose and save this step. After three days, it just decided to fall loose and yes it's real obvious once it starts to move, but it most certainly does. Then, you slide the center pin out and sand and sand and sand. Use light sand paper, be patient and once it's smooth as porcelain, you put it back in. If you aren't a patient type guy, just fork over the cash for a new gear. Because if you don't make it real smooth it will hang up and same problem, these type gears need to be very 'fluid', very smooth, Mine, though visibly pitted, smoothed out just fine and the tiller is brand new, runs and tills great.
here is the links.
Here is a link that might be useful: tinypic tiller pictures.
Craftsman tiller repair transmission
.Transmission repair Craftsman rear tiller 917299020, stuck in neutral
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