Model #917258534 CRAFTSMAN Lawn, Tractor

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Troubleshooting Question 917.258534


Thank You for choosing Sears and being a valued member. It is unfortunate to hear that you are having issues with your lawn tractor and I do understand your frustration. Glad to help out. I'm looking at your model number 917.258534 and I recommend checking the engine for spark first. To check for spark remove the spark plug. Then connect the spark plug to the spark plug wire. Now you will need to hold the base of the spark plug to a clean metal surface with insulated pliers. Once you have the spark plug in position have a helper turn the engine over. You should see a blue spark from the spark plug. If you do not have spark, remove the kill wire from the module. Then check for spark again. If there is no spark, the module is defective. It can also be an issue with the fuel or the compression. The first thing I would do is remove the fuel filter and pour a few teaspoons for fuel into the throat of the carburetor. Then try to start the engine. If the engine starts and stalls the problem is in the fuel supply or carburetor. Usually the carburetor needs to be cleaned because it has been sitting. Once the carburetor is cleaned, fill the tank with fresh fuel and check the operation. If the engine does not try to start with pouring gas into the carburetor the problem could be with compression. To check the compression you need to remove the spark plug. Then tuck the spark plug wire out of the way. Put your finger over the spark plug hole to seal it. The compression should blow past your finger. If it does not the engine has an internal problem. I trust this information will help you.


Thank you for choosing Sears

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Sherman_G_Wallace -
Sears Technician
January 22, 2015

mandrel assembly 917258534 Craftsman Tractor


Thanks for the inquiry and for using

The mandrels can be a little tricky to put back together, hopefully I can shed some light on it for you. There is no need to pack the bearing with grease since they are sealed bearings, but if you wanted to put a little dab of grease around the seat for the top bearing to slide in easier, it wouldn't hurt anything.

Here is how to install the mandrel shaft and bearings into the housing:

Set the top bearing into its seat on top of the housing. If the bearing doesn't want to sit right down into its seat, you can tap it (do not beat it into place) with a hammer to get it into place. 

Then slide the shaft (and lower bearing) into place. Here, it gets a little tricky because nothing wants to stay in place and if you don't have an assistant with you it can be a bit trying (to say the least). When you get the shaft into place go ahead and put the blade onto the shaft. Have your assistant hold the blade (remember to watch sharp edges) and push up so everything is in place. 

Then put the washer on the top end of the shaft and put the pulley on to of that. After that go ahead and put the nut on the shaft. Screw it down and make sure you get it tight. When you tighten the nut, it will pull the bottom mandrel shaft bearing into the housing.

Remember how hard it was to get that nut to break loose; it needs to be on the shaft tight. If it's not tight enough the pulley will work loose and you will end up having to do all this again because the splines on the pulley and shaft will get damaged. I just can't say enough about that nut being tight. 

Things to know:

Mandrel Nut: 75 foot pounds torque

Blade bolt: 27-35 foot pounds torque

Mandrel housing mounting holes are not threaded. The bolts are self-tapping, you can use the bolt to tap them before you mount the housing. 

Let me know if you have any further questions and thanks for using 

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Jeff Wallace Sr -
Sears Technician
October 12, 2013

my craftman riding mowor is making a loud rattleing noise


The rattling noise can be very frustrating. I did some research on your model number but was not able to find a solution. Your expert will be able to help answer your question. It may take two business days for your expert to reply. If you would like to look into Sears doing the repair here is a link for Sears Home Services. I do hope that everything works out on the Craftsman riding mower.

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Marc -
May 29, 2013

Thank you for your question and I understand your concern.

Based on your symptom and details, I suspect the stationary idler pulley or the clutching idler pulley has bad bearings and will need to be replaced.

While the motion belt is loose (clutch/brake pushed), rotate the two idler pulleys manually and you may be able to determine which one feels rough and making the noise.   

I added a link to the Owner's Manual for model 917.258534 which will identify the two idler pulleys on page 23. You can look up and order parts for your Craftsman mower model 914.258534 at Searspartsdirect.

Check the things I have covered here and if I may be of further assistance as more details become available, please reply to this post.

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Joey S -
Sears Technician
June 01, 2013
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