Model #917274040 CRAFTSMAN Lawn, Tractor

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when i release the clucth the tractor stops running before i can engage the transmission 917.274040


lawn tractor needs to be jump started every time I want to use it. 917274040 Craftsman Lawn tractor


Thanks for the inquiry and for being a valued member.

I am sorry to hear of the issue you’re having with the tractor starting. I know how frustrating that is.

The solenoid has two large cables mounted to it, one from the battery and one going directly to the starter motor. When you turn the key to the Start position, a trigger voltage is sent down to the solenoid and the solenoid should connect those two large cables to send battery voltage directly to the starter motor. 

There are a couple things to test for. The contacts in the solenoid are large and you can normally hear them make the connection with a click when you turn the key to the Start position. The second test is to see if the solenoid is connecting the two large cables. You can do that by removing the cables and checking for continuity across them with an Ohm Meter or Test Light when you turn the key to the Start position. The last test is to confirm the trigger voltage is reaching the solenoid when you turn the key. There should be one or two smaller wires going to the solenoid as well as the two large cables. One of those wires should have approximately 12 volts on it when the key is turned to the Start position (if you have two wires, the other one will be a ground wire only). 

In this case, if you hear a click, it indicates the solenoid is getting trigger voltage and is trying to connect the cables, so the solenoid itself is likely okay. You can do a quick confirmation if you take a screwdriver with a plastic handle and touch the metal blade across the two mount bolts for the two large cables. Be sure to protect yourself and hold the handle of the screwdriver only since there should be battery voltage present that could spark or quickly create heat. 

When you manually connect, or jump these two cable points the starter should begin to spin. If the key is off the tractor will not start but the starter will still spin (since you are manually powering the starter motor). 

A quick way to check is simply to test for power where the one large cable connects directly to the starter. If you have 12 volts or more there when you turn the key to Start then everything is working up to that point and the starter has an issue. 

If you had low, or no, voltage at the starter when you tested and the solenoid tests okay, then one of the two large cables to the solenoid has failed inside or is not making a clean contact at a mount point. 

I hope this helps and thanks for using We appreciate your business.   

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Jeff Wallace Sr -
Sears Technician
August 04, 2015

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