Small Engine Troubleshooting Problems? Ask a Mechanic Now.
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It sounds like you have a couple of brackets that have rusted and stuck in place. On the side of the transmission housing you will find the brake assembly, just make certain the it is totally releasing this is the most common reason that the brakes will stick or hang is that the linkage is not free or not returning to the off position as it should. The deck engage is normally the idler bracket on the mower deck that is sticking which creates a hard engagement if you can even get it engaged and a lot of times it will cause the mower deck to not disengage properly as well. I would start by checking both of those and lubricating as needed.