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Donald, Small Engine Technician
Category: Small Engine
Satisfied Customers: 1769
Experience:  I have 25+ years of experience repairing 2 & 4 cycle engines
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Craftsman riding mower is stuck in 1st gear

Customer Question

craftsman riding mower is stuck in 1st gear
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Small Engine
Expert:  Donald replied 7 months ago.

Hello, and thank you for choosing Just Answer. My name is***** will be happy to assist you. Did our problem occur suddenly, or gradually, over time? How old is your mower?

Expert:  Donald replied 7 months ago.

With your engine off, rock your mower back and forth, as you are attempting to shift your lever.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
The mower came to me from my neighbor, it ran fine but wouldn't move, i replaced the drive belt and idler pulley, it ran good through all gears. He had it about a week and brought it back with it stuck in 1st gear. I asked what happened he replied "I ran over an extension cord and it wrapped up in the mower deck stopping the engine", he cleaned it out and said now he can't shift it out of gear. I tried rocking back and fourth and tried to move the lever by hand,but it won't move! The rear wheels move when it's jacked up but won't move when its on the ground
Expert:  Donald replied 7 months ago.

Thanks for this information. Are you saying that the mower will drive in 1st gear? If your wheels turn in opposite directions when off the ground, this is normal. Is this a six speed transmission? These are only troubleshooting questions.

Expert:  Donald replied 7 months ago.

Remove the shift lever from your transmission, then use a wrench to turn your shift shaft. This will confirm whether or not your shifting linkages are binding. If you still cannot shift out of 1st, even when using your wrench, we may have an internal issue.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Did remove the linkage and can't move the shaft
Expert:  Donald replied 7 months ago.

Thank you for checking. There is a very good possibility that there is some rust on the shifting components inside your transmission case, that is preventing movement of your shift shaft.

Expert:  Donald replied 7 months ago.

Many times this is cause by moisture being present inside your transmission cases.

Expert:  Donald replied 7 months ago.

Usually you will find rust on your internal shift collar, and internal brake shaft. Sometimes your shifting shaft will seize inside your upper transmission case.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Okay I will have a friend rock i t while I turn the wrench
Expert:  Donald replied 7 months ago.

Sounds good. I will look forward to knowing your results ...

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