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JON, Small Engine Technician
Category: Small Engine
Satisfied Customers: 1394
Experience:  Certified Small Engine Technician
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My Deere 17/42 mower will not engage the transmission, I

Customer Question

my John Deere 17/42 mower will not engage the transmission
JA: What's the make and model of the mower? And can you guesstimate how old it is?
Customer: I recently replaced the deck spindles and the starter soloniod. It now starts and the blades engage, bot wont go into any gear
JA: Do you plan on doing the work yourself?
Customer: 1998 Scotts 17/42, but the tag inside says John Deere gsx1742
JA: Anything else we should know to help you best?
Customer: I disconnected the belt tensioner and two of the deck fasteners when replacing the spindles, but I put them back
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Small Engine
Expert:  JON replied 1 year ago.

check that the relief valve is in proper position. Check that the drive belt did not get off an idler pulley or drive pulley? Any driving issues before you done the above mentioned work?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No driving issues, it went forward and reverse just fine in all 5 gears
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Where is the relief valve?
Expert:  JON replied 1 year ago.

nvm, I was thinking you had hydrostat transmission. All belts on all pulleys still. I am not sure why it would not drive now, if nothing was done to drive system, is why I ask these questions

Expert:  JON replied 1 year ago.

have you removed the rear wheels for anything also when doing other work

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No, I started to remove the left rear wheel, but it was very stubborn and would not go any further than flush with the axle so I worked around it.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I had also bypassed the seat continuity switch, the clutch switch and the reverse switch when I was troubleshooting the issue of not turning over, but I put them all back.
Expert:  JON replied 1 year ago.

the wheel has a keyway that may have come loose or fallen out. if it is not in place, wheels will not go. can you push machine? can u push in gear?

Expert:  JON replied 1 year ago.

raise back of machine up and turn wheel(s). do both wheels turn?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Sorry for the delay, but I get up @ 4:00 AM and don't get home until 5:30 PM.
I put a lift on the rear end and turned the right wheel (as you are sitting in the seat, left if you are facing the from of the mower). In neutral, the right wheel spins forward, the left wheel spins backwards. Same thing if it is in gear, no difference at all.
Expert:  JON replied 1 year ago.

okay, so keyways are in and working. Can you see the gear shift arm on transmission move when you move the gear shifter?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I never took the wheel off, but it slid off on the spindle about an inch. Is it possible that the key is not in far enough?
Yes, I can see the shift arm and it is moving
Expert:  JON replied 1 year ago.
it is possible. It's worth checking
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
When the rear is raised, in-gear, one wheel turn one way and the other turns the opposite way. This then, could not be the axle key right? We need to keep looking. What else do you have?