Great deal on a Craftsman Riding Mower

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Same in this neck of the woods about selling mowers.

Severe drought, grass not growing plus cooler weather and hunting season coming.
People thinking about getting wood, gas and groceries.

Time to get them mowers ready in spare time for next season. (and keep the batteries trickle charged)

It was a great spring and summer for flipping mowers. I've no idea if supply and demand will get to parity next year, and upset my cash boon. The mower I'm sitting on now is getting better and better. Although it has developed an interesting problem. The Mower blades like to run on their own. Lots of slack in the belt, but I guess the belt somehow tightens up after pulling the dump cart for 15 or more minutes. The suspect responsible for this is the tensioner spring. Seems pretty weak, but also seem like it ought to be enough. Oh, well what can you expect from a 20yo Craftsman -- Problems, lots of them, one after another. And that is why they are so cheap...
 

Okie

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See that blade run myself on several of the MTD and craftsman's.
Some of them non-electric PTO mower decks have that blade run issue.
The belt on some gets warmed up in the front spinning PTO pulley and gets sticky and starts turning the blades with the manual PTO set of off AND the blade brakes are also really wimpy on some of them decks and even costly NEW brake pads and springs won't cure the issue permanently.
Just weak and wimpy made designs.
 
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See that blade run myself on several of the MTD and craftsman's.
Some of them non-electric PTO mower decks have that blade run issue.
The belt on some gets warmed up in the front spinning PTO pulley and gets sticky and starts turning the blades with the manual PTO set of off AND the blade brakes are also really wimpy on some of them decks and even costly NEW brake pads and springs won't cure the issue permanently.
Just weak and wimpy made designs.

As I suspected. Thanks for the info.
 
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I pulled the deck, and despite all my cleaning it is still a mess. Come spring time I'll pull it all apart, clean it and fully lube all pivots, and there's quite a few of them. Considering how dirty it was I wouldn't be surprised if some linkages were not fully retracting, i.e. the brakes, and the belt not becoming loose enough. These old mowers are really crying for a complete disassembly, inspection and lubing. Luckily nothing appears to be broken or missing.
 

djg james

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Now that you're talking about end of year, how do you winterize your tools? Not talking about lawnmowers. I usually charge my batteries every one or two months through the winter and also start them up about February.

I've had trouble with little engines like power washers and mini-cultivators. I leave gas in them and recently have been replacing the carbs so I want to store them properly. Run them dry then add Sta-bil and run dry again?

Chainsaws get used throughout the year so it's not a problem with them.
 

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It was a great spring and summer for flipping mowers. I've no idea if supply and demand will get to parity next year, and upset my cash boon. The mower I'm sitting on now is getting better and better. Although it has developed an interesting problem. The Mower blades like to run on their own. Lots of slack in the belt, but I guess the belt somehow tightens up after pulling the dump cart for 15 or more minutes. The suspect responsible for this is the tensioner spring. Seems pretty weak, but also seem like it ought to be enough. Oh, well what can you expect from a 20yo Craftsman -- Problems, lots of them, one after another. And that is why they are so cheap...
I probably missed it, is this a non electric pto deck? Manual cable engagement?
 
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Now that you're talking about end of year, how do you winterize your tools? Not talking about lawnmowers. I usually charge my batteries every one or two months through the winter and also start them up about February.

I've had trouble with little engines like power washers and mini-cultivators. I leave gas in them and recently have been replacing the carbs so I want to store them properly. Run them dry then add Sta-bil and run dry again?

Chainsaws get used throughout the year so it's not a problem with them.
I use the mower a lot. As much as my saws. Pull the dump cart to move splitter rubbish, move split logs to the winter storage area, and of course mowing. I have winterized doing it all and doing nothing special. Makes no difference. Everything starts and runs fine in March.
 

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Current mower is manual engage PTO. I'm not crazy about it.
I recall having to add an extra spring to hold the idler off just a little bit more. (Create more slack in the belt). Otherwise what happens is the engine pulley rubs the belt just so slightly because there isn't enough slack in the belt, the belt warms up and the warmer it gets the more grabby it gets which engages the blades even though technically you are disengaged.
I also recall the brake arms wearing out pretty quickly on those set ups. When new they help hold the belt stationary but as they age they lose their grip on the belt.
There's probably more I'm forgetting that's just off the top of my head.
I'd say there is good reason that system didn't survive very long.
 
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Got it a Craftsman DLS3500. All tires have to be replaced. I'll move tires and wheel from the other mower, so I can move this some place and I can start testing it out and see what is wrong with this mower. Guy I got it from died not to long ago and his adult children are moving all this junk to the dump and trying any way they can to get rid of the rest. Battery is on the charger and I cleaned it up some. Everything is mostly there so hopefully it will run, else my investment of $0.00 might get costly. I'll know more tomorrow...

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Well so far tis good.

I removed the gas tank and the engine cowling and more cleaning. Afterwards I put back the battery and she cranks real hard.

Tomorrow more cleaning, reinstall the parts of the engine I took apart, reinstall the gas tank and see how she runs. If it runs at all I will be stoked. I suspect the carburetor likely needs rebuilding, which is simple enough. But if it runs at all I’ll go ahead and order the new tires. Then all my attention will be on the mower deck, and then put it away till the spring when I will put it up for sale.

There was a serious hornets nest under the panel (hence removal of the gas tank) and a 1/2 an inch of mud, grass and general foul grime. And under the engine cowling, more dirt and oil and grime and a whole lot of stink bugs. This machine was an insect habitat, big time.

I’m glad I had the spare wheels and tires that I temporarily loaned from the other mower project. Lots of pushing this thing around, but allowed me to get the steering loosened up, and the mower deck seems to rise and lower just fine.

All in all a good $0.00 investment, so far...

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If the engine acts like it's struggling to get over the compression stroke, check the valve lash and set to minimum.
The compression release on the single cylinder Intek is on the Intake valve. (and valve lash on the intake valve is critical for the ACR to operate correctly)
 
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If the engine acts like it's struggling to get over the compression stroke, check the valve lash and set to minimum.
The compression release on the single cylinder Intek is on the Intake valve. (and valve lash on the intake valve is critical for the ACR to operate correctly)

Cranks real hard = cranks real good. :yes:
 

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DOM is May 2007. I've seen this color before, but you're right this era mower was largely Army Green.
I also bought a Sears riding mower in 2007 that is that color. It was the 80th-anniversary edition DYS 4500 with the Intek 22 HP motor. Still have it, but only use it a few times a year for picking up leaves with a DR vacuum leaf bagger.
 
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No Joy yet on the mower. Things were delayed cause I had to fix a leak in the gas tank. Yesterday no start, not even a pop. Spark is good, so I took a hard look at the carb, and it is Phooked. Linkages are gummed up bad and difficult to move, return springs have no effect. I removed the float bowl and every orifice looks clogged and everything feels real sticky. New Carburetor is soon to be ordered.

Today I'm going to spray quick start into the intake manifold. I expect it to pop and run a bit. If not I'll have to check the compression and possibly remove the valve cover and maybe the cylinder head.
 

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I had the gummy hit me awhile back on a used mower. I cleaned the carb and installed a in-line fuel filter and the gummy came back within about 4 hours of run time into the filter and also caused the float needle to gummy stuck again when the engine set without use for about 12 hours.

Old molasses in the gas tank from previous owner. I put it in moth balls until I can remove the rear fenders and remove the big tank for a good cleaning.
 
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I had the gummy hit me awhile back on a used mower. I cleaned the carb and installed a in-line fuel filter and the gummy came back within about 4 hours of run time into the filter and also caused the float needle to gummy stuck again when the engine set without use for about 12 hours.

Old molasses in the gas tank from previous owner. I put it in moth balls until I can remove the rear fenders and remove the big tank for a good cleaning.

Cleaning a mostly clean carb makes for careful work. I could tell in an instance that this carb was to much work. A new B&S Carb cost $130 or so, but a clone cost $20. I'll take my chances with the cheaper one. :yes:

I wish there was a scrap yard around. I'd love to find some old tires that still hold air.
 
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It was a nice idea. I took the valve cover off and the valves don’t move. Everything looks fine, but rockers are not moving, nor the push rods. Something deep in the motor is wrong.

1. Remove and fix the engine in the spring
2. New engine
3. Get rid of it
4. Sell it for parts
5. ?
 
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