08:43AM | 05/10/05
Member Since: 05/09/05
1 lifetime posts
I have a craftsman 42" 15.5 briggs & stratton riding mower. The motor starts, runs fine, the blades will not engage. Any thoughts?

Jim D

12:22AM | 05/11/05
Member Since: 01/06/01
342 lifetime posts
JMcCreery - hi, I had this problem last year on an old MTD riding mower. It turned out to be the drive belt for the blades had begun to split or peel apart. It'd split down far enough along the inside of the belt that it wouldn't engage properly with the pulley. I originally looked at the belt from the side and didn't see the split - the belt looked fine. I had to look down from the top to see the problem.

You should check all the belts to be safe, since different mowers use different drive systems. The parts manual for mine - even though I bought it direct from MTD - was wrong. It showed one huge belt from the pulley underneath the engine all the way back to the cutting deck pulleys that drive the blades. In actuality, it used one belt from the engine back to a large double pulley in front of the cutting deck; the blades were driven by the second belt that went to the lower part of the double pulley.

The best indication I had that something was amiss was the mower gave me a loud, annoying, unusual sound when I tried to engage the blades. If yours doesn't make an unusual sound, maybe a belt's slipped off or maybe it hasn't split down like mine did. Good luck! Jim D/West Point, VA
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