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  #1  
Old 06-26-2009, 09:48 AM
oldcoupe42 oldcoupe42 is offline
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Craftsmen Tractor steering problem

Me again, I have a Craftsman Tractor (Craftsman Tractor Model 917.258860) that I got for free on Craigslist, but it does not it will not turn fully to the right. It will turn real sharp to the left, but the right turning ratio is about half of what the left is. So far I have changed the Sector Gear and the Drag link with no improvement. Any help would be great

Chet
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Old 06-26-2009, 10:28 AM
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Is there a rod that goes down to the front axle from the steering gear? if so it may be bent enough that it is hitting frame. i have a Montgomery ward garden tractor, and thats what happened to mine. I got a bit to close to a tree and when I tried to get away from it I hit the rod on the tree and bent it up against the frame. I just took it off and did some fancy hammer work on it in the vice.
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Old 06-27-2009, 10:47 AM
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Most lawn tractors turn sharper to the left than to the right. I believe the thinking behind this is that you will be going counter-clockwise around your yard since the grass discharge is on the right.
Every tractor I have had did this.
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Old 06-27-2009, 06:52 PM
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Interesting Ford_Six, because I've owned three riding mowers in the past eight years and all of them turned the same left or right.

What is even more interesting (to me) is the John Deere I just got (free off Craigslist!) is the largest of the three and it has the tightest turning radius!
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Old 06-27-2009, 08:10 PM
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It has been my experience that if there is a difference in turning radius (and sometimes there is-sometimes there isn't) the tractor turns tighter on the closed side of the deck. I always took this to be a designed difference to allow closer trimming with the closed edge of the deck.
I would imagine you could disconnect the gear assembly and reassemble it with the steering more centered.
But, there is nothing wrong with your steering. It was designed as it is.
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Old 06-27-2009, 08:43 PM
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Talk about timing. I bought a used Craftsman 21 HP 46" cut with the exact same problem. It will turn to the left almost zero turn tight but the right I need a half acre to turn around. I havn't really looked at the steering system but the steering wheel is off by 45 degrees.
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Old 06-27-2009, 09:46 PM
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The AYP I just got is the same way. Not as extreme, but it does turn noticeably more to the left than to the right. The Craftsman LT11 and LTV10 I have had also did this.
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Old 06-27-2009, 10:26 PM
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My Dad says the steering problem may be caused by sloppy (loose) wheel bearings


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ford_Six View Post
The AYP I just got is the same way. Not as extreme, but it does turn noticeably more to the left than to the right. The Craftsman LT11 and LTV10 I have had also did this.
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Old 06-28-2009, 11:47 AM
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"It will turn to the left almost zero turn tight but the right I need a half acre to turn around." Mine does this exact same thing, but when I jack up the front end the right side turning radius improves dramatically..

Chet
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Old 06-28-2009, 12:17 PM
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The problem is that you are holding your beer in your right hand while mowing. That makes it more difficult to turn the wheel towards that side. When jacked up, you had obviously set your beer on the "hood" or your toolbox.








Honestly, I have no real answer. The "beer theory" just sounded good!! (And I figured that was a creative way to "tag" the thread for follow up later.)
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Old 06-28-2009, 07:15 PM
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I looked at mine a little bit closer today. Its a Craftman Model 917.272140 20 hp 46" cut. I have the owner's manual showing a parts diagram. It looks like the Steering shaft assembly has a gear on the bottom that syncs up the the sector gear. It appears that the steering gear has jumped a few teeth over so I am running out of sector gear when turning to the right. I have too much sector gear on a left turn and it turns to far to the left.

It looks like the solution (if the gears aren't stripped to bad) is to take of the steering wheel off to access the shaft. Then align the shaft gear with the sector gear so that I have the same amount of steering to left and right. I looked up the parts price and the steering shaft and sector gear are about $20 each.
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Old 06-28-2009, 08:48 PM
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If you are going to buy new parts, look up the part numbers on the sears website for parts then look in your local yellow pages for an AYP parts dealer. You'll likely get a slightly lower price and definitely save big on high shipping costs.
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Old 07-05-2009, 09:24 PM
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one of my craftsman tractors is the same way,not sure of model# but it is 18HP 44" deck
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Old 07-05-2009, 09:46 PM
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Thanks for the advice weadjust, I wonder if I can re align the steering shaft gear by moving the sector gear as I recall that getting to the steering shaft gear may involve removing the entire dash console (big PITA!?)

Chet
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Old 07-05-2009, 10:11 PM
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That will still require adjusting the drag link- If you already replaced that, it's not the issue unless you got the wrong part.
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Old 07-05-2009, 10:11 PM
 
 
 
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