Lawn Tractor Fix’n

April 14 2016

As a part of my new business I’m doing Lawn tractor repairs & servicing.   It’s full on spring now so I had to kick the Sidekick out of the shop and make some money.  The photo above is from back in 2008 when I still had quite the collection.  The second one from the right is my 2003 Craftsman DLT3000.  I bought it new when we signed the papers for this home.  Knowing I would have a lot of grass to cut.  I chose that tractor carefully for it’s features.   The bagging system on it came along in 2006.  And started my whole fixing up tractors thing.  Because to get the bagger for $100 I had to take the broken tractor that it was attached to.  Dave and I fixed that tractor and sold it for $300.  That started the ball rolling.

This was the first… and then there was a steady parade of mowers..  too many to count that went through the shop.

Well a few years back I sold off or gave away most of the collection of un-finished ones..  I still have two.  And as you can see from my other posts I’m into lots of different stuff now.  but the tractors are back.. One good one…  I retired the 2003 Craftsman back in 2010.. and passed it on to my Brother.   He used it till the deck was not working anymore..  and he has now passed it back.  I had to replace a bunch of parts on the deck and service the motor.. and it’s back in action.

Here it is with a new seat and all fixed up..  I removed the snow blade mount from the front..  and cleaned it up..  cuts grass like new.  I really love this tractor ..  I chose it for the features..  like foot pedal hydrostatic drive. deluxe deck with all the rollers for anti-scalping.  22 hp V-twin motor.  Gets the job done without even slowing down.  They don’t make them as good as this one anymore.

Currently in the shop is a very sad 2007 Craftsman YT 4500.   I’m restoring it for a customer.  Not near as durable as the 2003 DLT.  This one was used and abused


Check out the seat.. and the Flintstone bumper..  oh what a mess.  At first I passed this by.. cause they wanted too much for it.  But then they came back to earth and I bought it for the right price.   The 21 hp V-Twin runs good.. so there’s a big thing.   and the hydrostatic drive is good too..  so the bones are good..  The deck is hurting for a rebuild.  So I’ve got new arbors, a belt and blades.   The weak part of these years was the lower dash tower.  It holds the steering up.. and the thin metal is not good for that stress.  I’ve fixed these before so I know what to do.


The only way to fix these  Tractors good is to take it apart.  It’s easier to clean and replace the drive belt, adjust the brake,  service the transmission…  etc..  But I leave the motor on.. no need to go that far.


Well it’s looking a bit different now.  A bit of polish on the body,  and a clean motor.  As I put things back..  I’m fixing the boo boo’s.  One of those is the mounting holes on the lower dash cowl.


well they are just not there any more.. gone.  and someone’s solution was to use big washers!  Like I said before this is a weakness of these newer tractors.  I have fixed this before.


And there you go.. new and improved.  Wider flange = more stable.  Thicker metal = less chance of breaking.   This is half of what it takes to fix the loosy goosy steering.  The other part is….


This plate that mounts under the dash.  It has a bushing to hold the steering shaft ..  a PLASTIC  bushing  ( seen on the left) .  Ya that’ll work good !  for a few years if your lucky.  I made up this METAL bushing & plate to hold it.  It’s 3 ” long and can be greased.  Here’s a video explaining.

It’s all back together now..  The steering turned out very sturdy..

Lawn tractor

I even got the new rubber foot pads on..   The seat is not finished , can’t decide on which cover..  And of coarse the deck is still a work in progress..

Craftsman YS4500

But it’s running great..  and I took it for a spin around the yard.. stopping for a photo…  So while I work magic on the mower deck..  I put out the call for broken lawn tractors..  and got lot’s of response. Too much.. so I had to pick and choose.  This is what I now have for free.

  • A mid 2000’s Craftsman 15 hp Hydrostatic , 42 ”  ( good cond.)
  • A 42 ” deck..  same as the above tractor..  ( good cond. )
  • A bagging setup for the Craftsman.
  • A 2004 Craftsman Mid Engine rider 13 hp Automatic, 30 ” cut..  Rear dump bagger.. ( Motor seized. )
  • A 6 hp Honda push mower ..  ( broken drive)  GOOD MOTOR.

And that’s enough..  The two Craftsman can be restored..

Craftsman mid engine mower

This is the mid engine mower. Deck is off.. but it’s a single blade 30″.  It’s a cool design too.  Just pull the lever to dump the grass.. no need to get off the mower..  Needs a motor transplant and the tires resealed.. then it’s good to go.


Here’s the other Craftsman . this is also hydrostatic.  And has a good deck..   Not sure what it will need.

2007 Craftsman

Here’s the finished 2007 Craftsman , Cuts great , runs great..  ready for it’s new home.

2019:   Not doing this anymore.