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Repair information and troubleshooting for Craftsman-brand riding lawnmowers.

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Lawn mower won't move forward or backward, running out of options

Hey everyone,

I have a Craftsman LTS 1500 I’m trying to fix.

It came with the house my friend bought, wasn’t running (except for a jump start) and I was in the mood for a little project anyway.

So I got the engine to run, replaced the battery, replaced the spark plug, did an oil change and added fresh fuel.

It ran for a little bit and after taking it for a spin, nearing the end of mowing the lawn it stopped moving.

The engine still runs and it fires up great, however it won’t move when I put it in gear, and the engine dies whenever I release the clutch.


My first instinct was the drive belt, it looked a little worn so I replaced it.. nothing. After that I figured it could be the pulley, which also looked worn and too smooth to provide any grip for the belt and so I replaced that too.. again nothing.

Couldn’t find anything on YouTube on this issue so figured I’d try here.

I’m not that experienced with engines, but I’m willing to learn, and this little lawnmower seemed like a good place to start.

This is about the extent of my knowledge, so I’d really appreciate any advice.

Thanks a lot!

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Check the blades on the bottom and check for any clots…grass clots pathways and can stop the blades… I also might be the rotary chains on the inside….(gear chains..)

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You could also try pushing it... :) :)

I cleared all the blades, and the blades are still currently off the tractor. It should just move without the blades on right? Didn't check the gear chains, and not sure how I would do that?

@communist_geek haha, yeah.. not gonna happen lol

you would need to take of the blades and then get a bright light. There are some bolts holding the protector on... take them off.... the chain should be right there....

Craftsman 54 inch mower deck belt diagram - Robin Hood Rx

copy and paste this into your browser...

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If your engine dies when releasing clutch you have a safety witch that is either going bad or is bad. Test switches and see where that gets you. But for it not to move forward or backeards you should lookin to your transmission

Update (03/18/2021)

So does it have a hydrostatic transmission?? If so change the fluid. And not with regular tranny fluid. Has to be hydrostatic fluid. Let me know please.

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Let.me.kkow.if you need more assistance

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I have the same mower. Mines did that too so I took it to the shop. The mower is overheating. Its is black hard plastic thing up under the back of the mower. See my mower would run great and then all of a sudden stop. Wouldn’t go forward or backwards. Shut it off for 5 minutes and the mower goes right back to cutting and then it’ll happen again. Your mower is just overheating the engine

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My husband is a small engine repair man he wants to know if it rolls when you push it if it does check where your release arm is to see if its releasing like it should

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Safety switch on clutch mafunction

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Sounds to me like the valves are out of adjustment or the coils are bad, try wrapping the plug wires with black electric tape, if it runs it will last a bit

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