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 Murraymountain's Lawn Tractor Repairs

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Murraymountain
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PostSubject: Murraymountain's Lawn Tractor Repairs   Murraymountain's Lawn Tractor Repairs Icon_minitimeSat Feb 16, 2019 8:59 pm

Just a thread on my actual lawn tractors. Buying 'em, flipping 'em, and selling 'em.

right now I have two mowers i'm preparing for spring. A craftsman lt1000, and a Lowe's mtd.

The lt1000 has a 17hp B&S turbo cooled, a hydrostatic transmission, and a 42" cut.

I bought the Craftsman in early July for $23 along with a free murray (I will post picures). It has fought me every time i tried to work on it. According to the owner all it needed was a flywheel and a spindle. Then when I got it it just started breaking something whenever I tried to fix something. It took me one month to get the flywheel off. Now it's the 1st of october and finally, it started running. 3 days later it's just a sputterin' and backfiring like it used to, so i just quit on it. Now, its late January and I woke up one morning and decided it's not going to defeat me. So, after being a parts mower for three months, it's back up to the shop, back to tearing it down, and back to the same ol' battle of man vs. machine. Turns out it was a sheared flywheel key. Now that it runs and drives for more than three days, it decides to start knocking really bad Murraymountain's Lawn Tractor Repairs 2429134702 and it's not the connecting rod. it's the valve system. And if that's not enough I already have $150 in it and counting.

Here's a list of what has to be done:

belt and idler pulleys for the deck
missing a headlight
brakes seem to be messed up
needs front tires
deck engagement is totally shot
new gas tank
the floor board keeps coming off


if I go through with the reviving of the Craftsman I should sell it for $300-$350. So tell me what you think, is it worth fixing or is it totally junk?

the lowes mtd has a 14.5 hp B&S, FNR transmission, and a 42" cut.

So the lowes appeared to be junk. But, it was not. the other day i ran out of stuff to do on the Craftsman and murray mud mower, so i started working on the lowes. Somebody had messed with all of the electricals, so I had to put a battery straight to the starter to start it. And besides putting some wheels on it, all it needed was an oil change, a severe carburetor cleaning and some adjustments to the drive system, and now it runs and drives as long as you don't run it on tires that are as flat as a pancake and remember to put gas in it. I shouldn't have to put any more than $100 in it and still turn out a nice profit.
Here is what still has to be done to it:

electricals
non-flat front tires
new seat
fix steering (i'll post some pics in the future)
battery and holder
body work
throttle cable
drive system/brake troubles
sharpen blades
and a good good washin'

So tell me what y'all think about the craftsmans knocking. And also i'd love to hear some good deals (or not so good deals) you guys got in the past, so post away, this should be interesting. By the way if anybody knows how to post pics from a different device, that would be very helpful. All my pics are on a phone and I can't figure out how to get them from there to here. So I would greatly appreciate it if someone would tell me how to do that.


Last edited by Murraymountain on Sat Jun 15, 2019 9:13 pm; edited 3 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: Murraymountain's Lawn Tractor Repairs   Murraymountain's Lawn Tractor Repairs Icon_minitimeSat Feb 16, 2019 9:15 pm

Never mind. i figured out how to do it. Here's all the pictures:

Murraymountain's Lawn Tractor Repairs 20190217
Murraymountain's Lawn Tractor Repairs 20190218
Murraymountain's Lawn Tractor Repairs 20190219
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PostSubject: Re: Murraymountain's Lawn Tractor Repairs   Murraymountain's Lawn Tractor Repairs Icon_minitimeSat Feb 16, 2019 9:21 pm

Here's the craftsmans:

Murraymountain's Lawn Tractor Repairs 20190220
Murraymountain's Lawn Tractor Repairs 20190221
Murraymountain's Lawn Tractor Repairs 20190222
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PostSubject: Re: Murraymountain's Lawn Tractor Repairs   Murraymountain's Lawn Tractor Repairs Icon_minitimeFri Feb 22, 2019 9:20 pm

Me and a buddy buy mowers and fix them up for resale over the winter it is a good way to make extra money and from experience Craftsmans sale well and you should be able to get 300 to 350 out of that one if you get it lined out. if the knock is from the valves then they may just need adjusted. But to get top dollar you need to make sure it is right and impress your buyer by how clean it is. we always pressure wash and clean them from every angle and grind down the under side of the deck and repaint. this really impresses people and usually gets the sale. The lowes would be in the 200 to 250 range if in good working order cleaned and the deck fixed up. always be on the lookout for the good deals on craigslist and facebook market place, buy the extra cheap ones if nothing more than extra parts.Murraymountain's Lawn Tractor Repairs 20180511
Murraymountain's Lawn Tractor Repairs 20181110it's always nice to have a surplus of good used parts at your disposal
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PostSubject: Re: Murraymountain's Lawn Tractor Repairs   Murraymountain's Lawn Tractor Repairs Icon_minitimeSun Feb 24, 2019 9:09 am

Yea I sold a LT1000 last year for 350, that thing was very nice but the guy who bought it put a quart of oil after it was already topped off and blew it up within the first 10 minutes of use. Poor guy couldn't even figure out how to turn it off before I sold it... what's this world coming to.

Murraymountain's Lawn Tractor Repairs P1080610

I sell them throughout the spring and summer and then when mowing season comes to an end I start working on mud mowers but this year I got that murray in the build off so it looks like I'll be doing both this mowing season. Better make some good money this year lol. I only wish I had parts like that, I have to drive 20 miles every time I need parts like gas tanks, floor boards, tires, seats, stuff like that.

So on the craftsman I've already adjusted the valves several times. The knock is deep within the valve system near the camshaft. Gonna ask some pros if it's worth fixing. But the problem here is that I was using
it as a parts mower cause I just couldn't get to runnin' 'til I some told me what it was, so were I made up time and money by taking parts off of it I lost it here. Oh and the craftsman is definitely in need of some  pressurewashment lol.
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PostSubject: Re: Murraymountain's Lawn Tractor Repairs   Murraymountain's Lawn Tractor Repairs Icon_minitimeFri Mar 08, 2019 7:47 pm

Quick update...

The craftsman's floorboards are fixed (bolted down) and the lowes has a new throttle cable.
I've asked one pro about the craftsman and he said it's probably not worth fixing. So just to be sure, I'll ask a couple more.

I'm sorry about not posting that steering pics for the lowes. I completely forgot about it.

Murraymountain's Lawn Tractor Repairs P1100412

So right now I'm working on the electrical system...

Murraymountain's Lawn Tractor Repairs P1100413

and all I've got is power getting past the fuse box. I'm not sure but I think the fuse wire runs to all the safety switches and then to the ignition. So obviously one of those are bad. I'm going to try to test those wires tomorrow and figure out what exactly is failing. Hopefully it's a switch.

So tell me what you guys think. What is failing?...
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PostSubject: Re: Murraymountain's Lawn Tractor Repairs   Murraymountain's Lawn Tractor Repairs Icon_minitimeTue Mar 12, 2019 7:43 am

Well guys, the lowes is up and running! Turns out it was a bad fuse box.

Murraymountain's Lawn Tractor Repairs P1100414

The font axle definitely needs to be replaced. The camber is horrible...


Murraymountain's Lawn Tractor Repairs P1100415

The blades have been sharpened and I washed it too.
also did a few minor things here and there.
Wheels are temporary... Sad
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PostSubject: Re: Murraymountain's Lawn Tractor Repairs   Murraymountain's Lawn Tractor Repairs Icon_minitimeTue Mar 12, 2019 12:50 pm

Nice job, never saw one of those lowes models but allot of hardware stores had their names on the tractors... They are made by MTD? Older FNR trans?

I got rid of a Hechinger tractor not too long ago sold it to a kid who had never heard of Hechinger channel or rickel hardware stores.

Anyway good on your for making the effort on those machines, I hate having electrical problems with the buy and sell mowers. I only mess with engines to a certain point & can swap a running engine in 2-3hrs as opposed to wasting weeks tearing it down, but time is something I just don't have.

Especially on a cheap tractor like a craftsman or mtd, they are not worth much effort to me.  A simplicity or something nicer Ill go the extra mile to get working. You probably saw my buy sell thread....
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PostSubject: Re: Murraymountain's Lawn Tractor Repairs   Murraymountain's Lawn Tractor Repairs Icon_minitimeTue Mar 12, 2019 9:24 pm

Yes, made by MTD and FNR trans. That thing is faster in R than in F. Yea many hardware stores have their brand name on several models of tractors. And yes, I saw that thread. Pretty interesting...

Electrical problems are the WORST!

Since mowing season is right here The lowes is my main project, than the Mountain Murray, and the craftsman is down and out for now. The knock in the valves has gotten so bad i'm too afraid to start it. So i've set it aside until the lowes is for sale or sold. I just need to get over to that junkyard to get those bigger parts like the axle and the seat.
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PostSubject: Re: Murraymountain's Lawn Tractor Repairs   Murraymountain's Lawn Tractor Repairs Icon_minitimeTue Mar 12, 2019 10:02 pm

Keep at it! looks like you're movin right along, it'll all be worth it when you sell it.
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PostSubject: Re: Murraymountain's Lawn Tractor Repairs   Murraymountain's Lawn Tractor Repairs Icon_minitimeTue Mar 12, 2019 10:57 pm

Sure will! Hopefully the rest of the season will go like this. And the best part is that I got $0 in it, but that'll all change when I hit the junkyard lol.
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PostSubject: Re: Murraymountain's Lawn Tractor Repairs   Murraymountain's Lawn Tractor Repairs Icon_minitimeTue Mar 19, 2019 8:05 pm

Alright guys, did a little to the Lowes today...

Murraymountain's Lawn Tractor Repairs P1100511

It will cut grass, but it it shakes and vibrates like an earthquake you sit on. A stuck tensioner pulley broke free so now it does not go uphill, the deck doesn't stop all the way after you disengage it, and still need tires, axle, battery, and definitely a seat that's not bungee corded down.



Still have 0 in it Danceparty
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PostSubject: Re: Murraymountain's Lawn Tractor Repairs   Murraymountain's Lawn Tractor Repairs Icon_minitimeThu Apr 04, 2019 1:49 pm

I've sold about a dozen mowers I've fixed up. Don't do it anymore, no time. Usually bought for 50 and under, and sold for 2-300. New batterys, sometimes belts or seats, sharpen and level blades, paint sometimes, etc. Always get them complete, including hood, you don't want to spend money on parts if you don't have to.

I rarely buy mowers now, just an engine or trans once in a while for spares. I'll buy one if it has an opposed briggs and 820 peerless
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PostSubject: Re: Murraymountain's Lawn Tractor Repairs   Murraymountain's Lawn Tractor Repairs Icon_minitimeThu Apr 04, 2019 7:39 pm

That's pretty much what I do when I have time. As long as I can make a good $100 then I'll normally do whatever I have to to get them looking nice and ready for the spring. I'm really trying to get over to the junkyard now because I know he's back for the year.
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PostSubject: Re: Murraymountain's Lawn Tractor Repairs   Murraymountain's Lawn Tractor Repairs Icon_minitimeThu Apr 04, 2019 8:43 pm

So I wasn't planning on an update but my brothers murray blew a push rod and he took one outta the MM a few days ago to keep his going. And I needed it today so I could run the MM, so I just stole it outta the craps-man (BTW that's what I've always called it but for some reason the admins always change it craftsman). Remember how I said the knock was in the valves, well when I pulled the exhaust rod it was severely worn and almost ready to bust. The muffler is fine so if I do a valve system rebuild do you think that will fix the knock?
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PostSubject: Re: Murraymountain's Lawn Tractor Repairs   Murraymountain's Lawn Tractor Repairs Icon_minitimeSat Apr 06, 2019 9:31 pm

Well guys, I got impatient today and decided to pull the craps-man' motor apart and see what the heck is going on in there. Here's some pics of what I found, does anything show a red flag?...

Murraymountain's Lawn Tractor Repairs P1100611
Murraymountain's Lawn Tractor Repairs P1100612
Murraymountain's Lawn Tractor Repairs P1100613
Murraymountain's Lawn Tractor Repairs P1100614
Murraymountain's Lawn Tractor Repairs P1100616
Murraymountain's Lawn Tractor Repairs P1100615

I thought the connecting rod looked a little worn and it seemed to have some play in it. One of you told me that if the rod was worn then the crankshaft probably needs to be replaced too. If this is the case i'm just gonna run it 'til it blows. Please let me know if anything stands out to indicate the problem.
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PostSubject: Re: Murraymountain's Lawn Tractor Repairs   Murraymountain's Lawn Tractor Repairs Icon_minitimeSat Apr 06, 2019 9:49 pm

Well the rod bearing surfaces are definitely scored, so it might be no good. However I don't see any scoring or aluminum transfer on the rod journal. The crank doesn't neccessarily have to be replaced if the journal is worn, it can be turned down at a machine shop.

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PostSubject: Re: Murraymountain's Lawn Tractor Repairs   Murraymountain's Lawn Tractor Repairs Icon_minitimeSun Apr 07, 2019 10:32 am

Without spending too much money you could check your crank journal for roundness and measure it to see if its within spec with a caliper but preferably micrometers if you have access to them. If it checks out good then there's no reason to run it until it blows just get another connecting rod. If it's way out of spec, and you don't have money to take it to a machine shop then yeah you might as well have fun with it and run it until it blows.
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PostSubject: Re: Murraymountain's Lawn Tractor Repairs   Murraymountain's Lawn Tractor Repairs Icon_minitimeSun Apr 07, 2019 2:26 pm

Well, I meant if BOTH needed to be replaced, I'd run it 'til it blows. The crank looked pretty good, but I can't take it out until I get the flywheel off and boy is that a job! I'll try to get it checked, but I have way too much in it to be dropping $35-$50 in it at once. I need to make at least $75. I have $150 in it and I'll be lucky to get $350 for it IF I ever finish it.

So y'all are saying a bad rod is a definite yes?
A used rod probably wouldn't be a good idea would it?
How long can the internal parts sit in a garage without rusting? (sorry for all the questions)
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PostSubject: Re: Murraymountain's Lawn Tractor Repairs   Murraymountain's Lawn Tractor Repairs Icon_minitimeSun Apr 07, 2019 9:28 pm

Did some more to the lowes today...

Murraymountain's Lawn Tractor Repairs P1100617

The whole headlight system has been messed with. Switch, power point, sockets, and lights. I ended up forcing some old murray sockets in and put some LEDs I had laying around in it.

Also pulled the axle today. 30 years of use has caused this...

Murraymountain's Lawn Tractor Repairs P1100618

Totally destroyed. Probably some bad engineering on MTD's part. Anyway I might end up trying some redneck fix on it. Hopefully not, but we'll see.

Nothing new for the craps-man.
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PostSubject: Re: Murraymountain's Lawn Tractor Repairs   Murraymountain's Lawn Tractor Repairs Icon_minitimeWed Apr 10, 2019 9:22 pm

We finally picked up that parts mower today and we got a FREE Husqvarna! This thing is a beast. But, (there's always a but) the wiring is messed up, starter doesn't seem to work, and fuel pump is missing. Has a hydrostatic tranny and a 48" cut. Just for fun, what do you think is under the hood?

Murraymountain's Lawn Tractor Repairs P1100619






We finally went to the junkyard and got some parts! But all I could get for the lowes was the axle, so I've been messing around with that today. Also got the headlight and gas tank for the craps-man, but forgot to get the brake spring Crying or Very sad figures. I'm probably gonna buy a new rod for it too.

Buy chance could a beat up deck drive pulley cause serious shaking when mowing?
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PostSubject: Re: Murraymountain's Lawn Tractor Repairs   Murraymountain's Lawn Tractor Repairs Icon_minitimeThu Apr 11, 2019 9:25 am

@Murraymountain wrote:
We finally picked up that parts mower today and we got a FREE Husqvarna! This thing is a beast. But, (there's always a but) the wiring is messed up, starter doesn't seem to work, and fuel pump is missing. Has a hydrostatic tranny and a 48" cut. Just for fun, what do you think is under the hood?

Murraymountain's Lawn Tractor Repairs P1100619






We finally went to the junkyard and got some parts! But all I could get for the lowes was the axle, so I've been messing around with that today. Also got the headlight and gas tank for the craps-man, but forgot to get the brake spring Crying or Very sad figures. I'm probably gonna buy a new rod for it too.

Buy chance could a beat up deck drive pulley cause serious shaking when mowing?


I am assuming there is a v-twin under the hood? 16-18hp?

out of balance/loose blade, missing brackets on the deck could cause shaking. A bad spindle, but if it is just a idler pulley on the deck i dont think it would cause the deck to shake.
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PostSubject: Re: Murraymountain's Lawn Tractor Repairs   Murraymountain's Lawn Tractor Repairs Icon_minitimeThu Apr 11, 2019 9:41 am

Usually a bent/broken blade causes that for me.
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PostSubject: Re: Murraymountain's Lawn Tractor Repairs   Murraymountain's Lawn Tractor Repairs Icon_minitimeThu Apr 11, 2019 10:41 am

@mrshaft696 wrote:
I am assuming there is a v-twin under the hood? 16-18hp?

Yes. No. It's kind of a trick question. It had a motor swap a while back, and it now has a briggs 21HP V-twin.


The only pulleys on the deck are the spindle pulleys. MTD made it so that no tensioner pulleys were required. This seems to be a pretty common problem with these things so I'm beginning to think it could be something like a spindle. What I meant was the double drive pulley that us mud mower guys like to flip around was bent on the deck side so it now has its high points and low points. I'll take a pic later. Also a I had a blade bolt break when I took them off so now that bolt is a little bigger than it used to be, so could that cause vibration?
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PostSubject: Re: Murraymountain's Lawn Tractor Repairs   Murraymountain's Lawn Tractor Repairs Icon_minitimeSat Apr 13, 2019 7:39 pm

Okay, the lowes is almost on the final stretch!

New list:

Tires
Fix deck vibration
New front drive belt
Fix the reason why the old one shreded
Maybe paint
Fix deck brakes

Here's what I've done to it this week...

I just got tired of needing a special motorcycle battery for a riding lawn mower, so I "made some room" with the sawzall. Also I really need to get this project done and outta the way, so the MM has kindly donated it's seat, and battery holder to decrease the amount of money spent on this project...

Murraymountain's Lawn Tractor Repairs P1100711
Murraymountain's Lawn Tractor Repairs P1100712
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The new bungee cord free seat (drilled about 10,000 holes)...

Murraymountain's Lawn Tractor Repairs P1100713

And BRAND NEW tires from Harbor Freight are on the way (hopefully they fit)! Total amount of money spent, $37. I also fixed the brakes that I never told anyone about, and it is now working mint. I'm pretty sure the vibration from the deck is the engine pulley. I straightened it a little and tried it again the other day and it seemed better, at least enough that I'd be comfortable with cutting grass with it. The reason for paint is that the surface rust on the body is having no mercy on the original paint, and it's most likely going to run buyers off. Can't have that!

As for the husky, we found out the starter is good and got it to run (still needs fuel pump), but, when we rolled it down our hill to the "mower parking garage", I did not pull the pressure release pin on the hydro and it had no resistance at 20MPH without brakes and a steep drop in front of me. Belt was off, but no matter what, if I don't pull the pin on any of our hydros, they ain't goin' nowhere. So right now I'm assuming the hydro is dead.
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