Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Top 10 Reasons A Rear Engine Rider Won't Pull

  1. The Clutch Disc Needs Adjusting Or Replacing. This is the rubber coated wheel in the center near the ground when you look at the mower with it standing on its end. It runs at a 90 degree angle to a big silver platter that is attached to the engine crankshaft. That's what makes a Snapper mower have motion. If the rubber wheel doesn't make good contact with the silver platter the pulling ceases. If the rubber is torn off or missing ... Well, you know it needs replacing. You should also try to figure out what tore off the rubber. Is it smoothly worn? That's a sign of a natural death... Is it gouged out with hunks of rubber missing? That's a sign of a loose clutch cable adjustment. A"floppy" clutch pedal will confirm this problem and it is the most common problem. If the clutch is "pushed in " and the cable is loose it will not pivot the yoke enough to allow travel of the clutch across the parking brake rod (part of the yoke) and rubber can be torn away. There are two kinds of clutches available. Newer style clutches called "smooth start" have been used since about 1983 and they have a spring adjustment that allows you to make the tension greater on the clutch wheel. This would be done by stretching the spring out longer and hooking it in another hole. If you run a newer styled clutch that is slipping until the inner lining is glazed and shiny though you might as well replace it. It'll never pull right again until you do. Make sure you buy the right one. The difference is the lining on the inside. Older ones that were not "smooth start" didn't have it and those mowers could jerk a knot in your neck and climb a tree. Buy a new little cardboard ring thing too. It'll buy you some time on replacing the center hub.
  2. The Center Hub Of The Clutch Wheel May Need To Be Replaced if the "keyway" is broken out or if the outer flange ring wears off.
  3. The Yoke Could Be Worn Out causing there to not be enough tension on the clutch to cause good motion in the gears that are most frequently used. The yoke is the red bracket underneath the rear axle near the ground. It pivots when you push in the clutch and the "tail -fin" of the rubber clutch wheel's center gearbox runs through a channel cut into it.
  4. The Yoke Spring Broke. This is the spring that you can hook into different holes to achieve tighter yoke tension on the clutch. It causes the clutch to be tight against the silver platter.
  5. The Axle Bolt Broke. This is what holds the wheel hub to the axle. There's one on each back wheel and you can't see it them without removing the wheel. You can however cut a hole in your hubcap and get someone to look and see if your axle turns inside the wheel hub when you put it in first gear or... You can take your wheel off and look. Warning... wheel hub "lug" bolts tend to loosen up by themselves after being removed once... use some locktite or paint on the threads when you put them back in. They'll stay put!
  6. Something Is Really Wrong Inside The Transmission. This is usually preceded by a grinding noise or poping sound and isn't the end of the world in a Snapper. Most can be repaired and really done right for around $150 - $200. in parts. It isn't too hard for an amateur to do either. A FREE guide of how to rebuild one is available at the Snapper web site which is It is under "publications". Feel free to post questions about this and I will try to answer them. I will make a future posting on how to rebuild a rider transmission.

UH-Oh. I only thought of six reasons. Well, maybe I'll think of more later...........


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At 2:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

what if you have a lot of slack in the clutch cable ..this is the old style snapper without the spring ..i used all the spacers under the pedal and still have a lot of slack in the cable ,and the pedal will not activate the yoke enough for the gear level to shift ..

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At 2:03 PM, Blogger Zoogy said...

Great article! I have the P21509B Snapper mower and I don't see the drive issue I'm having on this list. My drive doesn't pull the mower up an incline unless both wheels are making contact with the lawn. If one wheel lifts up, that wheel spins and the wheel on the lawn doesn't. Is this an adjustment or part replacement?

Thanks in advance for any insight you may have on this!

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