Garden

Experienced gardeners share their insights in answering this question :
Hi Randy:
With the motor off, look at the blade drive pulleys and belt while your helper moves the control lever. I’m suspecting that the cable from the control has become disconnected from the Idler. If the Idler is held in “cut” position with a spring, if the linkage is disconnected the blades turn.
Hope this helps.

How to Identify and Fix Common Gardening Problems ?

We provide a variety of viewpoints on how to identify and fix common gardening problems. Our sources include academic articles, blog posts, and personal essays from experienced gardeners :

The causes for mower blade disengagement are the loose engagement lever and the worn-out idler rod and cable. Other causes that can cause these bade problems are missing springs, defective idler arms, and mounting defects. Additionally, worn out pulley, issues with the clutch, or short circuit cable and broken switch.
A lawn mower blade can get stuck for several reasons, one of which includes over-tightening. Lawn mower blades are supposed to be loose enough to slip when they hit a solid object in order to protect the engine and the blade itself from damage. Lawn mower blades may also get stuck if the bolt is threaded the wrong way.
If your mower blades will not turn after the blade controls have been engaged, your deck belt may be broken. The deck is located directly under the operators seat. This belt spins the mowers blades and runs through a pulley system of idlers. The exact configuration of the deck belt will depend on your model of mower.
If the PTO clutch is not getting power, if the clutch solenoid is defective, or if the clutch is worn out, the lawn mower blades will not engage. The PTO clutch is not repairable—if the clutch is defective, you must replace it.
For riding mowers using a manual clutch, the mower blades are engaged by manually shifting a lever that moves a pulley assembly to tighten the blade drive belt. The rotating engine shaft will then drive the belt, which in turn, rotates the pulleys to spin one or more cutting blades.
Power take-off (PTO) clutches provide a mechanical disconnect between the power created by gas and diesel engines or electric motors to another piece of equipment. The PTO clutches enable the transmission of that energy to auxiliary equipment that does not generate its own power.
Over time, dirt, sand, and other debris can erode the blade, causing the metal to weaken and become paper-thin. If you see this, you should replace the blade immediately since it can break while mowing and possibly injure someone.
You might have contaminated gas in the mower. Drain out the old gas. Change the fuel filter. Get new gas, non-ethanol if possible.
The most common reason for the blade not spinning is that the start order has been done incorrectly. Please note this is a self-propelled unit and the self-propelled feature will activate even if the unit`s cutting blade is not activated. First, familiarize yourself with the two levers.
Turn the mower off and make sure the engine is cool. Disconnect the spark plug ignition wire and remove the key if equipped. This helps to ensure the machine doesn`t start accidentally and cause you or those around you harm.
If your blade doesn`t and you weren`t able to reference it to the old blade, look at the cutting edge of the blade. Most lawn mower blades rotate in a clockwise direction (counter-clockwise when viewed from below), and as such have the cutting edge on the right side.
If the PTO clutch is not getting power, if the clutch solenoid is defective, or if the clutch is worn out, the lawn mower blades will not engage. The PTO clutch is not repairable—if the clutch is defective, you must replace it.
The possible causes of a lawn mower blade spinning but not cutting grass include a damaged or wrongly installed blade, a dull blade, or damaged lawnmower tires. Other possible reasons can be improper tire pressure, a clogged deck, or a broken mower belt.
If the PTO clutch is not getting power, if the clutch solenoid is defective, or if the clutch is worn out, the lawn mower blades will not engage. The PTO clutch is not repairable—if the clutch is defective, you must replace it.

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Hope this helps,
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I would like to replace the mulching blades on my Sears Craftsman riding mower with regular cutting blades. I can find plenty of sources for new mulching blades, but not cutting blades. My mower is a model 917.259541 tractor and the blades currently on it are part #134149. I want to make sure I get the right size to replace them. Also, is there a source for a bagging system for this mower, that won’t cost as much as one from Sears?
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