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Old 05-10-2011, 06:01 PM   #1
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Is This Lawn Mower Worthless Now?


I bought Craftsman push mower from Sears towards the end of last year. It was a refurb or something, but it was a very expensive mower so it still cost a couple hundred used.

At the time we bought it we did check that there was oil, but we've never changed the oil. I mowed with it maybe 3-5 times last year and about 4 times so far this year. Today I'm about 10 minutes in and I've just started it up after emptying the bag and I hear what I think is an abnormal metal sound and shut it off after about 3-5 seconds. I had just gotten the blade sharpened so I check to make sure I tightened that up enough and it seems fine so I try it again and after about 3 seconds I hear metal breaking. The pictures below are the results.

I don't know anything about engines, but that appears to me like it is probably a game breaker. Can anyone confirm that and does anyone have any idea if Sears/Craftsman has a warranty or if it would apply to me?





I don't know anything about engines, but that appears to me like it is probably a game breaker. Can anyone confirm that and does anyone have any idea if Sears/Craftsman has a warranty or if it would apply to me?

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Old 05-10-2011, 06:17 PM   #2
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Is This Lawn Mower Worthless Now?


Is that part of the motor? From what I see it looks like a cast iron bracket that broke off holding the motor in place. That can be replaced and when you purchased your mower used you should have received some kind of warranty from Sears. Check your bill and give them a call.

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Old 05-10-2011, 06:23 PM   #3
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Is This Lawn Mower Worthless Now?


Looks like metal fatigue to me although I cannot tell exactly what I am looking at.

I was a PMT for Sears. Doesn't matter what it stands for but I, among other things, determined whether things could be fixed in house by me, sent to service and resold as used (Sears, unlike certain box stores will never sell used anything as new), returned to vendor or compacted and sent for recycling. I was the guy who refurbished mowers sent from the factory without gapped spark plugs and so forth. And the loaners to cover while I was fixing them. And I rebuilt ratchets, and....

Anyhow, call ahead to find out when the PMT is in and then take the mower in and ask to speak with him/her. Be firm and try not to be swayed by the folks in front of the person at shipping/receiving/service order processing (they hide us in the back of the store but we are all very charming even if covered in stuff when we come to say hello to you).

PMTs have access to near overnight delivery of any part for anything Sears sells if needed and it is in stock. The PMT can help navigate your machine through service faster than the service department if it comes to that and ordering a part will not fix the problem. At worst you will walk out with a loaner or equivalent machine to cut your lawn.

I loved the job. I just couldn't do all the heavy lifting by myself anymore. And please you all, do not abuse this knowledge I share. It is a one man/woman band at work as the PMT and it can get stressful. I also put barbecue grills together for school groups that heated them up bright red every weekend all day long and wanted new ones for the next claiming a fail as the rolled a glob of metal out the pickup truck back. I made decisions about whether Sears should quibble about its near no questions asked exchange/return policy when someone returned a cordless drill dropped in a five gallon bucket of paint.

I have a lot of respect for the company especially having dealt with HD, Lowe's and so forth that know they sell crap tools to start.
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Old 05-10-2011, 06:28 PM   #4
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The third picture is looking into the motor from the side. I don't have a new one to compare it to, but I'm pretty sure there shouldn't be a hole that I can see through there.
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Old 05-10-2011, 06:41 PM   #5
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I would follow up as sdsester suggest. After all he was an inside man and who better to ask for a diagnostics on your situation.
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Old 05-10-2011, 08:49 PM   #6
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I can't see from the photos where that piece came from. You would have to take off the big plastic cover. If that piece that came off was holding the carburator in place, that mower is toast. But you could get lucky, and the only thing that piece holds is the plastic cover. I would not count on getting lucky though. That chunk of metal looks substantial enough that it was holding something that NEEDS to be rigidly held.
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Old 05-10-2011, 09:33 PM   #7
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Is This Lawn Mower Worthless Now?


The last picture: looking dead center the crankshaft is visible. The "I" beam end is half of the connecting rod. It threw the rod through the side of the block. Took out a chunk of casting with it. That engine is done, IMO.
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Old 05-10-2011, 10:28 PM   #8
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You've got a broken piston connecting rod, and it went out through the side of the case. By the looks of it, you've got bad wear on the crankshaft - probably due to lack of lubrication. Perhaps no oil.

There is absolutely no fix to this engine. Period.

The only question is if this mower is under warranty, and if Sears will stand behind it. Personally, I wouldn't hold out hope. I stopped buying crap from Sears a long time ago. Some of their hand tools are fine, though over-priced. Anything else... Pass.

If it's not under warranty, it'll be a tough call to decide whether or not it's worth putting a new engine on the mower deck. Most likely, the answer will be "No."
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Old 05-11-2011, 07:09 AM   #9
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So last night I called up the Sears that I bought it from and neither of the two guys I talked to seemed to have any idea what a PMT was. The second guy said someone usually comes in on Thursdays to put grills together, but Thursday is the one day I couldn't get in there. After I told him what happened he said I should go to the Sears Parts & Repair Center.

So sdsester, if I'm trying to get them to replace it for free, should I take it to that Parts & Repair Center or should I try going to the bigger Sears store at the mall?
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Old 05-11-2011, 07:32 AM   #10
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PMT = Power Mower Technician

DrHicks is correct, threw the rod right through the side of the engine casting. Motor is junk...doubtful Sears will want to repair it. Hopefully they will replace it for you.
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Old 05-11-2011, 09:55 AM   #11
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PMT = Power Mower Technician

DrHicks is correct, threw the rod right through the side of the engine casting. Motor is junk...doubtful Sears will want to repair it. Hopefully they will replace it for you.
Unfortunately, the "techs" at Sears are mostly on par with the college kids who assemble Huffy Bikes at WalMart.

If anything, Sears will probably want to send it in for a "factory refurbishing," which will take pretty much all summer. Then they get back to you and say it can't be fixed.


Sucks to say, but I think you're going to end up biting the bullet and buying a new mower.
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Old 05-11-2011, 11:59 AM   #12
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Thanks to everyone for responding and letting me know what happened and giving advice on how to handle it.

I ended up calling the bigger Sears in the mall and talked to the Lawn & Garden manager. He had me come in and he did an exchange for me. He was actually going to give me a brand new one before he realized that I bought it used. Fortunately they had a similar used model that he was able to give me instead. I think it's basically exactly the same as the one I returned except a year newer so it has a 7hp engine instead of 6.75hp.

He was actually going to give me $20 store credit also, but then he talked me into the service plan so I just applied it to that. I don't think I've ever purchased a service plan, but I guess that is returnable so I may hold on to it through this year and then possibly return the service plan if I haven't had any problems.
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Old 05-11-2011, 12:26 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by PBizme View Post
Thanks to everyone for responding and letting me know what happened and giving advice on how to handle it.

I ended up calling the bigger Sears in the mall and talked to the Lawn & Garden manager. He had me come in and he did an exchange for me. He was actually going to give me a brand new one before he realized that I bought it used. Fortunately they had a similar used model that he was able to give me instead. I think it's basically exactly the same as the one I returned except a year newer so it has a 7hp engine instead of 6.75hp.

He was actually going to give me $20 store credit also, but then he talked me into the service plan so I just applied it to that. I don't think I've ever purchased a service plan, but I guess that is returnable so I may hold on to it through this year and then possibly return the service plan if I haven't had any problems.
Hey wow - that's wonderful! Glad to hear it worked out so well.

A couple words of advice, take them for what they're worth... My sons & I did a side-line lawn-care service when they were younger. Did a LOT of mowing with everything from push mowers to big riders. Every time I changed the oil in any of my mowers, I added some Lucas Oil Synthetic Oil Stabilizer. It's about $15 per quart, and I usually ran about 10%. It's not magic, but it sure seemed to help me keep our mowers running longer. In fact, after I started using this stuff, I never had to replace a mower engine (which may, of course, be purely coincidental).



Last edited by DrHicks; 05-11-2011 at 12:44 PM.
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