Sears 2001 Craftsman 22” Rotary Push mower large back wheel adjuster shoulder bolt snapped!

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Don2222

Minister of Fire
Hearth Supporter
Feb 1, 2010
9,149
Salem NH
This poor 22 y/o mower started this season with just one pull and nothing else is wrong with it! Definitely worth fixing!
After all we are talking atleast $369.00 at Lowe’s to replace this mower I paid $169.95 for! Wow that is steep!
In the early 2000s the Craftsman, Hasqvarna and MTA gas rotary push mowers had large back wheels with a wheel height adjuster bracket bolted to the side of the lawn mower with a shoulder bolt part # 532 160828 for model 917.387500 lawn mower. Then the wheel is bolted to this adjuster bracket.
Then I found out this bolt was discontinued by the manufacturer. !!!
The bolt in question is 5/16-18 course thread that measures 1-1/4” long with the length of the shoulder section only 1/4” long and a diameter of 1/2”.
I did order a bolt on the Internet which looks like the right bolt but unfortunately even though it was 5/16-18 course thread the shoulder section is 5/8” long with a diameter of 1/2” and the total lengt is 1-1/2” :-( close.
I also tried hardware stores and a fastener store that carries shoulder bolts but not one this size. :-(
Then I had an idea! Adding 6 washers with 1/2” diameter centers would take up the slack so I could tighten everything in but since the bolt and should had to go in from the outside of the wheel, would it be in the way of the wheel? The answer was yes but only slightly! So I ground down the side of the top washer next to the wheel axle and the point of the bolt facing the wheel. The old vibration nut was stuck solid on the old should bolt and could not be removed. When attempting to tighter this nut the bolt broke. Therefore I just used a regular 5/16-18 course thread SS nut and a C lock washer. Bingo it all works!! See pics

Pic 1 - 3 2001 Sears craftsman rotary gas mower
Pic 4 - Broken Shoulder Bolt
Pic 5-6 New shoulder bolt from www.ereplacement parts.com
Pic 7-8 Owner’s manual shoulder bolt number 44 on diagram and parts list.
Pic 9-10 Grinding washer and new shoulder bolt. Washers with smaller outer diameter may be a better choice if they have a 1/2” inner diameter. I just had these lying around. :)
Pic 11-13 Wheel is fixed!!
Pic 14 - Shoulder bolt I made work!

5E10A34D-F0EF-4759-81F7-A832EA799078.jpeg 073E67A3-2F24-4B21-A881-DB1F123F79DA.jpeg 5A69C830-D031-4E9C-8674-32C0E281C627.jpeg 46CB35DB-6CC4-4EDD-8E21-5DB36D6CF35B.jpeg 6C939739-0341-41E7-90C8-D7913B1F1B5B.jpeg 4C46FCB9-E41D-435B-BD64-EA031B596997.jpeg F63ACC8E-E8A9-442C-9D78-828A1F66FCE4.jpeg 10DAD838-68C0-433E-9343-91BBCA3C924F.jpeg 0E956B21-84D7-411B-B772-9A59E4EC42A2.jpeg A9697779-C497-4CE7-BD9B-C5E165205AA9.jpeg F3BB210A-DFAE-4199-AC0A-C4089618BEDF.jpeg D8964C01-9DB8-4FD2-9893-6C82F50024EB.png
 
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Yes, it's great that it was fixed rather than tossed.
 
Yes, it's great that it was fixed rather than tossed.

Thanks BG
I really like saving something from the scrap yard especially when I know there is many good hours of service left in a good quality product! This took some figuring to do it, but saving this 26 y/o Aladdin took a little skill also! LOL
This stove is was such an incredible design created in 1997 and still produced today! Not sure how many were sold with the Aladdin tag but HHT must have seen the potential and quickly purchased Aladdin Steel Products in Feb of 1998! Therefore I wanted to restore it all the more!
Also the special Loop igniter designed to work with a T-Stat is still to this day is unmatched and the most long lasting and reliable is just incredible!!
The anti-jam CorkScrew auger is just remarkable!
Completely re-wiring the stove and re-furnishing the amazing top fed air wash was not hard!
See the toughest part to fix below with pics!
 
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Thanks BG
I really like saving something from the scrap yard especially when I know there is many good hours of service left in a good quality product! This took some figuring to do it, but saving this 26 y/o Aladdin took a little skill also! LOL
This stove is was such an incredible design created in 1997 and still produced today! Not sure how many were sold with the Aladdin tag but HHT must have seen the potential and quickly purchased Aladdin Steel Products in Feb of 1998! Therefore I wanted to restore it all the more!
Also the special Loop igniter designed to work with a T-Stat is still to this day is unmatched and the most long lasting and reliable is just incredible!!
The anti-jam CorkScrew auger is just remarkable!
Completely re-wiring the stove and re-furnishing the amazing top fed air wash was not hard!
See the toughest part to fix below with pics!
Threads crossed. This one is about the lawnmower but nice to save an old pellet stove too.
 
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My push mower is a 1973 Toro 18 with a cast aluminum deck. I've been given much nicer and larger self-propelled mowers over the years, but have in-turn given each away, and kept this old one. I've switched to doing most of my mowing with a zero turn, only keeping this little push mower for odd jobs. Like your Craftsman, it starts on the first pull if it's been running recently, or 2-3 pulls if it's been sitting a few months.

I've also broken what appears to be the very same shoulder bolt, along with maybe a half dozen full sets of plastic wheels, before switching it to steel wheels with ball bearings about 10 years ago. I used to use it 2x per week when I lived on smaller properties, but now it can sit as much as a year between uses. It gets an oil change and quick washing of the foam air filter element once per year, unless I manage to not use it an entire year, and other than that has been zero maintenance the last 10 years.

Given its track record over the last 50 years, I very much suspect that mower will still be running after I die. There's something to be said for old mowers.
 
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My push mower is a 1973 Toro 18 with a cast aluminum deck. I've been given much nicer and larger self-propelled mowers over the years, but have in-turn given each away, and kept this old one. I've switched to doing most of my mowing with a zero turn, only keeping this little push mower for odd jobs. Like your Craftsman, it starts on the first pull if it's been running recently, or 2-3 pulls if it's been sitting a few months.

I've also broken what appears to be the very same shoulder bolt, along with maybe a half dozen full sets of plastic wheels, before switching it to steel wheels with ball bearings about 10 years ago. I used to use it 2x per week when I lived on smaller properties, but now it can sit as much as a year between uses. It gets an oil change and quick washing of the foam air filter element once per year, unless I manage to not use it an entire year, and other than that has been zero maintenance the last 10 years.

Given its track record over the last 50 years, I very much suspect that mower will still be running after I die. There's something to be said for old mowers.
Thanks for your post.
Our mower has a prime button so After filling up the gas and oil, I pressed the prime button 10 times and it started up with one pull for the first time this season! These old mowers are good!
 
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