Craftsman 25HP V-Twin Kohler 46" Deck 917.288720
Owning this mower is like being locked in a permanent dream with Freddie Kruger. The nightmare never ends. Everytime I take it out of the garage it breaks down. Of the possible 564 mowing days since I bought it brand new in 2008, it has been out of service for 107...19% of the time. That is only because I fixed it the other eight times it suffered mechanical breakdowns of one sort or another instead of waiting three weeks for the Sears repairman to show up. What has broken down or gone bad:
K-46 Tuff Torq transaxle: replaced TWICE (@ 125 HRS and 170 HRS), now on 3rd one with 10 HRS
Engine: Replaced at 180 Hrs
Deck: Exploded welds, replaced at 180 hours
Drive Belt: Twice
Deck Belt: on Fourth
Electric Lift: Failed at 170 HRS.
Front Drag Links: Failed at 170 HRS
Headlights: Failed at 110 HRS
Tires: Worn out at 150 HRS but not yet replaced
Steering linkage: Failed at 170 HRS
MISC: Bolts and nuts come loose and drop off, fuses burn out. It's had three batteries in it as it just seems to fry them despite recharging on trickle charger.
This mower has been maintained religiously. Oil change at 8 HRS and at every 35 HRS since. Air filter cleaned each and every time prior to mowing and is replaced every 50 HRS. Fuel filter replaced twice since new. All zerts greased every third
or fourth mowing. Blown off after each and every mowing. Washed when needed. Throttled back before shut off. Run at full throttle when operating. Every precaution and care has been taken. It was just built broke. Sears, to their credit, has spent over $6000 in repairs for a tractor that cost me $2300. They refuse to give me a credit toward a new mower or just recall it. It was phased out after 2 years of production because of the rampant complaints of shoddy construction and materials.
The people who run AYP (American Yard Products) should be jailed for what they have done to the lawn tractor industry in this country. Unless you are a millionaire, you have the choice of a John Deere X300/500/700 series, a Simplicity or a Kubota if you want something that won't fall apart in 25-50 hours of use on a lawn over 2 acres. A minimum of $4500 and the reason there is a 25-30% markup on those tractors and they can get it? Three letters: AYP. I don't blame Sears for the crap their production company builds, but I hold them responsible. The only thing left on my tractor to go bad is the frame welds. I am expecting that the day after the warranty expires...at which time I will have a 650 LB lawn ornament rusting back into the ground from whence it came wherever it choses to breathe it's last breath.