Recently Widowed & Need Mower Help

I have an Craftsman LT1000. The steering wheel will for some reason turn 360 degrees. Someone put it on ramps yesterday so I could view it. They had no idea how to repair it. There is a piece "missing on the left side. I wish I would have taken a picture but didn't think about it at the time. After calling around I have been told it could be four different things. These are drag line, tie rod end, steering link, and steering rod. It is maybe 1' long I think, one end bolts in and the other curves a bit to fit in a hole so it will stay in place with either a bolt or cotter pin. It seems to have run from the steering wheel to the axle. I have looked at images but cannot find an image of exactly what I saw. It has got to have something to do with engaging the steering wheel I would think. Diagrams are pointless to me. Could anyone help?

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@catherine0921, If you are telling us it comes from under tractor steering to the axle of wheel, it sounds like the hole for ball stud on the Drag link has worn and came out of the drag link, the ball link stud may still be connected to the steering sector gear under the tractor. Unless they sell a ball stud retainer clip, you will have to replace the drag link assy. Video link below shows what I think is a similar problem to what you are having but could be the opposite end of the drag link that the ball has pulled out or broken.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g5-5i2jb...

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So, I just asked the person who came over could we take the one off of the right side to be able to get correct part. There is not one on the right side. I could have sworn he showed me. So, whatever I am looking for is on the left.

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Catherine, At the 4 min. 37 sec. mark of the video below, is this the part that came off?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=icix2IHb...

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Thank you all for the help. It was the drag link. Now, I have another issue with it. The deck will not engage. I know my husband had a bungee cord looking cable running from the deck handle to something below it. I honestly don't know if it was running underneath the mower or not. I'm not positive but I think it was something to resolve the deck issue. Any ideas? I so wish I could just afford another mower but we had no life insurance and it's a struggle just to keep the bills paid. Thank you for everything. It really means a lot.

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There is a lever beside the seat that is used to adjust the deck to different levels. The bungee cord was connected to that lever and going downward. What could the bungee cord have been connected to so that the deck lever would be capable of shifting & staying in place once shifted?

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2 Answers

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Catherine, Drag link(1st image below) runs from under tractor(steering sector gear assy, pic#2/pitman shaft, pic#3 which is part of the assy.) to the front axle (wheel), pretty sure this is the part you are asking about. If the threaded ball stud is still attached to rod/drag link, you will only need a nut and lock washer of correct size to reattach. If ball stud/threaded stud(joint) is not attached to the end of rod(drag link), it is broken and you will have to order a new drag link for your make and model#. Each end of the drag link is held in position with a nut and probably lock washer. Remove the nut/washer from each end of the drag link and pull the drag link out of the opening. Reverse procedure for install.

Tie rod runs from front axle(wheel) to front axle(wheel) and again if either mounting ball stud has detached from tie rod, it is broken/worn and needs replaced. Links below may be of some help in your repair. Good luck. I hope this helped you out, if so let me know by pressing the helpful button.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vYAjCx4j...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g5-5i2jb...

http://www.searspartsdirect.com/partsdir...

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@catherine0921 I am really not convinced if any of the parts your were told would let your steering wheel turn 360degrees.

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I know you said that diagrams are pointless to you, but they may be helpful in seeing what connects to what. Your steering assembly which is connected via the steering shaft to your steering wheel should prevent this. Without more visual information it is pretty much a guessing game. Maybe you can ask someone to take pictures for you and post those with your question. Use this guide Adding images to an existing question for that

You mentioned that "I was able to view the one on the other side (right) to know what it is supposed to look like" This would mean that you have one of those parts on either side, which would again eliminate most of these pieces. You have one tie rod (32 in the picture)with two ends. One connects with a nut and the other with a cotter pin. The tie rod goes from the left spindle assembly (3 in the picture) to the right spindle assembly. (two assemblies).The drag link (10 in the picture) connects to the left spindle assembly as well. So it could be your left spindle assembly that is broken. As you can see, we are doing a lot of guessing, sorry about that.

This is what that assembly looks like

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Update (06/27/2017)

This is almost the way it is supposed to look like when on the mower

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Ok so I was mistaken. There is only one of them and it is on the left. It does look similar to the picture you posted but by the information given I can't figure out what you said it was. As I said, as of this moment the steering wheel does not engage. It just turns 360 degrees as I know it's not supposed to. Thank you for your help.

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@catherine0921 that is your "left spindle assembly". This is where the "draglink" and the "tie rod" connect to actually move your wheels

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Catherine will be eternally grateful.
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