Craftsman 42" Front wheel alignment, Toe out

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Craftsman 42" Front wheel alignment, Toe out

Andy H I have a Craftsman 18HP 42" lawn tractor 917.275390. The front right wheel is bent way out. It used to be a little, and the more I drove it, the worse it got. Looking at the manual, the only things that I think it could be, is either the tie rod, or the R.H. spindle assembly. I don't think the axle is bent. Is there something I am missing and can I replace these myself? Everyone wants alot an hour to repair, and Sear's wants $90 bucks just to come out. Any help would be greatly appreciated, come and fix it, would be more greatly appreciated!! LOL.
russ1 Hard to tell what is wrong without more information but one or more of the parts mentioned is the likely suspect. Go to the Sears website to parts and type in your model number. It will show you the various parts that you may need. You should be able to match up your need to the part. Your manual should have an assembly drawing that will also help to lead you to the source.

Andy H I went ahead and order the tie rod and we'll see if that fixes the problem. Thanks
russ1 I hope it corrects your problem
john is the axle broke where the spinle shaft goes onthe axle had one do the same thing and had to relace the whole axle
Wade John, I have to replace my axle on a 42" Craftsman lawn tractor. What was involved in replacing the axle? I might have to do it in place as the wheel popped out while mowing. The cylindrical part that holds the wheel assembly on split in two and I will not be able to push or ride it to my garage. Where did you jack it up underneath? how many bolts hold the axle on? I will not receive the parts until next week, but want to know what I am getting into. I just replaced a spindle housing on the mower deck, so I don't want to scrap the whole project. The mower was free and I put $50 into the mower deck and spent another $90 on axle parts.
mark I have/had a similar problem. Driving (faster than I should have been)into the shed and hit the work bench. Bent the tie rod and pulled it out the next day. Two cotter pins later it was out and straightened it out by bending it back. I ordered a new one and it should be here Wednesday after ordering it on Friday. Two bushings and the tie rod less than $30 from Sears with shipping. Total time about 30 minutes max. I hope yours ends as simple and as easy as mine, Good Luck
eric my stamped metal axle just split in half, wheel is sideways...I'm ordering new axle assembly, and spindle for the tire..any gotchas? or lessons learned? I've asked Wade how he did, as this looks simple, but I can imagine issues with wheels, spindles, bolts, washers, etc...thx!
Ed My 42' model is DYS 4500 and it was badly toed out. There are two rods that go to each wheel that attach to the turning gear. I pulled both 5/8" rods and they were both exactly 17 3/8" long. A closer look at the stamped steel below the steering knuckle was bent slightly and there was no convenient way to hammer it straight.

My solution was I removed the right side steering rod and cut 1/2" out of it about three inches on the end that attached to gear. I then slipped the rods into a Moog tie rod adjustment sleeve (model ES426S).

I used a 2x3, lined it up on the left rear wheel and turned the steering wheel until the left fron wheel was straight. I then used the 2x3 on the right rear wheel and adjusted the front wheel. Problem solved.

Ed M. Had the same problem with one wheel toed in. Not mechanicaly inclined but decided to take apart and try to fix. Not many parts to remove front wheel and link bar....found the spindle part was slightly twisted...put in vice and successfully straightend, reinstalled and this did the trick. Wheels now perfectly straight and I didn't draw blood or have to visit ER for stitches. Try it, it's not complicated and save yourself money. If you decide not to straighten, the part is only $33 from sears.
Dave Bemis on 42 inch craftsman LT 2000 lawn tractor: had hit both front wheels on solid objects. wheels were toed out. I determined that steering wheel controls left wheel and that rod between steering points controls right wheel. Determined that connecting rod was bent too much, causing toe out. Straighted and loose reinstalled rod multiple times until whell alignment appeared to be aligned. Drove and steered much better
Ken I have a craftsman/husquvana 42 in. 24 hp. and I can't seem to be able to figure out how to get the alignment done. the manual says to contact sears for the repair. can anyone help me with this matter ?
thanks, Ken

Steve I also have a Craftsman/Husq (917.28845 / YT400) that is completely out of alignment. Any help / thoughts appreciated. Thanks in advance.
Steve Oops. That's 917.28856 / YT4000
TSquared I have a Craftsman Tractor model #917288720 (Husqvarna 46")
I've replaced both drag lings and left spindle assemble because it had play where I could move it up and down in the axle housing. The new one has this play as well. The other spindle assembly is in there solid. Also there are plastic sleeves that I couldn't find online to replace. They go on the spindle assembly and inside the axle. I wonder if I have to replace the entire front axle. Any idea why I still can't align this thing? I can't believe it would be a bent Gear sector (PART NUMBER: 194732)

John To ED: I also have severe toe out, to the effect that the tractor sometimes refuses to move forward. Last year, this started and I replaces the left "spindle" and it helped for a while, until I hit some things again. (My yard is a real workout.) But I could see that the drag links (steering rods)had probably been straightened to be too long, so I realized that cutting and putting an adjustment link in them is the real solution. The question is, how do you remove the drag links without disassembling the whole mower and where did you get the Moog tie rod adjustment sleeve (model ES426S)?
John To ED: Correction to my previous post. I found the Moog sleeve, It looks threaded. Do I need to thread the cut Tie Rod ends to install it? With what did you cut your tie rod? Was it removed to cut and install Moog sleeve??
Don toe out problem also
Derek I have a 42" Craftsman YT4000 and I too have the toe out steering problem (probably from hitting trees and such). It has 2 "tie rods" that run from the middle of the mower to the front axles. They are both 5/8" in diameter.

Thanks to Ed for the tie rod adjuster idea. The tie rod adjuster he used, ES426S, has 0.687-18I threads. Since my tie rods are 5/8" I am going to get a MOOG-ES2032S since it has 5/8"-18 threads and is 4.5" long. They have others but this is the shortest with 5/8" threads. Here is a link to all of their sizes.

I will take off one of the tie rods, cut out a section of it, and then thread each end of the tie rod with with a 5/8-18 tapping die. Then, I should have adjustment any time I need it. I will repot back once I have tried this.

Bob Doug MacKenzie Same toe out issue with my Craftsman YS4500, seemed to come out of the blue. If you want a quick and easy fix O'Reilly Auto carries a "Master Pro ES426S" for $14 which is not threaded. Just slip on and clamp down. What I did was even cheaper, I picked up a 5/8" coupler for $2.50. It's a 5/8" - 11TPI thread, so I took my matching die and cut threads on each end of the drag bar after I cut out an appropriately long segment. Put it all together, using some high strength thread locktite, adjusting to eliminate the toe out in the process. So for under $5 and under an hour it's back to good as, actually better, than new.
Bill The solution of cutting the tie rod 1.5" and threading both ends usiing a 5/8" 11 die. Was perfect when i connected with a 5/8 couping and some lock-tite. Worked perfect for less than $5 and about 1 hours time.
JD I did exactly what Bill did. I bought a Moog tie rod adjuster at the auto parts store, used a circular grinder to cut the tie rod and it totally fixed the alignment. Thanks for all of the info everybody!
roy I had an alignment problem on my craftsman rider mower for years after hitting a tree the first year I had it. It got worse and the tires went bald. Before I purchased new tires, I fixed it for 7 bucks. I bought a tie rod sleeve from amazon. I removed the right side tie rod, cut 1.25" out of it and placed the sleeve in position. I tightened one side of the sleeve, aligned the wheels and then tightened the other side. What a difference! It now steers great and the new tires I am about to get will last. No need to thread the tie rod to match the sleeve... the job took about an hour.

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