I have a craftsman riding lawnmower. It has a manual gear that I have to push up to get the blade to start. There is a physical heavy gauge wire going from this gear to something below that snapped in half. So what is this called, can I fix it myself, and how do you fix it?
There was a simple cable that rusted and snapped from the "clutch" assembly. I put clutch in quotes because this just starts the blade.
You cannot really just replace the metal cable because it is closed on both ends and has a mechanism on one side that it needs to be outside of... So a $3 fix turned to $27 because I had to buy the whole assembly. I did try to put my own metal chord and cap (and I was 98% sure it wouldn't work but it was free because I had the stuff) and the tension snapped the cap off like a twig.
This seems to be a very very common problem because for my model at a local sears parts center they only had 5-6 parts in stock and about 10 of the clutch assembly... So their design flaw is their profit.
The fix was simple. Take out the gas tank (2 screws), take out the assembly that moves the blade into gear (4 screws next to steering wheel), put the top part into the matching parts of the blade gear assembly, and then route it through one hole and then put the spring on the bolt and clip it. Always good to take a pictures but this was a pretty easy fix.
You visit http://www.searspartsdirect.com/partsdirect/index.action and type in your model number. You select the schematic that contains your broken part and order a new one. While viewing the schematic, you could be able to decide if you're capable of doing the repair.
I'm assuming since you're considering the fix, that you have access to a variety of tools and not just a simple, 20 piece, car-trunk variety socket and ratchet set. You could possibly need torx sockets, allen head sockets, large 1/2 inch drive sockets... its hard to say for sure.