Craftsman t3300 riding mower. Craftsman YT3000 Lawn Tractor Review and Specs

Craftsman YT3000 Lawn Tractor Review and Specs

Not many lawn mowers can boast of the capability to cut as fast as the Craftsman YT300. It was made with lawn mowing efficiency and speed in mind, and it comes with a variable 46 and 42 inches mowing deck so you can select how wide you want to be cutting at a time. People with a smaller lawn area can go for the 42-inch variant, while the 46 inches mower deck will do wonders in wider fields.

Craftsman first released this lawn mower in 2009 and kept producing it till 2013, when it moved to other mowers in the series. With a powerful 21HP engine, it is clear where the capacity for such speed and efficiency emanated.

Adorned in the characteristic Craftsman colors of dark red, the YT3000 sports a stylish and modern look with features befitting a mower made in recent times. Being an entry-level riding mower means the YT3000 is not too expensive to own, and it is easy to operate despite its sophisticated look. This way, even first-time users can enjoy this mower without extensive courses on how to use it.

This Craftsman YT300 lawn mower is made by Husqvarna in the USA, even though Husqvarna is a Swedish company. This is in line with the long-term collaboration between the two brands that have seen Husqvarna manufacture a lot of Craftsman tractors.

It comes with three transmission options which include hydro Gear hydrostatic, peerless mechanical, and Tuff-Torq K46 belt-driven hydrostatic transmissions. There are so many reasons to get excited about this mower, but before you do that, it is best to get the complete details about this tractor. Luckily, this is what this guide is all about.

Craftsman YT3000 Lawn Mower Specs

ModelCraftsman YT3000

Features of Craftsman YT3000 Lawn Mower

Now that you have got the basic idea what the Craftsman YT300 is, let’s get into the main features in detail.

Powerful Briggs and Stratton Engine

Craftsman YT300 is a powerful mower with a whopping 21 HP engine and the ability to cut lawn swiftly and cleanly. The tractor is fitted with a Briggs and Stratton engine with model 331877.

It is a 4-cycle, air-cooled, vertical-shaft engine type that is run by gasoline fuel. The maximum fuel capacity in the tank is 9.5 L which is decent but could’ve been better considering the work this tractor is made to be doing. This will ensure a longer use without having to refuel.

It is a 1-cylinder engine, which means more work will be done by the parts to keep it running. The pressurized lubrication system used here ensures an even better operation. The engine weighs 81 lbs without fuel which further adds to the overall weight of the tractor at just over 500 lbs.

It uses a cartridge air filter to keep dirt and impurities away from the combustion chamber as it can cause damage to the engine. It sports a displacement of 32.9 cubic inches and bore × stroke of 3.7× 3.06 inches.

Starting a riding mower should not be a problem with this modernized electric starter used in the YT3000 mower. The engine oil capacity is set at 1.75 liters.

craftsman, riding, mower, yt3000


Fitted with a large seat with a medium-height backrest that provides a good level of comfort for the operator. There’s a cup holder located to the right of the operator to hold your beverages as you work your field.

A wide and open operator station ensures the area is not clustered and unconducive. air enters the space, with enough legroom for comfort. The mower deck adjustment lever is situated to the left of the operator and is easy to control while sitting comfortably.

Some models have cruise control which allows you to maintain the same speed without having to keep your foot dialed in. This way, you can concentrate on moving the tractor around your lawn.


This tractor is rear-wheel-drive as power is sent to the rear wheels to move the tractor. The engine of this tractor has a massive power rating of 21 HP, and coupled with its torque and displacement, it provides an effective mowing experience. Speed and clean mowing are the two most prominent benefits of using the YT300.

Its capacity allows it to do other things aside from mowing. When a front blade is attached, you can use the mower as a snowblower to clear snow from your driveways.

You can cut your grass as low as 1.5 inches and as high as 4 inches. This allows you to vary your cutting depending on preference and grass height. Typically when cutting tall grass, you want to cut it slightly higher to preserve the quality of your lawn. In total, you can make 6 adjustments to the mower deck height to get different grass levels.

The mow in reverse option allows you to keep mowing when you switch in and out of reverse for a clean, non-stop mowing experience.

Safety and Durability

It uses a mechanical dry disc brake that works when two friction pads squeeze hard against the disc and brings the wheel to a stop. Dry disc brakes increase wear and tear and generally reduce their effectiveness over time.

The mower is best used on even ground as its tires may struggle to grip hard enough for brakes to hold when used in bumpy, sloppy yards. You can tweak the rear wheels and include tires with bigger threads. Adding tire weights can also be an effective strategy.

Just like many other lawn tractors, the YT3000 does not include a ROPS over the operator cabin to protect the user in the event of a turnover.

The mower deck consists of reinforced and stamped steel, so it doesn’t bend when it comes into contact with stones while mowing. The drive belts and pulleys used here are durable, so they can last a long time. The seat uses a vinyl covering but is prone to breaking after using it for a while.

The frame is fully welded, so even if the tractor hits a hard surface, it can withstand a lot of the pressure

Mikey’s Mower. Sears Craftsman riding mower, YT3000 brake pad adjustment.

Transmission System

Craftsman YT3000 is fitted with a manual sector and pinion steering with a front steer steering configuration. The brake used is a mechanical dry disc brake that uses hydraulic liquid to force two friction pads against the wheel to slow it down. The front tire is rated 15×6.00-6 while the rear tire is 18×9.5-8.

The transmission system in a tractor focuses on utilising the power generated in the best possible way by allocating it to the different parts. The transmission system used in the Craftsman YT3000 is variable. There are three different options available with slightly different features. The different transmission options available are as follows:

  • Peerless Transmission: This transmission system uses gear type and consists of 6 forward gears and 1 reverse gear. It is limited in the number of gears you can achieve while moving in any direction. The maximum speed you can attain while moving forward is 8.2 kph and 2.6 kph for reverse speed
  • Tuff-Torq K46 transmission: The Tuff-Torq K46 transmission system uses a belt-driven hydrostatic type and sports infinite forward and reverse gears. This allows you to enjoy seamless movement. The reduction ratio is 21.53:1. The maximum attainable forward speed here is 8.4 kph and 4.7 kph for reverse speed. The reverse speed for this transmission model is the highest among the three
  • Hydro Gear Transmission: It uses a hydrostatic transmission type with infinite forward and reverse gears. The maximum forward speed you can achieve here is higher than the other two at 8.8 kph while the maximum reverse speed is 3.9 kph


One strong pull this lawn mower has is the ability to accommodate different mower sizes. You can use a smaller mower deck of 42 inches to cut smaller fields or switch to a larger mower deck of 46 inches when dealing with more extensive areas.

  • 42 inches mower deck: consists of two blades and has 6 cutting positions with a mechanical lift system. It is mid-mounted and uses a belt drive system
  • 46 inches mower deck: perfect for larger lawns, this 46 inches mower deck is also mid-mounted. It comes with two blades and a mechanical lift system that can do 6 height adjustments. It also uses a belt drive system

There are other attachments available like the front-mounted blade for clearing dirt, a snowblower for people in regions that see a lot of snowfall and different size baggers for collecting grass clippings after mowing.

Pros and Cons of Craftsman YT3000

Let’s discuss about the pros and cons of Craftsman Yt3000.

  • Comes with three different transmission options
  • Powerful 21 HP engine
  • Can accommodate 42 and 46 inches mower decks
  • Cuts clean and fast
  • 6 cutting level adjustments to get your perfect grass height
  • Reinforced mower deck steel
  • Large seats
  • Seats easily breaks
  • The tires are not the strongest and will struggle to get a good grip in bumpy fields
  • Parts may be difficult to find


The manufacturer suggested retail price otherwise known as MSRP is 1740 for a brand new model. A neatly used model these days can go for between 600-800. You can even get it for a lot cheaper but may be needing some repairs.


There’s a two years limited warranty for the Craftsman YT3000 lawn mower that starts counting from the date of purchase. This includes defects in the materials used and the design. The warranty does not cover normal wear and tear that would occur.


Craftsman YT3000 lawn tractor made by Husqvarna in the USA is a powerful lawn tractor known for its clean cut and speed. It can cut large areas quickly. However, it may not use some of the strongest parts available but this is understandable considering its price.

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How to Fix CRAFTSMAN Riding Lawn Mower Problems

CRAFTSMAN-riding gasoline-powered lawnmowers are fantastic for cutting larger expanses of grass, such as those found in golf courses or parks. Being able to drive the mower is much more fun and requires far less physical exertion than pushing a mower up and down in the blazing sun.

CRAFTSMAN Riding Lawn Mowers offer many advantages but do occasionally develop problems:

Engine won’t start

Why the Craftsman YT3000 will not start

Blades won’t engage

Runs for a bit, then dies

Won’t cut lawn evenly

Won’t drive forward

Doesn’t steer correctly

Exhaust billows smoke

And more …

Engine Won’t Start

We all know the disappointment when you’re all “dressed up” and ready to tackle the first lawn-cutting exercise of the season, only to find that your trusty CRAFTSMAN riding mower won’t start.

The CRAFTSMAN riding mower is, of course, fitted with a gas engine which means several problems could be causing the engine not to start. The below covers the common reasons why the engine doesn’t start.

Solution 1: Drain and Replace Old Gas

Check that the gas tank contains fuel, especially if the mower has been standing for an extended period. Gasoline degrades over time and evaporates.

Old gas should be drained from the system and replaced with new to eliminate this problem.

Solution 2: Replace the Fuel Filter

Following the gas line from the gas fuel tank to the carburetor will lead you to the fuel filter. The filter may be dirty, restricting or preventing fuel from reaching the carburetor so the mower won’t start.

If the fuel filter is visibly dirty inside, replace the fuel filter to ensure the gasoline can pass through the filter.

Solution 3: Ensure All Safety Cutoff Switches Are Engaged

CRAFTSMAN riding mowers have two safety switches that ensure the mover won’t start accidentally. One switch is under the driver’s seat, and the foot brake controls the other.

Their design is such that the driver must be seated on the seat, and the brake must be depressed to disengage the safety switches for the mower to start. Standing next to the mower while trying to start the engine will not work.

Solution 4:Charge the Battery

All CRAFTSMAN riding mowers have a battery located under the driver’s seat to turn and start the engine. When turning the ignition key and the engine turns very slowly but won’t start, the battery is most likely discharged.

Turning on the ignition and hearing a clicking sound without the engine turning is a sure sign that the battery is drained and needs to be charged.

In both scenarios, the battery requires charging, or if the problem persists, the battery may need replacement.

Solution 5: Clean or Replace the Solenoid

The carburetor fuel solenoid is attached to the base of the carburetor. The carburetor controls the fuel and air mixture required for the engine to run. The solenoid is an electrically operated fuel supply and shut-off valve. When the valve doesn’t work, it prevents fuel from entering the carburetor.

Diagnosing if the solenoid is faulty is quickly done by getting an ear down close to the solenoid. A click sound will be heard when the key is turned on and off as the solenoid retracts and releases. If no sound is heard, the solenoid is likely faulty and requires replacement, or the mower won’t work.

The solenoid will need to be removed by unscrewing it with a spanner of the right size and cleaned or replaced if the cleaning doesn’t work.

Solution 6: Replace the Filter

The air filter is next to the carburetor and filters the air fed into the carb. When the air filter is filthy, it may get clogged up by dust particles. The clogged-up filter will prevent air from reaching the carburetor and the engine from starting.

The solution is to replace the filter with a new one.

Solution 7: Replace the Spark Plug

The spark plug performs the critical task of igniting the fuel in the cylinder head while the engine is running. The spark plug is constantly exposed to burning gas and oil residue; therefore, the spark plug can quickly become dirty.

Removing the spark plug is a simple exercise using a spark plug spanner. A dirty spark plug can be cleaned using a wire brush but will eventually need to be replaced. Instead, replace the spark plug to be sure it’s working well.

Blades Won’t Engage

Your CRAFTSMAN riding mower is running, you’ve reached the area that needs mowing, but now the blades won’t engage. What could be wrong?

We’ve found five possible causes for the blades not engaging with CRAFTSMAN riding mowers. These problems may differ depending on if your mower has a manual lever clutch or an electronic PTO clutch.

Solution 1: Replace the Electric PTO Clutch

Faulty PTO clutch. When power is supplied to the clutch, the clutch engages and turns the mower’s blades via the drive belt. When the PTO clutch doesn’t engage, the internal mechanism has failed.

The PTO clutch is not a repairable part as it’s a sealed unit, so it needs to be replaced.

Solution 2: Remove and Test Take-off Switch

The second reason the blades won’t engage on the electrically operated unit is a faulty power take-off switch. This switch is located on the dashboard of the mower and is usually yellow. Pulling the switch engages the blades, while pressing the switch disengages the blades.

Removing the switch and testing it for continuity using a multi-meter is the best to determine if the switch won’t work. If faulty, the switch would need to be replaced as you can’t repair it.

Solution 3: Replace Drive Belt

Before we deal with the manual clutch mowers, one common item between the electric clutch and manual version mowers is the drive belt.

The drive belt is located underneath the mower and connects the crankshaft to the mower blades via the clutch assembly.

The drive belt is a high-quality V belt, similar to those used in model car engines. When this belt becomes excessively worn or is damaged or cut, it can no longer drive the mower’s blades, which won’t work.

The drive belt must be replaced when damaged or worn out.

Solution 4: Replace Lever Mechanism Unit

CRAFTSMAN riding mowers fitted with a manual clutch can suffer the following failures over time that prevent the mower’s blades from engaging.

The clutch engages and disengages the blades on the manually operated version. The clutch is operated by pulling down a lever on the right of the dashboard. A cable connects the lever mechanism to the clutch located under the mower.

The lever mechanism in the dashboard can fail over time, making it impossible to retract the cable connected to the clutch.

A failed lever mechanism will require the replacement of the unit.

Solution 5: Replace Broken Clutch Cable

Broken manual clutch cable or spring: The cable, as mentioned earlier, connects the lever mechanism, and the clutch, along with its tensioner spring, is wearing parts, so it can fail with excessive use and eventually won’t work.

A broken or severely worn clutch cable and its accompanying tensioner spring must be replaced should they fail.

Runs for a Bit, Then Dies, Won’t Work

The CRAFTSMAN riding mower is reliable and generally doesn’t cause problems. Occasionally, you may find that your mower starts up and then dies. When you crank it, it starts, only to turn off again.


Briggs and Stratton’s engines used in CRAFTSMAN mowers are four-stroke engines, so they use unmixed fuel (no two-stroke oil required). They generally run very clean and shouldn’t develop any carburetor blockages.

Fuel starvation is the most likely cause of the engine starting and then stopping shortly after.

Assuming the fuel tank is sufficiently filled and contains fresh fuel. The motor dies because the fuel entering the carburetor flows in slower than the outflow of fuel into the engine; effectively, the carburetor runs dry, which causes the problem.

craftsman, riding, mower, yt3000

The cause is a blocked fuel line or clogged fuel filter. 10% Ethanol fuel is tough on rubber fuel hose and causes the fuel line to degrade internally. This degradation blocks or severely reduces fuel flow from the tank to the engine.

Replacing the fuel line and filter will restore the fuel flow to the motor and prevent the engine from turning off when you least need the problem.

Won’t Cut Lawn Evenly

Cutting a large section of lawn only to realize that you’ve cut a series of steps into the lawn’s surface can be disappointing. How does this happen?


An uneven cut results from the mower deck (cutting blades) not being set to the correct height, or your mower may have a deflated tire causing the problem.

A mower-cutting deck rides on a series of linkages. They allow the deck to be adjusted up and down to adjust the cutting depth.

An underinflated or flat tire can play havoc with the angle of the cutting blades. If the blades are not level with the ground and cut deeper on one side of the mower, it will result in an uneven cut. So make sure all the tires are inflated to the correct pressure.

Cutting deck adjustment is made through two adjustment bolts. One adjusts the height seen from the left and right of the deck, and the other changes the front and rear deck height. It’s quick and easy! We’ve attached the below YouTube video, which details how the adjustments are performed.

Won’t Drive Forward

Like so many other mechanical devices, excessive use of a CRAFTSMAN riding mower will eventually take its toll. Occasionally something may go wrong, preventing it from driving. The gear lever is one of the items on a mower that sees a lot of use as it’s constantly shifted between drive, neutral, and reverse.


The linkage joining the gear selection lever and the actual gearbox may go out of alignment or get clogged up with dirt, preventing the gear levers from traveling the entire distance to engage or disengage a gear. Of course, the gearbox could be faulty, but this is unlikely as they’re robustly built.

Following the gear level selector down below the right fender of the mower will reveal the linkages that would need adjustment when gear selection becomes difficult.

Given that the linkages vary from model to model, it may be necessary to enlist a professional. Alternatively, some trial-and-error adjustments may do the trick.

A build-up of dirt inside the linkages is a real problem. The underside of the mower is exposed to a lot of dust generated by the spinning blades.

Carefully removing the various parts of the gear selection linkage will reveal dirt that prevents the levers from shifting their entire length of travel, preventing the shifter from working. Removing the dirt will enable the gears to be selected and allow the mover to drive.

Doesn’t Steer Correctly

The CRAFTSMAN riding mower follows a traditional tractor design, having two driving wheels at the rear and two front wheels that provide steering by turning left and right. The driver operates a steering wheel precisely like you would when steering a vehicle.

Over time the steering mechanism of the CRAFTSMAN riding mower is prone to developing a problem with turning to the left but normally turns to the right. Fortunately, this is a pretty simple fix.


The CRAFTSMAN steering mechanism is pretty basic, consisting of a steering column housing a gear that connects to a gear plate. The gear plate connects the left and right front wheels via a metal rod or linkage. The gear plate rotates as you turn the steering, changing the wheels’ direction.

The steering column’s base gear plate is slotted to limit the wheel’s rotation to either side. Over time the slot located in the gear plate becomes clogged with dirt which is compressed into a solid mass inside the slot or cut out, causing left turns not to work.

The dirt build-up inside the slot limits the gear plate’s movement, limiting the wheels’ ability to turn. The plate design seems to create the problem when turning left only.

The gear plate needs to be removed to get the wheel turning again, which is more straightforward than it may sound. The dirt and grime build-up must be removed from the slot in the gear plate, and the area housing the plate must be cleaned. Once the dirt is removed, the steering mechanism will function.

Exhaust Billows Smoke

Even a great engine such as the ones used in the CRAFTSMAN riding mowers can develop a problem where white smoke starts billowing from the mower’s exhaust. The problem can become so bad that the engine won’t work.


Worn piston rings can cause the mower’s engine to billow smoke, but this tends to happen slowly over time. If a perfectly good running engine suddenly starts billowing smoke, the cause is likely a blown head gasket.

The head gasket seals the space between the cylinder head, which houses the valves, and the part of the engine housing the piston. When smoke starts billowing from the exhaust, it’s a sign that oil and even water are entering the combustion chamber, where the oil ignites and starts smoking.

Replacing the cylinder head is a task best left to a mechanic as additional damage, such as a cracked head, may have developed and would require identification and repair.

Vibrates a Lot When Mowing

Vibrations are common amongst riding mowers as they bump and grind their way. Excessive or new vibration is not good, meaning something has a problem.

Numerous problems can cause vibrations, but the most common is a blade or blades that have become unbalanced or, in older machines, a mandrel that’s gone faulty. The mandrel contains a shaft supported by bearings. The mandrel houses the blade on one end and a pulley around which the drive belt runs.

Numerous problems can cause vibrations, but the most common is a blade or blades that have become unbalanced or, in older machines, a mandrel that’s gone faulty. The mandrel contains a shaft supported by bearings. The mandrel houses the blade on one end and a pulley around which the drive belt runs.

Solution 1: Replace Worn or Damaged Blade

CRAFTSMAN blades are made of high-quality hardened steel, which lasts a long time. Blades take the brunt of the force when cutting grass; although one tries to avoid it, they strike a rock occasionally. The impact can bend or even break a blade piece, which can cause vibration.

The solution is to replace the damaged blade with a new blade. A replacement will stop the blade from vibrating.

Solution 2: Replace Worn or Damaged Mandrel

A worn or damaged mandrel can cause the mower to vibrate. Although mandrels are a sturdy kit, they can eventually wear and fail, causing vibrations.

The mandrel needs to be replaced to fix this vibration, per the YouTube video below.