How to Adjust the Brakes on a Craftsman Lawn Mower

Updated July 20, 2017

The Craftsman Lawn Mower features a clutch/brake pedal for stopping the mower and changing gears. The brake pedal functions by moving the brake arm and depressing the brake rotor located in the transmission. The parking brake works by holding the brake pedal down and keeping the brake rotor engaged. The brake rotor may wear down with use causing a loss of stopping power. You may need to adjust the brake cable to improve braking function of the brake pedal and the parking brake.

Park the lawnmower on a flat and level surface. Depress the clutch/brake pedal and engage the parking brake by pulling the parking brake lever. Turn off the mower and remove the key.

Move the motion control lever on the transmission to the neutral position that is indicated by an "N" on the control lever. The control lever is located to the right of the operator seat. Pull the freewheel control slot out and into position so the transmission is disengaged.

Locate the brake operating arm on the transmission close to the right rear wheel. Measure the distance between the operating arm and the adjustment nut located closest to the spring. If the measurement is not 1 9/16-inch then an adjustment is necessary.

Loosen the jam nut located next to the adjustment nut with an adjustable wrench. Rotate the adjustment nut until is 1 9/16-inch from the operating arm. Tighten the jam nut until it is snug against the adjustment nut.

Test the brakes on the lawnmower. If stopping distance is not improved, measure the distance between the operating arm and the adjustment nut. If the distance remains 1 9/16-inch then the brake rotor may need to be replaced.


Make sure the mower is secure before performing this procedure. If the parking brake is too weak to hold the mower in place, use wheel blocks.

Things You'll Need

  • Adjustable wrench
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About the Author

Jamie Ratliff has been writing since 2002, primarily in the information technology and small-business fields. He has written for "Victoria Business Magazine," a regional magazine with special focus on local small-business news and tips.