Replacing the Front Deck Tray on a Lawn Mower

The front deck tray houses the transmission and wheel axle on a front-wheel drive walk-behind mower. The end of the drive cable attaches to an anchor post on the deck tray.
If the anchor post breaks, the drive cable won’t be able to engage the transmission and the mower won’t move forward. Replace the front deck tray if the anchor post is broken or the tray is cracked or damaged.

Let the engine cool. Wear work gloves to protect your hands.
Now, let’s get started. Disconnect the spark plug wire from the spark plug. Pull the drive control lever up and clamp it to the mower.

Remove the fuel tank cap. Place a plastic sandwich bag over the fuel tank opening and reinstall the fuel tank cap to prevent gasoline from leaking out through the fuel tank cap vent. Remove the top drive cover mounting screws.

Tilt the mower back to lift the front wheels then secure the mower handle to your worktable to hold the mower steady. Remove the bottom drive cover mounting screws. Remove the front deck tray mounting screws. Release the mower handle from the worktable and carefully lower the mower to the upright position. Release the height adjuster lever and pull off the drive cover off.

Remove the clamp from the drive control lever. Pull off the transmission belt keeper. Roll the ground drive belt off the transmission pulley. Attach one end of the bungee cord to the drive belt and the other end to the rear discharge chute door lip to prevent the belt from slipping off the engine pulley while replacing the front deck tray.

Release the drive cable from the drive control lever. Roll the ground drive
Remove the drive cable end from the anchor post. Depress the release tabs and pull the drive cable out of the transmission lever. Remove the transmission axle clip.

Pull the transmission and wheel axle up slightly then disconnect the tension spring pin from the transmission. Remove the transmission and wheel axle. Disconnect the tension spring pin from the front deck tray. Remove the front deck tray. Install the tension spring pin on the new front deck tray.

Position the transmission and wheel axle above the front deck tray and reconnect the transmission to the tension spring pin. Reinstall the transmission axle clip. transmission lever
Release the drive belt from the bungee cord while you keep tension on the drive belt to prevent it from slipping off the engine pulley.

Reconnect the drive belt to the transmission then reinstall the belt keeper. Push the drive cable into the transmission lever and engage the locking tabs.

Use one hand to

Reconnect the drive cable end to the anchor post.

Reconnect the drive cable to the drive control lever on the lawn mower handle. Use one hand to support the front deck tray and carefully tilt the mower back to raise the front of the deck. Make sure that the mower deck tabs engage the slots in the new front deck tray so that the deck tray lifts up with the deck when tilting the mower back.

Secure the mower handle to your worktable to hold the mower steady. Reinstall the front deck tray mounting screws. Position the drive cover on the mower and re-engage the height adjuster lever.

drive cable

Reinstall the bottom mounting screws on the drive cover. Look through the opening in the debris shield to make sure the drive belt is still connected to the engine pulley.

If the drive belt worked its way off the engine pulley during the repair, follow the steps in the repair guide for drive belt replacement to reconnect the drive belt to the engine pulley.
Release the mower handle from the worktable and tilt the mower upright. Reinstall the drive cover’s top mounting screws.

Remove the plastic bag from the fuel tank opening and reinstall the fuel tank cap. Reconnect the spark plug wire to the spark plug.