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Craftsman T1200 Operator's Manual

420cc, variation speed 42” deck
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Operator's Manual
420cc, Variation Speed
42" Deck
Model No. 247.203724
• Espanol, P. 34
This product has a low emission engine which operates differently
from previously built engines. Before you start the engine, read and
understand this Operator's Manual.
Before using this equipment,
read this manual and follow
all safety rules and operating
Sears Brands Management Corporation, Hoffman Estates, IL 60179 U.S.A.
Visit our website:
For answers to your questions about
this product, call:
Craftsman Customer Care Hot Line
Form No. 769-09448D
(March 9, 2015)



  Summary of Contents for Craftsman T1200

  • Page 1 Before using this equipment, 1-888-331-4569 read this manual and follow all safety rules and operating Craftsman Customer Care Hot Line instructions. Sears Brands Management Corporation, Hoffman Estates, IL 60179 U.S.A. Visit our website: Form No. 769-09448D...
  • Page 2: Table Of Contents

    With proof of purchase, you will receive a new cast iron front axle at no charge. WARRANTY SERVICE For warranty coverage details to obtain free repair or replacement, visit the web page: Product Replacement If part repair or replacement is impossible, you will receive a new riding equipment unit of the same or equivalent model.
  • Page 3: Safety Instructions

    SAFETY INSTRUCTIONS WARNING DANGER This symbol points out important safety instructions which, if not This machine was built to be operated according to the safe operation followed, could endanger the personal safety and/or property of practices in this manual. As with any type of power equipment, yourself and others.
  • Page 4: Slope Operation

    SAFETY INSTRUCTIONS Do Not: • Check overhead clearances carefully before driving under low hanging tree branches, wires, door openings etc., where the operator may be struck or • Do not turn on slopes unless necessary; then, turn slowly and gradually pulled from the machine, which could result in serious injury.
  • Page 5: Safe Handling Of Gasoline

    SAFETY INSTRUCTIONS • On slopes, the weight of the towed equipment may cause loss of traction and • Periodically check to make sure the blades come to complete stop within loss of control. approximately (5) five seconds after operating the blade disengagement control.
  • Page 6: Safety Symbols

    SAFETY INSTRUCTIONS DO NOT MODIFY ENGINE SPARK ARRESTOR To avoid serious injury or death, do not modify engine in any way. Tampering WARNING with the governor setting can lead to a runaway engine and cause it to operate at unsafe speeds. Never tamper with factory setting of engine This machine is equipped with an internal combustion engine and should governor.
  • Page 7 SAFETY INSTRUCTIONS Symbol Description DANGER — SAFETY DEVICES Keep safety devices (guards, shields, switches, etc.) in place and working. BYSTANDERS Keep bystanders, helpers, children and pets at least 75 feet from the machine while it is in operation. WARNING— SLOPE OPERATION Do not operate this machine on a slope greater than 15 degrees.
  • Page 8: Slope Gauge

  • Page 9: Assembly

    ASSEMBLY Shipping Brace Removal IMPORTANT: Your tractor is shipped with motor oil in the engine. However, you MUST check the oil level before operating. Refer to the Service & Maintenance WARNING section for instructions on checking the oil level. Make sure the riding mower’s engine is off, remove the ignition key, and Attaching the Battery Cables set the parking brake before removing the shipping brace.
  • Page 10: Adjusting The Seat

    ASSEMBLY Adjusting the Seat To adjust the position of the seat, pull up and hold the seat adjustment lever. Slide the seat forward or rearward to the desired position; then release the adjustment lever. Make sure seat is locked into position in a seat-stop before operating the tractor.
  • Page 11: Operation

    NOTE: Any reference in this manual to the RIGHT or LEFT side of the tractor is observed from operator’s seat position facing forward towards the front of tractor. Meets ANSI Safety Standards Craftsman Tractors conform to the safety standard of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).
  • Page 12: Brake Pedal

    OPERATION Parking Brake Lever Seat Adjustment Lever To set the parking brake: Fully depress the brake pedal. Move the The seat adjustment lever is located below the front/left of the seat. The lever parking brake lever into the parking brake position. Release the allows for adjustment of the fore and aft position of the seat.
  • Page 13: Safety Interlock System

    OPERATION Gas and Oil Fill-up IMPORTANT: Your tractor is shipped with motor oil in the engine. However, you MUST check the oil level before operating. Be careful not to overfill. For instructions on how to check the engine oil, refer to Checking The Engine Oil in the Service and Maintenance section of this manual.
  • Page 14: Starting The Engine

    OPERATION • With the ignition key in the NORMAL MOWING position, the PTO (Blade NOTE: The deck wheels are an anti-scalp feature of the deck and are not designed Engage) clutch will automatically shut off if the PTO (Blade Engage) lever is to support the weight of the cutting deck.
  • Page 15: Driving On Slopes

    OPERATION WARNING Reverse Indicator Always look down and behind before and while backing up to avoid a back- Push Light over accident. Button Depress the brake pedal to release the parking brake and then let the pedal Reverse Caution Move the throttle lever into the FAST (rabbit) position. Mode Normal Position...
  • Page 16: Engaging The Blades

    OPERATION Engaging the Blades Mowing WARNING Engaging the PTO (Blade Engage) transfers power to the cutting deck or other (separately available) attachments. To engage the blades, proceed as follows: To help avoid blade contact or a thrown object injury, keep bystanders, Move the throttle/choke control lever to the FAST (rabbit) position.
  • Page 17: Service And Maintenance

    SERVICE AND MAINTENANCE MAINTENANCE SCHEDULE WARNING Before performing any type of maintenance/service, disengage all controls Follow the maintenance schedule given below. This chart describes service and stop the engine. Wait until all moving parts have come to a complete guidelines only. Use the Service Log column to keep track of completed stop.
  • Page 18: Checking/Changing Engine Oil/Filter

    SERVICE AND MAINTENANCE Checking the Engine Oil Changing the Engine Oil and Filter WARNING Use a 4-stroke, or an equivalent high detergent, premium quality motor oil certified to meet or exceed U.S. automobile manufacturer’s requirements for service If the engine has been recently run, the engine, muffler and surrounding classification of a minimum level SJ (higher letter ratings are acceptable such as SL metal surfaces will be hot and can cause burns to the skin.
  • Page 19: Oil Filter

    SERVICE AND MAINTENANCE • Before replacing the fuel filter, drain the fuel tank. Otherwise, fuel can leak out and cause a fire or explosion. To Drain the fuel: Locate the fuel filter, see Figure 11, which is routed on the left side of the engine between the fuel tank and the carburetor, and may be attached to the engine with a tie strap.
  • Page 20: Air Filter

    SERVICE AND MAINTENANCE Air Cleaner Remove the foam pre-filter from around the paper air filter. See Figure 16. Replace paper element when dirty or damaged. Clean foam element or Paper filters cannot be cleaned and should be replaced every 100 operating hours; replace when damaged.
  • Page 21: Muffler

    SERVICE AND MAINTENANCE Attach the air filter cover, making sure to align plastic rib features on the Measure the plug gap with a feeler gauge. Correct as necessary by bending shroud to the plastic features on the air filter cover. See Figure 18. Turn side electrode.
  • Page 22 SERVICE AND MAINTENANCE Lubrication IMPORTANT: The use of a pressure washer to clean your tractor is NOT recommended. It may cause damage to electrical components, spindles, pulleys, WARNING bearings or the engine. Before lubricating, repairing, or inspecting, always disengage PTO (Blade A screw and deck plug can be found on your tractor’s deck surface and can be Engage Lever), move shift lever into neutral position, set parking brake, stop replaced with a water port to be used as part of a separately-available deck wash...
  • Page 23: Cutting Deck Removal

    SERVICE AND MAINTENANCE Cutting Deck Removal Side to Side To remove the cutting deck, proceed as follows: If the cutting deck appears to be mowing unevenly, a side to side adjustment can be performed. Adjust if necessary as follows: Place the PTO (Blade Engage) lever in the disengaged (OFF) position and With the tractor parked on a firm, level surface, place the deck lift lever in engage the parking brake.
  • Page 24: Jump Starting

    SERVICE AND MAINTENANCE Bow-Tie Clip Figure 26 Figure 24 Tires Remove the bow-tie cotter pin securing the deck stabilizer rod to the deck. Slide the deck lift rod from the mounting bracket on the deck as shown in WARNING Figure 25. Never exceed the maximum inflation pressure shown on the sidewall of tire.
  • Page 25: Cutting Blades

    SERVICE AND MAINTENANCE Remove the hex flange nut that secures the blade to the spindle assembly. WARNING If the jumper battery is installed on a vehicle (i.e. car, truck), do NOT start the vehicle’s engine when jump starting your tractor. Hex Flange Nut Start the tractor (as instructed earlier in this section of this manual).
  • Page 26: Parking Brake Adjustment

    SERVICE AND MAINTENANCE Changing the Deck Belt Remount the belt guards removed earlier. Re-install the deck, making sure the belt remains routed around the pulleys WARNING as instructed. The complete belt routing is shown in Figure 29. Be sure to shut the engine off, remove ignition key, disconnect the spark Pull the right side of the belt, and place the narrow V side of the belt into the plug wire(s) and ground against the engine to prevent unintended starting PTO pulley.
  • Page 27: Off-Season Storage

    OFF-SEASON STORAGE WARNING Never store lawn tractor with fuel in tank indoors or in poorly ventilated areas where fuel fumes may reach an open flame, spark, or pilot light as on a furnace, water heater, clothes dryer, or gas appliance. Preparing The Engine Draining The Fuel IMPORTANT: Fuel left in the fuel tank during warm weather deteriorates and...
  • Page 28: Troubleshooting

    TROUBLESHOOTING Problem Cause Remedy Engine fails to start PTO/Blade Engage lever engaged. Place lever in disengaged (OFF) position. Parking brake not engaged. Engage parking brake. Spark plug wire(s) disconnected. Connect wire(s) to spark plug(s). Throttle/Choke control lever not in correct Place Throttle/Choke lever into the FAST position.
  • Page 29 FEDERAL and/or CALIFORNIA EMISSION CONTROL WARRANTY STATEMENT YOUR WARRANTY RIGHTS AND OBLIGATIONS MTD Consumer Group Inc, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and for those products certified for sale in the state of California, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) are pleased to explain the emission control system (ECS) warranty on your 2014- 2015 small off-road spark-ignited engine and equipment (outdoor equipment).
  • Page 30 Add-on or modified parts that are not exempted by the Air Resources Board may not be used. The use of any non-exempted add-on or modified parts by the ultimate purchaser will be grounds for disallowing a warranty claim. MTD Consumer Group Inc will not be liable to warrant failures of warranted parts caused by the use of a non-exempted add-on or modified part.
  • Page 31 FEDERAL and/or CALIFORNIA EMISSION CONTROL WARRANTY STATEMENT YOUR WARRANTY RIGHTS AND OBLIGATIONS MTD Consumer Group Inc, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and for those products certified for sale in the state of California, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) are pleased to explain the evaporative emission control system (ECS) warranty on your 2014-2015 small off-road equipment (outdoor equipment).
  • Page 32 WARRANTED PARTS: The repair or replacement of any warranted part otherwise eligible for warranty coverage may be excluded from such warranty coverage if MTD Consumer Group Inc demonstrates that the outdoor equipment has been abused, neglected, or improperly maintained, and that such abuse, neglect, or improper maintenance was the direct cause of the need for repair or replacement of the part.
  • Page 33: Product Replacement

    REPAIR PROTECTION AGREEMENT Congratulations on making a smart purchase. Your new Craftsman® product is designed and manufactured for years of dependable operation. But like all products, it may require repair from time to time. That’s when having a Repair Protection Agreement can save you money and aggravation.

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