2015 Craftsman G5500 Model 20403 54 in 24 hp Garden Tractor Review

2014-2015 Craftsman G5500 Model 20403 54 in 22 hp Garden Tractor Review

@Paul I am seriously considering G5500 Model 20403. We have 2 acres of grass, half is nice smooth terrain, half is uneven almost field like terrain. We have a couple of small hills with not much incline, but they will still need to be mowed. We will be burning firewood the upcoming winter. We’ve considered the possibility of maybe having a garden one day not sure if I would buy a tiller attachment or just get a standalone tiller. We live in the mountains but it doesn’t snow often. Would you recommend this mower for us? Or would you recommend something else. Max budget around $3500. Thanks for your help and advice.

@nost, I really think you have done your homework and this is a great choice for you. The 20403 will handle everything you want it to do. I like the larger tires for the rough areas, the heavy duty trans for pulling the firewood and the 8 mph trans so you can get the firewood chore done faster. This tractor does not have a tiller attachment but it does handle the Craftsman Universal Tow-Mount Tiller 9.75 x 2 in. well.

Is The 2015 Craftsman G5500 Model 20403 54 in 24 hp Garden Tractor The Best For You?

My Opinion: Craftsman made subtle changes to this garden tractor for 2014 to keep it on top of the competition and did nothing to it that takes away from it’s great reputation as the best garden tractor.

This is a big tractor with a big deck. It can pull anything you want to hook up to it and do it for years. I highly recommend this Garden Tractor if you have a large lawn, do a lot of landscaping, haul firewood and want to get the jobs done quickly.  With the standard Turn-Tight steering it is almost as agile as a zero-turn mower but doesn’t tear up your turf like a zero-turn can if you are not careful. You can mow slopes that a residential zero-turn can’t and it will pull stuff including a loaded chipper/yard vac. The 54 inch garden tractor is not for everyone but if you need a heavy-duty tractor this is the best choice. If you have a large lawn, if your lawn is rough, if you have many dips and bumps in your lawn this is a great choice. The large tires allow this Garden Tractor to mow higher than yard tractors.

At the end of this review I have a list of most of the attachments this garden tractor will accept. 

In other words if you have a 2-5 acre lawn and want mow at 4 inches to keep it green longer in the summer, it is a good choice. If your lawn is rough, hilly or has wet spots it is the best choice. If you want to haul firewood, dirt, pull a yard vac and other heavy loads this is the best choice.

The 54 inch Craftsman deck mows well, bags well, but mulches OK. This tractor features the Craftsman 6 inch Turn-Tight steering, 724cc Briggs & Stratton 24 HP V-Twin engine, a very dependable 7.5 mph hydrostatic transmission and a sleek new look. For the features it offers compared to all the other brands it is the least expensive garden tractor with a 54 inch deck. In addition the industry leading Craftsman Turn Tight 6 inch turning radius makes it a better choice than a zero-turn for most of us. I’ll explain later on why it is not a good mulcher.

This tractor has a heavier transmission than the John Deere D170, has more features than the Husqvarna LGT24K54 and is comparable but costs less than the Cub Cadet GT1054.

This Craftsman Garden Tractor is arguably the most popular garden tractor on the market. The combination of features, price and service make it one of the best values around. For 2014 Craftsman kept all the features that makes it the best and added a sleek, new look! This sleek new look has fixed the biggest complaint previous owners have had. The new metal hood is designed so it won’t rattle around. It features a new hinge that is stronger and keeps the front from vibrating. There are now cushions at the back of the hood just like you would find on the $6000 tractors. In addition new side panels and air plenum keeps the dirt out the engine compartment and funnels clean air into the engine cooling system. 

 2015 Craftsman G5500 Model 20403 54 in 24 hp Garden Tractor

20403 Brand: Craftsman
Manufactured By: Husqvarna
Model/Series: 20403/G5500 Yard Tractor
Item Number:   07120403000 (49 State)
See All Buying Options and Online Only Deals Here: Craftsman 24HP 54″ Complete Start Turn Tight Garden Tractor – Non CA 16″ X 6.5″ – 8″ Buy Online 24/7, Pickup At Your Local Sears at your convenience, or have it delivered to your home.
Street Price: Typically $2849.99 or less when purchased Online. Sears wants you to buy online this year. They will have the best deals online and your local store is not able to match this price. Be sure to check the special offers tab on the web page. Extra deals like “FREE DELIVERY on tractors over $1299 sold by Sears and Get an EXTRA 5% OR No Interest for 12 months on Lawn & Garden items over $299 w/ Sears card see details can make the $2999.99 even better. Of course you can purchase Online 24/7, Then Pickup At Your Local Sears at your convenience, or have it delivered to your home. Check the Special Offers tab on the product page to get the special deals for financing, delivery, price and exclusive discounts.
CA Model: 07120404000 CA

This is Craftsman’s Best Quality. This is a direct replacement (upgrade) to your old Craftsman Garden Tractor and many of your attachments will fit. If you liked your old Craftsman, you will love this one!

Craftsman calls this a Garden Tractor. It has more features and pulling power than a lawn or yard tractor. The next step up from here is a sub-compact tractor.

Compare it to: John Deere D170 Lawn Tractor, John Deere Riding Lawn Mower. D170 54 in. 25 HP V-Twin Hydrostatic Gas Front-Engine BG20732 at 2799, or the Cub Cadet Lawn Mower. GT1054 54 in. 26 HP Kohler V-Twin Hydrostatic Front-Engine Garden Tractor at $2999

Parts – Attachments – Accessories http://todaysmower.com/2014/2014-craftsman-parts-attachments-accessories-yard-tractors-54-inch-deck/Tractors With 54 inch Decks

Quick Summary Review


  • Foot Control Trans with integral cruise
  • Top Speed 7.5 mph!
  • Step-through Platform
  • 6 inch Turn-Tight Steering is the best in the industry.
  • 54 inch deck with spring assisted lift and washout port
  • Disperses clippings evenly in side-discharge mode.
  • Fills 3 bin bagger to capacity.
  • Easy adjust, comfortable high-back seat.
  • 24 HP Full Pressure Briggs & Stratton V-Twin Engine
  • Type: Garden Tractor
  • Maximum mowing area per hour (acres): 2.3 acres at 5 MPH
  • Recommended for moderate slopes? Yes, Moderate slopes
  • Excels in mowing around obstacles? Yes
  • Will Mow In Reverse? Yes


  • Mulches well but can have a large amount of blow-by when mulching dry leaves or grass.

See All Buying Options and Online Only Deals Here: Craftsman 24HP 54″ Complete Start Turn Tight Garden Tractor – Non CA 16″ X 6.5″ – 8″ Buy Online 24/7, Pickup At Your Local Sears at your convenience, or have it delivered to your home.

My Full Review:

I know zero-turn mowers are the hot topic today but for most of us residential zero-turns are not the best choice. Yes, zero-turns are more agile than a conventional lawn tractor so you may mow your lawn faster but they don’t work on slopes. They also take time to learn-to-drive. They are designed just to mow so they don’t pull stuff. They are more expensive than a lawn tractor.  The Craftsman Garden Tractor Series with Turn Tight continues to be the best choice if you need high maneuverability and a want to do more than just mow your lawn.

The Craftsman Turn Tight 6 inch turning radius on this garden tractor allows you to quickly get your lawn done without the pitfalls of using a zero-turn mower.  No learning curve to operate it. No divots or scuff marks in your lawn. No worries about mowing the septic mound or slopes. No extra cost for two transmissions. It will pull stuff.  The Craftsman Garden Tractors have the tightest turning radius in the industry and the steering works well. It is the best value riding mower on the market today for most of us. Compared to all the other brands this yard tractor has more of the features you want at a price lower than a conventional lawn tractor from the competition.  It has a better motor than other lawn tractors in this price range, a very dependable automatic transmission, a great cutting deck, and plenty of available attachments. It will handle all of the ground engaging and non-ground engaging attachments Sears, Lowes and The Home Depot sells.

I am not going to TELL you this is the best tractor for you. But if you have gotten this far reading this review it just may be. The John Deere 500 series, Cub Cadet 2000 series and Simplicity PRESTIGE are better garden tractors but they also cost 2 to 3 times as much . The Craftsman Garden Tractor series continues to be the best value tractor on the market for your large suburban yard! This is a great garden tractor with a good cutting deck.  It has five anti-scalp wheels so it will mow your lawn without gouging or scalping the turf.  This tractor is new but in reality it is just improved.  Sears has the best service and repair network. They come right to your home if your ever have a problem with your tractor. You never have to bring your tractor anywhere or arrange for a pickup to have it serviced.

This lawn tractor will mow in reverse.

Owner Reviews: Right now there are no reviews on Sears.com because this is a new model for 2014. I’ll watch them and see if there are trends.

Why Is This Craftsman Yard Tractor a good choice for you?

(Disclaimer: All features listed in the remainder of this article are subject to change and my interpretation of the information available on the sears websites.)

They Look Better:

20403 I don’t know about you, but I like the new look. I like the modern hood and smooth fenders. The rounded edges of the control console (dash) make it even more easier to get on and off. And of course the cup holder is essential. That was one of the reasons why I never even considered a Craftsman back in the 80’s and early 90’s. They were UGLY! Today’s hoods have more metal. The front of the old 80’s and 90’s hoods was one big chunk of brittle plastic.  Any bump into a tree or other obstruction and it was time to get out the duct tape, and eventually $140 or more for a new nose piece.  Today’s hood uses more metal, and the plastic appears to be more flexible to withstand more abuse from your teenagers. (Of course there is an optional brush guard if your spouse has a hard time with trees:)

Big Deck:

For most of us it’s all about the deck and how it mows. 

Craftsman – It’s all about the 54 inch Deck

Decks Cut Better:

54 inch dech shown on 20404

54 inch deck shown on 20404

 Mow – Mulch- Bag:  The 54 inch deck on this Craftsman is the largest deck you can get on a lawn tractor. 54 inch decks mow large areas fast but they don’t mow as evenly as a 42 inch deck. You will experience more scalping than with a 42 inch deck. If you have a large lawn and mow at 3 inches or higher though you probably won’t notice this. This deck mows well at 5 MPH but don’t expect it to mow as fast as the tractor will go (7.5MPH) and give you the same results.  With this tractor/deck you set the height of cut using a spring assisted lever on the left tractor fender. (FYI: It’s not the deck, it’s the government that decides how fast you can mow. Regulations limit the blade tip speed on residential mowers which also limits how fast you can mow well)

54 inch decks cut well for most of us that need a big deck but they seldom get a “Best Buy” Why? A 54 inch deck is just too wide to move as evenly. This deck cuts well but doesn’t always throw wet grass evenly out the side discharge with mulching blades installed. If you always want an even discharge or want to fill the optional 3 bin bagger always use the high-lift decks. I personally have no problems with a 54 inch deck, but if you are a perfectionist look at a 42 or 46 inch deck.

The blades are offset just right so there are no uncut strips when you make a turn.

 The Craftsman 54 deck is designed to mulch well with a set of mulching blades and a simple “plug” that snaps into the discharge hole. With the mulch plug installed you can raise the discharge chute out-of-the-way for closer trimming on the right-hand side of the mower. There are two types of mulching blades available. The standard wavy type and premium mulching blades that enhance the mulching for extra thick lawns and leaves. The other review organizations that test lawn tractors all verify that this deck mulches well.

One little item about mulching with a 54 inch deck. These decks are high-airflow decks. They have vented spindles that pull air into the deck to create a powerful vacuum that lifts the grass and cuts it evenly. The problem though is when you block the discharge with a mulch plug-that air still has to go somewhere.  When you mulch dry leaves or when the lawn is very dry the air comes out the right front of the deck. If the wind is just right the leaves and grass lifts up into the air and lands all over you. In other words it can be a very dirty deck when you are mulching dry materials.

Better Anti-Scalp: These decks come standard with 5 anti-scalp wheels and a rounded bottom lip.  The anti-scalp system and the spring assist deck lift lets it ride over obstacles easier than the older decks.

Decks are easy to adjust: The deck lift is almost as great of a change as the Turn Tight Steering.  Your old lever was always in the way. It was hard to use.  Getting on and off the tractor my sweatshirt, coat etc. always got caught on that lever sticking up in the wind.  The new fender mounted lever is out-of-the-way and the spring assisted system requires very little effort to use.

Leveling the deck is easy. The 3-point linkage is easy to adjust if the deck gets abused and starts to cut unevenly. Adjustable links levels the deck side to side and one adjustable link levels it front to back . By the way: When you read your manual it will tell you to level the deck but I am finding that most decks are leveled correctly from the factory. I suggest to just go out and mow first. If it is not mowing evenly check the tire pressures and then level the deck.

 There is always a discussion about fabricated/welded decks and stamped decks over on the tractor forums. The reality is welded decks take more abuse, stamped decks cut better.Welded decks will take more abuse if you are the type to go around and bang your mower into trees, buildings, rocks and other obstructions. If you are mowing fields and properties where you never know what type of stumps, metal debris, rocks and other junk you may find a welded deck is the best choice. But, besides the extra cost of fabricating the deck, welded decks need special, expensive baffle kits to mulch well. A tractor with a 42 inch fabricated deck will cost over $600 more than this tractor. Plus welded decks have poorer airflow and require you to buy a separate blower to use a bagger ($500-750 for the blower)

The Craftsman 54 inch deck on the G5500 Series is a stamped deck. This deck is engineered to mow well. These decks have channels and other stiffeners built into the design making these decks lighter than welded decks but still very strong. They can handle a direct frontal hit from a stump when mowing and not bend. The Craftsman decks have better corrosion resistance than the decks of the past. The powder coated finish resists scratches and rust-through so prevalent with decks 20 years ago.

Aluminum Spindles. This deck uses cast aluminum vented spindles with greased bearings.  You should buy a grease gun, grease and lubricated these every 50 hours (once a year). They will last the life of the mower with proper blade maintenance and cleaning.

I have read some reviews where owners complain that they have had to replace the spindles multiple times on their lawn tractor. (Not just this deck, but other brands as well.) Spindles fail for only two reasons, operator abuse and improper maintenance. Lawn tractor decks are designed to mow lawns. They are not designed to mow fields, cut down brush, hit rocks, stumps, concrete, kids toys, water shut-off valves and other debris. If you hit something and you break a spindle be glad it broke. Replacing a $50 spindle is cheap compared to bending the $700 deck housing and having to replace that. You can also break spindles by not balancing your blades when you sharpen them. If one end of the blade is shorter than the other or it is bent out of factory specs the blade will vibrate and eventually wreck the spindle. If you hit something or if you sharpen the blades and the mower has more vibration than it did before, stop and find out what is wrong. If you don’t know how to properly sharpen and balance blades always replace them with new Craftsman blades. (aftermarket blades are not always balanced properly)

The 3 bin bagger is specifically designed to collect all the clippings and fill completely. It has “soft” sided bags that reduce the dust and debris around your neck and back.

What deck size do I need? Besides how large of a lawn you have to mow consider the gates, doors and strips between your landscape beds.  The 54 deck will NOT fit into a standard size pickup bed. With the discharge chute lifted up the Craftsman 54 inch Precision Cut Deck requires 57 inches of side to side clearance. With the chute down, 61 inches.  (The Craftsman 46 inch Precision Cut Deck requires 47.5 inches of clearance. With the chute down, 54 inches.)

I have hills and use tire chains: Tire chains will fit on a tractor with a 54 inch 3-blade deck installed but will not fit on a tractor with a 46, 2 bladed deck. This includes the Craftsman, Husqvarna, Poulan Pro, John Deere and Ariens tractors. I have not checked the MTD built lawn tractors.

3. Engine:

People who buy this yard tractor want a dependable mower with a dependable motor.

Note: This Briggs & Stratton Platinum motor compares to the Kohler Courage Plus and the new Kohler 7000.  It is better than Briggs & Stratton Gold, Silver, Intek and IC engines found in most lawn tractors.

Ride Mower Engine - 2600 Platinum Craftsman V-Twin Why are These Engines Are Better?

Longer Life Engines: The Platinum Series Engine in the G5500 Garden Tractors is a significant improvement over the engine in the 1990’s Lawn Tractors. Briggs & Stratton has made over 80 improvements to this engine ranging from efficient Overhead Valve Design to a better oil drain system that uses no tools and doesn’t get used engine oil all over the frame.

Built for the toughest work in your yard. Craftsman Exclusive Platinum Series™ V-Twin tractor engines deliver more power, less vibration, quieter running and greater durability. Available exclusively on select Craftsman tractors, this lawn tractor engine will last 25% longer under heavy-duty use.

Better Fuel Economy: Today’s engine offer better fuel economy over the 1990’s version. They are also designed to run on todays fuels that seem to have more additives than gasoline. These engines will runs on 10% ethanol BUT WILL NOT RUN ON THE 15% BLENDED FUEL!

Full Pressure Lube: The Platinum engine has an oil pump and actually pumps oil to the critical engine components. These engines will run on slopes that used to kill the old side-valve, splash lubricated engines. In addition, a long-life filter removes contaminants from the oil and provides less wear on the engine.  This engine uses the same yellow filter found on the Briggs & Stratton Professional Series.

More Efficient Air Cleaners:  The air cleaners on the Platinum Series are significantly better than the old paper or foam filters on your old Craftsman.  Cleaner air into the engine means less wear and longer life.

MRS Spark Plug: Most Reliable Starting (MRS) spark plug delivers optimized performance and extended service life

 It’s all about the details:  Sears does two things to this motor that really sets it apart from the competition. First they use the high quality yellow Briggs Filter. This gives you the best oil filtration and this engine is designed to make the best use of the filter. Second, is the oil drain.  The Craftsman no-drip drain is the easiest to use. Just unclasp the no-drip cap, attach the extension hose, tilt it down to your bucket and push/twist the drain. No drips on your frame no cleaning, no oily film that collects dirt and debris on your tractor!

These Craftsman tractors are assembled at the factory in Orangeburg, S.C. Like all mechanical devices I suggest you take some time and completely go over the machine when new and understand it’s operation. Read the manual completely. After you use your new mower for an hour or so I suggest you look at all the fasteners and check to be sure they are tight. Especially check the bolts that hold the transmission to the frame and the engine-to-frame bolts. Here is an article showing you the most critical bolts to check. 8 Bolts On Your Lawn Tractor You Need To Check Now  I recommend this for all new lawn tractors but I especially recommend it on tractors made by Ariens, Husqvarna, Poulan, Cub Cadet, John Deere and Craftsman. 

Hydrostatic Transmission

Simple to use, ideal for most terrain. 

 This Transmissions Is The Best Available!

The hydrostatic transmission in this Craftsman Garden Tractor is ideal for any type of terrain. The transmission in this mower is sized for it and has a proven reputation. In fact it is one of the best transmissions in any riding mower. It will pull anything you want to attach to your tractor. It is a high-speed trans and will scoot around your property at 8 MPH when you aren’t mowing.

Craftsman doesn’t make a big deal about this dependable transmission, because it just works. This heavy-duty, bulletproof transmission is designed for high performance and low maintenance. Although it does have an oil filter and the oil can be changed, Craftsman and I don’t recommend changing the oil. Clean the mud and dry grass off of it once a year and it will never give you a problem.

The pedal on the left side of the tractor is the parking brake.  You do not need to depress that pedal to shift the tractor.   The forward, reverse speed and braking is controlled with the pedal on the right side fender.  To go forward push the pedal forward.  To stop take your foot off the pedal. (The parking brake pedal can also be used to stop the tractor.)  To back the tractor push the small pedal on the right side. Because of the way an the transmission operates the braking is internal and part of the operation. When you release the pedal the transmission brakes your travel automatically. You only need to use the left hand pedal to park the mower or to leave it stopped on a hill.

Oh, it does have cruise control so you don’t have to keep your foot on the pedal for those big, open areas.

Comfort –

If you are going to mow, you might as well be comfortable.

 Start with the seat: When comparing this lawn tractor to others sit on the seat and ask yourself these questions.

Sit on the seat and envision yourself sitting there for 2 or more hours. Is it comfortable? Does it give you good back and lumbar support? Does it have side supports to help you stay in the seat on slopes and when mowing rough spots? The seat should be easily adjustable if you have more than one person using your lawn tractor. When you sit on the seat, is it level? (Some tractors have heavy springs under the seat for “suspension” and it feels like you are constantly sliding forward.)

The seat on the G5500 sits level, has a nice high back, good lumbar and side supports. The arm rest make it even more comfortable. It slides back and forth easily. There is plenty of seat adjustment so any operator from 5 ft 1 inch to 6 ft 4 in can easily operate this lawn tractor.

 The Steering Wheel: Is the steering wheel textured so it is easy to grip? Smooth steering wheels cause your hands to sweat in hot weather. When it’s cold out and you are wearing gloves smooth steering wheels are very hard to use. Your hands keep slipping all over the place. The steering wheel on the G5500 is textured so your hands won’t get sweaty and your gloves won’t slide around.

Sloping Hood: Some big box stores are still using hoods from 10 years ago on their 2013 tractors. They are tall and boxy and you have to look around them to see in front of the tractor. I know this is a minor issue but if you are used to a sloping hood and then use one with the old box style you’ll realize how cumbersome the old hoods are when trimming and getting close to objects.

Getting On And Off: Ease of Use: The first thing potential buyers notice when they get on the G5500 is how easy it is to get on and off. Craftsman has designed this mower with a lot of space between the seat and the steering console to make it as easy as possible to get on and off this tractor. The step through design and rounded control console allows you to get on and off the tractor easier than before.  No more banging your knees trying to get on or off the tractor.

Deluxe high-back seat, easy to use operator controls, good field of view.  This Yard Tractor is very comfortable to operate and drive.

Six Inch Turn Tight Steering:

Better Steering Box, Axle and Steering System:

One of the major improvements that I like with the Craftsman Yard and Garden Tractors is the steering.  If you own a 90’s green Craftsman LT you probably have at least a 1/2 revolution of play in the steering wheel by now.  Long gone is the old half-moon system with the plastic pinion gear that always wore out.  Today’s Craftsman tractors steer easier and the pinion gears don’t wear out. I have seen Craftsman Turn Tight Yard Tractors with 100’s of hours with no more play in the steering than the day they were purchased.

Front axles are better: The front axles are now cast iron and have a lifetime warranty. I have yet to see a broken or bent one!

Turn Tight Tighter Steering: The exclusive Turn Tight steering is one of the “wonders” of the lawn tractors.  With a 6 inch turning radius this tractor is the most maneuverable tractor on the market today.  In most cases you can trim and mow without ever taking your walk-behind mower out of the shed.  I personally feel for most homeowners this is a better solution than a zero-turn. It works on slopes, requires no training to use and even your spouse will like to drive it.

The steering is the only weakness with the G5500. Plain and simple, the steering is great but you have to use common sense when using this tractor with it. If your lawn is very rough. If you “have” to mow as fast as this tractor will go. If you let your teenagers use this tractor for a go-cart, you will bend or break the front axles. You need to slow down to a walking speed when making a turn. 

Here is how I look at this: Growing up on the farm I was taught to always slow the tractor down when making a turn. If you tried to turn to fast with the old Ford 9N’s or the Ferguson tractors you would eventually break a front axle. With the row-crop models you had to slow down or you would tip the tractor over (and kill yourself in the process) Dropping the front axle in a rut or plow furrow was another way to break the front end. There was always a story or two where the neighbors kids broke a tractor and you didn’t want to be a stupid as they were. The same goes with your car. You always slow down for a corner. You never try to take a curve too fast for fear of rolling the car or breaking the front end. 

The axle on the G5500 is the same. It is a good reliable steering system but you can abuse it and break it. In my opinion if you do break it, don’t blame the machine, blame it on your own lack of experience. 

Reliability –

What do I do if it breaks?

This tractor is serviced by Sears.  Sears service techs come to your home to repair your lawn tractor. You never have to take it anywhere.

People who buy this yard tractor know what they are buying and this is just what they want. That is why you will find so many good reviews on Sears.com.  This is a great tractor with a great cutting deck and may just be the best value for you and your suburban lawn.

Reliability – New to 3 yrs: This tractor is serviced by Sears.  There have been no issues with the build quality. One thing to know – Sears takes the tractor out of the shipping crate but they do not “setup” the tractor. (John Deere dealers are the only retailer who does) You have to put gas in it, and run it for the first time. If there is an assembly problem you call 1-800-469-4663 and a service tech comes out to your home and fixes the issue. The store where you picked it up from or the delivery team does not repair the tractor. If you buy another brand make sure you understand the repair policy if you have a problem.  Many of the other brands make you take the mower to an “authorized service center”

Replacement Parts Are Much Easier To Get:

15 years ago to get Craftsman parts you had to go to the Sears Service Center and order them.  Your local repairman wouldn’t touch your Craftsman because he said that he couldn’t get parts.  (He could, he just had to go to the Service center and order the part himself) The Internet is a wonderful thing and today is very easy to get parts. All you need is the model number from under the seat, go to searspartsdirect.com, order the part and within a few days it arrives at your home. You can even use this link: Shop at Sears PartsDirect and get 10% off your purchase with code: 90055 Searspartsdirect has all of the parts diagrams for your mower, making it very easy to get your part. If you are not really mechanically inclined, all you have to do is write down your model number, go to your local Sears and anyone in the Lawn & Garden Department can help you order the part.  Again, it comes right to your home. By the Way: If you lost your tractor manual, get the model number from under the seat, use the link above and you can view or download a copy there for free!

Handling – Traction/Steering:  This tractor has average traction and is similar to all the other garden tractors from the other retailers. This tractor has better steering than all the other lawn tractors under $4000.

See All Buying Options and Online Only Deals Here: Craftsman 24HP 54″ Complete Start Turn Tight Garden Tractor – Non CA 16″ X 6.5″ – 8″ Buy Online 24/7, Pickup At Your Local Sears at your convenience, or have it delivered to your home.

Specifications, Features, Benefits

The rest of this article is taken from the retailers website. Specs subject to change. (Note: as of March 1, there are some mistakes online. I have corrected them here)

Product Specifications

Cutting Deck & Blade:
  • Blade Material:
  • Blade Type:
    3 and 1
  • Blade Width (in.):
  • Cutting Deck Material:
  • Cutting Deck Nose Roller:
  • Cutting Height Adjustment Type:
    Hand Lever
  • Cutting Height Maximum (in.):
  • Cutting Height Minimum (in.):
  • Cutting Width (In.):
  • Deckwash System:
  • Number of Cutting Blades:
Controls and Features:
  • Blade Engagement Type:
  • Blade Lift:
  • Cruise Control:
  • Item Weight (lbs.):
  • Overall Item Dimensions:
    73.75 x 52.5 x 46
  • Wheelbase (in.):
Product Overview:
  • Commercial/Residential:
  • General Warranty:
    2 Year
  • Terrain Type:
  • Terrain Type:
  • Frame Material:
  • Frame Type:
    Stamped steel
  • Front Axle Material:
    Cast iron
Drive System:
  • Maximum Forward Speed (mph):
  • Maximum Reverse Speed (mph):
  • Mow in Reverse:
  • Number of Forward Speeds:
  • Number of Reverse Speeds:
  • Transmission Type:
    Hydrostatic Automatic
  • Turning Radius (in.):
  • Turn Tight:
  • Cooling System Type:
    Air Cooled
  • Engine Brand:
    Briggs & Stratton(r)
  • Engine Cycles:
  • Engine Displacement (cc):
  • Horsepower:
  • Number of Cylinders:
Wheels & Tires:
  • Front Tire Size:
    16″ X 6.5″ – 8″
  • Rear Tire Size:
    23″ X 10.5″ – 12″
Accessory or Attachment:
  • 3 Bin Bagger Part Number:
  • Accepts Bagger:
  • Hauling Equipment:
    Light Hauling
  • Hauling Equipment:
    Heavy Hauling
  • Ground-Engaging Attach.:
  • Mulch Kit Part Number:
  • Snow Blade or Thrower Capable:
    Snow thrower
  • Snow Blade or Thrower Capable:
    Snow blade
Fuel System:
  • Fuel Capacity (gal.):
  • Fuel Gauge Location:
    On Tank
  • Fuel Type:
Gauge Accessory:
  • Gauges:
Convenience Features:
  • Power Steering:
  • Speed Control:
    Foot pedal
  • CARB Compliant:
    Not Compliant with Cali. Air Resource Board
  • Location:
    All other
  • Arm Rests:
  • Tractor Grade:
    Garden Tractor

Available Attachments:

Craftsman Front Tractor Scoop

Craftsman Garden Tractor Snow and Dozer Blade 16 in. High

Agri-Fab 50″ Snow Blower Attachment w/ Electric Lift

Craftsman Tractor Cab

Craftsman 55 lb. Tractor Wheel Weight

Craftsman 9 Bushel 3- Bin Soft Bagger for 54″ Deck on Yard & Garden Tractors

Craftsman 12.5 cu. ft. Poly Swivel Cart

Craftsman 16 cu. ft. Steel Swivel Dump Cart

Aerators & Dethatchers

Rollers, Rakes & Levelers

Lawn Sweepers

Chipper Vacs

Tillers & Cultivators

Craftsman Garden Tractor Sleeve Hitch

Why a Craftsman Yard Tractor?

  • The Craftsman lawn and yard tractors are one of the most popular lawn tractors ever offered to mow your lawn. Just search “Craftsman Lawn Tractor” and you will find millions of pictures and articles of Craftsman Tractor owners proudly showing off their pride and joy. In fact on Google there are more pictures and articles for Craftsman Lawn tractors than John Deere or Cub Cadet.
  • Most of the tractors bought in the late 90’s are still around and mowing lawns every week. Unlike owners of the other makes, Craftsman owners are not complaining about “they don’t make them like they used to.” From my observation many owners of these old lawn tractors come in to Sears today and buy a new tractor not because their old one is wore out.  They are just tired of it and want something new.
  • The design is stable: Using computer terms this “build” has been around for a few years now. This year they added a great new look, a bulletproof transmission for the V-Twins, and a 48 inch deck is back but otherwise the tractors are using the same proven designs that made this series so popular. The bugs you normally find with a new product are all fixed and there are no known issues with the T3000 series.  The consumer review magazines continue to like the tractor, the cut and the dependability for the price. Craftsman continues to “tweek” the models by adding features like the Turn-Tight steering but in general this is a proven, reliable platform that will offer years of use….. Just like your old green Craftsman. Craftsman owners are still loyal to the brand because they know the new 2014 tractors are actually better than they used to be. Go here to read about all of the improvement Craftsman has made just for you! 12 Reasons Why Craftsman Lawn Tractors Are Better Today,
  • FYI: The new 2014 Craftsman Yard Tractors are still made right here in the U.S.A. in the same factory where your 1990’s Lawn Tractor was made.  The same quality “craftsmanship” you have come to know and trust.

See All Buying Options and Online Only Deals Here: Craftsman 24HP 54″ Complete Start Turn Tight Garden Tractor – Non CA 16″ X 6.5″ – 8″ Buy Online 24/7, Pickup At Your Local Sears at your convenience, or have it delivered to your home.

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256 Comments on "2015 Craftsman G5500 Model 20403 54 in 24 hp Garden Tractor Review"

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Chris Brown

I have a G5500 that will not start, I have found that their is no voltage to the fuel solenoid. How do I test the smart switch to make sure it is working properly?

Jonas Robinson

My 2015 G5500 is running like a charm at 105 hours, just had my third oil analysis which came back great.
But, at the 100 hour change I didn’t have a filter – now I do.
Can you change the filter on this B&S engine without all the oil draining?
(I know – you’re not a mechanic!)

Jeong Son

Maneuverability is great.
Engine runs strong and efficient. I fill it 3 times every 7 cuts on a 1/3 acre lawn.
Cuts ok. Could be my pattern.
Forward speed degrades over time. It runs full speed but in 5 minutes or so, the forwards speed is down to walking speed. still allows me to cut my lawn in half the time of a walk behind.


I just bought a used craftsman G5500 54 inch lawn tractor. It only had 23 hours on it. When I used it, the motor was choking and had some backfire issues when the blades were engaged. When the blades were no engaged it ran fine. Any suggestions what the problem could be?


I downloaded the engine manuals but no mention of governor adjustment.

Anyways… still low hours on my mower (25) i bought a couple years ago. Out of warranty now.

But for awhile when the motor is not under load with blades engaged it will race up and down in speed when its sitting there running at all rpm ranges. Once in awhile it runs nice and smooth but more often then not it will race up and down a bit.

Is this a common governor out of adjustment issue or?

Zach Willey
My 5500 has 650 hours of fairly rough terrain use, mostly grass fields. So it has tangled with some golpher mounds, and a few, but not many, rocks. So the wear is beginning to show — some electrical/ignition issues, mower spindles replaced, and now the transaxle appears to need replacing. This Craftsman has been a great workhorse, and overall is still in good condition. But I’m feeling like major repairs are on the horizon, so the question is it time to replace with a newer mower? I could easily spend $500 on swapping out the transaxle, only to be confronted… Read more »

Got my G5500 last year and love it!!! Yesterday, however, will mowing the spring on the mower deck broke and I’m unable to find a part number to order a replacement. Is there any place online where I can download a complete parts manual for my tractor?? Thank you

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