The Craftsman lawn mower model number 917.377561 runs at a governed speed in an effort to keep the mower safe for all riders. It is possible however to adjust the governor and deactivate it in a way that allows the Craftsman mower to run faster. Adjusting the 917.377561 mower in this respect does not require the aid of a professional repairman or any innate knowledge of lawn mower engine parts. You must keep in mind that adjusting the governor may void any warranty your Craftsman mower has.
Power off the Craftsman mower.
Locate the iron flywheel on the top of the Craftsman mower's Briggs & Stratton engine. The flywheel has a distinctive, wheel shape. This flywheel is covered with a "shroud" that is held in place by a several bolts. Take out each bolt using a socket wrench.
Remove the flywheel's shroud.
Find the Craftsman mower governor's plastic flap. It sits beside the engine's magneto, which is on the side of the exposed flywheel. Remove the bolt from the flap here with a socket wrench.
Find the Craftsman mower's carburetor on the left side of its engine. It bears a distinct, bowl shape that is easily recognizable compared to the rest of the engine. The governor's rod extends into an eyelet on the carburetor. Pull the rod out of this eyelet. This will adjust the governor and allow your Craftsman mower to run at a higher, ungoverned speed.
Reattach the flywheel shroud to the flywheel using the removed bolts and your socket wrench.