Question about Ariens 34 In. Zoom Series Riding Mower

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How do you tighten PTO belt?

PTO belt is loose and I can't figure out how to tighten. Mower is only 2 months old so I have no idea how it got so loose.

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  • Anonymous Mar 23, 2014

    mower will not go up hills think the power belt is slipping or loose how do i tighten it

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I had a similar problem with my mower right after i bought it. my belt was just loose enough to be a pain on cutting i bought a larger pully with the same belt groove and center hole as the one on my deck but in a larger diameter and replaced a pulley on the side(easiest to get to) the belt is still going but does need to be replaced. Keep your original pulley so when you buy a new belt you can swap it back

Posted on Jun 30, 2009

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If the belt is loose it probably needs replaced or has jumped out of one of the pulley or belt guards allowing it to be sloppy. Belts get stretched in many different ways, tall grass, grass getting in the pulley, or they just plain stretch. First though, check to be sure the belt hasn't jumped out of it's normal runway.

Posted on Jun 23, 2009

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Check the idler arm and make sure it can move. Sometimes they can stick and will prevent the belt from re-tighting as you adjust the height of the deck.

Posted on Jul 07, 2009

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I have a 2011 cub cadet ltx1040 with 42 inch mower deck. replaced belt, pto cable and spindle brake pads. Belt is still loose when pto engaged and cannot find any adjustment to tighten belt. All parts...


If all the parts are correct then you need to check the belt routing diagram. Sometimes you can find it on the mower deck and in the owners manual. Look carefully at the spring locations on the deck to be sure there correct. George

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Mower starts, but won't move forward. I found torn belt underneath. I'm assuming this is a drive belt (are there two--one for each wheel). How do I change it out. (Best way to lift a zero turn?).


First, wedge something in front of the front wheels (when you lift the back, there's no brake action). Get the jack from your car and position it to lift the rear of the mower chassis. Jack it up then put blocks under the rear wheels - you may be able to do both at once, or you may have to alternate - then lower onto the blocks. Get enough space. You'll have to take off the mower belt and remove the PTO clutch anchor (two bolts) and may have to take off the wires connected to the PTO clutch (connector may be above the chassis). Then pull off the spring that tightens the idler arm, remove the old belt (if it's still there) and install the new one. Refasten the spring to tighten the idler, replace the anchor and mower belt, and mow away. Good luck! Please rate my answer if helpful, thanks.

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Another possibility, is a broken spring or a tight/ rusted idler pivot arm.
with the engine off & the deck down, engage the pto & pull on the belt to see which pulley is the tensioner

Nov 07, 2009 | Garden

1 Answer

Broken belt


This is actually pretty simple:

Remove Pto guard on mower deck

Stand mower up on back stands

Pull the friction disc away from the drive disc

slip new belt in between the friction disc and drive disc pushing all the way through

release friction disc allowing to come back in contact with drive disc

loop belt around engine pulley

let mower back down

route belt around mower pulley

loosen guides on idler pulley

route belt through idler pulley

with engine off move pto lever to tighten mower belt

adjust guides on idler pulley allowing 1/8" from belt

tighten bolt on idler pulley

release pto tension

install mower pto guard

and you should be ready to mow

Aug 14, 2009 | Garden

1 Answer

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It's probably not the cable, but the idler arm on the deck that the pulley that tightens up the belt is not moving back and forth freely, probably from rust. Spray penatrating oil on the pivot point while working it back and forth until it frees up. If still having problems, let me know. Dwain

Jun 10, 2009 | Garden

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