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It sounds like you didn't install the belt onto the idler pulley in the correct S-shape. The idler pulley should always keep the belt tight under spring tension (no adjustment screws).
Here is a video, and tho it is a completely different model, almost all dryer belts/pulleys are installed in this manner. You can skip to the 2:30 to 2:45 time frames, where it then shows exactly how to re-install the belt on the idler pulley.
Normally the spring doesn't just sprung, it usually breaks. The springs on these engines are bent backwards on both ends so that they catch on to pieces on both the housing and the starter pulley. I would need to see a picture of the unit you have so that I know which screws to tell you to remove. Homeline trimmers are the cheapest on the market and they are very hard to get parts for. Some times if the spring is broken at the ends, we can heat the spring up until it is cherry red and then put a new bend in it and it will work fine. Other times this will not work. Just depends on the unit or where the break in the spring is. If you try and bend the spring with out heating up the metal, you will just break the spring again. So be sure to heat the spring up with a lighter or propane tourch.
Its kind of hard to say with out knowing witch carbuator you have and what kind of fuel its running on or what year the engine is . If your missing a spring and your haveing idile issues i would geuss that it would be the spring to the governor witch is a lever on the side of the engine that should hook to a lever on the carb . its a floating spring and the faster the engines runs it pulls back on the throttle plate to keep the engine from running away . Its controlled by a vane inside the flywheel area that catches the force of the wind generater by the flywheel as it spins faster . The faster the engine runs the more drag on the vane and the more pull on the spring to the throttle plate to keep the engine under controll . This is a basic answer and if you know its missing a spring this is likely where it goes
I believe that you can go to Craftsman`s site and I know that you can go to Parts Tree or Order Tree .com and they will give you pretty good pictures of how everything is laid out on your mower. You should get a fair idea as to the direction and how the spring should be routed. I have looked for this type of help and had no luck. Study it close! Good luck with it.
there is no spring tensioner on some of the 3.0 engines. See instructions below. I will paste a pic on the version that DOES have a tensioner at the bottom of this post.
3.0L Engine-Except SHO ALTERNATOR BELT WITHOUT AUTOMATIC TENSIONER
Loosen the adjusting arm and pivot bolts.
Turn the alternator belt adjusting screw counterclockwise until the old belt can be removed.
Remove the belt.
Install the new belt over the pulleys. Check that all the V-grooves make proper contact with the pulleys.
Adjust the belt tension, then tighten the adjusting arm and pivot bolts.
3.0L SHO Engine ALTERNATOR BELT
See Figure 2
Loosen the nut in the center of the idler pulley.
Loosen the idler adjusting screw until the old belt can be removed, then remove the belt.
Install the new belt over the pulleys in proper contact with the pulleys.
Adjust the new belt to specifications as follows: Turn the idler pulley nut to the right to tighten the belt to a specification of 220-265 lbs. (980-1180 N). Torque the idler pulley nut to 25-37 ft. lbs. (34-50 Nm).
POWER STEERING AND AIR CONDITIONING BELT
See Figure 2
Remove the alternator belt.
Loosen the nut on the tensioner pulley.
Turn the belt adjusting screw on the tensioner counterclockwise until the belt can be removed, then remove the belt.
Position the new belt over the proper pulleys, making sure the V-grooves are properly seated.
Install the alternator belt.
Adjust the power steering and air conditioning belt to a specification of 154-198 lbs. (690-980 N) with a belt tension gauge.
Adjust the alternator belt.
3.0L Engine (Except SHO) and 3.8L Engine VEHICLES THROUGH 1993 WITH AUTOMATIC TENSIONER
See Figures 4 and 5
Insert a 1 / 2 in. breaker bar into the square hole in the tensioner.
On the 3.8L engine, the tensioner has a1/2in. square hole cast into the rear of the tension arm directly behind the pulley. On the 3.0L engine, the1/2in. square hole is cast into the spring housing on the front of the tensioner.
Rotate the tensioner clockwise and remove the belt.
Fig. Fig. 5: 3.8L belt schematic-1993 shown
Install the drive belt over all the pulleys, except for the alternator pulley on the 3.0L engine for vehicles through 1992, or the idler pulley for 1993 3.0L vehicles.
Rotate tensioner counterclockwise and install the belt over the alternator pulley. Make sure that all the V-grooves make proper contact with the pulleys.
On the 3.0L engine, install the alternator belt for vehicles through 1992.
For 1993 3.0L vehicles, install the drive belt over the idler pulley.
Your truck has one belt and one idler pulley. To tighten it you will need a large bar (a breaker bar, crowbar or large screwdriver will work) Loosen the idler pulley bolt (not all the way) just enough to break it loose then use the bar against the pulley to tension the belt. If there are parts missing from the idler pulley, a new one must be purchased.