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Self propeleld mower - drive wheels aren't working

I adjusted the tension for the drive wheels but they aren't working.

They seem slip instead of turning the drive wheels.

Is there another way to adjust the drive wheels?

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  • 154 Answers

Wheels gears may be worn out, replace wheels

Posted on Aug 05, 2009


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I have a self propelled lawn mower and the the belt that propells the wheels is loose, do I need to replace it or is there a way to tighten the tension.

Cathy, there is a way to adjust belt tension on some models whether it is by the cable or a slotted bracket where the idler wheel is mounted, depends on make and model. If you have your manual check in it for belt adjustment. Could be stretched belt, stretched cable, worn/oil on pulley, seized tensioner, stretched/broken spring on tensioner,etc.
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no tension adjustments replace fluid and filter should improve

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I have a 1987 Toro GTS Self propelled walk behind mower- My question is that it runs fine but but seems to be slippling and can't get out of it's own way

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Is worn smooth, or oily surfaces on drive wheels. Can you tell if it slips on drive wheel, or those driven. Some Hondas have belt tensioners which can be too loose. See if axle on drive wheel is in a slotted, rather than round whole, meaning you could loosen/retighten while putting pressure on it to lengthen distance to driven wheels.

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1 Answer

Honda mower drive cable

The drive belt may be worn and slipping on the pulley. (assuming it is a belt driven model). This would cause the mower to lose a great deal of power to the wheels. By adjusting the cable only, you are effectively adding a little more friction to the belt/pulley interface which in turn will provide a bit more power but the belt may still be slipping on the pulley(s) which is where you could still be losing the majority of your mowers self propulsion. Some Honda models may also employ a belt tensioner that simply adds tension to the belt even if the belt becomes stretched out & worn but the pulley's can become glazed (slippery). If it is a direct "pulley to pulley" drive with a single drive belt (no tensioner) the worn belt can also glaze the pulleys and cause further slipping. You can reface your pulley(s) contact surfaces with a very light grade wet sand paper (1000 grit), a coarse grade steel wool or a scotchbrite abrasive pad, thereby giving the belt more "purchase" on the pulley(s) contact surfaces. If you do perform a refacing of the pulley(s), it is strongly advised that you replace the drive belt as well. Your mower will then function as it did when it was new. Hope this helps.

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1 Answer

How do I adjust my self propelled belt

I don't think there IS an adjustment. That is what prompted me to construct a tensioner device to add just that little more tension needed. This was MY fix after trying a new belt and spring.
My Craftsman mower lost the self propel feature. The small pulley on the top of the transmission would slip under load, There was just not enough tension on the belt to over come it. Tried a new belt and also replaced the tensioner spring...still slipping when going uphill or with full bag. Possible pulleys worn...not wanting to gamble more time and labor, I bought a 4" 1/4" cap screw with extra nuts and flat washers, a 3"16 eye bolt as well. Drill a 1/4" hole in the bracket that holds the trans activation cable in place and a 3/16" hole in the mower deck so the holes are in alignment with each other. Put the cap screw through the 1/4" hole with the threads facing toward the front of the mower. Fasten the eye bolt into the 3/16" hole in the mower deck locking it in place with one nut on each side of the metal. Now you have the 1/4" bole protruding through the eye bolt. Using a flat washer and nut, tighten then nut easily and when there is room put a second nut on it. When you have tightened it up to the desired belt tension lock the two nuts together using two wrenches. NOT make the belt incredibly tight or you will destroy the trans in a short time. Go a little at a time till the drive does not slip under load. Good luck hope this helps. will have to trim the plastic cover that covers the transmission so the added bolt will clear it and you can put the cover back in it's proper place.

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1 Answer

Self propelled JS63 Deere Lawn Mower Transmission is driving axle but rear wheels act like they are slipping. It seems like gears on end of axle are not engaging the drive gear on the inside hub of...

some times you can add a thin shim to the out side of the wheel mounting center to push the wheel gentally a little more to the drive gear for more positive engagement to the wheels inside gearing, also check your gear drive mounting pins/ keys for wear if thier warn it will engage the end of the drive shaft iradically appearing as slipping type movment at the wheel hope this Helps Steve

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1 Answer

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If you have an tension adjuster on the handle loosen up until you can slip it back on. If thats not enough remove the spring at the tranmission.

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2 Answers

Craftsman front wheel self-propelled, push mower: belt keeps slipping off tension pin. Also, the wheels don't rotate as rapidly as when I first bought it last year.

Make sure the pulleys are aligned perfectly straight and replace the old belt with a new one. The pulleys have an allan head set screw you need to loosen to adjust the pulley.

May 03, 2009 | Garden

1 Answer

Drive belt slips on lawn tractor, cannot see an adjustment.


i would check with the owners manual to see if it shows an adjustment for the belt drive. most mowers today are equipped with a self adjusting arm witha pulley tensioner with a spring attatched to it. as the belt stretches the tensioner spring pulls against the arm causing it to apply tension to the belt thus tightening it. it sounds as if your belt is stretched beyond the limits of the tensioner. at least every new season it would be a good idea to inspect the belt tensioner for room or space of free play. that is to check to see if it will move opposite the pulley allowing the belt to tighten. if there is not enough sufficient room then i suggest replacement of the drive belt.

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