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Tighten belts on my Yard machine ride on lawn mower

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There is rarely any adjustment to tighten the belts on a riding mower. The belts are tensioned by an idler pulley which is controlled by a idler pulley spring. Almost all riding mower belts must be accurate to the hundredth of an inch or no less than accurate to 1/8th inch. It is very rare for a belt to be in full inch increments. This is why automotive or general purpose belts will not work on a riding mower. I know it is tempting to try to get by with a $10 belt rather than spending $35 or more for the correct belt. Trust me, you will only waste your money trying to get by with the inferior belts. Riding mower belts and extra heavy duty and generally will not stretch at all. Generally they will have 5 or more strands of a Kevlar type material so that stretching is virtually non existent. If the belt will not tighten then it is most likely not the correct belt. If the belt is in fact the proper belt and still is too loose, then you should look for pulley wear or weak tension springs. Metal pulleys do wear and tension spring do loose tension.

Posted on Sep 14, 2009

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Is the belt worn or stretched? You may need a new one
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The belt tensioners on top of the deck need adjusted, or you make have to adjust the pulleys to tighten the belt. Sometimes if you have the deck lowered to low to the ground, uneven terain can cause that. If you have everything adjusted correctly, simply raise the deck another notch and mow.

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1 Answer

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Usually this is caused by improper belt routing. You didn't say which belt. For example if the belt is on the outside of one of the pins or metal guides that keeps the belt in the pully. Or if the belt is twisted and not riding in the V. If you look at yard machines web site, you should be able to find a manual listing proper belt routing.

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Owners manual


Maintaining Riding Mowers Regular maintenance can reduce repairs. pagetools_04a.gif spacer.gif spacer.gif
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Components of a typical riding lawn mower. (click to enlarge)
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It's fun to ride around the yard on the mower, watching scrubby grass (and weeds) turn into trimmed lawn. However, when the grass looks as bad after you mow as it did before, or the mower doesn't want to start, riding mowers aren't as much fun. That's when it's time to put on your Fix-It Club hat and have some more fun.

A riding lawn mower is a gas-powered machine for cutting grass. The engine turns a rotating blade that cuts the top off the grass blades to a specified height. The operator sits atop the mower on a tractor-type seat with speed and height controls nearby. Riding mowers also can be used to pull small utility carts for other yard jobs.

To remove the mower deck:
  1. Make sure that the parking brake is locked.
  2. Place scrap lumber under the front and rear of the deck.
  3. Use the deck lever to lower the deck.
  4. Remove attachments from the deck.
  5. Remove the blade drive belt from the front pulley.
  6. Remove the front and rear deck fasteners, following instructions in your owner's manual.
  7. Use the deck lever to raise the deck.
  8. Remove the scrap lumber.
  9. Remove the deck from under the mower.
To adjust the drive belt:
  1. Remove the belt from the large idler pulley.
  2. Remove the belt from the adjustable idler pulley.
  3. Carefully remove the spring-loaded large idler pulley.
  4. Loosen the adjustable idler pulley and move it slightly toward the rear of the mower to tighten it[md]or move it toward the front to loosen it—and retighten the pulley.
  5. Replace the belt.
  6. Check belt tension and readjust as needed.

Apr 12, 2009 | Garden

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