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Jim, Double check to make sure you have correct belt for the deck and are installing it in the correct configuration as per manual or drawing on deck. Very few lawn tractors have deck belt adjustment, most do not, most deck belts have a spring loaded tensioner to take up the slack.
This could be some of your problem, the tensioner/idler pulley sometimes seize up and must be lubed up till they move freely, or your belt could be loose. Look in your manual or try google searching your make, model #, deck belt adjustment. How to Change Riding Lawn Mower Deck Belt
there are as many belt diagrams as there are mowers. You will need your model number to get the correct diagram. You should find this under the seat or on the very back of the unit. sorry can't help more at this time, when you get this, you can get online and go to sears and you will find it there.
Hey jim the drive belt connects to the fron of the machine Just above the PTO clutch. connected to the vertical crank on the engine. It slips through a series of pullies to the back side od the mower. One pully will be on a tention spring. that is your golden ticket to getting the tention you need.
Looking at the pullys. for routing your new belt. V pullies for the inside portion of the belt and flat pullies for the outside.
You can usualyl take the chassis and pedals off as needed. the pebals have pins holding them on.
the seat has a safty switch that gets unplugged.
There are bolts hidden under the foot map as well which snaps up and down careful with these as that mat will never be the same if you break the clips.
THe back of the mower near and above the gastank you will see a pull thats ontop of a hydrostatic pump thats the last pully.
I have done these before without removing the body. However its not easy and you had better be limber.
Ohh and of course remove any decking under the mower for mowing lawns. =) i hhope this helps if i see a diagram i will try to link you. GL buddy -Jeff in alaska