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It won't be the switch then..... What you are looking for is a relay(black square box with four pins coming out). If you are getting power throw throw the switch and back out like you saw, it will be a sticky relay. Thats Y after switching a couple of times it starts to work. To completely be shore it's not the switch you need to put a wire across the switch, either un plug the switch and make up a loop or find a way to by-pars the switch. Relay will be the problem. Any car place should stock them.
Normally the belt diagrams are in the owners manual. Seeing this is a 12 year old machine the diagram stickers are possibly gone, but the drive belt diagram is normally on the bottom side of the foot rest, and the mower belt is on the top of the mow deck. Both are typically on the left side of the tractor as you sit on it. Please vote 4 thumbs up. Thank you.
Here is the link to a typical 42" Craftsman mow deck belt: http://www.askmehelpdesk.com/attachments/tools-power-equipment/21777d1247094945-craftsman-lawnmower-belt-diagram-aypwobrk.gif
We took the shell off and where amazed of how much grass got into the shell area. You can try that first. You can clean the electrical coil area with a specialized cleaner, however an old electrician once told me when a motor looses power to check the carbon tips that go to the coil and replace if damaged. good luck.
Most lawn mower mfgs offer a mulching kit which usually consists of a metal plate to block the discharge opening and a mulching blade which just has a longer sharpenned cutting edge.
With a little labor you can make your own.