CRAFTSMAN Lawn Tractor Deck Belt 42-in. Craftsman riding mower belts

CRAFTSMAN Lawn Tractor Deck Drive Belt. 42-in

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How many inches is the belt?

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Rated 4 out of 5 by Deerhunter from Good [This review was collected as part of a promotion.] Be sure to check the belt against the part # on the sleeve or you’ll make 2 trips.

Rated 3 out of 5 by arthurda8 from Does not fit all Craftsman 42″ mowers [This review was collected as part of a promotion.] Bought this belt for my Craftsman 42″ deck mower, come to find out that this belt was far to large. They shouldn’t advertise for 42″ mowers if it doesn’t fit all 42″ craftsman mowers at least in the past 5 years.

Rated 1 out of 5 by Phil from 42″ belt for Craftsman [This review was collected as part of a promotion.] It is to big for my Craftsman 42″ riding mower. My mower was built in 2008.

Rated 1 out of 5 by CHARLES from Deck Belt [This review was collected as part of a promotion.] This belt was supposed to be for a Craftsman 42 inch mower deck, but it was too long for my Craftsman mower deck.

Rated 5 out of 5 by SKI069 from Sometimes name brand is best [This review was collected as part of a promotion.] This was the third belt I bought this year as a replacement. I had purchased two others that were obviously not of the same quality. Sometimes paying more as the say goes is worth it.

Rated 1 out of 5 by Mike from Craftsman T130. Does not fit [This review was collected as part of a promotion.] Listed as replacement belt for t130. It diedo not fit and is far too big

Rated 5 out of 5 by Don from Belt [This review was collected as part of a promotion.] Last one was 5 years old and was still working. Only replaced it because the blade needed replaced so I replaced both.

Rated 4 out of 5 by Nonr from [This review was collected as part of a promotion.] Purchased this when my belt broke. Quickly fixed and was able to finish mowing my yard.

  • CRAFTSMAN Lawn Tractor Deck Drive Belt. 42-in Reviews. page 2
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How to replace a ground drive belt on a riding lawn mower

This DIY riding mower repair guide gives step-by-step instructions for replacing a ground drive belt on a riding lawn mower. The ground drive belt connects the engine crankshaft to the transaxle pulley to drive the rear wheels. If the belt breaks, the lawn tractor won’t move. If the belt is worn, the lawn tractor moves sluggishly because the belt slips on the pulley. Examine the ground drive belt and replace it with a manufacturer-approved riding lawn mower part if it’s broken or excessively worn.

You can use this procedure on how to replace the drive belt on a Craftsman lawn mower to replace the same part on Toro, Troybilt, Husqvarna, MTD and Ariens lawn tractors and riding mowers.

This video explains how to replace the ground drive belt on a riding lawn mower.


Disconnect the spark plug

Park the tractor on a level surface and set the parking brake. Turn the ignition switch off and remove the key. Wear work gloves to protect your hands. Lift the tractor hood and disconnect the spark plug wire.

Remove the mower deck

Lower the mower deck to its lowest position. Disengage the cutting blades. Roll the blade belt off the engine pulley and release the belt from the belt keepers. Remove the front lift link support retaining pin and washer and then detach the support from the deck. Remove the left suspension arm retaining clip and washer and then detach the arm from the tractor frame. Remove the left rear deck bracket retaining clip and washer and then release the bracket from the deck. Repeat the process on the other side of the deck to disconnect the right suspension arm and right rear deck bracket. Pull the deck out far enough to access the blade cable attached to the deck. Release the locking tabs and pull the blade cable out of the deck bracket. Disconnect the blade cable spring from the idler arm and move the cable aside. Pull the deck out from under the frame.

Tip: Warning: Because the spring-loaded attachment lift lever exerts more tension on the lever the after you disconnect the rear lift links

Remove the ground drive belt

Remove the flywheel screen cap and position a socket wrench on the flywheel bolt with the wrench handle resting against the fuel tank to keep the crankshaft from turning when you remove the engine pulley bolt. Remove the engine pulley bolt and washer and then pull the engine pulley off the crankshaft. Release the drive belt from the pulley. Release the belt from the idler pulleys and belt guides. Lift the seat remove the bolt connecting the negative cable to the battery. Lift the insulating cover and remove the bolt connecting the positive cable to the battery. Lift the battery out of the battery box. Release the seat switch wire harness clip from the seat bracket to create slack in the harness. Release retaining tabs and lift the battery box out of the tractor body. Set the box on the fender. Release the drive belt from the transaxle pulley. Pull out the ground drive belt.

Tip: You can also keep the crankshaft from turning as you remove the engine pulley bolt by removing the spark plug and then stuffing nylon rope into the engine cylinder.

Tip: If the old belt is still intact, take a photo of how the belt routes through the idler pulleys so you can route the new belt correctly. If the belt is broken, see the owner’s manual for belt routing.

Install the new ground drive belt

Loop the ground drive belt over the transaxle pulley. Position the battery box in the opening and align the wire harness and battery cables. Lower the battery box into the tractor body and engage the retaining tabs. Connect the seat switch wire harness clip to the seat bracket. With the insulating cover positioned on the cable, connect the positive battery cable to the positive battery terminal. Connect the negative battery cable to the negative battery terminal. Lower the seat. Route the belt through the chassis and over the steering plate. Push the belt through the inside of the front belt guides. Loop the belt over the engine pulley, line up the pulley notch with the crankshaft groove and slide the engine pulley onto the crankshaft. Position the wrench on the flywheel bolt so the wrench handle rests against the fuel tank to prevent crankshaft rotation as you reinstall the engine pulley bolt. Install the engine pulley bolt and washer. Remove the wrench from the flywheel bolt and reinstall the flywheel screen cap. Using your photo as a guide, route the right side of the belt through the front and middle idler pulleys. Slide the left side of the belt into the belt keeper and over the rear pulley. Remove the rope from the engine cylinder and reinstall the spark plug.

Reinstall the mower deck

Push the deck near the tractor frame. Connect the blade clutch cable spring to the idler arm. Push the blade clutch cable retainer into the deck bracket and engage the locking tabs. Position the deck under the tractor frame. Reconnect the front lift link support to the deck using the washer and retaining clip. Reconnect the left suspension arm and deck bracket using the washers and retaining clips. Repeat the process to reconnect the right suspension arm and deck bracket. Route the blade belt through the belt keepers and roll the blade belt onto the engine pulley. Check the blade belt routing on the mower deck and adjust the blade belt if needed to route the belt over all pulleys and through all belt keepers.

How to Tighten a Drive Belt on a Craftsman Riding Lawnmower, step by step

Ever witnessed your Craftsman lawnmower not mowing properly or leaving patches of uncut grass? A loose drive belt might be the very reason. Luckily, the entire process is relatively easy, and all you’ll need for the adjustment is just a socket wrench. If you’ve never performed self-maintenance on your Craftsman lawnmower before, then don’t worry as we dissect this information for you in a step-by-step approach.

How to tighten a drive belt on a Craftsman riding lawnmower, step by step:

  • Step 1: Test thetension in your existing lawnmower drive belt
  • Step 2: Inspect the components on the mower such as the pulleys, belt, spring, and swingarm and check for any damage
  • Step 3: Pull back the clamp holding the cable and tighten it so that the spring attached to it is stretched
  • Step 4: Start the engine and engage the blade lever to check for the belt operation after adjustment

Drive belts are components that connect the engine’s transmission shaft to the transaxle pulley and are responsible for the transmission of torque and power to the blades. It is situated underneath the mowing deck in case of riding lawnmowers.

The belts usually wear out after continued use. Due to elongation in their tensile cords, drive belts have been known to become loose with time. Most often, the remedy is a replacement. However, in cases when elongation isn’t much, you can always adjust the belt tension, and we are looking at that in this article.

The article covers all the steps needed to tighten the drive belt in case of your Craftsman lawnmower. I will also provide a brief overview of some frequently asked questions regarding drive belts and lawnmowers. Stay tuned.

Troubleshooting and Adjusting the Drive Belt on a Craftsman Riding Lawnmower, step-by-step:

The steps that need to be followed for fixing the Craftsman lawnmower drive-belt are mentioned below:

Step 1: Test current drive belt for operation:

Before we dig into it, we first need to see whether the current drive belt is worth tightening or not. Most Craftsman models have a blade engagement lever next to the steering wheel. After the cutting deck is lowered to the ground, the lever engages the blades to make contact with the grass and perform their function.

To see if your current drive belt is loose or not, start your engine and push your throttle lever to the highest. Next, engage the cutting blades by pushing the lever upwards. If you hear the blades’ cutting sound right after you push the engagement lever, it indicates that the drive belt has the requisite tension in it and doesn’t need any adjustment.

If you notice that the blades aren’t cutting the grass after the very instant you push the lever and give a whirring sound, it means that your drive belt is slipping, thus pointing out the need for adjustment or replacement.

Step 2: Inspect the mower deck components:

As we’ve seen, the drive belt is slipping; we need to troubleshoot this for the components located on the mower deck. To do this, lower the deck as much as you can and pull back your blade engagement lever. Then, you need to inspect the following components:

Belt: Make sure that your drive belt is intact and doesn’t appear damaged with chunks missing and cracks. If it seems damaged, then you should replace it right away.

Swingarm: The swingarm is a component on the deck where the springs are connected, and a pulley is mounted. The arm is pivoted at one end and free to rotate at the other end. Make sure that the arm is free to rotate. If it is not, drop some oil or a lubricant at the pivoted end, which might have been jammed.

After the above components are functioning correctly, push the lever again to engage the blades.

Spring: The cable that comes from the lever is connected to a spring. Touch the spring to see if it’s completely stretched or loose. Also, touch your belt at the same time and notice if it appears loose. If it does, we shall move on to the next step, adjusting the belt tension.

Step 3: Tighten the belt by adjusting the cable:

After you’ve seen your belt loosened up, disengage the blade lever again. You would have noticed the wire that comes from the blade lever and is attached to the springs. On the deck, it is mounted on a bracket.

Loosen the bolts on the bracket is push it back in the direction away from the spring. You now feel that the spring is tightened up.

Step 4: Test the belt for tension:

After the bracket has been pulled back, start your lawnmower engine at full throttle. Now, push the blade engagement lever upwards and immediately notice the cutting action of the blades. If the blades begin cutting without delay, it means that the belt tension is now optimal. However, If the belt still seems loose enough, it indicates that this method didn’t add the required tension, and therefore you should think about replacing the belt.

Related Questions:

How to remove and replace the drive belt on a riding lawnmower?

In most cases, tightening the drive belt does not solve the problem, and you often need to replace it altogether with an identical one. The steps for doing that are listed below:

Step 1: Disconnect the spark plug

First, you should turn off the ignition switch and remove the key. Next, you need to pull the mower hood upwards and disconnect the spark plug wire.

Step 2: Disassemble the mower deck

Next, you need to disconnect the entire mower deck from the main body of the lawnmower.

– Step 2.1: Lower the mower deck

As a first step, lower the mower deck on the ground to the lowest position and disengage the blades.

How to Replace the Deck Belt on a Craftsman Riding Lawnmower

– Step 2.2: Roll the belt off

Roll the belt off the engine pulley and release the belt keepers.

– Step 2.3: Detach the deck

Now, you need to remove all the linkages that connect the mower deck to the upper portion from both sides of the mower deck. To do this, remove the retaining pins and washer supports from the lift link, suspension arm, and rear end bracket on both the left and sides of the mower deck. The deck should now be detached completely.

– Step 3.1: Take a picture

Note the routing of the blade belt on the mower deck. We recommend taking a picture to record the layout.

– Step 3.2: Remove the old belt

You might see three pulleys on the deck, namely one idler pulley along with belt keepers and two mandrel pulleys. Remove the old drive belt from the three pulleys.

Step 4: Install the new belt

Loop the new drive belt around the mandrel pulleys and pass it around the idler pulley through the belt keeper. Push the deck back under the mower.

Step 5: Reconnect the mower deck

Reconnect all the removed links such as the lift links, suspension arms, and rear end bracket back onto the mower deck through the retaining pins and washers. Attach the belt back to the engine pulley.

With the mower deck assembled, reconnect the spark plug wire and insert the key in the switch. Start your mower and test the new belt for performance.

How long is the drive belt on a Craftsman riding lawnmower?

Drive belts are responsible for transferring power from the engine pulley to movable parts in the mower, such as the blades. Craftsman lawnmower models consist of primary and secondary drive belts. Both belts have a length ranging from 42-55 inches depending on the particular model.

Why does the belt keep slipping off the lawnmower?

The drive belt of your lawnmower may come off for various reasons. The exact reasons may depend on the design of your machine. However, some general reasons resulting in this problem are listed below:

– Damaged parts:

The drive belts and idler pulleys may affect the belt operation if they are not in working condition. over, the swing arm should be able to rotate freely about its pivot. You need to check the mower deck’s adjustment as well. For normal conditions, the deck’s front is generally lower 1/8 to 1/4 inches than the back. A pitch greater than this may cause the belt to keep slipping off.

– Debris Buildup:

The buildup of dirt and dust between the pulley and bracket may also reduce the friction attaching the belt onto the pulley. Make sure that no soil, grass, or sticks are found along the drive belt. This condition is quite imminent under rough operating conditions and low maintenance.

What are the two significant forms of drive belts used?

Transmission belts in machine design may be of the V-type or synchronous design. V-belts have a wedge-shaped cross-section. Friction is the only force keeping the belt attached. On the other hand, synchronous belts have a notched profile along their inner circumference, much like gears. They are generally mounted on gears and pinions and are used in timing operations.

Craftsman lawn tractor drive belt problems

If you want to replace the drive belt in your Craftsman lawn tractor, but do not know how to, use the following tips:

  • Make a short video or take some pictures before removing the old belt.
  • Ensure that you use the correct belt. You can use the model number that is often under the seat for this.
  • Check the idler tensioner springs and brake arms, and replace them when needed.

If the belt was damaged and it is gone, you can not find any information on how the belt should be routed. Use the following to understand where the belt needs to go:

  • Most Craftsman lawn tractors have up to 5 pulleys for the drive belt. They are easy to recognize.
  • The pulley underneath the engine is the drive pulley.
  • The pulley above the blades is easy to find. There can be 1 or two.
  • Generally, there is one spring-loaded pulley, that keeps the belt under tension. In some models, there is no spring-loaded pulley, but they can be moved to tension the belt.
  • The remaining pulleys are fixed pullies that take care that the belt is running around other objects.

Craftsman Belt Keeps Coming Off or Breaking

Generally, a craftsman belt can keep coming off due to several reasons:

  • Check for debris: Check the underside of the lawnmower for any debris that may lead to the belt coming off.
  • Damaged or stretched belt: When the belt is damaged or stretched it will become loose. A little bit of extra tension will be compensated by the tensioner, but if it loosens too much it will quickly come off. If the belt is damaged or stretched, it needs to be replaced. If you notice that the belt is slippery, maybe due to oil, clean it.
  • Damaged pulley bearings: If the bearings from one or more pulleys or from the spindle housing get damaged, it can result in too much slack for the belt. Check the different pulleys for movement, and replace the pulleys.
  • Belt keeper: If your Craftsman lawnmower uses a belt keeper next to the pulley, it may be bent or damaged. In that case, it may be the reason why the belt keeps coming off.
  • Dirty pulleys: The different pulleys have a groove that keeps the belt in the correct location. If those grooves contain dirt, it can lead to the belt coming off. Check and clean the pulleys.
  • Tension spring: The belt is kept at the correct tension with the tension spring. If the spring gets worn out, it may not do its job correctly. Check the tension bracket and spring. If the spring and bracket look ok, check if they can move freely. If not, grease all the moving parts. Replace the spring and bracket if damaged or the spring is worn out too much.
  • Wrong belt: Ensure that you use the correct belt for your Craftsman Lawnmower. The wrong belt, even if it may look fine, can result in coming off easily.

Final Комментарии и мнения владельцев:

Lawnmower belt maintenance may be one of the most frequently occurring instances, mainly if the mower hasn’t been well maintained in the past. We recommend cleaning your lawnmower occasionally and adequately checking the mower deck working components to see if they are in proper working order. Furthermore, you should always consult the owner’s manual when making a belt replacement. It is better to exercise caution while making these replacements to don’t end up accidentally starting your lawnmower.

Riding Mower Belt and Blades Replacement

Posted 7 years ago on Friday, May 6th, 2016 by James S.

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My 2008 Craftsman 38″ LT1000 riding mower, which I picked up on Craigslist a few years ago, was finally in need of some maintenance after last season. The blades had clearly gotten dull; you can tell when this happens because the mower chops and pulls at the grass, rather than cutting it. If you have to go back over areas you just mowed twice, you probably need a sharpening or new blades.

I knew it was a matter of time, but I kept putting off the job. Finally, the belt in the deck gave out one day, and I had no choice but to do the replacement. Riding mower belt and blades replacement is the same for just about every mower, so while the pictures below may not have exactly the right cotter pin locations, etc, these instructions should still generally apply.

Parts required: one belt and two blades

I had previously raised up the deck and inspected the blades and knew they were in rough shape. As such, I didn’t want to bother trying to sharpen them. Sizes of belt and blades will vary depending on your mower, but the blade set and belt were about 30 apiece.

Removing the mower deck

The first step is to remove the mower deck from the mower. Most riding mowers are attached similarly. Lower the mower deck into the lowest position.

With the deck lowered fully, you maximize access to the top of the deck to get to all the cotter pins attaching it to the mower. There are a bunch of these, I pictured most of them above. The way I work is simply to start on one side, and remove every visible cotter pin and undo whatever it attaches. Then, switch to the other side and repeat. I usually lay out the cotter pins in order, so I can remember how to put it all back together. As you can see, the last time I did this, I lost a cotter pin, and replaced it with some baling wire I had laying around.

A cable actuator routes next to the deck in the pictured location. It has to be freed for the deck to come out. Simply pull the cotter pin, twist the little housing and release it through, and slide the whole thing out to the slide. The rubber grommet on the front can just hang on the wire.

I simply let the spring sit on the foot area of the mower, out of the way

[QUICK FIX!] Craftsman riding mower belt replacement and deck leveling

The last part is to disconnect this spring. It hooks to a pulley on top of the deck as shown. Once the cotter pin is released and washer removed, the pulley can be pushed to give the spring some slack, and it can be unhooked. I simply place the spring up on the mower’s foot area as shown to get it out of the way.

Once that is all done, you can slide the deck out from under the mower. If your mower belt is still intact, you’ll have to also free it. I don’t have any pictures of that, because my belt completely fell apart prior to doing this, but [i]removal[/i] is very intuitive – just slip it off and out. Reinstalling, on the other hand, is a bit trickier, but I go over this below.

While the deck is out, I’ll note that this is a good time to go ahead and clean up the top of the deck. In particular, I went ahead and got all the grass clippings and other garbage out.

Replacing the blades

If you flip it over, you can see the blades

If you flip the deck over, you can see both blades. Most riding mowers will have two. I only describe the procedure for one of them, but it’s identical for both.

An impact driver is your friend for this

To release the blade, there is a bolt in the middle that must be removed. Of course, if you spin the nut, you’ll spin the blade, which is dangerous. Be extremely careful getting this free. If you use a wrench, you could use a block of wood or something similar to hold the blade while you undo the bolt.

I chose to use an impact driver. Being extremely careful to keep my hands clear of the blade, I just put the impact driver with an appropriately-sized socket on that nut and cranked it. The impact can spin faster than the blades will rotate, and the bolt should come right out.

With the bolt removed, the blade will just lift off.

You can see a big difference in the edge between the old and new blades

craftsman, lawn, tractor, deck

As I said in the introduction, I knew these blades were at least 3 years old, since that’s when I bought the mower. I have no idea when the previous owner last changed them. As such, I simply chose to replace. You can see what a bad state these blades had gotten in.

It is also possible to sharpen mower blades. You can take them to a lot of lawnmower repair shops or sharpening shops and get this done. Alternatively, you could do it yourself. Actually describing how to do this is outside the scope of this article, but I will mention that if you choose to do so, it isn’t much more difficult than sharpening an ax or any other utility blade.

That said, there is one crucial element to lawnmower blades: The blades must be balanced. You want both sides to weigh the same. You can do this by periodically hanging the blade on a nail or dowel or something and seeing if it will stay horizontal. If one end swings down, it is heavier than the other.

Installing the new (or newly-sharpened) blades is the reverse of removal. I didn’t have a torque spec for this, so I just got it good and tight, in true American fashion. I also used the opportunity to clean all the built up grass on the underside of the deck.

Replacing the belt

How to route the belt is printed on the mower deck

As I said, my belt had already snapped and fallen off. There aren’t pictures of removing it, because it removed itself. Here is how to put the new one on, though. Hopefully, the deck has a sticker like this indicating how to route the belt. If not, you’ll have to figure it out on your own or track down the manual for your mower.

Pulling back on the detent to slip the belt on the pulley

I started putting the belt on in the indicated pattern. The first pulley had one of these spring detents that I had to pull back and slip the belt past.

Pull the pulley back to stretch this spring on

The other tricky area was getting this spring attached. I had to detach it to get the belt on, and then pull on it to hook the spring back. Watch your fingers doing this.

Here’s what it looks like, ready to go back on the mower. The route matches the pattern on the sticker on the deck, and all of the springs have tension like I think they should. Aside from the two tricky parts shown above, the belt just slipped over the rest of the pulleys. The portion at the bottom left will hook around a pulley on the mower itself that it uses to engage the blades.

Reinstalling the Deck

Once the belt is routed, it’s time to put the deck back on the mower. It slides right back under the mower. Now that the belt is on, the slack end of it needs to be slipped over the mower’s pulley as shown. Note that the black bar serves to keep it from slipping off, and it should go over this.

Then, simply reattach and re-cotter-pin all of the areas that were disassembled in the first part. After that, fire up the mower and see how it does. The new blades gave me a much better cut.

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