Drive belt lawn tractor. How to Replace a Transmission Belt on a Lawn Tractor

How to Replace a Transmission Belt on a Lawn Tractor

The transmission belt of any lawn tractor is what keeps it moving forwards. This is obviously an essential function of a lawn tractor. But over time, a transmission belt can become worn out, torn, or even snap. Thankfully, replacing a transmission belt on a lawn tractor can be done fairly easily at home.

What Is A Lawn Tractor Transmission Belt?

A lawn tractor transmission belt basically works to transfer power between the different parts of a lawn tractor. Typically, the transmission belt transfers the power from the radial torque of the engine shaft to the input shaft of the transmission. When the input shaft is powered, it turns, performing the two main functions of the lawn tractor. These are the forwards motion of the motor, and the spinning of the blade. Essentially, the transmission belt powers the motion of the lawn tractor.

  • The transmission belt of any lawn tractor is what keeps it moving forwards.
  • When the input shaft is powered, it turns, performing the two main functions of the lawn tractor.

How Will You Know When Your Lawn Tractor Transmission Belt Needs Replacing?

The most obvious clue that your lawn tractor transmission belt has broken is if the lawn tractor stops moving forward. This will likely mean the transmission belt has snapped. However, for safety reasons, it’s generally a good idea not to get to this stage. So before mowing, you can easily check your transmission belt for any tears or frays. If it looks worn out, it’s time to replace it.

How Do You Replace A Lawn Tractor Transmission Belt?

Firstly, you’ll want to make sure the tractor is parked on a level service, and that the engine doesn’t have any power. Disconnect the spark plus wire in order to be safe whilst replacing your transmission belt.

  • The most obvious clue that your lawn tractor transmission belt has broken is if the lawn tractor stops moving forward.
  • So before mowing, you can easily check your transmission belt for any tears or frays.

Then set the deck-height lever on the tractor to the lowest setting.

From the left side of the mower deck, open the idler pulley using a 15 millimeter wrench. Pushing the wrench forward will take the pressure off the transmission belt. Remove the spring attaching this pulley to the transmission belt. You should then be able to slip the transmission belt off of the idler pulley and transmission pulley. This is best done in a rolling motion.

Next, place your new transmission belt over the two pulleys. Re-attach the spring to bring tension back to the transmission belt. Release your wrench from the idler pulley.

  • Then set the deck-height lever on the tractor to the lowest setting.
  • Re-attach the spring to bring tension back to the transmission belt.

You can now reconnect the spark plug to the spark plus wire. Turn on your lawn tractor in order to test to see if the new transmission belt is working properly.

How to Replace the Drive Belt on John Deere Lawn Tractor? Step by Step

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Owing to the slightly more advanced technologies implemented in the making of John Deere tractors, especially the driveable mowers, new users find it difficult to locate its drive belt for replacement. Please don’t panic; the fact that they are a bit advanced from the usual ones doesn’t mean you’ll always need a mechanic or savvy expert to change it for you. Just follow the following steps to replace yours.

Firstly, remove the tension spring. Then disconnect the tie rods and remove the belt from the electric motor. Remove the idler and then the belt from the tensioner assembly. Put a new belt the same way. Assemble the tensioner back together. Finally, put the tension spring back.

While it doesn’t sound like much of a difficult task to effectively replace the drive belt, there’s still a lot of background knowledge that deserves awareness. Like when is it best to change your tractor drive belt? Is it something that should be periodical or be more of condition-based maintenance? If you’ve confirmed that you need to replace the drive belt, where how can you find the best replacement? Stick around; let me enlighten you on every necessary detail about it.

What is a drive belt, and what are its functions in your John Deere tractor?

A drive belt, also known as a serpentine belt, is an essential component of every engine, including a tractor’s. It is a flexible material that rotates multiple peripheral devices in engines. For a ground belt in a mower, the devices include the engine crankshaft and the transaxle pulley.

Functions of a drive belt

While the most significant function of a drive belt is to power an engine’s accessories, below are some other uses.

Replace the 2 Drive Belts On Your Craftsman T110 Riding Lawn Mower

  • It reduces overheating by continuously running to power the engine water pump.
  • It increases the overall efficiency of an engine.
  • It assists steering by also powering the hydraulic power steering.

To your knowledge, no engine including, that of an electric mower, can run without a drive belt. A drive belt is arguably an engine’s most significant part as there hasn’t been any other component that has adequately replaced it. It has been in existence since the introduction of the first engines to the most advanced ones today.

How to replace the drive belt on a John Deere lawnmower (step by step)

Although some past lawnmower owners may already understand the earlier outlined method, newbies may not find it easy to comprehend. As earlier highlighted, the drive belt connects various other engine components to transfer energy, so disconnecting and reassembling will be your most significant duty.

Let’s go through a step-by-step process to ensure maximum perception.

Step 1: To locate the traction belt, remove the deck and raise the tractor to work underneath safely. It’s best to use a pair of wheel chocks to lift the tractor from its front to ensure maximum stability.

Step 2: The first component you should remove is the spring; the spring hooks around a bushing on the idler and a notch on the tension arm. Removing the spring will relieve the tension on the belt. It will also allow you to pull the belt off the transmission sheave, which you should.

Step 3: Pull the belt’s look off the motor pulley while viewing it from the steering sector. It’s better to do it from this angle as it will be much easier to get a clearer view of the whole process.

Step 4: With an adequate socket wrench, lose the nut on the idler to free the belt between it and the frame. Strive not to loosen its nut nor the bushing the spring hooks to while releasing the belt on the idler. If not, tighten them back immediately to avoid later complications.

Step 5: You have to free the belt from the tensioner assembly. To release it, first, remove the tensioner idler sheave. Then remove the guide from the tensioner pulley. After this, the belt becomes free, and you can easily now thread it out from the top of the brake and lift shafts.

Step 6: The final step is to put the new belt on the same way you threaded off to the old one. Take it over the top of the two shafts and its left side over the pawl on the lift shaft. Put the idler back next to the left side of the frame. Thread it around the tension pulley and reassemble all the other parts of the tensioner assembly.

It is necessary to do it with caution, as any slight misalignment may cause slipping, which will demand attention back while using the mower later. After properly threading the belt around all necessary pulleys and components, put your deck back, lower your mower and get it ready for service.

How do you adjust a John Deere tractor drive belt?

Adjusting your tractor drive is an essential servicing process. It helps restore transmission forward performance on the tractor, which improves its overall operation.

Utilizing a combination wrench, you first have to unscrew the idler arm bolt of the transmission drive belt. Pull the bolt from the top of the idler arm bracket and also loosen the center bolt. Try not to remove the bolt as you free it. Loosen the retaining nut under with a socket wrench while holding the top of the center bolt-head.

To align the adjustment bolt holes, gently push the idler arm forward. Next, through the adjustment bolt hole of the idler arm, slide the earlier removed bolt up-side-down. Finally, to fit into a new position, tighten the nut on the bottom with a socket wrench.

Best replacement drive belt for John Deere lawn tractor

Of course, this should be one of the questions that’ll be running through your mind. If you must replace your drive belt with another, there has to be a replacement. Although there are sellers on Amazon where you can order from, I recommend you to order directly from the manufacturers. There are various perks when you order from them, aside from the assurance of a high-quality replacement, being the manufacturers.

Below is a step-by-step process of how to order a replacement belt online for your John Deere Lawn tractor.

Note that they only offer deliveries to individuals living in the United States.

  • Click this link or copy and paste it into a browser URL bar to visit the webpage – It is the manufacturer’s official website.
  • Hover your cursor to “Parts Service” on the top bar or click on the menu icon if you are using a mobile device.
  • In the drop-down menu, click on “Parts.”
  • In another menu again, click “Lawn Garden” to proceed.
  • On the next page, click “Search and Order Parts Online” in the “Order Parts” section, which is the first on the page. The link will redirect you to a page in another domain.

Because every mower has different parts, the website would require you to select your “Machine Type,” “Model Number,” and “Product Type” in a drop-down menu. You can find your machine’s mobile number on either the deck or hood of your equipment. It is a combination of letters and numbers (an example is LA125).

  • After filling out your machine’s details, click the “Search” button to proceed.
  • On the next page, there is a list of genuine parts. Select the drive belt suitable for your mower’s engine and click it.
  • Choose the quantity of the drive belt you need. If you require more than one, increase the number and “add it to cart.”
  • A pop-up will appear with the drive belt description, amount, product, and quantity. Click the “Checkout” option to proceed.
  • On the next page, the website would require you to either register or checkout as a guest. If you intend to skip all the signing up processes, input your email on the “Checkout as a guest” tab, confirm it, and proceed.
  • Provide all the required details, such as your First Name, Last Name, Address, City, State, and Postal Code.
  • Proceed to the next tab and choose your Shipment Method. If the drive belt is above a price, you can opt for the UPS Ground delivery. It will be a free delivery since the driver belt is more than an amount. According to the website, it will take 1-5 business days to get to your destination. But if you need it faster, there are paid options you can select. Click on the “Continue” button.
  • The second to the last tab on the page is the “Payment Billing Address” one, where you’ll finally make the payments. At present, they only accept payments with Visa, Mastercard, and Discover. Whichever is most convenient for you, fill out the necessary details and proceed.
  • After debiting you, the last tab is the “Final Review” tab. It will most likely contain the summarized details of your order. Screenshot where necessary and wait for the delivery.

Once delivered, follow the above steps to replace the old one in your John Deere lawn tractor with the new one.

drive, belt, lawn, tractor, replace

The Best Self-Propelled Lawn Mowers in 2023 for Making Your Yard Work Easier

These lawn mowers drive themselves, taking the load off you in the process.

By Roy Berendsohn Published: Mar 21, 2023

One of the perks of the warm-weather season is getting to spend time outside. If you own your own home and have a yard, it’s very likely that in order to enjoy your outdoor space, you need to mow the lawn. The larger the yard, the more work it will be to maintain. If you have a lot of grass to cut, you’d be wise to consider a self-propelled lawn mower especially now that there are a ton of sales just in time for Memorial Day.

The primary difference between a standard push mower and a self-propelled mower is that the former moves when you push it, and the latter essentially moves itself with only your guidance. Once the engine is running, all you have to do is squeeze a handle or push a lever and the mower will start moving forward with you as you walk.

Turning the mower around is your job, but once you have your heading, just keep the drive handle squeezed and escort the mower down the path, no pushing necessary.

Self-propelled law mowers take power off the engine and route it via a belt to a pulley on the transmission and axle. When you move the drive control lever on the mower handle, you tension the belt, causing the pulley to turn, and this drives the transmission, moving the mower forward.

Move the drive control lever back and the tension is released, the pulley stops turning, and the mower stops moving forward. The belt-driven transmission is a time-tested design to power the mower and take the load off you in the process.

What to Consider

A mower is like many consumer products in that the more features a manufacturer adds, the more expensive it becomes. But a longer or more eye-catching list of features isn’t necessarily better. Sometimes less is more. Here are the most important to keep in mind.

Front-wheel drive mowers tend to be less expensive than rear-wheel drive units. They can be easier to turn because you don’t have to disengage the drive wheels to do so. Simply push down on the handlebar to raise the front wheels off the ground. However, their traction isn’t as strong on hills or when the bag is full, as there isn’t as much weight over the drive wheels.

Rear-wheel drive mowers do cost more and aren’t as easy to turn, as you do need to disengage the drive—but this isn’t too much of a hassle. Rear-wheel drive mowers shine on hills and inclines, and when the grass bag is full. In either scenario, weight is shifted rearward and over the drive wheels, which enables superior traction, thus making the self-propel more effective.

An engine as small as 125 cc can power a mower, but most are somewhere in the 140 cc to 190 cc range. A large engine helps when powering through tall, lush grass or in extreme conditions, such as with a side discharge chute in place and mowing tall weeds in a border area. Also, the extra torque provided by a larger engine can improve bagging when the going gets tough (tall, leaf-covered grass in the fall). But if you mow sensibly and pay attention to deck height—and especially if you don’t let your lawn get out of control—an engine between 140 and 160 cc has more than enough power to get the job done.

A mower can have all four wheels the same diameter (7 to 8 inches), or it may have rear wheels that range from 9.5 inches to 12 inches in diameter. Larger rear wheels help the mower roll more easily over bumpy ground.

With some mowers you can start the engine with the twist of a key or the press of a button. It’s a great option, but a luxury. Keep the mower engine tuned and use fresh fuel with stabilizer added to it, and you’ll never have trouble starting.

Any number of mechanisms can control a mower’s ground speed—a squeeze handle, a drive bar that you press forward, even a dial. There’s no single right answer here. Look at the design and think about how you like to work. For example, if more than one person will be using the mower (and not all of them are right-handed), a drive control like that on a Toro Personal Pace mower might be the answer. Just push down on the bar to make it go faster. Let up on the bar to slow down.

A mower that can bag, mulch, and side discharge is known as a three-function mower, the most versatile kind. Two-function mowers bag and mulch or mulch and side discharge.

Mowers will typically have one, two, or four levers to control the deck height. Single-lever adjustment is the easiest to use, but it requires more linkage, which adds weight and complexity. If, for some reason, you find yourself varying deck height frequently, it’s a good option. Otherwise, two or four levers work just fine.

Only Honda makes a gas-engine mower with a high-impact plastic deck (there are battery mowers that have plastic decks). Otherwise, mowers generally have a steel deck, and a few manufacturers—Toro, for one—offer a corrosion-resistant aluminum deck. An aluminum deck won’t rot the way a steel deck will, but you still need to keep it clean.

This is a hose fitting mounted on top of the mower’s deck. When you’re done mowing, hook up a hose and run the mower to power wash the underside of the deck. We’ve had mixed results with these, but they’re better than just letting a mass of dried grass clippings accumulate.

expensive mowers come with a more durable bag with more dust-blocking capability. If you bag a lot, especially leaves or other lawn debris in the fall, then you need a mower with a higher quality dust-blocking bag. Having said that, if you rarely bag, the standard one that comes with a mower will last you the life of the mower.

Also called wide-area mowers, machines in this subgroup help homeowners better reconcile their need for more power and speed with the fact that they may not have enough storage for a tractor or zero-turn mower. A typical residential walk mower has a single-blade deck that cuts a swath from 20 to 22 inches wide. Wide-cut mowers (built for homeowner use) have either a single blade or, more typically, a pair of blades, cutting from 26 to 30 inches with each pass. Some of these are rated for light commercial use and have larger decks, in the 32-inch range, and engines that start at 223 cc and go up to about 337 cc.

Wide-cut mowers typically employ gear or hydrostatic drive transmissions, and they have top speeds of about 4 to 6 miles per hour. At their fastest, they move so quickly you have to trot to keep up with them. Needless to say, they’re overkill for small yards; only opt for one of these if you’ve got a significant plot of land that you need to keep tidy, but not one so large that you’d be better off going with a full-on riding mower.

How We Tested and Selected

We compiled this list based on Popular Mechanics mower testing and our knowledge of the lawn mower market at large. For our testing, we put mowers through the paces using our standard Popular Mechanics methodology: We cut turf grasses such as fescues and blue grass and rougher non-turf grasses like Timothy, clover, orchard grass, and wild oats, all in both normal and shin-deep heights. We mow uphill, downhill, and across the faces of hills. The maximum slope we cut is about 30 degrees.

That may not sound like much, but it’s about all you can do to stand on it, let alone push a mower up it or across it. We mow damp and wet grass to test general cutting performance and whether clippings accumulate on the tires. And we cut dry and dusty surfaces to see how well the bag filters under less-than-optimal conditions.

Honda HRN 216VKA

Key Specs

Honda mowers enjoy a sterling reputation. Having tested their walk and self-propelled mowers for the last 30 years, we feel confident that Honda’s entry level mower is a great choice for homeowners looking for power and durability. The HRN features a GCV 170 gas engine that’s built to withstand long hours of operation.

If you do your own maintenance (and most owners who buy this class of product do), you’ll appreciate the easily accessible spark plug and the fuel shutoff valve that enables better winter storage. Close the fuel shutoff and run the mower until it sputters to a halt. This will clear the carburetor of any gasoline, which will prevent the ethanol in it from disintegrating and causing running issues later on. Open the shutoff valve in the spring, add some fresh gasoline, and the mower should start easily.

All this maintenance stuff is great, but we can also tell you that our past test findings on other Hondas prove that their cut quality is outstanding for cleanliness. Sharp blades deliver a velvet-like finish. And their bagging ability is also quite good, in the same league with other well-bagging mowers from Toro.

In all, if you take mowing seriously, you should enjoy this Honda. If you have a little wiggle room in your budget, consider the Honda HRX, which features a mower powerful engine and a composite deck that won’t rust and is renowned for its durability.

One note is that Honda has announced that it will cease selling lawn mowers in the United States after this year—so if you’re considering buying one, best do it sooner rather than later.

Toro Recycler 60-Volt Max Lithium-Ion

Key Specs

Toro mowers have garnered more recommendations from us than any other brand for two reasons: build quality and cut quality. These were amply demonstrated in our testing as the Recycler turned in the best ratio of cut area per amp-hour of battery in the self-propelled category, while at the same time not skimping on cutting, mulching, or bagging quality.

We attribute this outstanding mower performance to three features, all upgrades to the previous version of this machine. First, the air vent at the front of the mower deck seems to improve mulching and bagging performance. Toro calls it Vortex technology, a design that increases air flow under the deck. This helps to stand the grass for a cleaner cut, which improves mulching performance, and also allows better airflow into the bag when collecting the clippings.

Next, the company’s redesigned “Atomic” blade configuration appears to assist the air flow and clipping movement. Finally, the three-phase, 60-volt motor is exceptionally efficient, resulting in a large cut area for a single battery.

Toro has maintained features that make this mower work: rear wheel drive, a one-piece deck that’s all steel (no plastic nose), 11-inch wheels to help it roll over roots and crevices, and the same fold-forward handle that was an industry breakthrough when it was introduced some years ago.

Ryobi 40-Volt Brushless Self-Propelled Mower

Key Specs

This is one of Ryobi’s top-of-the-line mowers, and it’s American-made construction is something we wish we saw more of. It delivers a tremendous cut area with its two 6-Ah batteries providing a total of 12-Ah of capacity, and its X-shaped blade leaves a pristine surface in its wake.

Ryobi estimates the design should provide 70 minutes of run time; we didn’t time our cut, but it strikes as plausible. Its rear-wheel drive and reasonably aggressive tire tread pattern provide good hill climbing and sidehill cutting performance, and its bagging on all surfaces (level, sidehill, and uphill) is also commendable.

Other ease-of-use features include an easily installed or removed bag that mounts and dismounts straight up and down through the handle; deck adjustment is quick and easy thanks to a single-level deck height adjustment. The straight edge deck is polypropylene; it will never rust and needs very little care other than basic cleaning.

Toro TimeMaster 30 in. Briggs Stratton Personal Pace

The Toro Timemaster 30-in. mower has been around for several years and has earned a reputation as a sturdy workhorse for homeowners who want to cut down on their mowing time. It’s also used by some professionals as well. A few years ago the Timemaster got a slightly more powerful Briggs and Stratton gas engine, so it should have no issues powering through most demanding mowing jobs.

The Timemaster is rear-wheel drive and features Toro’s Personal Pace drive system that’s used on many of its self-propelled mowers. This allows the mower to move at your speed by simply pushing down or releasing the handle, which is spring-tensioned.

With a 30-in. deck, Toro claims the Timemaster will help you reduce your mowing time by about 40% compared to using a standard-sized mower. You can mulch, back, or side discharge with the Timemaster, and the handlebar can be locked in a fully vertical position to reduce space consumption in storage.

If you have half an acre to a full acre of lawn to mow and prefer the experience of a walk-behind mower versus a tractor or zero-turn, the Timemaster is worth a look.

Craftsman M220

Key Specs

Craftsman mowers have been doing very well in our tests, so we can recommend this one because it’s so much like the many other of the brand’s models that we’ve tested. If you’re looking for a good blend of maneuverability and power, you’ll get it with this mower. Its front drive helps move it along and makes it easy to turn.

It’s important to note that front-drive mowers do lose some traction when running uphill, particularly with a full grass bag. But if your slope is less than 20 degrees, and you’re not bagging uphill, you’ll be fine. The side discharge will also help you handle tall grass. Adjust the two deck levers to bring the mower up to full height and have at the rough stuff.

The fact that this mower bags, mulches, and side discharges is a plus, enabling you to handle a wide range of mowing conditions, from early spring and late into the fall. Three-function mowers like this are our preference for that versatility.

Toro Super Recycler Self-Propelled Lawn Mower

Key Specs

This is a beauty of a mower, with a cast-aluminum deck and a smooth-running Briggs Stratton 163-cc engine. We tested the Honda engine-equipped version, and it was effective at both bagging and mulching, even in moist grass.

Equipped with rear-wheel drive and the Personal Pace system (the farther you push the drive bar, the faster the mower goes), it’s an effective hill climber and moderately effective on sidehill cutting. It has relatively small 7.5-inch tires on all four corners, which causes this Toro to bump up and down a bit on washboard surfaces. But the good news is that it’s equipped with a far higher quality tire than we’re used to seeing these days. We didn’t notice them pick up any grass on moist surfaces.

Other features we like include its forward-fold handle that has a built-in shock absorber that Toro calls a Flex Handle Suspension, and a high-quality grass bag that loads through the handle, from the top.


Are there special maintenance considerations with self-propelled mowers?

Yes. Both front- and rear-wheel drive mowers typically feature a drive belt, which can crack or wear out over time. Fortunately these belts are not difficult or particularly expensive to replace.

Secondly, you may have to replace the drive wheels occasionally. These wheels are driven with gears. there are typically teeth on the inside diameter of the drive wheel that line up with a gear on the axle. These teeth can wear out, especially if they are made of plastic. Higher-end mowers may feature drive wheels with a metal gear that meets the metal axle gear, which improves longevity of these components.

My lawnmower says I don’t ever have to change the oil, but just add oil when needed. Is this OK?

drive, belt, lawn, tractor, replace

It’s not a good idea to never change the oil in your lawn mower. In a lawn mower, same as a car, oil degrades over time and is less effective at reducing heat and friction in metal components. Changing the oil in your lawn mower is easy to do and will significantly increase its service life. For most homeowners, changing the oil at the beginning or end of each mowing season should be sufficient, though there is certainly no harm in doing it more often.

Roy Berendsohn has worked for more than 25 years at Popular Mechanics, where he has written on carpentry, masonry, painting, plumbing, electrical, woodworking, blacksmithing, welding, lawn care, chainsaw use, and outdoor power equipment. When he’s not working on his own house, he volunteers with Sovereign Grace Church doing home repair for families in rural, suburban and urban locations throughout central and southern New Jersey.

This Is How Long a Mower Drive Belt Should Last

Your mower drive belt can last a long time. This makes it an effective tool to keep around for a long time. However, there is general wear and tear that can occur to the mower drive belt, and eventually, it will break if you do not replace it.

Under ideal conditions, a mower drive belt will last between three to four years. If you use the mower quite a bit or if you do not take good care of the machine, it may wear out sooner. Wear and tear often makes it hard to keep the mower belt going for longer than four years.

A lawn mower belt can last longer than four years when the mower is kept clean and it is inspected every year.

Let’s take a closer look at how long a mower drive belt should last along with some of the ways you can tell the mower belt is wearing out and needs to be replaced.

This post may include affiliate links. Purchases made through these links may provide a commission for us, at no extra cost to you. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.

Follow all safety instructions provided in your equipment operator’s manual before diagnosing, repairing, or operating. Consult a professional if you don’t have the skills, or knowledge or are not in the condition to perform the repair safely.

How Long Will My Mower Drive Belts Last?

Your drive belts will be able to last between three to four years, depending on how much you use the lawnmower. There are several different types of belts responsible for:

  • Driving the wheels on a self-propelled mower
  • Driving the wheels on a garden tractor
  • Driving the pumps on a commercial mower
  • Driving the deck turning the blades
  • Running the grass collection system

All of these items rely on belts to drive them.

This is an additional belt found on a riding mower or a self-propelled mower. It can wear out within four years in most cases and needs to be replaced within that time period. You must look for some of the common signs and symptoms to see whether this part needs to be replaced early or not.

When Should I Replace My Mower Belt?

Unless you notice some signs of the belt wearing out, you should replace the drive belt within four years after putting a new one on. Check the mower out if you purchased it used from someone to see if it is time to do a replacement on your own.

drive, belt, lawn, tractor, replace

The best way to tell whether a drive belt is worn or very worn and about to break on you is to do a visual inspection of the belt. Some big signs to look for include:

  • The belt is shiny with no ridges or bumps. This means the belt is worn and slipping inside the grooves of the pulley.
  • The belt has cracksor is torn on the edges. This happens right before it snaps.
  • The belt has lots of slack between the pulleys. It will not run efficiently when this happens.
  • The belt has more than ½” deflection in it indicating the belt may be riding too far into the pulley and therefore the pulley may be worn out also.

These visual signs will tell you it is time to do some work on the drive belt to make sure that it is repaired quickly, and you can keep using your mower the right way.

Sometimes it is hard to know whether the belt is in bad shape, or those physical signs do not show up right away.

When this happens, it is time for you to look for other signs that something is wrong with the drive belt. You may notice some squeaking or squealing noises when you turn on the mower. This means you need to turn it off and inspect the drive belt as soon as possible.

Other signs that the drive belt is not working well and needs replaced includes:

  • The mower stops or has trouble stuttering.
  • Lots of vibration throughout the mower.
  • The mower may not be running up to its normal pace.
  • The mower may not move right away until the belt gets warm.
  • The mower won’t go uphill very well.
  • You may smell the belt burning because it can’t move the heavy mower.

Even if the belt still looks pretty good at this point, it is time to do some replacement to make sure it does not break on you while mowing. Check the tension springs as they can break or you may have a pulley with dirt, mud or debris stuck in it.

When to Replace a Self-Propelled Mower Belt?

A self-propelled mower is a great option because it can get the work done without you needing to do all the heavy pushing. You do need to be there to help steer the mower. To tell whether it is time to replace this belt, you should look for:

  • Squealing or loud sounds from the mower.
  • Suddenly needing more force to push the mower.
  • The mower is much slower than normal.

When these symptoms start to happen, you should replace the drive belt as soon as possible. This will help keep it from snapping and protects your mower.

When Should I Replace a Riding Lawn Mower Belt?

Similar to what we discussed with the self-propelled lawn mower, you need to replace the belt when it stops working well. Some of the problems that you should look for with your riding lawn mower belt include:

  • It is hard to drive the mower compared to before.
  • The mower starts to feel like it is stuttering when you drive it. This is a sign the belt has slipped.

When the belt starts to break often, it is a sign that something else is wrong with the mower and you may need to look into that more. Having too many grass clippings in the deck, or an oil leak could cause this problem for example.

How Can I Replace a Lawn Mower Deck Belt?

Replacing one of these belts does not need to be difficult, even if you do not have a lot of experience. Make sure that you have a few wrenches around and some free time to work on them.

We have provided instructions for a standard lawn mower where you don’t have to remove the deck. You may need to remove the deck on your model.

Now that cell phones have phones on them and they are readily accessible, it is a good idea to take photos of the belts and spring before you take anything apart.

We receive a lot of phone calls from customers asking about routing belts on a lawn mower. Having a picture will help you when you go to install the new belt.

A standard lawn mower deck belt replacement looks like this:

  • Set the height of the mower as low as possible.
  • Take the covers off the mower deck.
  • Pull the old belt out. Do this by releasing the tension and pulling it out of the left spindle pulley.
  • Find the mower belt idler arm and then remove the hardware above it so you can reach the hook.
  • Remove the spring and then put the mower deck back in the highest position

From here, you will need to bring out that wrench to do a little work. Loosen the hardware that holds onto the idler so you can remove this part.

You will need to hold the bolt head under the deck to remove the nut. Always use some caution anytime you reach under the deck of the mower.

With this nut out of the way, you can put the mower deck back to the lowest cutting position. Take all of the hardware that is on the retaining belt keeper and remove it. You should now be able to remove the belt off the clutch pulley, which is located under the engine.

From here, we want to install the new belt in place. The other steps helped to take the old one off. The steps you can use to help with this include:

  • Put the belt against the rearmost idler pully. Reinstall your belt keeper.
  • Install the belt at the clutch pulley at the back of the unit.
  • Return the idler to its position and raise the mower deck to reinstall the idler assembly. Only finger tighten here.
  • Reach under the deck and hold the bolt head to help place and tighten the nut securely.
  • Lower the mower deck as low as possible.

You can then reinstall the belt keeper into the idler arm and put the spring hook back in place. Check that the belt has the right tension at this point and that it is aligned well in all your pulleys in the mower. Reinstall all the parts on the top of the mower and you are good to go!

Replacing Your Mower Transmission Drive Belt

It is important to watch for your mower drive belt to make sure it can last a long time. When it fails, you may be stuck with a lot of work to help replace it.

By recognizing the signs above and taking care of the drive belt before it breaks, you can keep your mower protected and working well. It is recommended you take your mower to your local repair shop to have the transmission drive belt replaced.

If you bring your mower to your lawn mower repair dealership at the end of every mowing season for inspection, you can save a lot of time and potentially money on repairs. Many repair shops may run specials in the winter during their slower business season.

How to Install Transmission Drive Belt Husqvarna Lawn Tractor

Check to see if your dealership will guarantee their work the following spring season because you are bringing your mower in to be serviced during their slow times and prior to being able to use the mower for several months.


Read more about lawn mower belts with our articles:

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V-Belts Ribbed Automotive Belts (549 items found)

V-belts are unobtrusive mechanical parts which are nonetheless crucial to the smooth working of all kinds of tools and appliances. When you need a v-belt replacement to get your power tools back in working order, the range here at Ace contains exactly the type and size of ribbed belt you need.

What Exactly Are V-Belts?

V-belts are a kind of flexible rubber Band used to transfer power from a motor to a tool’s wheels, pulleys, or other moving parts. However, there’s a crucial difference between a v-ribbed belt and a regular rubber belt. V-belts are specially designed with a slanted, trapezoid cross-section rather than being more or less flat. This distinctive shape means they can grip into a pulley more tightly using the friction that the belt creates to increase tension.

Advantages of V-Belts

Compared to other kinds of belts, a v-belt’s ribbed surface greatly reduces the risk of slippage, and so transfers power more effectively to where it’s needed in a tool or appliance. And for applications where even more grip is needed, a multi v-belt or a banded v-belt offers even more surface area per length of belt to increase friction.

What Are Fractional Horsepower Belts?

A fractional horsepower belt is simply a kind of v-belt designed for use in devices with a horsepower rating below one. They should be used alongside motors that don’t exceed an output of 1 HP for optimal use.

Where is a V-Ribbed Belt Used?

Essentially, any device that transmits power from a motor to another part will probably use a v-belt somewhere in its construction. Common examples around the home and garden include lawn mowers, washing machines, power drills, water pumps, cars and many more.

Why Might You Need a V-Belt Replacement

Even though v-belts are designed to be highly durable, they can wear out over time and may need replacing to keep your power tool or other machine working well. To do their job correctly they need to be flexible, but also need to withstand high tension, fast operating speeds, and, in some cases, high temperatures. This means that a v belt in a heavily used tool can eventually suffer from cracking, blistering, surface glazing or separation of the different layers used in manufacture.

And if the v-belt in your tool is easily visible, it’s good to get into the habit of checking it every so often for any signs of wear, as a complete failure of the belt during use can cause serious damage to the other components in the machine.

Shop V-Belts and Fractional Horsepower Belts at Ace Hardware

Browse our range of lawnmower v-belts, automotive v-belts and fractional horsepower belts to get the exact replacement part you need for your power tool or vehicle, using the filters and options to narrow your choice by type, brand and price range. If you’re still unsure what v-belt is right for your needs, stop by or call in to your local Ace for expert advice from our friendly staff.

Order your v-belts online for fast shipping to your home, or free same-day pickup at your local Ace store for when you need your machines back up and running without delay.

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