Lawn mower belt installation. Craftsman 54 Inch Mower Deck Belt Diagram and Location

Craftsman 54 Inch Mower Deck Belt Diagram and Location

The Craftsman mower’s 54 inch deck belt is a critical component that transfers power for the mower’s effortless operation. Maintenance and troubleshooting require an understanding of the position of this belt and other parts.

The deck shell, spindles, spacers, covers, and idler pulleys make up the Craftsman 54 inch mower belt. A precise diagram along with a clear location will be provided in this article.

You will have the information necessary to overcome any belt-related difficulties with the help of this article. So let’s investigate the Craftsman 54 inch mower deck belt diagram in detail.

Location and Application of Important Craftsman 54 Inch Mower Deck Belt Parts

Many mechanical parts are essential for the operation of the mower deck belt. A short explanation of each component of the Craftsman 54 inch mower deck belt diagram and their placement are shown below:


The mower deck’s most essential part is the driving belt (36). It is in charge of supplying the blades with the necessary force to cut the grass.

The belt is located at the middle of the Craftsman 54 inch deck. It encircles the pulleys that are positioned along the belt. The blades are powered by these pulleys. The Sec-X V-Belt costs 96.79.

Idler Pulleys

The Craftsman 54 inch mower’s belt tension is maintained by idler. They make sure the belt stays locked in its place.

On the deck, there are numerous places where the idler pulleys are situated. These may be altered to make the belt tighter or looser as necessary.

The pulleys used in the Craftsman 54 inch mower belt are SPDL ASM Pulley (4), Flat Idler Pulley (37) and 4.50 inch Dia Idler Pulley (38). These cost 126.43, 44.30, and 36.05.

The SPDL ASM Pulley is made of Flange Nut (14), Spindle Shaft (48), Ball Bearing (49), Spacer (50), 792 x 1.060 x 1.782 Spacer (51), Deck Pulley (52), and Bearing Shield (53).


Small plastic or metal pieces act as spacers around the mower deck belt. These are positioned between the deck and the blade pulleys. The spacers aid in ensuring that the blades are evenly spaced apart and aligned.

Normally, the spacers are situated on the spindle shafts between the deck and the blade pulleys. When required, they may be quickly replaced.

Two types of shoulder spacers are used with the Craftsman 54 inch mower deck belt. These are Spacer Shoulder (30) and MTD Shoulder Spacer (35) costing 5.84 and 3.75 respectively.

Spindles and Cover

The Spindle Cover RH (39) and Spindle Cover LH are protective coverings. To stop trash and grass clippings from gathering within the spindle housing, they are put over the blade spindles.

On the right and left sides of the deck, respectively, are these coverings. For the blade spindle to be protected and to function properly, the Spindle Cover RH and LH is essential. These cost 22.62 and 22.40 respectively.

Deck Shell

The deck shell (1) is in charge of giving the overall deck assembly its primary framework and support. It is situated right below the mower. The belt is supported and given the essential framework by the deck shell.

The deck shell is where the spindles, pulleys, and belt are placed. It makes sure that the belt is strung correctly for efficient functioning. It costs 933.85.

How to Maintain the Craftsman 54 Inch Mower Deck Belt Parts?

You should take care of all the parts of the Craftsman 54 inch mower deck belt. For the Craftsman 54 inch mower deck to operate at its best, proper maintenance is required.

Here are some pointers for keeping these parts in good shape:

    Belt: Regular checks should be made for any signs of damage or tension problems with the mower deck belt. Look for worn-out areas and cracks.

Deck Shell: Examine the deck shell for any indications of damage. These might be rust or cracks.

Additionally, confirm that it is correctly positioned and firmly secured to the mower frame. If any problems are found, fix the deck shell.

What are the Symptoms of Damaged Craftsman 54 Inch Mower Deck Belt?

There may be a number of signs when one or more of the parts start to wear out. Here are some typical signs that these components are being damaged:

  • The blades not spin if the mower deck belt is worn out or broken. The belt could move or separate from the pulleys. A faulty belt may also generate excessive noise or vibration.
  • The belt may get slack or fall off the pulleys due to damaged idler pulleys. This can lead to a cut of low quality. A lot of vibration or noise can also be produced by worn-out idler pulleys.
  • The blades may spin unevenly due to faulty spacers. A grass that looks uneven as a result of this.
  • The spindles or coverings may start vibrating if they sustain damage. Damaged spindles or coverings can also make a lot of noise.

Craftsman Riding Mower Drive Belt Diagram- A Step By Step Process!

Drive belts are one of the leading parts of a riding mower. And, a drive belt diagram helps you to understand the parts and their work processes more clearly.

No matter what DIY mower repair guide you follow to solve any case, it’s crucial to know the work process and the ins and outs of the drive belts.

Here, in this article, we will cover everything about Craftsman riding mower drive belt diagrams, how the drive belts work, and how you can install the belts.

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What is A Riding Mower Drive Belt? How Does it Work?

If you ask, what is a riding mower drive belt? The simplest answer is, it’s the part that lets your mower move. Yes, the drive belt is responsible for the movement of the wheels of your mower.

So, what’s the process? How does all of it work?

The first and foremost job of the drive belt is transferring power to the parts of your mower. The engine shaft of the mower has radial torque. The drive belt transfers that torque to the input shaft of the transmission.

Ultimately, the torque turns on the function of your mower and lets it perform properly. It helps the mower move forward and spin the blade.

Now, you may be confused thinking about where the drive belt gets the ability to transfer the power or torque from the engine to the transmission. Well, it actually comes from the way the drive belt runs on your mower.

The engine shaft and the input shaft of the transmission have the attachments of the pulleys. At the time the engine fires first it turns the engine shaft and then turns the transmission’s input shaft.

The first pulley is the reason for the drive belt’s movement. And, this movement of the drive belt leads the second pulley to move. Since the second pulley is connected to the input shaft of the transmission, that movement of the second pulley leads the transmission shaft to turn.

So, the movement process there is something like this:

Engine fires→ Engine Shaft turns→ the first Pulley turns→ the Drive Belt moves→ the second Pulley turns→ Transmission shaft turns.

Now what happens next is, the transmission shafts transfer the power to the drive wheels of your mower. Therefore, the transmission gets the power means the mower can move.

This is how the drive belt helps your riding mower move back and forth.

Craftsman Riding Mower Drive Belt Diagram

How to Install/Replace Craftsman Riding Mower Drive Belt

You can see something like the picture if you remove the mower housing first. Here, the drive belt is clearly visible along with the other related parts. When you need to install the drive belt on crafts, detach that belt retainer from the idler pulley.

After that, you can easily remove the drive belt. Then, it will be pretty easy to replace the drive belt. The next thing you have to do is detach the belt retainer from the idler pulley.

One thing you must keep in mind, the ‘V’ side of the drive belt should be against the idler pulley and the jackshaft pulley.

So, these are the related parts of the drive belt and the simple process to install the drive belt.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many belts are on a Craftsman riding mower?

There are three primary belts in a Craftsman mower– drive belt, arbor belt, and power clutch belt.

What is the ground drive belt on a Craftsman riding mower?

The ground drive belt is the one belt that makes the connection between the engine crankshaft pulley and the transmission pulley for allowing the mower to move.

How often should I change mower belts?

There’s no specific amount of time that you should change the belts, but the more frequently they’re used, the quicker you need to replace them. Because more use = more wear.


Now, we are at the end of our discussion on a Craftsman riding mower drive belt diagram. Did the article help you understand everything about your riding mower drive belt clearly? Hopefully, your answer is affirmative.

Make sure you replace any broken or excessively worn drive belts when it’s needed. It will help you to avoid any unwanted experience with the mower. The thing is, If you can use the mower and its parts properly, you’ll have a longer journey with your mower.

To Read:

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How Often Do Mower Belts Need To Be Replaced? (How To Spot The Signs)

If you have a large yard, you’re familiar with lawnmowers and their maintenance process, especially when it comes to the mower belts considering they tend to be the most bothersome aspect of owning a lawnmower—apart from the loudness!

If you like to take care of your belongings, you’ve mostly asked yourself: “How often do mower belts need to be replaced?”

How Often Do Mower Belts Need To Be Replaced?

Mower belts don’t have a specific time to be replaced. However, you should need a new belt every 2-3 years with average use.

This 2-3 years period could be shortened if:

  • You use the mower excessively
  • Have a poor-quality belt
  • Have faulty pulleys or bearings

Some signs tell you what you should look for when checking your belt. We’re going to explain these signs in this article.

Should you decide to replace the belt on your own, we’ll also give you a step-by-step guide on how to do that. Stick around!

When Should You Replace Mower Belts?

You should check your belt at least once a year. If you use it excessively, then it’s recommended to do that every few months. However, if you hear the engine revving a bit differently than usual, you might want to check the belt, even if it’s new.

On the other hand, if everything is normal, you should look out for the signs that tell you it’s time to have a new belt.

Here are the signs you should be on the lookout for:

The Belt Has Cracks

Cracks on the belt are a sign that it’s deteriorating, especially if you find them on many areas of the belt.

Cracks, even if small, pose a high risk of breaking. Replacing the belt at this point will save you quite the headache.

If your belts often get replaced because of cracking, there’s a good chance they’re of low quality. So consider getting a higher-quality belt.

The Belt Is Shiny or Glazed

Lawnmower belts should be smooth with prominent edges along the belt.

With time, these edges get ground and worn out. If they reach the point where you could see a glazed surface, then this belt needs to be replaced before it breaks.

Shiny or glazed belts don’t pose high breaking risks like cracks, but they won’t allow your mower to work as efficiently.

You’d feel it as you use the mower. It’s going to feel like it cuts much slower.

The Belt Has Damage on One Side

This one should give you a heads up that the worn-out belt isn’t the only problem you should handle.

If you notice excessive damage on only one side of the belt, you may have a pulley or a bearing that has ceased to work.

This problem won’t affect the mower to the point where you could notice that something is wrong. The system would just drag the belt past that broken pulley or bearing.

This results in permanent grinding and tearing on one side of the belt. If you’re not aware of that problem and just got yourself a new belt, it won’t last long, and it will have the same problem.

You should have your mower checked for stuck pulleys or bearings as they could cause more problems than just a torn belt.

The Belt Has Bulges

If you notice that your belt has bulges, that means it has become too tight.

Bulges in mower belts usually mean that the belt is too tight for the machine. It’s recommended to get a more suitable belt for your mower.

The belt should sit comfortably in the machine, but it shouldn’t be too loose. A loose belt has a higher risk of coming out as you use the mower.

How to Replace a Lawn Mower Belt?

So you’ve decided to replace that worn-out belt, but you’re tired of having it done for you. You’re thinking that it’s best to do it yourself and save time and money.

Learning how to replace your belt could be annoying at first, but it would save you a reasonable amount of time and money in the long run.

Before you begin, make sure that you have the appropriate tools for the job. You’ll need:

It’s not a must, but you could get a torque wrench to make your job easier.

Preparation stage

In this stage, you’ll get your mower ready to work while ensuring your safety. If you had just used the mower, switch off the ignition switch and let it rest for a couple of hours to cool down.

  • Place your mower on an even surface with a good amount of space to spread the parts.
  • Lift the hood, then disconnect the spark plug’s wire. You can close the hood again at this point, as you’ll no longer need to do anything there.
  • Disengage the cutting blades using the arm next to the driving wheel.
  • Use the moving arm to lower the mower deck to the lowest possible position.

Detaching Stage

This is when you’d start using your tools to undo a few attachments.

  • Remove the mower belt from the engine bullies.
  • Remove the front link supporting pins and washers from both sides of the mower, then detach the supporting arm from the mowing deck.
  • Remove the back suspension arms’ clips from both sides of the mower, then detach the supporting arms from the mowing deck.
  • Remove the rear deck bracket attachment clips on both sides, then detach the bracket from the mowing deck.

Belt Changing Stage

Have your belt ready because this is when you replace it.

  • Pull the mowing deck out as much as you need to remove the belt freely.
  • Memorize how the belt is fixed in place. You might want to take a clear picture of how it looks so you can reattach it correctly later on.
  • Remove the belt from its keepers and pulleys.
  • Get your new belt and attach it just like the old one. Make sure to pull the belt a few times after placing it to make sure that it’s secure.

Reattaching stage

It’s just getting everything back the way it was.

  • Push the mower deck back inside, and re-align the belt in the engine pulleys.
  • Reconnect the suspension arms and the bracket attachments back in place.
  • Don’t forget to reconnect the spark plug wire. Reopen that hood and connect it.

This process could take you a couple of hours (sometimes more) if it’s your first time. But by doing it repeatedly, it should take you less than an hour to complete the whole process.

Watch this two-minute video to visualize these steps.

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So, how often do mower belts need to be replaced? We’d say after around two or three years of use.

It’s essential to check your lawnmower to keep it in good condition regularly. When you check your belt, make sure to check the bearings and pulleys to make sure they’re not faulty.

Also, keep in mind that our belt replacement guide is not precisely applicable to all mowers.

The designs and attachment locations often vary, but the concept remains the same; turn off the ignition, detach a few things, change the belt, then reattach.

Always go for the decision of changing the belt before it snaps. It may lodge anywhere in the rotating parts and cause further complications if it does. Stay safe.

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I love working in the yard and coming up with projects around the house. In addition, I am blogger. I’ve decided to start this blog to share stuff I learn about yard work, or any projects that are house related. These days I blog about everything related to anything pertaining to the outside of the home. Everything in this blog should be used for educational purposes only. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Privacy Policy

How to Replace Drive Belt on Craftsman Lawn Mower?

The drive belt has a lifespan and needs changing after that period to continue to function efficiently. But not many people know how to change the drive belt. Not to worry, that’s why you’ve got me, right? In this piece, I’ll show you how to change the drive belt of your craftsman lawn mower when it gets worn out or broken but before we dive in, let’s look at what a drive belt is.

What is a Drive Belt?

The drive belts are the connector between the engine crankshaft and the trans-axle pulley. It is the device that transfers the energy from the engine to the wheels for it to move. Without it,you have a running engine but a machine that cannot run.

This is why it is so important. When driving mowers like the zero turn lawn mowers, it is the drive belts that bring the power that runs it.

Drive belt for a Craftsman Lawn Mower

The craftsman lawn mower contains two drive belts; primary and secondary. Different models of the craftsman mower have different drive belt sizes, but they usually come between 42-50 inches.

Both the drive and push craftsman lawn mowers make use of drive belts for its movement.

How to Know a Bad Craftsman Lawn Mower

Now that you’ve understood what a drive belt is and its use in a craftsman lawn mower, let’s look at ways to know when a lawn mower is bad and needs changing.

Even though drive belts have lifespans; sometimes, they go bad before that date. When this happens, your machine won’t work smoothly anymore. How do you know when the drive belt is bad?

  • Loosens up: When your machine stops in-between mowing sessions, it is an indication that the belt is weak and can’t stay on the crankshaft throughout the operation.
  • Squeals: Do you hear squealing sounds? Then, your belt must be bad. The squealing noises caused by bad belts. The sound it makes is not only annoying but uncomfortable to work around.
  • Slows down: Have you ever started your riding mower and noticed its reduced speed? Or its rate just reduces while mowing? This is a strong indication you need to change the drive belt. Do you know why it’s more prominent in riding mowers? It is because,unlike the push mowers, it relies entirely on its wheel to move.
  • Visible wear and tear: A physical examination is still one of the most efficient ways to know if your drive belt needs changing. Open the drive belt chamber and physically check for wear and tear around the edges of the belt.

Things to Consider Before Changing Your drive Belt

Before you go ahead to replace your bad drive belt; there are some things you need to give some thoughts to. I’ve compiled a list of them

  • Read the owner’s manual. Where else to get first-hand information about your machine than in the owner’s manual.
  • Contact a lawn mower technician if you feel the task will be overwhelming. Even though this is a straightforward guide, you may still decide to call a more experienced hand to take care of it.
  • Wear protective equipment. I can’t stress this enough. You need to protect yourself whenever you’re working on machines.

Things You Need

To be able to handle the whole process efficiently and safely; you need some tools

  • Screwdriver
  • A pair of work gloves
  • A wooden block
  • Protective goggles
  • A new drive belt
  • A socket wrench
  • A cleaning brush
  • Pliers

How to Replace a Worn Out or Broken Drive Belt

Drive belts are made to withstand a high amount of pressure and can last you for years. Notwithstanding, you’ll still need to replace it from time to time. I’m going to show you how to properly change the drive belt of your craftsman lawn mower without external supervision.

  • Place the lawn mower on a flat surface: The first step to changing your drive belt is preparing the craftsman lawn mower. Place it on a flat surface as a slanting surface will make it difficult for you to work on the machine. Your garage or garden shed is a perfect place to place your lawn mower.
  • Disconnect spark plug and power cable: You do not want to be electrocuted while working on the mower. If your mower has two cylinders, you have to disconnect the two spark plugs and remove the power cable. Don’t forget to put on your gloves before handling the mower.
  • Seal off the fuel tank: You need to tightly cover the fuel tank to prevent leaks. Open the fuel tank, and cover the opening with polythene bag,cover the fuel tank back with its cap.
  • Remove the blades and deck:For uninterrupted access to the drive belt, you need to remove the blades and deck using the screwdriver. After removing them, you can then raise the front tires and place the wooden block for easy access to the drive.
  • Clean the shaft and deck: Use your brush to properly clean the deck to remove debris and diets from there. This will increase the lifespan of your machine.
  • Remove the old, worn-out belt: Use the socket wrench on the flywheel bolt to get access. Turn in a clockwise direction to loosen the pulley bolt and washer and remove the crankshaft pulley. You’ll get access to take out the old belt.
  • Put the new belt: Put the new belt around the trans-axle pulley and make sure it fits nicely. Use the socket wrench on the bolts, this time in an anticlockwise direction to tighten them. Return the crankshaft pulley and tighten it up too.
  • Reinstall the blades and deck: The blades need to be returned to its normal position. Set the blades and make sure the engine pulley matches perfectly on it. Replace the deck and fasten all loose nuts.
  • Lower the mower and test ride: Remove the wooden block and lower the mower. You need to test your work to be sure everything works perfectly. Take your mower for a spin; start the lawn mower and try to mow a small portion. Monitor its movement, cutting speed and precision, and listen for odd noises. If everything is okay, then you can go ahead to savor your new lawn.


Working on a mower can be confusing and dangerous if you’re not sure of what you’re doing. Here are some precautions to take into account.

  • Make sure the ignition is turned off, and the key is out of the ignition before commencing
  • Operate away from kids
  • Properly seal off the fuel tank before starting
  • Pay extra attention when working on objects under tension


Changing your lawn mower is not a difficult task; however, you need to dedicate a few hours to it. Even though it may be straightforward to change, it is advisable to seek the help of a professional if you’re confused or overwhelmed.

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″ Mower

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.

How To Install A Belt On A Riding Lawn Mower Tractor

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

Completely lower the deck first

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.

Step 4: Profit (It’s now free.)

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

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.

I cleaned up the deck at this point

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.

This old blade is in pretty bad shape

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

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.

Cleaned out built-up grass

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

Slip the belt over the mower’s pulley

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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