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Old 09-30-2012, 03:33 AM
StanWilhite StanWilhite is online now
LawnSite Bronze Member
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Decatur AL
Posts: 1,973
Originally Posted by Ridin' Green View Post
Take it off before it breaks, and take it into a NAPA store if you have any near you that are open on Sundays. You should be able to get a good quality belt that matches it there.
I agree with Ridin'. The only difference in a belt from a dealer (OEM), and a good quality belt from an auto parts store, is the price. But make sure they're giving you a quality belt...not their cheapest belt.

When I bought my first tractor (in 1980) it had a 60 inch "belly" mower under it, and used a belt that was 126 inches long. When I wore the first belt out, I drove a round trip of 50 miles to buy one from the was 55.00.

By the time I needed my second belt, I had wised up (by asking questions to experienced people) and carried it with me to a parts store that is only 2 minutes from my house. I bought the EXACT same belt, with the EXACT same numbers on it, from the EXACT same manufacturer, for 11.00. It was the very same one I drove an extra 46 miles for, and paid 5 times as much for, at the dealer.

I was reminded of a lesson that I had learned many years before... you don't always get more by simply paying more. I do want to make this clear though, I do try to support my local dealer, but sometimes it just costs too feel like you're getting raped.

So, in general, there are rare cases that require specialty belts, but for the average belt, it has been my experience that a good quality belt from a good auto parts store will last just as long as one from the dealer. Sometimes the manufacturer won't be the same....although many times they will be from the same manufacturer.

One other little tidbit that might save you some future time and aggravation. The reason I always say to carry the belt with you to the store if possible, is because of the difference in the way belt manufacturers measure the length of their belts. You can't just walk in and say (for instance) "I need a B58", and be confident that you are leaving with the belt you need.

When designating the length of a belt, some companies use the length of the inside circumference of the belt, while others use the measurement of the outside circumference of the belt. This causes a lot of confusion because there is 2.1 inches difference in the 2 measurements. The only thing that is standard with all of the belt manufacturers I'm aware of is the width. An "A" belt is 1/2" wide, while a "B" belt is 5/8" wide.

It's the length that can be confusing. Because of the difference in the way different companies measure belt length (as I said, some using inside cir. and others using outside cir.) a "B56" from one company is 5/8" wide and 56 inches long. But from another company, a "B56" is 5/8" wide (same width) but 58.1 inches long. That difference of 2.1 inches in length will usually prevent them from being interchangeable.

That's why you should always take the old belt with you if possible. You can lay the old one on the counter, then lay the new one on top to see if they're the same length. The old belt may be just a tad longer because it stretched over time, but it won't be anywhere around 2.1 inches difference.

Sorry for the long post but I hope it's beneficial.

Good luck, Stan

Last edited by StanWilhite; 09-30-2012 at 03:42 AM. Reason: typo
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