Originally Posted by lawnsaspire
I just removed the belt easily by hand. I could of removed it with a single finger almost. When I removed the belt the spring became totally loose and limp. SHould this be? It doesn't look stretched and I can't see anywhere to tighten it on the idler arm.
Yes, the tension spring will be loose if there isn't a belt on the pulley system.
I didn't read all of the posts, so let me say this.
If your deck uses an electric PTO to engage the deck, the belt should be fairly taught all of the time. If your more uses a manual PTO, the deck belt will be loose when the deck is disengaged, and fairly taught when it's engaged.
You never want to "over tension" your belt because because it will wear your bearings out. Experience will teach you how tight it should be.
As a general rule I always say that the belt should be as loose as possible without slipping when you run into high, thick grass/ weeds. It should be tight enough to kill the engine before it slips.