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Mower Belt Reliability

Discussion in 'Mechanic and Repair' started by rreyn1812, Jan 2, 2010.

  1. rreyn1812

    rreyn1812 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 444

    Just wondering what others are experiencing with failures on their mower deck belts.

    I have a JD Ztrak 830 with 54" deck and am on my 3rd belt. I have had to replace the belt every 70 hours. JD did come out with a new design and that was the last one I put on, so early next year I will find out pretty quick if it will be holding up any better since I now have right at 210 hours on the mower.

    It just seems to me that 70 hrs per belt is a little low. Thanks for any input you might have! :)
  2. laman

    laman LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 335

    I have a 2007 exmark lazer hp 420 hours and no problems with hydro or blade belt yet..
  3. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    I have the same problem on both my 60" Everride Ztr and my later model 48" Wb 1-piece deck belts,
    it seems those ultra-long 100+" belts don't last that long, not sure why other than it has to be the length,
    the belt itself seems to be made of a good material...

    Just like yourself by the time I passed 200 hours, I was on my 3rd belt.
  4. ranger350

    ranger350 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 103

    I dont think the length of a belt has anything to do with the overall lifetime of it. What really kills belts is heat and having alot of twists and turns

    FIXDISS LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 445

    Are you engaging the pto at full throttle ? Some manufacturers say 1/2 throttle .Some say full throttle. I think it has to do with belt slap . There has to be an awful lot of torque on a single belt when the engine is turning 3600 and you engage the electric pto and try to get 3 blades up to speed in a matter of 1 or 2 seconds. You would think it would be best to engage pto at a speed just above idle then increase rpm but Who am I to say ?It's just my half-fast opinion......
  6. ricky86

    ricky86 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,841

    I have some Z-Masters out that have 700 hours on a belt. Average is 500. Something is definitely wrong with yours. And in response to the above, there is much more slap when the PTO is engaged at lower speeds.

    FIXDISS LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 445

    Ok. You are probably right about the belt slap but don't you agree the start-up torque on the belt is increased when engaging at higher rpm ? As far as the frequent belt failure I was wondering if the edges of the broken belts were showing signs of "fraying" or if the inner "v" portion was cracking or getting a glossy/shiny edge ?
  8. rreyn1812

    rreyn1812 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 444

    I have engaged once or twice at full throttle, but I normally engage the PTO at 1/2 to 3/4 throttle which is what is specified in the manual. Hopefully, the new design of the belt will fix the problem. Any good mechanical engineer should be able to design a belt that would take even the stress of engagement at full throttle. I know there is a trade-off of cost versus design strength, but it's nice to know that some of you guys are getting some good reliability out of your belts.

    I've got a Craftsman 26HP (backup) that's got over 260 hrs on it with the original belt, but my first single cylinder craftsman's first belt didn't last out the first season.
  9. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    On a manual engage I have some choice as to how fast I push that handle
    into the belt, but on my PTO-driven Z the only time I could get away with that
    was when it was brand new... I try that nowadays and it just cuts off on me...

    Fair enough, on my 48" I also noticed the pulley brake system would lightly rub against the belt,
    removing that POS mechanism seems to have helped.

    Makes me wonder if the Z has some POS mechanism that get a little too close to it, too.
  10. DiyDave

    DiyDave LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,695

    My Dixie Chopper used to eat up belts, right and left, dealer told me to engage it at over 2500 engine rpm, and that has worked pretty good, I normally get about 100+ hours out of a deck drive belt, now. Another thing I found out is that the belts my dealer has are basically crap, they might be old, I don't know. The best ones, for the money, I get from surpluscenter.com, they cost 1/4 the price of the dealer's belts(+shipping). I think the answer is that they sell more belts, maybe their stock is newer. Just my $.02:waving:

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