Deck Belt Question

Discussion in 'Mechanic and Repair' started by tothmow, Jul 2, 2007.

  1. tothmow

    tothmow LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    I own a 48" Exmark Lazer CT. I bought it used with 150 hours for home use (2 acres).

    I am not very mechanical so this is probably a simple question.

    I threw the deck belt yesterday. The engine was cold and sputtering when I engaged the PTO and it stalled and threw the belt. I lifted the top of the deck, saw the diagram showing how the belt should feed through the pulleys, pulled on the belt to get some slack and placed it back on the pulleys.

    My question is how much tension should be on the belt? It seemed too easy to merely pull on the belt with one hand and feed it around the pulleys with the other. There is tension on the belt, I am just not sure if it is enough tension. Maybe this is normal. I have never worked on a zero-turn mower before and that is why I ask this question.

    For additional information, after I fixed the belt I reached under the deck and rotated one of the blades by hand. The other blades rotated as well but only sporatically...they didnt follow the rotation of the blade I was turning exactly. In other words, the belt was loose enough such that it slipped somewhat when I rotated a blade by hand.

    I checked my owners manual and all it says about the deck belt tension is "self-tensioning, no adjustment necessary".

    I mowed after fixing the belt and it seemed to mow ok, but I couldnt tell if the belt was slipping on the pulleys or not.

    Thanks for the help!
  2. DiyDave

    DiyDave LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,695

    If the belt is slipping excessively, you will see a glazing on the sides of the belt, maybe cracks, too, as slipping causes heat, causes cracks etc. Check to see that the belt is the right one, per the owner's (parts) manual. If everything checks out OK, and the problem doesn't re-occur, it could just be a wild hair. I once had a strange vibration in the deck belt that was caused by a gum tree seed ball getting caught in the motor pulley, and getting stuck there till I dug it out with a pocket knife!:hammerhead: :hammerhead:
  3. tothmow

    tothmow LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    Thanks! I checked for glazing on the belt as you suggested and noticed that the belt had slipped off one of the spindle pulleys and the belt was slipping along the bottom of the pulley.

    I put the belt back in the proper place and now there is good tension on the belt. Hopefully I didnt damage the belt too badly by running it for 1/2 hour or so along the bottom of the one pulley.

    Thanks for the help! If the belt breaks now at least I will know the cause (my stupidity).
  4. DiyDave

    DiyDave LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,695

    I didn't say anything about stupidity... Sh*t happens to all of us overcoming it comes with experience. How do you get experience? Stupidity! Catch 22 is a mother!
  5. Jay Ray

    Jay Ray LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,510

    I arrived at the first lawn of the day once last season and my 48 wb deck squealed like crazy. I had left a 1" combination wrench on the spindle flats (the wrench used to hold the spindle still while you torque the blade bolt). The wrench rode all the way to the job without falling off and it caught under the deck when I engaged the blades. That spindle was not moving at all.

    I hope nobody saw me jack up the mower and pull the wrench out.:hammerhead: :hammerhead: :hammerhead:

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