Exmark drive belt (no tension)

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by tacoma200, Aug 18, 2005.

  1. tacoma200

    tacoma200 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,426

    I have a Lazer Z that has about 30 hrs on it. Sometimes when going up a hill or taking off suddenly the belts squeel. It seems as though the idler arm or whatever you call it is not moving as freely as it should. I greesed the fitting and this helped for a while and then it started again. You could push on the belt and it would not snap back very fast and the tension was not as tight as I thought it should be. I believe the spring is strong enough but the idler arm or whatever the correct term for it is is not moving freely enough to allow tension to be correct. Finally I loosened the bolt slightly that holds the idler arm on and this solved the problem. Now the belts stays tight and the idler has freedom of movement. The people at exmark say that this bolt should be tight but if I tighten it then the idler arm just doesn't move freely. I am speeking of the belt behind the seat that goes to the pumps. I know its under warranty but I would like your thoughts as to what I should expect from Exmark on this. Should they replace the idler arm and or spring.. Maybe greese isn't getting into the bearing or bushing the way it should. Any input would be welcome. I'm not much of a mechanic.
  2. Ax Man

    Ax Man LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 446

    It sounds like you cured it. What else do you want to do?
    The Idler arm may have some flaw in the surface that the nut tightens against, or more likely the perso who put it on just over tightened it.
  3. DEEJ

    DEEJ LawnSite Member
    Messages: 230

    The bolt should be tight. It is simply a locking bolt, it should not apply pressure to the part that pivots.

    The pivot shaft should be ever so slightly longer than the pivoting sleeve that slides over it. The bolt simply stops the pivoting sleeve from sliding off the end of the shaft - thus it should be tight.

    Something is wrong with your setup. The shaft is too short, the sleeve is too long, there could be a weld burr on the end of the sleeve or on the body where the shaft attaches, there could simply be a paint buildup. The only way to find out is to take it apart and inspect everything carefully.

    The issue with not having the bolt tight is it may come off. This is actually not bad. The belt, spring, and fixed pulleys on the hydros will keep the pivot arm tracking mostly where it should be. It won't fly apart.

    As a fix I would remove the bolt, find a thin washer (it won't take much) no bigger than the diameter of the shaft, slip it on and put it back together. Tighten the bolt. The new washer has to be small enough in diameter that it applies pressure to the end of the shaft, but not the sleeve that pivots on the shaft.

    One note about greasing this fitting. It is best to remove tension from the spring before you grease. With tension on, the grease can't get between the business part of the shaft and the sleeve. The best method to remove tension (as suggested here before) is to take a 9/16" wrench and put it on the bolt on the pivot. Turn it to pivot the tensioner, then pop the belt off. I leave the wrench right there, do the greasing, then put the belt back on and remove the wrench.

  4. milo

    milo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,308

    Hi I Had This Problem On My Lazer Zhp. I Did Loosen The Bolt A Bit And Then It Works Fine With No Other Peoblems. That Was 2 Seasons Ago And Now It Is Still Ok. Keep Greaseing It And Keep Nut Tight But Not Super Tight. Mine Is Fine
  5. tacoma200

    tacoma200 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,426

    Thanks for all the input and helpful advice.

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