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How to Change the Deck Belt on a Riding Lawn Mower

Length of Clip:  03:21

All belts on your tractor are subject to wear and should be replaced if any signs of wear are present. Depending on your model number, the instructions below might vary slightly.

Before starting this project make sure you have the correct deck belt. Refer to the "Replacement Parts" section of your Operator's Manual.

Step 1

Be sure to shut the engine off, remove the ignition key and disconnect the spark plug wire or wires to prevent accidental starting while you're working.

Step 2

Lower the deck to the lowest position by moving the deck-lift lever.

Step 3

Remove the belt guards by removing the screws that secure them to the deck.

Step 4

Remove the belt keeper rod from around the engine pulley.

Step 5

On a deck like this one, loosen, but don't remove the idler pulley nuts. This will enable the belt to be easily removed from around the idler pulleys.

Step 6

If you have a digital camera handy, or even one on a cell phone, it's a good idea to take a picture of how the belt is routed before you remove it.

Step 7

Remove the deck belt from around all pulleys, including the deck idler pulleys. Don't place your fingers on the idler spring or between the belt and any of the pulleys while removing the belt; your fingers could get pinched and injured.

Step 8

Route the new belt in the same manner as the old belt. If you took a photo earlier, use it for visual reference. Or, you can refer to your Operator's Manual.

Step 9

Tighten the idler pulley nuts you loosened.

Step 10

Put the belt keeper rod back in place around the engine pulley.

Step 11

Remount the belt guards.

Step 12

Raise the mower back to the highest position.

Step 13

Reconnect the spark plug wire or wires.

Step 14

Put the key back into the ignition switch and start the unit. Let the unit warm up a little before attempting to engage the mower deck. (If working in a garage, make sure the door is open for adequate ventilation).

Step 15

Place the throttle control at full throttle and engage the mower deck.

Step 16

Disengage the mower deck and wait for the belt to come to a complete stop. Engage the mower deck again. Listen for any abnormal noise.

Step 17

Disengage the mower deck, bring the throttle down to idle, and shut the tractor off.

Step 18

Remove the ignition key and remove the spark plug wire(s). Ground the spark plug wire(s) against the engine to prevent unintended starting before checking the belt.

Step 19

Lower the deck to the lowest position.

Step 20

Check the belt to make sure it's properly running through all the pulleys and that no damage is present.

Step 21

Install the spark plug wire(s) back onto the spark plug(s).

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