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12 comments
Anonymous Poster

Belt Adjustment on Yard Machine Rider

08/18/2008 9:26 PM

I have a yard machine 15.5hp 42" cut riding mower that is about 3yrs old. It has gotten to the point tht in thicker grass or taller grass (not brush) the blade will stop cutting but the engine sounds fine. It appears the drive belt for the blade is very loose, but manual says absolutely nothing about adjusting or tightening the tension.

Any ideas?

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Guru
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#1

Re: belt adjustment on yard machine rider

08/18/2008 9:44 PM

Most of these machines have an idler pulley that can be pivoted to take up some of the slack in the drive belt. Have you looked under it yet? Does the belt have significant wear?

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Anonymous Poster
#2
In reply to #1

Re: belt adjustment on yard machine rider

08/18/2008 10:20 PM

Thanks for your reply Bob. Yes I have looked under it but didn't see anything that I thought was intended to adjust tension. This mower is at my place in the country and really probably only gets used 5-6 times a year. The belt did't appear to have any wear on it other than being loose.

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Guru

Join Date: Feb 2008
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#3

Re: belt adjustment on yard machine rider

08/19/2008 12:23 AM

Guest,

I'm not sure about the model of rider you have but there are some generic things to look for.

First of all check to see if the belt has a glazed surface where it contacts the pullies. There are several good belt dressings on the market to address that problem. Next check to see that all the pullies move freely. If you declutch the mower deck you should be able to turn them by hand easily. You may then notice that one of those pullies is on a spring loaded arm. Check to see that it is not bound up with grass but moves and has a good amount of tension. Lastly if you scrape around a bit you may find a grease fitting or two. Lube it if you can.

And please -PLEASE don't do any of this with the engine running.

Best of luck - Stubby

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Guru

Join Date: Oct 2006
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#4
In reply to #3

Re: belt adjustment on yard machine rider

08/19/2008 3:05 PM

"Best of luck - Stubby"

You don't happen to have that nickname because you failed to heed your own advice. Or maybe that's how you learned that wise little bit of knowledge.

Either way I hope it only happened once. LOL

And yes those stupid little springs on the engagment lever can get stuck or jammed and keep the belt from tensioning properly.

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Guru

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#5

Re: Belt Adjustment on Yard Machine Rider

08/19/2008 11:39 PM

Are you sure the belt is not turning when it stopps cutting grass ?

My son did not tighten a blade enough he put them back on after sharping the blades and when I hit high grass mine stopped cutting. I was quick enough to check his work but adjustment was on my mind.

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Anonymous Poster
#6

Re: Belt Adjustment on Yard Machine Rider

08/19/2008 11:45 PM

A lot of riding mowers use a spring to pull on the idler pulley to put tension in the blade belt when engaged. The spring is attached to the mower frame with a threaded eye bolt. You can increase the spring tension which will increase the belt tension by turning the nut (usually found on the front frame crossmember) that anchors the bolt against the frame.

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Anonymous Poster
#7

Re: Belt Adjustment on Yard Machine Rider

08/20/2008 12:48 AM

Yard Machines made by MTD should have a manual available on the companies website. Look up http://www.mtdproducts.com/corporate/index.jsp.

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Anonymous Poster
#8

Re: Belt Adjustment on Yard Machine Rider

08/20/2008 6:34 AM

I have 2 MTDs and they have a tension spring for the idler pulley.

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Guru
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#9
In reply to #8

Re: Belt Adjustment on Yard Machine Rider

08/20/2008 7:22 AM

Perhaps his problem is that he only has one of these machines.

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Guru
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#10

Re: Belt Adjustment on Yard Machine Rider

08/20/2008 7:32 AM

I have a 17 hp 42" Yardman by MTD. There is not any adjustment for blade tension. The tension is based on the tension spring which anchors on a fixed pin not an eye bolt. The problem I have encountered has been that the pivot mechanism for the idler pulley has worn out. The result was the plate that the idler pulley mounts to would not rotate freely. It is easily seen with the deck removed. Pretty much just reach in and see if there is a lot of play between the plate and the mounting stud. Note that the pivot may appear to rotate freely when not under tension. You might get along fine by lubricating the pivot. If using a spray can to apply oil be sure to cover the belts and pulleys. I have resorted to using a shorter belt instead of replacing the pivot. Seems to be working fine. Be careful if you try this. Remember that by doing so you are altering the design and my be liable for accidents and injuries that may result if the belt fails to disengage properly.

Good luck

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#11

Re: Belt Adjustment on Yard Machine Rider

08/20/2008 9:20 AM

Usually with no way of adjustment i have found a belt will be streched & still look like new. Replace Belt.

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Anonymous Poster
#12
In reply to #11

Re: Belt Adjustment on Yard Machine Rider

10/28/2009 8:24 AM

"Usually with no way of adjustment i have found a belt will be streched & still look like new. Replace Belt."

V-Belts (both auto and tractor) are made with a braided polyester, or even sometimes a teflon corded center core that will not stretch (So it is said... - I have, although, found that with the application of excessive friction and heat (slippage) some very, very minimal stretching and glazing will occur) - Thus, the belt is either glazed causing the slippage (catch 22 - slippage causes glaze, causes slippage...) or has worn the "v" such that it doesn't fit into the pulley groove properly - Always check the adjustment first, and be careful not to overlook things that may cause belt tension, that may not at first appear to be related - Best of luck - and a new belt may help, but not because of a stretched old belt....DD

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