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How to Change the Deck Belt on a Riding Lawn Mower

The deck belt on your riding lawn mower connects the crank shaft to the lawn mower blades, causing them to turn. If you notice cracks forming in the rubber, consider changing your deck belt. To avoid interruption while mowing, change the deck belt before it breaks. Here’s how to change the deck belt on a riding lawn mower.

Before performing any maintenance on your lawn mower, refer to your operator’s manual as it lists the required maintenance, safety information, and instructions for your machine. Maintenance instructions vary by model, so depending on your riding lawn mower model our instructions may vary slightly.

To begin, position your lawn mower for deck belt replacement by parking the mower on a flat, level surface, turn off the engine, remove the ignition key, and disconnect the spark plug ignition wire to prevent accidental starting.

First, remove the mower deck. Raise the deck height to the highest position and place wooden blocks under each side of the mower deck. Lower the deck height to the lowest position, lowering the mower deck onto the blocks.

Depending on the model, your lawn mower will have either a lever engagement or PTO engagement. With a lever engagement, remove the belt from around the engine pulley and the cable from around the idler arm. With a PTO engagement, remove the belt from the PTO clutch. Remove the belt keeper rod from around the engine pulley.

Some models have a lift arm and stabilizer arm. Disconnect these from the chassis. If applicable, disconnect the mower engagement drive cable on the left side of the mower deck. Pull the J hooks from the left and right side to release the deck from the hangar brackets.

Remove the wood blocks from under the deck and slide the mower deck out from under the machine.

To change the mower deck belt, remove the belt guards by removing the screws that secure them to the deck. If applicable, loosen but do not remove the idler pulley nuts. This will allow you to easily remove the belt from around the idler pulleys. Remove the deck belt from around all pulleys.

Replace the old mower deck belt with a new belt. Route the new belt in the same manner as the old belt. Refer to your owner’s manual for visual reference. Tighten the idler pulley nuts you loosened and remount the belt guards. Slide the cutting deck back under the mower.

To reattach the mower deck, reconnect the J hooks and make sure everything is hooked back up to the chassis. Put the belt back on the engine pulley and the cable on the idler arm. Put the belt keeper rod back in place around the engine pulley. Raise the deck height back to the highest position.

Lastly, reconnect the spark plug ignition wire and start the machine. Pay attention to any new noises or vibrations. These could mean you did not properly install the riding lawn mower deck belt.

Tending to small repairs, like changing the deck belt on your lawn mower, play a huge role in your mower’s ability to cut grass efficiently. No matter how small a repair seems, don’t neglect it because a little maintenance goes a long way.

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 Weingartz At Home Maintenance 

Why Weingartz?

Weingartz, family owned and operated, began in 1945 as a farm supply store for local Michigan families. In the 1970s, we began to focus exclusively on outdoor power equipment. Over time, we morphed into the “power equipment superstore” that now defines all of our locations. The staff and experts at Weingartz work diligently to provide the best service possible and give honest and helpful advice to each and every customer.

Weingartz also sells parts for all outdoor power equipment at

46061 Van Dyke Ave.
Utica, MI 48317
(586) 731-7240

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