Main deck drive belt problem on MTD tractor

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  #1  
Old 07-25-11, 05:12 PM
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Main deck drive belt problem on MTD tractor

I have a 46" MTD yard tractor M# 14BJ845H062 S# 1A200B10219 that has started tearing up the main deck drive belt. The mower is in great running shape, but it has started eating deck drive belts. I have replaced one ore two a year for the last three years. The belt that drives the blades was replaced about 3 years ago and looks to be in great shape, no real wear showing. With the main drive belt off the blades turn freely (brake off).
When I sharpened the blades today I replaced the main drive belt since it was showing uneven wear and a badly worn spot. When I put the deck back on I made sure that the deck levelers were set as shown in the users manual. I checked to make sure everything looked and felt right. When I started the mower with the blade off the belt tension seemed to be ok - no smoke and the blade was not trying to turn, and when I put the blades on, everything seemed to turn with no problems or smoke or squealing.

PROBLEM: after about 20 min. I noticed there was a hot rubber smell and all of a sudden a cloud of smoke. The belt was toast. In the past I have tried using both the proper MTD belt and aftermarket belts. It doesn't seem to matter, after a little use the belt starts to shred. In the past I looked to see if the belt jumped off a pulley, but everything looked ok other than the belt was chewed up, today I couldn't tell since the belt had shredded so badly.

{I just looked at the belt again now that it has cooled down and I can touch it. The "V" side of the belt is still in good shape, the back/flat side of the belt is what shredded - like its rubbing on something. I'll have to look again tomorrow when there is more light. By the way - all pulleys run freely and I don't see any wobble. Could the two long bolts that are near the Main drive pulley be rubbing? they don't seem to be bent.}

I suspect either the idler pulley or the guard plate over the belt and pulley on the deck but don't know how to isolate the problem. Any Ideas???
 

Last edited by DsveP; 07-25-11 at 05:37 PM. Reason: Re-Looked at the belt after it cooled off
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  #2  
Old 07-25-11, 07:12 PM
chandler's Avatar
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Welcome to the forums! It sounds as if the idler pulley has or tends to freeze up. Can you spin it? You may can lubricate it, but don't look for too long a life before you have to replace it.
 
  #3  
Old 07-25-11, 08:10 PM
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Amen to that Chandler, I too think the idler pulley and belt guard or guards on it need replaced. Also check to be sure the brakes for the blades are backing off far enough. There is a small stub of a thing that catches in notches on the brake mechanism that tend to wear and might need replacing also.
 
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Old 07-25-11, 08:32 PM
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This is why I am confused! As I said in my original post, the Idler pulley rotates freely and does not have any stickiness. As far a I could tell, before the belt got shredded the guard was not touching the belt.

As I also said, the break is not engaged, that would cause the blade belt to wear and not spin - which is not the case. The blades and pulleys in the blade rotate freely when the main drive belt is not connected (and the brake is not engaged).

So you can see my confusion.

Although I am not a professional fixit guy, I am usually the go-to guy for friends and neighbors when they have problems. But here we have a case where I just don't see the problem with my own equipment.

Something has changed. Something is worn or bent. I just haven't figured out what.

Thanks for the ideas, any more things that I might try????
I am open to suggestions -

I just hope I don't have to resort to rebuilding the whole deck and drive idler moving parts. It would probably be less expensive to buy a new deck if I can find one.
 
  #5  
Old 07-27-11, 04:23 PM
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We just ask questions that preclude the normal maladies. I would say the problem you are encountering would be diagnosed as an idler pulley or guard 99% of the time and it would be right.
Is there any way for you to get this thing elevated to where you can pull the plug and rotate things by hand, watching the movement of the undercarriage? Truly an oddity.
 
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