riding mower throwing deck belt

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  #1  
Old 02-14-08, 09:42 AM
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riding mower throwing deck belt

Hi,

Background
I use a 15 year-old MTD traditional riding mower, 42 deck. I have taken very good care of the engine, the chassis is in good shape (no rust etc.) but I have been pretty rough on the cutting deck. The area I mow is not golf course smooth and I have periodically run the deck over small stumps; into or on top of small dirt piles; into an occasional fence post or under chain link fence, etc.
The original deck belt lasted many, many years. About two years ago, I put on a new deck belt as the original finally gave up the ghost. The second belt only lasted a year or two before it shredded.

Current Problem
The mower cuts good as long as the deck is in the first or second cutting position (the highest or second-highest cutting level). If I move the deck into a lower cutting position it throws the belt off of the pulleys (possibly it may be coming off of the engine pulley first).

My Question(s)
Is this something that I might have a reasonable chance of fixing or paying someone to fix? Or, will it most likely require a whole new deck (or even a new engine pulley)? Cost-wise is it worth trying to fix or is a whole new mower the answer (even though this mower is in otherwise good shape)?

If it is worth attempting to fix, any tips as to what I should look at to try and correct the problem?

Thanks!!

Jerry
 
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  #2  
Old 02-14-08, 11:39 AM
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There's a couple of things to check, you could put a concrete block on seat to engage the safety interlock switch, then start the mower, engage blades at high position, then lower to each successive notch to see which pulley is throwing the belt.
it's unlikely it's coming off engine pulley.
possibly in putting on the new belt you sprung the belt keeper pins or shields, they ride pretty close to belt to keep it on.
also, if you've hit stumps, etc. the deck may be distorted under one of the pulley mandrels, tilting the plane of the pulley face one direction or another.
I'm making two assumptions here, 1. the new belt is the correct one and 2. the idler pulley is good such that the belt is good and taut when engaged.
just some things to consider.
thanks,
 
  #3  
Old 02-14-08, 11:46 PM
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Also check the bearings in the mandrel assemblies and make sure the pulleys aren't bent.
 
  #4  
Old 05-13-08, 10:59 AM
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problem solved

I'm sorry it took so long to get back to you but I did want to report my results...

following the advice of GlenM I determined that the belt was coming off at the engine pulley. The guy at the parts store said he'd seen these particular pulleys have to be replaced before (due to wear apparently) for a similar reason. It took a while for me to obtain the correct replacement pulley (mostly, it was finding the correct spacer that was a problem) and for me to get back working on the mower but when I did, the new pulley worked like a charm.

Thanks for the great advice from GlenM and cheese!
 
  #5  
Old 05-14-08, 12:15 AM
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Great! Glad you got it fixed, and thank you for the update.
 
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