Lawn Chief ground drive belt jumps


Old 10-29-15, 02:51 PM
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Lawn Chief ground drive belt jumps

MTD: 13AM678G022 99-01, 7-speed vari drive.

cheese this should be easy since you have such love for MTD

The top belt to the transaxle jumps the pulley on the trans. Weird thing is that it jumps off the down hill side.
I also noticed the idler pulley does not line up with the trans pulley, the idler is about half an inch higher. The bracket for the idler is pretty sloppy and I am going to pull the bracket and check the shoulder spacer.
One other thing I noticed that is not on the IPL, is under the idler pulley there is a spacer, and the bolt is installed reverse of the IPL. Makes me think someone has been here before me? The idler feels to still be ok not much slop and spins free. The trans pulley also feels solid.

This thing had set in a barn in the middle of Ks for who knows how many years. It has a Briggs 14.5HP OHV 287707 1201 that I have gone through completely from carb to valves, done the speed control adjustments. Adjusted the brakes to be functional and now have all speed settings working. Deck serviced has a nearly new belt and spindles are in great shape.

The drive belts look pretty good as well. No cracks, splits or shiny spots. I have verified the belts as being correct OEM. There is no slippage when running from 1-7 speed. Don't think I have ever replaced belts on this type of drive other than by request or the belt had been chewed up.

So I guess my main questions are about the idler pulley lining up, and the spacer I see under the idler pulley that is not listed or shown on the IPL.
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Old 10-29-15, 05:25 PM
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My love for MTD... Lol

It's a common problem on those, and usually I find that the tensioner arm is bent, throwing the alignment of the pulley off from the plane of the belt. If the spacer is missing, I would put that in place first, then bend the arm up or down if needed to get the pulley aligned with the rest of the system. Flimsy.
Old 10-30-15, 02:01 PM
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cheese! Have to admire these Marvelous Tractor Devices!

Found that the shoulder spacer/bushing where the tentioner arm pivots, may have been a bit flattened or worn so the arm would hang up a bit when the vari pulley moved allowing enough slop in the belt at times to jump off.
I wound up shaving a couple .001 off the arm so the bushing could protrude enough to allow free movement of the arm.
The spacer under the idler pulley is actually part of the bearing assy. I did do some custom fab bending on the arm for better alignment also, but think there is actually supposed to be a bit of an offset otherwise the idler pulley and the trans pulley actually can make contact in the higher speed positions.
Got it all back in one piece and gave it a work out and seems to be as good as any I have seen roll out of Montgomery Wards so, looking to get 4 bills or so out of it.

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