V-belts: Which brands have performed well for you?

Old 05-30-17, 07:56 PM
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V-belts: Which brands have performed well for you?

Yes, I realize the "which is best" question/answer is often vague. Given that...

I have a lawn tractor that I'd like the belts to last longer on because of the time involved in replacing them.

It's an older MTD machine - I don't know what brand was OEM.

What are your opinions of brands of replacement belts as far as which to stay away from or which seem to perform better?

Old 05-30-17, 08:00 PM
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I've always had good luck with Gates belts. Don't know if they make them for your tractor.
Old 05-31-17, 12:55 AM
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OEM or Rotary. Especially on an MTD. They can be very finicky about belts.
Old 05-31-17, 04:23 AM
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I've been having good luck with belts on an MTD machine that are wrapped in Kevlar®; they seem to resist stretching, and are a little more wear resistant.

I don't know about modern MTD machines, but one of my MTDs is a 1984 model and it doesn't have adjustments for the belt length . . . . no adjustable Idler Pulley on either the Deck Belt or the Drive Belt; so you have to have the exact length belt from the get-go, and once it stretches a wee bit, it's done.

I've been using a brand named "Alaska" (K-PLUS) lately, and buy the straight MTD Kevlar® brand when possible; I am somewhat concerned about the "shelf life" of belts, as I think the internal rubber ages beginning with at the date of manufacture, long before they are installed, so I now only keep one (1) backup belt of each size, and buy only from dealers who are known to move the product quickly.
Old 05-31-17, 10:01 AM
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My very limited personal experience is that riding mowers in particular get poor to very poor performance from any non OEM belt, regardless of the quality of the belt itself. It seems, to me at least, that manufacturers demand loyalty by having their OEM belts made with specifications just slightly different from the power industry standards for vee belts, requiring the end user to ONLY use the OEM belts. The machine manufacturers can then charge pretty much whatever they want for their belts.

I once had a riding mower (Dynamark) that would constantly throw the deck belt or cause it to twist on the pulleys and then tear itself to bits. I found out the hard way that (a) the deck was slightly bent, and (b) Dynamark was one of the companies that insisted on OEM belts. I soon after donated that mower to a local non-profit.
Old 05-31-17, 03:18 PM
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I don't know what brand they are, but like Vermont I've been using the Kevlar wrapped ones; not on my mower (although I will next belt change), but for the belt-driven hydraulic clutch pump on the wrecker. Got the last set from Tractor Supply. I used to go through common variety v-belts (A64, uses 2) about 3 or 4 times a year. They Kevlar ones I've lost track on how old they are.
Old 05-31-17, 07:11 PM
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Kevlar is what the OEM belts are. Aftermarket belts may or may not be. If they are aftermarket and cheap, chances are they are not kevlar. Most or all aftermarket belts with kevlar will state that on the package. Any clutching device or application where slippage and high heat are involved, kevlar is a must for longevity. Aramid fiber is often the word, same thing as Kevlar (Kevlar is a name brand trade name of aramid fiber).
Old 05-31-17, 08:33 PM
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Just to add a bit in agreement with cheese, and in particular MTD/Cub... dimensions are specific not only in the length but also the V. These OEM belts are not standard lengths and certainly not standard V cut.
One thing I will admit about MTD belts is that they do last if all else is kept in shape.
IOW, do it once and do it right!

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