Transmission belt keeps coming off pulleys

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  #1  
Old 09-03-18, 07:18 AM
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Transmission belt keeps coming off pulleys

I have Hustler Raptor SD 60 inch deck. A ZTR with hydro something transmissions, one per each drive wheel.
Saturday, it did pop and stopped moving. I called dealer - it's under warranty for 2 more years - and they pointed towards maybe belt issue.
Looked under and indeed, transmission ribbed belt was off.
Decided it stretched, who knows, went to dealer and put new one on.
Ran fine.
Started mowing yesterday - same happened after about 20 minutes. Pop, belt comes off.
Put it back on again, ran for 30 min or so - popped off again.
It's very simple system - two pulleys above each transmission, main drive belt pulley and roller tensioner. Belt wraps around both transmission pulleys, half wraps around main drive belt pulley and back, flat belt side wraps around pulley. Spring connects to tensioner bracket.
Tensioner is installed on a long crescent shaped steel arm.
Being mower, it is rather not easy to see how it's all aligned but, by hand, after all assembled, belt sort of feels loose.
The way it's made, spring pulls idler towards main pulley. If "hand torqued" to better belt tension, it starts rubbing blet on belt. yes, I tried.
On the schematic attached, if you check where it says "transaxle drive belt", it flops loose. I;ve seen belts that flop loose but tighten "in action" but this one apparently does not.
Mower has only 78 hrs, spring does not look stretched. Besides, again, as I was thinking about shortening that spring for better tension, the way it's installed, it forces roller with belt on it, into main pulley.
Any ideas? Dealer is 20 miles away and I have no trailer to tow it. Plus, I can do this only Saturdays, due to work restrictions. So I have to rent trailer twice for what seems to be piddly problem.
I don't know if pulleys and idler are in same plane. Just can't tell, but I can remove rear engine guard to check on this.
For better view, go here to page 4.5
https://www.hustlerturf.com/file/118650.pdf
 
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  #2  
Old 09-03-18, 07:30 AM
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With the belt off make sure the lidlers arm can move easily, mine from the factory was to tight, I backed off the bolt just a tiny amount and it worked.
Also check inside the pulleys, I once has a gum ball from a gum tree get jammed in the pulley and it keep throwing off the belt.
In your manual there should be a picture showing how long that spring should be, mine from the factory was to tight and I kept breaking the belt.
 
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Old 09-03-18, 07:32 AM
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I was reading through the manual..
Says transaxle oil MUST be changed at first 70 hrs. I have 78.
You think it could cause some extra tension on belt and its slippage off pulleys?
I'll change oil, no big deal.
 
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Old 09-03-18, 11:59 AM
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Not sure about transaxle as you have 2 hydraulic transmissions on your mower. Changing the hydraulic transmission fluid won't hurt the belt problem but probably won't fix it either. I would do the following. Verify the engine and transmissions securing bolts are tight. Remove idler tension spring and verify idler arm pivots without interference. Verify the engine and 2 transmission pulleys are at same level. Verify length of belt. Good luck.
 
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Old 09-03-18, 03:50 PM
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I agree with the advice of both members above.
 
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Old 09-03-18, 04:02 PM
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Idler arm moves fine .
I see no loose bolts.
as is there is no way to tell if all pulleys are level but - it's all pretty much one assey so I doubt pulleys are not.
idler appears to be in line with main and trannie pulleys, I had both rear guards removed so it's a bit better view.
did oil change . Don't ask.
 
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Old 09-03-18, 04:20 PM
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Got to take it back. Transaxles are not connected. So sure, if frame is bent, they might be out of alignment. Nothing I can do about it.
 
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Old 09-04-18, 04:39 AM
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It's not possible to see the difference between a nut tightened to 1foot pound or 100 foot pounds. Put a wrench on the nuts of the engine and transmissions mounting bolts/studs and make sure they are tight.
 
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Old 09-04-18, 12:58 PM
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OK, just talked to a tech at dealer. He was most sure that there is at least one of transmission bolts missing, what causes it to go out of alignment to the opposite transmission and tensioner.
Figure, will have to get it up on my lift as you can't see squat from the top. Man was positive that's what it is.
 
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Old 09-08-18, 07:29 AM
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Rear left hydro mount bolt gone completely. Rear right one is loose and half threads rubbed off it. Front right hydro mount bolt snapped in a half and was just sitting there not doing anything and front left was loose.
 
  #11  
Old 07-22-19, 10:37 AM
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Having the same issue...

I know this is an old thread. Wondering if anyone has help. I have a 52" Hustler Raptor, so maybe not even the same parts, but two mows ago, my drive belt came off the first time. Suddenly no go. Deck fine. Engine fine, but not movement. Now every time I mow, belt comes off. I'm in here looking for the correct way to put it back on again right now. If I have the bolts referenced, where am I looking for them on the mower?

Thanks.
 
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Old 07-22-19, 10:44 AM
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See posts 9 and 10. That's answer to your question.

Also, as I had 52 inch Hustler, I'd suggest to rid of it asap. It will be falling apart on you. Like mine did on me. Literally, falling apart. Just wait till deck bolts will break or get lost during mow, with deck plowing into the ground on a move. Bends blades and plows through grass.
If you go LAawn Mower Forum, you'll see plenty of gripe about them 52 inch Hustlers.
 
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Old 07-22-19, 11:56 AM
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I'll see if I can find where they are in the manual somewhere and see what I can do about tightening them.

I hear you on a new mower, it's just not in the cards for me. I have stuff rattle off all of the time. I need to try to order the parts that hold the mower deck up on the left side as that's held together with what I could find in the garage after having the deck drop etc. like you mentioned. Not in the cards for a few years at least though.
 
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Old 07-22-19, 12:06 PM
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I had so much trouble with mine, it didn't make it in my hands for even a year. Blades pulleys WILL grind off the shafts and you will have to replace entire hubs, as they will ruin shallow gears at the top too. Along with new pulley. That's a very cheaply made mower.
Bolts, you just match and buy them at chain stores, like Home Depot or Ace. Ace has much more options. You also want grade 10 bolts, nothing less. They have grade 8, I believe, on the mower, and threads strip. Go through it and add locking washers to every deck attachment you can find. There are horizontal bolts on deck height adjustment system, those break first.
You need to go through every bolt you can find about every 2 months, to re tighten them. I double nutted and locking washered everything I could. Then transmission started coming down in the back.
Transmission bolts are roughly where I marked them on schematic, looking from the bottom up. Takes slightest tilt in transmission for belt to come off.
Also, watch oil level in hydros and make sure you do replace it on regular basis. What is another pain, as they made it very hard to get to.
 
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Old 07-22-19, 02:46 PM
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This if fantastic help. Does the raptor 52" have hydros? I keep seeing that term and I don't know what it is. I change the engine oil, but I haven't changed any 'hydro' oil. Thanks for the amazing help here.
 
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Old 07-22-19, 02:53 PM
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You have hydrostatic transmission, commonly referred to as hydro. This is what allows you to use dem handles and turn or change direction on a dime.
I'd strongly suggest to obtain User Guide, they are free on Hustler site, and do your maintenance. I know, on 60 inch Raptor SD, hydros have to be serviced at 80 hrs. I do not remember, what it was on 52 inch, something less.
 
  #17  
Old 07-22-19, 06:07 PM
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Thanks. I'll look that up too and see what my hours are at.
 
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Old 07-22-19, 09:28 PM
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Didn't find anything in the manual about hydros in the maintenance, so I'm thinking I have a different model possibly, but I'll double check.

Did find the...
fuel filter
air filter
oil filter
blades

Bought all of these in a package deal recently so I'll get on them right away.

Bonus, found the missing parts from the deck, so maybe I can get those ordered and the deck will be a little more even? That and new blades might make the cut more tolerable.
 
  #19  
Old 07-22-19, 10:31 PM
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And looking where you marked, I think I had one of them drop before, so maybe one is getting ready to again and that's pulling the belt off, as you said.

Thanks again.
 
  #20  
Old 07-23-19, 10:10 AM
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Well what do you know...bolt and washer missing under one of the transaxle pulleys and there's about a half inch gap where it has dropped. That ought to help. Now to take the other one off so that I can see what I need to go buy to replace it I guess.
 
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Old 07-23-19, 10:25 AM
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That made me feel good.
Also, mind what I say - dedicate half day and go through EVERY bolt you can find, and secure them. Especially the deck bolts and nuts, hidden behind any metal pieces. Hustler used real cheap hardware on those, that's why you got what you paid for.
No worries, my then 60 inch $5K Sd was not much better.
Those are cheaply made mowers.
 
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Old 08-03-19, 03:10 AM
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Nice information and detail is given.
 
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