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O/T Belt Breakage Craftsman Riding Mower

Discussion in 'Off Topic Threads' started by ken1okie, Jul 13, 2010.

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  1. ken1okie

    ken1okie Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2009
    Messages:
    779
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    I have reached the end of my rope trying to find the problem with the in-laws Craftsman riding mower. It is breaking the mower drive belt(the belt that comes off the motor to the deck) after about one mowing of his two acre yard. I have inspected all pulleys and possible interference to no avail. The belt apppears to wear off the sides turn inside out a break in two. I have always used replacement Craftsman parts from the manual. Could a weak spring on the belt tensioner pulley be the culprit? The mower is a 20 horse 48" cut with Kohler engine.

    TIA,
    Ken
     
  2. geneleroy

    geneleroy TS Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    201
    Talk to the customer service department at your Sears store. They may repair it free or replace it if it's defective. The Craftsman products are not as good as years past, but their guarantee is one of the best! I'd at least talk to them! They replace broken or defective tools no matter the age!
     
  3. Jason B

    Jason B Member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2007
    Messages:
    81
    I had one and think over the three years I used it felt like I spent more on the replacement belts than I spent to purchase the mower. Had to replace them at least a couple of times a year, and the belts aren't cheap that's for sure. Good luck.
     
  4. stokinpls

    stokinpls Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    6,480
    Usually the engine pulley and the transmission pulleys (the two largest) and the mower deck pulleys have metal keeepers/guards near them that prevent the belt from jumping off the pulley or flipping inside out. Check and see if some of the earlier breakages may have bent them away from their pulleys. If so, put a fresh belt on and bend them back so there isn't much room between them and the pulleys. The idler pulley spring (the one the clutch stretches) may have begome stretched out (if the clutch begins to engage fairly early when you lift your foot, this is not it) or the pulley is misaligned making the belt want to jump off.

    Sears doesn't even have a service department aound here any more - haven't for years. The owners manual has a hotline (have your model/serial number ready)and you'll likely talk to someone at Electrolux (they built mine anyway). 1-800-659-5917 5am - 5pm Mon - Sat

    They can be aggravating at times. but they're hard to beat for $999 (in my opinion, anyway). Good luck.
     
  5. David Weeks

    David Weeks Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    184
    I have the same deck and engine combination. I go through 4-5 belts a year. I found using a cheap belt (buy on line from besttorque.com, I think that is the website) gives me the best life and on-line they are about $8.50 a belt. I use the 5L900. The 900 is 90 inches long which gives better life than the 880 which is 88 inches long. I also found belt life was reduced when mowing with the deck set really low as this increases the angle of the belt from the engine pulley to the deck. If you find the solution let to eliminate this let us all know. Thanks.
     
  6. ken1okie

    ken1okie Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2009
    Messages:
    779
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    I'm going to try using a 90" belt I got from O'Reilly's and increase the tension on the idler pulley spring. I agree there does appear to be more wear with the deck at lower settings. It isn't equipped with any belt keepers. I may fab up a keeper to run close to one of the pulleys also.

    Thanks,
    Ken
     
  7. HSLDS

    HSLDS Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2006
    Messages:
    6,329
    Location:
    S-E PA
    Just a thought, but some belts are meant to have a half turn in them as they travel from pulley to pulley. This is very typical in belts that change angles - not sure of your situation, but a review of manuals might show this as a part of installation.
     
  8. DJM

    DJM Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    519
    Location:
    Central Minnesota
    I have a 2000 Craftsman 20hp 42" cut twin blade. This is the 11th summer I have used it and never once have I replaced a drive V-belt. Now blades, thats another story. Damn rocks and stumps.
     
  9. shannon391

    shannon391 Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    4,477
    The pulleys can wear out of alingment to the point of eating belts, 4-5 a year is crazy, take it in and have it looked at by someone good with the pully belt system.

    I cut a rough county lot of almost 2 acres and the belts last a few years after I had the pullyes replaced and alinged.
     
  10. wolfram

    wolfram Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2007
    Messages:
    6,258
    I have the 20 Hp, 42" Craftsman and mow an acre every week for the last 6 years... Still on the same belt. Don't think you have a problem with the belt itself.

    I would suspect incorrect belt tension or misaligned shieves. Can you watch the belt as someone drops in the blade clutch? Any squeeling or belt riding one side or other on the shieve?
     
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