Riding mower breaking belts

Discussion in 'Lawn Care/Landscaping' started by SD44, Aug 22, 2009.

  1. SD44

    SD44 New Member

    Messages:
    40
    Location:
    Mississippi
    Guys, my riding mower has started a belt-breaking habit. At first I started having to replace the belt once a month. After a couple times of that it became every two weeks. Now it's every mow. All blades and pulleys seem to turn fine and free. The belt is scorching hot everytime it breaks. Originally, it carried an 88" belt. I went down to an 87", but still having troubles.

    Any ideas?
  2. Cookie

    Cookie .

    Messages:
    5,658
    Location:
    .
    Maybe, either your belt is way out of adjustment or you got maybe, a stuck idler, just a guess, if this is a motion drive belt.
  3. leejosepho

    leejosepho DIY scratch-pad engineer

    I would guess a bad or worn pulley is no longer making a good "friction connection" with the belt. The shorter belt might have increased tension, but more tension might not have overcome a loss of the actual friction you need to keep the belt from slipping. Or, maybe a worn idler or tensioner bearing is allowing something to run way out-of-line and cause a wrong kind of friction somewhere.

    Can you install another belt and post a couple of pictures?
  4. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,605
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    belt

    "turning fine and free" by hand may be different than when it has tension on it, and turning at higher rpm's. The shorter belt may also be stretched by the tensioner creating additional stress at the pulleys.
  5. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    Like leejoseph said if the belt is scorching hot then there is a pully or something not turning right and the excess heat is causing the belt to fail...if you can't find the problem then you will have to send it into a shop to be fixed...
  6. Cookie

    Cookie .

    Messages:
    5,658
    Location:
    .
    Wrong belt? Or badly, adjusted?
  7. SD44

    SD44 New Member

    Messages:
    40
    Location:
    Mississippi
    I believe I found the problem. It turns out the deck was pretty unlevel, and I hadn't noticed it. I happened to pull the level all the way up, and as I drove across my gravel driveway the left side was 5-6 inches off the ground while the right side was almost touching and occasionally dragging the ground.

    The rear bracket that helps lift the deck up and down had came loose and was dangling. I guess I hadn't noticed the deck being so low because I mow the grass very low. Anyways, I re-attached the bracket, adjusted the deck so it was the same on both sides, and I mowed the whole yard with no problems.
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