I have a 5 year old 20hp Craftsman tractor with 46" mowing deck
(please keep the Crapsman jokes to a min ;-)
I replaced the primary belt about 1/2 season ago. This season I have
been getting a lot of slippage in thicker grass. The belt seems too
loose and the blades can maintain speed in the thicker grass (even
going real slow with the deck raised to an unreasonable height). I
never had this problem in the past. Is it possible that the belt has
stretched already? Is there some kind of adjustment that can be made
to tighten the belt?
The replacement belt was from Sears and is the correct one.
<< The replacement belt was from Sears and is the correct one. >>
Belts are not all that pricey. For a first attempt at correcting the problem,
(assuming that there are indeed no tension adjustments) get an exact
measurement of your present belt. Buy a replacement at a farm supply store that
is 1" shorter. Install and run it. Odds are it will work fine and you now have
a better source for future replacements. HTH
Check the idler pulley. It is spring loaded and it's purpose is to maintain
an even tension on the belt. While you are under there, check all the
pulleys for wobble. After 5 years it is likely that one or more need
Correct and WAAAAY overpriced. Do yourself a favor and start buying them at
an auto/farm store where they are about 1/4 Sears' price. The Sears belts
are often an oddball size - like 83 1/2" - to assure Sears of never ending
cash cows. Just buy one in an even size 1/2" smaller if necessary.
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I always had the impression that Sears was a ripoff on parts but when
replacing a garbage disposal and pricing all the little add-ons with prices
at Home Depot discovered Sears prices were half or less. I'm talking about
the little nozzle where the dishwasher hooks in.... that kind of thing.
Sears does not own the market on the belts. They are sized that way from the
manufacute of the tractor which is not Sears & the belt will fit all the
tractors (same model) they might make not just the ones with a Sears name on
it. For those who go there no Sears not does ask for them to be a odd ball
Check for split pullys, worn mandrals, incorrect routing of the belt, broken
Slipping belts after a belt change aren 't unusual.
Most of the other suggestions I see seem reasonable. I'd
like to add that it might also be the surface of the belt,
or the pulleys, allowing it to slip. A few drops of oil,
lots of thngs can make a belt slip.
I can 't think of the name of it right now, but stop by
your local automotive or small engine shop and ask for the
stuff to make belts "sticky". The tube I have right now had
a really unique name: NoSlip Belt Treatment For Longer Belt
Life and Ultra Reliable Performance. Can't read the brande,
though; it's old. <g> It's cheap and works wonders. I
use it all the time; lawn tractors, drill press, grinder,
etc.. It comes in a couple of forms; sometimes a "stick"
you rub on the business surfaces of the belts, and also in a
tube that you can "drip" onto the running belts.
Some places will try to give you "belt dressing", the
stuff to make belts run quieter; that's NOT what you want.
That stuff will actually make them slip worse!
Thanks for the replies everyone.
Turns out that the spring loaded mechanism on the idler pulley was
seized up. I took it apart and cleaned it up. I also got a new belt.
Cut the lawn yesterday (it was very very thick) and it was cutting
like it was brand new - no slippage :-)
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