Drive belt on Craftsman riding mower keeps coming off

I have a 2000 Craftsman 16.5 HP Kohler with a 42 inch deck riding mower that keeps losing the drive belt. The belt was replaced last season. I purchased a new belt from Sears again this year and now it will not stay on. All pulleys look tight and properly alligned and clear of any obstruction but the belt will not stay on more than a couple of times around the yard. I put it back on 3 times with no success. Any suggestions?
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wrote:

==============My guess is the belt is not the correct size...too large ! or you really have not installed it correctly..... Check the manuel for correct size of the belt....
Bob G.
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I've got one of these. It is a great machine, except for the lower deck and the flimsy blades. Look at your manuel. there is a spring loaded pulley that must be adjusted just right to work properly. It is not really an adjustment in the normal sense. It is just a pivot bolt, but if it is tightened too tight when you disengage the belt via the clutch it will seize up so that when you re-engage the belt will not tighten as it should and there will be no drive to the blades. It may tighten enough for the blades to spin a little but when you hit thick grass they'll just stop.
Drop the lower deck completely so you can see it. Clean the muck off everything. Find that pivot point. When mine did this, I thought it was supposed to be fixed (stationary not repaired). I had the at home warranty, but the repairs they did would last hours, sometimes only minutes. They couldn't say it outright; but in the way of these things they let me know that it was a design defect and there was nothing that could be done except to keep calling them back.
Well, that was unsatifactory. I did not renew the home warranty. Now, I just live with it. About every three uses, it will freeze up so bad I have to drop the lower unit, loosen that pivot bolt, oil the little inch and a half radius the base of the pulley travels, work it back and forth, and put it back together. If you get it too loose the nut might fall off while your mowing and no telling what would happen to the parts.
Sometimes I will engage the blades and start mowing only to have the first twenty foot of grass not really mow...then it will engage and work right for a while. Sometimes it just won't engage at all. Drives me crazy! If you clean the grass out of the lower deck everytime you use it, it will help a lot.
It is possible your belt is too large, but if any of the things I describe are happening you'll know what I'm talking about.
Maybe there's a way to fix this permanently, but I don't know what it is, so I just keep adjusting it.
Randy R. Cox
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Randy,
You seem to be referring to the mowing deck belt rather than the drive belt, I think.
Dave M.
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You are right! Sorry about that!
Randy R. Cox
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