I have replaced the Primary (from the motor/clutch to the deck) belt on my
Sears garden tractor (1996 model, 19HP Kohler, 42, Green) deck many many
times for being too long, i.e. stretched. Nothing mechanical on the deck or
clutch to indicate a problem, everything looks like the manual, nothing worn
or our of alignment. Here are some of my theories, please advise.
1. Cheep belt: Get a better belt, maybe from on-line source, any suggestions
where? (i.e. not sears parts department)
2. The grass that accumulates on the deck is causing the belt to not shed
its heat, (like a blanket) and I should just keep the deck top clean, this
option would require stopping and cleaning the deck maybe 3-4 times during a
3. Go slower and allow the belt to be at FULL speed during the entire mow
job. I sometimes go moving too fast and have had to reach-in and clear the
4. Mow more often, similar to number 3.
5. Sell this piece of crap and get the JD 300 series I always wanted?
the belt Sears sells is the OEM belt . if you are not buying your belt there
then I would say the belts you are buying are jobber belts and could be your
problem for the belts not lasting. You can look in th eyellow pages for a
local repair shop give them the part number of the belt from your owners
manual and they should be able to get you the same belt that came with the
unit. As for your problem with the tractor it is obvious that you have a
mind set of the one you own now is no good and nothing anyone does says or
fixes will change that so sell the unit that is the only way you will truly
solve your problems.
oh belts don't stretch. A rubber band will stretch and then return to the
orginal length, belts will have a effective length change but they do not
Partially right. Sears, because they are Sears and think they
can get away with it, use a belt with a different angle than the
rest of the world does for v-belts. If you don't buy a sears
belt, you *will* be frequently replacing it. My dad has a
crapsman tractor that he's wasted an immense amount of time,
effort, money, sweat, and blood on, which behaves infinately
better with a sears belt (improves it all the way up to "bad").
Nope, gotta be a Sears belt. The geometry is all wrong unless you
replace all the pullies too.
Hm, seems to me it's more a case of an iffy tractor, coupled with
the wrong replacement parts. I can certainly see how that would
give anyone an attitude about it. At least if I buy a hardware
store belt for my John Deere, it will fit and work properly.
Not as beefy as the Deere belts, but perfectly functional.
They stretch, and they stay stretched. I just replaced a 96" belt
last week that had stretched to 98" (and the idler/tensioner
couldn't take up any more slack). If your point is that it's
only stretch if they snap back, then we must have read different
textbooks. (Hooke's Limit would be one starting point for that
discussion - the point where something can be stretched and will
snap back to it's original position, vs. getting stretched and
To the O.P. - call up Sears and order the belts. Yes, it's
annoying that they did it that way; something to consider when
selecting your next tractor. But, the problem is a lot less
of a problem when you have the right angle of belt.
K Not trying to piss anyone off here or defend any company but lets use
some common sense, The belts that are supplied to Sears come directly from
the manufacture of the tractors.(i.e. Sears use to sell MTD Tractor long ago
and when you get a Sears belt for that old MTD made Sears tractor the belt
or part comes from MTD in MTD packaging and will fit any MTD tractor of the
same model that was made by MTD with out a Sears brand name on it) they
don't get special belts just so Sears can screw people over. I do agree that
Jobber belts can be different, the jobber belt may not be made the same and
may not withstand the same forces as a OEM belt or some jobber belts may be
made exactly the same as the OEM Belt and cost less. (This is my experience
only with people I dealt with over the years) I find when most people go to
buy a jobber belt it is because the price of the OEM belt seems to costly
for them and they cant or don't want to pay that much. So some of these
people will look for the lowest price belt they can find which usually
means lesser quality instead of the best quality jobber belt which may only
be a slightly less then the OEM belt, the lower quality belt fails at a
accelerated rate and then they blame the tractor for being crap and yell
the the company saying how they have to change belts all the time but it was
the jobber belt that was not made to with stand the load it was under they
found at a really good price and had been useing.(also seen a lot of people
complain about belts failing swear up and down it is installed right and no
other parts are damaged but when I get it on the bench I find belts on wrong
and or other parts failing or failed but that is a different issue)
As for the belt stretch I say effective length change as to me when
something is stretched it should return to original size (ie a rubber band
for example) which belts don't, (just a different way of looking at it that
As I said not to offend anyone or defend any company buy to say Sears
tractors are crap and JD are the best would one then beable to say JD never
sold a tractor where someone had that same problems of belts failing
premature because a low quality jobber belt was use on it and then they
blamed JD for selling them a piece of crap?
OK, tell you what. Go buy a sears belt, and a Gates belt. Measure the
angles, and get back to us. Even the clerk at the local Home Depot knew
about it. If you're claiming somehow that Sears (Sears!!!) sells better
belts than Gates, well, I'm sorry, but I don't think so.
That's what most people call "a belt stretching". Whatever, I don't
care to play word games with you. It was a 96" belt, now it's a 98" belt,
therefore it has stretched.
Wow, these are long sentences. Hard to know where to interject.
Are you, then, equating a Sears tractor to a Deere? Even the entry-level
Deere tractors have better materials in them than the Sears, "supplier
of the year" tractors. At least, of the several of each I've worked on.
There's a reason sears sells 'em for 500 bucks, and the Simplicity and
the Deere of the world gets 2 grand. It's not paint color, either.
Dave "You get what you pay for" Hinz
On 29 Jun 2003 23:42:05 GMT, email@example.com wrote:
Are you *sure* they don't use a standard angle? There are 3 different standard
angles for V-belts, you know, and 8 standard profiles. They aren't compatible,
but they are *all* SAE standard. The angle used is a function of the minimum
radius of the smallest driving or driven pulley. Usually that's the pulley on the
motor shaft of a lawn tractor.
*Which* Gates belt? They make a *huge* assortment of belts, including V-belts in
three standard angles and all 8 standard profiles. You just have to dig in the
Gates catalogs to find the right one. It may not be one stocked by your local
store, but it is a very good bet that they *do* make the right belt for that
tractor. If they
don't, then Jasco does.
The SAE developed standards for V power transmission pulleys and belts nearly a
century ago. Every pulley and belt manufacturer follows those standards, and
equipment manufacturer uses them. But there isn't just *one* standard, there are
total of 24 different combinations of profile and angle, and a huge variety of
in each. Equipment designers choose the one that best fits their application. It
not be one stocked by Autozone or Ace Hardware.
No design to price vendor is going to commission a unique non-standard belt
for his mowers. It simply would cost too much to have a belt manufacturer tool
run a custom line just for a single product. BTW MTD makes Sears' low end riders.
They also make the ones sold by Rural King, Lowes, and a bunch of other
The only significant differences are the paint schemes and logos.
They don't use the same "standard angle" that everyone else seems to
have agreed upon, and it's not the angle that a hardware-store standard
belt will have.
Well, sure, a 1/4-40 thread is an SAE standard too, but that doesn't
mean that you'll be able to buy them readily.
I understand that someone makes belts of that variety. I also understand
that sears has chosen to design around a belt geometry which is not
commonly available at normal belt-selling outlets. I find it hard to believe
that this is due to an engineering, "We know better than anyone else"
kind of decision, which leaves it to be a "We're doing this to keep our
replacement parts business busier" reason.
It's not unique, but it's unique enough that unless you go to a specialty
catalog or store, you'll have to buy 'em from Sears. Again, it's
got to be because Sears wants you to not buy belts from anyone but them.
On 30 Jun 2003 18:46:09 GMT, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
Its simply supply and demand.
ANY hardware could stock the same belt. But they may sell one in 10
years...so they DON'T stock them.
Anyway, this is not any more unusual than what Ford, GM, etc. do with
many of their replacement parts.
Have a nice week...
Help keep down the world population...have your partner spayed or
My local tractor supply gets replacements belts for our craftsman mower.
Someone out there is making a match.
I have to doubt this one seriously. Sears makes and designs very little
beyond marketing and sales. Craftsman equipment is outsourced and for the
most part is just someone else's machine with the C label attatched. As for
quality parts, most of this type of thing is sourced out too. I use to mold
plastic in a former life and some of the items would have a variety of
names. Parts were all the same with a different name plate inserted into
the mold. The factory doesn't slip into low quality mode when Craftsman
parts are being run.
Sounds like this fits the definition of "specialty store" to me,
OK, I'm sure it's because Sears understands how to engineer a belt-driven
system better than all of the people who have decided to use commonly-
available parts then.
I'm not saying their belt geometry is worse, it's just not the standard
geometry that you can go to any gas station or hardware store to buy.
Either they know something the rest of the world does not about what
angle to use, or they're chosing to use that angle for a non-engineering
Not trying to be blatantly argumentative, but I'm sure I don't get the point
of your "definition". Surely you don't expect to find replacement belts at
the Quick Mart!?
My point was that someone else is making a replacement part for these belts,
or my tractor supply is able to access the same supplier that Sears does.
I think Gary C. has pointed out, as I had earlier this morning: Sears does
not have anything to do with the design of such things. Pretty much
impossible to have that type of motivation if you don't actually do the
On 30 Jun 2003 18:46:09 GMT, email@example.com wrote:
Sears doesn't do design. Read that again. Sears doesn't do design.
MTD makes their mowers, and Rural King's mowers, and Lowes mowers,
etc. In fact MTD makes darn near everyone's house branded low end riders.
If you don't want to buy the belt from Sears, and you don't want to go to an
industrial drives shop to get the Gates belt, then you can go to any of the
other outlets who sell their house branded version of the same MTD mower
and buy the belt from them.
After consulting Machinery's Handbook, the bible of machine designers, I find
that there are actually 12 standard profiles, and 4 standard angles, defined by
ANSI/RMA. Four of them are the familiar deep V we see most frequently, four are
the so-called classical V-belt profiles seen mostly in heavier industrial
and the final four are "light" V-belt profiles commonly seen in fractional hp
The four angles range from 32 degrees for pulleys under 3 inches diameter up
to 38 degrees for large pulleys 16 inches or more in diameter.
About a week ago, I went down to the local hardware store to get a new
belt for my (very old) lawnmower attachment for a Simplicity tractor.
The price was $24.00. I can afford to pay that, but for a common belt
it seemed high. I left without buying it. Later I shopped around and
one auto supply store quoted me $7.00 for the same size belt. It
didn't have the fancy green cloth covering, but as far as I'm
concerned, a belt is a belt so I bought it. I didn't stop looking
though and the next place I went to was a farm supply store that had a
belt (with fancy green cloth covering) for $9.00.
Whatever happened to the time when a belt went for less than ten bucks
at the hardware store? Almost everything in the local hardware stores
is marked way up and they generally all have the same stuff no matter
whether it's a True Value or Ace hardware. Lowes or Home Depot often
have lower cost hardware and it's getting so shopping around is really
worth doing even for small commonplace items. I'm retired so I have
the time and inclination to shop around, but I don't understand why it
should be necessary unless it's just to avoid rip-off pricing.
No. 3 is your problem.... same thing with a toro, 6 hp.mulcher mower..
it keeps clogging up and stopping... i got the engine running slow and
the selp propelled all the way to top speed... i gotta reduce the
travel speed and keep the engine rpm's up and then there is no problem..
I'm buying only the Sears belts. I'm looking into the Gates or Dayco
belts. I'm concerned about the three different angles (34, 36 and 38)
mentioned in previous replies. Anyway of figuring out the belt angle with
the Sears part number (148763)? I guess I could try to measure the angle of
the pulley, I also have those part numbers.
I just measured this new belt, it's 84" x 5/8". Cloth covered. The old
ones are 85.5" and 86", they won't drive the blades and pop off when
engaged. I'm installing per instructions and nothing is wrong with the
deck. The "tensioning pulley" (moves with large spring) only moves 1/2"
from where it was without the belt, when the belt is installed. It has
almost 2" more allowable movement (before the pulley bracket contacts the
other/different blade belt).
The new belt touches the structure of the deck, as the belt stretches the
spring pulley moves back and the contact with structure is worsened. When I
pulled the belt to check the movement of the articulating pulley I noticed
the belt moved away from the structure due to the change in angle.
I think if I got a Gates/Dayco I could use a 82-83" belt.
What are the chances that the new belts are longer, to fit other model
application, and my tractor needs a shorter belt, or better-yet: came with a
It sounds like something is not installed properly, Dave.
Belts will stretch over time..that's their very nature. That's why
the machine will have (should have! lol) a tension pulley. And there
should also be guides in several places...preventing the belt from
slipping off the pulley.
Make sure the pulley is the correct one...if you didn't buy the
tractor new. Also, make sure that ALL of the associated parts are
correct...again, if someone owned the machine before you.
Make sure the idler/tension pulley has good bearings...and that the
spring is strong and that the pulley can move freely. It would be a
good idea to replace all these. Idler springs can seem like they're
okay if you don't know how strong they should be when new...but can
actually be weak.
If the belt is hitting any part of the structure...even when
stretched...something is not installed properly.
P.S. All the above is a generalization. I'm not familiar with your
model of Sears tractor.
Have a nice week...
Help keep down the world population...have your partner spayed or
that year block of tractors just must have had problems, because we
had the same model with the same problems...
I ended up contracting with my (now ex) brother in law to keep the
lawn mowed...he uses JD zero turn radius models that do a nice
job...but then, that's his main side line.
country doc in louisiana
(no fancy sayings right now)
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