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
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
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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