My riding mower is more than 10 years old. I've had it a year. Today,
I replaced the back idler pulley on the deck: bad bearings.
After installing the belt, I pulled to to see if the belt and the 4
pulleys worked freely. Pulling it forward, it was quiet, although there
was more resistance than I expected. Pulling it backward caused a
scratchy noise in the electric clutch.
With the belt off, the clutch pulley was hard to turn and made a
scratching noise in either direction. In spite of all that drag, it
doesn't move the belt when the motor is running and the clutch is
switched off. If there's a scratching noise, it's not loud enough to
hear above the motor.
I read on the internet that clutch plates can get rusty, and the cure is
to start the motor and switch the clutch on and off several times. I
tried that. It's still scratchy.
I wonder if the bearings are dry and dirty. As they're used only when
the motor is running and the blade clutch is disengaged, they might last
a long time this way.
Has anyone else encountered a scratchy blade clutch? I wonder if the
solution is the pop the clutch off ( one 10x1.5x60mm cap screw ) and
flush the bearings with lubricant. What would be a good lubricant for this?