Friday, May 27, 2005

How To Put A Belt On A Rear Engine Rider

Don't take the engine off ! You don't have to. These instructions apply to REAR ENGINE RIDERS - single blade, single idler pulley, single belt models. By the way.... they're GREAT !

Put the belt on the engine end first. Start by:

  1. Shutting off the air vent in the gas cap.
  2. Make sure the mower is in park and then get a helper to help you lift the front end until you can sit the mower up on it's rear end. Dust will probably fly.
  3. The belt goes around the big silver platter that attaches to the engine and runs out to the mowing deck. The problem is to get it around the platter without removing the engine. Put one side of the belt behind the platter into the pulley groove behind it.
  4. Notice that there is a hole in the center of the silver platter. This hole is what seperates forward from reverse in your drive. If the disc is one one side of the hole your mower goes forward, the other, reverse. That hole is just big enough to stuff that other belt strand into, sort of behind the rubber clutch wheel that runs against the silver platter. Stuff it in there good. Now get your fingers out of the way and get a helper to push in the clutch and shift the mower to 5th gear. The clutch is gonna move and carry the belt with it across the disc to the other side and off the edge. Eureka! You are halfway through.
  5. Get the helper to help you set the mower back on the ground and go ahead and open the gas vent now, before you forget about it. Lower the deck to the lowest position and take the bolts out of the plastic spindle cover. Your cover might be metal if your mower is extremely old. If it is plastic you can just pick up on it and twist it to the side. You don't even have to take it off.
  6. Find the belt coming from the rear end and make sure it is still in the pulley groove above the silver platter.
  7. Loosen the nut and bolt that hold the small idler pulley enough so that the pulley is wobbly. You don't have to take it off. This will let you get the belt strand between the small idler pulley and the L-shaped belt guard while you get it around the big spindle pulley. Make sure you position the L-shaped guard the right way. It has a little "nib" on it to make it lock into place on the ider arm below it. Hold the guard while you tighten the nut to keep it in the right place.
  8. Check the adjustment of the belt WITHOUT THE ENGINE RUNNING. With the mower in the #5 cutting height position.... measure the distance between the strands of the belt right behind the idler pulley (with the belt engaged). This will be on the "rear end" side of the pulley of course. There should be 1" between the strands. If the strands touch - the belt is too loose. If it is too loose the mower won't cut well and it might not even pull good anymore. (A loose clutch cable is unavoidable if the belt is loose. Loose clutch cables cause clutch and pulling problems) To tighten the belt you lengthen the mower. The place you do it is under the seat where the "front end" meets the "rear end". Older models have a clamp around the round tube. Newer ones had a bolt or a pin and hairpin with spacers. Some spacers are metal washers, some are black plastic things about the size of a doorknob hanger. Do whatever you have to do to achieve the right adjustment. Everything will work better and your lawn will look better.
  9. Put it all back together! See, its not so hard ! Don't forget to check that gas cap vent.

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