Should be an easy job,
says you need to get the model # first.
If you order the part from sears you will need it. I recomend getting it from sears. Then you will know you have the right one . You can go to the sears site and order the part. A job like this is always easier for me if I have the part before I start.
I just came in from changing the drive belt on my 18-horse Craftsman-11 but I took the deck off a long time ago.
On mine it is easy to replace if you take the back plate off that the trailer ball mounts to. There are 2 bolts on each side holding it on. When you take it off you have access to the complete transaxle.
are you sure you need to repalce it? is it slipping or broken? there is almost always an adjustment on the variable sheave drive that the clutch pedal works -- remove whatever sheetmetal you need to access it and you will see the usual large spring setup that places tension on the varied sheave pulley . by altering the rod thru the rod /nut set , to put MORE tension on it you can adjust the belt tension-- if belt broke -or is severly glazed over . split etc. then it does need replacement -- but you may be able to get by with a manual adjustment -- if not then, remove the deck and whatever belt guards[ usually look like a few long small diameter bolts that keep belt in pulley groove and it comes off after releasing tension not much fun usually - but you can do it in an hour if all goes well --
I would say take the deck off it's really not hard to do and will save a lot of time rather than trying to work around it. There might be a decal under the foot rest on the left side that shows the routing of the belt. I had mine on a gt fly off when I was plowing snow. Seems it got real wet and I was using 3HI and RHI at the time but while it wasn't very comfortable laying in the snow it was a fairly simple job.
Thanks for the quick replys and really good advice!
Well, I guess I can't get out of it... I'll have to do it this weekend.
(I was hoping to spend all day on the couch watching ballgames)
By the way, the belt was broken in half so it needs to be replaced. Does it really matter what brand of belt I buy. I know, I know... buy the belt made for it..... but the Craftsman belts are so expensive.
Again, thanks for the help! I'll let you all know how it goes.
If you take the old belt with you they will be able to "match" it up with a new one, any where belts are sold... I don't know what the cost savings is. I personally would try to get the right belt the first time.
I have a smaller mower with the 42" deck that is very simple to remove the deck on. Simply remove all the cotter pins from the attachment pieces on the frame and slide off the mower deck drive belt from the engine pulley. Then simply slide the deck out the side. On mine, it is easier to slide the deck out on side vs the other, but I can never remember which side it is.