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deck belt tension

Discussion in 'General Lawn Garden Tractor Forum' started by crbitner, Apr 5, 2010.

  1. crbitner

    crbitner New Member

    Apr 5, 2010
    Hi everyone. Last May a bought a new Cub Cadet LTX1040 (great little mower). This is the first time that I am doing pre season maintenance. I need some help and guidance with the tension on my deck belt.

    Last week I removed the deck so that I could take the blades in to be sharpened. I got my blades re-installed after sharpening and got the deck back on without any problems. Throughout the process, I did not remove the belt from the deck, except for un-looping it from the engine pulley, which of course you have to do to get the deck off.

    Once everything was back together I got the engine started but discovered that the deck belt was not engaging. There is way too much "play" in the belt. The engine pulley is working but not turning the belt. I've had the deck off and on a couple of times since, making sure that the belt is still threaded correctly and it appears to be fine. I followed the installation steps from the manual to make sure I wasn't doing anything out of order.

    Could it just be that the belt needs to be replaced? The tractor only has about 12 hours on it, but I guess the belt could have lost some of its tension when I was taking the deck off. Any other ideas?
  2. flman

    flman New Member

    Mar 23, 2010
    You definitely missed a pulley. I am pretty sure it has to wrap around in an "S" around the PTO pulleys? There should be a diagram on the mower deck.

  3. crbitner

    crbitner New Member

    Apr 5, 2010
    Thanks for the response...There is a diagram on the deck and more detailed ones in the operator's manaul. I've gone over them dozens of times and I am totally confident the belt is threaded correctly. I never did remove it completely, just from around the drive pulley that is attached to the tractor. I didn't take notice of the tension before i removed it from the drive pulley, but I do remember that it came off very easily, practically took no effort at all. Seems like there should have been more tension on it at that time. Should I just try a new belt and see if that makes the difference?
  4. flman

    flman New Member

    Mar 23, 2010
    How did you remove it, with out removing the belt from the PTO engagement plate? It you have manual PTO the engagement plate is mounted to the tractor, and that has 2 idler wheels. So you had to remove the belt from 3 pulleys to remove the deck.
  5. Windlake

    Windlake New Member

    Apr 29, 2010
    If it worked before you removed it and doesn't work now that should tell you something. With the mower OFF, have someone operate the engaging mechanism while you look at the deck and see what's happening. Next time leave the deck on when you remove the blades. :)
  6. retromotors

    retromotors New Member

    Apr 11, 2010
    I don't know anything about your specific machine, but sounds like you may have a tensioner problem .... either out of place, spring became disconnected or something on that order.

    If you just sit down, look at everything and go into "deep meditation" mode, you'll probably be able to figure out what's goin' on.

    Good luck with it ... let us know how it goes.
  7. mpolen

    mpolen New Member

    Apr 30, 2011
    I have tension belt problem with my JD 115. Last fall, the final mowing of the season the kids told me they couldn't mow the final swatch of grass cause the mower wasn't mowing. I took a quick look and noticed significant slack in the mower drive belt. I figured since it was the end of the mowing season, I'd handle it. Today was handle it day..... I assumed that the slack was caused by a worn/stretched belt, since it's been on there for 3 years. I got a new one (geniune JD part) and tackled the easy task of replacement, or so I thought. After replacement, I have the exact same amount of slack as I did with the old belt. I did the adjustments to the PTO cable placement and no change. There isn't much in the manual about belt tension beyond those slight adjustments so I'm stuck. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.
  8. BelarusBulldog

    BelarusBulldog Registered User

    Feb 19, 2011
    IF you are sure that you are doing everything right by the book, then start looking for a broken tension spring or worn pulley bearing. Even check to see if one of your pulleys' isn't split or separated, I have seen it happen! Bye
  9. dangeroustoys56

    dangeroustoys56 Collector Supporting Member

    Jul 26, 2010
    Belts will tend to be a lil loose when the deck isnt engaged on manual lever engaged decks - it should be fairly tight on a PTO type - on my 86GT II it has a tension spring that keeps the belt tight at all times.

    I also have an old dynamark with 3 blades- theres a specific routing pattern for the belt - otherwise the belt seems way too long ( PO was nice enough to draw on the tractor the pattern) .

    The new belt if anything should be just a tad smaller then the original - it sounds like a tension spring is in the wrong location on the deck or its lost some of its tension - its a bit late, but i find it easier to draw pictures or take photos of the original setup before i take it apart .