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Change Drive Belt on a Craftsman lawnmower: step by step

For quite some time, Craftsman lawnmowers have been around and are one of the more well-known brands. If you find that your Craftsman lawnmower is running slow and does not cut the grass like it used to do, there might be an issue with the belt. If your Craftsman Lawnmower engine is working, but the blades are not spinning at all, it could also mean that there is something wrong with the mower belt. This blog helps troubleshoot your problem and change the Craftsman Recycler belt with a step-by-step solution.

How to Change Drive Belt on a Craftsman lawnmower, step by step:

  • Step 1: Check whether you have a mower with a rear-wheel or front-wheel drive.
  • Step 2: Drain your gas tank and cut the spark plug wire to adjust the drive belt before you tilt the mower to its side.
  • Step 3: Free the components such as the baffles, brackets, and mower blade are unscrewed to make the belt available.
  • Step 4: Detach the belt and replace it with a new, similar belt from the pulley.
  • Step 5: Reattach the removed components, and test the mower with the new drive belt.

The drive belts are located underneath the mower. Their task is to transfer power to the lawnmower blades from the engine transmission. An axle that also contains a pulley is connected to the blades. Over the pulley, the drive belt moves. Drive belts are commonly composed of fiberglass, steel reinforcement rubber. Owing to rough operation, they get worn out very quickly.

If you stayed tuned to this post, it would help. All the information above and the necessary specifics that one needs to be aware of are revealed.

How to Change Drive Belt on a Craftsman Lawnmower, step by step:

When it comes to driving belts, Craftsman lawnmowers have two main types. That is front-wheel drive mowers where a belt powers the front wheels’ drive alongside the blades and the rear wheel drives type in which the belt drives the lawnmower’s rear wheels. For each of these categories below, we have listed the procedure:

● Lawnmower with rear-wheel drive:

Here are the steps for modifying the rear wheel belt drive:

– Step 1. Get the mower ready:

Prepare the surface by positioning some plastic sheets or cardboard before adjusting the drive belt. The lawnmower on that surface has to be angled. This move is taken to prevent the floor from being spoiled by oil spills. Draining the fuel tank before tilting the mower is always easier. Now, tilt the lawnmower so that the filter of air points upwards. This thing prevents running into it with oil and diesel. Ensure that the spark plug wire is disengaged to avoid the engine from starting unintentionally.

– Step 2. Disassemble the components:

Belt cover and baffle: You need to unscrew the belt’s cover and baffle for most models. Turn the screws that secure the baffle and belt cover using a socket wrench when tilting the lawnmowers.

Mower Blades: The belt is mounted on the same shaft under the blades. Hence, it would help if you unscrewed the nut that secures the engine blades to reach the belt pulley. Now, dislodge the blades carefully while making sure that while carrying them, you use gloves.

Traction spring: You need to detach the traction cable spring with a pair of nose pliers on the rear axle afterward. Now, the bracket for transmission is free to rotate.

Belt Guide: There is a belt guide mounted on the transmission that secures the pulley. Unscrew the bolts so that the pulley is accessible and remove the guide.

-Step 3. Remove and replace the old belt:

Now, detach the belt from the pulley when the pulley is exact. By going through this, you should buy the right kind of belt for your model number as per your manufacturer’s instructions.

– Step 4. Reassembly:

Reattach the new belt to the pulley of the transmission. Wind the other end of the belt onto the pulley underneath the blade at the same time. Back on the transmission bracket, position the belt guide and tighten its screws. First, connect the spring of the traction cable back to its original location. Ensure all that you have removed is repaired and assembled, such as the mower blades, belt cover, and baffle. With the new belt now fitted, taking your mower for a test run may be a smart idea.

● Lawnmower with front-wheel drive:

The method for a front-wheel adjustment of the belt is almost the same as above. We shall expand on it below, for the sake of detail.

– Step 1. Setting up the mower

As mentioned above, this step was the same. Just make sure that with the air filter pointed up and the spark plug wire disengaged, the lawnmower is angled. You can remove the key from the switch if you are using an electric lawnmower.

– Step 2. Remove the components

First, components such as the belt cover and baffle, mower blades, traction spring, and belt guide must be removed. You should know that different models contain various parts, so you should remove them one by one to reach the belt drive.

Until disassembly, it is often best to take photographs of the components so that it is simple to know which part goes where while reassembling them.

– Step 3. Disposal of the worn-out belt

For your Toro lawnmower model, replace the old belt with a newly acquired drive belt.

– Step 4. Reassembly

Fit all the removed components back into their original positions and firmly screw the bolts. Now, upside down, turn the lawnmower and take it out for a spin. The effect of renewed belt drive on the speed of the mower and cutting performance should be tested.

Related Questions:

1. Why does the belt keep slipping off the lawnmower?

For different purposes, the drive belt can come off your riding lawnmower. The specific reason can depend on the make and model of the mower. Conduct a safety check before you decide what went wrong and try to fix the problem. After the engine cools, wear gloves and goggles, remove the wire or wires from the spark plug, and ground the wire or wires against the engine. The engine does not start by chance when you are operating.

– Components Damaged:

The drive belt is repeatedly caused to come off by many other mower components. Drive pulleys and idler pulleys hinder proper belt operation if they are not in working order. The movable arm should swing freely without obstruction, and the blade spindles should move freely as well. Check the mower’s rake or pitch. A properly adjusted mower deck tilts slightly forward, making it 1/8 to 1/4 inch lower in front than in the back. Then if the angle is too sharp, the belt comes off.

-Buildup of Debris:

An accumulation of debris in a riding mower can interfere with regular belt operation. Make sure there is no grass, soil, sticks, acorns, or other debris found anywhere along the drive belt. Debris can not only cause the belt to slip or function poorly, but it can also pose a fire risk. Thoroughly clean all the debris, using a clean brush to scrub the belt.

2. What’s a lawnmower belt drive?

A drive belt in lawnmowers is a mechanical tool that couples the engine and the transmission shaft and transfers powers from the engine. Thus, performing the functions of include, including advancing the machine forward and turning its blades.

In lawnmowers, the drive belt mainly connects the engine shaft to the transmission shaft. The transmission shaft is then used either forward or backward to drive the wheels of the lawnmower. The blades are often attached to the transmission shaft in most cases. Therefore, both spinning the blades and propelling the mower forward are carried out by the drive belt in such situations.

3. What are the two significant forms of transmission drive belts used?

The two widely used design styles in transmission applications are V-belts and synchronous belts. Based on tooth design and application, the two belts differ from each other.

In V-belts, a wedge-shaped profile is used to build the cross-section. To establish a tight grip on the pulley, they use friction. Synchronous belts provide a profile on the belt that is toothed or notched. They are often referred to as timely belts and are generally mounted on a pinion or toothed gear.

With a tensile cord material that holds the load or is known as the belt’s muscle, all kinds of belts are reinforced. Due to their high tensile strength, materials like polyester, polyurethane, fiberglass, steel, or Kevlar are commonly used as tensile cord materials in drive belts.

4. Is Kevlar helpful for applications of the drive belt?

As compared to steel, Kevlar-reinforced belts have good shock and impact resistance. Besides, Kevlar has a high elastic modulus, indicating that its elongation percentage at a given load is lower than that of other materials. Belts with Kevlar tensile belts, however, are typically costly.

Final Remarks:

One of the critical transmission mechanisms is the belt drive. Therefore, one must be conscious of their position to carry out their eventual replacement without much trouble. The lawnmower is frequently exposed to dusty conditions. Under rough conditions, constant use deteriorates the performance of the belt over time. Replacing the belt is not stressful if you have all the mechanical instruments and skills at your hand. The screws and brackets under your mower need to be dismantled before the belt is visible. Also, make sure you follow the safety procedures and start your machine by mistake.

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  1. Shannon Holland says:

    What could be causing the Craftsman lawnmower belt to wear out quickly?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Hi Shannon, your Craftsman lawnmower belt may be wearing out quickly due to debris buildup or damaged components like pulleys. Follow the steps on the blog to change it out. Hope this helps!

  2. Ethel Little says:

    Very helpful information on the types of drive belts and how they work in lawnmowers.

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you, Ethel! I’m glad you found the information on drive belts helpful for your lawnmower. Always happy to assist with troubleshooting tips and step-by-step solutions.

  3. Diane Castro says:

    Great explanation of the different procedures for rear-wheel and front-wheel drive mowers.

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you, Diane! I’m glad you found the explanation helpful. If you have any more questions, feel free to ask!

  4. Martha Craig says:

    Is there a certain brand of belt that works better for Craftsman lawnmowers?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      “Craftsman OEM Replacement Drive Belt works well with Craftsman lawnmowers for optimum performance. Make sure to follow the step-by-step guide provided for smooth operation. Hope this helps, Martha!”

  5. Luis Carter says:

    How often should the drive belt on a Craftsman lawnmower be replaced?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Hello Luis! The drive belt on a Craftsman lawnmower should generally be replaced annually to ensure optimal performance. Regular maintenance is key to keeping your lawnmower running smoothly.

  6. Diana Herrera says:

    What are the signs that indicate it’s time to replace the drive belt on a lawnmower?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Hi Diana, signs it’s time to replace the drive belt on a lawnmower include slow cutting and blades not spinning. Follow our step-by-step guide to replace the belt on your Craftsman lawnmower. Hope this helps!

  7. Myrtle Hughes says:

    Is there a specific way to store a Craftsman lawnmower to prevent belt damage?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Keep your Craftsman lawnmower in a cool, dry place. Store it with the drive belt loosened to prevent damage. Thank you for your question on belt storage!

  8. Denise Williamson says:

    I didn’t know that drive belts in lawnmowers come in different types like V-belts and synchronous belts.

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you, Denise! Indeed, drive belts come in various types like V-belts and synchronous belts for lawnmowers. It’s crucial to identify the right one for optimal performance.

  9. Noah White says:

    Nice to see the detailed steps for both rear-wheel and front-wheel drive mowers.

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you, Noah! I’m glad you found the detailed steps for both rear-wheel and front-wheel drive mowers helpful. Let me know if you have any other questions or need further assistance. Enjoy your lawn mowing!

  10. Andy Cunningham says:

    Thanks for the detailed steps on changing the Craftsman lawnmower belt!

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you for the feedback, Andy! I’m glad the steps were helpful in changing the Craftsman lawnmower belt. If you have any other questions or need further assistance, feel free to ask. Happy mowing!

  11. Dolores Jacobs says:

    Appreciate the tips on preventing the belt from slipping off the lawnmower.

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you, Dolores! I’m glad you found the tips helpful. Let me know if you need further assistance. Happy mowing!