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How to put the belt on a Murray riding lawnmower, step by step

Murray lawnmowers are reliable and suitable for small to medium-sized yards. Regular maintenance is vital to keep Murray lawnmowers running reliably. Maintenance can include installing a new blade belt if your belt gets damaged or breaks while working. Replacing a Murray mower belt will help make the lawnmower work reliable again and enhance the mower’s life. The ground drive belt connects the engine crankshaft to the transaxle pulley to drive the rear wheels. If the belt breaks, the lawnmower will not move. If the belt is worn, the lawnmower will move sluggishly as the belt slips on the pulley.

This blog will help with a systematic guide to replacing a Murray riding lawn mower drive belt. We are focusing mainly on the 700 Series riding mower, but the procedure is similar for other Murray types.

How to put the belt on a Murray riding lawnmower, step by step:

  • Step 1. Collect the needed equipment
  • Step 2. Get the correct replacement belt
  • Step 3. Position the mower on a flat surface
  • Step 4. Remove the rear suspension arms
  • Step 5. Extract the hairpins and washer
  • Step 6. Extract the first hanger
  • Step 7. Slide the mower housing out and put on the new belt
  • Step 8. Slide the mower housing back and fix the suspension arms
  • Step 9. Check all the parts and try the mower

After a time, the belts on your Murray riding lawn mower can start to wear. Replacing your mower deck belt keeps your machine working at its peak performance. We will now discuss the steps in more detail.

General systematic troubleshooting guide

The guidelines for changing your mower deck belt may differ slightly depending on the Murray model.

● Step 1: Collect the needed equipment

All sorts of works need a lot less effort if you use the right tools. Placing a belt on the mower is not a difficult job. You need to following tools:

  • A pair of safety gloves.
  • Set of Pliers.
  • Screwdrivers.
  • Adjustable wrench.
  • Woodblocks.

● Step 2: Check the part number for the replacement.

The most important part you need is the replacement belt. Check the user manual for more information about the part number. If you can not find it, check the current belt markings if it is still readable. Or use Google to find it with your Murray lawnmower type and manufacturing year. Ensure that the belt has the correct length and shape.

● Step 3. Position the mower on a flat surface.

Park the Murray riding mower on a plane and level area. Switch the engine off and engage the parking brakes. If the engine has been running previously, let it cool down first before continuing. This will protect your hands and make the work easier. Set up the mower casing to the lowest setting and change the blade rotation to control the “Disengage” position. An important step in all this is to disconnect the spark plug cable to ensure that the engine can not start unintentionally.

● Step 4. Remove the rear suspension arms.

Remove the rear suspension arms from the mower chassis. Suspension arms resemble the rectangular clamps or controller arms whose purpose is to provide tightness to your mower belt and pulley system so that it may not slip. Pull the hairpins from the arms and remove the washers. Hairpins are like the spring pins that attach the arms to the belt and pulley system. It is good to make some images or a short video of how the parts are connected. This will make reattaching them much more comfortable. Store each bolt with its washer in a separate compartment and mark them. This helps to put them back to the same place they were removed from. Always try to put pins and washers from one side back to the same location. If you see parts with a lot of wear and tear, replace them.

● Step 5. Extract the hairpins and washers.

Take out the hairpins and washers from the suspension links. The links are joined to the arms. You have to remove them to make the belt easy accessible. Pull the links off the mower chassis supports. Then unhook the extension spring from the blade control rod.

● Step 6. Extract the first hanger.

Take out the front hanger from the chassis support by dragging the hairpin and washer from the joining rod’s end. You might have to loosen a bolt or two to do this. Make sure that you remove the hanger by holding the parts in place. Draw the rod out and remove the chassis from the hanger.

● Step 7. Slide the mower housing out and replace the belt.

After you have removed the external structures, you can easily access the mower’s belt. You will first have to remove the belt housing. Turn the engine pulley and slide the house out of the mower chassis. You can loosen or remove the belt retainers to act. Now you can easily remove the belt.

To put the new belt on, push on the brake pad. It would be best if you turned the belt along its channel to give it a few turns. Push the belt over the jackshaft pulley. Pull the retainer back so that the belt is tight over the idler pulley. Align the belt over the pulley and give it some twists manually. You can use greasing to smoothen the pulleys and belt movement.

● Step 8. Slide the mower housing back and fix the suspension arms.

Slide the mower housing back below the mower chassis so that the lower side is enclosed. Line up the slots in the front hanger with the slots in the chassis support. Then, insert the joining rod through the connections and fix them with the hairpin and washer. Next, join the extension springs to the suspension links. Make necessary connections to link the suspension links back with the chassis. Use hairpins and washers to seal the connections.

● Step 9. Check all the connections.

When you are finished with reattaching all the parts, check manually if the blades are turning. If the mower has a pull-cord, try pulling it gently. If all is working fine, reconnect the spark plug cables and let the engine run for a while.

For a hands-on demonstration of how to put the belt on a lawnmower, watch this video:

Additional concerns

Take care of precautionary measures when you are carrying out any lawn mower maintenance. It is suggested to make images or videos while working removing the different parts to assist you in the reinstallation of the new belt. You can refer back to the photographs and videos for reference.

  1. OEM parts: If you are using a non-Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) V-belt, check carefully that the belt has the same length and shape. If the part is not 100% compatible, it may harm the machiner. And it can be dangerous for the person operating. In general, try to use lawnmower belts approved by the manufacturer.
  2. Replace multiple belts: It can be a good idea to change both riding lawn mower belts simultaneously as there is always an interplay between the drive belts in the changing speed pulley system. Often if one belt has a lot of wear and tear, the other bels are usually not in excellent shape.
  3. Protection: Use safety glasses or goggles and hand protection like gloves to prevent injury.

Frequently asked questions

1. When should I replace my mower belt?

There is no exact amount of time that a mower belt is supposed to last. But expect a few years, depending on the number of hours you use your mower. If you leave your mower in the sun outside it can have a negative impact as well. Long direct sunshine makes the rubber and plastic weaker. Faulty belts can also result from mechanical failures such as a seized pulley. This can cause lawn mower belts to break early.

2. What is the difference between a drive belt and a deck belt?

The “deck belt” is a v-belt routed around multiple pulleys on the tip of the mower deck. Shrouds, guards, or covers often conceal it. It is tensioned with a spring pulley. When the mower deck belt is removed from the mower, the “drive belt” would be the only one still on the mower whose function is to drive the blades. It connects and drives all the blades.

3. Why does my mower belt keep stretching?

One of the more common causes of a deck belt breaking is if the idler pulley is not lined up correctly. Or due to wear and tear of bearings that make the pulley wobble and results in the belt getting rubbed somewhere. To fix this issue, check the various pullies on the deck, and make sure they turn freely and are not loose and wobbling around. In that case, replace the faulty pulleys.

4. How much can a lawnmower belt stretch?

A Lawnmower belt can stretch over time. When the belt is used, it can eventually stretch up to an inch of play side to side. But generally, the stretch is relatively small and often hard to perceive unless you look closer.

When a belt stretches, make sure that the belt tension is kept correctly with the spring pulley. If the belt stretch is more than the spring pulley can correct, the belt needs to be replaced.

Final remarks

Murray lawnmowers are excellent and reliable machines. Like all machines, they also require maintenance and replacement of certain parts with time. Lawnmower belts last long, but they will see wear and tear. Replacing a belt on the mower is not a difficult job but usually takes some time. This blog post will show you how to replace a mower deck belt on your Murray lawnmower.