How to remove stuck lawnmower pulley, step by step


A lawnmower is a fine machine that does a great job maintaining an impressive look of your garden. However, like every other machine, lawnmower parts can malfunction. A stuck lawnmower pulley is one of those problems. Riding lawnmower pulleys are made of metal and are prone to rust. A rusted pulley may get stuck. This blog will show how to remove and fix a stuck lawnmower pulley.

How to remove a stuck lawnmower pulley, step by step:

  • Step 1: Prepare the Lawnmower
  • Step 2: Access the Pulley
  • Step 3: Remove the Rust around the Pulley
  • Step 4: Spray Oil on the Pulley Hub
  • Step 5: Unscrew the Pulley Retaining Bolt
  • Step 6: Unscrew the Pulley Removal Tool’s Center Bolt
  • Step 7: Free the Pulley from the Pulley Shaft
  • Step 8: Drill Two Holes through the Front of the Pulley
  • Step 9: Unscrew the Pulley Removal Tool’s Center Bolt
  • Step 10: Remove the pulley

A rusted pulley can seize the pulley shaft. You can utilize oil, pulley removing apparatuses, and hand instruments to remove the rusted pulley off the pulley shaft. Pulley changing may seem a little bit tricky, but with extra attention and some experience in handling a lawnmower, you will be able to remove it. Let us see in detail how to remove a stuck pulley of a lawnmower.

The Step by Step Procedure:

● Step 1: Prepare the Lawnmower

Park your mower in an even open location. Apply the parking brakes and disconnect the spark plug cables. This is to ensure any unintended engine start while working on moving parts.

● Step 2: Access the Pulley

Set the mower deck to its lowest position. Remove the engine deck to access the rusted pulley.

● Step 3: Remove the Rust around the Pulley

After gaining access to the pulley, you will notice loose rust around the pulley. Remove it with the help of a thin metal wire and a metal brush. Remove the rust around the pulley hub, pulley retaining bolt, and pulley shaft.

● Step 4: Spray Oil on the Pulley Hub

After removing rust, spray some penetrating oil (like WD-40) onto the pulley hub’s front and rear sides. Do the same for pulley bolts and pulley shaft. Give the oil some time to do its work. This can take between 30 to 100 minutes to loosen the pulley and the other parts. If a part dies not seem loosened, add some more oil and wait again. In the end, the pulley and other components should loosen up.

● Step 5: Unscrew the Pulley Retaining Bolt

Use a strap wrench to help to remove the pulley-retaining bolt. Or unscrew the pulley-retaining bolt with the help of a socket wrench or a pneumatic air gun. A pneumatic air gun and socket are incredibly powerful and can help to loosen difficult bolts. However, the additional force may result in broken bolts. If a bolt gets broken during the process, replace it with another matching bolt.

● Step 6: Unscrew the Pulley Removal Tool’s Center Bolt

Unscrew the pulley removal tool’s center bolt, rotating it counterclockwise until it reaches as far down as possible. Set the pulley removal tool on top of the pulley, adjusting the pulley removal tool’s center bolt with the pulley shaft.

● Step 7: Free the Pulley from the Pulley Shaft

Adjust the pulley removal tool earholes with the pulley’s threaded bolt holes if your lawnmower pulley has threaded holes. Fix the pulley removal tool’s ears with the pulley removal tool’s ear bolts. Now you can screw the pulley removal tool’s earholes into the pulley’s threaded holes.

Take out a wrench and fix the pulley removal tool’s ear bolts. Rotate the pulley removal tool’s center screw clockwise by hand, exert more force in rotating the wrench if needed until the pulley removal tool’s ears are fitted with the pulley removal tool’s ear screws. Hold the strap wrench with one hand while rotating the pulley removal tool’s middle bolt and with a socket wrench in your other hand until the pulley is loosened enough to be pulled from the pulley shaft.

● Step 8: Drill Two Holes through the Front of the Pulley

Drill two holes wider than the pulley removal tool’s ear bolts on the pulley’s front face by utilizing a drilling machine. The slots should be positioned directly opposite one another on each side of the pulley hub. Furthermore, it would be best if you spaced the holes far enough away from the pulley hub to fit a nut close to the pulley hub’s rear. Yet, the distance between the two holes must not be bigger than the pulley removal tool’s ear holes.

● Step 9: Unscrew the Pulley Removal Tool’s Center Bolt

Use a wrench to rotate the pulley removal tool’s center bolt until the screw reaches as far down as possible. Set the pulley removal tool onto the lawnmower pulley, and adjust the removal tool’s center hole with the pulley shaft. Adjust the pulley removal tool’s earholes with the holes you made with a drill.

● Step 10: Remove the pulley

Slide one pulley removal tool’s ear screw through each pulley removal tool ear and through the holes you drilled in the pulley. Screw a nut onto every pulley removal tool, ear bolts’ threads by hand. The pulley removal tool requires only a few nuts, based primarily upon their brand. The nuts ought to be even with the rear of the pulley. Keep rotating the pulley removal tool until the pulley is loosened enough to be removed from the pulley shaft.

Lawnmower Pulley Related Problems

Below are the descriptions of some common pulley problems, their possible causes, and their solutions.

● Noise from the Pulley

If you hear noise from the pulley, the reasons could be bad mounting, belt sliding on the pulley face, or the bearing lubrication decreasing with time. Most of these problems can be fixed in one or two steps. For loose mounting, you can tighten the mounting and check the pulley shaft level.

For belt sliding on the pulley face, you can fix the tension. For bearing lubrication, if bearings are worn out, buy a new set of bearings. Mount them and check that they are not facing any distortion. 

● Lawnmower extreme wear to pulley face

If the pulley face shows extreme wear, the possible causes of this are low belt tension and oil on the lagging. The former can be solved by easily adjusting the tension. For the latter, remove the excess oil.

Removing a Stuck Mandrel Pulley:

You have seen how to remove a stuck pulley from a lawnmower. We will now describe how to draw a lawnmower’s mandrel pulley. The mandrel assembly connects to the deck and rotates the edge. The bearings in the mandrel pulley wear out through typical use. An uneven blade speeds the wear on the bearings, as does hitting rocks while cutting. The mandrel assembly in this maintenance guide includes blade shaft and bearings.

Let us look at how to remove a mandrel pulley if it goes bad. The mandrel pulley generally does not need lubricant, but it does wear out and then needs to be changed.

● Step 1: Remove the Spark Plug:

Disconnect the spark plugs. This ensures that the lawnmower does not unintentionally start the engine when you are working on or close to moving parts.

● Step 2: Remove the Deck:

Lower the mower deck and remove the blades. Roll the blade belt off the engine pulley and then release the belt from the keepers. Remove the left suspension arm as well as the left rear deck. Pull the deck out enough to reach the blade cable. Disconnect the blade cable and pull out the deck.

● Step 3: Remove the Mandrel pulley

Put oil on the flange nut holding the mandrel pulley to the shaft. Please wait for 2 to 3 minutes for the oil to do its work before eliminating the nut. Lift the cutter deck and place a piece of wood between the blades and another piece behind them. This keeps the sharp edges fixed while eliminating the flange nut.

● Step 4: Finishing

Remove the flange nut from the highest point of the pulley with the help of a socket wrench. Turn the nut counterclockwise to remove it. In case you are experiencing difficulty loosening the nut, reapply the penetrating oil. Lift the pulley off the spindle to take it out. Also, remove the spacer under the pulley. Reinstall the deck and power the mower to make sure that everything went right.

Final Remarks:

Rust can form near the pulley hub and other parts. This can lead to the pulley being stuck. In this case, the lawnmower will not work correctly. We have described a detailed step-by-step method to remove a stuck pulley from the mower. And additionally described how to draw a mandrel pulley from a lawnmower. Always follow all the precautionary measures before starting to work, and check the user manual before starting with this job.

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