January 1, 2015

How to replace the blade belt on a zero-turn riding mower

By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace the blade belt on a zero-turn riding mower

This DIY repair guide shows how to replace the blade belt on a zero-turn riding mower. The blade belt connects the engine pulley to the deck pulleys that spin the cutting blades. A damaged or worn blade belt won't spin the mower blades well, and a broken belt won't spin the blades at all. Replace the blade belt with the replacement part if it's damaged or broken.

This procedures works for common Craftsman, Toro, Troybilt, MTD and Cub Cadet zero-turn riding mowers.

See all our riding mower and lawn tractor repair guides for more step-by-step instructions.

Quick links
Tools required
Socket wrench set
Work gloves
Repair difficulty
Time required
30 minutes or less
Repair difficulty
Time required
30 minutes or less
Replacing a blade belt on a zero-turn riding mower

This video explains how to replace the blade belt on a zero-turn riding mower.

Instructions

  1. 01.

    Disconnect the spark plugs

    Move the mower to a work area on a hard, level surface and set the parking brake.

    Disconnect the spark plug wires.

    Disconnect the spark plugs.

    Disconnect the spark plugs.

  2. 02.

    Lower the mower deck

    Lower the mower deck to the lowest cutting position.

    Lower the mower deck.

    Lower the mower deck.

  3. 03.

    Remove the floorboard

    Remove the mounting screw that secures the floorboard to the frame. Lift off the floorboard.

    Remove the floorboard screw.

    Remove the floorboard screw.

    Remove the floorboard.

    Remove the floorboard.

  4. 04.

    Remove the pulley covers

    Remove the mounting bolts from the pulley covers and remove the pulley covers.

    Remove the pulley cover screws.

    Remove the pulley cover screws.

    Remove the pulley covers.

    Remove the pulley covers.

  5. 05.

    Remove the blade belt

    Loosen the belt guide nut on the top of the idler pulley so you have enough room to remove the blade belt.

    Push in the idler arm to release tension on the blade belt and roll the belt off the left pulley.

    Release the belt from the other blade pulleys.

    Release the blade belt from the electric clutch pulley and remove the blade belt.

    Loosen the belt guide nut.

    Loosen the belt guide nut.

    Release the belt from the blade pulleys.

    Release the belt from the blade pulleys.

    Release the blade belt from the electric clutch.

    Release the blade belt from the electric clutch.

    Remove the blade belt.

    Remove the blade belt.

  6. 06.

    Install the new blade belt

    Wrap the blade belt around the electric clutch pulley on the engine crankshaft.

    Push the blade belt forward and up onto the deck.

    Place the belt around the spring-loaded idler arm pulley.

    Move the belt guide to its original position and tighten the mounting nut on the belt guide.

    Route the belt over the center and right-side deck pulleys.

    Push on the idler arm to release belt tension and wrap the belt around the left deck pulley.

    Slowly release the idler arm.

    Install the new belt on the electric clutch.

    Install the new belt on the electric clutch.

    Roll the belt on the pulley.

    Roll the belt on the pulley.

  7. 07.

    Reinstall the pulley covers

    Reinstall the pulley covers and tighten the mounting bolts.

    Reinstall the pulley cover.

    Reinstall the pulley cover.

  8. 08.

    Reinstall the floorboard

    Reinstall the floorboard and secure it with the mounting bolt.

    Reinstall the floorboard.

    Reinstall the floorboard.

  9. 09.

    Reconnect the spark plugs

    Reconnect the spark plug wires on the spark plugs.

    Reconnect the spark plugs.

    Reconnect the spark plugs.

Warning: Undertaking repairs to appliances can be hazardous. Use the proper tools and safety equipment noted in the guide and follow all instructions. Do not proceed until you are confident that you understand all of the steps and are capable of completing the repair. Some repairs should only be performed by a qualified technician.

Symptoms common to all riding mowers & tractors

Choose a symptom to see related riding mower and lawn tractor repairs.

Main causes: dead battery, stale fuel, bad starter solenoid, ignition system problem, bad ignition interlock switch, clogged carburetor
Main causes: damaged cutting blade, worn deck pulley, damaged mandrel pulley, loose fasteners on mower deck components
Main causes: shift lever needs adjustment, neutral control needs adjustment
Main causes: engine overfilled with oil, leaky head gasket or sump gasket, damaged carburetor seals, cracked fuel pump, broken fuel line
Main causes: punctured tire or inner tube, leaky valve stem, damaged wheel rim
Main causes: worn or broken ground drive belt, bad seat switch, transaxle freewheel control engaged, transaxle failure, dirty carburetor
Main causes: unlevel mower deck, dull or damaged cutting blades, worn mandrel pulleys, bent mower deck, engine needs tune up
Main causes: worn or broken blade belt, broken belt idler pulley, blade clutch cable failure, bad PTO switch, damaged mandrel pulleys
Main causes: clogged carburetor, damaged flywheel key, dirty spark plug, stale fuel, improper valve lash, engine needs a tune up

Repair guides common to all riding mowers & tractors

These step-by-step repair guides will help you safely fix what’s broken on your riding mower or lawn tractor.

How to replace the air filter on a riding lawn mower

Get your mower running smoothly again by replacing the air filter—it's a quick job you can do yourself, following these steps.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 15 minutes or less
How to replace the starter motor on a riding lawn mower

If you hear the solenoid click but don’t hear the starter motor spin when you turn the key, follow these steps to replace it.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 30 minutes or less
January 1, 2015
By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a riding lawn mower blade

If a blade on your mower is dull or bent, replace it following the steps in this repair guide.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 30 minutes or less

Articles and videos common to all riding mowers & tractors

Use the advice and tips in these articles and videos to get the most out of your riding mower or lawn tractor.

May 1, 2017

Riding lawn mower engine spins but won't start video

By Sears PartsDirect staff

Troubleshoot fuel, spark and compression issues.

May 1, 2017

How to repair a riding lawn mower tire video

By Sears PartsDirect staff

Learn when you can use sealant to fix a flat tire.

June 1, 2016

How to mow a lawn for healthier grass

By Erin Hynes

How often and tall you mow your lawn has a big impact on its health. Check out these 3 rules.