This step-by-step repair guide gives instructions for replacing the ground drive belt on a zero-turn riding mower. The ground drive belt connects the engine crankshaft to the transaxle pulleys to drive the mower wheels. If the ground drive belt is worn or broken, the mower moves sluggishly or won't move at all. Replace a worn or broken ground drive belt with the manufacturer-approved riding mower part.
Follow the steps in this repair guide and video to replace the ground drive belt on common Craftsman, Troybilt, MTD, Husqvarna, Cub Cadet and Toro zero-turn riding mowers.
Socket wrench set
90 minutes or less
90 minutes or less
Replacing a ground drive belt on a zero-turn riding mower
This video explains how to replace the ground drive belt on a zero-turn riding mower.
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.Tip: Enlist a helper to assist you when you remove the belt.
PHOTO: Disconnect the spark plugs.
Release the blade belt
Lower the mower deck to the lowest cutting position.
Remove the left pulley cover from the mower deck.
Push in the blade belt idler pulley and roll the blade drive belt off the left blade pulley.
Reach under the rear of the mower frame and remove the blade drive belt from the electric clutch.
PHOTO: Lower the mower deck.
PHOTO: Remove the pulley cover.
PHOTO: Roll the blade belt off of the pulley.
PHOTO: Release the blade belt from the electric clutch.
Remove the mower deck
Disconnect the mower deck mounting pins and release the hanging brackets from the mower deck.
Push the mower deck slightly forward and release it from the front bracket.
Pull the mower deck out from under the mower frame.
PHOTO: Remove the mounting pin.
PHOTO: Release the hanging bracket from the mower deck.
PHOTO: Release the front bracket.
PHOTO: Pull the mower deck out.
Remove the electric clutch
Unplug the electric clutch wiring harness next to the motor.
Remove the mounting screws from the flywheel cover and pull the cover off to access the flywheel nut.
Have a helper hold the flywheel nut stationary while you remove the mounting bolt from the clutch.
Pull the electric clutch off the engine crankshaft.Tip: Note the routing of the electric clutch wiring harness when pulling the clutch off the engine shaft.
PHOTO: Unplug the electric clutch wire harness.
PHOTO: Remove the flywheel cover screws.
PHOTO: Remove the flywheel cover.
PHOTO: Hold the flywheel nut stationary.
PHOTO: Remove the electric clutch mounting bolt.
PHOTO: Remove the electric clutch.
Remove the ground drive belt
Have your helper lift the driver seat forward and push in the idler pulley bracket while you roll the ground drive belt off the engine pulley.
Release the ground drive belt from the transmission pulleys and pull the belt out of the mower.
PHOTO: Push the idler bracket inward.
PHOTO: Remove the ground drive belt.
Install the new ground drive belt
Route the new ground drive belt over the cooling fans and onto the transmission pulleys.
Thread the belt through the idler pulley and over the engine crankshaft pulley.
Have your helper push in the idler pulley bracket while you roll the belt onto the engine pulley.
Flip the driver seat down.
PHOTO: Install the new ground drive belt.
Reinstall the electric clutch
Position the bushing on top of the electric clutch.
Line up the slot in the electric clutch pulley with the key in the engine shaft and push the electric clutch onto the engine shaft.
Make sure that the tab in the electric clutch bracket engages the mounting slot on the electric clutch frame.
While your helper holds the flywheel nut, reinstall the electric clutch mounting bolt.
Reattach the flywheel cover.
Reconnect the electric clutch wire harness.Tip: Make sure that the electric clutch wire harness is routed to the engine properly on reassembly
PHOTO: Reinstall the electric clutch.
PHOTO: Reattach the flywheel cover.
PHOTO: Reconnect the wire harness.
Reinstall the mower deck
Push the mower deck under the mower frame.
Reinstall the mower deck on the front bracket.
Reinstall the mower deck hanging brackets and secure them with the mounting pins.
PHOTO: Push the mower deck in.
PHOTO: Reconnect the front bracket.
PHOTO: Reinstall the deck hanging brackets.
Reattach the blade belt
Reinstall the blade drive belt onto the electric clutch.
Push the blade belt idler pulley inward and roll the blade belt back onto the left blade pulley.
Reinstall the pulley cover.Tip: Make sure that the blade belt is routed correctly when reinstalling the mower deck
PHOTO: Reinstall the belt on the electric clutch.
PHOTO: Roll the belt on the pulley.
PHOTO: Reinstall the pulley cover.
Reconnect the spark plugs
Reconnect the wires on the spark plugs.
PHOTO: 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.
These step-by-step repair guides will help you safely fix what’s broken on your riding mower or lawn tractor.
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