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.

Repair difficulty:
Time required:

Less than 30 min.

Parts Required

  • Blade belt

For manuals, repair guides, and specific part recommendations, enter your model number.

Tools Required

  • Socket wrench set
  • Work gloves

Before you begin

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

Let the engine cool.

Wear work gloves to protect your hands.



 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.

How to Replace a Craftsman Zero-Turn Riding Mower Blade Belt

Step 1: Disconnect the spark plugs

Disconnect the spark plug wires.

Step 2: Lower the mower deck

Lower the mower deck to the lowest cutting position.

Step 3: Remove the floorboard

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

Lift off the floorboard.

Step 4: Remove the pulley covers

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

Step 5: 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.

Step 6: 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.

Step 7: Reinstall the pulley covers

Reinstall the pulley covers and tighten the mounting bolts.

Step 8: Reinstall the floorboard

Reinstall the floorboard and secure it with the mounting bolt.

Step 9: Reconnect the spark plugs

Reconnect the spark plug wires on the spark plugs.

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