How to Replace the Ground Drive Belt on a Zero-Turn Riding Mower



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 replacement 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.

Repair difficulty:
Time required:

Less than 90 min.

Part Required

  • Ground drive belt

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

Tools Required

  • Socket wrench set
  • Screwdriver
  • 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.

Enlist a helper to assist you when you remove the belt.


 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 Ground Drive Belt

Step 1: Disconnect the spark plugs

Disconnect the spark plug wires.

Step 2: 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.

Step 3: 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.

Step 4: 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.

Step 5: 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.

Step 6: 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.

Step 7: 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

Step 8: 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.

Step 9: 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

Step 10: Reconnect the spark plugs

Reconnect the wires on the spark plugs.