How to Tighten Belt on Troy Bilt Riding Mower?

If you want to mow your land conveniently and in no time, then nothing can beat a troy bilt riding mower. It is a beast of a land mower. However, one of the crucial ways to make your troy bilt riding mower work efficiently is to tighten its belt from time to time.

It is pretty easy to tighten the best of a troy bilt riding mower with simple tools available at home like pliers, screwdrivers, etc. Nonetheless, if you are new to a riding mower, it may be difficult for you to get an idea of undertaking the belt-tightening task.

But don’t worry, as we’ve got you covered! We have decided to dedicate a blog to answer your most obvious question-  “how to tighten the belt on a troy bilt riding mower?”

So, stick with us as you take you through the detailed steps involved in the process.

What is a Riding Mower Belt?

What is a riding mower belt

Before we delve deep into the main stuff, let us understand the riding lawn mower belt.

Troy Bilt riding mowers don’t use the Power Take-Off (PTO) shaft and the crankshaft that enable the machine to move forward. Instead, it uses an array of pulleys that are connected to an electric clutch.

These pulleys do not work by themselves and have drive belts installed. The primary purpose of these belts is to move these pulleys once the electric clutch and the engine starts.

Signs That tell to Tighten a Troy Bilt Riding Mower

A properly tight drive belt is crucial for a riding mower to perform efficiently. Therefore, adjusting the belt is loosened is highly essential. It is easy to understand the need to tighten a loose troy bilt riding mower belt. What you just need to recognize are the signs.

#1. Low Riding Power

One of the most noticeable signs is the low riding power of the mower. A loose drive belt will not produce enough power to move the mower forward. As a result, you will experience a low speed than usual.

#2. Loose Pulley System

A loose drive belt means a loose pulley system.

So, inspect your riding mower minutely and see if the pulleys are loose. Also, you may experience squealing noises while operating the machine, which also points towards a loosened pulley system.

#3. Stuttering Issue

If the drive belt gets loosened and stuck, you may experience a sudden stoppage of the mower’s engine. And even if you turn it on, it may again stop abruptly.

So, if you face a continuing stuttering issue with your riding mower, you should check your mower belt. And if you find it loose, just tighten it up!

Tools Required

Necessary tools to tighten on Troy Bilt Riding Mower

So, you have checked your mower belt, found it loose, and decided to tighten it up. Now what? Well, you will need to procure the tools essential for the tightening process.

  • A screwdriver
  • A set of pliers
  • A socket wrench
  • A plastic sheet
  • A pair of gloves 

Once you get all these tools, you are ready to get your hands dirty!

Steps to Tighten on Troy Bilt Riding Mower

Steps to tighten on Troy Bilt Riding Mower

This process is straightforward and fuss-free, and even a novice can undertake it. Just follow the steps mentioned below and do not hesitate to jump in with tools. But do not forget to wear gloves!

Step 1: Select a Work Area

Before you start working with your mower, we recommend you select an apt work area. The size of the riding mower would be significant, so choosing an open flat area is always recommended. Also, look for a site that is free from debris or other objects.

A driveway or a garage would be the ideal location. However, a large patio can also prove suitable.

After selecting the place, you should place the plastic sheet to avoid any staining or damage due to oil spillage.

Step 2: Prepare the Mower

After selecting the place and placing the plastic sheet, it is time to prepare the Troy bilt riding mower. You can start by turning off the mower for, which the below-mentioned steps can follow-

Do not miss following any of the above-stated steps to ensure an effortless riding mower belt-tightening session.

Step 3: Work With the Deck Cover

The next step is to work with the deck cover. When we say this, we mean to remove the deck cover. The belt in a riding mower is located under the deck and blades, for which you will need to remove the cover.

  • Firstly, locate the frame of your land mower.
  • Then, using a wrench, loosen up the clamp bolts.
  • You can use a plier in case the wrench doesn’t work or if the clamps are small.
  • While working with the cover, make sure not to pull or press it hard to prevent bending. 

Step 4: Blade Removal

Now you will need to remove the blade to get free access to the belt. If you see carefully, you will find that the blade is attached to the machine with a retention bolt, which you will have to remove.

  • First, remove the screw that will be located near the rear tire to get access to the blade.
  • Locate the retention bolt near the center of the belt. 
  • Using a wrench, unfasten the bolt and pull the blade off.
  • Now remove the blade.

The removal of the blade will give you free access to the lawnmower belt, which you can work on to tighten.

Step 5: Access the Belt

Before you start tightening the belt, you would need to expose it. You can do it by following the steps mentioned below:

  • First, find and unfasten the screw that holds the engine baffle to the Deck. 
  • After, remember to remove the baffle as well.
  • Now, access and unfasten the screws that fasten your belt cover onto the deck. You will need to remove it as well.
  • Next, locate the spring between the transmission pulley and the belt cover.
  • Remove the spring and get the cover out.

After you get free access to the belt, you can consider tightening it the way you want.

Step 6: Adjusting the Belt

Now you may see the black rubber piece that connects the drive wheels and the engine. This is the belt of the riding mower, whose size will be somewhere 3/8 or 5/8 inches.

Now, to adjust it, you will have to:

  • Manipulate the engine’s transmission and the pulleys. Check for the cap screw at the center of the pulley and loosen it up.
  • This will enable you to access the pulleys, and you can pull the belt as tight as you may need. 
  • You must focus on shortening the length of the belt so that it can tighten up the pulleys effectively. 

By now, you have efficiently tightened the belt of the riding mower. But you are not done yet, as reinstalling and testing everything is still left.

Step 7: Reinstall

It is a crucial step to ensure that your machine operates optimally after you have worked on it.

You must make sure that you put every piece in place as they were before. For this, you may reverse your steps to reinstall everything.

  • Start by reinstalling the belt cover, as it was before. 
  • Put the engine baffle back to its previous position. Screw it properly so that it doesn’t fall apart.
  • Next, attach the blade firmly to put the retention bolt back.
  • Complete the process by attaching the deck cover. 

Remember to put the bolts and screws in the right place and fasten them up to secure the parts correctly.

After you are done, your mower will be ready to be rested.

Step 8: Test

The last step in the whole process is to run and test your mower.

  • Reconnect all the cables, wires, and spark plugs. 
  • Refill the fuel tank.
  • Check if any oil is spilling.
  • Now, start your mower and drive the lawn mower around to check if it runs smoothly without any hitch. 

If your mower works as it typically should, you can rest assured that your efforts of tightening the drive belt have been a success. 


So, as we have already mentioned, tightening the mower belt is an easy task and can be undertaken by anybody at home. However, if you do not follow the steps correctly, it can cause a big headache for you.

But, that should not discourage you from trying your hand in the process. And whenever you face any issue, come back and refer to our guiding steps for your assistance.

About Jennifer Igra

Growing up in Brooklyn, New York City known for it’s green gardens. Jennifer, a 30 year old gardener and green living fanatic started Igra World to share her gardening journey and increase gardening awareness among masses. Follow Igra World to improve your gardening skills.

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