The lawn mower drive belt on a Craftsman mower is arguably the most essential part of the lawn mower. Without it, the lawn mower wouldn’t even move. With a bad one? You won’t be happy
The drive belt has a lifespan and needs changing after that period to continue to function efficiently. But not many people know how to change the drive belt. Not to worry, that’s why you’ve got me, right? In this piece, I’ll show you how to change the drive belt of your craftsman lawn mower when it gets worn out or broken but before we dive in, let’s look at what a drive belt is.
What is a Drive Belt?
The drive belts are the connector between the engine crankshaft and the trans-axle pulley. It is the device that transfers the energy from the engine to the wheels for it to move. Without it,you have a running engine but a machine that cannot run.
This is why it is so important. When driving mowers like the zero turn lawn mowers, it is the drive belts that bring the power that runs it.
Drive belt for a Craftsman Lawn Mower
The craftsman lawn mower contains two drive belts; primary and secondary. Different models of the craftsman mower have different drive belt sizes, but they usually come between 42-50 inches.
Both the drive and push craftsman lawn mowers make use of drive belts for its movement.
How to Know a Bad Craftsman Lawn Mower
Now that you’ve understood what a drive belt is and its use in a craftsman lawn mower, let’s look at ways to know when a lawn mower is bad and needs changing.
Even though drive belts have lifespans; sometimes, they go bad before that date. When this happens, your machine won’t work smoothly anymore. How do you know when the drive belt is bad?
- Loosens up: When your machine stops in-between mowing sessions, it is an indication that the belt is weak and can’t stay on the crankshaft throughout the operation.
- Squeals: Do you hear squealing sounds? Then, your belt must be bad. The squealing noises caused by bad belts. The sound it makes is not only annoying but uncomfortable to work around.
- Slows down: Have you ever started your riding mower and noticed its reduced speed? Or its rate just reduces while mowing? This is a strong indication you need to change the drive belt. Do you know why it’s more prominent in riding mowers? It is because,unlike the push mowers, it relies entirely on its wheel to move.
- Visible wear and tear: A physical examination is still one of the most efficient ways to know if your drive belt needs changing. Open the drive belt chamber and physically check for wear and tear around the edges of the belt.
Things to Consider Before Changing Your drive Belt
Before you go ahead to replace your bad drive belt; there are some things you need to give some thoughts to. I’ve compiled a list of them
- Read the owner’s manual. Where else to get first-hand information about your machine than in the owner’s manual.
- Contact a lawn mower technician if you feel the task will be overwhelming. Even though this is a straightforward guide, you may still decide to call a more experienced hand to take care of it.
- Wear protective equipment. I can’t stress this enough. You need to protect yourself whenever you’re working on machines.
Things You Need
To be able to handle the whole process efficiently and safely; you need some tools
- A pair of work gloves
- A wooden block
- Protective goggles
- A new drive belt
- A socket wrench
- A cleaning brush
How to Replace a Worn Out or Broken Drive Belt
Drive belts are made to withstand a high amount of pressure and can last you for years. Notwithstanding, you’ll still need to replace it from time to time. I’m going to show you how to properly change the drive belt of your craftsman lawn mower without external supervision.
- Place the lawn mower on a flat surface: The first step to changing your drive belt is preparing the craftsman lawn mower. Place it on a flat surface as a slanting surface will make it difficult for you to work on the machine. Your garage or garden shed is a perfect place to place your lawn mower.
- Disconnect spark plug and power cable: You do not want to be electrocuted while working on the mower. If your mower has two cylinders, you have to disconnect the two spark plugs and remove the power cable. Don’t forget to put on your gloves before handling the mower.
- Seal off the fuel tank: You need to tightly cover the fuel tank to prevent leaks. Open the fuel tank, and cover the opening with polythene bag,cover the fuel tank back with its cap.
- Remove the blades and deck:For uninterrupted access to the drive belt, you need to remove the blades and deck using the screwdriver. After removing them, you can then raise the front tires and place the wooden block for easy access to the drive.
- Clean the shaft and deck: Use your brush to properly clean the deck to remove debris and diets from there. This will increase the lifespan of your machine.
- Remove the old, worn-out belt: Use the socket wrench on the flywheel bolt to get access. Turn in a clockwise direction to loosen the pulley bolt and washer and remove the crankshaft pulley. You’ll get access to take out the old belt.
- Put the new belt: Put the new belt around the trans-axle pulley and make sure it fits nicely. Use the socket wrench on the bolts, this time in an anticlockwise direction to tighten them. Return the crankshaft pulley and tighten it up too.
- Reinstall the blades and deck: The blades need to be returned to its normal position. Set the blades and make sure the engine pulley matches perfectly on it. Replace the deck and fasten all loose nuts.
- Lower the mower and test ride: Remove the wooden block and lower the mower. You need to test your work to be sure everything works perfectly. Take your mower for a spin; start the lawn mower and try to mow a small portion. Monitor its movement, cutting speed and precision, and listen for odd noises. If everything is okay, then you can go ahead to savor your new lawn.
Working on a mower can be confusing and dangerous if you’re not sure of what you’re doing. Here are some precautions to take into account.
- Make sure the ignition is turned off, and the key is out of the ignition before commencing
- Operate away from kids
- Properly seal off the fuel tank before starting
- Pay extra attention when working on objects under tension
Changing your lawn mower is not a difficult task; however, you need to dedicate a few hours to it. Even though it may be straightforward to change, it is advisable to seek the help of a professional if you’re confused or overwhelmed.