Preparing the Lawn Mower
Putting a belt on a John Deere lawn mower is a relatively simple job that can be completed in under an hour. Before getting started, it’s important to make sure the lawn mower is properly prepared. This includes turning off the mower, removing any debris or objects that could get caught in the blades or engine, and disconnecting the spark plug.
Once the lawn mower is prepped, it’s time to begin replacing the belt:
Park the lawn mower on a flat, level surface
Park the lawn mower on a flat, level surface and turn the key off to prevent it from starting while you are replacing the belts. Move engine controls to the neutral positions, and disengage any blades, drive shafts or power take-off attachments you may have. Place chocks or bricks behind the rear wheels of your John Deere lawn mower to keep it from rolling while your work on it. If your model does have a parking brake, apply it before you start working.
Remove any sharp stones, twigs or other debris from around and under the mower deck as well; if something punctures the new belt, you’ll need to replace it.
Disconnect the spark plug wire
Before attempting to work on your lawn mower, it is important to disconnect the spark plug wire, which prevents accidental starting of the engine. Make sure that you are wearing protective glasses and gloves before beginning.
- Pull the spark plug wire off of the spark plug by firmly grasping and pulling straight up.
- If necessary, use a pair of pliers to get leverage on the wire so you can remove it.
- Set this aside somewhere safe and out of reach until you are ready to replace it.
Remove the mower deck
To replace the mower’s belt you will need to remove the lawn mower deck. Safely lower and disengage the lawn mower deck from the riding mower’s deck lift levers. Then, depending on your mower model, either loosen, or disconnect the ground drive belt Idler pulley.
After that is done disconnect the harness connectors that power up the motor during operation by pressing on the spring-loaded tabs and pulling each connector off of its terminal. After all electrical connections are disconnected proceed to remove six screws attaching the lawn mower deck to frame rails.
With all mounting screws removed you will be able to pull out and away from frame rails to access belt for replacement. Careful attention should be taken when removing it as this piece is large and heavy; consider enlisting help from a helping hand when necessary.
Installing the Belt
Replacing the belt on your John Deere lawn mower is an important step in ensuring that your lawn maintenance goes smoothly. Installing the belt correctly is key for the engine and other parts of the mower to function properly.
To make it easier, we walk you through the procedure step by step:
Identify the belt routing diagram
Before installing a new belt, it is important to identify the exact belt routing diagram for your model. This will help you confirm the exact length and width of the belt, as well as how it should be routed throughout your engine components. The belt routing diagram can be found in your model’s Instruction manual which may be obtained from the manufacturer or from auto parts magazines.
Once you have located and identified your corresponding belt, take note of its official size number so that you can order the correct sized replacement when needed.
Install the belt onto the pulleys
Before installing the belt onto the pulleys, it is important to first check the type of belt installed by referring to the equipment’s owner’s manual. It is also recommended that once the correct belt has been identified, review the manufacturer’s instructions for installation and tensioning. This will help ensure a secure and proper fit around the pulleys and that all components are properly aligned so they can work together without issue.
Once you have selected and read up on instructions for your specific belt type, you can begin installing it onto your pulleys. Typically, this provides direct access to one or both sides of each pulley so you can slide one end of the belt into position over it. Using a screwdriver or other similar tool with a flat head tip can help make sure that any part of the belt outside of its circumference slides neatly into place on top of each pulley without creating any extra slack or bunching up underneath it. Before moving on to tensioning, double-check that all sections are securely positioned within their respective grooves.
Adjust the belt tension
When installing the replacement belt, it is critical to adjust the belt tension. For a John Deere lawn mower, this is done by loosening the locknut on the idler arm pivot, then using a flat screwdriver to turn the adjustment screw. Turning the screw clockwise will increase tension, while turning it counterclockwise will decrease tension. Continue adjusting until there is no play in the belt when it is pressed against its pulley. Once desired tension has been achieved, tighten up the locknut and double-check that all bolts are tight and that all nuts are secured.
Reinstalling the Mower Deck
Reinstalling the mower deck on a John Deere lawn mower can be an intimidating task for some, but it doesn’t have to be. All you need are the right tools, a few tips, and a bit of elbow grease. This guide will show you how to properly reinstall the mower deck, including the steps to take to put a belt on your John Deere lawn mower.
By the end of this guide, you will have an understanding of how to get your John Deere lawn mower back up and running in no time:
Align the mower deck with the mower
Before attempting to reinstall the mower deck, you must align it with the mower to ensure that it’s properly fitted and connected. Begin by turning the mower off and disconnecting the spark plug wire. Turn the mower on its side.
- Lift up one half of the mower deck and align it with the square or rectangular opening on one half of the brace, depending on your lawnmower’s design.
- Push down on two vertical pins mounted to each side at an angle and slide down until they lock into place in holes at each corner of opening in each beam.
- Repeat this process with other half of mower deck, pushing both halves together to form a unitary piece.
- Set aside any hardware from removed from mower deck.
- Tighten all four bolts and locks nuts under or near these pins for an extra secure fit.
- Place blocks or wood around snugged bolt locations so when you tip lawnmower upright, no bolt sticks out wheel well causing accidental damage due to contact with wheel while lawnmower is operating.
Secure the mower deck with the hardware
Before fully reinstalling the mower deck, it is important to ensure that all hardware is secure and correctly installed. This includes attaching the deck wheels, drive shaft, belt covers, and blades. Make sure to use new hardware where applicable and tighten with a torque wrench according to the manufacturer’s specifications. Additionally, securely tighten blade bolts and washers with a half inch socket or wrench.
Check over your work one last time and ensure that all parts have been tightened down properly before attempting to turn on or operate the mower deck. If there are any doubts or questions about how or when something should be secure, always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for further guidance.
With all of the necessary pieces secure, your mower deck is now ready for reinstallation.
Reattach the spark plug wire
After you have checked for debris and re-secured clamps, you are ready to reattach the spark plug wire to the mower engine. Start by disconnecting the wire from the spark plug using a pair of insulated pliers. Next, slide the rubber boot off and slide it onto the spark plug. Once securely in place, reconnect the wire back to spark plug. Make certain that the two connections are snug and firmly attached so as to prevent any issue when starting your mower.
Following is a step-by-step guide on properly connecting your mower engine’s spark plug wire:
- Disconnect the spark plug wire from the mower engine’s spark plug using insulated pliers
- Slide off rubber boot from end of fuel line
- Slide rubber boot onto spark plug
- Reattach sparkplug wire to engine’s sparkplug
- Ensure that clean connection is securely held by inspection
- Test connection with knife blade used earlier in process
Testing the Mower
Before you put the belt on a John Deere lawn mower, it’s important to test the mower to ensure it is in good working condition. This involves making sure that all the safety features are working correctly and that all the parts are intact and in the proper position. This allows you to identify any potential problems that could arise when you are putting on the belt.
Once the testing is complete, you can then move on to the next step, which is putting the belt on the lawn mower.
Start the engine
Before mowing, make sure the battery is completely charged and the gas tank is at least half full. Begin by wearing protective glasses and ear protection. Check the mower for oil leaks, clogged chutes or loose nuts and bolts. Make sure that the safety key is securely in place in the ignition slot. After making sure all necessary checks are complete, proceed with starting the engine.
Turn on the ignition switch to start the engine and switch it off immediately after starting. This avoids overheating of the starter solenoid and any damage to other parts of the machine in case of an accidental over-cranking of engine when starting it. To start, simply turn on the ignition switch while pushing down slightly on the handlebar lever located behind your right foot and pull out gently on either starter cords simultaneously to begin turning over engine’s flywheel. If needed, repeat until you have a steady idle or shut it off momentarily before continuing attempts at starting mower’s engine again.
Test the mower blades
It is important to test the mower blades prior to replacing the drive belt and reinstalling the mower deck in order to ensure that they are running correctly.
To do this, first make sure the ignition switch is turned off, and remove all tools from the work area. Next, prop up the mower deck so it is at a 90-degree angle, then reconnect any wiring that was disconnected during disassembly.
Start the engine, and while holding down your foot brake and engaging the PTO clutch or blades switch (depending on your specific mower model), press forward on both control levers to turn on the mower blades. Observe closely for any strange noises or vibrations coming from beneath you as your mower blades spin; these could indicate either bent or misaligned blades that need to be repaired before putting a new belt in place. If no irregularities are noted, you can proceed with replacing your belt.
Check the belt tension
Before installing the belt, it is important to check the belt tension. To do this, locate a ½” hex head bolt at the rear of the mower deck and attach a ½” wrench to it. Keeping a firm grip on the wrench, press down firmly on the back of the mower deck while counting and noting down how many turns it takes for the bolt to compress from its original position.
It is important to record this number accurately as any difference can indicate belt wear or improper tension. Your John Deere owner’s manual will contain instructions for adjusting belt tension if necessary.