Murphy strikes with a vengence! (My adventure in changing a failing drive belt on a mower part 2)

mcu_nerdmcu_nerd wrote 05/05/2022 at 19:37 • 2 min read • Like

The replacement drive belt came in the mail today to replace on the one I damaged in part 1.  I put it on with care and made sure that it wasn't rubbing against anything it shouldn't.  Before I continue on I should note that the owners manual actually has directions on replacing the rear-drive belt as shown below.  My method is not exact, but similar.  I should mention that what I've been calling a tensioner pulley is called an idler pulley in the manual. A picture of the relevant page is shown below:

That did not go as expected

I then went to re-install the battery and thought I was done. I fired up the mower, only to find it won't actually move when put into gear. I quickly shut it off to avoid damaging either the front or rear drive belt.  The rear drive belt looked okay. The front drive belt overall looked acceptable, but it is starting to show some signs of aging, but not nearly as bad of shape as the original drive belt was. I felt the front drive pulley on the engine and it felt what may have been a little too warm, indicating the front drive belt was slipping, perhaps due to too much resistance to turning.

Fiddle, fiddle, fiddle, and fiddle some more (and cats)

At this point, I spent around 2 hours fiddling with things. I changed the drive speed and I loosened and tightened bolts that were involved when changing the belt.  I also move the position of the front drive belt every time I fired up the mower to avoid too much heat buildup.  Two of my neighbor's cats decided to come over and watch me (and perhaps snicker) in my frustration.

Heck, lets try sticking on the original replacement belt that was damaged

After fiddling with it fell short, I decided perhaps I should stick on the original replacement belt that was damaged.  I put it back on. I fired the mower up, won't go into drive. I try again. It decides to actually go into drive.

Fine, it if you want that drive belt, you can have it!

Around 3 hours wasted only to find the mower only wanted to play nicely with the damaged belt. It can have it! Hopefully even damaged, it will last a bit.  Perhaps things might have went better if the front drive belt was also replaced, but I don't feel like going down another rabbit hole for the time being.