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Old 04-29-2013, 08:22 AM   #1
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Deck belt shrinkage?

Got a 42" 2 blade MTD riding mower going on 14 yrs old and cut 3 yards regularly at a time. Im findi ng after a while that the belts are stretching out some and causing excessive slippage/squeeling expecially when mowing into some thicker grass. I've changed belts out but seems like they get back to this point sooner than they should. a neighbor told me to try to soak them in WD40 and set them in the sun to "shrink" them, anyone know if this works or have another method? I have a ton of decent belts just seem to be stretched out a bit. the deck/drive pulls etc aappear to be OK and nothing seems to be out of wack to be causing this. thanks


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Old 04-29-2013, 08:31 AM   #2
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Not sure why you seem to be going through belts so fast but trying to shrink them is not a good idea. The nature of the rubber is to stretch and harden over time and reconditioning it seldom works out well. A certain amount is abraded off over time on the wheels as well.

Soaking them in a lubricant seems like it would just leave you with a slippery mess. If anything, try one of those dressing sprays or sticks used on car and industrial belts to reduce squeeking and slipping. I think regular belt replacement may just be a maintenance cost for your machine. Too bad there is no tension adjustment availed you?


Last edited by user1007; 04-29-2013 at 08:35 AM. Reason: Added Image
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Old 04-30-2013, 07:44 AM   #3
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Have ypu turned your deck over and cleaned it well? You need to pressure wash and repaint the bottom at least once a year if you want it to last. I use the yellow traffic line paint that sprays downward. Works pretty good. Have you greased the spindles? Whoever said to put your belts in WD-40 has a screw loose somewhere.
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Old 05-04-2013, 07:16 AM   #4
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the deck is clean underneigth but starting to think there is an issue with the tensioner on the deck or the motor to deck drive belt. i leave the deck on its highest setting when I cut but if i try to lower the deck from lets say 5 to 3 i hear the belt slipping, and the blade stops turning. just put new blades on but going to remove the deck and lube/check pulleys and linkage then start with a new motor and deck belt to see it it helps. if i can get 1 or 2 mor years out of this thing i'll be happy.
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