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Discussion Starter #1
I have Craftsman 917.388740 self-propelled mower that has lasted more than 20 years with no repairs other than 1 carburetor replacememt, a few blades & oil. It has cast iron cylinder & I don't want to replace it til engine dies. My problem: Original drive belt stretched & no longer had enough tension even with adjustment to move wheels. Sears online & phone parts, as will as other online parts stores, no longer show drive mechanism on their parts diagrams or list a belt. So don't know what size belt to get. Took old belt to shop & they sold me new belt a little shorter (for $20!) which I installed & used adjusting knob on drive lever. Now it takes off at high speed with lever in off position. Removed corrosion & polished inner surface of drive pulley. Took lever mechanism apart to make sure cable travels full amount & lubricated cable which slides easily. Reassembled & problem persist. Does anybody know correct belt size for this model or have other recommendations?
 

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A belt usually does all the stretching early in its life and i've never had one fail due to stretching. But since you've been sold a shorter belt that seems too short consider a liberal coating of Talc on the belt until the V angles get acquainted with each other.
 

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You certain about the model number? The online manual I found for the number given does not describe a self-propelled mower.
 

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I noticed that too Lenaitch, so wondered the same thing, but if you open the manual it does show belts in the list of items available for this mower. Unfortunately that is the only reference to it, so, as you pointed out, maybe the wrong model number, or maybe a not so popular option.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the quick answers.

I kept an image of the Craftsman model/ serial number sticker. Unless it was mislabeled, that is correct model number. I have ordered parts with this number before.
 

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I would take the belt back to the store and see if they have one slightly longer or more flexible. There are some styles with notches inside or outside so they're not as stiff, which may help.


There are also numerous online parts sites carrying craftsman parts; you may have better luck finding it on one of them, even it Sears doesn't. There are usually aftermarket compatible parts for things like that, and there's usually some enterprising person who's figured out what will work.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I'll take the belt back and get a larger one. Maybe old belt was just worn, not stretched. I can't really tell by looking.

Online parts stores are where I go first, but no one had a part number or description. Odd.

Out of curiosity, where would once get talc? Is that a hardware store thing?

Thanks
 

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I noticed that too Lenaitch, so wondered the same thing, but if you open the manual it does show belts in the list of items available for this mower. Unfortunately that is the only reference to it, so, as you pointed out, maybe the wrong model number, or maybe a not so popular option.

You did better than I. Any photo of the machine I could find showed a chassis that wouldn't appear to accommodate a drive. Weird.


I'll take the belt back and get a larger one. Maybe old belt was just worn, not stretched. I can't really tell by looking.

Online parts stores are where I go first, but no one had a part number or description. Odd.

Out of curiosity, where would once get talc? Is that a hardware store thing?

Thanks

Make sure you get a belt that is also the same width. Apparently Craftsman machines don't have a huge range of adjustment, so if a wider or narrower belt doesn't sit properly in the pulleys that could affect things.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks. Hard to tell the correct width because it is sho old it may have worn down. The old and new ones both ride very low in the pulleys to my eye, at least in comparison to how an auto engine belt rides.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Where do you mean "under the hood?" Actually inside the cowling or on the body of engine below cowling in view? I'll try to attach pics of sticker with mower model & serial numberand Honda engine stamp (tho the engine model number probably wouldn't help since this is a mower part).
 

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Whatever you want to call it... the one with the service parts is on the underside of the hood or cowling that flips up to get to the gas tank and oil filler, etc... at least on our 2014 Craftsman LT2000.

Where do you mean "under the hood?" Actually inside the cowling or on the body of engine below cowling in view? I'll try to attach pics of sticker with mower model & serial numberand Honda engine stamp (tho the engine model number probably wouldn't help since this is a mower part).
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Here is, I hope, a pic of the Craftsman model/ serial number off my mower. I assume that is correct, tho when I was younger and had mo time, I took it to mower shops for service & I suppose the sticker could have been switched, tho that seems unlikely. Is there a model number stamped somewhere on the machine?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Why does it "block" my image? I'm using jpg file taken from my phone which I shrank to around 50KB.
 

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Whatever you want to call it... the one with the service parts is on the underside of the hood or cowling that flips up to get to the gas tank and oil filler, etc.

The confusion is likely because OP's mower is a walk-behind, not a riding mower.
 

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Unless I am missing something Sears has your belt.

According to the "Will this part fit my model" dialogue box, it doesn't fit the OP's model. According to Sears, that model is not self-propelled, so it doesn't have a drive belt. There are several different belts that fit similar models that are self-propelled, but guessing which one to order could get expensive, or at the very least result in a few shipment returns.
 
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