The belt of the mower deck is responsible for cutting the grass. If it’s tight or loose, the blades won’t work efficiently, and the engine has to work harder, which can damage your machine. That’s why you should know how tight should a mower deck belt be.
The mower deck belt shouldn’t be too loose so that it cannot split easily, nor should it be too tight. Both situations can create issues while mowing, and the worse is you may have to compromise on the durability of your lawn mower.
Luckily, the issue of the deck belts isn’t hopeless and it comes in the category of the common problem of lawnmowers. That’s the topic of our blog; we’re going to discuss how you can tighten the belt and set it if it’s coming off.
What’s the Importance of Deck Belt & How Does It Work?
To understand the importance of the mower deck belt, you need to know how it works. You may think it’s only a belt, but the fact is it connects the engine of the lawn mower to the blades, which are on the bottom.
The belt transfers get the power from the engine and transfer it to the blade by making them circulate. When the blades circulate, the mower cuts the grass from the lawn and makes it beautiful.
In case the belt is tight, then the engine has to put more power in order to make the mower work. On the other hand, if the mower deck belt is loose, then it will come off whenever you try to work. As a result, you won’t be able to mow the grass faster.
The Reasons Mower Deck Belt Loosen or Coming Off
Now you know the importance of the mower deck belt, you must be thinking of why the belt loosens when it comes off or becomes tight. As per our research, we find that there are several reasons behind this situation.
The most common reason is every belt has an expiry date. If your belt is old, it must be worn out or stretched. Other reasons might be the pulley or pulley bracket has been damaged or you’ve installed the wrong belt.
Whatever the reason is, you will have to deal with one of these situations. The first situation is the belt needs adjustments, and the second is it’s worn out. If it’s worn out, then the only thing you can do is change the belt.
How to Know If Deck Belt Has Worn Out Or Needs Adjustment?
How would a person know if the belt is worn out or needs adjustment? No worries, we have an answer for it. You can do two different tests and find the answer.
Test No 1.
You have to check the belt of your lawn mower. See whether the belt is stretched too much, broken, looks old, or has cracks. If you think your belt meets any of these conditions, it is worn out, and you have to install a new belt.
See the video below to understand how you can install a new belt on a lawn mower.
Test No 2.
In case there’s no issue like a broken or cracked belt, then it’s time for you to adjust the belt. You can do one more test to confirm it’s the issue of a loose or tight mower deck belt.
- Rev your engine and pull the lever of the lawn mower as fast as you can.
- When you pull this lever, you’ll face one of these two situations. First, the blades will start working instantly. Otherwise, the blades will take time.
- If your belt starts quickly in a few seconds, it means there’s no issue with the belt.
- However, if the belt takes time to start, it’s a confirmation that the mower deck belt needs adjustment.
How to Adjust the Mower Deck Belt? Set the Deck Belt Correctly
Below are the steps you need to follow if you want to adjust the mower deck belt correctly. Make sure you follow all steps right, and for better understanding, we suggest you watch the video.
Step By Step Process to Adjust Mower Deck Belt:
- Hold the lever of the mower and push it all the way up to engage the blade.
- Check the deck; there will be two things spring and belt.
- If the spring and the belt feel stretched, it means you have to adjust them.
- To adjust the belt, you have first to disengage the lever.
- Go back towards the deck, and hold the wrench to loosen the bracket bolts.
- Afterward, you’ll be able to set the belt bracket up and down.
- Pull the bracket all the way toward you and tighten the bolts.
- Again, engage the lever and see whether the spring and belt still feel stretched.
- If they are stretched, repeat the process again and tighten the bracket more.
- In case the spring and belt are adjusted properly and don’t feel stretched, then congratulations as you’ve adjusted the mower deck belt.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can you set the mower deck belt too tight?
Yes, you can set the mower deck belt too tight, but it can be dangerous for the machine. A tight belt means it will add stress to the pulley causing damage to your machine. That’s why the too-tight belt isn’t recommended.
Can you use any belt in your mower?
No, you can’t use any belt in your mower. All mowers come with different sizes of belts; if you don’t use the same belt (the size should be the same), then the belt won’t work efficiently. And the chances are it will come off frequently after some time.
How to choose the right belt for the mower?
To choose the right belt, you have to check the size, and for that, you need two things: a regular measurement tape and a belt measurement tool. Check the width of the belt with regular measurement tape. Then use the belt measurement tool, tuck both ends of the belt into the tool jaws and see the results. If it’s 3L, the size of the belt would be ⅜”, 4L means ½”, and 5L means ⅝”.
If we see from the point of view of a person who’s learning about how tight should a mower deck belt be, it’s a difficult process. First, you have to check whether it’s an adjustment problem or the belt is worn out, then you have to change or adjust it.
But believe us, all of your efforts are worth it; you can save a good amount of money that you might have to spend on labor costs. In addition, it’s good to get some hands-on knowledge so you’ll be able to solve most of the mower problems yourself.