How to Adjust Belt Tension on Riding Lawn Mower

Agricultural practices such as cutting grass encourage the strongest grass shoots to flourish while leaving the weaker ones behind. Over time you will have a lush and healthy lawn if you regularly cut your lawn. The only way you can do this is by using a lawn mower. There are many parts of a riding lawn mower, to make it work properly and give you the perfect result, all the parts of the lawn mower should be working flawlessly.

One of the most common problems that occurs is uneven cuts. If you see uneven cuts of your lawn after mowing or see your lawn mower leaving untrimmed lawn patches, then it is probably because of loose belt tension. So, in this article, we are going to give you tips on How to Adjust Belt Tension on Riding Lawn Mower

Adjusting the Belt Tension on a Riding Lawnmower, step-by-step:

1. Park Your Riding Mower

To fix any part of your lawn mower, the first thing you need to do is to park your lawn mower in a suitable place where you can work without any hassle. If  you keep your lawn mower in your garage or shed and that is narrow then, it is not going to be easy fixing it. So, you should find a suitable place to park your mower where you can work peacefully without interruption and maintain safety. Then, hit the parking brake pedal on the left to park the mower to the side.

2. Turn on the mower

The next thing you need to do is to turn on the mower using the ignition switch. Due to the fact that you have not tightened your drive belt yet, your blades should not be moving yet.

3. Access the current belt:

After that you need to see if the current drive belt is worth tightening. There is usually a lever beside the steering wheel for engaging the blades of most riding lawn mower models. Start your engine and raise the throttle lever to the maximum to check whether the drive belt is properly tensioned. Engage the cutting blades by pressing the lever up. It means the drive belt is tight enough if the blades immediately cut after you push the lever. However, if you hear a whirring sound as soon as you push the lever, that might indicate a problem with the drive belt.

4. Inspection of the mower deck:

Ensure your drive belt is intact and that chunks and cracks are not to be seen. Please change it immediately when it appears damaged.

5. Inspect the swing arm:

In the next step, make sure the swing arm of your lawn mower is free to rotate. The swing arm consists of two springs attached to it which you should check. You can So, hold the swing arm and notice if it is moving back and forth freely like a swing. If not, it needs to be fixed. You can lubricate its rotating point by spraying some lubricant on it. To free the swing arm from its connection, use your fingers to spread the lube over the area. Once you are certain that the belt is in good condition and the swingarm is not defective, you can adjust the straps.

6. Engage the blades:

Engage the blades as if you had activated them by pushing the lever forward. Make sure the belt is intact and the spring is in good condition. The belt needs to be tightened because both parts are loose.

7. Adjust the belt using a cable:

If the loosen belt is the problem and you are confirmed then you should lock the blade and lever. Assuming you have noted the blade lever and spring’s wire is linked to a bracket on the deck. Pull the wire back towards you after loosening the nuts on the bracket. Check the bolts for tightness and to see whether the string is also stretched.

8. Ensure that the belts are tensioned properly

The ability to twist a belt with your thumb and finger a half turn and feel resistance is a typical rule of thumb for the right tension. The belt does not have enough strain if you can turn it more than 1/2. However, you have too much strain on the belt if you can not spin it a half turn. Belts wear out more quickly with loose belts since they slip along the pulleys. This could also affect the alternator’s ability to recharge the battery properly. The belt may make a loud screeching noise while in operation. Adding too much tension to belts can damage their bearings.

9. Rearrange the lawn mower back together

By replacing the components required to access the belt tensioners,you can reassemble the vehicle. You can test the operation of the vehicle by running it for several minutes and shutting it off.

Final Words

We hope this article helps you to troubleshoot the belt tension of your lawn mower and help you to achieve the lawn you desire. However, troubleshooting and proper maintenance can keep all the problems away. It is therefore important to clean your lawn mower’s deck periodically and check whether its components are working properly.

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