Every Troy Bilt riding mower relies on its drive belt. So when it loosens up, there’s a high chance the mower won’t perform as expected.
What to do when the drive belt loosens up? Easy – you tighten it up.
Sounds obvious, but many people may not have any idea what to do with it. That’s why we decided to make a guide and help anyone with a loosened drive belt in a Troy Bilt mower.
Are you one of these people? Then keep scrolling and learn how to tighten up the belt!
Table of Contents
What is a Lawn Mower Belt?
Before we get into the good stuff, let’s explain what a lawnmower drive belt is first.
To make it easy, we can say that most lawn mowers use a Power Take-Off (PTO) shaft and a crankshaft to move the machine.
But Troy Bilt riding lawn mowers don’t use any of those. Instead, they come with an array of pulleys connected to an electric clutch. This is how a riding mower from this brand operates.
But this pulleys system doesn’t work by itself. It needs a drive belt to function. And that’s precisely what it does.
A lawnmower belt has the sole purpose of moving the pulleys system inside a riding mower engine, powering up the wheels and the rest of the machine.
Step-by-Step Guide: How to Tighten Belt on Troy Belt Riding Mower?
Are you now certain your Troy Bilt drive belt needs some tightening? Then you need to follow this guide.
The process is relatively easy, and even an inexperienced person can do it. So don’t hesitate and try it.
1. Look for a Proper Area
Working with a riding mower can be difficult because of their size. That’s why we always recommend looking for a spacious and flat area where you can work comfortably.
Places like a driveway or garage are perfect for working with a lawnmower. But you may also find a patio or similar outdoor area to be ideal for the job.
In this area, you’re going to place the plastic sheet on the floor. That’s where you’re going to work to prevent any spillage of gas or oil from damaging the floor.
2. Prepare the Mower
Now that you’ve found the perfect place to work with your Troy Bilt riding mower, then it’s time to prepare it. Here’s what you need to do:
- Start by turning the lawnmower off completely. It’s obvious, but it’s worth remembering.
- Then disconnect the spark plug wire and remove the spark plug. This will prevent it from starting out of nowhere and possibly harming you or your house.
- Proceed to empty the gas tank of your lawnmower.
- Finish by checking that the oil dipstick is tightened up, so no oil leaks when you’re working with the mower.
This is an essential step to start working on tightening the belt. Don’t dismiss any of these aspects if you want to tighten up your mower belt effortlessly.
3. Remove the Deck Cover
The first step into tightening the belt is to get access to where it is. For that, you’ll have to remove the cover. Here’s how:
- Locate where the frame of the lawnmower is located. Then proceed by loosening up the clamp bolts with the wrench.
- If a wrench doesn’t work, you can also use pliers. This will help you loosen up the clamps more efficiently if they’re small.
- Now remove the cover carefully. Be sure not to operate the metal part too forcefully as it may bend.
With free access to the belt, then you can proceed to look for the tightening system.
4. Remove the Blade
The retention bolt is what attaches the blade to the machine. Here, you will have to remove it.
- First, remove the screw that’s located next to the rear tire. This will give you free access to the blade.
- Now locate the retention bolt. It is usually in the center of the blade. Then grab the wrench and unfasten the retention bolt as necessary.
- You can now remove the blade freely.
This will give you almost complete access to the belt.
5. Expose the Belt
While the belt is on your sight, you will still need to exposure if you want to tighten it up. Do this:
- Find the screws that hold the engine baffle to the deck. Unfasten and remove them accordingly.
- You can now remove the baffle (a circular part that connects the blade with the engine).
- This will give you access to the screw that fastens the belt cover on the deck. You need to remove it.
- Then proceed by locating the spring located between the transmission pulley and the belt cover. Remove this spring, and then you can get the cover out.
You now have complete access to the belt, and you can tighten it up as you want.
6. Adjust the Belt
You may see the belt now. It is rubber black and goes from the engine to the drive wheels. It can be as thick as 3/8 to 5/8 inches and usually looks tightened up to the pulleys.
Here’s how to adjust it:
- You will have to manipulate the transmission and the engine pulleys. Look for the cap screw in the middle of the pulley. Then loosen it up.
- This will give you access to the transaxle pulley, so you can manipulate and adjust the belt length as needed.
- Your focus should be on shortening the length of the belt, so it tightens up on the pulleys.
By now, you’ve successfully tightened it up. But you’re not finished yet.
7. Reinstall Everything
You need to reinstall every single piece you took off. We recommend reversing the order of tightening the belt.
- Start by placing the belt cover where it should be. Then place the engine baffle back. Screw it in tightly and be sure it doesn’t fall down.
- Then attach the blade accordingly. Remember to put the retention bolt back on its place so the blade attaches firmly.
- Finish by attaching the deck cover again. Place the screws and/or bolts where they belong and tighten them up.
Here, your mower is almost ready to be tested.
8. Reconnect and Test
Reconnect the cables and other parts that you disconnected first. Here’s how:
- Start by getting the connecting the spark plug wire on the spark plug. If you removed the spark plug, then screw in on the engine.
- Refill the fuel tank as needed. Check that no oil has come off. Then you can proceed to test.
- Start the mower as you would typically do. Drive it around and see whether it operates smoothly and problem-free.
If you’ve tested the mower and it works without problems, then you’ve successfully tightened up its drive belt.
You can also follow this video guide for a clearer idea of what to do:
How to Know if a Mower Belt Needs to be Tightened Up
At first sight, a loosen drive belt may not be apparent at first. But after a few uses, you may feel how the riding mower is not operating at its max.
Here are a few things you may experience:
1. Loosens Up
If you take a deep inspection into the riding mower and you see that it is not tightened up to the pulleys system – then you’re looking at a loosened belt.
At the same time, you may hear how the belt loosens up amid a mowing session. This will either produce squealing noises or just stop the machine from moving entirely.
2. Little Power
Another common problem is low riding mower. This happens because the drive belt is not producing enough force to move the machine. Thus, it doesn’t operate at its max, causing it to move at a slower pace than usual.
3. Buggy Operation
In case the belt is loosened up, and it gets stuck, then you’ll feel how they mower suddenly stops out of nowhere. This may even turn off the machine, causing it to work inconsistently.
You may think this doesn’t produce any damage, but it does. It can actually harm your lawn a lot – while making it harder for the engine to work and reducing its lifespan.
So, what can you do when this happens? Easy – you tighten up the drive belt.
Tool You’ll Need
- A socket wrench
- A screwdriver
- A set of pliers
- A pair of gloves
- A large plastic sheet
Tighten up Your Troy Bilt Riding Mower Belt Now!
Tightening the belt of your Troy Bilt riding mower may feel like a very easy deed. But if you don’t follow the right steps, it could actually become a massive headache.
Don’t worry, though. You can always follow our advice and steps to make it happen. This will help you tighten up the drive belt in a breeze.
Also read: How to Remove Troy Bilt Trimmer Head