Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: georgia's toe-nails of the foot hills
Re: 1998 Craftsman LT electric clutch
I have the understanding, from reading, that v-belts do NOT stretch. They will wear the sides of the Vee, and slip further into the pulley until they are so deep they no longer are in tension, and develop slip and melt and destruction.
The idler in the picture appears to be at an angle. One can remove the idler shaft support arm, and tweak the angle, hopefully straightening the arm so the idler pulley runs square to the backside of the belt. Some width is there in the idler pulley to handle the different positions the belt will attain depending on the height of cut setting. The PTO pulley is fixed relative to the chassis, but the deck is movable. The change is 'handled' by the idler pulleys(two on my two-blade deck) with their expanded pulley width allowing the belt angle to vary a bit without causing the belt to ride out of the pulley.
I'd check that the idler arm should be straightened a bit for proper operation. If the belt seems to be riding against either edge of the idler, an angled shaft caused by a bent arm might be the cause.
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