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Old 10-12-2009, 09:27 AM   post #1 of 3
ggsteve
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Default Belt squeal from 42" mower deck after one year?

I'm getting some intermittent belt squeal from the mower deck belt on my Craftsman Pro with a 42" deck. While I was mowing/vacuuming leaves yesterday I could hear it start "whistling". If I disengaged and reengaged the deck it would go away, sometimes for a minute, sometimes for 15 minutes. It had happened once or twice before but went away and stayed away until yesterday. I checked the belt routing, it's fine, and things seem to turn easily. The belt looks fine. I have not dropped the deck and checked each spindle/pulley separately yet.

There is no way to grease the spindles on this 42" deck. Could something have failed with perhaps 20-25 hrs total of mowing? I always drop the rpms before engaging the blades. Is there anything else I should look at before I call Sears for a (warranty) service call? I'm reluctant to call Sears because the problem may be hard to reproduce, it doesn't happen right away, and it doesn't happen every time. Should I just wait until it gets progressively worse, as it appears to be doing?
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08 Craftsman Professional 24hp B&S ELS 42" deck 3 bin bagger Berco 44" blower & 48" blade OTC cab
68 JD 112H 47 deck 43 blade
69 JD 110H 37A blower 50 cart
71 JD 140H3 integral hitch 54" 4-way blade 46" deck cozy cab
71 JD 140H1
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78 JD 316 49 blower
81 JD 317 Onan JB Sr. 46" deck 80 Cart
84 JD 214 39 deck 43 blade

Toro 212-5 36" blower
74 Concord (MTD) 990
12 cu. ft. poly cart, JD front dethatcher, plug aerator, drop spreader, box blade, 10" bottom plow, sweeper
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Old 10-12-2009, 12:39 PM   post #2 of 3
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Default Re: Belt squeal from 42" mower deck after one year?

You might have an idler pulley bearing going out,that seizes momentarily,then frees itself up..or maybe enough leaves got into the belt to make it slip,or too many being mulched overloaded the belt, and made it slip temporarily..sometimes just moisture will make a belt "squealy" too,until it dries thouroghly..

I have had belts last anywhere from ONE mowing session,to two seasons,on my tractors..I think the belt itself has a lot to do with it myself..and the deck being old and a bit sloppy on its mounts..

I have two acres to mow and sometimes wait until the lawn is kinda deep before cutting it,that has a tendency to reduce belt life some..but most of the time when I "lose" a belt,its because an idler pulley seized or the belt de-railed and got mangled,and usually thats curtains for one,once they jump ship they keep on doing it until they get completely trashed..
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Old 10-12-2009, 02:08 PM   post #3 of 3
ggsteve
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Default Re: Belt squeal from 42" mower deck after one year?

Valid points but I don't think we've hit on it yet. I'm keeping ahead of the leaves this year so it should not have been stressful on the mower at all. It was dry yesterday so I don't think the belt was wet. The deck and belt have about 20 hours on them and I vacuum the debris off the top of the deck with my shop vac after every use. I can't believe a bearing could fail that quickly but I guess that makes the most sense. I just took tension off of the belt and everything spins freely. The belt looks almost new.
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08 Craftsman Professional 24hp B&S ELS 42" deck 3 bin bagger Berco 44" blower & 48" blade OTC cab
68 JD 112H 47 deck 43 blade
69 JD 110H 37A blower 50 cart
71 JD 140H3 integral hitch 54" 4-way blade 46" deck cozy cab
71 JD 140H1
72 JD 110 parts
78 JD 316 49 blower
81 JD 317 Onan JB Sr. 46" deck 80 Cart
84 JD 214 39 deck 43 blade

Toro 212-5 36" blower
74 Concord (MTD) 990
12 cu. ft. poly cart, JD front dethatcher, plug aerator, drop spreader, box blade, 10" bottom plow, sweeper
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