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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi guys,
I have a Craftsman 12.5 hp 42 in cut rider I believe its a mid 90's model. Well I had the mower deck belt to start to shred so I decided to change it. I got it changed and I am pretty sure i got it back on right.. but now when I try to start the mower the blades are engaged.... I have the lever in the disengage position... Ive looked and looked and cant figure out what I did wrong. And I did buy the right belt. Any help would be great!:praying:
 

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you most likely have the belt routed outside of a guide. Check your belt closely and make sure it is in contact ONLY with the pulleys.
 

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Send is the model number of your tractor and we can look at the manual and help you out. But MerlinMech is right, your belt routing is probably incorrect and the manual will greatly assist you in getting it right.

This might help you as well:


Hi guys,
I have a Craftsman 12.5 hp 42 in cut rider I believe its a mid 90's model. Well I had the mower deck belt to start to shred so I decided to change it. I got it changed and I am pretty sure i got it back on right.. but now when I try to start the mower the blades are engaged.... I have the lever in the disengage position... Ive looked and looked and cant figure out what I did wrong. And I did buy the right belt. Any help would be great!:praying:
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Its a model 917.255582


If anyone sees anything wrong please let me know! If i need to take the deck off i will to take a pic i will.







I forgot to mention that I do have a manual for this and it has a decent diagram. Everything looks right as far as I can tell. Maybe I should just go ahead and pull the deck off again to take a photo so you guys can see it all.
 

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From the pictures you posted the routing looks correct. What is not clearly visible is how the belt is routed around the clutch pulley (see picture below), and how much slack exists at the PTO when the clutch is dis-engaged.



When the Attachment Clutch Lever is in the dis-engaged (down) position the Clutch pulley moves away from the belt (via return-spring tension) and the belt slackens on the PTO Pulley. The belt should show 1/2" of slack between the belt and the front of the PTO pulley. You should be able snug the belt forward and get an index finger between the belt and PTO pulley if all is correct.

There are several Keepers (both on the tractor frame and the deck, which keep the belts from coming off the pulleys when slackened. These keepers should not interfere with the belts travel or paths, just keep them in place.

When the Attachment Clutch Lever is pulled up and locked, the Clutch pulley is moved in the direction of the arrow (against the return-spring tension), tightening the belt by removing the slack in the belt, and forcing it tight around the PTO Pulley.

Keep in mind as well that the "V" portion of the belt is inside both Mandrel pulleys and the PTO pulley, while the Idler and Clutch roll on the flat back-side of the belt. Check that the belt is not twisted between all of the pulleys. If it is twisted, it'll be twisted in two places.

I suspect that one of three conditions exist; 1) You have the belt routed incorrectly; 2) The Clutch Pulley tension springs are not pulling the clutch pulley away from the belt; or 3) You have the incorrect length belt on the machine.

Allow me to explain the last statement. I've seen several cases with LT1000's where a Craftsman stock belt (96" long) was installed on the machine by the owner, per the correct part number (and 96" length) in the owners manual, only to find it was too short and resulted in the situation you described. Even with the clutch dis-engaged there was not enough belt slack to relieve it from contact with the PTO pulley.

I later found from craftsman that a 97" belt was the correct size for the machine, and the manual was wrong. Why? I have no idea, but that is my experience.

Also, there should be a belt routing sticker on the bottom of one of the foot boards. I can't remember which side, but if it's still on the machine, that is the normal location for its placement.
 

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coolhandblack,

I notice three things about your setup that raise questions.

1. The belt looks like it is on backwards or rather inside out. The wide part of the V-belt should be riding on the idlers, and the narrow part of the belt should be riding in the V-grooves on the mandrel drive pulleys. I don't know how this could possibly cause the problem you're having unless it's making the belt too short so it's too tight or that merlinmech / McGuire 2003 are correct, the belt is routed incorrectly or riding against something it shouldn't be. Because the belt is inside out it may be dragging on the two arms on the deck that attach to the suspension arms. This could be causing the shredding.

2. I also notice the two sets, or is there one set of two from different angles, of vertical wire retainers that look like they are to keep the belt in the correct place that seem like the belt should be routed between each set rather than behind or in front of them.

3. The lift links, the light colored rods that hold up the rear suspension arms, are installed questionably. The one on the left side is behind the stud on the suspension arm, which looks correct, but the one on the right side is in front of the stud which looks wrong.

Runningbare
 

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TOO!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Re: Help! (Update)

Hi fellas,

Just wanted to give you all an update. I took your advice and flipped the belt inside out and put it back on. That was my problem all along. I was pretty sure i had the darn thing routed correctly. Boy I do feel dumb though for not catching it earlier. Im just happy it was an easy fix. I told my wife that I had gotten it working and she asked how I did it. I told her that I took a pic and posted it on this site and asked some people who know what they are doing...lol

Once again thanks,
Shawn:thThumbsU
 

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coolhand,:trink39:

I'm glad you're up and running!!! I'm kind of surprised that was all that was wrong.

You also need to watch that lift link on the right side. If is slips, your mower could tilt, cutting deeper on the right side.

RB
 

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We all have done things like that and much worse. This group will figure out any problem you will ever have. Glad you got if working. I hate to admit it but I did that once myself.
 

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Re: Help! (Update)

See, we can ask for directions sweetheart!


Hi fellas,
Just wanted to give you all an update. I took your advice and flipped the belt inside out and put it back on. That was my problem all along. I was pretty sure i had the darn thing routed correctly. Boy I do feel dumb though for not catching it earlier. Im just happy it was an easy fix. I told my wife that I had gotten it working and she asked how I did it. I told her that I took a pic and posted it on this site and asked some people who know what they are doing...lol
Once again thanks,
Shawn:thThumbsU
 

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Glad you got it fixed! You have added one more bit of wisdom to your collection. I'll bet you never do that with a belt again!
 
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