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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys,

Looking for some advice. Bought my Case 448 in the spring which came with a mower deck that hadn't seen much use from previous owner. However all parts were there and seemed operational so I figured it shouldn't be too difficult to get working. Sure enough, I sharpened up the blades a bit, got a new internal belt and got it mowing. Caveat: I'm just learning all of this, so no guarantees the blades are balanced. The old belt had very uneven wear, which I thought was odd, but didn't know what to make of that.

Fast forward a few months... Noticing that occasionally, when I engage the mower, I'll get some burning rubber smell and a bit of smoke, but it seems to go away once blades are up to speed. I also started noticing more noise coming from down there with the mower in general. So I decided to pull it out and have a look and maybe clean it up. There was some grass and junk inside, but overall everything looked like it was still 'in place'. This is a photo of the belt tension, which seems quite loose to me. (I could pull it out that far with just the weight of the mower deck holding me back). Getting it on and off is quite easy and easier than it was when the belt was newly installed.



I took a closer look at the belt and noticed the same uneven wear that the old belt showed, though not as drastic yet. All of this is after maybe 6 times of mowing 2 or 3 acres (a couple of those times were pretty tall grass). This photo is a side profile of the internal V belt. You can see some parts have already been worn down way more than others. There was accumulations of rubber 'dust' / 'shavings' from the worn belt.



So, I'm guessing the problem is somewhere else. All the pulleys do spin without difficulty, though they're stop pretty quick after I give them a spin (with or without the blades attached).

I'll attach some pictures of my pulleys and blades in the event those are the source of the issue.






Is belt slippage to be expected when engaging the mower? If yes, then are my pulleys in too 'rough' of shape that they're wearing off the belt? If belt slippage is not to be expected or desirable, do I need to get a slightly shorter belt? As I mentioned, this one wasn't this loose when I first installed it. Or could it be caused by too much resistance because of shot bearings and/or unbalanced blades?

BTW, I do intend on giving it a good cleaning at the end of the season. Hope to have it last many years.

Thanks for any advice you can offer,
Jordan
 

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Check that the tension pulley bracket moves freely ( take off the belt and spring) they have a habit of freezing up. Clean / grease it. Adding a nylon washer between the bracket and deck will keep it free longer
 

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Do you have the proper belt, factory belts are slightly wider than store bought.
It looks as if the belt is engaging the bottom of the pulleys and not the sides.

A "GOOD" mandrel will spin quite awhile, I`d also investigate replacing the spindle bearings and check the shafts for repairs done by p/o`s
 

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You have the wrong belt. Contact bhildret. He posts in threads on here all the time so he isn't hard to find. You also need to clean those pulleys up. If I were you, I'd take the pulleys off, install six new bearings, have someone media blast the pulleys to remove all the rust and then spray paint the pulleys everywhere with 2 or 3 coats of enamel. The new belt will remove the paint where it contacts the pulley but the paint will keep the rust away from the rest of the groove.

Make sure that the arm that the tension pulley bolts to gets removed so you can clean up the pivot and coat it with anti-seize compound. That arm needs to move effortlessly. Your spring looks to be in good shape so it should be fine. It's far wiser to change out those bearings NOW before a failure happens than after a failure happens.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the input guys. It is a Napa belt, thought I'd read that they were 'close enough'. I will look into getting the pulleys cleaned up (is that much cheaper than replacing?) and getting new factory bearings and belt.
 

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Thanks for the input guys. It is a Napa belt, thought I'd read that they were 'close enough'. I will look into getting the pulleys cleaned up (is that much cheaper than replacing?) and getting new factory bearings and belt.
As far as cleaning up the pulleys, a hand grinder outfitted with a wire wheel (available @ TSC) can be used to clean them up on the deck if the brearings are good. Ues a straightedge to check the alignment of the front/drive pulley.. They are the usual weak spot and are subject to bending/tilting back which will eat up your belts.. :goodl:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks guys. I have a wire wheel, used it for cleaning up the underside. Can you elaborate on the alignment with a straight edge of the front drive pulley? What exactly are we checking for alignment? The drive belt seems to be in decent shape still, it is a factory belt.
 

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I bought a used 448 two years ago and the deck had pulleys with rust and rough surfaces on them similar to yours. I tried dressing them up with a wire wheel and emery cloth and replaced the belt with a new factory belt. It ate several of the factory belts while I eliminated problems. The problems went away when I purchased new pulleys from Brian and installed them. They are not that expensive so I'd recommend replacing them along with spindle bearings. Amazing how much quieter and smoother the deck ran with new pulleys installed. I now have two years on my belt and no signs of wear are evident.

Also, are you engaging the mower PTO clutch at high engine speeds? That can cause belt slippage and wear as well as burning up your clutch. Engage the deck at slightly over idle speed and then throttle up to mow.

JN
 

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The problems went away when I purchased new pulleys from Brian and installed them. They are not that expensive so I'd recommend replacing them along with spindle bearings. Amazing how much quieter and smoother the deck ran with new pulleys installed. I now have two years on my belt and no signs of wear are evident.
My invoice shows pulleys @ $22 / Belt @ $28 / Bearings @ $9

Might as well buy the genuine parts, they fit, they work, they last.
JMO

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