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Rick, Factory Authorized Trainer
Category: Small Engine
Satisfied Customers: 8057
Experience:  Outdoor Power Equipment technical trainer since 1990, covering eight states.
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How to replace drive belt on Murray Riding Mower?

Resolved Question:

How to replace the drive belt on the Murray Riding Mower without taking it apart?

Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Small Engine
Expert:  Rick replied 7 years ago.

On most units you can put the deck into the lowest cutting position to gain enough clearance for the job.

If you can give me your complete model and serial number off the rider I should be able to tell you more.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
It is a Model # 38608X92B. I can drop the blade housing and even remove it. But it appears the rear pulley has no clearance path over the top. Can I work the belt over the wheels one at a time?
Expert:  Rick replied 7 years ago.

To be sure, are you referring to the transmission belt or the deck belt?

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
The drive belt from the engine to the transmission.
Expert:  Rick replied 7 years ago.

Always fun. First be sure to remove the spark plug for safety.

You'll find it a tight fit and you've probably already figured out the blade belt has to come of the bottom of the engine stack pulley first. I'd drop the whole deck since it comes off pretty easy just to give myself the extra room. There's a single idler pulley that swings into the belt close to the transmission. If you remove the idler while your installing, you'll have a bit more slack to play with.

You'll need to roll the new belt onto the transmission pully and it'll be tight, but you should be able to work it in there. ONLY IF YOU REALLY HAVE TO, you can loosen the four shoulder bolts that hold the transaxle to the frame to gain a bit more clearance between the transmission and the frame. You'd have to jack the frame up while the wheels remained on the ground. But I've only seen that as necessary when the frame was tweaked, so keep that one in you back pocket and forget it for now.

Your belt guides can be fun too. They have flange nuts holding them from the underside of the frame and are really just long hex-head bolts that are coming down from above. You'll need to loosen them or "tweak" them out of the way most likely. When you're done, they should be back in position 1/8" from the belt when it's seated. Otherwise the belt may not disengage properly.

Also, save yourself some potential headache and check all the pulleys for wear as you go. You don't want to do all that work and have the belt shred on you. When pulleys wear, the shoulders get wider and allow the belt to ride deeper in the groove, often getting caught and damaged in the process. Also check the bearings on the idler for free rotation.

I hope this is helpful! Keep me posted.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

The rear pulley appears to be anchored to the chassis on the top and the transmission on the bottom.

How do I get the belt around the pulley?

Expert:  Rick replied 7 years ago.

The pulley is attached to the transmission. Here's an illustration that might help.

Click on the first motion drive button.

Parts List

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Thanks for the illustration. OK, so once I remove the belt tension pulley, I can roll the belt over the top of the transmission pulley to remove it and replace it? It appears from the illustration that ther is no mounting on the top of the pulley.
Expert:  Rick replied 7 years ago.

Yes. It's open space above the pulley. Tight, but open. If the old belt is still on there I would use it to find the right position to roll it on.

In the shop we just cut the old belt off. It'll take you a little longer, but I think it's worthwhile to do the learning with the old belt rather than risk damaging the new one.

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