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Deere Dr
Deere Dr, Small Engine Technician
Category: Small Engine
Satisfied Customers: 236
Experience:  John Deere service mgr for 18 yrs. Briggs, Kohler, Kawasaki, expert level for all
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I have a John Deere 14SB mower. I am having problems with

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I have a John Deere 14SB mower. I am having problems with the self propel. When I let off the drive lever, it seems like the pulley is dropping too far down and the belt starts to come off. Then the next time I engage the drive lever, the belt pops off. I have looked for some type of adjustment and can't seem to find any. The pulley has actually been dropping down far enough to rub on the deck casting. I have messed with the cable adjustment, which has not done any good. What limits how far the transmission drops down to release the belt?
Nothing keeps the pulley from dropping except the cable.

The cable adjust where it mounts to the deck. Remove the cover and the cable is going straight up and down. Now locate the 2 nuts on the cable. This is where you adjust the cable.

FYI I work on 25 14SBs (the greatest mower ever built) a week. Every time I adjust the cable for a customer he ends up coming back with a broken cable.

The reason your pulley has dropped so low is because there are 2 or 3 wires in the cable that have broken.

Run the nuts all the way to the bottom of the adjusting area to get by but you will need a cable soon.

To keep the belt on the pulley simply bend the belt guides closer to the pulley.

No matter what breaks, never discard this mower. You will never be satisfied with anything else

Edited by Deere Dr on 11/10/2009 at 1:05 AM EST
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
If I adjust the cable to hold the pulley up, then the engagement bar does not go up to the handle like it used to. I did this and the belt still came off. Also, it is not as comfortable to operate with the bar so far away from the handle when the drive is engaged. I can try to bend the guide in, but there is only about 1/8" clearance to the belt when it is tight now. Is this something you have seen...the belt coming off the pulley as the drive disengages?
You are turning the nuts the wrong way on the cable.

Move the nuts towards the ground.

The only time I see this is when a customer needs a new cable.

There literally is nothing else there. The cable is the only thing that holds the tranny up. Period, that's it.
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Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I have moved the nuts as far down as possible (which in turn lifts the transmission up). It made the belt stay on a little better, but it would still eventually come off. But then the cable is so tight that the engagement bar does not lift all of the way up to the handle. I may try a longer belt or check into a new cable. Thanks.
Do not replace the belt.

Replace the cable, it's done. Your mower is 12 years old minimum. Cables wear out.

To tighten the belt guide I take a pry bar and wedge it against the deck and pry the guide over on the left side. On the right side i put a big pair of "Channel Locks" on the nut on the pulley and the other side on the belt guide and squeeze.