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Donald
Donald, Small Engine Technician
Category: Small Engine
Satisfied Customers: 1869
Experience:  I have 25+ years of experience repairing 2 & 4 cycle engines
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Have a jdx320 riding mower. When I release the brake pedal

Customer Question

Have a jdx320 riding mower. When I release the brake pedal the mower will not move. It makes a loud noise. My wife says that the pulley appears to want to turn but will not
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Small Engine
Expert:  Donald replied 11 months ago.

Hello, and thank you for choosing Just Answer. My name is***** will be happy to assist you.

Expert:  Donald replied 11 months ago.

It is very likely that you have an idler pulley, that has a worn bearing, that is seizing.

Expert:  Donald replied 11 months ago.

It is very likely that you have an idler pulley, that has a worn bearing, that is seizing.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Is the idler pulley the pulley at the rear near transmission
or the front
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
If back, it looks like one bolt over plastic fan blade
Expert:  Donald replied 11 months ago.

It will be either one, or both. The best way to determine which is actually at fault, is by removing your belt from each of your idler pulleys, then spin each pulley by hand.

Expert:  Donald replied 11 months ago.

The faulty pulley will spin with lots of resistance, or make a rumbling noise ...

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I cant watch it while on mower, but the rumbling noise is there and smell of belt. So it must still turn or be trying to turn
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I mean must not be turning
Expert:  Donald replied 11 months ago.

The smell of belt, is a true indication of a bad idler pulley.

Expert:  Donald replied 11 months ago.

You can also lock your parking brake, to loosen your belt enough to spin your idler pulleys by hand.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
with parking brake on the real pulley will turn, the front will not
Expert:  Donald replied 11 months ago.

Thanks for checking. This confirms that your front pulley will need to be replaced.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
What are the chances that the transmission is the problem and not the pulley. I am going to try the pulley replacement anyway
Expert:  Donald replied 11 months ago.

It is very doubtful that your transmission is our problem. The frozen idler is at fault.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
thank you very much
Expert:  Donald replied 11 months ago.

You are very welcome! I truly hope all goes well for you.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
sorry Donald, I did not trace the belt to the right pulley up front. The front pully is spinning freely with brake on. I can turn the rear pulley but with lots of pressure
Expert:  Donald replied 11 months ago.

Thanks for double checking. The rear pulley will need to be replaced instead ...

Expert:  Donald replied 11 months ago.

Your transmission pulley, and the pulley under your engine is definitely not our problem.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
do you know the proper name for that pulley with plastic fan attached at rear
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
for a replacement part
Expert:  Donald replied 11 months ago.

The pulley that has a fan attached, is your transmission pulley. How many idler pulleys do you see?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
That is correct. I only saw one more pulley attached forward on the mower. It spun easily with brake on. Should the belt be around more that I may have missed. I will look again
Expert:  Donald replied 11 months ago.

Take a look at the image below.

Expert:  Donald replied 11 months ago.

Click on link to open image ...

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I am driving you crazy. I am sorry. The belt does run to the same pulley up front that was not spinning. The bottom of the same shaft has a pulley to the mowing deck. thats why I thought I was mistaken. The belt from the transmission runs at the top of the mower to the same shaft. So the front probably needs replacing. It does not move at all
Expert:  Donald replied 11 months ago.

you are not driving me crazy. This is why I am here. Take your time. You are correct. Your belt goes from your transmission pulley, to the double pulley underneath your engine. In the middle is two idler pulleys that are there to keep your belt tight.

Expert:  Donald replied 11 months ago.

I do believe that one of the pulleys in the middle is causing our problem ...

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
looks like a beast to replace. should it in fact have slack or be able to turn when the mowing deck belt is still attached at bottom of shaft
Expert:  Donald replied 11 months ago.

Your mower deck belt will not affect the spinning of your idler pulleys. If you remove your mower deck, you can get a better view of your pulleys.