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JON, Small Engine Technician
Category: Small Engine
Satisfied Customers: 1200
Experience:  Certified Small Engine Technician
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I have a Ferris IS-5000 zero turn mower, 2004 model year,

Customer Question

I have a Ferris IS-5000 zero turn mower, 2004 model year, with a 72-inch cutting deck.
The idler pulley nut came loose, and it started throwing the belt frequently (5-minute intervals). I replaced the idler pulley, and got a new nylon nut. I noticed the spring tensioner eye bolt was about to wear through, and installed a new one with the other parts.
Now the tensioner jumps out of the stationary bracket after just a minute or two of mowing. I measured the location of the tensioner nut, and made the same setting on the new eyebolt, then tried a turn looser and a turn tighter as it jumped out of the bracket repeatedly.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Small Engine
Expert:  JON replied 1 year ago.

Did you make sure you got a new OEM eye bolt? Same sizes all around Length, thickness, and all? May sound dumb, but I m just wanting to cover everything. Was the stationary. Was the anchor moved at anytime, or is it loose or twisted? All washers and spacers the same sizes (if replaced)

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The eye bolt is a standard 3/8x8 inch eye bolt. The local farm supply place that stocks and sells Ferris parts suggested just getting one from their hardware department, which I did once before when the bolt wore out. That said, I had to open the eye about 1/16 inch to get it to fit on the mounting bushings.
After I sent the inquiry yesterday, I returned to that local parts desk for a longer discussion. We ordered a new stationary anchor, wondering if the eyebolt had worn out the side of the anchor, turning an enclosed hole into a slot. We'll examine the new anchor to see if the "slot" was original or a result of wear.
Directly answering your question about the location of the anchor: I have not moved it at all, and it seems to be tightly secured to the deck.
It frankly seems that Ferris laid an egg with this deck design: a 211-inch long belt that jumps off at the slightest provocation. After 2 or 3 jumps, the belt "spine" gets so wobbly that you end up replacing it. I've probably had to replace the belt about every 25 hours of mowing over the 12 years I've had the mower.
Expert:  JON replied 1 year ago.

Yes that is a long belt. Most companies use 2 belts when you get to a length as this for just that reason. no matter the tension, there can be a lot of play. Let me know how it works out, and if I can do anything further for you.