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#4524506 - 09/24/17 03:11 AM 38" Riding Mower, idler spring/pulley bad?
Crispysea Offline


Registered: 04/14/17
Posts: 403
Loc: TN USA
I have a 38" MTD riding mower, and the engine is solid. However, the springs and belts are old. The blade hasn't been wanting to disengage. I hit a stick, and now it won't start. I think the idler pulley has locked up. Any ideas?


Edited by Crispysea (09/24/17 03:12 AM)

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#4524533 - 09/24/17 06:03 AM Re: 38" Riding Mower, idler spring/pulley bad? [Re: Crispysea]
Eddie Online   sleepy


Registered: 12/07/03
Posts: 9579
Loc: Florida, Cape Coral
I'd remove the belt and spin each pully to see which on is causing the problem. Replace defective part and get a new belt. Ed
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#4524552 - 09/24/17 07:05 AM Re: 38" Riding Mower, idler spring/pulley bad? [Re: Crispysea]
Crispysea Offline


Registered: 04/14/17
Posts: 403
Loc: TN USA
I just put a new belt on, and it was working well. I'll check the pulleys.

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#4524587 - 09/24/17 08:14 AM Re: 38" Riding Mower, idler spring/pulley bad? [Re: Crispysea]
LeakySeals Offline


Registered: 02/18/11
Posts: 6578
Loc: Hudson, NH
My 50" has some pulleys running on front of belt, some on back so make sure belt is not twisted
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#4524604 - 09/24/17 08:28 AM Re: 38" Riding Mower, idler spring/pulley bad? [Re: Crispysea]
Crispysea Offline


Registered: 04/14/17
Posts: 403
Loc: TN USA
The drive belt turns. I think it's the transmission belt.

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#4524605 - 09/24/17 08:30 AM Re: 38" Riding Mower, idler spring/pulley bad? [Re: Crispysea]
Linctex Offline


Registered: 12/31/16
Posts: 6178
Loc: Waco, TX
Welcome to mower ownership, and the smaller they are (38"-42") the more poorly they are built.

As mentioned, simple troubleshooting by isolating components is needed to determine the cause.

If you find everything spins as it should, then look for a "binding" issue when it's all assembled.
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(Re:VOA)"it's nearly impossible to actually know the particular additives that are in there at what concentrations."

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#4524623 - 09/24/17 08:57 AM Re: 38" Riding Mower, idler spring/pulley bad? [Re: Crispysea]
knerml Offline


Registered: 04/05/05
Posts: 481
Loc: NE Ohio
I have a 3 year old 42" MTD Pony and every spindle and idler pulley has failed in less than 165 hours. Things might be binding when the belt is under tension.

Suggestion - Pull the deck, and check both pulleys and spindles. There should be no noticeable free play, grinding or housing cracking.

You can get these parts cheap on Amazon Prime. All are easy to replace. Part numbers are probably listed on your mower. The MTD parts are cheaply made, so do not be afraid to try after market parts.
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#4524633 - 09/24/17 09:10 AM Re: 38" Riding Mower, idler spring/pulley bad? [Re: knerml]
Linctex Offline


Registered: 12/31/16
Posts: 6178
Loc: Waco, TX
Originally Posted By: knerml
I have a 3 year old 42" MTD Pony and every spindle and idler pulley has failed in less than 165 hours. The MTD parts are cheaply made, so do not be afraid to try after market parts.


All of the parts on these mowers is built to a very low quality / durability standard.
_________________________
"The evidence demands a verdict".
(Re:VOA)"it's nearly impossible to actually know the particular additives that are in there at what concentrations."

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#4524659 - 09/24/17 09:48 AM Re: 38" Riding Mower, idler spring/pulley bad? [Re: Crispysea]
Crispysea Offline


Registered: 04/14/17
Posts: 403
Loc: TN USA
I've had this for about 8 years. It's done very well. I've replaced just blades, plugs, and filters. Of course, I only run it on non-ethanol gas, and store it in a shed.


Edited by Crispysea (09/24/17 09:48 AM)

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#4525425 - 09/25/17 05:40 AM Re: 38" Riding Mower, idler spring/pulley bad? [Re: Linctex]
Lubener Offline


Registered: 01/22/11
Posts: 2577
Loc: N.Ohio
Originally Posted By: Linctex
Originally Posted By: knerml
I have a 3 year old 42" MTD Pony and every spindle and idler pulley has failed in less than 165 hours. The MTD parts are cheaply made, so do not be afraid to try after market parts.


All of the parts on these mowers is built to a very low quality / durability standard.

MTD is at the lower end of the market. You get what you pay for.
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#4525695 - 09/25/17 11:34 AM Re: 38" Riding Mower, idler spring/pulley bad? [Re: Crispysea]
Crispysea Offline


Registered: 04/14/17
Posts: 403
Loc: TN USA
It's a cheap mower, but I have a small yard and barely use it. Plus, I got it way cheaper than MSRP. I checked the belts and pulleys, and they move well. I think it's the idler spring. The blade won't engage fully, so it won't start.

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#4525714 - 09/25/17 12:02 PM Re: 38" Riding Mower, idler spring/pulley bad? [Re: Crispysea]
mk378 Offline


Registered: 09/27/15
Posts: 1421
Loc: USA
If you're saying the starter doesn't even try, check the interlock switch on the blade control linkage (I assume it is not an electric blade clutch, rather on cheaper mowers the blade lever tightens the belt).

A mower with the blades unable to disengage is not safe. You should fix that.

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#4525857 - 09/25/17 02:36 PM Re: 38" Riding Mower, idler spring/pulley bad? [Re: Crispysea]
Crispysea Offline


Registered: 04/14/17
Posts: 403
Loc: TN USA
I fixed it! The ignition switch was bad. The fuse and interlocks were fine. I replaced the shift belt, and the blades disengage now.

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