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#4759432 - 05/17/18 05:54 AM Cub Cadet Throwing/Breaking Deck Belts
Ifixyawata Offline


Registered: 09/13/15
Posts: 546
Loc: NE Ohio
My mother bought a used Cub Cadet LT2042 last year and used it most of all summer with no issues.

This year was a late start to get the mower out and start mowing and, as such, the grass was pretty tall and heavy. After I got it running and took a test lap I left her to it to finish mowing. A day or two later she contacted me and told me that the grass was so high it was causing the deck to clog with grass and that she was beginning to smell burning rubber when engaging the blades.

I went over yesterday expecting to simply find the belt off and maybe something wedged in the blades. Indeed I found a large amount of grass underneath and the PTO belt was off. After I got it back on, I took a test run and all seemed well.

At this point the grass is so high that my wife and I were just going to cut it for her. In the first hour of attempted mowing, the thing threw the PTO belt 4 times. The PTO belt showed no issues aside from what appeared to be minor wear. I finally tried to take a few laps around and it was smooth sailing for most of the first lap and then the PTO belt had come off again, or so I had thought. At this point I got underneath it, deciding to just replace the PTO belt regardless of how intact it was and found that the spindle belt (the one the runs entirely on the deck) had broken completely.

I went into TSC and, though they didn't have the correct belt, I did manage to find that it was a 61" x 1/2" and found a Husky brand 'generic' belt that matched. I got back, put the whole thing back together and took it two full laps, cutting a full pass of heavy grass and it worked flawlessly. Handed it off to my wife and it worked well for the first two passes for her also and then, BAM! Broke the PTO belt.

I'm at a loss, now. I took the deck off, I found that there are a couple extra grease fittings I didn't pump grease into when I got the tractor out for the season, but, everything spins freely underneath, I can't imagine what's causing this issue.

Right now my plan is to source a PTO belt online and in the mean time get those other lube points pumped with grease (double pulley and pulley pivot point). Anyone know why this thing is suddenly breaking belts?
_________________________
2004 Mercury Mountaineer 4.6 M1 High Mileage 10w-40 (Summer)
2001 Ford Focus 2.0 Zetec Pennzoil Euro L 5w-30

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#4759444 - 05/17/18 06:06 AM Re: Cub Cadet Throwing/Breaking Deck Belts [Re: Ifixyawata]
demarpaint Offline


Registered: 07/03/05
Posts: 30157
Loc: NY
Is the belt running true and properly adjusted? I've seen belts slightly out of alignment causing all sorts of problems. Is it the right belt? Slightly larger can cause issues like you're experiencing.
_________________________
God Bless Our Troops


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#4759459 - 05/17/18 06:29 AM Re: Cub Cadet Throwing/Breaking Deck Belts [Re: demarpaint]
Kira Offline


Registered: 08/19/10
Posts: 5548
Loc: Champlain/Hudson Valley
How exposed is the belt to the work? Could the grass be physically hitting the belt?

My friend owns this exact Cub cadet AND just had belt woes. He smelled rubber burning -pretty new belt- when doing an account's lawn. The lawn is thick enough but I don't know how tall it was. It could've been the first cut of the season.

He too briefly mentioned not being able to locate a belt right away. I'll ask him for details and post back if anything was learned beyond demarpaint's post.

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#4759464 - 05/17/18 06:39 AM Re: Cub Cadet Throwing/Breaking Deck Belts [Re: Kira]
Ifixyawata Offline


Registered: 09/13/15
Posts: 546
Loc: NE Ohio
Originally Posted By: demarpaint
Is the belt running true and properly adjusted? I've seen belts slightly out of alignment causing all sorts of problems. Is it the right belt? Slightly larger can cause issues like you're experiencing.


I noticed some sort of wobbly operation before I replaced the spindle belt. After a new spindle belt, both seemed to run more true and in line.


Originally Posted By: Kira
How exposed is the belt to the work? Could the grass be physically hitting the belt?

My friend owns this exact Cub cadet AND just had belt woes. He smelled rubber burning -pretty new belt- when doing an account's lawn. The lawn is thick enough but I don't know how tall it was. It could've been the first cut of the season.

He too briefly mentioned not being able to locate a belt right away. I'll ask him for details and post back if anything was learned beyond demarpaint's post.


It doesn't have any covers over the deck spindles/pulleys but I think it originally did. No issues running it this way last year, however. Grass is very high, foreign material may be a possibility but I don't feel like it's enough interference to break belts...
_________________________
2004 Mercury Mountaineer 4.6 M1 High Mileage 10w-40 (Summer)
2001 Ford Focus 2.0 Zetec Pennzoil Euro L 5w-30

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#4759486 - 05/17/18 07:08 AM Re: Cub Cadet Throwing/Breaking Deck Belts [Re: Ifixyawata]
bugeye Offline


Registered: 04/10/15
Posts: 85
Loc: Pennsylvania
Few suggestions. How sharp are the blades? Dull blades = more power required by the belt. High wet grass = more power. If grass is thick and high, take a half width pass. Throw the clippings toward the previously cut area. Do not re-cut the clippings as this takes more power. Belts can overheat and self destruct.

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#4759500 - 05/17/18 07:24 AM Re: Cub Cadet Throwing/Breaking Deck Belts [Re: Ifixyawata]
jhs914 Offline


Registered: 06/04/05
Posts: 180
Loc: Milton, FL
If the bearings in the spindles are shot you will never get even a new belt to stay on. Check the pulleys on the spindles for lateral and up/down movement. If you find any the spindles need replacing.

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#4759503 - 05/17/18 07:27 AM Re: Cub Cadet Throwing/Breaking Deck Belts [Re: jhs914]
Ifixyawata Offline


Registered: 09/13/15
Posts: 546
Loc: NE Ohio
Originally Posted By: bugeye
Few suggestions. How sharp are the blades? Dull blades = more power required by the belt. High wet grass = more power. If grass is thick and high, take a half width pass. Throw the clippings toward the previously cut area. Do not re-cut the clippings as this takes more power. Belts can overheat and self destruct.


The blades are quite dull, I was going to consider taking them off to replace/sharpen but reaching between the engine and muffler several times to get the PTO belt and getting burned in the process really stunted my motivation. Half-width passes and discharging outward were already in practice.

Originally Posted By: jhs914
If the bearings in the spindles are shot you will never get even a new belt to stay on. Check the pulleys on the spindles for lateral and up/down movement. If you find any the spindles need replacing.


I don't believe I felt much, if any up/down movement on any pulleys except for the double pulley where the PTO belt meets the spindle belt. All pulleys and blade/spindle assemblies spin free (and keep spinning for quite a while on their own with the belts off).
_________________________
2004 Mercury Mountaineer 4.6 M1 High Mileage 10w-40 (Summer)
2001 Ford Focus 2.0 Zetec Pennzoil Euro L 5w-30

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#4759514 - 05/17/18 07:38 AM Re: Cub Cadet Throwing/Breaking Deck Belts [Re: Ifixyawata]
mk378 Offline


Registered: 09/27/15
Posts: 1487
Loc: USA
With an electric clutch you need exactly the right belt length. Also if you use a skinny belt instead of the proper more expensive wide one, it will be too loose and not last long.

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#4759525 - 05/17/18 07:49 AM Re: Cub Cadet Throwing/Breaking Deck Belts [Re: mk378]
Ifixyawata Offline


Registered: 09/13/15
Posts: 546
Loc: NE Ohio
Originally Posted By: mk378
With an electric clutch you need exactly the right belt length. Also if you use a skinny belt instead of the proper more expensive wide one, it will be too loose and not last long.


As far as I know, the PTO-to-Deck belt was the proper OEM part. Searching around online it looks like the size of the belt is 5/8" x 111.2"
_________________________
2004 Mercury Mountaineer 4.6 M1 High Mileage 10w-40 (Summer)
2001 Ford Focus 2.0 Zetec Pennzoil Euro L 5w-30

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#4759530 - 05/17/18 07:53 AM Re: Cub Cadet Throwing/Breaking Deck Belts [Re: Ifixyawata]
motor_oil_madman Offline


Registered: 11/29/09
Posts: 4919
Loc: Houston, Texas
Keep the pulley guards off. These ruin belts because after one or two mowing grass gets wedged in their over heating the belt.
_________________________
2007.5 dodge cummins 6.7 liter. Chevron Delo400 15w40. 7000 mile or 250-300hr intervals.


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#4759533 - 05/17/18 07:55 AM Re: Cub Cadet Throwing/Breaking Deck Belts [Re: motor_oil_madman]
Ifixyawata Offline


Registered: 09/13/15
Posts: 546
Loc: NE Ohio
Originally Posted By: motor_oil_madman
Keep the pulley guards off. These ruin belts because after one or two mowing grass gets wedged in their over heating the belt.


Good to know! Even better because it was purchased (used) without them!
_________________________
2004 Mercury Mountaineer 4.6 M1 High Mileage 10w-40 (Summer)
2001 Ford Focus 2.0 Zetec Pennzoil Euro L 5w-30

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#4759550 - 05/17/18 08:09 AM Re: Cub Cadet Throwing/Breaking Deck Belts [Re: Ifixyawata]
Kira Offline


Registered: 08/19/10
Posts: 5548
Loc: Champlain/Hudson Valley
Just called my pal with the Cub Cadet.

1) He said there is an idler down there which essentially isn't aligned with the other hardware.
He said he used a shim of hard plastic to get the parts aligned.

2) He also mentioned that years before he had a "6 sided belt" which was perfect for the machine.
The supplier of said belt no longer has 'em available.

3) He had experienced a bad spindle bearing years before without drama. It became real noisy and he replaced it.


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#4759626 - 05/17/18 09:14 AM Re: Cub Cadet Throwing/Breaking Deck Belts [Re: Ifixyawata]
wag123 Offline


Registered: 06/14/11
Posts: 997
Loc: Texas
OPE belts are different than standard "fan" belts, they are MUCH stronger.
Also, if you are trying to "mulch" the clippings, remove the mulching attachment and side discharge the clippings, cut to the inside of where you are throwing the clippings, raise the cutting height, and slow down your ground speed until you knock the tall grass down.


Edited by wag123 (05/17/18 09:19 AM)

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#4759632 - 05/17/18 09:17 AM Re: Cub Cadet Throwing/Breaking Deck Belts [Re: wag123]
Ifixyawata Offline


Registered: 09/13/15
Posts: 546
Loc: NE Ohio
Originally Posted By: Kira
Just called my pal with the Cub Cadet.

1) He said there is an idler down there which essentially isn't aligned with the other hardware.
He said he used a shim of hard plastic to get the parts aligned.

2) He also mentioned that years before he had a "6 sided belt" which was perfect for the machine.
The supplier of said belt no longer has 'em available.

3) He had experienced a bad spindle bearing years before without drama. It became real noisy and he replaced it.



Thanks for doing some investigating! I looked at parts diagrams and found there are a couple bushings on the idler pivot point that may be worn out, I need to look into it some more.

Originally Posted By: wag123
OPE belts are different than standard "fan" belts, they are MUCH stronger.
Also, if you are trying to "mulch" the clippings, remove the mulching attachment and side discharge the clippings, raise the cutting height, and slow down your ground speed until you knock the tall grass down.


This 'Husky' belt I bought was merchandised as an OPE belt and is/has 'Kevlar' as well. Seems to be that it's just a sort of universal OPE belt.


I hope I can get away with maybe replacing a few bushings and greasing the spindles up. I got down a rabbit hole and saw a very tempting deck rebuild kit of sorts with spindles, pulleys and blades for around $140 on eBay, but it doesn't appear that it will fit the LT2042's deck.
_________________________
2004 Mercury Mountaineer 4.6 M1 High Mileage 10w-40 (Summer)
2001 Ford Focus 2.0 Zetec Pennzoil Euro L 5w-30

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#4759641 - 05/17/18 09:25 AM Re: Cub Cadet Throwing/Breaking Deck Belts [Re: Ifixyawata]
wag123 Offline


Registered: 06/14/11
Posts: 997
Loc: Texas
Originally Posted By: Ifixyawata
I got down a rabbit hole and saw a very tempting deck rebuild kit of sorts with spindles, pulleys and blades for around $140 on eBay, but it doesn't appear that it will fit the LT2042's deck.

Spindle assemblies and blades are VERY specific to the exact machine they are used in. $140 is WAY too high, the specific spindle assemblies for your mower are not that expensive, most MTD OEM spindles are under $50 and aftermarket spindles can be found in the $30 price range. You don't need to replace them if the bearings are still good.
Also, you need to check that the deck has not fractured/cracked around any of your spindles. This is a common problem on MTD mower decks.


Edited by wag123 (05/17/18 09:37 AM)

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