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John Deere LX280 Help! #5143833 06/25/19 02:01 PM
Joined: Jun 2019
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johnmichael Offline OP
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Ok, I've got a John Deere LX280 mower and I am having problems with the mower deck, specifically the belt that goes from the motor to the mower deck. The belt is new and the correct size. When the deck is in the up position the belt is tight, but when I lower the deck in the mowing position the belt loosens up. Because of the slack the blade gets in a bind in grass that is less than 3 inches high. I don't know where to go from here.

Re: John Deere LX280 Help! [Re: johnmichael] #5144004 06/25/19 05:34 PM
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Lubener Offline
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Did you have the same exact problem before replacing the belt? The only thing that comes to mind is you might have the belt on the wrong side of a pulley.

Last edited by Lubener; 06/25/19 05:35 PM.

The "thinking" man's friend.
Re: John Deere LX280 Help! [Re: johnmichael] #5144126 06/25/19 08:50 PM
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Gebo Offline
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You must have the belt installed incorrectly. Maybe YouTube can help.

Can you post some pics for us?


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Re: John Deere LX280 Help! [Re: johnmichael] #5144163 06/25/19 10:07 PM
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joegreen Offline
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Is there some type of tensioner? My old jd garden tractor has a knob on the front of the tractor you use to tension the belt.

Last edited by joegreen; 06/25/19 10:07 PM.

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Re: John Deere LX280 Help! [Re: joegreen] #5144292 06/26/19 04:55 AM
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Lubener Offline
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Originally Posted by joegreen
Is there some type of tensioner? My old jd garden tractor has a knob on the front of the tractor you use to tension the belt.

For the mower, the engagement lever will move an idler pulley against the belt for tensioning.


The "thinking" man's friend.
Re: John Deere LX280 Help! [Re: johnmichael] #5144314 06/26/19 05:42 AM
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Eddie Offline
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I would GOOGLE a picture of the JD mower deck to see the correct belt install. I suspect the belt is missing the tension spring. Ed


2014 CX5 Touring 2.5L :-)
Re: John Deere LX280 Help! [Re: johnmichael] #5144342 06/26/19 06:20 AM
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Gebo Offline
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Hey, I ran into a situation where I bought a used JD mower where they had swapped mowing decks. I bought it from a used lawn mower dealer where they pieced together mowers. If I remember correctly, I purchased new belts for my deck per what JD dealer said I needed and upon removing the old belts from the deck I noticed they had different numbers. It caused a little confusion as I could barely get one of the belts on (I had to force it over the pulley with screwdriver) as it was too tight.

What we finally determined was the seller had replaced the original 38” deck with a 48” deck.

If you bought it used, you may want to check this out.


'98 LEX LS400 300K
'02 4Runner 245K
'05 Lex LS430 85K
'07 Lex GX470 65K

Shell Gas and Truck & Pennzoil Full Syn HM
Toyota ATF's and Coolant
Amsoil Gear Oil and Grease
Re: John Deere LX280 Help! [Re: johnmichael] #5144459 06/26/19 08:37 AM
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johnmichael Offline OP
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Thanks for the ideas guys. I may have finally figured it out. The two brackets on the back of the deck were both bent from rusting. I am taking it to a welding shop to fix and then will test the mower. I will send before and after pics so you can all see.

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