Craftsman Riding Mower Belt Diagram- A Step By Step Process. Craftsman…

How To Repair the Drive Belt on a Riding Lawn Mower

For the do-it-yourself homeowner, here are some step-by-step instructions on how to change a riding lawn mower drive belt. These instructions are specifically for a 700 Series riding mower. Depending on your model, the steps to install lawn mower belts may vary. If you are uncomfortable with this procedure or don’t feel qualified to replace your riding lawn mower drive belt, please contact your Authorized Service Dealer for drive belt replacement.

Always observe safety rules when performing any lawn mower maintenance. Safety glasses or goggles, and hand protection, in the form of mechanic gloves, should always be used.

Before starting this project, make sure you have the correct lawn tractor parts. Use our Part Finder to look up your belt based on the part numbers for your riding lawn mower. The V belt found on your tractor is specially designed to engage and disengage safely. A substitute, or NON-Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM), V-belt can be dangerous as it may not disengage completely. For a proper working machine, always use factory approved lawn mower belts.

It’s a good idea to take a picture of how the lawn mower belts are routed before removal. During the installation process, you can refer back to the pictures for reference.

Note: Because there is inter-play between the two drive belts in the variable-speed pulley system, it is a good practice to replace both riding lawn mower drive belts at the same time.

Step 3: Detach the spark plug wire

Remove the cutting deck. Instructions for removing the cutting deck can be found in your Operator’s Manual in the “Service” section. Then lift the seat to gain access to the battery. When disconnecting the battery, always disconnect the black negative battery cable first, and then disconnect the red positive battery cable.

Step 5: Loosen the transaxle pulley

Look down through where the battery was located. You will see a large transaxle pulley. Loosen the large nut holding the pulley to the input shaft using a 7/16″ socket.

Disconnect the spring from the anchor bolt on the left side of the tractor using a spring puller or a small piece of rope. This will relieve tension on the upper drive belt. Note: Orientation of left and right is determined from the operator’s position in the seat.

Step 7: Remove the upper drive belt and lawn mower belt guide

Maneuver the upper (rear) belt from the transaxle pulley and remove the belt from the mower. Next, remove the belt guide from the variable speed pulley bracket using a 1/4″ socket. Note: These are all accessed through the battery compartment.

Lift the middle sheave slightly so the lawn mower belt will clear the belt guide, and slip the belt off of the variable speed pulley.

Step 11: Make a note of where parts are located before you install a new drive mower belt for your riding lawn mower

As you remove the engine pulley, note the orientation of the parts for reassembly (or take a picture). The pulley is secured by a bolt, lock washer, and a heavy flat washer. A spacer is positioned above the pulley on the crankshaft and the top edge radius matches the step on the crankshaft.

Remove the lower drive belt from the mower by pulling it towards the engine.

Step 13: Install the new lower drive belt

Lawn mower belt installation is essentially the removal process in reverse. As you install the new lower drive belt, confirm the correct belt routing inside of all the belt keepers and through all the guide pins using the pictures taken before the lawn mower belt removal.

Apply a very small quantity of anti-seize compound to the engine crankshaft. This will help ease the crankshaft removal in the future when needed. Note: DO NOT get any anti-seize compound on the bolt threads or in the bolt hole of the crankshaft.

Craftsman Riding Mower Drive Belt Diagram- A Step By Step Process!

Drive belts are one of the leading parts of a riding mower. And, a drive belt diagram helps you to understand the parts and their work processes more clearly.

No matter what DIY mower repair guide you follow to solve any case, it’s crucial to know the work process and the ins and outs of the drive belts.

Here, in this article, we will cover everything about Craftsman riding mower drive belt diagrams, how the drive belts work, and how you can install the belts.

What is A Riding Mower Drive Belt? How Does it Work?

If you ask, what is a riding mower drive belt? The simplest answer is, it’s the part that lets your mower move. Yes, the drive belt is responsible for the movement of the wheels of your mower.

So, what’s the process? How does all of it work?

The first and foremost job of the drive belt is transferring power to the parts of your mower. The engine shaft of the mower has radial torque. The drive belt transfers that torque to the input shaft of the transmission.

Ultimately, the torque turns on the function of your mower and lets it perform properly. It helps the mower move forward and spin the blade.

Now, you may be confused thinking about where the drive belt gets the ability to transfer the power or torque from the engine to the transmission. Well, it actually comes from the way the drive belt runs on your mower.

The engine shaft and the input shaft of the transmission have the attachments of the pulleys. At the time the engine fires first it turns the engine shaft and then turns the transmission’s input shaft.

The first pulley is the reason for the drive belt’s movement. And, this movement of the drive belt leads the second pulley to move. Since the second pulley is connected to the input shaft of the transmission, that movement of the second pulley leads the transmission shaft to turn.

So, the movement process there is something like this:

Engine fires→ Engine Shaft turns→ the first Pulley turns→ the Drive Belt moves→ the second Pulley turns→ Transmission shaft turns.

Now what happens next is, the transmission shafts transfer the power to the drive wheels of your mower. Therefore, the transmission gets the power means the mower can move.

This is how the drive belt helps your riding mower move back and forth.

Craftsman Riding Mower Drive Belt Diagram

How to Install/Replace Craftsman Riding Mower Drive Belt

You can see something like the picture if you remove the mower housing first. Here, the drive belt is clearly visible along with the other related parts. When you need to install the drive belt on crafts, detach that belt retainer from the idler pulley.

After that, you can easily remove the drive belt. Then, it will be pretty easy to replace the drive belt. The next thing you have to do is detach the belt retainer from the idler pulley.

One thing you must keep in mind, the ‘V’ side of the drive belt should be against the idler pulley and the jackshaft pulley.

So, these are the related parts of the drive belt and the simple process to install the drive belt.

This Video Will Help You Too!

How many belts are on a Craftsman riding mower?

There are three primary belts in a Craftsman mower– drive belt, arbor belt, and power clutch belt.

What is the ground drive belt on a Craftsman riding mower?

The ground drive belt is the one belt that makes the connection between the engine crankshaft pulley and the transmission pulley for allowing the mower to move.

How often should I change mower belts?

There’s no specific amount of time that you should change the belts, but the more frequently they’re used, the quicker you need to replace them. Because more use = more wear.


Now, we are at the end of our discussion on a Craftsman riding mower drive belt diagram. Did the article help you understand everything about your riding mower drive belt clearly? Hopefully, your answer is affirmative.

Make sure you replace any broken or excessively worn drive belts when it’s needed. It will help you to avoid any unwanted experience with the mower. The thing is, If you can use the mower and its parts properly, you’ll have a longer journey with your mower.

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How to Replace Drive Belt on Craftsman Lawn Mower?

The drive belt has a lifespan and needs changing after that period to continue to function efficiently. But not many people know how to change the drive belt. Not to worry, that’s why you’ve got me, right? In this piece, I’ll show you how to change the drive belt of your craftsman lawn mower when it gets worn out or broken but before we dive in, let’s look at what a drive belt is.

What is a Drive Belt?

The drive belts are the connector between the engine crankshaft and the trans-axle pulley. It is the device that transfers the energy from the engine to the wheels for it to move. Without it,you have a running engine but a machine that cannot run.

This is why it is so important. When driving mowers like the zero turn lawn mowers, it is the drive belts that bring the power that runs it.

craftsman, riding, mower, belt

Drive belt for a Craftsman Lawn Mower

The craftsman lawn mower contains two drive belts; primary and secondary. Different models of the craftsman mower have different drive belt sizes, but they usually come between 42-50 inches.

Both the drive and push craftsman lawn mowers make use of drive belts for its movement.

How to Know a Bad Craftsman Lawn Mower

Now that you’ve understood what a drive belt is and its use in a craftsman lawn mower, let’s look at ways to know when a lawn mower is bad and needs changing.

Even though drive belts have lifespans; sometimes, they go bad before that date. When this happens, your machine won’t work smoothly anymore. How do you know when the drive belt is bad?

Things to Consider Before Changing Your drive Belt

Before you go ahead to replace your bad drive belt; there are some things you need to give some thoughts to. I’ve compiled a list of them

How to Replace a Worn Out or Broken Drive Belt

Drive belts are made to withstand a high amount of pressure and can last you for years. Notwithstanding, you’ll still need to replace it from time to time. I’m going to show you how to properly change the drive belt of your craftsman lawn mower without external supervision.


Working on a mower can be confusing and dangerous if you’re not sure of what you’re doing. Here are some precautions to take into account.

  • Make sure the ignition is turned off, and the key is out of the ignition before commencing
  • Operate away from kids
  • Properly seal off the fuel tank before starting
  • Pay extra attention when working on objects under tension

Check For Misalignment

If the deck, deck wheels, or pulley is not aligned correctly, the Craftsman deck belt will not stay in place and keep coming off unless you adjust the alignments as needed.

If the deck has a wrong alignment, you need to adjust the blade height and level to adjust the alignment.

  • Set the blade at its highest setting.
  • Measure 3 inches from the ground in four separate places around the outside of the mower deck.
  • Compare those measurements.
  • If they are not similar, adjust either one or both front and rear adjustment screws until they become equal.

Follow the below instructions to align the deck wheels accurately_

  • Park your Craftsman on a level surface and turn off the engine.
  • Lift the mower hood to locate the adjustment screws for each wheel.
  • Turn each screw clockwise to increase or decrease its height until all four wheels look leveled from all angles.
  • Once you have achieved the desired alignment of the wheels, tighten down all adjustment screws securely.

Follow the below instructions to align the misaligned pulley_

  • Lift the mower hood to locate the pulley.
  • Check whether all tension springs or idler arm components are tensioned properly or need adjustment.
  • Loosen their mounting bolts slightly to adjust them accordingly if needed.
  • Make sure all components are securely tightened.
  • Check the Condition of the Deck Belt Keeper:

The small rod-shaped poles sitting next to the pulley on your Craftsman riding mower are known as the belt keepers.

These keepers mainly guide the belt to keep it in place.

But these keepers might bend outward or move out of place and allow the deck belt to jump out of the pulley due to excess slack in the belt or when the belt snaps.

So, take the pulley off and bend this tab to get the keeper closer to the pulley.

Check and do the same thing to confirm that all the keepers are as close to the engine pulley as possible.

If any belt keepers have turned too bad to fix like that, replace them.

Make sure That the Deck Belt Is in Good Condition

Your Craftsman deck belt tends to come off when it has become loose. It can become loose when the belt has worn out or stretched over time.

You can also notice shredded marks on the belt. When the belt rubs against a bracket or your belt keepers, it leaves shredded marks.

It occurs due to improper adjustment of the brackets and belt keepers.

craftsman, riding, mower, belt

If your deck belt has become loose due to wear and tear or stretching, you should replace it. If you have a shredded belt, determine where the markings are coming from and correctly adjust that location to avoid rubbing.

Inspect the Idler Tensioner Bracket or Spring

Your deck belt can also keep falling from its position due to a worn-out idler tensioner bracket or spring.

Therefore, visually inspect and look for any signs of corrosion, cracking, or other hints that indicate either the tensioner bracket or the spring is worn.

Also, test the tensioner by pushing on it, and if there is any excess play or movement, it’s time to replace the idler tensioner bracket or spring.

Inspect the Bearings or Spindle Housings

You also need to check the bearings located in the idler pulley and spindle housing because if one of those bearings fails, it will gradually cause the belt to fall off.

If the pulleys are rotating straight rather than flat, one of the bearings has failed.

Similarly, follow this easy tutorial to check the bearings located in the spindle and replace them if necessary.

Maintaining a beautiful lawn can be a daunting task, especially if you lack the appropriate know-how and tools to handle the challenges that may crop up. Fortunately, LawnAsk is here to offer you an all-encompassing resource that covers everything you need to know about lawn care.