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How to Put a Belt on a John Deere Lawn Mower

Like most lawn mowers, John Deere lawnmowers feature a belt and pulley system. To extend the life of these mowers, it is necessary to stay on top of maintenance and repairs. So, changing a damaged lawn mower belt is crucial.

Though changing the belt may seem critical at first, it is relatively easy. To put a belt on a John Deere lawnmower, you need to remove the deck, change the belt and reattach the deck again. For a detailed step-by-step guide regarding this task, here we go.

Preparations Before Installing the Belt

You need to gather a few things before putting a belt on a John Deere lawnmower properly. The following tools are required for this work:

  • A pair of safety gloves
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Pliers
  • Screwdrivers
  • Wooden blocks

Purchasing the Belt

You need to make sure you have a matching belt for your mower. Check the user manual or look in the belt for more information. If you can’t find any, you can try searching the internet to find out which belt type is compatible with your lawnmower.

After you receive your new belt, you should check if the belt is inside out. These belts have two sides: a flat side and a V-shaped side. The V-shaped side needs to go inside while putting the belt on. So, roll it over if required.

How to Put a Belt on a John Deere Lawn Mower

It is not difficult to put a belt on a John Deere lawnmower. We will explain the task step by step so you can understand it properly.

Step 1: Park the Lawn Mower

First, you need to park your lawnmower on a uniform and level surface. Shut off the engine and apply the parking brakes so it doesn’t start to roll. Make sure to remove the key and disconnect the spark plug cable so that your lawnmower will not accidentally start. 

Step 2: Lower the Deck

Raise the cutting deck of the lawnmower to the highest possible height. Place wooden blocks underneath both sides of the deck. Now lower the deck to its lowest position until it rests on the blocks so that you can prepare for the deck removal.

Step 3: Remove the Deck

With the cutting deck lowered, you should be able to access the components that connect the deck with the mower. Take off the pins and washers from the deck lift linkages and rear draft arm using pliers and disconnect them from the deck. Put the pins and washers aside.

Detach the mower deck belt from the engine by rolling the belt around the engine pulley. Remove the wooden blocks so that the deck wheels can touch the ground. Now slide the deck out from underneath the John Deere lawnmower.

Step 4: Remove the Belt Shields

To remove the old belt, you need to remove the belt shields first. Use screwdrivers to loosen and remove the screws that grip the belt shields. Make sure you take off the shields on both sides.

Remove the belt shields

Step 5: Take Note of the Belt Orientation

Different models of John Deere lawn mowers have different belt orientations. Therefore, it is better to take a picture of the orientation of your lawnmower belt before you remove the old belt. Also, It will make your work easier when you put on the new one.

If your belt is torn and fallen off and you can’t see the orientation, you can do a quick internet search by using the keyword ‘john deere belt diagram’. You may include your mower’s model in the search keyword for a more specific result.

Take Note of the Belt Orientation

Step 6: Remove the Old Belt

Remove the old belt from the deck. You may face difficulties while taking off the belt from some pulleys. In that case, loosen the bolts on the pulleys with an adjustable range. By this, you can reduce the gap between pulleys which will help you to remove the belt and put on the new one easily.

Remove the Old Belt

Step 7: Put On the New Belt

Clean the deck if necessary. Now, put the new belt on around the pulleys following the old belt orientation. Tighten the bolts on the pulleys which you had to loosen before.

Put On the New Belt

Step 8: Put the Shields On

Be sure to install the belt shields back. These shields help to keep the belt in place, protect your foot and keep debris out from the belt. 

Step 9: Reattach the Deck

Slide the cutting deck under the lawnmower. Reconnect deck lift linkages and rear draft arm. Make sure to attach all the pins and washers. Reconnect the belt with the engine pulley.

Step 10: Check the Connections and Start the Engine

Check all the joints if they are connected properly. Check the belt and make sure there is no restriction around its moving path. 

After you are satisfied with everything, you may connect the spark plug cable. Start the engine and check the sound. If you don’t find any issues, you are good to go.

Check the Connections and Start the Engine


1. Why does the belt keep coming off my John Deere mower?

The belt on your lawnmower may come off due to a couple of reasons. The first one is if the belt is damaged, it may come out. You need to replace the belt to fix this issue. The other reason is if the mounting system of the mower is off-balance, it can come out. Check the joints and clip pins and look for missing parts to fix this issue.

2. How do I know if my lawnmower belt is bad?

You can know if your lawn mower’s belt is damaged from two signs. The first one is whether your belt has sidewall damage. You can also determine a damaged belt by determining if it is cracked.

3. Can a lawnmower belt stretch?

Yes, lawn mower belts can stretch. It is from wear and tear due to heavy operation. The belts can also elongate over time due to regular use.

Last Words

Your John Deere lawn mower belt may require a change for several reasons. You can replace the belt easily at home all by yourself. Avoid some hassle and save some money by following our detailed guidelines. You can also read about How Do You Read a Serial Number on a John Deere Lawn Tractor.

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