STX38 Drive belt worn out?
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    STX38 Drive belt worn out?

    I just bought a '96 STX38 with 5 speed gear tranny from a lady down the road from me for $150 last week. She had said it was occasionally having problems going forward at times, so I mowed with it for a few minutes and didn't have any problem so I bought it anyway figuring for $150 I'd take a chance. Well I mowed with it today and after about 10 minutes, sure enough it lost power and finally got where it would barely creep forward. Now logically in my mind I'm thinking it's the drive belt that may be worn out where it's tight enough to run the tranny when cold but when it heats up it loosens and won't drive the tranny anymore. Does that make sense to those perhaps more in the know that me? I looked at it and it's not frayed or anything but it looks pretty old and dried out.

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    Update:

    Okay it's a few hours later and it still isn't moving. Should the drive belt always be engaged even when the tranny is in neutral?

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    Quote Originally Posted by bossfrog View Post
    Update:

    Okay it's a few hours later and it still isn't moving. Should the drive belt always be engaged even when the tranny is in neutral?
    I had one of them tractors years ago and not for very long. From what I remember the belt will go slack when you push in the clutch/brake.

    Also make sure that the pulley on top of the transmission is turning the shaft.

    Another problem that tractor had was being worked on by idiots. Had to fix like 50 things to get it running and driving. Never did get the deck back on before I decided to sell it.
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    Well, it has slack all the time right now. I don't know if a tensioner or something is amiss. Either way I'm still happy with the purchase. The deck has new spindles, pulleys and blades, the engine runs great and the steering is tight. I'll probably just store it until spring. I have a pretty good lawn equipment guy who still only charges $40/hr labor for repair work. Even if I have to put a couple hundred into it to get it right, it'll be worth it to me. May just need a belt and some adjustments.

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    The belt could've been changed at one time with a non deere belt.I would replace it with the proper belt and be sure to route it properly,check JD parts they show it.Also check the idler pulleys that their good.
    While the belt is off grab and spin the trans pulley it should make it creep forward or reverse depending the rotation.There looks to be a key way on the shaft if that is stripped could be part of the problem also.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bossfrog View Post
    Well, it has slack all the time right now. I don't know if a tensioner or something is amiss. Either way I'm still happy with the purchase. The deck has new spindles, pulleys and blades, the engine runs great and the steering is tight. I'll probably just store it until spring. I have a pretty good lawn equipment guy who still only charges $40/hr labor for repair work. Even if I have to put a couple hundred into it to get it right, it'll be worth it to me. May just need a belt and some adjustments.
    Is your tractor gear or hydro drive? I'm sure this will make a difference.
    Is your PTO switch a yellow button that you pull up to engage or a metal toggle switch?
    The gear transmission should have the metal switch and also have 2 pedals. One on either side of the hood. The one I had was gear. So the clutch pedal definitely slacked the drive belt when you pushed it down. A spring applied tension to the belt when you release the pedal.

    I'm not so sure on the hydro drive.
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    Quote Originally Posted by H-D dealer dude View Post
    Is your tractor gear or hydro drive? I'm sure this will make a difference.
    Is your PTO switch a yellow button that you pull up to engage or a metal toggle switch?
    The gear transmission should have the metal switch and also have 2 pedals. One on either side of the hood. The one I had was gear. So the clutch pedal definitely slacked the drive belt when you pushed it down. A spring applied tension to the belt when you release the pedal.

    I'm not so sure on the hydro drive.
    As mentioned in the original post it is geared. It has the yellow button and a single pedal on the right side. Not like what you're describing at all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bossfrog View Post
    As mentioned in the original post it is geared. It has the yellow button and a single pedal on the right side. Not like what you're describing at all.
    I see that now. lol
    Not sure of the year that I had. Looked at some on Tractor House to refresh my memory. Looks like this model had quite a few changes over the years.
    This is what I'm 100% sure on.
    It had a metal toggle switch for the PTO on the right rear fender. Along with the transmission shifter.
    Pushing down the pedal definitely slacked the drive belt to stop the tractor. Letting up on the pedal makes the belt tight and away you go.
    2014 X540 with HDAP tires, 54" deck, brush guard, arm rests and cargo bag.
    JD 48" plow with angle from seat kit & heavy duty skid shoes.
    4 suitcase weights and chains.
    JD tow behind spreader.
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    JD 10P cart.
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    Stihl KM110 power head with pole saw, shaft extension, power scythe, curved shaft edger, 2 straight shaft cutters (string & blade).
    Stihl MS180-CBE 16" saw.
    Stihl SH86C hand held blower vac.

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    Don't know if this will be of any help because it's been a while since I replaced a belt on my STX46. The picture below is for a black deck model. If you have an earlier model with a yellow deck, there are some differences, but the drive belt setup is similar, just more parts I think.

    The spring has to be unhooked before anything is loosened. You may have to loosen or remove the idler up front. Loosen the belt guide parts up front. Any of the parts that can be loosened and not totally removed make reassembly much easier if you only have two hands or old and non flexible like me. I believe the clutch can be left on but the wire would need to be disconnected to clear the belt. The steering rods will need to be disconnected also IIRC.

    The tensioner arm, guides and idler get removed. Make sure the arm (22) and bushing (23) are not worn out. The belt may be removed from the rear pulley without removing or loosening the belt guides, maybe not.

    Check the bearings in all the idlers and "V" pulleys. If rough or noisy, this is the time to replace them. I think there is a slight adjustment at the idler/ tensioner #11, as a slotted hole where the carriage bolt locates in the frame. It is probably more to get the tensioner located so the belt can't rub itself or the belt guides, than adding tension to a worn belt.

    The worst part for me is replacing the deck. Not the friendliest Deere design here. A 4' 2x4 under the rear of the deck helps for wiggling and aligning to the lift attachment.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    tommyhawk

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    This is the Yellow Deck STX30 and STX38 traction drive belt. Procedure would be about the same it appears.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    tommyhawk

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