Need Help - Belt Rubbing on Mower Deck
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    rod330's Avatar
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    Need Help - Belt Rubbing on Mower Deck

    I have an X540 with the 48" deck and about 250 hours on the clock. About 3 weeks ago I engaged the PTO for the mower deck and smoke came pouring out. I immediately shut it off and found the two plastic pieces shown below jammed into one of the pulleys. I have no idea where they came from but when I removed them everything seemed to work just fine. Until now.
    During my last mowing I noticed a lot of belt dust buildup on the deck. I removed the deck today, cleaned everything and examined the belts to find a rubbing point. Although the deck belt had a few small marks, it looked just fine as did the drive belt which transmits power to the deck. Everything seemed to move perfectly without any resistance when I manually turned the pulleys. I cleaned the deck and ran it for about 20 minutes with same results: lots of belt dust, especially on the front left side of the deck (see photos with plastic spindle cover removed). Any suggestions for next steps?

    Thanks in advance!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Deck3.jpg Deck2.jpg Deck1.jpg
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    xcopterdoc's Avatar
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    Those pieces parts are from the traction drive belt idler pulleys which is what drives your power train, your transmission. It came apart and fell onto the deck. Yur on borrowed time!

    Sent from my LGL52VL using Tapatalk

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    rod330's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xcopterdoc View Post
    Those pieces parts are from the traction drive belt idler pulleys which is what drives your power train, your transmission. It came apart and fell onto the deck. Yur on borrowed time!

    Sent from my LGL52VL using Tapatalk
    Thanks. Based on this, it must be the drive belt (not the deck belts) that's getting chewed up. Is it a complex and time consuming job to replace the drive belt idler pulleys? It's disappointing these have failed at 250 hours.
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    It is very possible that you are looking at replacing the transmission belt too. It can be a foreign object, but many times the bearings in the center of the idler pulleys seize and your belt starts melting away the pulley itself- which can very well damage the belt. I wouldn't call replacing this belt easy, but doable if can pay attention to detail.

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    56Nine's Avatar
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    The black dust in your case does appear to excess wear and your machine does have issues. It could also be a fungus in the grass to add to the quantity that you're seeing. About every spring, my rims and deck look just like yours from the fungus.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rod330 View Post
    Thanks. Based on this, it must be the drive belt (not the deck belts) that's getting chewed up. Is it a complex and time consuming job to replace the drive belt idler pulleys? It's disappointing these have failed at 250 hours.
    I agree. The idler pulleys on the deck are all metal. The traction belt on the other hand has a plastic idler which matches the description of your broken debris. See #16 below.

    I also found a photo of idler AUC11241 on-line. The ribs look just like your debris.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails X540_idler.jpg AUC11241.jpg debris.jpg
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    jgayman's Avatar
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    Failure of the traction idler pulley is not that uncommon. There are other posts with folks complaining about this plastic pulley when all the other pulleys on the machine are metal.

    The biggest challenge when dealing with the traction belt is releasing the tension spring (#9) as it is VERY strong. I have seen guys who have fabricated a "pulling hook" that allows them to reach in from the back and release the tension on the spring. If you are going to tear into replacing the pulley I would replace the traction belt at the same time as you will already have everything apart.

    Below is the section from my X500 manual showing how to replace the belt and tensioners.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails IMG_2425.jpg IMG_2426.jpg IMG_2427.jpg IMG_2428.jpg
    2012 2720 -- 200CX Loader -- 54" Quick Attach Snow Blower -- Frontier LR5060 Rake -- Land Pride RB1660 Blade (Hydraulic Angle) -- Artillian 42" Forks -- Ken's Bolt on Grab Hooks -- Fit Rite Hydraulic top-link -- 2013 X500 for mowing duties

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    Quote Originally Posted by 56Nine View Post
    The black dust in your case does appear to excess wear and your machine does have issues. It could also be a fungus in the grass to add to the quantity that you're seeing. About every spring, my rims and deck look just like yours from the fungus.

    56 is right. That dust is from the grass. You still have a problem but it's not the belt.


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    I wish you luck. This job requires 7 hands.
    I had a helluva time on my X300 a few years ago. All the steering parts, including the steering shaft gave me fits.
    I had no Manual.
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    Spring

    I put two larger zip ties together in a loop to manage the spring. It slides under or out from under as needed when finished. Two or three fingers in the loop to pull ths spring.
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