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ok, here's whats up.. I put a new belt on my 318 (from pto to mower deck) and have had a heck of a time with it jumping off the pulleys after about 10mins of mowing.. The last time it jumped, it got wedged between one of the mule drive pulleys and shredded it.. Back to the dealer for a 2nd new belt and some advice.. The tech was doing is best to guess what was happening.. Told me to put a jam nut on the tensioning screw that tightens and loosens the belt.. He thought it might be backing itself out on its own and loosening the belt.. Didn't seem right to me but I tried it.. Nope, new belt popped off again!.. Back and forth to the shed 3 times trying to cut the damn grass yesterday to put the belt back on.. Did a desperate google search for a diagnosis and found a comment out there about over tightening the belt.. So I tried it.. I only tightened the belt to the point that the tension indicator was in about the middle of adjusting slot instead of at the very top where the manual tells you to put it.. Voila!, I proceeded to cut grass for about 2hrs straight and finished with no problems.. I had been following the instructions to the letter for belt installation, mower deck in raised position, turning the tensioning screw until the indicator was at the top etc.. But that was obviously over tightening the belt and it kept popping off..
Just figured I'd tell the story in case anyone else runs into this problem. That said, even though my solution worked, if any of you experts out there think I might have done something else that might have caused the problem. Please let me know.. Thanks!
 
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It's always good advice to follow the instructions. I think we all have been guilty of "over-tightening" things. Sometimes when we do, it hurts the performance and can cause damage to the equipment. I'm glad that just simply following the instructions did the trick. It would be nice if all our issues was solved just by following the manual, but following the manual will usually point us in the right direction if we just heed it.
 

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I've always just put the tensioner in the middle whenever putting on the mower deck. Then just watch it if the belt is new. Used two belts in 18 years on the original deck.

Pete
 
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