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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've got a X580 with a 47" 2 stage snowblower. After last winters 100" snowfall, the blower belt was in serious need of replacement. To tell the truth, I was amazed that it didn't break after moving all that snow. Looking in the owner's manual, it says to just remove the tension pulleys and slide the belt off the snowblower pulley. Sounds easy enough. But someone forgot to tell the pubs people that JD added a "C" shaped piece of metal and bolted it to the side of the blower to keep the belt from jumping out of the pulley. There is no way that belt is coming off/on without removing that "C" piece. And with the belt installed, there is no way to reinstall that "C" piece. I searched the internet to see if someone had video or pictures of the belt being replaced. No such luck. I did read in this forum that you had to remove the 4 bolts on top of the snowblower to remove the belt, but again no pictures on what that bought you.
So armed with my wife's cellphone and a new belt I got pictures. My photo skills need much improvement but I think they get the idea across. We pick up the procedure after the snowblower has been removed from the tractor. The blower is rotated so the auger is facing down and the tension pulleys are facing up. PIC1, PIC2 and PIC3 show how every looks before we get started. Hopefully when we are done, it will look that way again. Note the position of the belt guard on the fixed pulley. The spring tension pulley is keyed so the belt guard can only go in one position. The fixed pulley has no such keying, so you have to remember where it went. (That is why I took a picture).
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Using a 13mm socket and wrench remove the 2 tension pulleys. PIC4 shows the pulleys removed.

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If you look in the back of the picture on the left side, you can see the top of that stupid "C" piece. PIC5 shows the 4 bolts on top (or should I say side since the snowblower is sitting on its auger) that you have to remove next. Make a note where the bolt are in the slotted openings. Usually where they were is pretty easy to see since the bolts scratch the paint off.
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Remove the 4 bolts which brings us to PIC6.
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The only thing left to do is remove the "C" metal. Given that the pulley/gearbox (or whatever you call that blackbox attached to the pulley) can be moved out of the way, remove the "C" metal. That brings us to PIC7.

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You can now remove the belt. Now wasn't that fun ?
The pulley/gearbox now has a lot of movement in it and grabbing it on the bottom of the pulley allows you to move it up/down and side to side. Moving it up feed the belt to the front of the pulley which brings us to PIC8 (sorry for the fuzzy picture).
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Move the belt around the back of the pulley. Now reinstall the "C" metal. Make sure to install it where it was before by looking for the scratched paint - PIC9.
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Reinstall the 4 bolts that bolt to the pulley/gearbox and make sure they are in the same place they were before (look for the scratched paint). It maybe necessary to grab the pulley and move the pulley/gearbox around to get it back in the right position PIC10.
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Finally reinstall the tension pulleys. Hopefully you are now ready to install the snowblower with it's new belt on the tractor. Any questions please let me know. Next time we get the X700 with the shaft drive :)

Premium Member
1025r with Mauser cab.
14,641 Posts
Looking at your pictures, I wonder if it's possible to feed the belt up through the half circle cut in the bottom bracket shown as number 10 to get the belt around the main drive pulley? Trying to do that with the top number 10 bracket would likely have the gear box shaft in the way, but if coming up from underneath, perhaps that would make getting the belt in place easier?

You would still have to remove the 4 bolts shown as #13 which are holding the gear box, to be able to manipulate the gear box so there is clearance for the "C" bracket shown as #23, but I am wondering if feeding the belt from the bottom up, wouldn't prevent having to remove #23 and then would permit you to just loosen the #21 bracket and feed the belt through the idler tension pulleys.

I don't own one of these and am simply looking at your pictures and the parts diagrams. I know often in person, things appear differently than they will in pictures. Please note, I am not second guessing your approach, just wondering if there is another way to get the belt fed in place with the least disassembly possible. Thanks for taking the time to photograph and detail the process form those who own the 44" belt drive blowers..

Now I am reminded why I like the shaft drive blowers..... o_O;)

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2021 1025R, 2016 x580
648 Posts
Just went out and looked at my 47 snow blower and pulled the manual to see what mine says...

The OP is correct, the manual is useless!! It makes no mention of the belt keeper next to the main drive pulley. It also says in Step 8 to "Install belt on snowblower drive sheave from below with V-shaped side of belt in groove of sheave". Only problem there is there is not enough clearance between the pulley and the lower bracket (number 10 in Sulley's graphic), that space is only about 1/2 the height of the belt.

Jd 590, JD 2038R
2 Posts
I stopped at my JD dealer today. The lead service tech confirmed this whole thread…. Changing the belt is a job. He said they remove the top 4 bolts and the 4 side bolts in order to get the room needed to squeeze in the new belt. He, too, said the new C guide creates a problem. I’ve decided to use my old belt until it breaks, then I’ll put the new belt I bought. Let’s hope for a mild winter.
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