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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Yesterday, started to mow the back 5 acres with the Z710A 54" deck and 'pop" goes the mower deck belt. Not complaining, it had 428 hours on it and on there from the day it was made. So, off to the JD dealer this morning to get a TCU29453 belt. Not a bad price..$$69.31, less my $10.40 discount.. The price wasn't bad, it was installing it. If you haven't had to replace one of the commercial deck belts, you are in story for some serious thinking. Due to the fact the old V-belt broke and the "big strong spring" had already separated from it's connections, that was the easy part. What comes with some PITA, is the pulley guides that need to be loose or removed to install the belt. That's another story to tell. What I thought would be a two hours chore, turns in three hours and some skined knuckles...even with wearing gloves. Also, needed three arms and few more fingers...much longer. Plus a few wrenches and sockets that you may not have available.
Anyway, I succeeded it getting it installed and all works as usual.. It either I'm getting too old for this, or just take it to the dealer if and when it happens again.
 

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Yesterday, started to mow the back 5 acres with the Z710A 54" deck and 'pop" goes the mower deck belt. Not complaining, it had 428 hours on it and on there from the day it was made. So, off to the JD dealer this morning to get a TCU29453 belt. Not a bad price..$$69.31, less my $10.40 discount.. The price wasn't bad, it was installing it. If you haven't had to replace one of the commercial deck belts, you are in story for some serious thinking. Due to the fact the old V-belt broke and the "big strong spring" had already separated from it's connections, that was the easy part. What comes with some PITA, is the pulley guides that need to be loose or removed to install the belt. That's another story to tell. What I thought would be a two hours chore, turns in three hours and some skined knuckles...even with wearing gloves. Also, needed three arms and few more fingers...much longer. Plus a few wrenches and sockets that you may not have available.
Anyway, I succeeded it getting it installed and all works as usual.. It either I'm getting too old for this, or just take it to the dealer if and when it happens again.
Maybe the one on my 997 will outlast me. It doesn't look too fun to change either
 

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I have swung wrenches my whole life and feel certain I would go broke doing flat rate auto or truck repair.
You know this repair was finished properly anyway. I hate letting other folks work on anything I own although sometimes it's necessary. I don't trust them all.
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
When at the dealer, the parts guy and myself had some discussions on which V-belt I needed. It seems John Deere switch in the middle of the stream on this Z710A Ztrak. The first few models made to serial numbers- __-__020000 required a V-Belt #TCU26291 at a modest price of $131.91. Which I tried to explain to the parts guy that my Z710A was made in 01/12/2012. and I was sure it required the V-Belt #TCU29453 at a price of $69.31. It was good thing I didn't listed to the parts guy with his experience at the parts counter, as I was correct on which belt I needed. Would guess he works on commission of dollar sales made. Didn't ask why the other belt was twice expensive, unless it has some "gold" embedded in the belt fibers.
 

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Maybe the one on my 997 will outlast me. It doesn't look too fun to change either
Mine going on 7 years old, still looking good, hoping it hangs in for a while.
Only start and stop deck at low idle, think that helps.
 

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2018 Z955M MOD w/ ecv860 efi
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Yesterday, started to mow the back 5 acres with the Z710A 54" deck and 'pop" goes the mower deck belt. Not complaining, it had 428 hours on it and on there from the day it was made. So, off to the JD dealer this morning to get a TCU29453 belt. Not a bad price..$$69.31, less my $10.40 discount.. The price wasn't bad, it was installing it. If you haven't had to replace one of the commercial deck belts, you are in story for some serious thinking. Due to the fact the old V-belt broke and the "big strong spring" had already separated from it's connections, that was the easy part. What comes with some PITA, is the pulley guides that need to be loose or removed to install the belt. That's another story to tell. What I thought would be a two hours chore, turns in three hours and some skined knuckles...even with wearing gloves. Also, needed three arms and few more fingers...much longer. Plus a few wrenches and sockets that you may not have available.
Anyway, I succeeded it getting it installed and all works as usual.. It either I'm getting too old for this, or just take it to the dealer if and when it happens again.
One might think it would be easy to change, being “commercial” and the fact that you might be on the job, snap a belt, and need a quick change, by the operator, to finish the job! Haven’t had to change mine on my z955 yet, and after reading this, I’m in no hurry!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Due to the fact these commercial grade Ztraks are somewhat just a small Army tank in disguise, makes them a little more difficult to work on. If you have one, take a very good look at how the mower deck in installed and how it would appear to be removed. Removing one is not easy....too many thing to unhook, or remove to drop it. That is the easy part, it's getting it back up under the tractor is a two person job, or if you are lucky you may have a mower deck lift. So, it is best to leave it hanging there and replace the V-belt like I have done in the above post. Now, if you have the problem of replacing the "drive belt" ( the one that drives the transmissions) on these commercial mowers, you are in for a surprise. I've looked at mine..Z710A and it appears it is best to remove the whole top....seat and body to get to the belt, or drop the mower deck and have some access to the drive belt transmission pulleys.. And with some degree if you are a smaller person you might do better than a heavy body person. Doing this you have to remove the mower deck belt from the PTO and go from there.. Before doing all that you would need a lift to get the tractor up high enough to work under it. Having the dealer doing the replacing, probably be in the $300.00 range...plus the belt cost.
When I started on the Z710A to get the mower deck off, I got the big tractor with the bucket and a chain to lift the rear up about 3 feet. That did help getting to the rear and the PTO section.
 

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The deck belt on the Exmark Lazer Z series machines, which I own, can be changed in 10 minutes or less and without any tools. I know because at about 500 hours, I broke a deck drive belt. I was very pleasantly surprised how easy the new belt is installed........

The mower deck safety shields all come off without any tools, simply pull them backwards and off they come.

Flip up the hinged operator platform floor and the top of the mower deck is wide open right beneath the opening.

Release the belt tensioner, which can be done either bare handed or is easier with a 1/2" drive ratchet or breaker bar and then route the belt. No need to even lay on the ground as you can route it around the engine drive pulley as well, as long as that's where the first effort is made.

If you route it on all of the deck pulley's first and then try to get it on the engine drive pulley, it would be easier to get on the ground to get the engine pulley belt placed. In any event, its still a quick process.

That's just one of the reason's why when I considered the Deere zero turn, I passed on them because they just aren't nearly as "user friendly" as the ExMark Lazer Z, which is their true commercial mower.

In fact, I just got a brand new Lazer Z yesterday and sold my 2017 ExMark Lazer Z E Series, with 865 hours on it, for 70% of what I paid for it new. I am a real fan of Green on many things, but in the commercial zero turn, Deere just doesn't do it as well as some others do.............

Also, replacing the actual machine drive belt on the ExMark is nearly as simple as the deck drive belt. The only complicating factor is you need to release the deck drive belt tension, so you can remove the deck drive belt from the crankshaft pulley as the machine drive belt is driven from a pulley above the PTO clutch location on the crankshaft.

Still, the machine drive belt is maybe a 10 to 12 minute replacement process and once again, it can be done in the field by hand. In my opinion, when you replace the deck drive belt, it would be prudent to replace the machine drive belt, which is exactly what I have done.

That way, you already have the deck belt tensioner released so replacing both belts is even easier. And with most commercial zero turns, the deck belt is spinning probably 90% or more of the time the engine is running.........as the point of the machine is to mow. While the loads on the belts are different, if one is worn with 500 hours of use, it would be a good time to replace the other.

Breaking a mower drive belt is an inconvenience and a hassle to production. Breaking a machine drive belt is a stranded machine, where ever the belt broke and you had better hope its not in the middle of the road, or on a slope towards the river, etc..........
 
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