When I was looking to buy a riding mower, several people told me that I had better learn to fix things myself or else plan on spending a lot of money at a repair shop. I took their first suggestion. I've only owned the mower one year but I've already replaced a spindle, mandrel pulley, changed oil and filters, repaired a tire, and generally kept things aligned and clean. Now the mower deck belt broke, so it's my next repair job.
I had thought myself clever by buying a belt in advance when I had purchased the spindle. But alas, I was ignorant of the mower parts. What I purchased was the engine drive belt. I discovered my mistake when trying to install it on the mower deck. Drats, too short.,....something's wrong. An investigation quickly revealed my error. But hey, I might need that belt anyway and it's good to keep one on hand. So on my trip to Hilo I stopped at Sears and bought two mower deck belts, one for now and a reserve. Since I wasn't 100% sure of the part number, I opted to buy them at Sears. The price actually wasn't bad because I got to use my Sears points I had acquired when I originally bought the mower.
Now to do the task....install the new belt. First of all, how does the belt go? No problem. Didn't even have to look at a manual. The diagram was right on the mower deck. I guess that's there for mower owners like me who haven't a clue.
I opted not to go to the hassle of dropping the mower deck off of the tractor. Even though the space was right, I didn't have much of a problem treading the new belt into the appropriate spots.
With the mower back in business I took the opportunity to get a bit of mowing done. The grass has been growing like crazy with all the rain lately, so the mowing had to go slowly. I actually went over the areas three times, bringing the deck a notch lower with each pass. Within two hours I had accumulated 4 jumbo piles of grass clippings. Quite a haul! Then it began raining. Sigh.
The mower is back in the barn again awaiting another morning of no rain. And that might be days from now. I've got a couple more hours of mowing ahead of me just to catch up with the grass. But this will give me plenty of clippings for mulching, just what I desperately need down at the seed farm.