How to Replace the Drive Belt on a Walk-Behind Mower

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Are you having trouble getting your self-propelled mower to move? Has it been a while since you’ve inspected the drive system? Here’s how you can replace your Cub Cadet’s belt and get it rolling again.

When Do I Need to Do This Repair?

Cub Cadet self-propelled walk behind mowers use a belt to transfer power from the engine’s crankshaft to a rear-mounted transmission. A worn or broken belt will prevent power transfer, turning your self-propelled mower into a push mower. It’s a good idea to check the belt at least once a season, and it should be the first thing you check if the drive system isn’t working.

The belt drive and transmission are covered by an engine baffle and belt cover. Both of these parts and the mower blade need to be removed to access the belt.

Tools Needed

Along with common hand tools, there are a few other things you should have on hand for this repair:

Universal blade removal tool
Fuel container and funnel
A pair of heavy gloves
A spark plug wrench or socket

Optional: a siphon pump to remove fuel from the gas tank

Accessing the Belt

First, a few things need to be done to make it safe to flip the mower up on its side and to make it easier to remove the blade:

1. Disconnect the spark plug wire and remove the spark plug from the engine.
2. Unscrew the fuel tank cap. Drain the tank by pumping the fuel out with the siphon pump or by tipping the mower so that gas flows out of the filler neck into the fuel container. Always keep the air filter facing up to keep fuel from flooding the carburetor.
3. Set the mower on its side with the air filter pointing up.

Next, remove the blade and covers to gain access to the belt:

1. Fit the universal blade removal tool on the deck and blade.
2. Unscrew the blade retaining bolt, then remove the blade.
3. Remove the screws that hold the drive belt cover and engine baffle on the deck. Some models have easy-to-miss screws on the outside of the deck behind the rear wheels. Remove the cover and baffle from the mower.

Changing the Belt

1. Slide the drive belt off of the drive pulley/blade adapter.
2. Slide the belt off of the transmission pulley, working from the back of the mower and around the belt retainers. You should now be able to remove the belt from the deck.
3. Install the new belt, sliding it over the transmission pulley, followed by the engine pulley/blade adapter. It’s normal for the adapter to want to slide off the shaft without the engine baffle in place: just make sure to slide it back on to fit in the keyway on the crankshaft.

Reassembling Your Mower

Follow the previous steps in reverse to put your mower back together. When reinstalling the spark plug, thread it in by hand to make sure it doesn’t cross-thread before tightening it down.

Getting Parts and Tools for Your Cub Cadet

Is it time to replace the drive belt on your walk-behind mower? Do you need specialty tools like a blade remover? You can get everything you need from Our site can show you parts descriptions and diagrams straight from the factory for your Cub Cadet so you can be sure you’re ordering the right part. We can ship your order to your door whether you live in the U.S. or Canada.

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