How to Replace a Cub Cadet Mower Deck Belt


You’ve noticed your deck belt is wearing because it is no longer turning your blades fast enough to give you that great cut you normally experience with your Cub Cadet mower. It may seem a little daunting to replace a deck belt on a Cub Cadet riding mower, especially since you need to remove the mower deck.

Change your Cub Cadet deck belt by removing the belt from the PTO pulley followed by the lift arms, rod and parts attached to the deck. Slide the deck out from under the mower and replace the belt. Slide the deck under your mower. Reverse prior steps to attach the deck and finish your belt install.

It really isn’t that difficult to change the deck belt.  I’ll share the steps you need to take below.

How to replace a cub cadet mower deck belt

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Cub Cadet Riding Mower Deck Belt Replacement

Prepare Your Cub Cadet Mower Deck for Removal

To change your Cub Cadet belt on a riding mower, you need to remove your mower deck. With the parking brake on and the PTO in the off position, lower the deck to its lowest position.

Steps only for a Cub Cadet with a manual PTO:

  • Loosen the hardware on the right and left idler pulleys, but do not remove them.
  • Remove the hex screw that holds the rod in place over the engine pulley and remove the rod.
  • Remove the PTO cable and unhook the spring by removing the pin that attaches the cable to the bracket on the deck.

Move the Deck Drive Pulley: Place a ratchet wrench into the square hole of the idler bracket and turn until the pulley is moved in the forward position.

Remove the Belt Around the PTO Pulley

Remove the Deck Lift Arms: There is a cotter pin located at the end of the deck lift arm near the rear of the mower. You will find a pin on both the left and right hand sides of the mower. Remove these pins and then slide the deck pin out of the lift arms to remove the lift arms from the deck.

Remove the Front Lift Rod: You will find the lift rod toward the front of your mower. There will be another cotter pin attaching the rod to the deck. Remove the pin and slide the rod out of the bracket. To get the rod out of your way, you can adjust your deck lift lever to the highest position.

Remove the Cub Cadet Mower Deck to Change Your Belt

Confirm that there is nothing more attaching your Cub Cadet mower to the deck. If you don’t find any parts attached, go ahead and slide your mower deck out from underneath your lawn mower so you can proceed with removing and replacing your deck belt.

Replace Your Cub Cadet Belt

Remove the Belt Covers: Some Cub Cadet mower decks have belt covers over the idler pulleys. Remove these covers by removing the screws attaching them to the deck so you have full access to your deck belt.

Take a Photo: Most people have a mobile phone with the ability to take a photo. I suggest taking a picture of your mower deck so you can remember the way your deck belt routes around the pulleys. You may have a pretty good memory, but just to be safe, take a picture when changing your Cub Cadet belt.

You don’t want to be unsure when routing your new belt around your pulleys. It’s a lot of work to put your belt on, slide your deck under your mower, and hook up the deck to find out you got this step wrong.

Remove the Belt: Take the belt off of the deck by removing them from the pulleys.

Install the New Belt: Using the photo you took earlier for reference, wrap the belt around the spindle pulleys and idler pulleys. Retighten the left and right idler pulleys if you loosened the hardware earlier and secure the belt covers onto the deck if your mower uses them.

Reinstall Your Cub Cadet Mower Deck

Slide your mower deck back under your Cub Cadet: Reattach the front lift rod by sliding it into the frame and securing with the cotter pin. Remember, you may have raised your deck lift lever to the highest position earlier so you may need to lower it to attach the rod.

Reattach parts that connect the lawn mower to the deck: Proceed with attaching the left and right lift arms. Slide the pins through the frame and lift arm. Secure with the cotter pin.

Steps only for a Cub Cadet with a manual PTO:

  • Replace the rod over the engine pulley and replace the hex screw to hold it in place.
  • Reattach the spring and PTO cable.

Complete Replacing Your Cub Cadet Deck Belt

Install belt around PTO pulley: Now that your deck is in installed, finish replacing your Cub Cadet deck belt by pulling the belt from the right side of your mower deck onto the PTO pulley. You want the narrow side of the belt to be placed in the groove of the pulley.

To get the belt to roll onto the pulley, pull the belt to the pulley and hold it there while you rotate your pulley to the left. Continue to do this until the pulley rolls into place.

Remember to use a drive ratchet to adjust the idler bracket to move the deck drive pulley to assist with routing and securing the deck belt. Once the belt is in place, grab the belt with your hand and rotate the belt to make sure it is securely riding around all pulleys and there isn’t slack in the belt.

That’s it. You just changed your Cub Cadet belt.

What are Symptoms of a Bad Cub Cadet Deck Belt?

The symptoms of a bad Cub Cadet deck belt are squealing of the belt, a bad lawn cut, the blades aren’t turning, or the belt fell off. For more details, read, “How to Tell Your Cub Cadet Mower Belt is Bad”.

Why Your Belt May Keep Coming Off Your Cub Cadet

The condition of your belt is certainly one reason why your Cub Cadet belt may come of your lawn mower, but there are several other reasons as well. You could have damage to the belt keepers, failing bearings, debris in the pulleys or other deck problems.

To read more about the reasons you Cub Cadet belt keeps breaking or falling off your mower in my article, “Why Your Cub Cadet Belt Keeps Coming Off or Breaking“. I share causes for your belt problems and how to solve them. 

How Long Should Your Cub Cadet Deck Belt Last?

A deck belt for the average homeowner can last up to four years with proper maintenance to your mower deck. A damaged mower deck, debris in the deck and the amount of use can affect the life of your Cub Cadet deck belt.

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We're just a guy and a girl obsessed with outdoor power equipment! We are excited to share the knowledge and tips we have learned over our combined 55 years in the power equipment industry. We have both ran equipment dealerships and took pleasure in helping our customers everyday providing equipment repair, parts, purchasing, and business tips to our residential and commercial clients. We hope our blog will help you with your next purchase, repair, or project.

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