Mower belts

Thu May 26, 2011 6:11 am

I do not have a Cub Cadet. But I do need to replace one of the two belts driving the deck on my mower of another make. Based on the description using the original part numbers, I bought a belt on eBay. The seller shipped a 4L870 belt, a light duty industrial belt. Changing the belt is a lot of work. I doubt that this belt will be durable for the mower service. It goes around three pulleys and one idler with the idler bending the belt sharply backward.
Is it likely that this belt will be satisfactory?

Re: Mower belts

Thu May 26, 2011 7:31 am

Since you have the belt - use it.

The local auto parts store sells two grades of belts; standard and premium. You need to ask for the premium grade belt. The premium grade belts hold up well in mower applications and are considerably cheaper than buying belts from the OEM dealers.

Re: Mower belts

Thu May 26, 2011 7:36 am

I don't blame you for being skeptical, but I have had better luck with "L" series belts than I've had with A-B etc. belts in applications involving back bending. The shallower section depth of the belt makes them more forgiving and less likely to crack or chunk out. It seems to be much more difficult, these days, to get a belt that will last. I used to prefer Gates belts and would have good success using them, but now, they're no longer U.S. made and I've had nothing but grief with them. Maybe Dayco, Browning or some of the others are better but I just don't know. I've found that the only belts that will hold up on my Kubota decks come from Kubota. The neighbor has a Yanmar with a woods deck and it will devour a generic belt in about an hour of mowing where a woods belt (wonder who makes them) will last for at least a season.

Re: Mower belts

Thu May 26, 2011 8:24 am

A & B belts may have a different pitch(angle of pulley groove and they are measured differently from the L belts. I have bought some good belts from Tractor Supply. I needed a belt for my shredder/shopper the other Saturday and NAPA didn't have it in stock so I went to Auto Zone and bought one that was cheap. I used it and it didn't slip but when I was done an hour later the belt had actually melted. I took it back and got my money back and went to NAPA and bought their good belt. Some of those made in China are junk and I even got one of those from a Cub Cadet Dealer and that belt was ONLY used on a 47 year old tractor and mower deck combination. It didn't last.

Re: Mower belts

Thu May 26, 2011 8:29 am


Last year it cost me what around $40.00Cdn to get a new belt for my JD L111 mower deck. I had to go out and buy another belt from the dealer again on Tuesday along with a few other parts. By the time I got out of there it was a tad over $150.00 in parts and again the belt was a big part of that -- $36.00 plus tax. Granted, I have a lot of lawn to mow but still a belt should last more than one season. The belt seems to have stretched quite a bit and there really doesn't seem to be any other wear on it that can be seen with the belt still on the mower. I keep the belts so I will compare the stretch at the end of this season if I remember. The new belt is more tan in colour than last year's belt which was the normal black coloured material. It seems that the majority of my belt woes stem from stretching issues. I haven't really had a lot of issues with cracking etc., that I can see.

Re: Mower belts

Thu May 26, 2011 9:25 am

Here is a good page that explains differences in types of belts. Note the difference in length measurement for different types.
By the way, I've never bought anything from this supplier. but I have heard good comments from those that have.

Re: Mower belts

Thu May 26, 2011 11:44 am

That is a good site Jim. Thanks I use the Fractional Horsepower Dry Fabric Wrapped
V-Belts with
Kevlar* Cord. They can be a bit pricey but they have outlasted anything else I've used. Buy one good one for $50 or 3 cheap $25. My choice :-) Grump

Re: Mower belts

Thu May 26, 2011 6:14 pm

Gary Dotson wrote:I've found that the only belts that will hold up on my Kubota decks come from Kubota.

AMEN :!: 1 hour for after market vs 14 years for Kubota, although, they ain't cheap :shock:

Re: Mower belts

Thu May 26, 2011 10:03 pm

Well, I just found out why my belts probably only last a season. Made In China :shock: I asked em why.. they said cause North American (read US/Can) are simply too expensive. hmmmm... I gotta find a decent North American supplier of belts for my out door power equipment. A premium may be worth it even though I like a deal as much as the next guy.

Re: Mower belts

Fri May 27, 2011 7:45 pm

Guys, I know that I'm lucky to be the son of a Cub Cadet, Simplicity, and Toro dealer (well, add in Exmark, Ferris, Snapper, Husqvarna, Sthil, and Echo too) but regardless, I have some good connections. I've literally owned nearly 100 tractors, and have only EVER used name brand replacement parts.

- When I was in high school and college I owned and operated my own landscaping service, and used a Toro/Wheel Horse 416 tractor with a 48" mower deck on it, 40 hours a week of mowing, for 4 summers straight - Still used the factory original belt (never had a problem).

- When I moved to New York, my dad rebuilt a Cub Cadet 149 for me with a 48" mower deck, which I used for 5 years to mow 2 acres with, including clearing brush that was chin deep one summer. Cub Cadet belt.... never changed it and sold it with the tractor, and the guy is still mowing with it.

- I had a 1978 Simplicity Sovereign that we used to clear brush at our farm with the 48" mower deck. Who knows how old the belt was when we got it, but we cleared 12 acres of waste to chin deep brush and scrub with that tractor over a two summer period, and never broke the Simplicity belt that was on it when we got it.

- I bought a new Simplicity Conquest with a 54" mower deck.... mowed 2 acres for 4 years.... factory belt was still on the deck when I sold it.

- I now have a Simplicity Legacy with a 60" mower deck.... tractor has 279 hours on it, mostly mowing.... factory original belt still in use...

So, here's what I'm getting at. If you use the name brand replacement belts, you might pay a little more, but they're likely to last MANY years. If your tractor is going through belts in one season, you are either buying crap belts, or there's something wrong with your mower deck.

Re: Mower belts

Fri May 27, 2011 10:16 pm


I only buy JD belts for my mower. I mow a lot of grass... lot more than 2 acres per season. I maintain my deck properly. I take it off in October or so, clean and lube it for winter storage in the pole barn. Still oxidizes.. so I lube it again in the spring. This is my 3rd or 4th belt for this particular mower. The first 2 years that I had this Dealer model, Signature our JD dealer did all the maintenance on the mower with their Ready, Set, Mow program. $100.00 a year. Kinda expensive...... so now I do my own maintenance. A parts catalog and service manual would really be nice to have .. pretty pricey -- almost $90.00 just for the two of them either paper or cd. Sure wish I knew someone who had a cd set :idea: :!: :D

Found one problem with my deck, the lift mechanism left the factory with a crack at the weld. You can see the paint, rust and fresh steel on the broken piece which tells me this was a manufacturing defect. Caused some problems. Spent the last 3 days getting parts and redoing the deck. Got most of it done now and with luck everything will be right. If not, after I get the first cut done will redo what I find amiss. My Lord what a PITA to work on... cheap push on fasteners instead of washers and pins, everything is made for tiny hands not meat hooks like mine.. and of course got no knees so that makes it really painful.

Got in 6 hours of mowing today/tonight ... I was behind the 8 ball on grass and it was almost a foot high. Not exactly the kind of grass one should be cutting with a ride on .. but kept the deck up high and took little cuts. Eventually got the front lawn and the side yard mostly cut. Still have about another 2 acres to mow and that probably gets me to the back of the pond maybe.

Getting some whining it seems from one of the spindles. Darn things are sealed so you can't grease em. At least they are not $100.00 a pop like the Roper/Craftsman ones. This will be the second spindle I replace. So far this year just in parts never mind consumables like oil filter, air filter, oil and such I probably have over $200.00 into it. I don't skimp and since we purchased it in May of 2005 it has been a real good mower.

I think the lift lever break probably has been causing much of my problems with the deck. I had to get new gauge wheels along with a spring, lift lever linkage, double hair pins, thrust washers, new mulching blades and of course the new belt. Last years belt no longer engaged properly -- stretched.... not sure why but it was about an inch or so longer when compared to the new belt.

Gonna keep doing what I am doing, maintain and then this fall I am going to strip it completely, pop it in the big tank and electrocute it then prime and paint. I am not sure why, but the powder coat is peeling off the deck and the platform. Oh well ...

And yes, even though it is green and yaller, I do like my L111 a lot.