Cutting starts and stops

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Feb 11, 2014
Hi guys I just got back home from my moms house where I mowed her 3 acres with her 4 yr old Craftsman 19.5 hp riding mower. After about an hour of mowing I noticed it would stop cutting for a few seconds and then start again It kind of sounds like the belt is slipping but it has never done this before I tried disengaging the blade and reengaging but this made no difference I did notice that when I engage the blade there was not the normal tension you feel when you do this The grass was higher than normal today if that can cause the belt to slip I spent more time going back over spots than it usually takes to do her yard If the belt is the issue is there any adjustment I can do or is getting a new belt the fix? Thanks
If the belt feels like it's slipping, it likely is. I'd replace the belt and eyeball the tensioning mechanism while doing so.
Most of the newer consumer grade tractors have minimal adjustments available with the tension pulley. If you decide on a replacement, consider going with a Kevlar belt rather than the OEM rubber belt to minimize stretching. If you look up the model number, you should be able to find out what length and width belt you need and you can order the Kevlar alternative easily.
Check the spring on the blade engaging cable. The cable attaches to a spring that attaches to the pulley that slides to engage the blades. That spring stretches quite a bit, good possibility that the spring has lost its tension holding ability. Just because the grass was higher/thicker then normal is not a reason for the belt to slip.
Buy a new belt and buy the tension spring at the same time. It has likely lost tension over the years, and you might as well just replace it while you have it apart. Should only set you back $5-$10 for the spring.
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