A damaged deck belt causes an immediate halt in any mowing activity, since it means the blades cannot spin properly and that mowing cannot be finished professionally or at all. The best course of action is to immediately stop any activity and replace the deck belt with an OEM model from Cub Cadet. Replacement will restore the deck to like-new operation and ensure better, more consistent mowing, with less maintenance concerns over the long-term. This process requires a few basic steps, which vary slightly based on the deck size, which can be completed over the course of a half-hour to an hour depending on the operator’s experience level.
Safety Always Comes First During Deck Belt Replacement
Don’t risk a serious injury during belt replacement. Before getting started, clear the area of bystanders and give the equipment time to cool off if it was recently in service. Disconnect the spark plug and remove the battery for added protection. Make sure that deck work takes place indoors, or on a solid concrete surface, where minimal damage can be done to the blades or to the deck itself as it is removed from underneath the mower. When handling the deck, it’s also a good idea to wear protective gloves to avoid cuts or scrapes from the equipment.
Mower Deck Removal: Brief Instructions for RZT-S Owners
Mower deck removal is covered extensively in the operator’s manual, but those new to the process can learn how to get the deck out from underneath the equipment using a few basic steps.
1. Raise the deck to its highest position, and then sit behind the mower and grab the belt located at the front of the PTO pulley. Pull on that belt, downward and toward the left, while manually turning the pulley. The belt should come out to the edge of the sheave. Continue holding the belt downward and turning the pulley until the belt rolls off that pulley.
2. Put the mower deck in its lowest position. Remove the cotter pin from the front deck lift rod, and then slide that rod out of the hanger bracket. Find the left and right deck release pins and pull them to release the deck. Lift the deck to its highest position and then slide it out from under the mower.
Deck Belt Removal: A Guide for Each Deck Size
Removal of the mower’s deck belt requires a slightly different procedure depending on the cutting deck size. Instructions for each of the RTZ-S models are found below.
42” Deck Instructions
1. Loosen the deck’s idler pulleys so that the belt can slip between each pulley and the belt keepers located underneath the deck. Then slide the belt off those pulleys.
2. Work the belt around the pulleys as needed. Slide the new belt through the same opening in the belts, weaving it around the idler pulleys as required.
3. Tighten the idler pulleys as needed so that the new belt is securely in place.
4. Reinstall the mower deck underneath the mower by following the procedure mentioned earlier in reverse. Take the mower for a test drive before committing to regular service.
46” Deck Instructions
1. Loosen the 46-inch deck’s idler pulleys as needed so that the deck belt can slip around them and between the pulleys and the belt keepers. Keep in mind that the 46-inch mower has a slightly different configuration; an appropriate diagram can be found in the operator’s manual.
2. Remove the belt from the pulleys, then route it around each of the individual pulleys until it can be completely removed from the mower deck.
3. Install the appropriate new deck belt for 46-inch RZT-S mowers. Once the belt is in place, tighten the mower’s idler pulleys as needed and then reinstall the mower deck. Do not commit to routine mower work until a brief test drive has ensured that the belt is securely in place and ready to work properly.
50” Deck Instructions
1. The 50-inch deck has several key pulleys for the deck belt, but only the two rear idler pulleys must be loosened in order to fully remove the belt during replacement. Loosen those pulleys first.
2. Slip the belt through and around the pulleys as needed, until it can easily be removed from underneath the deck.
3. Install the new belt and tighten the two rear idler pulleys that were loosened in earlier steps. When the belt is secure, reinstall the mower deck and perform a brief test drive to ensure proper operation.
Find OEM Replacement Deck Belts at CubParts.com
For the best commitment to quality when it comes to finding replacement parts, equipment owners should trust OEM Cub Cadet parts made in the company’s factories, right alongside actual mowers and other equipment. These parts enjoy the same commitment to quality and durability as Cub Cadet mowers, and they’re guaranteed to be compatible with the corresponding model for which they’re manufactured. CubParts.com, along with its online parts lookup tool, makes it easy to find the exact deck belt needed for RZT-S mowers and other models.