Difficulty in mounting belt on Toro Model 20384

uncleduncMarch 16, 2014

About a year ago, I bought a Toro Super Recycler Model 20384, with electric start and Personal Pace. Not a moment of problems until last week when some mulching resulted in a small stick jamming and locking the rear pulley. The front pulley burned the belt in seconds.

I fix all my own equipment and have for years. I ordered a new belt, and while waiting for it to arrive, tried to take the old one off. So far I can't..

The problem is with the rear pulley/transmission on the rear axle. The pulley guides are too close to allow a belt to slip off, and I find no way to dismantle them.

If anyone else has had and solved this problem, I would really appreciate finding out how it is done.

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It has the slip-off blade driver/pulley assembly. Once you remove the blade and roll the belt off the pulley and remove the driver, the belt is free on the front and may be easier to manipulate off the rear pulley. Watch out for a little spacer that may be inside the driver which could fall out. You could easily cut the old belt, but that wouldn't help you to figure out how to install the new one.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2014 at 5:48PM
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That guide and its mounting screws are a bit of a pain. I'm not sure if this is the easiest way for your specific machine- but disassembling the axle on the housing side and dropping the shaft low enough to deal w the guide screws is how I have done it in the past.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2014 at 10:24PM
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Here is a quick video. I am not sure if yours is exactly like the one in the video. But It gives you a good visual as to how to go about it.


    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 10:38AM
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Sincere thanks to saxman 1, tomplum and bob_k

I misled saxman by asking how to remove belt when I really wanted how to put the new one past the guard.
tomplum alerted me to removal screws, but now I need to know what sort of driver will remove them.
Thanks to bob_k's video that showed a human removing the screws. Different mower, but no matter.
If any of you three know what driver removes screws, post or email me. This is a wonderful site.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 8:24PM
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Neat video. Why is it all the ones I work on aren't that clean? I haven't done one this season, but my first guess is a T15. Get a feel for how tight the screws are in the plastic. They strip easy and of course since the cable pulls directly on the bracket they retain- they need to be solid.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 11:57PM
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I wasn't misled - I thought it may be worth a shot if you didn't know how to make some working room by at least removing the driver/pulley. I understand that you can't easily get the belt out of the rear guides. I have two Toro/Lawn-Boy mowers with this arrangement but evidently have been lucky because I haven't had to replace a belt yet, One is a 2004 and the other a 2008. Normally the belts last quite a while - you had an unlucky occurrence. The guides are to prevent the belt unshipping from the rear pulley, and they do a great job! :(

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 3:10PM
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My 20384 is fixed. Thanks to everyone who helped. I do have a couple of observations about the belt that almost ate my lunch.

The belts, configured to slip, wear out quickly. Further, small sticks or rocks can lock the rear pulley and wear out the belt in seconds. While my replacement only cost me about $12, I had owned the mower less than a year. The small dealership where I bought it tries to keep six in stock. Replacement is with ordinary tools, but with much desassembly. I don't know if I would buy another.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2014 at 10:20PM
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The Toro 'Personal Pace' and 'Variable Speed' drives are the simplest, most efficient walk-behind mower drives yet devised and tend to last for many years. The original concept was developed by Lawn-Boy many years before Toro owned that brand. The belts are designed to be tough as they constantly slip. The only recurring problem is minor 'belt-slap' that you hear and feel from time to time. I've noticed this mainly on Honda mowers with a somewhat similar system where you will get a shudder when slowly depressing the drive bail, but they don't use that particular system anymore. With the Toro/Lawn-Boy system, feathering the bail produces slower drive speed with smooth action.
I've used my mowers to mulch leaves with small sticks for years without picking up a rock or stick that caused any trouble, but after all it is a lawn mower, not a woodlands mulcher. Thanks to you reporting your problem, I'll be more careful when going into the wooded areas with them in the future. When I had a LB 10550 (with 'Easy Stride', same as 'Personal Pace') in the past, the only trouble I had with mulching/mowing leaves/sticks was debris would get into the wheel gears and stop the wheel. This was because the plastic debris shield over the wheel gears was not 'full-circle' like the later Toro/LB mowers.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2014 at 12:37PM
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