troy bilt horse tiller belt help

chas045(7b)February 10, 2006

I have an old troy bilt 4 speed horse tiller. I see from an old forum posting that two other people besides me have found that the original replacement belts appear to be loose at installation. The forum suggested using a smaller belt. HOWEVER, the manual says that with a 4 speed (one belt) system, the belt is made of special material due to extra force exerted on one belt vs. the two belt design. Local suppliers say the same. Does anyone know how to get an extra strong 21" belt rather than the 22.5" Troy Bilt one?

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majorxlr8n(Central NJ - Z7)

Napa Car Parts stores sell OPE belts. Grab a Kevlar (green) belt. If you know the belt width (1/2"?), give the counter person the dimensions & you should be all set!


    Bookmark   February 11, 2006 at 2:02AM
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Thanks Marty. I'll try it. Re looseness: I forgot to mention that the tensioning block was adjusted for tightest possible fit. Does anyone know how a horse tiller can fail to fit the original belt?

    Bookmark   February 11, 2006 at 9:26AM
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Does anyone know how a horse tiller can fail to fit the original belt?
troybilt did upgrade modifactions,(going from the fiber disc, type reverse to a rubber disc) if you have had a upgrade unknown to you,one or both pulleys were changed/can't remember for sure,20 years ago :( the belt's would be different

    Bookmark   February 11, 2006 at 3:23PM
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Marty or anyone, I went to "my local NAPA, and they hadn't heard of kevlar green belts. They gave me some suposedly strong belt but I would be interested to have another description for the kevlar belt.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2006 at 3:24PM
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majorxlr8n(Central NJ - Z7)

Chas - Kevlar is used in bullet proof vests. OPE Kevlar belts are usually green in color to make them stand out - sometimes they are also light blue. Other than that, there is no way to tell that I know of. Gates also has OPE Kevlar belts available at some auto stores. Hope that helps... Marty

    Bookmark   February 12, 2006 at 2:45AM
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dave_danger(West Central Ga)

Please don't think I'm being patronizing, but I'm just making sure we're on the same page... You are aware that that belt is not intended to be tight all the time? It is only tensioned while you're driving the tiller in reverse. I'm assuming that you ARE aware of that, and what you're saying is that even when you want to reverse the tiller, the belt is excessively loose. I myself have replaced that belt, and had difficulty finding one as wide as the original equipment belt. The problem that causes is that the narrower belt sinks further down into the pulley sheave and that makes it seem too long. Point in fact, that is true. If a narrower belt is the only one you can locate, you will have to go with a slightly shorter one. I took my original belt into a local auto parts store, and had them order me as close a belt as they could find taking the width into account. It's a standard Gates belt of no particular super-strength, and so far it's working fine. I don't have the machine here with me at the moment or I'd give you the exact belt number. I will try and get the number and provide it shortly.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2006 at 2:15PM
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Last weekend (8-8-08) I bought a 1993 Troy-bilt Horse 7hp tiller with manual start. This machine was sitting in a fellows garage and had been rarely used... I bet this 15 year old machine didn't have 40 hours on it as it is immaculate and even the tires still had the little casting nipples still on them.

I was quite surprised that the drive belt was loose enough that minimal resistance would hold the tines and cause the belt to slip. I had an Ariens tiller for many fact I totally wore it out (2 engines and the tines down to nubbs) so I am familiar with how the machine should operate and the proper belt tension. I could not get enough tension out of the tensioning block even on the tightest setting, so there seems to be some issue with the specification for this belt. I did go to the local dealer and bought another belt, but it is the same size and I know it will be too large. I will hunt around and get another belt that is smaller and report back to this thread on the findings as there may be others out there with similar issues... although after all of these years perhaps not... and the new machines probably don't have this issue. My concern at this point is that a smaller belt may not be easy to remount!? We will see... more later.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2008 at 10:34AM
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I recently bought a 70's model horse 2 belt drive. I have replacment belts but how do I get the old ones off?

    Bookmark   April 22, 2009 at 1:06PM
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I am having the exact same issue - i have a 1986 Troybilt Horse. Has anyone figured this out? Did MTD change the original belt spec? I have been to several stores and have not found anything that would work as a substitute. It would be great to know if there is a workaround. Did anyone try changing the pulley wheels? I thought to order something like this - but it is a bit of a shot in the dark. Any help at all would be appreciated.


    Bookmark   May 28, 2011 at 2:52PM
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I've been running a NAPA #6540BR belt on my horse and had no problem w/ it.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2011 at 8:40AM
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ATTN JOEYFISCH - Is your issue finding the correct belt, or is it how to install the belt?

    Bookmark   May 29, 2011 at 10:58PM
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I had forgotten that I had ever asked this question. I followed the suggestion of going with those green colored belts from Dayco. I see that my belt is a Dayco L422 which is an outside diameter of 22". It is the single belt type. I don't recall having problems just slipping the old belt off (too loose anyway) and loosened up the tension block completely I think to get the new one on. It is so long ago, I suppose I may have had to follow the owner manual which says to unbolt the reverse disk by putting it in forward (engine off) and hit wrench with a hammer blow. After removal of front piece, move reverse lever toward reverse to give maximum slack and slide belt off. I imagine that i did the reverse slack routine but i doubt that i had to remove part of the reverse disk.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2011 at 9:15AM
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I have an 81 Troy Bilt Horse and I replaced the belt last year with a belt I bought at Ace hardware for around $3.00. I did not remove anything to remove and reinstall the new belt.

I don't expect the cheap belt will last as long as the proper belt, but it was about 1/5 the cost.


    Bookmark   May 31, 2011 at 9:20PM
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I purchased a older Troy Bilt Horse tiller.It had been in storage for several years and needed some carb . work,but after I got it running I loved it. Tilled my entire garden then I noticed the belt was rubbing and then the belt got really loose and would not pull its self or turn the tines any more. I ordered a new belt hoping that would fix the problem,but I am not sure which pulley to use for slow or fast speed.I believe the belt has to be moved from one pulley to the other depending on which speed you want to run.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2013 at 7:25PM
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gator_rider2(z8 Ga.)

Small pulley on top makes slow speed.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2013 at 11:08AM
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Bob, I just want to make sure that the tensioning block didn't slide loose on you. That seems like the most reasonable explanation for a quick change in operation. If your belt is still on, just make sure the block isn't loose; and anyway slide it down until the belt feels a little tighter. If it is already down all the way, then Neverrr-Mind.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2013 at 8:45AM
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