Craftsman Mower 917-289223 drive belt won't stay on

jninepugJuly 14, 2014

I bought this mower used. When I started using it this spring, I noticed that every time you let off the clutch, it about bucks you off. My son said it was normal but I've never had a mower buck so bad. Now, the motor drive belt came off. My neighbor bought a new one and put it on. Every time you push in on the clutch, the belt comes off again. Can anyone help? Don't have the money to take it to the shop. :(

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Is the belt routed as per Owners Manual?

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 10:51AM
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What Bill posted and check all the idler pulleys and tensioner mechanism.

Also, is the replacement belt a real sears belt or aftermarket substitute?

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 1:17PM
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Yes, you must use the proper belt. Also, the brake not releasing as quick as it should will make a rider launch like that. too tight or binding.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 3:34PM
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FWIW, to me, that's a classic signal that the old belt has stretched and time for a new one. However, as pointed out above, is it OEM, as some of these things are not integral numbers, but have fractions added on. e.g. 80.5" rather than 80" If your new one is not OEM, that could be the answer. Also, as pointed out above, check linkages, routing, are idler pulleys free to spin, spring, binding, etc. Said another way, if you needed a 80.5" and your neighbor got an 81" or the generic cross reference took them there.....

Don't understand "bucks you off?" It is a manual trans and if the rpm's are up and you "pop" the clutch, it's going to jump. Again, as stated, check for free travel on the clutch/brake verifying smooth operation and spring movement.

I've attached a link to a Belt Cross Reference giving the length and width by part number. Using that, if you want to go aftermarket, you'll at least have the right size. Also, havinig the proper length, but wrong width can also lead to excitement.

Good Luck,


Here is a link that might be useful: Belt cross reference

    Bookmark   July 16, 2014 at 10:27PM
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