MTD rear drive belt jumps off pulley
I have a 1993 MTD 600 series 14/42 mower. Recently after shifting between reverse and forward the mower quit moving. I discovered the rear drive belt had jumped off the pulleys (between the transmission and idler) and was pretty chewed up.
When I put on a new belt the ride was very jerky both when accelerating and when braking. After a short test drive the new belt also jumped off the pulleys in the same location.
I do notice that the idler pulley, which sits on a bracket, appears out of alignment with the transmission pulley (by approximately 1/8 - 3/16"). I don't know if they are supposed to be exactly aligned or not.
Is this most likely the problem? (If so, how should I proceed? Can I just force the idler into alignment or do I need to remove the idler bracket and bend it, OR?????).