Anyone tried the aftermarket belts for the Deere 42M decks?

tomplumAugust 25, 2012

Deere gets nice $$ for this belt. The belts in question replace the M153160 on X Series riders. I ran into a guy the other day that used the PIX and Oregon versions. At least the PIX version had a different shape- he said OEP was the same. Just wondering what your experiences were w/ either one.

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Tom, have not used the exact belt you mention, but HAVE used Oregon mower deck and drive belts on Deere STX38s, and got good service out of them.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2012 at 12:46PM
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dirtdigging101(7 - NC)

i buy my replacement belts at the local industrial supply house. about 12 to 14 dollars each. they have every inch size up to 180 inches. industrial belts are not as heavy duty work fine do not over tighten. and if the john deer belt is 104 inches u need a belt 2 inches less. so 102 inches

    Bookmark   August 27, 2012 at 8:43PM
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Never had success with third party universal belts. Rarely seem to be an exact replacement beyond length.

OPE manufacturers have a habit of specing pulleys and belts off standard. Have gotten great service from JD branded belts on JD hardware offsetting the cost.

What belt is that on which x-series?

    Bookmark   August 27, 2012 at 9:11PM
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This is a , can't think of the word- a double "V" belt. Like a a standard belt that would be glued together back to back. No real flat side. I'm pretty sure if you have a single drive belt 42M on any X series, this is the belt. 3's and 5's both have it. The local dealer retails them at $140ish, tho list is less probably. This deck replaced the Freedom decks that were timed. I use a lot of OEM belts and do well with the Thermoid belts- which made lots of the OEM belts before they outsourced to China and Mexico. They are exact fit in most cases. Stens sells them. Tend to like them better than most OEP belts. Just looking to see who has used an aftermarket on these.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2012 at 11:40PM
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The M153160 belt for the 42m deck on the X3xx select series is BOTH a drive and the deck belt. It makes pretty dramatic turns and has a complicated path to run in a short distance. I surmise that calls for a more exotic and complicated construction than a belt on the larger decks with a simpler run over a longer distance.

The M163160 belt sells on the web for $115 from authorized JD dealers.

First pic is the X300 42m deck and the single belt is the drive and deck belt. Late model 42m decks had separate belts instead of one.

Second pick is the X500 48" deck which has a separate belt for the drive and a separate belt for the deck.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2012 at 12:35AM
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Yes, any of the local dealers by me mark plus 20% ish on list for retail customers. I think my since i know ya price is about a 100$. I'm unsure what you mean by both a deck belt and a drive belt as the traction belt is different. I've not ever seen a 42M w/ 2 deck belts, but I know they are there. I've worked on both of the single belt versions. Have a look when you visit your dealer sometime. They are a bit odd in the fact that idler #20 doesn't run true with the other pulleys. It is cocked slightly I'm guessing to control slap. People that bought these many times were replacing a Freedom deck hoping to get the same performance and not have to buy timing belts. That is until they buy one of these... Duplex belt- that's what they call 'em.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2012 at 4:41PM
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The later iteration of the 42M deck has one drive belt from the PTO to the deck and another belt running the quills on the deck.

The earlier versions of the 42m deck have only one belt from the pto to the deck and it ALSO drives the quills on the deck. This version requires the belt to take a VERY complicated route around the pulleys and is the $115 belt.

The M153160 is sold on the web at $115 by and the and has it @ $106

The real JD list price is $103.04 and can be ordered direct from JD via their parts list and picked up at any JD dealer

    Bookmark   August 28, 2012 at 5:08PM
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Over a hundred bucks for a belt? Da__!

    Bookmark   August 29, 2012 at 12:09AM
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"Over a hundred bucks for a belt? Da__!"


Pay ANYTHING for a bottle of water?

$5 for a cup of coffee?

$3.75 for a gallon of gas?

$20,000 for a VW Beetle?

If you look at the first diagram and note the obstacle course that belt takes at the speed it takes it and you know anything about belts you'll understand that it is not a run-of-the-mill fan belt. Ultimately JD redesigned the 42m deck and changed the belt design to one belt from the PTO to power the deck ($36) and a separate belt to turn the quills ($67) which brought the belt costs way down when you replace just the one you need..

It is what it is.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2012 at 12:43AM
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I don't have specific experience with the JD X300, but have had pretty good experience with V-Belts 4 Less for my John Deere R72 rider which uses an oddball A-section mower belt. The belt is 1/2 x 63.375 and most aftermarket places try to sell a 63" or a 64", which simply won't work right. Been using this belt for 12 years (about 4 years each belt) and feel I get equivalent OEM performance.

Your belt is a "Double-BB" and the odd length of 156.6" creates problems. The replacement from V-Belts 4 Less is $54.00, about 1/2 JD OEM price. Suggest you follow the link, enter you M153160 part number, and see their offering.

Here is a link that might be useful: V-Belts for Less

    Bookmark   August 29, 2012 at 5:54PM
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gewf631(Chicago NW Burb)

Wanted to jump-in and also give a thumbs-up to V-belts 4 less.
Called them because a cross-reference wasn't listed, and they were VERY helpful. Their prices were great, and they order I placed Monday afternoon, arrived Wednesday afternoon. Shipping was flat-rate, so went ahead and ordered belts for my Cub 2166, my tiller, and one extra for the snowblower. Paid less for all of them, than I did the last time I got just the PTO belt for the Cub.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2013 at 7:53PM
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I am new to this site but wanted to give my two cents as well. I have a simplicity mower with a belt number 5023256. The dealer wanted $80+ for the belt, I thought that was outlandish. So I looked online like some of you did and found a place that was selling it for under $25. I decided to give it a go and the belt has lasted longer than the OEM part. It is worth trying. Even if you don't think the size is off by 1/4" most of the time there is an adjustment.

Just me two cents

    Bookmark   August 28, 2013 at 2:35PM
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wish all you aftermarket belt users luck and $$ saved. However the general experience noted on this forum particularly with the aftermarket deck drive belts seems to have not been so good.
Also, worn quill/idler pulley bearings, sticking idler arm pivots often end up being the culprits for many trashed belts... JMHO.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2013 at 4:48PM
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Interesting that this came up again. I had not ever ordered from VB4L. I stock a lot of belts. I would like others specific opinions on VB4L quality if you can. I do well on certain OEM belts from my main distributors price and quality wise. Honestly, there are a few that I have had a better track record with the Stens/ Thermoid than OEM. The aftermarket offerings can be a pick and choose. OEP over the years have changed belt specs on some. Very noticeable visable changes. I can say that the Stens/ Thermoid belts are problem free for me. Off hand ~30%ish are from them in my inventory of 130 different belts. I highly suggest them. Certain belts are Deere only as an example. The belt that I had started this thread over I'm lucky to install 2 in a year. Powerflo belts via Deere are a much better quality than aftermarket. That being said, I will put a wrapped Gates green belt or Thermoid on a given Powerflo type unit and get good service, but on a Deere- really like the OEM better. Never do I use a non OEM on a MTD VS drive as an example either. Some things you just know after a while.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2013 at 1:16AM
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