How to Rebuild a Mower Deck Idler Pulley

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A riding mower has a pulley mounted on the bottom of the engine. A belt connects that pulley with the pulley system located on the mower deck. One pulley located on the mower deck is the idler pulley. This pulley does not run any components on the mower deck. It simply acts as a guide for the drive belt. The pulley attaches to the mower deck with a bolt that goes through a bearing. When the balls or needles in the bearing wear out, the bearing will make a loud noise and the pulley can even freeze up on the bolt. When this happens, you must rebuild the idler pulley by replacing he bearing.

Things You'll Need

  • Socket set
  • Degreaser
  • Press
  • Sealant
  • Remove the idler pulley from the mower deck by removing the bolt that secure it with a socket and ratchet.

  • Clean the idler pulley thoroughly with a degreaser and a scrub brush; if there is dirt on the idler pulley, it can cause the new bearing to wear out prematurely.

  • Place the idler pulley into a hydraulic press and position the bearing directly over the press ram. Make sure no part of the bearing rests on the base of the press.

  • Press the bearing out of the idler pulley with the hydraulic press.

  • Clean the inside of the idler pulley with degreaser to remove any dirt or grease buildup on the inside edge of the pulley.

  • Apply a bead of sealant to the inside edge of the pulley, then place the new bearing over the hole.

  • Press the bearing into place with the hydraulic press.

  • Place the pulley on the top of a vice and pound the bearing out with a punch and a hammer if you do not have access to a hydraulic press. Be careful not to damage the new bearing when you hammer it back into place.

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References

  • Photo Credit Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images
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