How to Change a Drive Belt in a Sears Lt1000

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Without a properly working drive belt, a Sears Craftsman LT1000 lawn tractor won't cut grass.

Sears Craftsman LT1000 riding mowers have a reputation for being solid and sturdy, but some of their parts need to be replaced from time to time. If you have an LT1000 riding mower, you may be able to do a Craftsman LT1000 belt replacement on your own. These mowers have 42-inch, heavy-duty decks, and the manufacturer's replacement drive belt part measures 1/2 inch by 95 1/2 inches. Its part number is 144959.


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Craftsman LT1000 Belt Replacement

Lawn tractor ground drive belts connect the engine's crankshaft to the transaxle's pulley. This in turn drives the mower's back wheels. When these belts are worn excessively or even break, the tractor cannot move. When shopping for a new drive belt, be sure to choose one that is approved by the manufacturer.

This is not an expensive project since replacement deck belts are priced under $20. If you also need a Craftsman LT1000 drive pulley, these cost even less. However, if you are new to this task, there are useful sites online that have a Craftsman LT1000 drive belt diagram that may help you. These can also be found in the Sears Direct online manual. Having step-by-step instructions on hand is necessary to avoid making mistakes.


Taking Off the Mower Deck

To get started, park your LT1000 on a flat surface, set the parking brake, turn off the ignition and take out the key. Wearing work gloves, pull up the hood and disconnect your spark plug. Once that has been done, you may lower the tractor's deck to its lowest position and disengage its blades. Roll the belt from the pulley and release it from its belt keepers.

Then, take off the front lift link support's retaining pin and washer and remove the support from the mower deck. Remove the retaining clip and washer from the left suspension arm and detach it. The left rear deck bracket's retaining clip and washer need to come off next. At this point, you can release the bracket. Do all of this again on the other side and pull the entire deck out until you can access the blade cable to which it is attached.


Carefully release the locking tabs and pull out the blade's cable from the bracket. Next, disconnect the blade's cable spring, which is attached to the idler arm. Move the cable aside and remove the deck from under the frame. Using a socket wrench, remove the flywheel screen cap, engine pulley bolt and washer. Finally, remove the engine pulley from the crankshaft.

Remove and Replace the Drive Belt

Remove the drive belt from the pulley, idler pulleys and belt guides. Next, lift the seat and remove the bolt that connects the negative cable to your battery. Make sure you also remove the bolt that connects to the positive cable and then lift the battery out of its box. Next, you should see a seat switch wire harness clip. Release the seat switch wire harness clip from the seat bracket, release the retaining tabs, take out the battery box and set it aside. Finally, release the belt from the pulley and pull it out.


Loop the new drive belt over the pulley, return the battery box into its opening and align the wire and cables. Lower the box into its position and re-engage the retaining tabs. Next, reconnect the seat switch wire clip to the seat bracket. Make sure that the insulating cover is where it should be on the cable and reconnect the positive and negative battery cables. Return the seat to its position and route the drive belt through the mower's chassis and then over the steering plate.

Your new belt should now be pushed through the front belt guides and looped over the pulley. Line up your pulley notch and crankshaft groove and slide the pulley onto the crankshaft. Reinstall the pulley bolt, washer and flywheel screen cap. The belt must be routed through the middle and front idler pulleys. Make sure to do the right side first and then the left. Finally, to complete your work, reinstall the spark plug and mower deck.