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Old 10-05-2020, 07:04 PM
Mikaman Mikaman is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2019
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 3
Default RZT50 drive belt failures

The main drive belt on my RZT50 has failed three times in the past 4 years. On one occasions, the belt broke. On two other occasions, the belt stretched so much that it came off the pulleys. The dealer replaced the belt each time with a new, OEM belt -- but it keeps failing. I use the mower a normal amount (sorry, I don't know the hours, it's in the shop, but probably less than 200 hours total -- in other words, 3 belt failures in less than 200 hours, belt only lasts about 60 hours!) The dealer says he has called Cub Cadet tech support and they have no suggestions. He has inspected the pulleys for misalignment, dings, cuts, etc and says they are perfect. I always apply the parking brake when storing the mower, which supposedly releases the tension on the drive belt.

Any suggestions? I have seen "kevlar" belts for sale (non-OEM) but someone told me they are junk, made in China, and even worse than the Cub Cadet OEM belt. But at this point, I'm tempted to try a Kevlar belt -- anything to try to solve this problem! Of course the belt always fails just when I really need the mower, very frustrating.

Any advice appreciated.
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Old 10-08-2020, 11:11 AM
Billy-O's Avatar
Billy-O Billy-O is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 1,403

Are the replacement belts truly "OEM"? There are many companies selling replacement parts making the "OEM" claim when they truly are not.

I'm not a fan of the Kevlar belts, especially big box store brands like TSC.

I am a fan of Gates belt. My local NAPA carries them. You need to get the right type belt for the application.
Two 125's and a 124 all with 42" decks
Plow blade
#2 Cart
QA36 snowthower
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Old 10-08-2020, 03:18 PM
spndncash spndncash is online now
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Medina Ohio
Posts: 126

I am not 100% sure of the RZT50. I have two RZT23/50's stamped deck and one RZT20/48 fab deck. the RZT20/40 has 400 hours on the factory drive belt. one RZT23/50 has just over 500 on the factory drive belt. the last one is on it's third belt at 1400 hours. I would check your tension idler - both the spring loaded swivel and the pulley itself, check alignment and check that they move quietly and spin easily and quietly. the pulleys are all stamped clamshell types on my mowers. dirt grass and clay can build up in the seam and then the belts don't ride properly in the V. that will cause accelerated wear so make sure they are clean. Lastly on all three of mine, the engines have come loose pretty regularly this will cause misalignment badly - the engines are build like a harley engine two connecting rods on one journal - cheap design and it makes uneven power - there is no solution to that other than to check the motor mount bolts every oil change.
I hope this helps!
My belts on the deck are a different story. I go through those about every 100 hours - if you want to extend their life defeat the "blades off in reverse" safety feature. on mine that is a NC switch that I disconnected and put a jumper across the connect terminals. Keep in mind if you defeat a safety switch you are making it less safe!
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belt failure, belt stretch, drive belt, rzt50

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Cub Cadet is a premium line of outdoor power equipment, established in 1961 as part of International Harvester. During the 1960s, IH initiated an entirely new line of lawn and garden equipment aimed at the owners rural homes with large yards and private gardens. There were a wide variety of Cub Cadet branded and after-market attachments available; including mowers, blades, snow blowers, front loaders, plows, carts, etc. Cub Cadet advertising at that time harped on their thorough testing by "boys - acknowledged by many as the world's worst destructive force!". Cub Cadets became known for their dependability and rugged construction.

MTD Products, Inc. of Cleveland, Ohio purchased the Cub Cadet brand from International Harvester in 1981. Cub Cadet was held as a wholly owned subsidiary for many years following this acquisition, which allowed them to operate independently. Recently, MTD has taken a more aggressive role and integrated Cub Cadet into its other lines of power equipment.

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