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Simplicity 3110 belt problem

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I have an elderly Simplicity 3110, 10HP 36" mower rear engine. The standard mower belt is 78" long, 1/2" wide. Two days ago I checked the blade drive and found the belt too loose for good cutting, so removed the belt for replacement. It measured 73.5" or 5" shorter than stock, yet this belt was easily 3" too long. So I tried three other, shorter belts , 71", 72", 73". none of which were long enough to even go on. I then tried to put the "old" belt back on but it is also, now, way too short. Obviously the mower deck is moving around by at least 2", compared to the engine. How can this be? I am about to go back to stock belt length of 78" and trust that a new belt will drive well enough for me to cut my already too long grass. What is wrong with my machine?

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Assuming you have a Cavalier mower. I believe this has a manual engaging lever, not an electric clutch. First I would check the engaging mechanism to be sure there is nothing wrong there. If that is good, check the mounting points for the deck and make sure you didn't lose a pin or something. Finally, check the spindle arbor that the belt goes to and make sure the pulley is tight and that the bearings are not shot, causing it to be able to wobble. Lastly, I used to have a 3108 and the engine mounting bolts came loose, letting the engine move around. You may want to check this as well.

I am assuming the belt routing is correct, it is sometimes possible to get a belt on the wrong side of an idler or something which would change how it fits.

Hope this helps.


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