42 Inch Cub Cadet Mower Deck Belt Diagram: [A Visual Guide]

Understanding how a 42-inch Cub Cadet mower deck works has always been one of the most complicated things. In this type of case, a diagram does come in handy.

The belt initially travels from the driven pulley to the tensioner, which regulates the overall tension in the system. Then, it passes through two blade spindles that hold the grass-cutting blades before looping back around the idler pulley to the driven pulley.

Troubleshooting, belt replacement, tension adjustment, and many other fixes will require you to have a clear understanding of the diagram. I can assure you that with the diagram and my in-depth explanation, the overall process gets easier.

Read: Craftsman 42 Inch Mower Deck Diagram

Comprehensive Guide: 42 Inch Cub Cadet Mower Deck Belt Diagram

In this section, we will talk about the components present in the 42-inch Cub Cadet mower deck, their functionality, and an overall explanation of the diagram. But before everything, here’s the diagram that should give a visual idea.

42 Inch Cub Cadet Mower Deck Belt Diagram
42 Inch Cub Cadet Mower Deck Belt Diagram (source)

Components In The 42 Inch Cub Cadet Mower Deck Belt And Their Functionality

Here are the components that you know the name from the diagram and their functionality.

  • Belt: It engages and disengages the blades, transmits power from the engine to the cutting blades, and maintains the right tension for effective operation.
  • Spacers: It allows for correct tensioning since it leaves a space between the pulleys and the belt. Without a spacer, the belt may go too loose or tight, which would result in poor power transfer or possibly belt failure.
  • Tensioner: As the name suggests,the tensioner is essential for maintaining the deck belt’s alignment and tightness throughout the operation. It assists in preventing belt slippage or disengagement, which could cause ineffective cutting or harm to the mower’s parts.
  • Driven Pulley: The mower deck belt connects the engine’s crankshaft to the driven pulley. It receives power from the crankshaft when the engine runs, which moves the belt. Additionally, the pulley enhances the mowing deck’s speed by two to three times that of the engine.
  • Idler Pulley: The idler pulley can move and change positions as necessary due to its spring-loaded arm. The spring-loaded arm exerts pressure on the idler pulley, causing it to move and increase stress on the belt, functioning as a guide. Also, it functions as a vibration and sound dampener.
  • Blade Spindles: These blade spindles hold the blades that are used to cut the grass. As a result of the belt transferring engine energy to the system, the entire system functions.

The energy is delivered to the blade spindles, which then embrace it and use it to swiftly cut the grass.

Read: Craftsman 42 Inch Mower Deck Belt Diagram With Replacement Guide

Explanation Of The Diagram: How the Cub Cadet Mower Deck Belt Works

Now that you know about the components and their function. Now, I will explain how they actually work together.

Firstly, the belt starts at the crankshaft pulley on the engine that connects to the driven pulley.

The engine crankshaft pulley is not shown here. It’s because I tried to focus more on illustrating the components and parts of the mower deck itself rather than the engine.

Nevertheless, from the driven pulley, you will see the belt going right across the tensioner so that the overall system receives equal tension. From the tensioner, the belt initially goes one of the blade spindles closer to the tensioner.

Later on, another blade spindle is reached, which then crosses the idler pulley to the driven pulley again to create a loop. That’s all; the overall system is covered by the deck belt through a loop now, which is ready to transfer energy.

Read: John Deere 48 Inch Mower Deck Belt Diagram With Routing Guide

How To Replace A 42 Inch Cub Cadet Mower Deck Belt

Since you know the diagram of the 42-inch Cub Cadet mower, replacing the belt for a reason should be a reliable DIY now. In case you want to replace it, with the help of the diagram, you can go through the following steps.

  • Step 1: Place the 42-inch Cub Cadet mower on a flat surface.
  • Step 2: Locate the spark plug wire positioned on the top of the engine cylinder head and disconnect it from the spark plug.
  • Step 3: Remove the deck belt covers on both sides of the mower. You will need to use wrenches and screwdrivers to get rid of the screws and clips that will become in the way.
  • Step 4: You should have access to the deck belt now. Before taking out the belt, you will need to release tension from the tensioner. Simply use a wrench to loosen the bolt in the tensioner.
  • Step 5: You need to take out the old deck belt now. Well, you can either take a picture before taking out the belt or follow our diagram as a reference for re-installing the belt.
  • Step 6: Take the new deck belt and route it through the system in the same way. However, make sure to use a  belt that is compatible with the 42-inch Cub Cadet. The belt is generally 99.75 inches in length and 0.5 inches in width.
  • Step 7: Use the wrench again to tighten the bolt in the tensioner. Make sure you are not over-tightening it. Lastly, reinstall everything you took out, and that’s it.

Here’s a video that should help you visualize the replacement process;


To conclude, I hope my simplification of the 42 Inch Cub Cadet Mower Deck Belt Diagram helped you. The diagram outlines the various parts of the mower deck and their connections, providing a clear understanding of how the mower works. By referring to the diagram, you can identify and replace any faulty or damaged parts.

Lastly, if anything is wrong with your 42-inch Cub Cadet mower, I highly recommend you use genuine Cub Cadet parts. Otherwise, you would need this diagram more often than ever.

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