John Deere 48 Inch Mower Deck Belt Diagram with Routing Guide

I have seen many people trying a DIY replacement of the deck belt on the John Deere 48-inch mower. And making things hard is very easy if you don’t know your way around.

The most common mistake they make is not remembering the belt layout and getting stuck later. To avoid this problem, you must have the John John Deere 48 Inch Mower Deck Belt Diagram in hand.

Even before you touch the deck, you should understand how the deck belt works. I will give you a routing guide so that you can learn the right orientations of the deck belt in different positions.

Besides, I will also take you through the replacement process so that you can replace a cracked or torn deck belt on your own. Let’s get into more details and see how you can perform the task.

Read: John Deere 54 Inch Mower Deck Belt Diagram – [Just 3 Checkpoints]

John Deere 48 Inch Mower Deck Belt Diagram

If you are familiar with the John Deere 54-inch mower deck belt diagram, this might not be that hard to understand. The layout is slightly different from the 54-inch deck, but similar to the 38/42/46 inch decks. Check the diagram first.

John Deere 48 Inch Mower Deck Belt Diagram
John Deere 48 Inch Mower Deck Belt Diagram

You are looking at the deck from the rear. At the very top of the image, you will see the engine pulley, which provides power to the spindles and spins the blades.

Spindle and Pulley Position

You will see three spindles and two idler pulleys on the deck. Let’s start from the right-hand side. The large circle on the right is the first spindle assembly. On its left, you will see a smaller circle, which is the first idler pulley. Just below the idler pulley is the second spindle.

Going to the left, the larger circle close to the smaller spindle and pulley is the second idler pulley. The third spindle is positioned all the way to the left of the deck. That’s all about the position of the spindles and pulleys.

I will now tell you how to route the deck belt.

Deck Belt Routing

For your ease of understanding, I want to start the routine process from the engine pulley. Imagine the process starts from the right side of the engine pulley.

The deck belt will come to the first idler pulley and wrap it from the inside. Remember, the flat side of the belt will be on the inside because the idler pulley has a flat groove.

From there, the belt will go around the first spindle assembly. In this case, it will wrap the spindle from the outside, and the v-shaped groove will stay inside. The spindle also has a similar groove.

After coming out of the first spindle, the belt will go straight around the second spindle. This spindle works as a separator and tensioner for the first and third spindles. The v-shaped groove will stay inside here.

Then, the belt will go around the third spindle and wrap the spindle from the outside. It will follow the same groove pattern as the other spindles here. After coming out, the belt will wrap the second idler pulley from the inside. The flat side will stay inside here.

Finally, the belt will reach the engine pulley from the second idler pulley, and the layout will be complete.

How to Replace John Deere 48 Inch Mower Deck Belt?

You might have understood the deck belt layout, but the deck belt replacement requires some more knowledge. Let me show you how to deal with a deck belt replacement on a John Deere 48 inch mower.

  • Step 1: Turn the Mower Off

You should always turn the mower off before working on it. Don’t touch the deck without turning it off because sharp parts can be risky.

  • Step 2: Lower the Deck

The deck adjustment lever is on the left side of your seat. Push the lever all the way forward so that the deck is at the lowest position.

  • Step 3: Push the Second Idler Pulley Forward

The belt should be under tension so you can’t easily remove it. Take a wrench and hold the nut on the pulley with it. Then, push the pulley forward. Remember, the pulley is spring-loaded, so don’t release it until you remove the belt.

  • Step 4: Remove the Deck Belt from the Engine Pulley

While the idler pulley is pushed forward, pull the deck belt down to remove it. Then, slowly release the idler pulley so that you don’t get hurt.

  • Step 5: Remove All the Bars and Support Arms

There is a bar at the front of the deck. Remove the retaining pin or butterfly pin and the washer. If the bar is under tension, use a pry bar to raise the mower deck a bit. Then, the bar should come out easily. Do the same thing for all support arms until the mower deck is free to move.

  • Step 6: Remove the Brackets

You need to use a 10mm socket wrench to loosen the screws on the brackets. Remove two brackets and clean any debris under the brackets.

  • Step 7: Take the Old Belt Off

Start taking off the old belt from one end and work your way to the other. If there are metal bars on the deck that prevent the belt from moving, loosen the bars and move them out of the way.

  • Step 8: Install the New Belt

Take a new deck belt and start routing it according to the routing guide I provided above. Make sure all the grooves are matched perfectly and the belt isn’t tangled anywhere. After you finish these steps, put the brackets on and tighten the screws with a socket wrench.

  • Step 9: Connect the Front Bar and Attach the Belt to the Engine Pulley

Slide the mower deck into position and use the pry bar to raise it slightly. Then, connect the front bar and secure it with the wash and the retaining pin. Then, route the deck belt around the engine pulley. If it seems a bit tough, push the idler pulley forward, just like you did while removing the belt.

That’s it! Now, you can raise the mower deck and continue using it. For more help, you can check this video:

Frequently Asked Questions – (FAQs)

You can check the answers to the commonly asked questions about John Deere 48 inch mower deck belt.

Q: What is the John Deere 48 inch mower deck belt size?

The 48 inch mower deck belt is 139.45 inches long, 0.56 inches wide, and 0.45 inches thick.

Q: Can I use any 48 inch deck belt on the John Deere 48 inch mower deck?

You must check the specifications of the belt before use. If the specifications of both belts match, you can use any 48 inch deck belt on the John Deere 48 inch mower deck.


Understanding the belt layout is the hardest part of replacing a mower deck belt. As the number of spindles and pulleys varies from model to model, you need the exact John Deere 48 inch mower deck belt diagram to know about the layout.

I provided the diagram with a detailed routing guide so that you can do it yourself. The replacement guide will help you complete the process correctly and without hurting yourself. Make sure you follow the steps carefully.

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