Toro 521 Belt Replacement - Snowblower Forum : Snow Blower Forums
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post #1 of 6 Old 01-28-2019, 08:21 AM Thread Starter
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Question Toro 521 Belt Replacement

Toro 521 Snowblower belt was stretched too much to drive the auger in last weeks snowstorm. I ordered both traction and auger belts from Ebay. The old traction belt was cogged and the new one is smooth, but I figured it wouldn't make much difference. The new auger belt is cogged. This weekend I set out to replace them.

Following the service manual, I released the tensioning spring, and got the auger and drive belts off the pulleys. Then it says:
11. Install a new belt around the large traction pulley.
12. Loop the belt over the engine pulley, ensuring that
the belt is on the inside of the belt guide

I tried for an hour to get the new belt onto the engine pulley. Couldn't do it! So I tried to put the old (cogged) belt back. What a bear! When I was able to finally lever it back onto the pulley, it was so tight that I couldn't turn it. I was ready to give up, but hit upon the idea of using a pipe wrench to turn the pulley, and got the traction belt into the auger belt slot. Now the belt was 30 off perpendicular in the traction pulley. By carefully levering the belt, and turning the engine pulley with the wrench ever so slowly (to prevent the belt from coming off the traction pulley), I was able to get it into the proper slot. I think I put more wear on the old belt than it had from snow blowing!

But my misery wasn't over:
14. Hook the spring into the notch in the bottom edge
of the side plate

The spring doesn't just hook onto something. It has to go through the slot and hook into the hole! I tried for another hour using regular pliers, but couldn't get enough grip, and my vise grips were to large. I went out and bought a pair of needle-nose vise grips, and put the spring back.

Putting the new (cogged) auger belt on was a snap. In reality, it was all I really needed to do. I adjusted the auger control lever and now have a functioning snow blower. I'll put the new traction belt in a safe place for if/when I ever need it.

There must be an easier way to do this! Any suggestions?
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post #2 of 6 Old 02-03-2019, 06:43 PM
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I was thinking of buying a 521. I was hoping for a response that would at least clue us in as to what to expect ??
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post #3 of 6 Old 02-03-2019, 11:23 PM
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Did a lot of these. I cut the old drive belt off which releases tension on the pulley then place the drive belt on the engine pulley, tip the machine on its nose (need a block), remove the driver cover, and start the belt on the lower pulley then just pull the engine over to lever the belt on. Never removed a spring before...
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post #4 of 6 Old 02-04-2019, 07:34 AM Thread Starter
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I bought the 521 used for $75. It works fine. Replacing the auger belt was the only major maintenance I've had to do so far.
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post #5 of 6 Old 02-04-2019, 07:45 AM
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I dunno... I have always installed belts pulley-wise from small first to finishing installation onto large pulley. Seems logical and also seems to just be easier. I may be wrong in my thinking and method but it has always worked for me.

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post #6 of 6 Old 02-04-2019, 12:45 PM Thread Starter
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I would definitely agree with you guys about putting the traction belt on the smaller (engine) pulley first, then working it onto the traction pulley. For one thing, it would eliminate having to get it into and out of the auger groove on the engine pulley. I don't know how easy it would be to turn the larger traction pulley however.
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