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1964 Ariens 10ML60
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Last year I repowered my 10ML60 with something similar to a powerfist, and restored the mower deck. I took the mower out this year, fired it up, and found that the mower pulley tensioner wouldn't engage. I pushed the lever forward to start the blade and nothing happened. I don't remember doing anything to it when I put it away last year, but this year when I engage it, it puts no tension on the belt. My screwing around with it eventually broke the spring that supposed to tension it. I've looked and looked at it, and can't figure out how it's supposed to work. When I tried to engage the pulley, the lever position actually reduced the spring tension, the way the spring was attached, and with no force against the belt, it did nothing. I'm left scratching my head. This should be obvious, but I'm unfamiliar with these. Does the tensioner pulley go on the inside or outside of the belt? How does the spring hook up? Does anyone have a picture of a similar one they can share of a working tensioner so I can get this thing going again?

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I'm ot familiar with your mower but I'll give you advice from my experience with commercial walk behind mowers.

The idler pulley or tension pulley, they almost always if not always go against the back of the belt so you have it on the wrong side. Then push it and look at where the spring goes. On my walk behinds one end of the spring hooks around the center of the pulley underneath it.
 

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1964 Ariens 10ML60
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The idler pulley or tension pulley, they almost always if not always go against the back of the belt so you have it on the wrong side. Then push it and look at where the spring goes. On my walk behinds one end of the spring hooks around the center of the pulley underneath it.
Thanks! So the pulley squeezes the belt closer together rather than stretching it apart? That seems right, and I did try it that way. It's hard to make out on the picture, but there is a curved part in the middle, just right of center, that is part of the tensioner lever. It moves along with the tensioner pulley. If I push that part over far enough, it locks against the spindle pulley and acts as a brake, stopping the blade in its tracks. So if I move the tensioner pulley to the other side of the belt, and push it against the belt to squeeze the sides together, it's the same action as pushing the brake against the spindle pulley, which makes no sense - you are tensioning to belt to make it go, and with a little extra effort pushing the lever a little further, it's putting a brake on the spindle pulley. I have something backwards somewhere.
 

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1964 Ariens 10ML60
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
OK, I took your direction and had another look, and I see how the spring works with the pulley to tension it properly now. Knowing which side the pulley was supposed to be on took out enough uncertainties that I was able to add the rest up. Thanks again!
 

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It runs from the arm that swings down under the pulley its kinda hard to see it, but you can kinda get the idea.
 

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