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The old belt stretches a touch over time. New belts are stiff. I'd put it around the front hub. Then take a heavy screwdriver and wedge the belt on the rear hub. Rotate the hub with a 1/2" drive socket wrench. I was able to do it myself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks guys. Got it on with some muscle help from my son. The key is getting the secondary drive to open up. While I’m new on this forum it’s already been beneficial. I can’t believe JD’s thinking on placement of the drive belt. It would be catastrophic to have a belt blow on the trail. -Wade
 

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It depends a lot on which Gator your talking about as some are worse than others. My 550 is a 45 minute job in the shop with most of the time spent removing the plastic covers. Definitely something you could not do on the trail unless you happened to bring all the needed tools, a couple extra nuts and bolts cause you're going to drop some in the mud and a six pack... because you're going to need it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
It depends a lot on which Gator your talking about as some are worse than others. My 550 is a 45 minute job in the shop with most of the time spent removing the plastic covers. Definitely something you could not do on the trail unless you happened to bring all the needed tools, a couple extra nuts and bolts cause you're going to drop some in the mud and a six pack... because you're going to need it.

Sorry, since I was in the Gator RSX850i discussion group I didn't think I needed to state the machine I had. If one person can complete the belt swap on an 850i in a fully equipped shop in 45 mins. I will buy a ticket. What a PITA! I'm just happy that the new belt did what I wanted it to do. My Gator has 967 miles and 133 hrs on it and was very jumping at low throttle. I couldn't even use low gear. The new belt cured the problem.
 

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Yeap unless you are going to pull the clutch off the way you did it with a second person is the way to go. I have had people tell me that stretching the belt during the install will shorten the belt life but I have more miles on this one then the last.
 

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Sorry, since I was in the Gator RSX850i discussion group I didn't think I needed to state the machine I had. If one person can complete the belt swap on an 850i in a fully equipped shop in 45 mins. I will buy a ticket. What a PITA! I'm just happy that the new belt did what I wanted it to do. My Gator has 967 miles and 133 hrs on it and was very jumping at low throttle. I couldn't even use low gear. The new belt cured the problem.

I knew what Gator you had but I've helped work on several other models and a lot depends on which Gator your working on. Some are better than others but I think the newer machines are worse.

The only reason I can change my belt so quickly now is that I've done a lot of modifications to my machine so I've disassembled it several times. I have bought or made the tools needed to do the job a bit quicker. I think the first time took a couple hours as I tried doing it by removing the minimum parts off the machine to get to the belt. Now, I've figured that it's actually quicker to do more disassembly so you have better access.
 

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Did you see a issue with your old belt? Did you use another John Deere belt or aftermarket? My 590 is very jerky as well. With only 20hrs on it. And after sitting for a few days I can’t even get it to shift into gear without reving the engine
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Did you see a issue with your old belt? Did you use another John Deere belt or aftermarket? My 590 is very jerky as well. With only 20hrs on it. And after sitting for a few days I can’t even get it to shift into gear without reving the engine
Surprisingly the old belt did not show any damage. The new belt completely got rid of the jerkiness at low speed. My guess is the old belt was just stretched and causing slippage.
 

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You posted in a 5 year old thread so you might not get as much attention as if you'd posted a new question.

The belt should be loose and not able to transmit any power when the engine is off.
 
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