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Joined: Jan 2020
Posts: 171
Likes: 5
N1KK0 Offline OP
Apprentice level 2
Hi All,

Agh my patience is wearing thin with the platoon of 550's Pros I'm 'meant' to be using to mow the sloping acre of kikuyu that I dwell upon! Nothing but issues from them.

Alas after tightening the very loose drive cable :https://www.outdoorking-forum.com.au/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/109306/floppy-victa-550-pro-sp-cable-easy-way-to-tighten.html#Post109306

This ripped up the drive belt, leaving a big chunk out of it and the mower not working after just a few seconds...I don't know if I over tightened it.

Anyway need to ascertain how to replace the current belt and ideally just how much tension should be on the drive cable.

I have taken the drive cover off and removed the cable from the back end of the drive but the end that goes 'under' the motor I can't access - do you get at underneath the mower or have to remove the engine?

Thank you in advance.

PS Any other tips you have on maintaining or periodic maintenance on these mowers would be appreciated as I was recommended them as bullet proof but they're proving PITA's - likely due to the guy I bought them off. :-)

Membership information
Joined: Jan 2016
Posts: 7,466
Likes: 143
SENIOR TECHNICIAN
Hi N1KKO,
Don't blame the machines, the problem is poor maintenance and if you have a "platoon" of them then you should know your way around them by now, whatever the previous owner did you should have rectified. Apart from the belt issue what other problems are you having. I think I mentioned to you a long time ago to look for a 24 they are a far superior machine for bigger sloping areas

Joined: Jan 2020
Posts: 171
Likes: 5
N1KK0 Offline OP
Apprentice level 2
Norm,

I've gone out of my way to thank you previously for how generous you are with your assistance.

That said I'm unsure why you've posted to chastise me for stating that I'm getting frustrated with the 550 Pro's I have? You act like I am personally criticising yourself - which clearly wasn't the case and couldn't be further from reality.

With all due respect MY own maintenance on these mowers since I have them is top shelf - alas I've only had them for 12mths or so and used a scant number of times as I prefer to use my Honda - so the 'maintenance' issue resides with the owner from the previous ¬30yrs of their lives - not myself.

To say that I should know my way around them by now & have rectified the previous owners faults is a bit much as it's not like info for these is easy to ascertain etc - so with all due respect I don't believe such comments are either warranted or helpful. There's no user or workshop manual for them hence even to change a belt the most logical thing is to ask on ODK. I know you're very knowledgeable with these - alas not all of us are.

And to be fair I think you'll find that I said to you regarding the 24's that I didn't believe they'd be suitable as pushing such a mower across this terrain isn't viable....but I did tell you I'd keep a look out, which I have done. You will just have to take my word being that I've mown this property now for 5yrs, that a 24" push mower is not a good fit.

The belt issue is the only current issue I have with them - if you know the best way to attack this I'd be most appreciative. :-)

Joined: Jan 2016
Posts: 7,466
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SENIOR TECHNICIAN
I'm not being critical, just put a new belt on it, can't remember but you can probably do it without even removing the blade carrier. Apart from that there is little maintenance required, just fix whatever breaks when it does

Joined: Jan 2020
Posts: 171
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N1KK0 Offline OP
Apprentice level 2
With the crazy amount of rain in these parts (and I do mean just stupid levels that have done SO much damage) I've had no need or time to look at this belt.

As usual, Norm is 100% correct - draining the fuel from the mower and putting on it's side it was very easy to remove the blade carrier and then you're able to remove the old and pretty badly damaged belt.

It was your usual pretty cheap and nasty rubber one - was so worn that I couldn't make out the size of it beyond M3?

Does anyone know what is the correct belt size for these?

Seems to be some conflicting info out there on this - as the ODK store has this link stating that it's a M35.....but interestingly it states that it's for a 20" deck, but the 550 Pro is a 22" deck:
https://www.outdoorking-forum.com.au/lawn-mo...0-selected-model-transmission-drive-belt

Then there's another ODK listing again for a 550 Pro belt but thats a 37":
https://www.outdoorking-forum.com.au/lawn-mo...professional-510-550-drive-belt-ch85678a

Interestingly states it's a slow belt......perhaps you can use a few size and the smaller the faster?

And then this other listing states that an M36" is instead correct:
https://www.bearingsexpress.com.au/belt-replaces-ch85667a

The mower I have is the 550 Pro with the single speed SP - squeeze the single handle at the top to engage it.

There's a number of other listings but they're all either 35 or 36 or 37 - so if anyone knows which one is correct I'd welcome your guidance.

Thanks in advance. :-)

Last edited by N1KK0; 21/12/20 03:32 PM.
Joined: Jan 2020
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N1KK0 Offline OP
Apprentice level 2
Well I post this to assist others.....in lieu of any responses or suggestions I found through trial and error that it is likely a M36. I had bought a M37 as stated on the ODK store but that was far too loose. When engaged I got no movement whatsoever. I tried an oldish M36 I happened to have onhand and that worked well. So being that the belt is tensioned by a pulley pushing in from the rear I don't think straight rubber belts will last very well at all - info says to ensure that they're wrapped or better still kevlar. So ordered one of the latter.

I have to say when it's working well it's an incredibly formidable and brutish mower......I don't know if the carb could do with having the poppit(?) adjusted but it revs very hard and really moves at a cracking pace when the SP is engaged. Only the thickest sections of kikuyu slow it down at all but the motor shows no sign of being stopped by this.

Really great design by Victa.....if and when i tire of the 2-strokes on them I think they'd definitely be wonderful to splash a bit of cash and put a top quality 4 stroke motor on them - something like the B&S 850. But will hang in with the 2-strokes for the moment, they're pretty tireless and apart from an amazingly high noise level (thank goodness for quality ear covers) they work very well indeed.

Joined: Jan 2020
Posts: 171
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N1KK0 Offline OP
Apprentice level 2
Hmmmmm okay I thought I had this resolved but it seems not. So if anyone has knows for sure what the correct belt size is it'd be greatly welcomed.

What I've tried so far:

Brand new M36 Kevlar belt: Was impossibly tight, like I was amazed I was able to get on at all! First time I'd fitted a Kevlar belt, which I heard were notoriously hard but this seemed too much so. I am 99% certain that it's too small - as the only way I could fit the belt tensioner pulley at all was to have it in the incorrect position (it's meant to be backwards facing so it extends out closest to the rear drive pulley, I had to put it so it is facing forwards, so it provides much less push/bite on the rear drive pulley when the drive handle is squeezed).

It got the mow done but by the end of the mow the SP wasn't working so well and on inspection the kevlar belt seems more worn than I'd expect from a single mow.

Brand new M37 standard/rubber belt: This did not work at all - far too loose and when drive handle squeezed you could not get the SP to grip/work at all. So I assume this is too large.

Old belt that from faded writing appears to be M36 standard/rubber: This was the belt in use when i bought the mower, it seemed to work well enough but being a rubber belt it gets worn down relatively quickly.
-----

Again very mixed info online about which belt is correct - some sources saying M36 some M37. From what I've read if a tnesioner is used on the back of the belt you should ensure a kevlar belt is used as rubber ones die very fast.

So would a M37 Kevlar actually work given that an M37 rubber was far too loose?

Thanks in advance. :-)

Joined: Jan 2020
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Likes: 5
N1KK0 Offline OP
Apprentice level 2
As no-one knew the answer to these questions, I'll pop up what I found as it might assist others.

After a lot of digging it appears there are 'standard' and 'slow' belts for the 550 Pro - CH85667A and CH85678A being their offocial part numbers respectively. For the 'standard' belt the internal circumference is 914mm, which is 36". Now I have no idea how these are meant to work as I mentioned I literally could not get the idler pulley in with how tight a M36K belt was. The ODK store says these are for the 550 Pro in the 20" deck....so perhaps there was 550's in the 20 and 22" decks? I have the latter.

So the 'slow' belt has an internal circumference of 940mm, which is around 37". But as I said when I tried a brand new 37" belt, which was a Carlisle Blue Wrapped it was way too loose. Just retested and thats still very much the case.

So then I found a supplier selling what they what they said was the genuine Victa CH85678A belt, which was now a Gates 6738 Powerated belt.
https://www.[Censored].com.au/v...ted-ch85678a-85678a-ch85678a-85678a.html

From looking up this belt on the Gates catalogue one finds that it's an M36.5 belt and is specially made for rear tensioned belts - so would work well in the 550 Pro.

So in theory that would kind of explain why the M36 was too tight but the M37 was too loose. Anyway hope that helps, I've ordered one and I guess we'll see how it goes.

Joined: Jan 2016
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SENIOR TECHNICIAN
Hi N1KK0,
Hope this fixes you problems with it, I thought there would have been a lot more travel in the tensioner arm to allow the belt to slip when not engaged

Joined: Jan 2020
Posts: 171
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N1KK0 Offline OP
Apprentice level 2
Norm, you're 100% correct, with what I suspect is the proper belt there's a lot of room for the tensioner arm to travel - when I put the M36 on this was obvious straight away and I immediately suspected it was completely incorrect.

I've never looked into drive belts so much before and they're a tricky little area indeed. Hopefully the Gates belt which is around a M36.5 equivalent will do the job. :-)

Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 2,044
Likes: 145
SENIOR TECHNICIAN & HISTORIAN
Hi N1KK0 and Norm

The M36 was too tight but the M37 was too loose ,the belt you have ordered N1KK0 looks like the M37,All Mower Spares say it's 37 inches in length but when I search the part number at Gates they say it's 38 inches in length.

If I don't have the exact length of the belt that I need I usually go to an industrial belt supply company and try a few until
you get the right one then pay for it ,it's usually half the price of buying the belt from a mower shop.

https://umstrans.com.au/products/timingbelts/

When I say try a few different V belts ,I just fit the belt for length ,I don't run the machine until I've paid for the right
length belt.

Another thing you can do is get an old belt that is too long but is the correct V size then cut the belt so it's the right length
then when you have the cut belt the correct length measure the belt for it's length.

You would assume the measurements for belt length are inside circumference but some listings have outside circumference.


I had a look at my 550 SP and the belt had M34 on it.

Cheers
Max.

Attached Images
Last edited by maxwestern; 15/01/21 05:40 PM.
1 member likes this: N1KK0
Joined: Jan 2020
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N1KK0 Offline OP
Apprentice level 2
Hi Max,

Thanks for that info - unfortunately as your post indicates some of the handful of listings for suitable belts just don't have enough info to know exactly what the specs of the belt they're selling or recommending are. My limited new understanding of belts is as you indicate that length is always done by referring to internal circumference.

So yes that belt (Gates 6738) has an outer circumference of 965mm (28") but going by the Gates catalogue that i used it's M belt equivalent is 36.5 - unsure how they calculate this but I know that Gates are regarded as making among the best belts on the market and thats good enough for me.

I agree that it'd be ideal to be able to go and try belts at a supplier but alas where I'm located there's limited suppliers, I'm well out of town and transporting my mower in our smaller hatch wouldn't really work.

Like i said I can only assume that the 550 Pro came with different pulley sizes or something as there's odd stuff in the belt listing for it - both on ODK store and others. I am unsure if the suppliers are getting confused between it and the 505 (I think there's a Victa model of this number).

At the end of the day I did try and fail to get any info on here as to the correct belt size for nearly a month now - I can only assume folks weren't sure or it's a tricky area. I just had to act and the experience with the M36 and M37 combined with the [Censored] listing which stated this belt by name made me pretty sure it's correct for me - especially given referencing it in the Gates catalogue.

I managed to order from Amazon and while they sell them for $75+ here, I got 2 delivered for just a tad over $50.

Wow I cannot believe your 550 Pro has an M34 belt on it! You must have significant differences in some area to mine - either pulley size or similar. Definitely a confusing item to buy, too much conflicting info on it - but much thanks for your assistance.

Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 2,044
Likes: 145
SENIOR TECHNICIAN & HISTORIAN
Hi N1KK0

Yes I think it's just one of those things if you haven't got the mower in front of you it's impossible to
advise what v belt will suit your mower as Victa have a habit of having different sized pulleys on the
same type of mowers ,you can have standard speed and slow speed ,I can see the 36 and 37 belts recommended on ODK
but depending on the other dimensions of the belt selected this can effect the chosen length of the belt ,the ODK belts are 3/8 wide
(3/8 is 9.53 mm) when using the 34 the belt is 10 mm wide.

https://www.outdoorking-forum.com.au/lawn-mo...professional-510-550-drive-belt-ch85678a

https://www.outdoorking-forum.com.au/lawn-mo...l-550-selected-model-drive-belt-ch85667a

With old mowers ,they have a habit of not having original parts so if someone has swapped the drive line
or motor the V belt could possibly be different to the original belt

Cheers
Max..

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1 member likes this: N1KK0
Joined: Jan 2020
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N1KK0 Offline OP
Apprentice level 2
Wow - yes, it really is a lot harder than I'd have expected for whats a pretty common and still widely used mower. Shame companies did stuff like that as really makes it tough on the end consumer. I'll grab the size of the drive pulley's when I have a chance - you're right being these are 20-30yrs old, they're ex-council mowers that then were used by a private owner for a bunch of yrs. - there's no knowing how much they've been chopped and changed - as I know the last owner bought up ALL of them he could and was using a bunch of them for parts to run the 2-3 operational ones.

Much thanks again.

Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 2,044
Likes: 145
SENIOR TECHNICIAN & HISTORIAN
The UK 550 brochure has the drive speed as an option, 2. 8 mph or 3. 5 mph ,with different
sized pulleys ,it does make it difficult to advise on the V belt size N1KK0.




Cheers
Max.

Attached Images
Victa 550.jpg (230.48 KB, 93 downloads)
1 member likes this: N1KK0
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N1KK0 Offline OP
Apprentice level 2
Ok this is getting to emergency/crazy level. :-(

So the Gates 6738 Belt that was stated as being a replacement for the Victa CH85678A, which after my asking on here and best research showed as being the correct belt for a 550 Pro. Cut a long story short its massively loose - like not even close to fitting!

They're going to have to be returned or sold - not a huge issue right now - as it's a week after I yet again pushed a utility around the entire acre and I need to mow yet again. :-(

So I would greatly welcome any guidance as to how to logically solve this issue.

In no particular order here's what I know from trying:
- M36K and M36(rubber) belts are far too tight, tension arm can not even move with these on
- M37 (Carlisle wrapped belt) was too loose as well - will retest this
- Gates 6738 belt (CH85678A - M38) massively loose
- I will measure the size of the front and rear pulleys but am pretty sure they're stock sizes as I have 2 'working' 550 Pros and they're the same size on both of them.

I only have one belt that 'work's on the mower and due to a tear in it I'm replacing it - I'm unsure of what it's size is - but do I cut and measure it somehow or do anything else to ascertain what model it is? Due to it's age/wear there's no markings on it to ID.

Real bummer and kick in the guts as I was sure all that reading would ensure the correct result but I'm now more lost than ever.

Thanks in advance for any guidance or ideas.

Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 4,675
Likes: 164
SENIOR TECHNICIAN
Hi N1KK0,
I feel your "tension" after reading that.
So you are absolutely sure it's not an adjustment that needs to be done on the machine?
Maybe try calling mower shops out of your area if the nearest one(s) aren't helping.
Surely a wear item like that on a professional machine like yours would be a matter of routine if they are serving professional mowers. Some still use the 550 pro series for the tougher stuff.
It dismays me the lack of expertise in this country when trying to fix anything and how common it is to get the bum steer from self defined experts.


Ahh, if only victa had kept producing the thumblatch catcher series, they would be in better shape today!
1 member likes this: N1KK0
Joined: Jan 2020
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N1KK0 Offline OP
Apprentice level 2
Hi MF,

Thanks appreciate your kinds words - nothing that a coffee and a 'couple' of choc biscuits can't assist. :-/

Alas no, it's not just an adjustment factor. I have played with the amount of tension on the belt tension arm and on the smaller belts (M36) it literally cannot move at all and when tensioned up this doesn't change - so much so in trying this I literally snapped the steel cable - alas another minor thing now to fix.

On the bigger belts the amount of movement on the tension arm is I am certain correct - it almost fully comes out - but can't put enough extra grab on the belt.

I'm really befuddled by it as I've now tried 36, 37 and 38 - but no luck on any of them. Atleast one of each size came from a reputable maker and so I am sure there sizing technique is sound i.e referring to internal diameter as their size.

I'll duck down and get a few pictures, if nothing else they add context - I agree and felt that a relatively well known model would be simple to find a replacement belt for - but as this thread will show there seems to be much varying info.

Thanks again - this thread has felt a tad 'lonely' so atleast I know someone has seen it and perhaps we can get to the bottom of it in time. :-)

Joined: Jul 2018
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SENIOR TECHNICIAN
Happened to be talking to a friend when I read this - who has work access to the Victa Portal. This is the result. There a a couple models listed with PT engines, all have same belt and pulley numbers available.

Since I haven't been following this thread, I am not sure if you have this info

But want to put this up quick since its 4:20 over there and you might be lucky to work it out before the stores shut for weekend

Attached Images
victa belts.JPG (11.37 KB, 71 downloads)
1 member likes this: N1KK0
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N1KK0 Offline OP
Apprentice level 2
Much thanks Tyler :-) Appreciate your assistance - I believe I had already been trying to go by that info but your assistance is greatly appreciated.

I'm unsure exactly how to determine exactly what 550 Pro pulley variant I have? But I am pretty sure it must be the 'standard' as when working it's anything but SLOW.

I've been down to the shed (which just gives me bad vibes at present, as well as having to walk through the crazily fast growing sloping back area along the way) - and gotten these measurements and pictures.

The rear/transmission pulley is approx 105mm in diameter (measured at the top outermost part). It appears to be in reasonable condition. The front/engine shaft pulley is about 58mm in diameter (measured at bottom/lower most point). I have checked the 3 x 550 Pro's that I have (all have PT engines on them) - and all pulleys are identical.

The pictures attached are:
1) Drive belt area opened, no belt in place
2) Rear/transmission pulley (cover off)
3) Front/engine shaft pulley

In response to Tyler's info , which as I said I believe I had already been using - as I'd downloaded the Victa parts guide for this model - so firstly the CH85666A Powerated 6736 belt is a 36"ID belt. I have a M36K and M36 rubber and they both definitely do not fit, far too tight and the tension arm can't move at all.

Next along the CH85667A belt, this is listed on the ODK store as another M36 belt - so definitely will not fit as too tight.

And finally there is the CH85678A belt, which is listed on some sites as a M37 and others as a M38.....? Alas both of which didn't work.

Anyway - don't know if perhaps I should email Victa themselves? You'd like to think this was much easier and the mowing the hard part but alas not.

PS. Have googled the rear/transmission pulley part numbers - can't get a size on any of them - so unable to confirm which one is on. It's a decent size, about 11cm, and the mower moves very quick - but if it's the standard one I can't imagine the slow one being a lot bigger.

Attached Images
IMG_0662.JPG (322.36 KB, 64 downloads)
IMG_0663.JPG (283.67 KB, 64 downloads)
IMG_0660.JPG (321.44 KB, 64 downloads)
Last edited by N1KK0; 05/02/21 04:18 PM.
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