Friday, January 2, 2015

How to replace the auger belt on a MTD, Craftsman or Cub Cadet Snow blower

      Right in mid-throw the auger stopped turning on my 5 HP MTD model 313-610E snow blower. This machine is out of the nineties. The engagement cable seemed fine, so I turned my troubleshooting eye on the auger belt. Many snowblower brands use the same or similar procedure.

                                                     The Job at a glance

  • Safety: gloves, hearing protection 
  • Tools: Screwdriver, T25 (a 1/4" drive type was used here) 
  •  Parts and materials: Replacement belt.
  •  Cost of parts and materials: OEM-754-0430B belt $28 
  •  Repair shop cost: Maybe $30 but there will be hauling costs also.  
  •  Home mechanic estimated time: 20 minutes   

Remove the old belt

1) Remove the belt guard/cover. Remove the two machine screws holding down this plastic cover on this machine. The belt has broken.

2) To replace the belt, the lower housing cover must be removed. The snow blower will need to turned on end, resting on the auger housing in order to easily remove the cover. If the tank is over half full some fuel should be removed to prevent a spill. Also, for safely pull the spark plug wire.

3) With the blower on end, remove four T25 self-tapping screws from the housing cover. Now the cover can be rotated downward and removed.

4) Remove the old belt if not broken. Pull it off the power pulley and then slide it through the gap between the wheel drive pulley and the auger pulley. Move the idler pulley into the tension-on position and remove the belt between the belt keeper and the pulley

Install the new belt

1) Lift the wheel drive pulley and slip the belt between it and the auger pulley.

2) Slip the belt through between the belt keeper/brake and seat it in the V of the pulley all the way around. If the belt is not seated properly inside the keeper it will quickly be ruined.

3) Slip the belt over the small auger drive pulley.

Correct positioning of the belt on pulley

4) Install the lower housing cover with the 4 T25 screws. 

Adjust the auger cable tension

1) The auger cable may not need adjustment, but at least check it. If it’s too tight the life of the belt may be shortened. It should be just pulled taut when the auger lever reaches the handle.

2) If adjustment is needed, loosen the locknut on the turnbuckle adjuster and loosen the long adjuster. Tighten the locknut.

adjusting the tension on the auger cable

3) Re-install the belt cover and go throw some snow.



  1. 1) you dont need to use crowbar to push back plate. It will move by itself once you zip tie the drive lever to the handle.
    2) the MTD Yard snow blowers have an auger belt "guide" at the bottom of the large pulley. You make it seem that you can simply apply belt to bottom of pulley from the top access point. The reality is you also need to remove the lower plate of blower to access the "guide". By zip-tying the auger lever to the handle, the "guide" will pull away enough from the pulley to allow you to place belt between "guide" and pulley.

    1. That's a good idea, using the zip tie. I had one of those, "Why didn't I think of that" moments! As for the belt guides, my machine (model 313-610E) didn't come with those. I've changed the auger belt several times using this method, although the manual does direct to drain the gas, tip the machine, remove the bottom plate, a spring...I'll stick to my way. It may not work on all machines though. Thanks for the comment!