Not only the quality of the belts you use will determine how long they last, also the way how they are used will help to prevent premature damages and down time on your equipment.
Here we are explaining the basic 3 aspects to consider and check:
- Pulleys Condition:
Excessive worn pulleys can’t transfer power properly and will allow belt slip. Before installing a new belt, it’s very important you first inspect and clean the pulleys. Making of this a routine every time you install a belt will guaranty that they will last longer.
With the help of a Stiff brush and alcohol-based brake cleaner make sure the ribs and valleys of the pulley are free of grease, dust and any kind of debris before installing the new belt.
Other signs of problems with the pulleys are if when you spin them they produce squealing noises or they show some resistance to rotation in some places of the rotation.
Pulleys must not exhibit any kind of radial movements otherwise you may have problems with the bearings.
- Pulleys Alignment:
Pulleys misalignment is another cause of excessive wearing of your belts. Misalignment could be of two types:
Parallel misalignment or angular misalignment.
One of the most common symptoms of pulley misalignment is noise. But it is important also identify the type of noise.
Noise: Chirp or a squeal? A chirp is the type of noise that you are looking for, to identify a misaligned pulley. A chirp is a repetitive high pitched noise that doesn’t last long. As the speed of the belt increases it will become almost imperceptible. Chirping can be caused by belt or pulley misalignment or worn pulley, worn belt ribs or contamination with substances or dirt.
A squealing, is noise that increases in volume with the engine speed and it is caused by slipping between the belt and the pulley due to contaminants, excessive belt wear or poor tension.
Excessive wearing on the edges: another sign of misalignment is abnormal wearing of the belt edges.
Vibration: misalignment on the pulleys/belts will cause abnormal vibration. This not only will affect the efficiency of your equipment but also the life of many other components.
- Belt Tension:
The last of the 3 most critical factors that contribute with early belt failure is the Tension.
Same as with the other two elements is important to look for signs that may suggest that we have a tension problem.
Tension problems can be caused by under tension or over tension and in most of the cases they differ in symptoms:
Under tension: belt slip, belt noise and excessive heat on the bearings.
Over Tension: Excessive heat of bearing, abnormal wear of bearings. Turn belts or broken belts.
Now that you know what to check when installing or replacing a belt, you can be sure your equipment will run smoothly and you are extending the life of your belt and peace of mind