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Thread: Belt Tension

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Austin
    Posts
    175

    Hmm

    O.K. I've read Norm's article on belt sizing, and it sort of mentions tension...But I would like to know what the proper tension is supposed to be. I have always used the 1" rule of thumb, but recently found a belt tension gauge in my truck. Now, I know how to use the gauge, I just don't know what the proper setting should be. The guage is in grams and I think it goes up to 700. Anyone ever use a belt tensioning gauge? Or are we all still using the 1" rule?

    By the way, Norm, very enlightening article!!!
    Def. of insanity: doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Posts
    12,010
    I carry a tension checker. It gets used when contractor is complaining about "poor" design. When I show him his pulley is misaligned and the belt isn't nearly tight enough (ya, you're not the only one using "1-inch" rule), the complaints come to an abrupt halt.

    You should not be using 1" unless you have a 64" span (1/64" of deflection per inch of span within the recommended deflection force). The proper deflection force is usually located on the blower wheel housing or obtained from assembly manufacturer.

    Check out this website: www.emerson-ept.com. Register as a user and get into their training information. There's a nice 15 or 20 minute training video on belt maintenance, sizing, and installation (video is download in WMV format). It really is an eye-opener for those that have been taught some silly rule of thumb.

    [Edited by jrbenny on 07-08-2004 at 08:39 AM]

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Deer Trail, CO
    Posts
    214
    Browning and Gates both publish good information on proper belt tensioning. We carry tension testers and the Gates manuals which give the deflection formula and pressure requirements for all types of belts.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Slacking off right now
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    7,546
    Personally I feel that most guys do the belt up too tight and thus premature bearing failure.
    I think some of the problem of belt slippage is due to guys not replacing a worn belt (before cracks appear) and just doing up the tension to stop squealing. toothed belts should be banned they cause more trouble than anything.
    I recomend replacing the belt quite frequently if its loose its worn out in my opinion more so with 3l 4l and a series belts shieve wear also contributes to belt slipage too in my opinion your opinion may differ
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Austin
    Posts
    175
    Thanks for the response...

    I'm in a maintenance position and can tell you we replace belts often...maybe, from a budgetary standpoint, too often. But usually before they wear out. I've looked in all my AC manuals and can't find anything very definitive, so I'll find me a Gates manual go from there.

    Thanks again!!
    Def. of insanity: doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results!!

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