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Thread: Drive Belts and extreme cold...

  1. #1
    Cheechaquo33
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    Default Drive Belts and extreme cold...

    Hey everyone. My question/topic is pretty broad... I'm looking for stories and advice related to belts. Like what happens when a belt busts while you're speeding along at 60 mph.

    Or, what are some potential problems with changing a belt in the field, in extreme cold. (Like -60, for instance)

    Just curious. I spent a winter in AK, ignorantly hotrodding on a river, and now I'm curious what kind of dangers I luckily avoided...

  2. #2
    Moderator hunt_ak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cheechaquo33 View Post
    Hey everyone. My question/topic is pretty broad... I'm looking for stories and advice related to belts. Like what happens when a belt busts while you're speeding along at 60 mph.
    You hear a loud bang, hit the brake and kill switch, then change the belt with the spare you always carry.

    As far as changing a belt at -60, you're one notch tougher than I, 'cause when its that cold, I'm not riding my sled, but you might, ya never know!

  3. #3

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    I have been lucky not to blow a belt completely. As for changing a belt in the cold...normally the belt is kept by the engine so you don't have to be real worried about it being too stiff to put on, but the clutches too hot to handle. My buddy blew a belt and it took us about 20-30 mins to clean the old belt out and put the new one on. Now, I have blown my chaincase and that just sucks. Also, like hunt_ak stated....if you are riding at -60, you are more man that I. The coldest I have ever road was -30 and that was cold enough. We pretty much drove for 3 hours and didn't just want to turn around.

  4. #4
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    Default cold weather and drive belst...

    About 10 years ago, I spent 10 deep winter weeks in the Brooks Range freighting with a Ski-doo Tundra (expletive deleted.) The Tundra is a fine machine, but not for pulling 2 heavily laden sleighs. Never had a belt problem...in part, because I carefully checked the belt condition before each trip...never start with a suspect belt. Of course, always carried a spare. The real trial was pull starting the Tundra at -55 degrees. you had to pull it for a while just to get it loosened up & turn over fast enough to start. That experience made me order a new Ski-doo SWT....reverse, electric start and hyper-floation....for real freighting. And I've never had trouble with belts...now carry two spares and change before they break.

  5. #5
    Cheechaquo33
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    Default interesting...

    I had a skidoo tundra 2, and had the same problems with rip starting.

    I never set out to ride in -60, btw. but a few times it ended up that cold. i always had a spare belt with me. but i often wondered what would happen if i had to change the belt in that kind of cold, since my fingers got slow and clumsy even with layered gloves on. of course the engine would be radiating heat, but not for long in that kind of cold, according to the 2nd law of thermodynamics.

    what happens if you run an engine without the belt on? say, to warm it up in prep for work...

  6. #6
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    You can run it all day long w/o a belt. When your idling the clutch isn't gripping the belt.

    If you string a belt out it can take out the crank seal. It's a good thing to check behind the primary and get as much of the crap out of there as you can.

  7. #7
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    why would you ride at -60 below?

    If you're going to run the engine with no belt, then don't rev it at all

    It can be harder than you think to change a belt when it is cold. At 20 below they are very stiff. I usually take it inside the cabin for an hour if I need to change the belt. In below 0 temps, the spare belt won't absorb much heat and any it does will quickly dissipate.
    "When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it."
    Henry Ford

  8. #8
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    Default Carry a knife

    Something I learned last year was carry a knife with you. I blew a belt up at Eureka last year about 200 yrs from my party. It got all wraped up in the clutch. Thank God I had a knife on me as everyone didn't quite know my exact location. It took me about 20-25 min to get the old belt cut off the clutch being careful not to damage the clutch itself. Once I got the new belt on and returned to my groups base camp they were all like "where did you go we were all looking for you?". So actualy I learned two things. 1 Carry a knife. 2 Make shure your group knows where you are. Its crazy how close you can be to your group and at the same time how far away you actaly are from them.

    I also carry 2 spares so when or if I do blow a belt I can change it out and still ride knowing I still got a spare.

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