Results 1 to 16 of 16

Thread: Used belts and clutch adjustments

  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    FAI
    Posts
    2,294

    Default Used belts and clutch adjustments

    I am always looking at ways to extend the life of parts and pieces to save money, keeping in mind I hate breaking down because I was "too cheap". Belts are expensive and I hate throwing them away. Let's assume that the used belts are still in good condition, that there are no missing pieces, fraying, or overworn spots/dips on the sides.
    Why couldn't belts be used until they start to cause performance loss (give or take a bit) and set aside. When a guy had several such belts, why could he not adjust the driven/secondary clutch to re-use those belts?
    All my machines are Polaris. It is not too difficult to pull off the driven clutch and pull a shim, or add if necessary. It also does not look too difficult to reposition the motor to adjust belt tension.
    How much belt wear (measured in thousandths?) can a 340, 440, or 500 size sled take without performance loss? What might be the problems encountered by removing shims from the secondary clutch? What does it take to reposition the motor for proper tension?
    Thanks guys/gals.

  2. #2
    Member MARV1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Kotlik
    Posts
    640

    Default

    On the newer machines you can adjust the belt tension, sheeve width from the outside. These were from maybe '94 models to now if I remember correctly. Older models you have to pull them apart and take out a shim to adjust for the worn belts to get them where they need to be for 1st gear, once you do this you will have the proper belt tension and won't need to move your engine. We used to do this all the time way back then to get the most out of our belts and this helped a bit to get another 500 miles or so out of them.
    To help with belt wear you can gear down a tooth on the top gear in your chaincase or one bigger on the bottom. Polaris snowmachines are overgeared anyways so this will help alot.
    The emphasis is on accuracy, not power!

  3. #3
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    FAI
    Posts
    2,294

    Default old polaris

    My sleds are all pre 96. I have to pull the clutch and dismantle to adjust it. No such luck to have new technology.
    I remember a long time ago I had some clutch work done. The shop reset the clutches to a used belt. I headed up to Chulitna and decided to put on a new belt to start the weekend. We got there, pulled the sleds off the trailer, and started it. It started walking away from me. I had to jump on and hold the brake. Then we got going and it had no low gear.
    We got to the cabin, and I took the driven apart. I did not have snap ring pliers so used whatever I could to pry it open. Once I figured out what was up, I cut open some pop cans, traced shims, and cut them. I think I had to add 3 or 4 aluminum shims to make it work. They ended up staying in that clutch for a long time.
    I got to thinking if that was the case then, why couldn't I just measure my old belts and shim to the average? Shouldn't be too difficult.

  4. #4
    Member JOAT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Soldotna, ALASKA since '78
    Posts
    3,720

    Default

    What you're talking about is not only possible, but practiced. One of the local snowmachine shops actually sells used belts. Anything that is still in serviceable condition goes in the used belt box. According to the owner, he sells nearly as many used belts as new ones... just to a different crowd.
    Winter is Coming...

    Go GeocacheAlaska!

  5. #5
    Member AKDoug's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Talkeetna
    Posts
    5,714

    Default

    I do just what you say with my kid's and wife's machines. Two Indy 500
    s from the 90's and two Indy Lites. The only difference is that I adjust them at the beginning of the season and they usually get a whole season out of one belt.
    Bunny Boots and Bearcats: Utility Sled Mayhem

  6. #6

    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by Ak River Rat View Post
    I am always looking at ways to extend the life of parts and pieces to save money, keeping in mind I hate breaking down because I was "too cheap". Belts are expensive and I hate throwing them away. Let's assume that the used belts are still in good condition, that there are no missing pieces, fraying, or overworn spots/dips on the sides.
    Why couldn't belts be used until they start to cause performance loss (give or take a bit) and set aside. When a guy had several such belts, why could he not adjust the driven/secondary clutch to re-use those belts?
    All my machines are Polaris. It is not too difficult to pull off the driven clutch and pull a shim, or add if necessary. It also does not look too difficult to reposition the motor to adjust belt tension.
    How much belt wear (measured in thousandths?) can a 340, 440, or 500 size sled take without performance loss? What might be the problems encountered by removing shims from the secondary clutch? What does it take to reposition the motor for proper tension?
    Thanks guys/gals.
    Done all the time. Not to be "cheap", but to get maximum performance. I always adjust the driven clutch, to position the belt about 1/8th of an inch above the closed positon of the driven clutch sheaves. That is what I have found works the best.
    SP
    "96% of all Internet Quotes are suspect and the remaining 4% are fiction."
    ~~Abraham Lincoln~~

  7. #7
    Member sayak's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Central peninsula, between the K-rivers
    Posts
    5,788

    Default Dude-

    Quote Originally Posted by Ak River Rat View Post
    My sleds are all pre 96...
    Mine too (well, I do have a '96). I guess we may qualify for the almost "tired iron" class of snow machines, eh?

  8. #8
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    FAI
    Posts
    2,294

    Default very tired

    is there a very tired iron class for old polaris? My 500 has well over 7000 on it. the odometer broke a long time ago. The 440 has close to 5,000. The Lite, well who knows. It got rolled a long time ago and all that stuff was extraneous anyway. They all got rode hard and sort of put away.
    So what you guys are saying is that about 1/8" reveal on the side of the belt above the drive clutch means the adjustment is pretty close? I'll go back into my cave tonight, crack another Widmer, and measure it out. I am sure I'll end up taking the driven off, clean it, shim it, and put it all back together. What could possibly go wrong?
    At least now that it is this cold I won't need to ride in the next couple of days anyway. Might as well play a bit.
    Has anybody ever measured the difference in width on a new belt and a used one that required the driven to have a shim pulled? Just curious at what point the wear constitutes making the change.
    Ok, off to the cave.

  9. #9
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    FAI
    Posts
    2,294

    Default clutches are pulled

    And I am out of Widmer. The top of the belt was riding flush with the driven clutch. Little bit of wear there. Pulled the driven off and apart. Got her all cleaned up. Just have to remember which holes the spring goes into. The buttons/ramps were worn so promptly snapped off a bolt removing them. But, lucked out with a bit and easy out.
    Decided what the heck, let's pull the primary. Not too bad. A little sloppy in the center, the weight bolts are worn, the weight holes are a little oblong, and the weight faces have worn spots. But, not bad. Right? Please? No bad news, remember, I am out of beer.
    I'll take them both into a shop tomorrow to have them looked at. Oh, and buy a new ramp/button bolt too.
    Probably about time to drop the track, change out the jackshaft bearings, check the chain and gears, look at the hifax, and might even go to new suspension springs/shocks.
    And all because of a little rough running. Oh well, it doesn't owe me anything, and it's too cold to ride, so might as well be productive.

  10. #10

    Default Ak river rat

    Sounds like you need some UMHW to keep you busy!

  11. #11
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    FAI
    Posts
    2,294

    Default your are a bad man North way

    My 2 toboggan sleds still sit outside pining away for some attention. About all they need is a tongue, side ropes, and skegs.
    I just got to get some stuff out of the garage. I get tired of looking at all the projects and crapola in the way. I don't know a lot about wrenching, but none of it scares me. Heck, If I can get something apart, somebody else in the world is smart enough to get it back together. I had to laugh when a buddy called me up last night. His work includes maintaining some snow machines. He called me up for advise. HAH! Turned out I was right though on the advise I gave. I think.
    I'll run over to Phillips today to see what Lyle can do for me and my clutches. Maybe depending on money will look at some other parts and pieces too. Sure would be nice to have a machine I trust and runs well enough to get from the house down to the river and back. What's that, 150 yards?

  12. #12

    Default

    Another thing I like to do with belts, is to always put them back on the same way they came off. They tend to take a set and if you reverse the direction of travel, it will shorten the life of the belt. I always put the belt on where you can read the writing on the belt as you are looking at it. That way I never get them swapped out wrong.
    SP
    "96% of all Internet Quotes are suspect and the remaining 4% are fiction."
    ~~Abraham Lincoln~~

  13. #13

    Default ARR

    Over the break, Mod Elan came down and we basically tore my whole machine apart. Mostly him with me watching. Simply amazing watching and learning from someone who can do it blindfolded! I am getting less afraid of tearing something apart after watching, etc. My machine really needed the "love" as we found broken suspension parts, a bent shock and bad bearing that were in BAD places! The cold was actually a blessing as we found much that could have and would have went wrong on the line versus taking care of it in the warm garage! I am sure I can bring you up a couple of sheets of UMHW to keep you busy!!

  14. #14

    Default

    Speaking of UHMW I need more! Any thought of group buys again this season?

  15. #15

    Default Umhw

    I was in the valley a few weeks ago and went to the plastics place there. I think CAC was the name. You could get a 5'x10' sheet of 1/4" for $485. A sheet that wide would make a nice snowmachine hauler in case of a break down! Really friendly people there.

  16. #16
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    FAI
    Posts
    2,294

    Default time? who has time?

    Man if I did not have 4 snow machine projects to do, 2 sleds to build, and a list of household stuff I have been putting off, I'd set up another UHMW order. Right now I just can't swing it. It will be interesting to see what happens to the price as oil is cheaper now than when we ordered last year. Hmm. Think if we did place another order it would be cheaper? A buddy just went to look for a piece for his tongue. They want $16/sq. ft. He was going to have to pay $125 for just the tongue. That is almost what he paid for the whole sled!

    Hey, I am going to beg a little. Does anybody have the tools needed to tear down Polaris primary clutches that they might sell, loan, rent or.....? I can freight stuff out of Anchorage no problem, but local FAI would be easier. Right now I have both clutches out of the 440, and though they are not horrible, need a little tlc. All I need is the base holder and the spider wrench. I do not need the jam nut wrench.
    Thanks guys.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •