V-Belt Installation Guide

This v-belt installation guide will show you what you need to do to prepare the pulleys for a new variable speed belt, as well as the best method for installing the belt itself.

Let’s begin.

Check Pulleys for Damage and Debris

Before beginning the installation of V belts, Yorkshire-based supplier YB Components recommend giving the variable speed pulleys a thorough check for wear and tear. Also look out for dirt, debris and other foreign material which should be cleaned or removed before beginning to install the variable speed belt.

When a variable speed pulley is worn out, it should be replaced immediately to maintain a good contact between the pulley and belt. Continuing to operate with a worn out variable speed pulley will significantly reduce the lifespan of the belt, as well as cause slippage and a reduction of the drive’s power transmission.

Worn pulleys and especially those with broken sides will also create extra vibrations which can lead to an exponential increase in wear and tear.

Check the Pulley Groove and Pulley Gauge

Pay special attention to the surface finish of the pulley groove, as a worn or course groove surface will interact aggressively with the belt surface and drastically reduce the lifespan of the variable speed belt. V-belts suppliers will always recommend a close inspection of the pulley groove’s surface before installing a new belt.

You should also check that the pulley fits snugly with the shaft. Any misalignment between the pulley and shaft will cause an erratic jerking motion when the drive starts which adds unnecessary wear and tear that will reduce the lifespan of the drive.

How to Install V-Belts

Once the pulleys are checked for debris and the gauge is aligned correctly, it is time to install the v-belt. Yorkshire supplier YB Components recommends reducing the centre distance of the pulleys enough so that the variable speed belts can be fitted on loosely at first. Once they are on loosely, you can then restore the original operational centre distance.

This method ensures you do not have to use a lever to install the belt. Using a lever is not recommended by v-belt suppliers as it can cause damage to the belt’s tensile cords. You can also cause a permanent twist in the belt by using a lever, which results in the belts turning in the pulley groove during operation.  

Re-tensioning Variable Speed Belts

The tension of the newly installed v-belts should be monitored during the first 48 hours of operation. It is after a new belt is installed that it is most vulnerable to losing tension due to the settling-in process all variable speed belts require when beginning to perform their purpose. If you discover the belt tension has loosened, then simply re-tension as necessary during the first couple of days. After this period the belt should have settled in and further need of re-tensioning will be unlikely.

If you require variable speed belts from any of the excellent v-belt manufacturers from around the world, then contact YB Components who are the UK’s leading v-belts suppliers.