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Setting A Consistent Drive Belt Tension (Read 76 times)
Spamcan
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Setting A Consistent Drive Belt Tension
08/04/18 at 13:29:03
 
I thought it would be a nice capability to be able to achieve a consistent drive belt tension using the "twist" method shown in a video elsewhere. I'm past 70 and my finger/twist strength is a lot different than you young whippersnappers. (I've just down-sized from my 1998 VL1500 Suzi as my knees were starting to act up.) So I came up with the following method.

First, I set the drive belt's tension as best I could according to the video (Sure enough, it was too tight!). Then, I designed and crudely crafted a two-tined, 4 1/2" long wooden fork with a hole at the bottom of its handle. The two tines of the fork are separated by a channel which permits it to be slipped onto the belt from the belt's inner edge where one would normally place one's fingers. An inexpensive fish scale is hooked through the hole in the handle and pulled at a right angle to the fork until that 90 degree belt rotation is achieved. The scale is used to measure and establish a now-known force reading. (Mine reads 12 lbs.) Once that reading is known, future tension may be set or just checked. Cost to me was a piece of scrap plywood (9 mm thick) and a 0-50 lb fish scale by Ozark Trail from Walmart at the astounding low price of $ 4.44! It even has both a zero-setting pointer and a 58" tape measure on the back!
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Dave
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Re: Setting A Consistent Drive Belt Tension
Reply #1 - 08/08/18 at 07:31:47
 
It is easy (and common) to get the belt too tight.

I am not sure it is as easy to get the belt too loose.

I would suggest running the belt toward the loose side.....rather than too tight. There should be some slack and it should be easy to move the belt up/down a bit with your fingers - it should not be "banjo string" tight.  

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Hiko
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Re: Setting A Consistent Drive Belt Tension
Reply #2 - 08/09/18 at 02:50:24
 
When I got my bike The belt was very tight and making a whine noise that went away when it was slackened off a bit .
A tension measuring device like above seems like a good idea to me
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Hiko
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Re: Setting A Consistent Drive Belt Tension
Reply #3 - 10/04/18 at 14:38:03
 
As mentioned above my belt was very tight when I got the bike and since then I have been experimenting. Too loose and belt makes a chirping noise under load, too tight and belt is noisy. Just right and belt is quiet and shifting gears seems better .
 I made a device the same as Spamcans and measured the setting and it came out the same as his  12lbs.
This seems to be the sweet spot
How the stock tensioner is used I have no idea  Trying to use that the belt would be far too tight and probably explains why my belt was so tight when I bought it
Many thanks Spamcan I now have a foolproof accurate way of getting this right.
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