When you are breaking in a belt, you want to avoid hard throttle applications and
full-load situations like this.
Large tires, heavy tires and wheels, and engine modifications often require clutch
The belt’s cord is in between the bottom cog and the top cog. The bottom cog is
faced with material.
and whatever it’s loaded with. This
means there can be over 1000 pounds
of squeeze force trying to crush the
belt from the sidewalls. At the same
time, it’s rotating fast enough to spin
the secondary clutch, in some cases,
over 9000 rpm. Simultaneously, it’s
shifting up and down in both clutches
to deal with changing loads, both
from the engine and back through
the drivetrain from the wheels. It does
all this while running at temperatures
ranging from minus 30 to over 200
degrees. It’s a hard life.”
WHAT TO DO
At some point you will probably
need to change a belt, and that time
may arrive on the trail. Make sure you
have a spare belt along, as well as
the tools to change it. We’ve all seen
a spare belt zip-tied snugly to the roll
cage, but belt companies claim that
forcing the belt that tight is not good
If you are starting with a new belt
(at home), it is beneficial to wash new
belts in dish soap and water before
installation. Washing gets rid of some
of the loose rubber and mold release
that may be on the belt from manufacturing. Let the belt dry before using
it or storing it. If the belt you are prepping is going to be carried as a spare,
put it in a 2-gallon sealable plastic
storage bag or some type of clean
container. We like the DragonFire
Racing belt bag.
Try to log 30 to 40 easy miles to
break in the belt. Downshift to low
range to reduce belt load if you are
climbing. You don’t want the belt to
sit in one place on the clutch sheave
surface for an extended period. Stop
and let it cool about every 15 minutes.
Be smooth on the throttle through
break-in, and don’t run a heavy load
(eject a couple of passengers if you’re
driving a four-seater).
If you have a unit that has a history
of breaking belts, you may want to
have the shaft alignment checked.
If the shafts are out of alignment,
you will suffer premature belt failure.
We will be testing a SDI belt alignment tool for the Polaris XP 1000 soon.
Inspect the belt prior to failure. You
may see wear on one side wearing to
the cords and not the other side. If you
see lopsided wear like that, you may
have alignment issues.
If you shred a belt, it is vital to
clean out all of the remnants. Long
needle-nose pliers are great for this
chore. Make sure you remove the exit
vent hose, because most times you’ll
find debris trapped in there. If you