In the previous episode of MechMinutes, Timing Belts and Pulleys, we looked at belt wear signs and some common causes of excessive wear and failure. In this episode, we’ll take a closer look at one of those causes, commonly encountered during setup: belt and pulley alignment.
Proper alignment is an essential component of maximizing your timing belt’s full potential; misalignment, at best, can lead to premature wear or frayed edges, climbing the pulley flange, and in worse cases, reduced load transmission, system efficiency losses, running off the pulley completely, and early belt failure through “unzipping”. Misalignment is the biggest reason that belts fail, with improper tensioning following close behind. There are two main types of belt and pulley misalignment: Angular and Parallel. Determining whether misalignment is present in your system is a relatively easy and straightforward process, and only a straight line, commonly a straightedge or laser, is required.
Watch our video below for more information the proper alignment and alignment technique for belts and pulleys in order to prevent premature wear and failure: