Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Lawrenceville NJ
All belts should be measured & a primer on belts
I have installed a lot of belts this year on various machines. If I don't need a belt right away, I order from Amazon using 2 day Prime. My favorite is always Kevlar belts but that is a misnomer because is there really Kevlar in there? That's why buy a name brand belt. Then how much Kevlar is in the belt, what percentage? You sprinkle Kevlar with a salt shaker and now you have a Kevlar belt.
Keep in mind that Kevlar though durable, stiffens the belt and will be harder to turn corners.
For the most common belts, I keep a few around. Normally the drive belts because some are used often in various blowers, but I also keep a few auger belts for the same reason. I have more than one blower and I repair blowers for others on the side out of my home garage.
My favorite belt is Pix blue Kevlar belts for 3 reasons. The blue color is easily recognizable in my belt box, I feel they are a good quality belt and would be honest about the amount of Kevlar in the belt, and the length of the belt is accurate to what they advertise.
Belt widths are 3L 3/8" wide, 4L 1/2" wide, and 5L 5/8" wide. But there are different profile shapes such as V belt is a profile shape. Never use an automotive belt for lawn equipment, they are not durable enough though I have used them, and the profile is different. If the profile is different than what is called for or you use a different width belt, a 3L belt instead of a 4L belt, 2 things will happen. The belt will not ride in the correct position in the pulley. A 3L belt will ride lower if a 4L belt is called for. Using this example, the 3L belt will grab rather than a 4L belt spinning. This is important for let's say an auger. When the auger is not engaged, you want the belt to slip. If you used a 3L belt, the belt would be grabbing and the auger would be turning when not engaged, where as a 4L belt would slip and only turn when engaged.
I started measuring belts because too many belts were too tight, too loose. I got the original measurement of the belt from the manual, manufacturer's website, or a parts website. I started measuring the belts using a tailor's tape because it's flexible and using spring paper binder clips to hold the tape tight and stretched against the belt. I clamp the tape on the outside of the belt every 6"-10". I have found as much as a 1 1/2" discrepancy in the advertised belt length and what it actually is, 1/2" is not uncommon. And that 1/2" may be all your adjustment when the belt stretches if it's on the loose size, or the belt may slip and squeal; if the belt is too tight you have other problems. Though Stens is a big name, I have found their belts do not run true to size.