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 Easy Belt Length Calculation: Pulley Swap Only

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B440
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PostSubject: Easy Belt Length Calculation: Pulley Swap Only   Easy Belt Length Calculation: Pulley Swap Only Icon_minitimeTue Sep 09, 2014 3:02 pm

If you are changing pulley sizes, but keeping the belt tensioning system stock, and also not altering pulley location, then this is for you.

The easy part: for every inch you change the pulley diameter, you need to change the belt length by 1.57 inches.


Example 1- My stock belt length is 95 inches. If I measured my stock pulley at 3 inches, and replaced it with a 5 inch pulley, the difference is +2 inches.

I need 1.57 * 2 = 3.14 inches extra belt length. I would go buy a 98 inch belt.


Example 2- My stock belt length is 95 inches. If I measured my stock rear pulley at 9 inches, and replaced it with a 6 inch pulley, the difference is -3 inches.

I need 1.57 * -3 = -4.71 inches shorter belt length. I would go buy a 90 inch belt. Round up or down depending on the decimal.


Why does this work? When you add 1 inch to the diameter of a circle, it adds 3.14 inches to the circumference. BUT, we are only using half of this circle! The belt only wraps around half of the pulley (generally speaking) so you only need half of the 3.14, which is 1.57 inches.

NOTE: When measuring a stock steel pulley, check to see where the belt rides in the groove. Most stock pulleys have a large lip to help keep the belt on. The belt usually rides about 0.5 inch inside. So a pulley measuring 10 inches in diameter from the edges might actually be smaller (9 inches: 0.5" on one side and 0.5" on the other side) because the belt rides inside further. Most aftermarket aluminum pulleys have no extra lip.


One last example- My stock belt length is 95 inches. If I measured my stock pulley at 3 inches, and replaced it with a 5 inch pulley, the difference is +2 inches. My stock rear pulley is 9 inches, and I replaced it with a 6 inch pulley, so the difference is -3 inches.

I need 1.57 * 2 = 3.14 inches.
I need 1.57 * -3 = -4.71 inches.

Add those two numbers together.

3.14 + -4.71 = -1.57 inches. This is the difference of the two pulleys. I would buy a belt that is 94 or 93 inches. Not perfect, but I would have to see what the store has in stock and try both if available. In my case, the store only had a 94 inch belt and it worked perfectly.
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redlinemotorsportts
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PostSubject: Re: Easy Belt Length Calculation: Pulley Swap Only   Easy Belt Length Calculation: Pulley Swap Only Icon_minitimeTue Sep 09, 2014 7:28 pm

I always wondered, there had to be a good way to do it... Me and willis923 on facebook tried once, well he tried, and just confused me.

I dont remember how he went about doing it but yours sounds pretty spot on within the inch. Nothing a adjustable idler pulley couldnt handle.

Great way to go about this, i think it should be sticky'd.

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B440
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PostSubject: Re: Easy Belt Length Calculation: Pulley Swap Only   Easy Belt Length Calculation: Pulley Swap Only Icon_minitimeTue Sep 09, 2014 11:30 pm

Thanks. I recall someone mentioning a 3:1 rule when changing pulley sizes, but it never came out right when I tried it. After thinking about how the belt only covers half the pulley, I realized how to do this correctly.

I was going to add it to Doc's Belt Sticky, but it's locked.

Doc: Feel free to add/edit/move this info as you see fit.
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Doc Sprocket
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PostSubject: Re: Easy Belt Length Calculation: Pulley Swap Only   Easy Belt Length Calculation: Pulley Swap Only Icon_minitimeWed Sep 10, 2014 11:00 am

Stickied! Good work, and thanks for sharing!

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HelloMoto
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PostSubject: Re: Easy Belt Length Calculation: Pulley Swap Only   Easy Belt Length Calculation: Pulley Swap Only Icon_minitimeMon Aug 21, 2017 12:30 am

This calculation worked awesome for me! Thank you!
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PostSubject: Re: Easy Belt Length Calculation: Pulley Swap Only   Easy Belt Length Calculation: Pulley Swap Only Icon_minitime

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