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Where gan I find matched belts??

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  • Where gan I find matched belts??

    I am looking for a source for matched length belts for my lathe. I don't want to order them from clausing, they always seem to have outrageous pricing. The only markings I see on the belts are "Dodge sealed life, or sc, A80, 6CCD". Thanks for any help. I have tried looking online but cant seem to find them.

  • #2
    Don't bother.
    Modern production methods are that good nowadays that they have no need to match them.
    Our local bearing supplier has a jig that you put belts on, press a handle and watch the scale. You then get two or three belts to give the same reading and that's a set.

    Only problem is he admitted recently he's never used it in the last 5 years
    When the old time foremen ring up for a matched set he gets two or three off the shaft, wraps a matched set tag round them and sends them out.
    Never had a set back.

    Back in October I fitted 6 belts to a big 50 HP motor driving an extraction system at a local wood works.
    Just got 6 off the shelf, spun them on, adjusted them and that's it now till next October when they will be checked for adjustment.


    Sir John , Earl of Bligeport & Sudspumpwater. MBE [ Motor Bike Engineer ] Nottingham England.


    • #3
      Go to your VIP, Auto Zone, or whatever is near you and match your own. I dumped some good money into several matched sets including Goodyear and Browning. Their matching was not very good, especially for the somewhat short 28" belts on my lathe.

      I finally went to VIP, matched two Goodyear belts and all is wonderful

      In the end, I could have saved $60 or so, including shipping.



      • #4
        Hi Rookie, I have quite a bit of experience with V belts. The A-80 is a very common belt, the A desiginates it as a 1/2" cross section & 80 is the length in inches (measured on the inside). For an A series belt you can measure the O.D. & subtract 2 inches to get the proper A series length. Ya get that? Your A-80 belt will measure 82" around the outside. As far as a matched set goes that's pretty much a thing of the past. In the old days there was enough variance in the manufacturing process that belts had to be matched so they would all tighten together at once & therefore share the load. Todays belts are so well made that if you get the same size from the same maker they will be a matched set. Ya I know I'm old an was skeptical at first myself when I was first told matched sets were no longer available or nessasary but after installing many in the last 8-10 years without them being matched sets I've never had a problem. Hope that helped. Rick


        • #5
          Damn I type slow, you didn't have a response when I started my reply. Oh well , least John agrees with me.


          • #6
            Link Belts.

            I replaced the two chinese V Belts on my lathe with Fenner
            link belts. Red/Orange colour. Just count the links.
            Also they do seem to reduce vibration transmitted from the motor.


            Just stole this one from a Bill Pace post.

            Last edited by miker; 01-01-2008, 07:08 PM.



            • #7
              No, if it calls for A belts use A belts. Grainger stocks them Just ask for a A80 belt. "A" belts are intended for ganging are are all matched out of the factory.

              Link belts can reduce vibration in some machine but others like a lathe they may actually induce some vibration.


              • #8
                My experience was the same as Johns. I needed new belts on my lathe, and the manual said to ensure "matched belts". Called around and found that THE local place for good quality industrial supplies of this nature is called, interestingly enough, "Bearing Belt and Chain". Called them up and talked to the guy who just chuckled. Said he could sell me a pricey set of officially "matched" belts, but that nobody needs that any more. He specifically said, just as John did, that "modern belts are all closer in tolerance than what used to be called "matched sets". He recommend their "best grade" (don't recall the name), and that statement made me cringe as it sounded like "lots of money" to me. But he got the price and it was only maybe 50% more than automotive belts. When I picked it up, they were clearly superior in construction to what you get even at premium auto parts stores. No complaints from me, and I may well get my off-road trucks belts there. Not much fun shredding a belt 40 miles from the nearest paved road, and even though I carry spares, I prefer "the good stuff" when it makes the difference between broken down in remote desert locations or enjoying the trip. NO WAY I would put automotive grade belts on a machine tool...

                Honestly, I've also never seen the link belts deliver on all they are claimed. I've got 2 similar belt grinders. One came with a link belt, the other with a regular belt. One is no better than the other. A friend replaced a standard belt with link belts on his lathe, he said he thought maybe there might be a slight difference. I couldn't tell it. I think he just didn't want to admit that the ~$100 worth of over priced link belt was a waste of money. <shrug> I don't see it. Another friend plans to redo his Rockwell 11 with link belts that he got a good deal on. For a Rockwell 11, which uses a "ballanced spindle" with belts between the bearings, changing belts is a bit of a royal pain. THAT is the only good arguement for them in my opinion and from what I've seen. They are convenient to have on hand to fit ANY application (and for that I've considered getting it for my trucks emergency box!) as well as to prevent dissassembly. I hear (and read) all the time about how much smoother it's supposed to be, but I've seen no evidence to support that.

                Even in back-to-back tests it seemed to be absolutely no difference. So my *opinion* based on these observations is that this stuff is snake oil, much like K&N filters and many other "premium" items. Replace a clogged old dusty filter 10k over the change interval with an over priced K&N and suddenly their preaching, "OH MY GOD, THAT K&N IS AWSOME, WELL WORTH THE MONEY!!" Likewise, replace a worn old cracked belt, and it sure seems better. Unless someone shows me quantitative objective tests showing significant reduction in vibration, or I observe something significant myself, that will remain my opinion. Take it for what it's worth...
                Last edited by BadDog; 01-01-2008, 07:55 PM.
                Master Floor Sweeper


                • #9
                  Another vote for Fenner link belts,worth every penny on a lathe,mill what have you.
                  I just need one more tool,just one!


                  • #10
                    Thanks guys, I was going by an old clausing manual that said to order belts "only in matched sets".


                    • #11
                      I don't think you can count on the matching of "AutoHovel" or "PratBoys" chinese belts...... If they have decent US ones, maybe they are OK, although I still think those places buy the QC dropouts at a lower price..........

                      And, the quality of anything US made seems to be dropping like a stone...... After all, it doesn't have to be any better than the crappy chinese stuff..... the label sells it

                      Keep eye on ball.
                      Hashim Khan


                      • #12
                        Braemar belt

                        Originally posted by miker
                        I replaced the two chinese V Belts on my lathe with Fenner
                        link belts. Red/Orange colour. Just count the links.
                        Also they do seem to reduce vibration transmitted from the motor.


                        Just stole this one from a Bill Pace post.

                        Thanks Mike.

                        I've "posted" those links.

                        That linked belting used to be known as Braemar belting.

                        There has always been a controversy as to whether there was a "right" or "wrong" direction/way to mount it and as to whether is was suitable for reversing drives. Seemed OK as I recall.

                        It is very good if disassembling a drive is needed to install a continuous belt or as a "temporary fix" which usually became "permanent".


                        • #13
                          Easiest way to "match belts" is go someplace where they have a couple same length belts on a rack. Take the belts down and match the lot numbers on the belts to each other and you have a matched set of belts.

                          Been doing this for years at the local hardware/farm supply store.
                          "There is no more formidable adversary than one who perceives he has nothing to lose." - Gen. George S. Patton



                          • #14
                            Honestly, I've also never seen the link belts deliver on all they are claimed.
                            Rather than dismantle a lathe to install conventional belts, I installed link belts. The biggest disadvantage I see in them is their lack of traction. Their hard surface does not grip the pulley like a conventional belt.

                            I once saw a drawing that showed how a conventional vee belt thickens as it bends around a pulley. Thus it spreads itself tighter into the pulley groove, increasing its gripping power. I don't see how a linked belt could do that. It is not soft and pliable enough.

                            So many projects. So little time.


                            • #15
                              brucepts, I like your sig line. Right out of The Art of War by Sun Tzu and was, always leave the enemy an escape path. Much like, don't ever attack a cornered person as they have nothing to lose and you do.

                              There is much wisdom in The Art of War and The Tao Te Ching.

                              Just buy the best American made belts you can find. You can use identical lot numbers if you want but they will be very close anyway as already mentioned.

                              I to have read about the pinch factor of a solid belt as it is bent around the pulley and it seems to be true to me.
                              It's only ink and paper