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Comet belts are not elastic and should not be viewed as a rubber band. With the sophistication of drive belts and drive systems found in today’s machines, the drive belt can do much damage to the entire system if the proper belt is not used or if the drive system is not properly aligned and adjusted. In earlier years, the drive system was considered a part of the machine that merely blew alot of belts. Many belts then were of the variety that if the drive system was not properly aligned and adjusted the belt would stretch and in most cases disintegrate before doing much damage to the clutch or driven unit. Today, however, emphasize belt and drive systems have attained such sophistication that if the drive system is not properly aligned or adjusted, or if the wrong belt is used, the belt may tear up the drive system before stretching or breaking. For that reason alone, and to eliminate the expense, trouble and possible safety hazard of blown belts or damaged clutches, the drive system on your vehicle should be given extra care to be sure it’s operating properly. Basic guidelines are that the belt be checked periodically for uneven wear. If any irregularities appear in the system or on the belt, have the system adjusted immediately.

Check to make sure all of the black plastic cam buttons in the driven pulley are in place. Do not run the system if any of the buttons are missing. Missing buttons will allow the driven pulley to open too far allowing the belt to fall down into an area of the pulley where rivets are present. These rivets will destroy the belt. The buttons also keep the movable sheave from spinning, they reduce friction between the cam and the movable sheave and they prevent metal to metal contact thus acting as shock absorbers. The buttons play a very important role in the performance of a torque converter system. If you do have to replace buttons, glue the buttons into place with contact cement or a similar product.

Erratic engagement is most often caused by the driver clutch that is mounted on the engine crankshaft. The flyweights in the clutch are sticking or the movable sheave is binding on the hub. Knowing how they work may help you determine why yours doesn’t. As engine rpm increases, the flyweights push against the outer drum and force the movable sheave (pulley face) toward the engine causing the belt to travel at a greater circumference around the driver clutch. This action in turn causes the belt to force open the driven pulley, allowing the belt to travel at a lesser circumference around the driven pulley.

As engine rpm decreases, the spring in the driven pulley closes the pulley forcing the belt to a greater circumference. This action overcomes the force of the flyweights against the movable sheave and causes the driver clutch pulley to open, allowing the belt to travel a lesser circumference around the driver clutch.

When the engine is at idle, the driver clutch pulley should not engage the sides of the belt. The belt should be loose in the pulley and resting on the bronze bushing around the hub. The bronze bushing serves to protect the belt from rubbing against the spinning hub at idle and also to support a portion of the movable sheave as the sheave moves toward the engine during engagement.

The movable sheave must be able to slide freely on the splined hub without binding. Disassemble the driver clutch and clean away any dirt or lubricant residue using an automotive parts cleaning solvent. Do not use a petroleum based lubricant inside the driver clutch or between the hub and movable sheave. Use a dry, molybdenum based lubricant. The extreme heat and pressure inside the driver clutch chars most petroleum based lubricants. Petroleum based lube also collects dirt which causes increased wear. Graphite lube is better than petroleum lube, but it also eventually leaves a residue that builds up on the parts, causing them to bind and require more frequent cleaning. Experience has taught us that Comet Spray Lube works best.