Tech Tuesday | Drive Belt Tips

Michelle Baird | December 8, 2020

Ultimax has some tips on installing and extending the life of your UTV’s drive belt.

In the video, Ultimax walks us through installing a belt in a Maverick in the video below.

Video | Ultimax Drive Belt Change for Can-Am Mavericks and Commanders

ATV/UTV/SxS Belt Installation Tips from Ultimax

Always follow all of the manufacturer’s safety recommendations, installation procedures and specifications.

Select the proper belt: A belt that is too long or too short robs the drive system of efficiency. A short belt causes damaging stress on the drive system. A belt that is too long won’t allow the clutches to work as they should. Ultimax belts are designed to be application specific, so check the belt finder tool on our website to get the right belt for your machine.

Store it correctly: If you are not planning to use the new belt right away, be sure to store it properly. Keep the belt in a clean, cool, dry environment with no direct sunlight. Do not hang the belt on a peg. Don’t crimp the belt tightly or turn it inside out.

Avoid prying clutch faces: To remove the old belt, separate the two halves of the secondary clutch. Never pry between the clutch faces.

Inspect belt Check the old belt: Look for cracks, broken cords or signs of excessive heat. If one side is noticeably more worn than the other, you could have an alignment issue with your clutches.

Clean it: Clean and evaluate your clutches. Clean out any pieces of the old belt or any debris. It’s a good idea to blow everything out with compressed air (especially if you had a belt fail). If there is anything on the clutch faces, get those clean too. If there is a pronounced groove in the primary, it’s time to replace it. Check the weights and rollers for flat spots. Also, many clutch covers have a rubber seal around the lip. Make sure it is in good condition so water and dirt don’t get in. On newer SxS vehicles, there are air inlet and outlet vents. If a belt fails, unseen belt debris can plug vents. Make sure the vents are clear while the clutch cover is off.

Chemical Cautions: Acetone and brake-cleaning fluids can be used to clean the clutch faces, but be careful to let everything dry so it doesn’t get on the belt. These chemicals will break down the compounds in the belt and result in shortened belt life. Never use a belt dressing or solvent on a belt.

Note on Belt Direction: Install the belt making sure it sits within the sheaves correctly. Some belts have directional arrows, however, belts aren’t directional, so the way you put it on doesn’t matter. The arrows are there so that if you ever take the belt off, you can put it back on in the same direction. For maximum belt life, it’s a good idea to always keep the belt running in the same direction. Ultimax belts don’t have arrows, so we recommend putting them on so you can read the label. Get in this habit and you are assured that the belt is always running the same direction.

Spin the secondary clutch: Spin the secondary clutch until the belt is good and snug. You should see the top of the cog above the edge of the secondary when it’s tight.

Break it in: Every new belt needs to be seated to the clutch faces. To accomplish this, break in a new belt by running your machine at half throttle or less for the first thirty miles. This will allow the belt to seat properly and provide optimum performance.

Drive smart: Please also remember two more tips to extend the life of your drive belt: Don’t take off with the brake set and don’t pull a load in high gear.

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