january 2016 ask the experts


AmSnow.com is now SnoWest.com

Belt Break In
Q: Your Nov. 2015 tips on changing a snowmobile drive belt stated that after changing the belt you should drive your butt off to catch your buddies. I was at the Toronto International Snowmobile show on the weekend and stopped at the Dayco booth to inquire about a proper break-in distance. I thought the answer would be to drive gingerly for a couple miles. They recommend different maximum speeds until fully broken-in at 50 miles/80kms. (It’s possible they said 80miles). I don’t find the actual numbers on their website, but they were on the sleeve for new belts. – Norman Schwegel, Kitchener, Ontario

A: Thanks for reading American Snowmobiler! We were having a little “tongue-in-cheek” fun in the article when we said that you should "ride fast to catch up with your buddies." We don't often ride "gingerly," and our own testing over several decades has led us to believe that varying your RPMs, speed, acceleration and braking is the best way to get a belt broken in. Each manufacturer has their own set of “break-in” instructions that include maximum operating speeds, distance, etc.

For example, Bill Hay of Dayco Canada states, “For maximum drive belt life, do not exceed 80 km/h (50 mph) during the first 30 kilometers (20 miles) of use. Exceeding 80 km/h (50 mph) during the break-in period will greatly shorten the life of this product. Washing a belt with soapy water (as many people suggest) also only applies to specific belt manufacturers (not Dayco). We don’t use a silicon on the outside of the belt in the manufacturing process. The idea of the soapy water is to remove this silicone so as to promote better gripping of belt by clutch.” – Experts

Reader Response: Weak Spark
I fired up my pro stocker yesterday, and it ran barely 20 seconds, quit and lost spark somehow. I checked grounds, cleaned all plug-ins and still have spark that’s weak every once in a while. My batteries are fully charged. The red LED light comes on when I pull it over, but there’s not enough spark to start it. I hope the MSD isn’t fried! – lastminute1200

A: Pull the plug apart going to the triggers. You can use a jumper wire going back to the box to test for spark. – bman
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