Link belts

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Forum topic by Don K. posted 04-20-2009 06:48 PM 1223 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Don K.

1075 posts in 3349 days

04-20-2009 06:48 PM

Quick question, Over the years I have always used your typical belts on all of my equipment. I know that a link belt will run with less vibration. But how long lasting are they ?

In the past, when ever a machines belt developed the dreaded “Memory bump” I just pulled it off, and replaced it with a good quality belt for about $10.00, as long as I use it on a semi regular basis, I have no problem. But last night I pulled out my lath which I have not used in a few months, and of course it shook like crazy, looked at the belt, and you guessed it, there was the memory bump.

I have considered several times switching all my stuff over to link belts, but could not justify spending $20+ on every piece when I could just run down to my local parts store, spend $10 and be back up and running in no time. ( I am VERY tight with my money, lol)

So how long do they last, other than being used for vibration dampening, (which since I keep all my equipment dialed in, adjusted and tuned up, I really do not have a bad vibration problem) are link belts really worth the extra $$$, do they last weeks, months, years ?? And am I fooling myself and just being a tight wad by thinking I don’t have that much of a vibration problem ? If I switched over to all link belts, would I be amazed with the difference?

Thanks for any advice.

-- Don S.E. OK

7 replies so far

View kleinjahr's profile


8 posts in 3395 days

#1 posted 04-20-2009 07:28 PM

A place I worked at had one on an exhaust fan. A very dusty environment, the only reason we changed it out was when the motor went. It had been running almost constantly for several years, nobody remembered who put it on. I use one on my lathe, largely because that way I don’t have to take the headstock apart to change the belt(old Beaver-Delta). Another advantage is that when the belt stretches you can simply remove a few links and start up again. Disadvantages? Initial cost(d’oh). I’m not sure but, for a given size, is it able to apply the same torque without slippage?

View PurpLev's profile


8536 posts in 3672 days

#2 posted 04-20-2009 07:44 PM

they work well, they do not wear as much as the ‘original’ crappy belts. they do not form memory bumps. but they are more hard/ridgid then rubber belts, making them a bit more prone to slipping under tension. some folks here found replacement belts (made by Gates) that are of high quality, will not form memory bumps, made of rubber so are not slippery, and cost about $5 each … do a search on that. I think the link belt as great as they are, are a bit overpriced for a suitable solution.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View knotscott's profile


8055 posts in 3399 days

#3 posted 04-20-2009 08:41 PM

Link belts are usually a big improvement to a bad belt, but aren’t necessarily an improvement of a v-belt that’s working well, and are not the only example of a good belt. Link belts also have more wind drag, and thus produce more air noise. plus they stretch a bit and need to be re-tightened over time. As a price comparison, ask a radiator shop or a good parts store about a high quality rubber cog belt. Serpentine style belts are quiet and less susceptible to memory set, but require proprietary pullies, and may not wear as long as some others.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View Don K.'s profile

Don K.

1075 posts in 3349 days

#4 posted 04-21-2009 12:26 AM

Thanks guys, thats what I thought. I will just stick with my good old ribbed belts.

-- Don S.E. OK

View hairy's profile


2718 posts in 3555 days

#5 posted 04-21-2009 05:52 AM

If you know that you won’t use the machine for a while, loosen the belt. It shouldn’t set if it’s loose.Make some kind of reminder, so you don’t restart with a loose belt.

-- My reality check bounced...

View Don K.'s profile

Don K.

1075 posts in 3349 days

#6 posted 04-21-2009 06:17 AM

Thanks hairy,
I use many of my tools on a daily basis, a few on a weekly basis and so on. As I said in my first post, I normally don’t have this problem. But ever so often a tool will be used, and then not touched again for weeks (My lathe) and by that time I have forgotten all about how long it has been sitting. Even then I normally do not have this problem because I have always tried to keep good belts on my tools. But every once and a while one will slip through and form a bump. And it normally happens when all the parts stores are closed and I have to wait till the next day :(

-- Don S.E. OK

View marcb's profile


768 posts in 3696 days

#7 posted 04-21-2009 03:44 PM

Minor bumps can be worked out by running the machine and letting the force/heat work it out.

But that said a link belt on a lathe is the 1 place I really understand it. All the tear down/build up that you need to do to replace the belt just doesn’t make sense.

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