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Belt adjustment, Squeaky Belt, Mouse or Mice, driving you crazy.
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Posted 2009-06-02 10:21 AM (#35856)
Subject: Belt adjustment, Squeaky Belt, Mouse or Mice, driving you crazy.


Posts: 2026
Brighton, TN
FWIW, this was what I had done early on. Fixed it myself, as others have. Now have 23232 on the odometer and not a single squeak. No wild mice or Mickey Mouse.

Got around 6300 miles on the bike. At around 2500, belt started squeaking or squeeling, just riding around, seem to go away under hard acceleration, but, would come back while taking off, or just moving in any gear or speed. I thought that maybe the belt was loose and just not grabbing good. So on the jackstand and under I go. Sure enough looks like the belt is extremely loose. Use large Crescent wrench and loosen nut, tighten adjusters. Appears to be about 25/32" slack with 10lbs of force. Re-tighten, take for a spin. Noise gone.
At around 5300 miles, squealing is back. AAARRGGGHH! I'm thinking is this gonna be another one of those things where around 2500 miles I just need to go tighten the belt. If that is the case, how long will this thing last. So, on jackstand, and under I go. This time I'm smarter, take my handy dandy $50 service manual under with me. Review the instructions on tightening the belt, basic instructions as what is in the owners manual. Well, that doesn't help much. Read on, now there is a section for alignment of the belt. OOOHHHHH!!!! Take a look at that. That seems to be more my problem. Looking from the rear of the bike looking forward the belt is riding over to the right side of the driven pulley. According to book should be almost touching the left side. Oh, here we go. Now I am adjusting the angle of the rear wheel. I can almost see it now, time I am done, it will squeal all the way to dealer right past the HD establishment, with my mouse a squealing.
Service manual, tells you to adjust the tensioners so the belt will ride to the left side of the pulley, when that is done then reverse direction and the belt should start to drift back to the right side. Okay, seems easy enough. I start by tightening the right side first adjustment bolt, trying to keep track of how man turns and which way. Then belt gets too tight, need to loosen both sides now and also continue to tap on the main bolt to make sure it is seated forward as I loosen it. Now, I have the belt loose again. Start to tighten the right side bolt, Turning, turning, turning, it probably took over twelve quarter turns on the right side to get the belt to move. Lightly starting to panic that would be about 3 full turns. Now the belt has decided to move over to the left side. Now I tighten the left side tensioner to get the belt to move off a little bit. Stop, belt too tight again. Loosen, both sides. Now tighten left side to get the belt to move over.
Repeat this process, until reached specs. I lost count of turns and which way. The moral of the story. I wound up getting the belt to move off of the right side of the pulley which I thought might be making the noise. Once I got it off of that side, It ran almost immediately to the left. I adjusted the belt to where it was just a little off of the left side. After getting home yesterday, I checked the alignment again and it was riding to the right of the pulley but not touching the pulley sides. I never could get it to the left side of the pulley, and then reverse the tire and the belt start to drift away from the left side. So, I dunno, about that part.
I adjusted the belt tension and took it for a spin. No noise, runs as good as it did, maybe even better.
Note: Before if I let go of the handlebars the bike seem to drift to the left on its own, now I rode 16 miles and no handlebar input and seem to track straight. Seems to have worked for me. What I thought would be a quick 30 minute job took me two hours, but like usual, I enjoyed doing it and I learned something else. What's better than layin on your back lookin' at the underside of your bike and going OOOHHH and AAHHHH. I probably sounded more like a two year old. Pointing and grunting. More Manisms.
2008 Victory Vision Black Street Premium (BSP)/ Tour Pak Added.
I got some butt ache from that ride! My famous words taken out of context!
Bike name "Memory Maker 1"
YeEhAw (I love this line!)
22000 miles 5/1/2009!
Serial 699

Posted 2009-06-02 9:18 AM (#35855 - in reply to #35825)
Subject: Re: Iron Butt's squeaky belt


Iron Butt

Posts: 1068

Location: Brighton, TN This would be space_cwboy's interpretation of his method, which when outlined it looks easier than my monologue.

I had a very good conversation with a service guy at a Victory shop in Montana while I was on my recent 5400 mile trip from CO to WA to BC to MT and home. We talked a bit about belt noise. Here was his explanation....

Victory KNOWS there is a problem, and is working on it. He said that the belts on Victories are "hard" in comparison ot the Harley belts, which contribute greatly to the problem. He also told me there is a VERY tight tolerance between the Victory belt width, and the pulley size, so if the belt is not PERFECTLY aligned, you will get belt noise. He suggested that I occasionally focus on cleaning the belt and pulley, especially after riding on any gravel/dirt roads, or where there is a lot of road construction debris, like when they rotomill the asphalt in prep for a new surface. He suggested I use a tooth brush to clean the pulley and toothed portion of the belt, which I personally think is a crock!

I had the dreaded belt noise problem on my Vision as well. Three visits to the dealer's service dept did not cure it. With help from pollolittle's write up on him adjusting his own belt, I adjusted mine, and the noise was gone. That was almost 6000 miles ago! Currently, I notice a slight noise when under acceleration when I first start out on the bike, not the constant ear splitting noise I once had. Because my rear tire is BALD, I'm awaiting delivery of a new rear tire, then I'll remove the rear wheel, take it to the dealer to have the tire installed on my wheel, then I'll reinstall the wheel myself, realign the wheel myself, and I'm pretty confident that I'll have no belt noise for a long time.

I like the one idea above about blowing out the dust/dirt/road grime from the belt & pulley, but it will be a cold day before you'll see me with a toothbrush, cleaning by belt & pulley!

For all of you that currently have belt noise, do one very simple check - get down on all fours behind the bike and look at how your belt CURRENTLY aligns on the rear pulley. If you cannot verify that the pulley is not against either the left or right edge (most likely) of the pulley, you have an alignment problem! If you have or have access to a motorcycle jack, align it yourself, as it is easier than you could possibly think! It will take about 30 minutes to complete, you only need a large crescent wrench capable of opening to 1-1/16", and a 1/2" wrench. Here are the steps:

1. Lift the bike so the rear wheel is off the ground
2. Place the trans in neutral
3. Loosen the 1-1/16" axle nut
4. Turn the right side ("passenger" side) rear axle adjuster 1/4 turn using a 1/2" wrench - move axle towards front of bike if belt is against right side of pulley, or move axle towards rear of bike if belt is against left side of pulley.
5. Turn the left side ("driver" side) rear axle adjuster 1/4 turn, using a 1/2" wrench - move axle towards rear of bike if belt is against right side of pulley, or move axle towards front of bike if belt is against left side of pulley.
6. Spin rear wheel by hand, turning wheel as if the motorcycle is going forwards at least 2-3 full rotations
7. Observe if drive belt is now centered on rear pulley - if so, skip to step 9.
8. If observation in step 7 shows drive belt is not centered on rear pulley, repeat steps 4, 5, 6, & 7 until belt is centered.
9. Carefully tighten the 1-1/16" axle nut to factory specs
10. Lower the bike off the motorcycle jack
11. Enjoy chirp-free riding!

My recommendation with the above is IF you repeat steps 4-7 more than about 4 or 5 times, you should recheck the belt tightness to see if it still is within spec. By turning one side of the axle one way, and the other side of the axle the other to help align the wheel and belt, its relative location on the bike does not change significantly, and should not cause the drive belt tightness to go out of spec. If you have to make a LARGE number of adjustment cycles to get the belt to track properly, it MAY affect the belt tightness spec.

I hope this helps...I know I was sure frustrated for some time when my belt was making so much noise, so I can surely sympathize.

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Posted 2009-06-04 11:17 AM (#36040 - in reply to #35856)
Subject: Re: Belt adjustment, Squeaky Belt, Mouse or Mice, driving you crazy.


Posts: 2026
Brighton, TN
This would be cjnoho's way of doing it. A conglomeration of it all would probably work well.

I spent a month trying to find a proceedure for adjusting the belt. Here is what I came up with. First, dont go by the marks on the swing arm. Second, while rotating the rear tire forward, apply sideways force to the belt and force it to the inside of the pulley. Third, when you rotate the tire backwards, if it starts to move to the right side edge, the left axle adjuster is too tight. Rotate forward, forcing the belt with your hand, to the left. Loosen the left axle adjuster until the belt stays against the left edge when rotated backwards. Tighten the axle nut. Tightening the axle nut will affect the adjustment. With it loose, it will stay against the left edge, when tight, it will start to walk away from it. Last, with the rear wheel off the ground, when applying moderate upward pressure to the belt, it should have about 5/8" to 1" of play. I have over 4k on it after the last tire replcement and have had no problems. I think the big problem is that the drive pulley (the one off the trans) has no sides to it like the rear on does. Which is not a problem when aligned properly. But a drive pulley with sides to it would allow for slight misadjustment without creating so much noise. As I mentioned before, dont go by the marks on the swingarm, mine are way off but it tracks perfectly.
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