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Home-Built Belt Tightener
Dick Clevenger, 17174 County Road G40, Letts, Iowa 52754 (ph 319 726-3502): "I've owned a 1955 Allis Chalmers CA with an L-306 Woods belly mower for 20 years. It's pretty much bullet-proof except for one thing if you move the adjuster idlers to tighten the belt, it'll start wearing because it won't be perfectly lined up with the sheaves. It starts to scuff and wear itself out. This belt is 20 ft. long and rather expensive.
  "The Woods people in Oregon were no help so I made my own tightener. It consists of a 2 by 4 by 16-in. piece of white oak with a 4-in. dia. idler pulley on one end and a 1/2-in. wide slot cut down the middle. A 2 degree taper is cut on the bottom of the wood so the pulley mounts at a slight angle to match the angle of the belt. That keeps the belt from wearing. Two bolts go through the slot at the center of the tightener. To tighten the belt, you just loosen the bolts and slide the pulley into the belt.
  "In the past I was using 1 belt every year. Now I get 5 years or more out of each belt, which I buy at Motion Industries (www.motionindustries.com) for about 1/3 the cost of belts from Woods.
  "I think this idea would work on many other tractor mowers. I'd be willing to make these idlers for the cost of materials."

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2010 - Volume #34, Issue #3