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Things that cause Polaris Belt Issues

This article was written several years ago, I will change it to match today and make the changes in italics and leave article as it was 

The first thing everyone should know or be thinking about this is, if you are going through belts, no matter what brand it is from the best to the worst ones made then stop trying to find a better belt and stop blaming the belt.  Constant blowing of belts in a short period of time is not belt related, it is either your driving style or something is physically wrong with your clutch etc.  Don't get me wrong a cheap brand belt will not hold up like some of the better ones will but mostly I am talking about OEM or Hunterworks, both are good so if you blowing them feel free to call me to figure out why.

I love analogies and I thought about this, this morning.  If you blow a known good tire on your car/truck into a million pieces or it goes flat, do you blame the quality of the tire or say the tire was not good?  Would you seek out a better tire? No you would figure out what you might have ran over etc to cause it. 

There are also conditions that one belt likes more than the next.  Ever wonder why some people have good luck with one brand and next guy can't run one?  Trust me there are conditions that some belts just do not like, it is our mission to minimize those conditions so more people can run our belt but that is just not always 100% of the time. 

I have been needing to put together this article to cover all the things that cause belt issues on the on the RZR XP 1000 and XP4. The truth is some of this is the cause on other RZR's, Rangers and General as well.  The first thing I would like to tell you is, the least likely issue causing belt failure is the belt itself. I hear and read about people saying, "I can't run a Gates belt and OEM does fine" and I also hear and read just as many that say "I can't run an OEM and the Gates does best". What I can tell you is there are some characterist that allow one belt to perform better than the other and it is hard to nail down which runs better in what environment.  I can say that if you have all the issues taken care of that follows then it appears either belt lasts a long time. Today we have our own belts and they are performing better than either the Gates or OEM. 

Driving style is probably one of the main issues. Duning in itself is just hard on belts due to heat and not warming the belt up before you nail it and not letting it cool down before you shut it off to take a break while riding is the main issue.  On duning, you really need to alternate the style of riding so the load say like actually running in deep sand and climbing dunes is alternated with flat running to cool it off. Slow riders like a rock crawler have a couple issues, one they don't get on the gas hard enough to really engage the belt and two they go so slow that there is not enough air moving in the clutch. Mud guys with snorkels and especially 2" snorkels is just not enough air. This can go on a while but I hope you get the point. Wide open running at top speeds really heats a belt up, do this in cycles.

While on driving styles, if you are the guy who gets some serious air do NOT run a engine braking helix in your secondary and out of our belts run the STD one.  When you are in the air, let off the gas and land, the EBS secondary grabs the belt, the primary is open, the sudden spinning forward of the belt when you land sends the excess of the belt to the top of the cover tearing the cogs off the top in the exhaust duct.   

Now onto physical issues and yes this is centered around products we sell but we do fill a void or give you fixes for the issues so we are both served well.

One issue we have known about for a while but didn't have any really good way to fix it until the new alignment tool and lock plate came out is shaft spacing and alignment. I don't want to go into a long detail here, you can click the link I made there and read the tech article on the tool but here is the short of it.  Sometimes even day one Polaris didn't get shaft spacing right but over time the engine/tranny start to sag in the middle due to the way the are all bolted together and they don't always sag in a straight line so not only do the two shafts (crank and tranny) move closer together they get out of alignment. This is the main cause of belts hitting the top of the rear clutch cover destroying belts, rpm issues, slippage and simple heat due to alignment issues. This is a bigger problem than we have let on because we didn't have a way to fix it and with the tool and lock plate we do now.  Also some vehicles come from factory with spacing too far apart which makes the belt make noise and creates heat that way as well plus it will prematurely make your primary bearing fail do to added load on it.

Secondary rollers in older 11-15 secondary clutch. Oh boy that has been a huge issue with some OEM rollers not lasting even a weekend. Heat and dirt cause these to flat spot, once they flat spot the secondary clutch does not open and close properly, you lose performance and efficiency in the clutch and it creates more belt heat plus makes rpm go up. Our new High Temp Rollers have really been a huge seller and a complete success, we are approaching 10000 rollers sold since Nov of 15 and this is June of 16 that I am writing this.  Once again there is a longer explanation on them in an tech article just about them and you can read that by clicking that link above.

For 16-19 non turbo owners the square pucks are ruining clutches and blowing belts, just click this link and read the tech articles to learn more but get the square out NOW!!

Clutch calibration meaning a clutch kit and tuning the clutch for maximum performance.  When you want to achieve maximum performance clutching gets specific. The OEM set up is good for everyone but you!! Meaning it is a general set up that does everything ok but nothing great.  Sometimes Polaris gets it right for a stock vehicle and sometimes they don't but if you add mods mostly heavier tires, or you are a duner where the load is increased or anything you are doing that is causing the rpm to drop then a Dalton clutch kit will allow you to dial the clutch back in so it is running the engine at the right rpm so the vehicle is not lugging and creating heat and can destroy a belt.

The OEM primary clutch has an inherent issue where the spider nut and spider back off, RPM goes up and top speed comes down plus you most likely will start slipping and burning belts. If you have never heard of this, it basically means the two halves of the primary clutch unscrew from each other therefore further apart and can't close up together like they once did so that is why you have less belt grip and the belt can't travel to the top of it anymore limiting belt travel lowering your speeds and making your rpm go up.  Sometimes just the nut backs off but most of the time the nut and spider back off together and it does not take much. To fix either condition, the clutch has to come off the vehicle, taken all the way apart and reassembled with 620 loctite, spider torqued to 280 to 300 lbs and nut to 250lbs. We do have the tools to accomplish this and have a package of tools to save a bit of money, we call it the Primary tool package.

Not sure if this causes the belt to have issues or not but while on clutching the dampener in the OEM 14-15 XP 1000 secondary clutch is made from powdered metal and it fails pretty regularly, they crack and break and sometimes they take out your secondary clutch. For just $35 you can get the HD Dampener and put in it's place to stop that from happening, cheap insurance against a failure.

As you can see there are host of things that cause belt failure, they might seem like a big task to eliminate but they aren't really.  As always, if you need help with any clutch related issues feel free to call me


Hunterworks Inc.
12097 Kelly Lane

Collinsville, MS 39325
Phone: 601-771-0070
Fax 601-771-0073

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