Properly adjusting the tension on PT belts is difficult, tedious and time consuming. In addition, the penalties for getting it wrong include accelerated component wear, unscheduled equipment down time and increased costs and time for routine maintenance procedures.
Engineers at Goodyear have developed a system that provides fast, fast, fast relief from belt tensioning headaches: Goodyear’s TensionRiteTM gauge system. These gauges allow a user to tension a belt to within 7% of the recommended tension. The gauges and are included in the purchase of selected Goodyear Torque TeamÂ® banded belts. (See Belt Chart below.)
Using the Goodyear TensionRiteTMgauge is fast and easy.
The traditional methods of tensioning belts are tedious and/or unreliable. One option that is tedious is to the use bulky and expensive tools, time-consuming measurements and complicated mathematical formulas. You’ll achieve an accurate tension setting, and quite possibly, a brain cramp.
There is also the so-called “thumb test,” or the “what-feels-right” test. This approach falls into the “unreliable” category. It may be fast and easy, but it usually results in inaccurate tension settings and diminished belt life.
TensionRiteTM gauges combine the best of both methods to provide a simple, hassle-free way to accurately tension your belts.
The TensionRite gauge is a plastic strip that adheres to belts during installation. Correct tension settings are listed on the back of the card that holds the gauges. Apply the gauge to the belt, then adjust the tension. When the correct setting is reached, it will be readable on the gauge window. Simple, easy, accurate, reliable.
The fact that the TensionRiteTM gauge is simple does not diminish the technology behind it. The Goodyear engineering team designed an elegant device able to sense the right amount of belt tension needed for optimum drive performance. The gauge’s accuracy comes from research and development incorporating innovative uses of advanced technology and precise manufacturing tolerances.
Use TensionRiteTM With These Belts:
Type: Banded (Joined) Narrow V-belt
- Profiles: 3V, 3VX, 5V, 5VX, and 8V
- Sample Part: 3/8V1900 3/ – 3 rib, joined construction
- 8V – 1.00″ top width HY-T- Wedge profile
- 1900 – 190″ nominal outside length
Type: Banded (Joined) Classical V-belt
- Profiles: B, BX, C, CX, and D
- Sample Part: 3/CX112 3/ – 3 rib, joined construction
- C – .88″ top width HY-T classical profile
- X – Premium cogged construction
- 112 – 112″ inside circumference
Type: Banded (Joined) Narrow V-belt
- Profiles: 5VL
- Sample Part: 3/5VL800 3/ – 3 rib, joined construction
- 5V – .62″top width HY-T-Â®Wedge Profile
- L – Laminated cushion
- 800 – 80.0″ Nominal outside length
Seven Steps to Belt Tensioning Success
Place belt on pulleys, positioning belt with the smooth brand area in the middle span between the pulleys. Tighten the belt just enough to remove slack.
The flat brand area provides the smoothest surface on which to apply the TensionRiteTM gauge. Optimally the label area should be at the center of the span between two pulleys. However, if it is the case that protective guards or other obstructions prevent access to the center of the span, it is permissible to offset the label area to a more accessible region. The important thing to bear in mind is to avoid placing the label area on or near the belt region that is curving around a pulley. Always apply TensionRiteTM on a straight section of belt. The belt should be tensioned just to the point where bowing in the span lengths is eliminated. However, the belt should still be easily deflected when a downward force is applied in the middle of the span length.
Clean brand area of dust, oil, or other debris. (Use alcohol or ammonia for excessive dirt and grime.)
Through shipping and handling, belts will come in contact with varying degrees of dirt and grime. Whether the culprit comes from dirt in a warehouse or simple skin oil from the handling during shipping, the surface of the belt will invariably need cleaning. A clean belt surface allows for the best possible adhesion between the TensionRiteTM and the belt surface. Adhesion between the belt and the TensionRiteTM gauge is crucial in order for the gauge to function properly.
Carefully remove a TensionRiteTM strip from the card.
TensionRite utilizes ‘Smart Technology’ in that Goodyear Engineers have done extensive research to calculate the correct tension setting for each belt cross section and design those settings into the actual gauge so that it will sense when you get to the predetermined setting.
While the gauge might seem simple to the user, don’t under-estimate the engineering and complexities that lie within TensionRite. Because the engineering that goes into the gauge is so precise, one must take care when removing the TensionRiteTM gauge to ensure that the gauge is not damaged during removal. A damaged gauge will not allow you to tension the belt with the accuracy that TensionRiteTM was designed to provide. If you feel that the gauge may have been damaged in some way, dispose of it and carefully remove the second gauge. When you have removed the gauge, DO NOT attempt to manually pull the gauge in an effort to see the yellow bars move across the gauge window. TensionRiteTM was NOT designed for this type of use, and this will render the gauge unusable.
Peel and remove the end tabs from the back of the TensionRiteTM strip.
After removing the tabs, be careful to keep the adhesive surface of the gauge clean. This will further ensure that you have adequate adhesion between the TensionRiteTM and the belt surface.
Adhere the TensionRiteTM gauge strip in the center, flat against the cleaned brand area of the belt surface.
Applying the gauge properly will allow for the most accurate reading and best tension. Gently set the gauge on top of the belt label in the manner depicted on the instruction card. Do not press down on the adhesive tabs until you feel comfortable that the gauge is running parallel with the ribs of the belt. Once you have the gauge properly oriented, press firmly down – not outward or inward – on the adhesive tabs. By pressing outward or inward over the adhesive tabs, the gauge may pull apart or bunch up, leading to false readings from the gauge.
Gradually tension the belt to the correct TensionRiteTM setting on the back of the TensionRite card. (If several yellow marks appear, use the middle mark)
Before you begin tensioning, use your drive conditions and your belt cross-section to determine what setting you need to attain. It is important to understand that this gauge is to be used only on the belt types specified on the actual gauge. If you have a belt that is not specified on the gauge, consult the Goodyear Engineering Manual for tensioning instructions or call the Goodyear help line.
Begin by slowly tensioning the belt, as this will allow you to monitor how fast the gauge moves through the settings. Reading the gauge is simple. A group of three to four bars will travel across the window of the gauge together. If only three yellow bars are seen, the bar in the middle will indicate the setting that the gauge is currently reading. If you have four yellow bars open in the window, two of them will appear brighter than the other bars. The reading will fall in between the two brighter bars.
While tensioning, if the yellow mark gets to the end of the window and reappears on the left of the window, the belt is over-tensioned. Reduce the tension to correct setting. Remove gauge before operating drive.
If the yellow line disappears on the right and reappears on the left side of the window, you have applied way too much tension. If this happens, immediately reduce the tension so that the belt has slack in it and apply a new gauge. Once the gauge reads the correct setting, peel the gauge off and dispose of it. The gauge should not be left on the belt when the drive is started.
TensionRiteTM Q & A
Q: How do I know if I am removing too much or too little slack in the belt prior to adhering the TensionRiteTM gauge to the belt?
A: The best way to make sure you have enough slack removed from your belt and that it is ready for a TensionRiteTM gauge to be applied, is to slowly tension the belt until the belt no longer appears to have a bow across the span length. Once you see that the bow is removed from the belt, it is a good idea to deflect the belt with a simple push of your hand or finger, depending on the size of your belt. If it is difficult to deflect the belt, there is too much tension in the belt. Slowly remove the tension until deflecting the belt no longer requires strenuous effort.
Q: When I use the TensionRiteTM gauge, do I still need to retension my belts after a period of run-in time?
A: Re-tensioning with TensionRiteTM gauges is simple. Simply remove the tension from the belt and use another TensionRiteTM gauge following the same instructions on the card. For re-tensioning purposes where the belt has been operating, tension the belt to 75% of the setting on the instruction card.
Q: As I begin to tension the belt, I see a few yellow lines moving across the gauge’s window. Which line do I look at?
A: The gauge was designed to show either three or four yellow lines at a time on the gauge window. When there are only three yellow lines visible, the reading is taken at the middle line. In the case of only three visible lines, the middle line should appear brighter than the two outside lines. When there are four yellow lines moving across the window, the reading should be taken in the halfway point, between the two middle lines. The two middle lines will be much brighter or more defined than the outside lines. A general rule of thumb to follow when reading your TensionRiteTM gauge is to always find the most brilliant yellow line(s). Your reading will then be easily found on the gauge window.
Q: How accurate is the TensionRiteTM gauge when compared to other methods of tensioning belts?
A: Goodyear engineers have tested several different methods currently used to tension belts. They found that TensionRiteTM gauges will typically allow a user to tension their belt application within 7% of the recommended tension. The gauges is accurate and cost effective when compared to other methods of tensioning.
Q: Can I use TensionRiteTM gauges on other manufacturer’s belts?
A: The Goodyear TensionRiteTM gauge is a precision engineered tensioning tool and was developed for use exclusively on belts manufactured by Goodyear Power Transmission Products. The gauge functions as a result of the elongation properties of the belt under tension. The TensionRiteTM gauge was tailored specifically to measure the elongation of Goodyear belts, and the settings on the back of the instruction card reflect this. Use of TensionRiteTM gauges on any belts made by a manufacturer other than Goodyear could result in severe drive damage, costly maintenance fees, and personal injury.
Q: What temperature range will the TensionRiteTM gauge work best within?
A: Quite simply, TensionRiteTM gauges will work in any temperature range that a human being can work within.
Q: Do I need to put a strip on each rib of a Torque TeamÂ® (banded) belt?
A: The TensionRiteTM gauge was designed to translate belt elongation into readings on the gauge window. Because elongation is the key measurement, Torque TeamÂ® belts can be tensioned using one gauge on the center of the belt. Regardless of the number of ribs on the belt, only one gauge is required. The reasoning is simple. For a well-aligned drive, as the tension is increased, the elongation of the belts on the inside will be the same as the ribs on the outside. Therefore only one gauge is necessary to measure the elongation of all the ribs. However, as with any drive being powered by power transmission belts, the drive must be properly aligned for the gauge to work accurately.
Q: Will TensionRiteTM gauges work on synchronous belts or other belts besides Torque TeamÂ®?
A: At this time, the TensionRiteTM gauge is only available for Goodyear Torque TeamÂ® belts. The back of the TensionRiteTM instruction card gives specific settings for the belt cross-section and the critical drive conditions that are being used. These are the belts that TensionRiteTM gauges can be used on.
If the belt cross-section that you have is not on the back of the instruction card, you should not use the TensionRiteTM gauge to tension the drive. You will notice that the current TensionRite gauge will NOT work on Goodyear Torque Team Plus belts, since these belts use a FlextenÂ® (aramid) reinforcement cord that has little-to-no stretch characteristics.
Q: What do I do if the gauge will not adhere to the belt?
A: Clean the smooth, labeled area of the belt with alcohol or ammonia based cleaner and a cotton swab. Then apply a new TensionRiteTM strip to the belt. When removing the tabs, be careful to keep the adhesive surface of the gauge clean. This will further ensure that you have adequate adhesion between the TensionRite gauge and the belt surface.
Q: On belts with backside idlers, does it matter which span length to apply the TensionRiteTM strip?
A: It makes no difference which span length you use to apply the TensionRiteTM strip because the TensionRiteTM gauge is only measuring the elongation of the four inch section of belt that it is adhered to, the user does not need to use the longest span length available. The only requirement of the span length is that there must be enough length to allow the TensionRiteTM gauge to be placed without being curved around a belt going over a pulley. TensionRiteTM gauges will not function properly if the gauge does not lie completely on a flat length. Find the span length that is easiest to access and of sufficient length for proper use of the gauge.
Q: Can I use the gauge over again on other belts if it will stick to the belt?
A: The TensionRiteTM gauge was not designed to be re-usable. Once it has been used to tension one belt, it should be disposed of in the proper manner, as re-using TensionRiteTM gauges would result in improper tensioning of the drive.