You Should Know How to Replace a Drive Belt
Funny story about the first upgrade we made to our Sandrail. Thanks to an unfortunate event with a hill, a log, and our throttle cable, our stock belt was not in the best shape. While Odes will normally cover the belt under warranty for the first 30 days, our damage was borderline due to abuse. (Check out Anatomy of an ATV - Drive Belt for more information on belt maintenance costs.) Instead of replacing the belt with another stock belt, we opted to upgrade to the EPI Severe Duty drive belt.
We like the EPI belt and recommend it to all of our customers for a number of reasons. It's an affordable performance drive belt that comes with a one-year warranty. EPI also has a reputation developing clutch systems. So with belt in hand, we were ready to tear this thing apart.
Changing the belt on the Sandrail took us a little longer the first time, because we had to figure out the logistics of getting to the clutch. Now when we do it for our customers, the process is pretty quick. While we could see the clutch cover, the trailing arms and shocks made removing it nearly impossible in it's current state. We had a little bit of a round peg, square hole situation going on...
Initially, we tried removing the shock from the trailing arm. But even that wasn't enough. In the end, we opted to lift the Sandrail, then remove both the shock and the front bolt on the trailing arm. The lift allowed the trailing arm to fall away and gave us plenty of room to access the clutch cover.
With the clutch cover removed, we got started removing the stock belt. To remove the belt, you'll want to seperate the primary drive. Do this by inserting a threaded bolt into the primary drive clutch. The bolt size depends on the clutch model. You may need to try a few different sizes before finding the right one. Whatever size you use, the bolt should be about two and a half inches long and solid threads.
Once the primary drive has been opened up, the belt pulls right off.
At this point, it's always fun to compare the differences between the damaged part and the new part. In the photo below, the new EPI Severe Duty Belt is on the left and our stock belt is on the right. You can see that the edges of our stock belt are worn and bevelled inward. On the new belt, everything is crisp and sharp. Additionally, our stock belt looks almost polished. This is from rubbing along the primary drive, likely due to excessive RPMs while we were stuck against a log. Of course, crossing through deep water without a snorkel didn't help much either.
Installing the new belt back on the clutch was super easy. Since the primary drive is separated, everything is loose and it slides right on. It's important to note the direction the the belt is applied. Fortunately, there are giant arrows printed on the side of the EPI belt (a feature our stock belt was lacking). And it says right on the box to make sure the belt is installed with the arrows pointing toward the front of the vehicle. So, it's pretty much a no brainer.
Once the belt was installed, we tightened up the primary drive. The belt shifts into place on it's own. Really, that's about all there is to it.
Once the belt was installed, all we had to do was replace the clutch cover, the trailing arm, and the shock. Easy peasy. Now the hard part is finding time to get out and ride...