Something that seems very simple can still become tricky if you don’t know where to start. For the maintenance of a mini-tractor we have already given a number of tips. However, many people forget the V-belt, an essential connection between the water pump, crankshaft and alternator.
What does a V-belt actually do?
A V-belt ensures that the water pump and alternator are constantly being powered. The V-belt is the connection between the crankshaft and the rest of the accessories. In a car, for example, there are additional things connected to the V-belt such as an Air conditioning pump and or a power steering pump. With a tractor and in this case a mini tractor this does not apply. Here, very simply put, the water pump and alternator are the only parts that are being powered.
The V-belt is a rubber belt that drives the water pump and alternator through the rotational paths of the crankshaft. Without the V-belt, the water pump would not work and this means that the engine will not cool down. This can have serious consequences resulting in breakdown of your tractor. Another important part; the alternator. Without the V-belt, the alternator does not run. This means that the battery is not being charged because the alternator only works when it is running on the V-belt. So the V-belt is of a very crucial importance.
Wear and tear of the V-belt
A V-belt or, as it is called in cars, a multi-ribbon belt, is a moving part and therefore susceptible to wear and tear. It can stretch or crack due to age. If it is too loose, alternator and water pump cannot be driven sufficiently as described above. If the V-belt starts to slip due to too low tension, you can hear this in the form of a whining or squeaking sound.
Can I replace the V-belt myself?
A simple V-belt from a mini-tractor and multiple other machines that only drives the alternator and water pump can be removed very easily as the video shows. All one has to do is unscrew the alternator and press it inward. After this movement, the tension on the V-belt disappears and it can be removed. Be careful when removing the belt from the fan! It very easy possible to damage the radiator, so change the belt carefully and with feeling so that the radiator remains undamaged.
Common problems and how to prevent them
Healthy tension on the belt
To begin with, the V-belt should always be at a healthy tension. The tension should be just enough that one can still move the belt back and forth about 1 cm. If this is the case, the belt has been installed correctly.
Dryness or hairline cracks
Over the years V-belts can crack because the rubber dries out. One can easily check this by looking at the inside with a lamp or the naked eye. If you see dry cracks, damage or other irregularities then the V-belt also needs to be replaced.
Belt is worn out
A jammed water pump and/or a badly running alternator can cause the V-belt to show internal wear due to incorrect tension. This makes it look as if the V-belt is not at the right tension, however the belt is worn out and must be replaced.
Can my tractor operate without a V-belt?
It never can and it never should! Let it be clear that the tractor must not be used without a belt. This is because it is the main source of cooling via the water pump. The use of the machine without the belt is therefore not recommended.
We hope to have helped you with this blog and look forward to seeing you again on the next topic!