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CVT Belt Installation and Break-In

Fool-Proof Guide to Long-Lasting Performance from Your UTV, ATV or Snowmobile

For powersports enthusiasts, there’s nothing worse than getting stranded due to a busted belt. That’s why belt replacement and break-in is super critical. First off, you should inspect your belt every 1,000 miles and replace it if you see cracks or glazing. Stick to the OE recommended change interval because the belt drive can generate massive amounts of heat and off-roading creates a hostile environment for a belt.

When it is time for replacement, be sure to follow the steps below to ensure long lasting performance.

Step 1 – Choose a belt that meets OE specs
Pick a belt that is the exact match for your machine. At Dayco, our CVT belts are the exact replacement designed to application-specific OE criteria. They are made with special compounds loaded with fiber technology that increases resistance to compression and heat, and also reduces belt wear. To check out the right belt for your machine, consider one of Dayco’s CVT belts – which are designed for different levels of riding.

Step 2 – Prep your clutch
Align your clutch and wipe the clutch sheaves with a clean rag to remove any debris or residue. You should not see any dirt or rubber deposits on the sheaves. Avoid the use of any brake cleaner as a cleaning agent – it’s very corrosive to the belt and can have a negative impact on performance.

Step 3 – Install the belt
During installation, be careful not to twist or bend the belt  too forcefully as that can lead to premature breakage. Install the belt right side up and be sure it’s properly aligned.

Step 4 – Two-heat cycle break in
Break your belt in using two heat cycles. First – slowly bring the machine to normal operating temperature without exceeding 3/4 throttle for about 20 minutes. If at all possible, stay on a flat terrain. Let the machine and belt cool down completely – it should take about 30 minutes. Then, run your machine through the same process a second time. Lastly, make sure to check the belt height according to the  owner’s manual.