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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 10-25-2011, 10:56 PM Thread Starter
Main Motorcycle: Bonneville
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Long Beach, CA
Posts: 4
Other Motorcycle: Thunderbird SE
Belt Tension Tool

I apologize, I know this has come up in forums before but since I couldn't find it, I figured I would just post this.

So, after 5500 miles, the belt chirped. Low and behold, I have been slack on my inspections and I found the belt sloppy loose. Since adjusting the tension is no casual matter, I figured I would do it correctly so I called my local dealer to get the belt tension tool. Except it is $60 and a week or 2 shipping!!! Even they were embarrassed telling me this.

Well, I figured I was a machinery engineer with a little time on my hand, it was time to channel my inner MacGyver (always fun). I scrounged around, and Lo! I came up with a nice solution. A 1/2" hex head bolt (sorry Triumph, no metric on this tool), a spring, a washer, and a nut and I had a precision tool. Pics will be attached but first some comments:

1) The spring: I am sure there are plenty of sources for springs. I had the luxury of access to a shop scrap bin and we had an old spring that was being pitched with the rest of the parts. A quick check at Lowes showed several compression springs for about $4.

2) The washer: Not technically a requirement but it provides a nice leverage to push on.

3) I used a kitchen scale to check the needed deflection and marked the target compression. I then added duct tape to add visibility (and it is what MacGyver would do).

4) The nut really isn't necessary but it keeps everything from flying apart. As long as it is backed off below the load mark, it does not affect spring load at all.

So, you put the hex head on the bottom of the belt and push up until the washer is at the marked spot (nice silver reflective duct tape) and you know you have 10 lbs applied to the belt.

Total cost: about $5.

Hope this helps you.

PS It is becoming painfully apparent that either Triumph engineers do not work on motorcycles or hate the people that do (or both).
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btrcop is offline  
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 10-26-2011, 12:45 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Haverhill,Massachusetts
Posts: 297
Do you have,or can you post any pictures of your home made tool in action??? In other words,the procedure you use when using this tool??? Thank you. Dave!!!
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-23-2011, 07:59 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2011
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Extra Motorcycle: Honda Shadow Aero 750
I and McGyver applaud your creativity. I just got a nice tool from Fast Eddy Sports and it was 1/2 of the factory tool and it arrived in 3 days with free shipping.
Remember to check the belt in several spots.
Red_SE_1600 is offline  
post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-24-2011, 02:57 PM
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Main Motorcycle: Triumph Street Twin
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Location: London, UK
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Great thinking btrcop - I'm going to make one myself. Thanks for posting.

I had the same chirruping after about 1500 miles, and decided to check the belt tension. My technique was embarrassingly crude by comparison - I hung 10lbs of roofing lead from middle of the belt and measured the deflection with a steel rule taped to the swing arm! Still, it worked and thanks also to some PTFE spray I now have a silent belt.
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