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Stationary Engine

Belting Issues

| January/February 2004

  • Stationary Engine

  • Stationary Engine

Last month, I mentioned the last sale of the season. And guess what? My collection has increased by one! The new one's a vertical Crossley VOE, a hot-bulb, single-cylinder engine that looks to be about a 6 HP, but is in fact an 11 HP, achieved by a pleasingly complicated air-scavenging system. Originally someone else's restoration project, this Crossley came to me in do-it-yourself assembly form - one large chunk of cast iron and several large containers of assorted parts. Thanks to the Internet, we had no trouble finding a complete manual to download and print out, which proved invaluable in putting the jigsaw back together. I know I've covered the subject of flat belts before, but it's the thing I get more 'please help' e-mails about than any other topic. I looked up the last time I mentioned belts, and it was 32 articles back, so I don't think I've overdone the subject - yet.

And that brings up the one thing we don't seem to be able to find on the Internet: belt dressing. If anyone knows of a source for solid sticks of rosin-based dressing, contact GEM so the information can be passed on to the engine-collecting world.

And now, on to the the discussion that attracted my attention this month on the Stationary Engine List:

On more than one occasion I've been asked at a show, 'What keeps the belt from slipping off the side?' - or - 'What keeps the belt on?' Can anyone give a simple explanation?

The simple answer is that the pulley's crown (center) section is traveling at a higher surface speed than its outer edges. The belt gravitates to the portion of the pulley that runs fastest. That's what keeps a flat belt on the pulley. If you made a tapered pulley and tried to run a belt on it, the belt would walk right up the taper and off the high side of the pulley.

I agree with what you're saying, but I don't understand why it will gravitate toward the larger-diameter, higher surface speed part of the pulley. It seems logical that the smaller diameter would be the path of least resistance, and the belt would drift to that direction.


Gas Engine Magazine A_M 16Gas Engine Magazine is your best source for tractor and stationary gas engine information.  Subscribe and connect with more than 23,000 other gas engine collectors and build your knowledge, share your passion and search for parts, in the publication written by and for gas engine enthusiasts! Gas Engine Magazine brings you: restoration stories, company histories, and technical advice. Plus our Flywheel Forum column helps answer your engine inquiries!

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