How to measure v belts

Written by elyse gibbons
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How to measure v belts
Common devices running on a V-belt are air compressors and water pumps. (car engine image by itsallgood from

A V-belt connects an electric or gas motor to another device, and each device has a pulley for the belt. When the motor turns the pulley, the V-belt is also turned. The moving belt turns the pulley on the device which enables a function. Different devices have certain speeds for rotating. In order to determine this speed, the size of the pulleys and the distance between the devices needs to be configured. With these measurements, you can also accurately calculate the V-belt length.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Screwdriver or wrench
  • Tape measure

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  1. 1

    Remove shrouds and pulley guards from the equipment to get access to the motor's pulleys and the device. Use a screwdriver or wrench to remove any screws or bolts.

  2. 2

    Measure the distance between the centre of each of the two pulleys with a tape measure.

  3. 3

    Use the tape measure again to determine the diameter of both pulleys.

  4. 4

    Use the V-belt calculator, located in the Resources section, to find the V-belt's measurements.

  5. 5

    Calculate the total length of the V-belt manually by using the following formula:

    L = (π x (D + d)/2 + 2) x (l x cos(a) + a x (D -- d)/2).

Tips and warnings

  • Wear proper safety and protective equipment when working near an automotive engine. Be sure the engine is off when measuring.

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