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Discussion in 'eXmark' started by shearbolt, Nov 22, 2001.
Tell me why oem belts are so much more expensive than J Thomas aftermarket drive belts?
I wouldn't necessarily say that they are higher quality, it is more on how they are constructed. There is a lot that goes into the building of a belt. We at Exmark spec out how the belt is made, materials, cut angles, wraps, cord type, cord heights, cord twist and number of cords. The length of the belt is usually the easiest to determine. Some of these specs can drive up the cost of the belts. Most of our belts are Kevlar cord and Neoprene. These are Premium materials for belts. Other cost of the belts comes from our 3-part distribution. Exmark belts do come with a warranty.
I would bet that many of the after market belts are built similar to an Exmark belt and may work fine. The one thing that I would caution you on is if a belt broke with low hours on it there is probably something wrong. Just replacing a belt may not fix the problem. We have done a lot of testing here at Exmark on belts. If you have a problem with a belt chances are that we have seen it and we know what went wrong. Sometimes the belt was bad from the start and we can find that out from our belt manufacture.
I will give you a brief run down of what to look for. Most of our belts have a Kevlar cord. This produces a very strong; long lasting belt that doesnt stretch as much. Cord height is determined on whether or not the belt uses a backside idler. With a backside idler the cord height is generally lower. A wrapped belt is usually used for when the belt will sees higher heat. This happens when there is a lot of pulley misalignment or twisting of the belt. Cord twist helps with the loads the belt sees. The more cord twist a belt has the more it will stretch also. The number of cords and the size of cords effects the over all strength of the belt. Bigger or more is not always better. The size of cords and how many depends on the belts application. The other materials and angles in the belt can effect how much noise a belt makes when it is engaged. Also how a belt acts when it is disengaged.
Cheaper is not necessarily better, but if it works for you and saves you money I would do the same. I have however fixed many quality of cut and belt jumping problems by telling the owner to go back to an OEM belt. If you are have a problem with a belt let me know so we can find out what is going wrong. I have been seeing many people getting 700 to 1000hrs. out of their belts.