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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, need some help please in un-screwing what I probably screwed up on my '16 CDH.

I searched the forum and found plenty of threads on belt alignment and adjustment but didn't find any about my problem. Yup, I even watched the video and followed the service manual (sections 2-26 - 2-28) closely. Even still, I'm sure I'm not doing something correctly.

So, here's where I'm at and how I got here. My belt is too loose and the axle alignment marks are out of whack. The more I try to tighten the belt (which isn't making a difference) more the axle marks get off set. Pics 1-3 show this situation.

How I got here...well, my belt wasn't loose to begin with but the belt was not aligned on the sprocket (sitting to the outside). I keep loosening the left adjuster while rotating the wheel backwards but didn't see any progress. Noticed later that I had backed the left adjuster almost all the way out (picture 4). At that point the belt seemed aligned. Then checked the belt slack again which was fine. Figured I was done though the axle alignment marks were out of whack and the left adjuster being out so much bothered me. Checked the belt tension a few days later and noticed the slack. Tried tightening but this wasn't working and axle alignment marks were getting worse, i.e., right side of axle moving forward with left moving back. Strange thing through all this was I didn't notice any belt squealing or feel the rear wheel misaligned.

The one thing that wasn't clear was in the belt alignment steps where the service manual said it may be necessary (like when?) to loosen the axle nut and tap the left end (in which direction?) to move the axle forward. I tried tapping on the left rear axle nut from the rear to forward but nothing moved. Is this to re-align the axle alignment marks?

Appreciate any help here. Going to re-attack tomorrow... Thanks in advance.

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You are all over the place.
Start over. Your right adjuster (tension sides is not tight enough. Your left side(alignment side) is WAY too tight.

Take both adjusters to set the markings on both sides to the first marking (the mark closest to the front of the bike on the swing arm). With the rear wheel in the air
Set belt tension using RIGHT ONLY.
Hard bag bikes go to 11th mark, soft and no bags go to the 8th mark on the belt gaurd.
Once belt tension is correct use LEFT adjuster to set alignment.
Once you are done DO NOT pay attention to the markings on swing arm because they will not be the same.

There are youtube videos on this, maybe watch a few


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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the quick response. I understand the last part of what you're saying as that's what the manual was telling me. I started with just adjusting the left adjuster to align the belt. The tension was fine initially so there was no need (until later) to go to the right adjuster to tighten the slack.

What I don't understand is this comment...I just doesn't seem intuitive to me.

Start over. Your right adjuster (tension sides is not tight enough. Your left side(alignment side) is WAY too tight.
The manual indicated I needed to loosen the left adjuster to move the belt off the outside of the sprocket flange. That's what I started with so I was doing a whole bunch of lefty loosies. Isn't the left one way too loose?

To start over should I loosen the axle nut and then re-torque to 15 ft lbs and then screw the left adjuster back in and back the right adjuster out until the axle alignment marks are toward the front of the bike?

What about tapping on the rear axle nut? Should that do something here?

Sorry for the questions, but I don't want to make this worse...
 

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Loosen axle nut all the way.
Back off both adjuster nuts to the end of the adjuster bolts and push axle all the way forward.
Now you have started over. Take your time.

Tight right adjuster to get tension correct.
Tighten axle nut to 15lbs
Tighten left side adjuster while the wheel spins forward to adjust it off inside pulley flange.
I only turn ratchet 1/8 turn and watch the inside flange, I count the belt 5 times before making next adjustment.
Continue this til you just start to see the silver pulley teeth on the inside flange.
Torque axle nut and inspect that you still see the teeth on the inside flange.


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Discussion Starter #5
I'll try that tomorrow and report back.

BTW, the only non-Scout Indian video I found was this one:

Watched it a couple times before starting and had it up pausing it during key sections while I was doing...even still, I found a way to screw this up...ha.

Thanks again.
 

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The way i like to do it is the same as was explained earlier.loosen the axle all the way,adjust the wheel back eavenly untill you can push the center of the belt up about 1 inch.fine tune the belt tension with the right adj only.make sure your against your tensioners by tapping on the rear tire.now roll the tire forward,in the direction of travel,and that direction only.adj the left side to get your belt in the middle,or slightly to the inside.tighten the axle.dont check your belt alignment anymore as it will drive you crazy.rolling your wheel backwards will make the belt track to one side,then wheel direction change will track the belt differently again.if you get your belt to track in the middle or close to it,and you have a 1 inch to 3/4 slack in the middle of your belt.go riding.
 

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I couldnt make it all the way through the video.seems a little more complicated than it needs to be.i've checked every new bike i could in the show room,and almost 50 percent had different tensions.so now i just do the "that looks about an inch",and go from there.if its good enough for the factory its good enough for me.
 

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Ya wanna see atleast 1 1/2 inches of up and down movement at the belts' tightest point when adjusting the belt COLD.What happens is,as the belt gets hot from usage,it gets tighter,so ya wanna see atleast 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch up and down movement at its' tightest point when it's hot or after being driven for awhile.If ya don't have that movement,you'll get the infamous chirping sound you're talking about.The last bike I owned was a Triumph,also belt driven and the first belt drive I had ever owned.Triumphs' shop manual was use less regarding belt adjustment,hence I had to learn how to do it the hard way called "TRAIL AND ERROR",hence that belt also had to have atleast 1/2-3/4 of up and down movement at it's tightest point when HOT,just like the Indian,or any belt drive machine.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Definitely seems like more of an art than science. Have to develop a feel for (something I obviously don't have...yet) rather than blindly following a manual checklist.

First belt bike for me. Prior to this had a Triumph Bonny with a chain...so simple to adjust even a caveman could do it.

Will get after it this afternoon and report back.

Many thanks for the responses.
 

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IMs belt adjustment is a major flaw on their bikes. The likelyhood of getting the belt to ride in the center of the rear pulley is unlikely. You can spend hours trying to get it "right" and not succeed. I checked out the belts of most bikes in the showroom and they were either to the right or left...very few in the center of the rear pulley. The alignment guides on the swingarm have so much "slop" in them, they are almost worthless.

I agree with the above post...loosen your axle nut and the two tension adjuster nuts, tap the rear wheel forward, and start over. Also, when adjusting the belt tension, use small turns (1/8 to 1/4 turn). It doesn't take much to cause a change in tension or belt alignment.

What I found...even if you get the belt to ride in the middle of the pulley after adjustment, the belt will move to the left or right after its ridden.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
In-progress update...

Got back to the starting point. Axle nut loosened all the way. Adjuster nuts all the way back of the end of the bolt. Pushed rear wheel all the way forward.

Stopping here for now to run some errands and will pick it up later.

Feeling better already thanks to the advice. Starting over...what a concept. Too bad life doesn't work that way...
 

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IMs belt adjustment is a major flaw on their bikes. The likelyhood of getting the belt to ride in the center of the rear pulley is unlikely. You can spend hours trying to get it "right" and not succeed. I checked out the belts of most bikes in the showroom and they were either to the right or left...very few in the center of the rear pulley. The alignment guides on the swingarm have so much "slop" in them, they are almost worthless.

I agree with the above post...loosen your axle nut and the two tension adjuster nuts, tap the rear wheel forward, and start over. Also, when adjusting the belt tension, use small turns (1/8 to 1/4 turn). It doesn't take much to cause a change in tension or belt alignment.

What I found...even if you get the belt to ride in the middle of the pulley after adjustment, the belt will move to the left or right after its ridden.

The belt will move to one side on accel and to the other side on decel.Can't remember which though!! DUH!!! Tough to get old,ya know! lol lol
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Ok, stuck again...this time with the belt alignment.

I was able to tighten the belt. So, now my starting point for the belt alignment was with the axle nut already torqued to 15 ft lbs and the left adjuster nut already backed out to the end of the adjuster bolt (remember this was the start over starting point).

Problem is that the belt is tracking to the outside of the sprocket flange (yep, I turned the wheel forward at least 5-10 before adjusting the alignment to ensure that location was consistent).

So, I need to adjust the nut to bring the belt to the inside of the bike but the problem is the nut is already at the end of the bolt so loosening it won't work. Pic below.

Thoughts?
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try this...I'd back the two adjusters out, loosen the axle nut, then pull the wheel backwards until the belt stops it. Look at what adjuster mark the axle stopped at on the right side and put the left side on the same mark...then tighten to 15 ft/pounds. Use this as a starting point. Now, adjust the tension using the right side adjuster, using small turns. When the tension is correct, start making small adjustments to the left side..these should be tightening turns clockwise. As you spin the tire by hand, you should start to see the belt move to the right. If you see the belt moving ever so slightly to the right STOP...this is probably enough. Even though the manual states to spin the tire backwards, I found spinning it forward worked better.

Now, check the alignment marks on the swing arm...the left and right side should be about the same.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
That's basically what I did. Problem was that my belt was already to the right side before I even started to adjust it.

Let me try this... Tightening the left adjuster is supposed to move the belt from the inside out and loosening the adjuster moves the belt from outside to in...Is this accurate? If so, then I don't know how I can move the belt from the outside in if the nut is already at the end of the bolt at the starting point.

What am I missing?
 

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If I remember correctly when i changed my rear tire,about six months and almost 11,000 miles ago,the axle nut is tightened to 15 ft lbs.Then using the RIGHT adjuster,ya set the tension to 1 1/2 inches of up and down movement at the belts' tightest point,COLD BELT.Once ya have that done,then using the LEFT adjuster,ya set the belts alignment by SLOWLY TURNING the wheel backwards,and turning that left adjuster a little bit at a time, checking it as ya go,until ya get it as close as possible to the center.Then torque the axle nut to,I think,60 ft lbs.I think that's how I did it and the belt was centered.However,after mileage,my belt has also moved to the right like yours,but,does not make any noise.So my point is,as long as it doesn't make noise,and ya have a 1/2-3/4 of an inch of up and down movement at its' tightest point once it's reached its' operating temperature,you're good to go,no mater which side of the rear cog the belt is running on.I also "periodically" lube my belt using a piece of the wife's candles,[she doesn't know I stole one of em,lol] applying it "sparingly" to both sides of the belt as well as on the teeth.[Just don't get carried away as alittle wax will go a long ways]

Now the other thing ya could also try is, using a laser.I had to do that on my Triumph in order to get the alignment correct because no matter what I did or what the SM recommended,it kept making noise.And I got that idea from the Harley boys because,apparently,they too were having the same problem and the laser got em back on track just like it did me with my Triumph.

So the bottom line is,ya don't wanna hear any noise coming from the belt.I have now traveled almost 11,000 miles since changing that rear tire and so far,so good.I AM a happy camper.;)
 

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Discussion Starter #18
That's what I'm thinking. Just leave it alone as long as the belt is tight enough and not making any noise.

Was just wondering if I was doing something wrong.
 

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That's basically what I did. Problem was that my belt was already to the right side before I even started to adjust it.

Let me try this... Tightening the left adjuster is supposed to move the belt from the inside out and loosening the adjuster moves the belt from outside to in...Is this accurate? If so, then I don't know how I can move the belt from the outside in if the nut is already at the end of the bolt at the starting point.

What am I missing?
See if this is the issue: You can only move the wheel one way with the adjusters - and that is rearward. Loosening an adjuster does not move the wheel forward. For example, if you wanted to move the left side of the wheel forward, you'd have to loosen the axle nut (and leave it loose), then loosen the left adjuster, next, push the wheel forward. Then tighten axle nut to 15 ft/lbs. Only then can you start the adjustment moving the wheel rearward.

From reading your post, I gathered you may be under the impression the adjusters move the wheel forwards and backwards; however, that's not the case - the adjusters only move the wheel to the rear.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
What I'm struggling with is understanding the relationship between loosening the left adjuster to move the belt from the outside of the flange to the inside. If that's my starting point with the nut at the end of the bolt, how can I loosen it any more?

See if this is the issue: You can only move the wheel one way with the adjusters - and that is rearward. Loosening an adjuster does not move the wheel forward. For example, if you wanted to move the left side of the wheel forward, you'd have to loosen the axle nut (and leave it loose), then loosen the left adjuster, next, push the wheel forward. Then tighten axle nut to 15 ft/lbs. Only then can you start the adjustment moving the wheel rearward.
I think I understand your point. If I tighten the left adjuster, that should push the rear wheel slightly to the right side, which I'm guessing moves the belt from the inside towards the outside too. Loosening the left adjuster would have the opposite effect I suppose.
 
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