Tracking the Grizzly
Here are some thoughts that might help you:
1. Some belts just won't track well; see if your problem is related to just several belts or all of them. Use quality belts!
My machine tracks well, however I still, on occasion, run across a belt that just refuses to track.
2. The Grizzly needs a lot of tension on the belt; adjust it so that pulling the release lever down barely allows you to install/remove belts. Try a stronger or additional tension spring as shown in TJ Smith’s photo below (note the larger work rest as well). I use an additional spring on my machine.
3. Add a few turns of electrical tape (or something of similar width) to the crown of the idler/tracking wheel. (The photo is not of a Grizzly, but gives you the idea):
4. Make sure the faces of the idler/tracking wheel and contact wheel are parallel. There is a small set screw on the tracking assy. (you can see it in the photo just above the hose clamp) that will allow some adjustment.
5. Check to see if the contact wheel surface is flat. If not there are several ways to correct this (with having it done on a lathe probably being the safest, but it can be done on the machine with a file. BE CAREFUL!).
6. If you have to chase the belt while flat grinding, try adjusting the platen out a little further to put more pressure on the belt.
7. Add a brace as TJ Smith shows in a photo below. I added a brace to mine also (this is something Allen Blade suggested in his video):
Some discussion on a forum:
Comment “First, as was recommended by most everybody I talked to, I fitted it with the 10" wheel. When I went to install the first belt, I found that I had to lower the upper sanding arm to point that I had to completely remove the lower hand knob in order to get the arm to go down far enough to get the 72" belt on... Is this normal?”
- Yes, just make sure you can tighten it enough that the arm doesn't twist (it's never caused any problems on mine).
Comment “I finally gave up with the belt riding OK on the bottom wheel but still riding approx. 1/4" off the top wheel towards the outside.”
- You can adjust that if you want (by moving the idler/tracking wheel axle), however it will vary from belt to belt and as you adjust the tracking to move your belt on the contact wheel or platen.
Comment “Finally, can someone give me a better description than the manual on how tight the belt should be and how to test the tension?”
- I like mine set as tight as I can get it. I can barely get the belt on when the spring on the tracking assy. is fully compressed.
TJ Smith posted this on a forum:
"Put a neo or pryo ceramic platen on it. I used double sided tape.
I have a couple things: add a brace from the motor to the upright arm to firm it up. Add a spring and turnbuckle to the back to increase belt tension."
McAhron posted this:
“The grizz requires more belt tension than you would expect, you should only be able to pull the release lever down a little bit to release pressure to remove belts. I also believe all grizzly wheels need to be dressed with a file while its running, this has to be done very, very carefully and should ideally be done by putting a large file in a heavy vise with the file only stick out a couple of inches and then pushing the vise, along with the file, into the wheel. If your vise is heavy and tightened down the grizz cannot grab and throw any thing at you. I also like to wrap a couple of revolutions of electrical tape around the upper wheel to help tracking. I can’t agree more about quality belts.”
“I followed the suggestions and low and behold she’s working much better. I ended up tightening the belt about twice what I thought it should be, taking out about all the slack. It smoothed right out. With new belts I think the total problem will be solved. …”
“You all were right about the grizzly belts. I got an assortment of belts in from Tru-Grit and they are like magic compared to the others. I should also get my ceramic platen in this week. The original platen coating started to groove the first week. I’m very happy with it now.”
Take a look here for some more Grizzly info:
Hope this helps some.