Spring CVT Maintenance
Spring orv vehicle maintenance is not something we like to do, but we should dig in and
get it done before we go riding.
Some maintenance is simple as checking your oil levels, tire air pressures & wear. Some can be more complicated, like checking your cvt belt for wear & glazing, & clutches for wear.
Either way this is something I like to take care of at home and not on the trail if it can be prevented.
Whenever we get a new atv, utv or other machine here at our shop we always like to invest in a shop manual for that particular machine.
A good shop manual is a very cheap source of information on how to take care of your atv.
Today, CVT “Constant Variable Transmissions” are becoming the most common design of transmission for ATV manufactures, most likely due to consumer demands.
The advantages of this system are clear; they are very simple to operate, there is no need to operate a hand lever clutch or foot shifter.
This may contribute to an operator spending more time concentrating on safer operation of the machine rather than shifting gears.
An important advantage of this system is the options for a user to customize performance utilizing different choices of springs and weights, the user may customize performance to meet their specific needs.
This is not an easy option with manual transmissions.
However this CVT transmission does come with some possible disadvantages called "maintenance".
Drive Belts, springs and weights require routine inspections and replacement.
Before you remove and install a new belt it is good practice to read your manual for the proper procedures.
Remember not all cvt's are created equal, and removing your belt may be different for each individual machine.
After you remove your belt it is good practice to inspect your primary and secondary clutch sheaves for wear.
Depending on wear conditions, will determine whether you need to remove your clutches to repair, and clean your sheaves.
I like to blow dust out of my sheaves with compressed air, and also clean my sheaves with a good clutch cleaner, that does not leave a film.
Before installing a new belt its good practice to take your old and new belts side by side and just do a quick comparison to size them up.
Since at some retailers belts are hung on racks and have a loose cardboard sleeve on them, you never know when one might get switched up.
Of course this wouldn’t have been a bad idea to verify at time of purchase that the Part Number on belt matches the package sleeve.
When you reinstall a new belt or your old belt you will need to check your cvt belt's deflection.
Once again you need to refer to your individual machines service manual to see how to check and set your belt deflection.
Just remember if the deflection is not correct, your belt will not wear correctly.
Note: Always remember to clean your clutch sheaves with clutch/belt cleaner to insure no contaminants will disrupt proper belt break in and performance.
Note: When installing a new CVT belt I would recommend easy gradual accelerations, no towing or excessive loads initially.
Give the belt some time to mate with the clutch sheaves, and any possible contaminants to get worn away.
In fact before every ride I would recommend allowing the belt to heat up before excessive load or aggressive riding.
Think of it like tires, it’s a rubber compound that performs better when heated, let it warm up before you expect it to perform properly.
If you demand too much from a cold belt, or allow too much stretch, the belt may slip and cause premature “glazing” of the belt.
This causes the belt to lose its tack to the clutch sheaves.
Having issues on the trail can sometimes be prevented by following some of these practices at home.
No one wants a breakdown on the trail, be trail savvy and do your spring cleaning before you go riding.
911 of CVT Belt Maintenance
For demonstration purposes we are using our 2015 Can-Am Renegade 1000
First no matter what machine you have you have to remove the cvt cover to get access to your cvt belt.
Note: this is a good time to clean the belt dust off of your cover.
There are water drain holes on most cvt covers nowadays. On the Can-Am it is shown in the bottom corner of the picture. All you need to do is remove that bolt and drain any water out of the cvt cover.
Note: To avoid this happening to you, keep out of water that is above your cvt intake. Also never shut your engine off when you are in water that is over your cvt cover's vent exit. This will allow water to enter from the rear of your cvt cover.
I use a Can-Am puller bolt to separate the sheaves far enough to safely remove the cvt belt without damaging it.
Remove your belt and check for belt glazing & slippage.
Note: Never force your belt off the sheaves, or roll it inside out, this will severely damage your cvt belt and it will have to be replaced.
Check your sheaves for any type of damage. If there is damage you will need to remove the damages sheave and repair it.
Clean sheaves with a cleaner that does not leave any type of residual film on your sheaves.
Blow out your sheaves with compressed air.
Note: I use scuba air, which is compressed dry filtered air. This will not leave any type of moisture in your sheaves.
Install your new belt with the arrows facing forward. Make sure you do not force the belt on the sheaves or roll it inside out during the installation. Doing that will hurt your belt and will lead to premature belt failure.
Note: Do not clean your belt with soap or any other cleaner before installation. Soap has a lubricant in it and will allow your belt to slip, causing glazing, which will destroy your belt.
Also do not turn your belt inside out, that will damage the cogs and also lead to belt failure.
Note: We use Dayco CVT Belts exclusively on all our vehicles here at ATVPT.com, that require CVT Belts. They are priced right, durable, and extremely reliable. Plus they work excellent to boot!
I like to start my engine and give it a little gas to engage the clutch sheaves. This will position the cvt belt where it will run in normal operation circumstances.
Check your deflection per your vehicles manual settings.
Note: The belt should ride high enough in the sheave to where the top cords are not exposed above the sheaves.
On the Can-Am the CVT Intake has a cover on it, and this needs to be removed and cleaned before you are done.
This is a good time to remove your air filter and clean or replace it if needed.
Note: We have a K&N air filter and sock on this machine, and it can be cleaned, oiled and reinstalled for continuous service.
It is a good idea to carry enough tools with you to do minor repairs or to remove your cvt belt cover if needed in the field.
Reinstall your covers and plastic and you are good go. Safe journeys and happy trails.