Thumler's Tumbler Drive Belt Life - Poor

Discussion in 'Reloading Forum (All Calibers)' started by Bayou, Nov 17, 2013.

  1. Bayou

    Bayou

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    I'm only getting about 20 tumbling hours on each Thumler's Model B drive belt. These are new drive belts made and sold for this tumbler - not a knockoff or copy.

    I see no reason why these belts don't last longer - there is nothing out of alignment - the motor and axel pulleys are aligned. The bushings are appropriately lubed, there's no sway in the drum as it tumbles, and the belt channel in the drive pulley is smooth - no burs. I run the drum at 13 pounds which is 2 pounds under its 15 pound capacity.

    These belts aren't cheap $5 - $6 apiece plus shipping - and I'm getting tired of popping for them.

    Let's hear it - what kind of belt life are you getting from your Thumler's tumbler Model B drive belt?

    Any suggestions on why I'm not getting a longer belt life here? I appreciate the comments -

    Bayou
     
  2. racesnake

    racesnake

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    Are they breaking or wearing out?
     
  3. Cigarcop

    Cigarcop Gold $$ Contributor

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    During the summer months I run mine twice a week for 3 hrs a pop. I've had my unit for 2 yrs now and I'm on the same belt.
     
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  4. Hombre0321

    Hombre0321

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    Can't imagine what your problem is, but I am getting much better service than that. I don't keep a log on my Thumlers,but I have hundreds of hours on mine and have never replaced a belt. Mine is 5 years old

    RS
     
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  5. P1ZombieKiller

    P1ZombieKiller Gold $$ Contributor

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    I run mine for 48 continous hours at a time many times a month, and I replaced my belt 4 years ago when I moved loading rooms. Before that it was well over 15 years old.

    Something's out of line cause there is no way it should wear out that fast. They should last a long long time.
     
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  6. navyrad8r

    navyrad8r

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    bayou,
    save some money and go to the hardware store and buy vacuum cleaner belt. The "Eureka RD" part number 52100c. you get 2 per pack for like $3... they are really thick and heavy duty. FWIW try to keep all solvents/ lubes away from the belt., especially if they are petroleum based. hope this helps!
    Cheers,
    Doc
     
  7. thefitter

    thefitter

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    Aren't they silicone? Mine has hundreds of hours on it.
     
  8. armaster

    armaster Gold $$ Contributor

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    Hundreds if not thousands of hours on mine and shows no wear. I would say your pulleys are out of alignment or maybe a bur or sharp spot on one of the pulleys.
     
  9. jonbearman

    jonbearman I live in new york state,how unfortunate ! Gold $$ Contributor

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    Watch the drum while it is full and spinning,if it stops for a second or two it is overheating the belt and it will stretch and break.If you drum is so far out of round,send it back and demand a replacement drum.
     
  10. Outrider27

    Outrider27 Gold $$ Contributor

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    Check the pully finish and alignment again and look for the behavior Jon mentioned in his post above. Frankly, I'm at a loss - I bought mine slightly used from a friend in 1982 and it still has the belt that came on it - average usage would be on the order of 80 hours a year.
     
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  11. Bayou

    Bayou

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    Thanks, Jon - no stopping or hesitstion in the drum while it is spinning at all - lok quite normal which makes this perplexing.

    Bayou
     
  12. ragsflh

    ragsflh Silver $$ Contributor

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    check alignment while running.never have replaced mine
     
  13. Bayou

    Bayou

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    Thanks- the alignment while running looks spot on. That's why this belt breaking problem is so perplexing.

    I'm going to call Tru-Square to discuss/complain. I hope they are cooperative as the tumbler is just over a year old. Just tired of buying belts here.....

    Bayou52
     
  14. flatlander

    flatlander

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    I bought a Model B in '95 - along with a couple of hard plastic bbl liners - for moly coating bullets. Ran it for several years until the rubber driving bands on the shafts got so slick that they would no longer turn the barrel with any load inside. The drive belt is still good, I just need to get replacement rubber hose to slip over the shaft that the bbl runs on.

    If I hadn't bought a used RCBS Sidewinder, I'd have had more motivation to fix the Mod. B. But the Sidewinder was so much better in every respect - especially the lids that just slip in & out, as compared to having to mess with six wing nuts on the Mod B. Still, the TT Mod B is taking up space, and rather than toss it, a quick phone call to TT seems in order. I think moly powder fouled the drive bands and made them too slick to work. Tried washing them with various soaps & solvents, but it's a lost cause - just need to replace them with new.
     
  15. bigedp51

    bigedp51 Guest

    Bayou

    I bought on of these units at its original design as a rock polisher in the early 1980s for my kids. The unit would run for weeks at a time until the desired smoothness and polish was acheved. This was a Cub Scout project that lasted through two sons and I never replaced a belt. Sadly I gave this unit to my brother-in-law to do the same things with his sons and he never broke a belt.

    I bought a new unit to polish cartridge cases three years ago and have had no belt problems.

    You need to tell us how the belt breaks, is it shedding rubber, does it just snap in two, shear, rip, etc.

    You also need to ask the seller if the new belts are made in the USA or if he is buying them from China.

    When these units were used for polishing rocks they would run continuously for months and the biggest problem was simple belt alignment and shedding rubber if not aligned properly.

    I would also take navyrad8r advice and see if the Eureka vacuum cleaner belt solves the problem.

    If your not shedding rubber then your belts are breaking under the stress of loading, meaning high turning forces. And sitting idle the belt should have some up and down play and not be excessively tight. You should also wipe any water off the drum turning surfaces and the rubber drive wheels before starting.

    Again these units were designed as rock polishers and would run for weeks non-stop and just stopping to change the polishing grit to finer levels.
     
  16. fredhorace77

    fredhorace77

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  17. jlow

    jlow

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    Are you running the tumbler/belts at anything other than room temperatures?
     
  18. StevenDzupin

    StevenDzupin

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    Check out McMaster-Carr "O" rings.

    EPDM or Polyurethane compound and you'll be good to go for a very long time.

    Regards,

    Steve
     
  19. Bayou

    Bayou

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    I sure appreciate eveyone's input and comments. Here's an update:

    I just got of the phone with the owner of Tru-Square Metal Products. Very nice - he said he would mail me out a new drive axle to try and fix the problem.

    I'm wondering if o-ring belts are better than the clear belts that go with the unit. I don't see any o-rings big enough at the hardware store, however.

    These belts are just breaking - they are not shearing or shredding.

    Another poster mentioned a vacuum cleaner belt. I tried the one that was mentioned, but it was too fat and a bit small in inside diameter so that the motor would not turn because the belt was too tight.

    So, I measured the correct replacement belt. If I measured correctly, a standard AS 568 o-ring, number .343, has just about the same measurement for inside diameter (3 3/4"), outside diameter (4 1/8") and cross section (3/16").

    I've ordered a couple just to try them out. I was told to use a ring composed of ethylene propylene rather than rubber or neoprene since the E-P material won't stretch.

    I hope my luck changes. All I want to do is tumble without breaking belts!

    Thanks again -

    Bayou
     
  20. rvn1968

    rvn1968 Gold $$ Contributor

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    I would bet that your part # is one digit off.My belt is 20+ years old and never been replaced.
     

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