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How To Measure V-Belt Pulleys | Sizes & Dimensions

One of the ever-growing and most widely used product types in the power transmission and automotive industries is the V-belt pulley, also known as the “sheave.” A V-belt pulley is an attachment that transfers energy between axles with the help of a V-belt. However, in order to keep this important pair of devices functioning properly, one must secure the appropriate V-belt pulley replacement when an older one gets worn down. To do this, you need to know the size, dimensions and type of your V-belt pulley so that the replacement will operate properly. Learning how to measure a V-belt pulley’s size and calculate its dimensions are simple tasks; however, properly identifying a V-belt pulley type can be a complex process. V-belt pulleys come in a multitude of different styles and options, including A-section, B-section, C-section, D-section, 3V-section, 5V-section, 8V-section, variable pitch, double groove and metric pulleys. We stock over 8,000 SKUs of different V-belt pulleys alone!

How To Measure A V-Belt Pulley

Please Note: For the below illustrations we use a standard single-groove V-belt pulley.

Step 1:

First, measure the outside diameter (OD) of the pulley.

Step 2:

Next, measure the pitch diameter (PD). This is the measurement that represents the diameter of the belt itself as it rides in the pulley. This step is not necessary if you already know your V-belt size or if the pulley and belt are greatly worn.

Step 3:

Measure the wall thickness of the pulley.

Step 4:

Measure the overall width of the belt housing, where the belt actually rides in the pulley.

Step 5:

If the pulley has a hub extending past the "belt housing" width it is typically a best practice to measure the extension of the hub.

Step 6:

The final measurement is the complete overall width of the pulley. This will in most cases designate the belt-type or series used.

How To Identify a V-Belt Pulley

The easiest way to identify a v-belt pulley is by finding the part number or identification components on the pulley its self. Different brands, as well as different pulley types, have different ways that they may display these numbers.

Style 1:

Probably the most common style for medium and smaller pulleys is the number is stamped into the pulley prior to it being painted or phosphated. This can make it hard to identify the numbers and letters in most circumstances.

Style 2:

Another style is where the part number is in the casting its self.

Style 3:

Another style is where different identification characters are placed on different spokes.
5-5V= 5-groove, 5V belt size
1870= Diameter
E= Bushing used
Catalog Part#: 55V1870E

Style 4:

On some pulleys, the part number is actually painted onto it. The problem with this is that over time it can be rubbed off thus making it more difficult to identify the pulley.

If your part number is not distinguishable follow steps 1-6 above to measure the pulley. Then distinguish what style of pulley you have based off of the below photos.

Note: If you have a fixed bore pulley please advise of the bore inside diameter.

Lastly we'll need to know how many grooves are in your pulley, this plus the overall width will confirm the belt type you are using.

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Note: If you have the part number the below dimensions are not needed.