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Advice Needed on 3612 Belt Problem

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  • Advice Needed on 3612 Belt Problem

    I've just completed putting my 3612 together after buying it several months ago. I was highly imnpressed with the apparent quality until I started it up. I am faced with a problem that I have never seen discussed here on the forum. I wired the motor for 220 per the instructions. Every third or fourth time or so, when the switch is turned on the motor makes a split second "clunking" start up noise and jumps a little bit. When the saw blade is in the full up position this jump is just annoying on start up but when the saw blade is lowered to say quarter inch or so above the table the belt jumps off the motor pulley. Obviously this is due to the fact that there is less tension on the belt when the blade is lowered. Other times the motor starts right up without so much as a hiccup and is just a smooth and steady as can be.I have checked for belt alignment, checked the motor bolts for tightness, checked the spring that holds tension on the motor and checked for binding, all to no avail. I called Ridgid tech support and they were stumped too, advising me to take it to the service center. That may be my last resort. Since I have never seen such a problem posted on this board I figure I must be doing something wrong and can't see the forest for the trees. I need someone to pull my chestnuts out of the fire and tell me what it is I'm doing wrong. Thanks

  • #2
    I have the TS2424, but I'll throw out a guess...
    On my 2424 there is a pivot bolt on the motor mount that should not be tightened. If the 3612 has the same pivot, I'd double check to make sure you didn't inadvertently tighten it.
    Hope this helps...

    (edit) found the pivot screw on page 38 in the owners manual; link:

    [ 06-26-2003, 09:37 PM: Message edited by: Patrick A ]


    • #3

      You make the statement "Obviously this is due to the fact that there is less tension on the belt when the blade is lowered."

      The tension of the belt is determined by the weight of the motor, and should remain constant regardless of whether the blade is raised or lowered. The motor pivot bolt has to be free to run in it's slot as you raise or lower the blade. Can you move the motor through its entire range easily by hand??



      • #4
        Yes, it appears to move easily enough. It has been suggested by a friend that I rewire the motor back to 110 volts and see if the motor still acts up. I'm out of options other than hauling it to a service center. I'll try it when I'm off work this weekend. Thanks guys for your input.


        • #5
          As cutbuff said, the motor should provide the tension and it should be the same regardless if the blade is up or down. When the blade is full up, the motor should not make teh belt any tighter than any other time (ie. up against the top stop) Conversly, when the blade is all the way down, it should not be sitting on any type of stop. Also, the bolts are very important. Certain ones need to be tight while others need to keep the motor sliding free while still keeping it from falling out.

          Also, unless they changed the design since last fall, there is no spring that I can remember. Only the weight of the motor tensions the belt, and if I may say so, it does a pretty good job.
          With 220, the motor may start a little faster, but obviously not jump the belt. As to the randomness of the problem, Do you have anything else running during soft starts and nothing running during the hard starts?

          [ 06-27-2003, 08:18 AM: Message edited by: Mike3206 ]


          • #6
            Just throwing some stuff out. Pulley alignment maybe? Also a poly-link belt could help without taking it to the service center.


            • #7
              Link belts don't work with the Poly-V pulleys, only V-groove pulleys.


              • #8
                GARYC: I have several suggestions that you can try:
                1. Before going to the trouble of switching back to 120 volts. Take the belt completely off the machine. Turn the motor on and off several times to see if it still makes that "clunking" noise. If it does there is obviously something wrong with the motor. I'm guessing though, that the problem is with the belt/pulley assembly.
                2. While the belt is off, inspect it for cracks, bad spots, etc.
                3. Inspect both the motor pulley and arbor pulley. Make sure they are not cracked or otherwise bad.
                4. Make sure the pulleys are lined-up straight as described in the manual.
                5. Make sure both pulley set screws are tight.
                6. As several other people have already mentioned make sure the pivot screw is free to move in the slot in the bracket.
                7. Re-install the belt. However, the belt must be installed exactly as described in the owners manual. There is a particular method described that must be followed, for example; the saw blade must be fully elevated, holding the motor in the correct position, making sure the edge of the washer is even with the end of the slot, etc. Carefully read and follow these intructions.
                8. After the belt is installed adjust the belt tension. These belts are not like automotive type belts. They are not designed to require a lot of tension. Excessive tension can cause problems.
                9. Once again, do not tighten the pivot screw. It must slide freely in the slot.

                I apologize for the length of this post. But I know you must be anxious to turn the saw on and make some dust. Be careful.