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  • Difficulty adjusting belt tension on DP1550

    Just picked up the Ridgid DP 1550 drill press. Went together smoothly and I'm very happy with the performance so far. I am having one problem adjusting the belt tension. The instructions say to loosen the two belt tension lock handles and then turn the belt tension handle clockwise to loosen the tension and counterclockwise to increase the tension.

    The problem is that after unscrewing both belt tension lock handles I am having an extreme amount of difficulty turning the belt tension handle. There is no way I can turn it by hand. In the end, the only thing that was able to turn the belt tension handle was to bang on it with a hammer. With a hammer (and not just tapping it but by hitting it quite hard) I am able to get the belt tension handle turned about 1/4 of a turn to loosen and tighten the belt tension. Without the hammer, I can't even budge the belt tension handle.

    Smacking the tension handle doesn't seem like a good way to ensure the long life of this tool. Am I missing some step here that loosens up this system? Any tips on how to allow for smoother adjustments of the belt tension? Haven't talked to customer service yet but they will be my next step if I can't figure out how to adjust the belt tension with significantly less force on the handle.

    Thanks in advance for any help.

  • #2
    Re: Difficulty adjusting belt tension on DP1550

    Sounds familiar. I don't have a Ridgid drill press, but do have another brand table-top drill press and had the same problem when new. I found that the guide rods for the belt adjustment had been coated at the factory and this coating had become rather sticky. I had to totally remove the motor/guide rods assembly to clean them and then put a light coat of oil on them and all is well now. David

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    • #3
      Re: Difficulty adjusting belt tension on DP1550

      I have the DP1550... the belt tension handle doesn't doesn't really "turn" (at least not on my drill press).... it acts more like a "lever", pushing the motor back or pulling it forward, thus tightening or loosening the belt.

      Certainly moving it a "quarter turn" would seem (to me) as damaging or forcing the handle to bend or swivel on it's shaft.

      The motor only needs to move a fraction of an inch to tighten or loosen the belts. Again, the handle simply provides "leveridge" to push the motor back and thus put tension on the belt.

      I usually just press hard on the lever with one hand and tighten the locking screws with the other, in order ot secure the motor in that position. Looseing the screws and pulling the lever forward slightly is usually (or should be anyway) enough to easily loosen the belt for repositioning.

      If your motor isn't moving at all, then assure that the two holding screws are loosened and simply try to move the motor assembly directly, it should feel loose and should be able to moved easily, forward or back.

      I hope this helps,

      CWS

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      • #4
        Re: Difficulty adjusting belt tension on DP1550

        CWSmith and Thurman, thanks for the replies. The handle won't move in the slightest even when I completely remove the 2 belt tension lock screws. With the screws removed I tried moving the motor by hand and it is not loose nor can I move it at all.

        It sounds like the motor assembly is suppose to be loose and the lock screws are the only thing keeping the motor from sliding back and forward. Since my motor appears to be frozen in place I think I'm going to take Thurman's suggestion and 'try' to remove guide rods from the top assembly to see if they are all gummed up. Hopefully by cleaning and lubing the assembly I can get everything to move easier.
        Last edited by jcomiez; 05-16-2010, 08:50 PM.

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        • #5
          Re: Difficulty adjusting belt tension on DP1550

          I just bought the same drill press,had the same isssue.very simple cure,loosen BOTH locking grey screws(1 on each side,just in front of motor) then take a box end wrench and put it on belt tension lever,and turn to loosen,THE LEVER on the press is to short to give any leverage.Dont feel bad,I thought mine was broken too!
          Hope this helps
          Norman

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          • #6
            Re: Difficulty adjusting belt tension on DP1550

            Hello,
            I am stuck in the same boat. I'm going to try the methods as described. I can't get the lever to budge and the whole thing is very awkward to get any leverage to begin with. This is a new drill press and I've only had it setup for a week.
            Steve

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            • #7
              Re: Difficulty adjusting belt tension on DP1550

              FYI, I just finished assembling mine tonight. The first time I moved it, it was difficult but after that first time it did slide fairly easily. It did have a bit of grease build up on the rods. Pat

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              • #8
                Re: Difficulty adjusting belt tension on DP1550

                The 2nd time around (see my other post on the 1st returned drill press http://www.ridgidforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=33404) was to make sure to clean out all packaging grease from the 2 guide poles and then I used 3-in-1 oil to clean them. Before I put the belts on I mad sure they were sliding fairly smoothly. I also figured out that before the light bulb gets put in, you can reach into the housing and get the other side of the poles with oil somewhat easily. The motor slides with the lever now much better than it did before.
                Steve

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                • #9
                  Re: Difficulty adjusting belt tension on DP1550

                  I too am having a very similar problem that lever does not move and the t bolts do not feel like they tighten any thing I am going to try some of the solutions here will try and post Sat. how it turns out .. This is seeming like a common problem maybe Ridgid will redesign or fix this in future .... I do still like the drill press and will fix this thing some how or some way

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