Dear Ralph: I just picked up a couple of spare drive belts at my dealer, and it’s like they’re all oily or greasy. I...

Dear Ralph:
I just picked up a couple of spare drive belts at my dealer, and it’s like they’re all oily or greasy. I figure that can’t be good for my clutches. What’s up with that?
“Renegade Marty”

You’re right, that isn’t a good thing for your clutches. The oily residue is mold release compound, a lubricant that is sprayed or applied to the mold so the drive belts come out of the mold during manufacturing. Some belts will be more slimy than others, but they should all be cleaned before installation to keep this crap from greasing your clutch sheaves. Use warm soapy water with something like Simple Green cleaner, and scrub lightly with an old tooth brush or soft nylon brush to remove the residue, then allow to air dry naturally and completely. Also, break-in the new belts gently for about 25-30 miles, no high speed or wide open operation during this time frame, they’ll last longer and be ready to go when you need them.

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