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What to look for if you decide to buy "NOS" Bolens Belts

new old stock belts

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#1 Bolens 1000 ONLINE  

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Posted December 14, 2014 - 10:02 AM

I was contacted by a guy a few days ago offering some "NOS" belts he found in a storage locker, I told him if the belts were fairly new and were stored properly I may be interested. After looking at the photos he sent me I knew these had been around the block and were not suitable to resale to my standards anyway as they were over 30 years old and would only serve as interchange samples.

 

Now I see he has some listed on ebay charging what my price is for the new US made kevlars!

 

I thought I would post a bit of info about how to tell the age of these belts so no one else gets burned.

I have read numerous articles and have heard from most distributors that belts have a shelf life of 10-15 years on the shelf if properly stored, after that time span the materials will begin to break down and the belt starts to dry out, improper storage such as heavy folding, heat , sitting on a concrete floor or being in damp areas will rapidly decrease the belts life as well.

 

Here's how to date these Belts:

 

1) "Prehistoric age" - Anything Branded Bolens with the "Good Year" logo on it is really old, we're talking 40+ years. I Have some for interchange purposes dated 1966 they are crusty but cool to collect :D

 

2)  Anything Branded "Bolens Corp" that is printed in the text below is atleast 30 years old and this font was outed in the mid to late 70's

70's.JPG

 

3)  80's/90's era  Anything branded with just the part number and no mention of FMC or Bolens on the belt, Some are from the 80's but most would be in the 90's (Some still good)

80's  90's.JPG

 

4) 2000's to Current  -Sometimes hard to tell apart from the 90's Some of the part numbers will have no spaces between them but not in all cases, you have to be the judge on them. (Green light, these belts are mostly still serviceable) The newest belts will have the text size greatly reduced on the part numbers compared to all previous years.

fresh.JPG

 

 

Ways of checking the Belts integrity:

 

1) Belt is still soft and pliable , not stuck in a heavy bent position and can be easily moved around side to side in your hand.

 

2) Bend test, bend the belt backwards and if you hear cracking or it feels "Crunchy" when doing this the cords are shot and the life of the belt has been severely diminished.

 

Hope this helps put a better understanding on what to look for and know at least what your buying when looking at pictures of the belts.

 

 

 


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#2 MH81 ONLINE  

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Posted December 14, 2014 - 10:06 AM

Thanks Doc, good to know.
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#3 Lauber1 OFFLINE  

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Posted December 14, 2014 - 10:30 AM

Good info as always, Doc, but sometimes we would buy a "marked belt", to complete an original as built display. The most common of this would be belts for the different DB applications. These belts don't get run, just put on so one can see the name, as in walking tractors you can just push it off the trailer and into the display area.


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#4 Bolens 1000 ONLINE  

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Posted December 14, 2014 - 10:35 AM

Good info as always, Doc, but sometimes we would buy a "marked belt", to complete an original as built display. The most common of this would be belts for the different DB applications. These belts don't get run, just put on so one can see the name, as in walking tractors you can just push it off the trailer and into the display area.

 

Yep, that's what I use my NOS ones for when I display them :D


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#5 wilberj ONLINE  

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Posted December 14, 2014 - 10:55 AM

Great info brian I have a stack of NOS Belts and I will never use them.


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#6 superaben OFFLINE  

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Posted December 14, 2014 - 11:05 AM

Good notes to post, Brian.  I think people forget that belts have a shelf life.  As do oil seals, too, for that matter. 

 

Ben W. 


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#7 sodisr OFFLINE  

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Posted December 14, 2014 - 12:07 PM

Thanks for the heads up Doc..   I think I will just keep buying from you... :smilewink:


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#8 redcarkids ONLINE  

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Posted December 14, 2014 - 01:44 PM

Thanks Brian  now I know I can get rid off all my old belts that I just couldn't throw away.  This will give me back some wall space which is badly needed.



#9 Bolens 1000 ONLINE  

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Posted December 14, 2014 - 02:58 PM

  I think people forget that belts have a shelf life.  As do oil seals, too, for that matter. 

 

Ben W. 

 

Very True!

There is a big difference between a new and old seal, All the old seals are usually hardened and do not flex real well, when you compare it to a new seal they are soft and almost have a tackiness to them with the fresh rubber.


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#10 blackjackjakexxix ONLINE  

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Posted December 14, 2014 - 03:38 PM

Good stuff to know, that's why I look very closely at every belt and seal I sell,If I wouldn't use it I sure wouldn't sell it to anyone,thats how you keep a good reputation and make customers happy and coming back
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#11 Texas Deere and Horse OFFLINE  

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Posted December 14, 2014 - 11:08 PM

Thanks Doc., I appreciate the great info you have posted here. I work with a lot of big "D" and "E" series belts on 100 to 750 HP motors driving big machinery and I always inspect the belts before installing basically the same way you explained.. Very nice write up!!



#12 chieffan ONLINE  

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Posted December 15, 2014 - 08:20 AM

Those old belt work great for electric fence end insulators.  I keep all my old belts for that purpose.  Works for ends as well as turning an inside corner.  No shorting from rain or snow either.



#13 Stingray OFFLINE  

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Posted December 15, 2014 - 04:42 PM

Doc,

Not looking to start a war, but I don't think you were totally honest with your post. I am the person that contacted you. At no point did I ever say they were purchased from a storage facility. You also conveniently left out the fact that you made an offer to purchase the entire lot of 55 Bolens belts.

For the record, I restore vintage muscle cars with nos parts. I was contacted, and purchased the contents of a residential basement full of parts. The homeowner had a repair center where he repaired automobiles, lawn and garden equipment. I do not work on farm equipment, thus I have no use for these belts. That is why I contacted you.

Like others have suggested, these are perfect for time period correct restorations. I'm sure there is still plenty of life left in them. Doc, we are selling different products, no need to feel threatened.



Thanks for taking the time to read this post.



#14 Bolens 1000 ONLINE  

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Posted December 15, 2014 - 04:52 PM



 

I guess I misinterpreted your original response which was:

I purchased a garage full of old car parts. Some of the items are nos bolens belts. I have about 55 of them. Are you interested in the lot?

 

 

Yes, I did make an offer of $20 for the lot , but really didn't feel the need to discuss that as If you accepted I would never resell any of them as I wouldnt feel comfortable selling these to use on machines ,only for personal use to showcase my restorations.

Do not worry, I do not feel threatened in any way :thumbs:



#15 Stingray OFFLINE  

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Posted December 15, 2014 - 06:34 PM

Doc,

I am not sure why you would have interpreted garage for storage locker? I am sure you are not threatened by me, that is why you implied they were from a cold, damp, concrete storage facility. You also made reference that my old crusty belts were the same price as yours.





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