How-To Guide :: Soft Serve :: Replacing Pulleys
Spaceman Soft Serve machines utilize motors to drive a pulley which turns a belt attached to a gearbox. The belts need to be replaced on a regular basis when they begin to show signs of wear. Spaceman recommends replacing these belts once per year. Occasionally, the pulleys will fall out of alignment and or get damaged and need to be replaced. Most soft serve machines utilize a double-belt system for extra strength. Both belts should be replaced at the same time when making a repair. This article will go over the steps to adjust or replace the pulleys on your Soft Serve machine. For information on replacing the belts, please see the SS: Replacing Belts article.
Parts Ordering: The replacement belts can be purchased via Parts Town. Please refer to the parts list for your machine to determine the correct pulley(s) for your model.
- Flathead screwdriver
- Metric hex driver or Allen key set
- Metric or Adjustable Wrench set
- Insulated Needle Nose Pliers
- Clamp-style Amp Meter
How to replace a Pulley:
- Turn Power Switch to Off and unplug the machine from the wall.
- Follow the instructions in the Operator Manual to properly drain, disassemble, and clean the machine.
Warning: The machine must be unplugged as power may be available to certain components even with the machine power switch in the off position.
- Using a flathead screwdriver, unlock all panel locks remove the rear and side panels from the machine. All panel locks are quarter-turn and should turn inward to unlock, they do NOT require significant force to unlock. For floor-standing machines, generally only the top panels need to be removed.
Note: For smaller countertop machines, panels may be installed using an 8mm Hex-head bolt rather than quarter-turn panel locks.
- Using needle nose pliers to pinch the tensioning post on the motor bracket, and an adjustable wrench or socket, loosen the tension on both motor mount springs to loosen the belt tension.
- Remove the belt from the pulleys and set aside.
- To loosen and remove / move a pulley, locate the two setscrews on the bushing on the front of the pulley. Use an appropriate Allen wrench to remove the two setscrews (3mm or 5mm depending on model).
- Install one of the setscrews you just removed into the center setscrew hole on the pulley bushing. Tighten until the pulley and bushing separate.
- Tightening down this set screw can sometimes seem difficult. Apply additional pressure until you feel set screw loosen the pulley assembly come free of the motor driveshaft.
- Remove the pulley and bushing from the shaft. If the shaft is dirty, it should be cleaned with an appropriate cleaning solution.
- Install the pulley onto the motor or gearbox driveshaft and place the bushing inside the center of the pulley and align on the shaft. The gear box pulley should be directly in-line with motor pulley below.
Warning: Ensure Pulley and Bushing are fully installed on the driveshaft. The shaft should slightly protrude through the rear of the bushing. If the motor is not aligned properly, please see the SS: Replacing Single Phase Motor article for information on adjusting the motor mount.
- Install set screws into the two side holes on the bushing, attaching the pulley to the bushing. Prior to tightening, check again to ensure gearbox pulley is in line with the motor pulley below and adjust, as necessary.
- Install the belt on the pulleys. If the belt is too tight, loosen the spring tensioning bolts further until the belt easily installs on the pulley. Ensure the belt is vertically aligned and make pulley adjustments, as necessary.
- Check belt tension. There should be approximately +/- 0.5 inches of play in the belt.
- Using needle nose pliers to hold the motor tensioning shaft and an appropriate wrench or socket, tighten the motor mounting springs until the belt tension is set correctly.
Warning: Do NOT over-tighten belts. This may cause overheating and damage to the motor or gearbox.
- You should be able to turn the belts by hand freely without binding or noise. To test the motor functionality, plug the machine back into power. Place a clamp meter around one of the black power wires, and press in the contactor that drives the motor. The motor should turn on and read approximately 1.0 Amps or less for 220V machines, and approximately 4.0 Amps for 110V machines with no load. If the amp-draw is too high, loosen the belt tension slightly. Unplug machine from the wall before continuing.
- Reinstall electrical box covers, and side panels.
- Follow Operator Manual to Lubricate, Assemble, Sanitize, and add product to the machine.