Aside from flat tires, the biggest problem sport UTV enthusiasts encounter are broken CVT drive belts. For the most part, belt damage is caused by excessive heat. Heat builds up in the CVT system when you are hard on and off the throttle, run at a constant speed, drive in deep sand or up hills for a prolonged period of time. Basically, your belt is always getting hot and is on the verge of failure if you are not careful.
Alba Racing recently developed a handy little temperature gauge that will help you monitor your CVT system and ultimately save your belt. At $149, the gauge kit comes complete with mounting hardware and instructions. The 2 1⁄16-inch gauge is similar to a water or engine temperature gauge found at an auto parts store.
For UTVs, the gauge easily mounts in the dash in front of the driver or passenger. It weighs less than a pound. To install the temperature sensor, you have to drill a small, 7⁄16-inch hole on the exit tube of your CVT system and bolt it in place. A ground wire needs to be installed, as well as a positive power wire to operate the lighted display. The guys at Alba did the hard work for you and figured out the proper CVT housing temperatures modern UTVs should operate at. According to Alba Racing, anything under 200 degrees is acceptable, and under 180 degrees, you are running cool.
This install on the Polaris Jagged X RZR took just a few minutes and only required a hole saw and a standard drill bit. We have had a belt failure in this machine before, so we really wanted our testers to be able to keep an eye on things while driving it. By reading the Alba Racing CVT temperature gauge, we can see that the system runs at a pretty constant 140 degrees. It gets a little hotter than that when we climb steep hills or go up stream in a sand wash.
The best thing about having the gauge installed is knowing when to back off the throttle a bit to save yourself the hassle and expense of changing a belt. Heck, according to the AlbaAction.com OEM parts finder, the stock belt for this machine retails for $197, so $149 is cheap and easy insurance for sure. To see what else Alba Racing is working on lately, log on to www.teamalbaracing.com or call them directly to order a CVT temp gauge at (619) 562-0188.