View Full Version here: : The Joys of doing a belt mod

23-07-2017, 05:19 PM
Wow, that was quite an experience. I bought a used NEQ6 that was very lightly used and nearly new. And it came with all the bits and bobs to do a Rowan belt mod. What could be easier, I asked myself. Wow!

Today is about the 7th of this saga. In that time, I have had to strip and reassemble the mount at least 5 times. I blame age and impatience. Age, because on several occasions, I reassembled without putting the delrin (sp) shims in the right places, forgot to tighten certain lug nuts and on it goes. Several times, I found I had overgreased or used the wrong grease. Once I found I had damaged a bearing in bullying it off.

Finding the right grease was also a trial. In he end I bought some Super Lube grease via eBay. Lovely stuff.

And muscling the worm and bearings off their various shafts was often quite brutal.

The hardest part, I found, was in getting the motors back in place and engaged with the belts. You have to do it by guess and good luck because you can't see and there is no tactile feedback. So it took me about four goes and as many wasted hours finding out which of the motors were - or were not - meshing. All in all, I would guesstimate this process took me about 24 hours spread over 7 days to get to the final point where, I am more or less happy to say it is done.

An unexpected problem was with the altitude (latitude) adjustment. It was as stiff and unyielding and a frozen brick. It was damn near impossible to finish a drift align because you just could not get the darned thing to move. So I had to bite the bullet and break away the trims on both sides of the mount to expose the shaft and the 3 lug screws that are underneath. There are 2 delrin or plastic washers in there. One of them was torn and jammed in and with the lug screw plate which is why the darned thing would not move. And the other was also deformed. But it now works fine, easily and is solid. But the two plastic shims are history.

Anyone wanting to venture down the path of a Rowan belt mod - and probably most others, is welcome to contact me for any of the many hard-learned trips and traps.


23-07-2017, 06:35 PM
Hi Peter
I am so happy that you opened this thread.
I have been making a list of things to look into and this belt drive was one of the things I wanted to investigate.

I presume the kits are still available.

I gather you did not purchase the kit but it came with the mount purchase...

I have read a few accounts and it didn't seem too bad but I suspect I will have similar difficulties to your so I find your account most useful.

Had you run the mount pre mod and if so I hope you will post your thoughts on before and after.

Thanks again perfect timing on your part.


23-07-2017, 07:14 PM
Good to hear that you got it finished and its working OK Peter. What a saga stripping it down and reassemble again 5 times, I'm glad I never tried to do it, I was too scared of damaging the mount.


23-07-2017, 07:14 PM
I feel your pain Peter. I finally feel like I've got some idea what's going on under the bonnet now, and a better understanding of the weaknesses (and strengths) of the chinese mounts now having done this coronary bypass operation some time ago ;)

Really hope it works at as good or better than you expected.

23-07-2017, 07:53 PM
Hi Alex. They are available. Google Rowan belt and you're sure to find it. I think a lot depends on luck but the best assurance of a successful mod is pre-planning. Have the right tools. Get the right grease too. And don't be afraid to get dirty. For example, I soaked both needle bearings in petrol to degrease them, then blew them clean and dry with a compressor. Then regreased with Super Lube. But do it lightly. Too much grease is as bad as none. And get an old tooth brush to help thoroughly clean the worms and main gears. Soak in petrol and clean thoroughly. Then regrease sparingly.

And do not disassemble anything without making notes and taking pics. Putting it back together with the right shims etc is very important.


25-07-2017, 02:29 PM
Peter, you have pricked my interest.

My mount is only 1 year old and has not been used much, i also have a sticking Altitude adjustment.

I have just bought a 10" SW quatro. I believe that the belt mod will also give a smoother tracking.
I will give it a go once i get the kit delivered. Thanks for the offer should i get into a sticky situation.

These damn clouds are a perfect opportunity for equipment mods.

25-07-2017, 08:32 PM
I found a great set of 15 youtube videos by Karli Brown who shows you in great detail, how to do a belt mod to an NEQ6 mount.

Cheers. When i get my kit ill have a go.


25-07-2017, 08:39 PM
Great reference - wish that had been available previously

26-07-2017, 10:59 AM
Good job for persevering Peter!

I did mine a couple of years back...pushed me way outside my comfort zone, and I was astonished to find the mount worked when it put it all back together :lol: I haven't dared touch it since...if there are any enterprising EQ6 experts in the Brisbane area who fancy tuning it, get in touch ;)

Until I upgraded (more recently) to the EQ6wedge too..makes a huge difference to the altitude adjustment during polar alignment.

It's not hard to get RMS error in PHD2 down around 0.4 with good polar alignment, although I've found that's as much dependent on getting a good guide star as anything else.