How to Remove Pulley from Air Compressor Motor?

Pulleys are the essential part of air compressors, and they are the main component that sends pressurized air to nearby tanks. However, one of the common problems that air compressor users face is the breakage of the belt, and it becomes essential to remove a pulley from the air compressor motor.

But how to remove pulleys from the air compressor motor? Is it easy to do? And what are precautions? Hold on; we will break down the answer to all these questions and confusions here.

What is an electric motor pulley?

Before discussing the method of removing a pulley from an air compressor motor, first get a little knowledge about what an electric motor pulley is, and its functioning.

In air compressors, the pulley is responsible for providing power from the motor to the pump head. For electric air compressors, power is delivered via an electric motor. In contrast, power is delivered via a gas-powered motor for gas-powered compressors.

The sheave at which the pulley revolves is usually made with cast iron and alloy material. The outer ring of a sheave worked like a fan and provided cool to the compressor’s pump. An electric motor pulley is also used to balance the compressor to achieve a smooth operating pump.

A drive pulley set comes with drive belts, motor, and compressor pulleys. The V-type belt is the most regularly used belt for the drive pulley set. It operates in multiples and eliminates slippage issues under conditions of severe resistance. On the other hand, the sheave of the compressor comes with multiple grooves, and it helps the pulley work smoothly.

When to remove pulley from air compressor motor?

If you face leaking holes or more minor efficiency problems, it’s time to change the pulley of your air compressor. The common cause of pulley damage will be wear and tear or damage with long-term use.

The removal and change of the existing pulley are pretty simple, and there is nothing complicated to worry about. Depending on the situation, you may need to change the pulley, belt, or the whole air compressor. However, if your air compressor is not too old, you will only have to go through the removal of the pulley from the air compressor motor.

How to remove a pulley from an air compressor motor? Step by step Guide:

Let’s break down the steps into a handful of suggestions.

  • In the first step, you need to remove the motor housing to get access to the wheel of the motor. Next, you can use a bearing puller to clamp around the perimeter of the pulley. We recommend the bearing puller tool as its jaws usually get perfectly fit around the circumference of the pulley. And while depressing the bears, you can take the entire wheel off the rod of the bearing puller.
  • The bearing puller rod is worked with almost all the air compressors except some exceptional models. So if you see the configuration of the bearing puller does not correctly fit the pulley and does not slide off with this technique, you need to try another technique.
  • Instead of a bearing puller, you can use an Allen key or hex wrench to perform the job. However, remember you can have more than one Allen screw present on the pulley. It will depend on the model of your pulley wheel and air compressor. Turn it counterclockwise with a compatible Allen screw until you detach the wheel from the rod.

How to change your air compressor pump belt?

The belt of the air compressor is another key component of the air compressor. If the problem is not solved by changing the pulley, it may be time to change or inspect your air compressor belt.

The Air compressor belt is often ignored during the maintenance process. However, on-time and proper maintenance can improve the performance and extend the life of the air compressor.

Step one:

The first step to take is to remove the belt guard. The Air compressor belt always comes secured in a belt guard for the security of the user. To remove the belt guard, carefully remove the screws or pressure snaps. After removing them, store them in a safe place to use them at the reattachment step.

Step two:

Now take the belt in your hands and visually inspect it. If you notice signs of damage like breaks or frays, you need to change the belt. However, if the belt condition is good, the problem can be solved by tension and aligning the belt.

Step three:

To remove or replace the belt, follow these guidelines.

  • First, lose the four bolts that you see around the motor. Remember, don’t remove them you only need to lose them a bit.
  • From your owner manual guide, get the size information of the belt and get a new one to replace the older one.
  • Now slightly shift the motor towards the pump head and remove the belt.
  • After that, move the motor back to its original position. Remember, this step is necessary for creating proper belt tension.
  • Tighten all four mounting bolts after moving the motor back to its original position.
  • In the final step, replace the belt with the new one and put the belt guard back in the position. Tighten the snap pressure and screws back at the location.

Step Four:

For aligning and tensioning the belt, follow the simple guidelines below.

  • You will need to lay a straight edge opposite the flywheel face for proper alignment. Your belt must run parallel to the straight edges. To do this, adjust your motor pulley according to. For this, lose the mounting bolts of the pulley with the gear puller. And position the pulley on the motor shaft. In the end, tighten the mounting bolts.
  • To determine and fix the belt tension, you can apply weight. Ideally, the strap should not move more than ⅜ inch to the downside with a thumb presser. Insult your manual guide for suitable tension figures for your air compressors.
  • Now, slightly adjust the distance between tank and motor. After that, tighten the bolts and move the strap back to its original position.
  • Put the guard belt back, tighten the screw, and snap firmly to avoid vibrations.


Let’s get into some frequently asked questions of users about how to remove a pulley from an air compressor motor.

How do you remove a keyway pulley?

To remove a keyway pulley, remove the fasteners around the pulley’s circumference. With the help of a screwdriver, pray off the pulley by losing the pulley nuts and screws. You can use a gear puller to grip the key you insert into the shaft. You can also use piler for the removal of the key.

How do you remove a pulley without a puller?

There are some alternative techniques if you don’t have a bearing puller, Allen key, or screwdriver. For instance, use a hammer and a piece of metal pipe and tap on the wedges between the pump and pulley. With a blowtorch, Give heat to the center of the pulley and pull it off.

Why is my air compressor humming?

Clogged intake filter and without enough air, you may experience air compressor humming. The Air compressor will stall and will hum on restarting. Open and remove your air filter and restart the air compressor to resolve this issue. If it starts immediately, then you need to clean your air filters.

Does pulley size make a difference?

Usually, a large diameter pulley works more efficiently than a small pulley. However, a large diameter pulley means more cost and more weight. For instance, if you use a pulley of 3.75 diameters, the efficiency will increase 7% more than a standard pulley.

How do you choose a pulley?

To choose a pulley, you need to consider various factors before choosing the right one. There are 4 different types of pulleys to choose from variable speed, V belt/round belt/ multi-v, and timing. It would be best if you considered the size and driven requirements.


The proper maintenance and take care of the air compressor make it free from damage and improve its work efficiency. However, with time, air compressors can have issues like a faulty belt and a damaged pulley. All these things can make it a real pain for the user to work.

However, all these problems you can resolve with the methods and guidelines that we set out above. Always make sure to read the manual guide before getting into the process. You all will have different types and models of air compressors. So before getting into DIT techniques, it’s necessary to get enough information about your device. After that, make sure to follow each detail for an accurate result.

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