PM 66 sounds noisier than normal

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Forum topic by eflanders posted 03-21-2018 10:32 PM 957 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View eflanders's profile


326 posts in 2700 days

03-21-2018 10:32 PM

Topic tags/keywords: repair rebuild tablesaw powermatic pm66 question

I could use some help from folks that are familiar with the PM 66 tablesaw. I bought the used several years ago and I really like it except for one thing, they’re noisy compared to other premium cabinet saws. It now seems like it is even noisier than when I got it. The saw uses two drive belts (3hp motor). That leads me to my questions: #1). How do you adjust the belt tension equally between the two belts? #2). Would you replace the belts given the age of the saw? #3). I’ve heard that the link belts are quieter and better. Are they appropriate in a dual belt setup like this?

Once I get the belts off I plan to take a good look at all of the bearings. Right now the arbor does not seek to have any excess movement but without drive belt tension, I should be able to judge their worthiness. I could really use all of your advice and experience in making things better here.


13 replies so far

View MrUnix's profile


8212 posts in 3048 days

#1 posted 03-21-2018 11:18 PM

1 – You don’t [1]
2 – Only if needed
3 – no


[1] You adjust tension so neither belt flops/vibrates. Easiest way is while it’s running so you can see when they get to that sweet spot.

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View eflanders's profile


326 posts in 2700 days

#2 posted 03-21-2018 11:24 PM

Thanks Brad I was hoping you would respond!

View avsmusic1's profile


662 posts in 1535 days

#3 posted 03-21-2018 11:32 PM

Hmm I’ve never found the 66 to be notably noisier – I’ve never sought to make the comparison but it never struck me as noisier either

View CaptainKlutz's profile


3595 posts in 2344 days

#4 posted 03-21-2018 11:35 PM

Noise is either belts or bearings. On a older saw, usually both have been ignored and need to be replaced.

With belts removed, run the motor and rotate the arbor; checking for noise.
They should be perfectly quiet. If not, replace the bearings.

There are all kinds of internet how to’s and videos for PM66 restoration,
Some here on LJ if you search, but largest amount of information for old saw is OWWM site.

-- If it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all, - Albert King - Born Under a Bad Sign released 1967

View JBrow's profile


1368 posts in 1769 days

#5 posted 03-22-2018 03:44 AM


Not sure if you have the manual for the PM 66. If not then…

View AlaskaGuy's profile


5991 posts in 3159 days

#6 posted 03-22-2018 04:37 AM

I always do every thing wrong. I have an old 1940’s Delta Rockwell 12-14 cabinet saw with a 4 pulley system. Like a dummy I put link belts on it 10 to 12 years ago. Maybe even longer. I don’t know now if its quieter or not but I can’t see where it’s done any harm. I do think it help a bit with vibration.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View eflanders's profile


326 posts in 2700 days

#7 posted 03-22-2018 12:29 PM

Thanks folks!

Avsmusic1 At the schools I worked at the saws used there were all whisper quiet.

View TheFridge's profile


10861 posts in 2335 days

#8 posted 03-22-2018 12:48 PM

Changing belts and bearings is the next thing I do to a piece of used equipment after cleaning.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View coxhaus's profile


152 posts in 1744 days

#9 posted 03-27-2018 08:27 AM

I had a Freud combo blade which was real noisy. I now run a Freud Cabinet’s makers saw blade and a 24T saw blade. I am much happier as they are more quiet.

View eflanders's profile


326 posts in 2700 days

#10 posted 03-27-2018 03:56 PM

Today I took the belts off to start the troubleshooting process. Ran the motor without belts. It ran nice and smooth and as quiet you’d expect from a 3 horse motor. Checked bearings on the arbor, they ran smooth without any excess play. I closely examined the belts and they too were in great shape. Then I noticed that the arbor drive pulley had some play to it. BINGO! I removed it from the shaft way too easily! It turns out that the set screw had loosened up. I removed it, examined the key and keyway for damage and fortunately there was none. Whew! So I removed the set screw, chased the threads, reinstalled, tightened securely, reinstalled the belts to proper tension and let her rip. She ran as smooth as a baby’s bottom by golly and the quietest I’ve ever heard! I’m one happy camper folks that this was all it was!!!
Thanks to all for your advice, suggestions, etc.!

View maxhall's profile


82 posts in 3051 days

#11 posted 03-27-2018 04:17 PM

I install blue loctite to set screws so that doesn’t happen to me. I’ve had a few automotive issues that taught me that lesson.

View eflanders's profile


326 posts in 2700 days

#12 posted 03-27-2018 10:34 PM

Maxhall, I considered adding a drop of it and even had the bottle there at the ready, but I decided against it due to the very limited access to the set screw with the table top still on. I did torque the screw down and if by chance it does loosen up again, I’ll definitely put it on then.

View AlaskaGuy's profile


5991 posts in 3159 days

#13 posted 03-28-2018 05:06 PM

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