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I've owned a NordicTrack Exp 1000X treadmill for about 20 years and have never done the recommended maintenance, including belt lubrication. Now it's starting to squeal, so I'm hoping that better-late-than-never maintenance will help.

There are online videos covering how to lubricate the belt and do basic tightening and adjustment. However, there is fine dark dust under the belt, which I assume is tiny crumbs of dried out rubber from the belt. Just lubricating might create a paste of the powder plus silicone oil. I couldn't find anything online about how to clean out the space under the belt.

Is there a way to clean that before lubrication?

I've looked online, and they sell various "wands" that are claimed to clean while applying the oil, but they just look like colored plastic bars, with nothing special to remove dirt. I thought about trying to vacuum it, but there isn't enough clearance under the belt to get a vacuum nozzle in very far or at a useful angle. Another idea that came to mind was rolling a rag into a rope and coating it with something tacky, then sliding it back and forth under the belt. But I can't think of anything tacky that wouldn't leave unwanted deposits on the belt or bed. Another idea was blowing out the space with air from a blower or compressor, but how could I keep the debris contained?

Has anyone dealt with this issue and come up with a good solution?

Update: Several limitations on possible solutions.

  • The treadmill needs to remain upright. It weighs a ton and is awkward. I have a back injury and don't want anyone else to get one trying to flip it on its side or uprighting it again.
  • Anything that involves typical end-user maintenance, like minor adjustments or removing covers is fine. But disassembly isn't something I'm prepared to handle. So adjusting a roller to gain a gap under the belt is fine, but not removing the belt.

2 Answers 2

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Lay the treadmill sideways. Start it. Use some compressed air (flowing downwards) to "motivate" the dust go out.

Since you might not have the compressed air, you might try, sticks, wands, brushes... for the same purpose. Gravitation and friction will do most of the job.

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  • You can buy cans of compressed air. Apr 5, 2023 at 10:28
  • They are an alternative for small spaces and little dust. For larger places and more dust, they get empty quite fast - according to my experience. Now, only OP can evaluate the real needs.
    – virolino
    Apr 5, 2023 at 11:04
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    I used to have a vacuum cleaner that would blow air if you connected the tube to the 'wrong' end. Apr 5, 2023 at 11:06
  • A vacuum cleaner with that function is actually great. However, products today do not usually have an output connector, but only an output :( If OP has one of those, it is great.
    – virolino
    Apr 5, 2023 at 11:13
  • I like the idea of gravity working for you, but this has a few problems. One is the risk of injury turning the treadmill on its side. It weighs a ton and is awkward. I previously injured my back doing something similar. Another is running it on its side, as the belt is likely to shift. Sticking anything under the belt while it's moving seems like an accident waiting to happen. I'm hoping for a solution I can do myself that can be done with the treadmill upright and off.
    – Dolly
    Apr 5, 2023 at 17:33
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I couldn't find anything online about how to clean out the space under the belt.

You can remove the belt, clean the space underneath and then replace the belt.

Replacing the Walking Belt on a NordicTrack Treadmill | NordicTrack.info includes complete instructions for replacing the belt.

Follow the instructions up to step 8, clean and them follow the remaining instructions using the original belt.

The link include photos of each step.

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  • "You can remove the belt": I'm thinking no. It would be more accurate to say, "It is possible for a team of strong, trained technicians to remove the belt". Unfortunately, this isn't within my capabilities.
    – Dolly
    Apr 5, 2023 at 17:15

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