Sportsmith Blog

Star Trac: StairMill – How to check Battery Drain and Adjust Chain Tension

Having a problem with you Star Trac StairMill battery draining and the unit not powering up? It’s possible that you have too much tension in the chain system.

Below is a summary of the video above, "Star Trac: E-SM - Battery Drain and Chain Tension" by Star Trac.

  • Perform weight test. This will allow you to verify if there is too much tension.
  • Check chain tension. There should be a 25mm-32mm gap between the Idler Pulley and the chain.
    • If the gap is less then 1 inch you will need to Adjust the Idler Pulley Gap.
    • Loosen both right and left side pillow blocks.
    • Make an adjustment on the set screws using an Allen key. The brackets on the right and left side should be the same. Tight pillow blocks back.
  • Measure chain sag.
    • Place a straight edge across the top and bottom bearing.
    • Measuring the amount of sag from the bottom of the straight edge to the top of the chain there should be ¾”(19mm).
  • Adjusting the Chain Tension for the Correct Amount of Sag.
    • Loosen pillow blocks on both the right and left side of the bottom pulleys.
    • Back out set screws. (Equal amount on both sides).
    •  Before checking sag tighten pillow blocks on both sides.
    •  Should have a ¾”(19mm) gap on both right and left sides.
  • Perform weight test again. Double check the sag measurements and make corrections if the steps still do not move.
  • Test the StairMill before putting the shrouds back on the machine.

For Star Trac Replacement Parts click here.


How to Replace Mando Alternator Brushes found on StarTrac Steppers & Bikes

About This Video

Video Demonstration of How to Replace Mando Alternator Brushes found on StarTrac Steppers & Bikes

  • This procedure demonstrates how to change the brushes of a Mando alternator that is used on StarTrac fitness equipment such as bikes and steppers
    • It is not necessary to remove the alternator from the machine to remove/install the brushes
  • To replace or inspect the brushes you must first remove the brush cover as shown in the video. It is attached with two nuts and a screw. Remove them and then remove the cover as shown in the video
  • Once the cover is removed you will notice the black rubber seal, this should be included with your new brushes. If not it can be re-used
  • You will still have two screws holding the brush assembly in place. Remove them and then you may need to use a screw driver to pry up on the brush assembly as shown in the videoto get it to come loose. The brushes shown in the video are new; This is not what a used pair of brushes will look like. Worn brushes will have a rough surface as well as being shorter than this pair. Generally worn brushes will also leave quite a bit of carbon dust in the alternator which can increase resistance between the brushes and the commutator. Therefore it is always a good idea to use a commutator stone as shown in the video to clean up the surface of the commutator before installing a new set of brushes
    • Note: Using forced air to blow the carbon dust out of an alternator is not good practice. It can release the powder carbon into the air and inhalation of this can be harmful. Use of a vacuum with small attachments is the only safe option
  • First locate the surface of the commutator by noting the surface the brushes rub against when installed. Focusing on one side of the surface at a time, spin the alternator pulley a few times while holding slight pressure against the commutator with the commutator stone. Doing so will clean and prepare a fresh surface for the new brushes to make contact with
  • There are two versions of the Mando alternator brush assembly
    • The version one brush assembly has a 1/4" height from the base where the rubber seal sits to the top of the brush housing as shown in the video
    • The version two assembly measures 13/32" from the rubber seal seat to the top of the brush housing, which is also shown
  • To reinstall the brushes place them as shown in the video and hold them in place while replacing the screws in the brush assembly
  • Now place the cover over the brushes and re-install the screw and two nuts. Once the cover has been replaced the procedure is complete

How to Unpack and Assemble a StarTrac NXT Spinner

About This Video

Unpacking and Assembly Video of the StarTrac NXT Spinner® :

  • This video presentation will aid in properly unpacking and assembling your StarTrac NXT cycle.
  • Tools needed for this procedure will be:
  • Ratchet Handle
  • 4MM Allen Socket
  • 5MM Allen Socket
  • 13MM Wrench
  • 15MM Wrench
  • 21MM Wrench
  • Adjustable Torque Wrench
  • For more information about this video and detailed instructions click here.



Star Trac 4000 Treadmill Drive Belt Replacement

About This Video

Star Trac 4000 Treadmill, How to Replace the Drive BeltTools Needed: Phillips Screwdriver, ¼” Allen Wrench, ½” Wrench, Bungee Cord. Tools needed may vary depending on your hardware.

  1. Switch the Power off on the unit.
  2. Next, unplug the unit from the wall
  3. Remove the finger guard retaining screws and carefully remove them from the deck at each end of the rear roller.
  4. Loosen each rear roller bolt by 10 full turns. Then count the remaining turns necessary to remove the rear roller bolts. Remember to write down the number of turns needed to remove the bolts in each side for future reference.
  5. Carefully remove the rear roller from the unit. Clean any wax or debris buildup from the roller and place it aside.
  6. Raise the shroud and secure it with a bungee cord.
  7. Work the drive belt off the motor pulley by hand turning the flywheel while pushing the belt aside.
  8. Now remove the front roller retaining bolts.
  9. Carefully remove the front roller from the unit. Clean any wax or debris buildup and set the roller aside.
  10. Remember to replace the drive belt before installing the front roller back into the unit. Carefully place front roller on deck under belt and push forward into place, while placing drive belt on inside of the drive pulley.
  11. Replace the front roller bolts.
  12. Now spin the roller by hand while pushing the drive belt on to pulley. Be sure to spin the roller several times to insure complete installation of the drive belt on the pulley.
  13. Install the rear roller into unit. Carefully start each bolt and turn one to two threads to ensure proper mating of threads.
  14. Tighten each rear roller bolt the number of turns you kept earlier for reference.
  15. Now, Plug in and power on unit.
  16. Carefully remove the bungee cord from the shroud and lower it back into place.
  17. Start the unit at a very slow speed and check for proper belt alignment. Remember to start at the slowest speed possible and be ready to stop the unit quickly if needed.
  18. If the belt is moving to right side of unit tighten the right roller bolt. If the belt is moving to left side of unit tighten the left roller bolt until belt is tracking properly.
  19. Caution: make very small adjustments such as ¼ turns and then watch the belt for several moments before making another adjustment.
  20. Once the belt is tracking properly walk on the unit at a slow speed and check for belt slippage on foot fall. If this is happening tighten each of the rear roller bolts (¼ turns) equal turns until the slippage is no longer occurring.
  21. Now use the unit at a jogging speed to check for belt travel or slippage.
  22. If slippage still occurs make small equal adjustments (¼ turns) to both sides of roller and re-test.
  23. Install the finger guards once you have enough clearance from the rear roller.
  24. Now plug in and power on the unit.

SPORTSMITH™ Launches 2010 With Warehouse and Catalog Expansion

Sportsmith Catalog 57

Tulsa, OK -- January 6, 2010 -- SPORTSMITH™, the nation’s largest fitness products and  equipment parts  supplier, today announced the release of its expanded 2010 Winter Edition Catalog. Concurrently, SPORTSMITH™ completed its expansion into an additional  20,000 sq. foot office warehouse. A new company blog and user forum, accessible through, has been designed and introduced to enhance the user experience. Customers still receive same-day delivery on products and equipment parts purchased online and through the company’s 192-page direct mail catalog.

“We’re extremely proud to launch our massive 2010 Winter Edition Catalog,” explained Brad Schupp, President of SPORTSMITH LLC. “We developed this publication to act as the ultimate facility maintenance reference tool for Health Club operators, complete with maintenance charts, equipment diagrams, fitness equipment parts, functional training products and maintenance information for the most popular fitness equipment brands including Life Fitness®, Star Trac®, StairMaster®, Schwinn®, Precor® and Landice®.”

The new catalog encompasses the largest selection of fitness equipment parts along with strength and functional training products and the latest eco-friendly yoga mats, blocks and straps. Notable additions include:

Life Fitness® Parts and Equipment:

  • T-Series 91T, 97TI and 90T Treadmills
  • 95X Elevation and 95Xi Arctic Silver Cross Trainers
  • 95 Se and 93S Steppers
  • 95R Elevation Indoor Recumbent and Upright Cycles

Star Trac® Parts and Equipment:

  • E-Series E-TRE and E-TRxe Touch-Screen Treadmills
  • E-Series E-TR, ETRx and E-TR Generation 1 Treadmills
  • S-Series S-TRc and S-TRx Treadmills

Matrix® Parts and Equipment:

  • T3x, T3xi and T5x Treadmills
  • Treadmill Running Belts, Rollers and Decks

True Parts and Equipment:

  • CS1.0, CS4.0, CS6.0 and CS8.0 Treadmills
  • CS 8.0 and PS 900 Indoor Cycle Parts

Cybex Parts and Equipment:

  • LCX-425T, CX445T and CX455T Treadmills

Precor® Parts and Equipment:

  • EFX C576i and Amt C100i Elliptical Replacement Parts
  • C966i Treadmill Replacement Parts

Nautilus® Parts and Equipment:

  • T912, T914 and T916 Treadmill Replacement Parts

The SPORTSMITH™ 2010 Winter Edition Catalog also features additional savings on the most popular commercial model OEM and SPORTSMITH™ brand treadmill running belts, decks and rollers along with an expanded selection of sports performance training equipment from Agility Dots, Agility Domes, Mini Hurdles, Agility Ladders and Lateral Power Trainers.

Group exercise products now incorporate Polar® heart rate monitors, SportStep, the Original Health Club Step™, SPORTSMITH resistance bands, medicine and stability balls, yoga and exercise mats. Functional training product selection has been expanded to include specialty items tailored for balance and stability, speed and agility, sports-specific training, fitness assessment and weighted resistance.

To further boost interactivity and knowledge-sharing, SPORTSMITH™ has also established its new website blog and user forum. These features are available to anyone free-of-charge at The company blog will provide readers with up-to-date industry and company new stories, announcements and articles of interest to health club owners, journalists and health-conscious individuals.

The new SPORTSMITH™ user forum provides a real-time, moderated platform for discussion on various industry topics. Threads will include advice and dialog on topics of interest to subscribers including health center business operations, facility marketing, industry trends, employee hiring and management strategies.

“Our latest innovations reaffirm our commitment to supplying the most popular and functional fitness equipment parts and personal training products in the industry,“ Schupp explained. “SPORTSMITH™ is proud to offer the added advantage of hassle-free customer service, 24/7 online ordering and express same-day shipment.” All SPORTSMITH™ fitness equipment parts meet or exceed OEM specifications and include the full SPORTSMITH™ warranty.

For more information, call 888-713-2880 or visit


Founded in 1995, SPORTSMITH™ is the nation’s largest supplier of fitness equipment and parts for health clubs and health-conscious individuals. The company is recognized for its superior quality, express same-day shipment on all orders, comprehensive selection of more than 40,000 individual items and overall value, with products 10 to 30 percent below competitive retail prices. The company serves customers through its 20,000 sq. foot state-of-the-art office warehouse, with orders placed by mail, fax, phone or online via its direct mail catalog and secure ecommerce website.