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Old 12-27-10, 10:04 AM   #1
SonataInFSharp
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Snow Blower Woes

I have a lovely 5hp/22” Craftsman snowblower. I have no idea how old it is—I bought it last year for $175 from a guy who fixes snowblowers (he wanted $300).

The engine works great. All drive gears work great. The propeller that blows snow works great. But the augers stopped working!

And they didn’t suddenly stop working; it was a gradual process:

First, the lever that engages the augers started getting more and more difficult to push down. It’s at the point where it takes both hands and all my upper body weight to push the lever down. It also stays down on its own and I lift the back of the blower up while trying to lift the lever to disengaged the augers.

Then, whenever I would engage the augers, I would hear a very brief "screeeh" sound, like when you try to start a car that is already running.

Then, only half of the auger stopped working, while the other half would still work.

Lastly, the augers will still turn if I tip the blower back so they are freely in the air, but as soon as they have resistance even as light as fluffy snow, they stop spinning again.

I hate to sound like a whiner, but I need to get it fixed, and DIMyself. I tried to shovel and after 30 feet of narrow sidewalk, my bad back hurt so bad I can’t walk and it’s been 24 hours. Poor me!

Any direction to point me to fix this? I assume it’s some tiny gear in some obvious spot…or something…thanks in advance!
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Old 12-27-10, 10:09 AM   #2
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Get the model number and serial number and go here:

http://www.searspartsdirect.com/part...quipment-Parts

Has schematics and parts lists, might help you see how it works and find the worn part. I am going to guess it is a drive belt of some sort, engaged by pulling on that lever you describe.. Could be the cable between the handle and belt tensioner is stretched or needs adjustment.

Also, realize that I have never touched a snow blower, being a native texican.
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Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.
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Old 12-27-10, 10:16 AM   #3
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Yeah, sounds like something in the transmission of power from engine to auger is worn out. Guessing some sort of belt, or simple clutch piece is likely to be the issue.

// disclaimer: lives in the same area as jsharr.
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Old 12-27-10, 10:31 AM   #4
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Have you checked the shear pins?
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Old 12-27-10, 10:36 AM   #5
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Have you checked the shear pins?
I don't know where those are yet. Other than that there is a storage box (empty) for them on top of the blower itself.
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Old 12-27-10, 10:43 AM   #6
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Word is just making stuff up, what is some Colorado mountain dweller gonna know about snow blowers that a couple of know it all texans don't?
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Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.
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Old 12-27-10, 10:59 AM   #7
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I bought it last year for $175 from a guy who fixes snowblowers (he wanted $300).
I bet if you take it back to the guy he'd fix it for $125.
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Old 12-27-10, 11:23 AM   #8
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Bring a case of the seller's fav beer over and say "boy am I glad this is barely within the 1-year warranty".
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Old 12-27-10, 11:33 AM   #9
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At your location,a broken snowblower could be the "kiss of death".Hope you find the parts.

*I avoid Sears power yard tools.Parts take too long to arrive and are often more expensive than other major brands.
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Old 12-27-10, 11:53 AM   #10
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check the easy stuff 1st The Shear pins on the auger shaft would be my 1st look. If you can grab the auger and spin it by hand then that's probably what it is. They look like bolts that go through the shaft and the auger sleeve. The screeching it the belt, it is possible it failed and might be in your drive or off the pulley. I actually have that same snow blower. if only 1/2 the auger was turning that is definitely a shear pin & it wouldn't suprise me if the otherone whent in wet snow. You can use a soft grade bolts if you want for a quick fix

Last edited by Timber_8; 12-27-10 at 12:00 PM.
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Old 12-27-10, 11:58 AM   #11
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I'd guess it's a vee belt that runs up and down the side, left side if it's a Toro. I changed one of the GFs a few weeks ago after it just quit on her, and it's easier than changing a fan belt on one of the cars I had in college. See if you can take the side cover off without taking the front and back panels off (learned that the hard way), and take the old belt to the store so they can match it up. Take a picture of the routing of the belt if you want to make it easier to get off. If that's not it, see if one of the flay rods is out of skew on treddle.
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Old 12-27-10, 12:15 PM   #12
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If that's not it, see if one of the flay rods is out of skew on treddle.
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Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.
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Old 12-27-10, 12:25 PM   #13
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Well, shear pins sound easy, and then I will check for belts and see where that gets me.

Thanks, y'all!
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Old 12-27-10, 01:45 PM   #14
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No one expects the Spanish Inquisition!
[video=youtube;CSe38dzJYkY]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CSe38dzJYkY[/video]
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Old 12-30-10, 09:52 AM   #15
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I finally had a chance to look at the snowblower. It does seem to be simply the shear pins as: 1) Both shear pins are missing, and 2) I can see the shafts for the augers spinning beautifully within the augers.

But, I can't seem to find the OEM shear pins for the snowblower. Can't I just use any 1/4" shear pins for this? The miniscule remainder of the shear pin that was in one of the augers certainly wasn't OEM, as it had threads and the OEM pins do not (I saw pictures in the manual).

Also, replacing the pins doesn't fix the severely binding auger lever. And the screetching sound had stopped once I removed the remainder of one of the broken shear pins, so I wonder if my new pins will just break as soon as I put them in. Hmmmm...

AND, I read somewhere else that you are supposed to tighten the idler pully so that the blower will blow snow farther as the belt stretches. Uh, where is the idler pully, generally speaking?
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Old 12-30-10, 10:11 AM   #16
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get the serial number and model number and go to the site I linked to and you should be able to find a schematic for the machine. You might be able to find the idler pulley adjustment mechanism on the schematic.
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Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.
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Old 12-30-10, 10:16 AM   #17
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yes any shear pins that fit will work. They are threaded on the ends. You should be able to find them at any Lowes, home dumbo, or equivalent. While you have the shearpins out look for where it is binding. You migh have picked up a rock or some debris.

http://www.hammerwall.com/Manuals/Cr...ches/L0109118/

click on the snowblower put the code in the box and download the manual

Last edited by Timber_8; 12-30-10 at 10:28 AM.
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Old 12-30-10, 10:55 AM   #18
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Thanks, guys!

I guess I was expecting the manual to be like most recent manuals in that one manual covers 100 models, no details, and they say "bring in for service" for everything. BUT, the manual for my blower is very detailed and tells you more than you would ever need to know!

I didn't realize there was so much maintenance I am supposed to be doing on the thing all the time, as well! EP Moly grease? Time to learn!
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Old 12-30-10, 11:43 AM   #19
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Make sure you use a pin meant for snowblowers. The idea is that the pin will break (shear) before the auger gets damaged if you hit something hard. You want to make sure the pin you're using will break first. If you use a tool steel pin material you may damage the auger.
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