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View Full Version : lets see your snowblower mods



mdred68
12-02-2010, 09:55 PM
Just got 22 inches of snow last night in Buffalo NY. My snowblower works OK, but i was thinking for next year i would either modify mine or build something new. A machine that has more power to throw the really wet heavy stuff. Any ideas. Thank you

motorworks
12-02-2010, 09:57 PM
A honda....LoL
Though about putting a diesel 10 hp instead of the 8 now there...
e

RussZHC
12-02-2010, 11:26 PM
Been looking at this too, specifically something to move those mounds that roll off plows or later become larger masses mixed with ice and other "trash".

I know someone will correct me but from what I have found so far, Honda, Toro, Ariens and Simplicity are considered "quality" machines (though they also make "promotional" machines and that is the general name given to most any other maker and there aren't a lot, lots of re-badging however).

There are some features not found in the walk behind type that you find in larger versions that I wonder about (not sure there is any engineering reason or safety reason) such as impellers with more blades and more of a "scope" design...augers of a smaller diameter that are "solid" with mass/weight being a factor.

Lots of time on my hands :o so one engineering detail I find interesting is that the really large blowers (as opposed to buckets or blades) like this

http://www.northeast.railfan.net/images/tr_cn55361.jpg

they go back to a rotary vane or screw that mimics the impeller of most walk behind (actually given many railway blowers are converted from steam decades ago, its the other way around) and those that need large areas cleared e.g. airports, often use large rotary sweeping brushes

RussZHC
12-02-2010, 11:29 PM
Forgot the one detail that could make a difference to what you use now, from an engineering standpoint, the chutes that are closer in cross section to a partial circle will throw further and are less likely to clog...since this is how they all once were compared to most now that are "boxy" one wonders, why?

Dr Stan
12-02-2010, 11:57 PM
My snow blower mod was to give it away when I moved from Nebraska. :D

travisn
12-03-2010, 01:12 AM
Just got 22 inches of snow last night in Buffalo NY. My snowblower works OK, but i was thinking for next year i would either modify mine or build something new. A machine that has more power to throw the really wet heavy stuff. Any ideas. Thank you

two things:
1. what kind of snowblower do you have? I had a 36" ariens 8hp 2 stage and it would cut through everything. I would do the side walks just because. lol

2. I am in Rochester and totally pissed we dont have much snow. I had no idea any of this was going on until an hour or so ago. Thats what I get for having class and being in the machine shop all day.

ZINOM
12-03-2010, 01:20 AM
Here's a shot of the trans engage lever I made for my old Ariens Sno Thro.

This model year had a lever mounted below the bar and you had to squeeze it to stop....I thought it'd be safer with a "deadman" set-up.

It has since been painted orange to match the original machine color

http://i302.photobucket.com/albums/nn81/ZINOMJOHN/DSC07527.jpg

I'd like to see what others have done as well.

John

jtrain
12-03-2010, 01:48 AM
You can enjoy the over the top features of this snowblower;

http://www.gizmag.com/for-the-man-with-everything-the-v8-snowblower/4889/

Highpower
12-03-2010, 02:08 AM
Did somebody mention snow - blower??? :D

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v82/Highpwr/Let%20it%20snow/image001155.jpg

morehelium
12-03-2010, 02:41 AM
Most snowblowers are powered with engines that are designed to last 20 years it seems, so why not get it to put out a little more power?

Tweak the governor, maybe a nitrous system to blow through those really heavy bits?

Turbocharge your snowblower?... it would make a fun project at least.


On a lighter note, why was Frosty the snowman standing by the side of the road with his pants down?


...he was waiting for the snowblower!

Dunc
12-03-2010, 09:19 AM
"Tim the Tool Man" Taylor

Toolguy
12-03-2010, 12:38 PM
Once at a place I worked they had a walk behind snow blower with rubber tracks instead of wheels. It was dark green. Since then I've never seen another one like it. Does anyone know what brand that might have been?

Andrew_D
12-03-2010, 01:28 PM
I seem to remember a pic somewhere of a snowblower on rubber tracks. The engine was pretty much centered over the tracks, maybe slightly forward of center. The weight of the actual "snowblower" part on the front was off-set by the seat on the back for the operator to sit...kind of a mini-crawler tractor idea...

Andrew

EddyCurr
12-03-2010, 05:01 PM
A Honda snowblower ?

I happened into a Honda superstore that happened to be next to the local
Lee Valley outlet recently. I have to say I was gobsmacked to see that
Honda is asking $3,900 CDN for their tracked residential snowblower, and
not much less for the wheeled version.

While looking at these machines, I noticed the mechanism for moving the
blower chute has an expensive looking worm that engages with teeth
stamped in a sheet metal flange at the base of the chute. Expecting
that the price of the machine reflected superior design and manufacturing,
I was very disappointed to find that the feel at the handle was no different
than that on my far less sophisticated machine. I can't imagine that the
rest of the machine is any different.

Honda claims these machines (http://www.hondapowerequipment.com/products/models.aspx?page=models&section=P2SB&category=ts) are good for moving 71.7 tons of snow per
hour.


HS1132TA $3,189 USF
HS1132TAS $3,399 (120v E-Start)

No Honda for me.

.

rbertalotto
12-03-2010, 08:17 PM
I live near the coast up here in New England. We get a lot of 5" snow falls that is very wet snow. A snowblower simply cloggs up and won't throw it. It needs to be plowed.............Therefore:

http://images34.fotki.com/v1078/photos/3/36012/7156011/P1010652-vi.jpg

http://images42.fotki.com/v1447/photos/3/36012/7156011/P1010686-vi.jpg

http://images40.fotki.com/v1300/photos/3/36012/7156011/P1010690-vi.jpg

http://images14.fotki.com/v363/photos/3/36012/7156011/P1010689-vi.jpg

Toolguy
12-03-2010, 08:20 PM
Nice piece of work! :)

Robo
12-03-2010, 08:55 PM
Here's a shot of the trans engage lever I made for my old Ariens Sno Thro.

This model year had a lever mounted below the bar and you had to squeeze it to stop....I thought it'd be safer with a "deadman" set-up.

It has since been painted orange to match the original machine color

http://i302.photobucket.com/albums/nn81/ZINOMJOHN/DSC07527.jpg

I'd like to see what others have done as well.

John

Think I have a similar model. Mine was built in the late 60's and still runs great other than a low rpm hunting problem.

QSIMDO
12-03-2010, 09:06 PM
Don't remember where I saw it but the author attached thick rubber pieces to the ends of the central impeller to close any gap between the impeller and the housing.

Claimed it increased the throwing distance significantly.

I may try that this year.




Next year I'll hire someone.
;)

Willy
12-03-2010, 09:07 PM
Originally posted by rbertalotto
A snowblower simply cloggs up and won't throw it. It needs to be plowed............


I would think that you should be able to throw the snow farther than you can push it. Once the blade is full it either goes over the top or spills to the sides. The only time a blade out shines a blower is if you have a big enough enough machine and blade to push it up and out of the way.

I find snow blowers that have to throw heavy wet snow will have less tendency to clog if they are eating lots of snow, make it work hard, feed it fast and it won't clog. If the blower is just eating a light snack it will clog.

AiR_GuNNeR
12-03-2010, 11:19 PM
Once at a place I worked they had a walk behind snow blower with rubber tracks instead of wheels. It was dark green. Since then I've never seen another one like it. Does anyone know what brand that might have been?

I have a Sears unit that uses a track. I like it because I can easily let it drive up the stairs of my deck, or clear a track on the lawn for the dog to do his business.

gary350
12-03-2010, 11:38 PM
I hate snow. I moved away from the north to get away from snow, cold weather and unions. Its the smartest thing I ever did.

jurgcor
12-04-2010, 12:33 AM
I drive mine from a hydraulic motor as my case GT is hydraulic driven....

I can get 40- 50 feet of throw in about any kind of snow. It is 45 inch 2 stage. Id post pics but dont know how to attach here......
Also repowered a Gilson to 16 HP it too is 2 stage 5% overdriven blower and 5% underdriven drive..... Makes everything around look stupid in any snow. Even slush flies 30 feet..... got to be careful around the nieghbor hood.... hard on windows and cars HA HA HA but she will toss the snow...or vaporize it


Laughin in Ne no snow to play with yet this year, damn

CJ Ne

travisn
12-04-2010, 01:04 AM
I live near the coast up here in New England. We get a lot of 5" snow falls that is very wet snow. A snowblower simply cloggs up and won't throw it. It needs to be plowed.............Therefore:

yea, its not the snow thats the problem, its the machine.

a real snowblower can handle a lot more than 5". plus, how far can something that weighs a few hundred pounds push a ever growing pile of snow?

RussZHC
12-04-2010, 02:55 AM
There are bigger etc. etc. but this auger idea (to start) is interesting... and technically, you still walk behind it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_xA7UJ-ubA0&feature=related

JoeBean
12-04-2010, 09:30 AM
yea, its not the snow thats the problem, its the machine.

a real snowblower can handle a lot more than 5". plus, how far can something that weighs a few hundred pounds push a ever growing pile of snow?
Even many wimpy snowblowers can handle more than that, though admittedly wet snow is a PITA.

Somewhere around I have pics of me clearing the driveway of our previous house about 3 years ago after a major blizzard (3' snowfall). Due to the lay of the land our driveway always got hit with massive drifts. This time there was a wall of snow 8' high and 12' wide, about 4' deep. Cleared it with a POS Craftsman, though it took forever. I would have paid the local plow (frontend loader) to do it but they were buried.

Incidentally, for any Canadians looking to rebuild their blowers this year as I am forced to do http://www.jackssmallengines.com/ is a pretty decent place for parts AND they'll ship to Canada USPS instead of the dreaded UPS like most.

vpt
12-04-2010, 11:15 AM
I have had very good luck the last 3 years after coating our snow blowers chute's with POR-15. We have two blowers both on toro tractors and a 89 ford truck with a hiniker plow. We have had walk behinds before but they don't get used. Everyone prefers the tractor blowers. All single stage blowers.

mcskipper
12-04-2010, 12:08 PM
This is a good mod & should be EZ to do.
Back in the 70's when I had a 50' driveway I had a Sears 8HP with a POWER drift wrecker on it.
It was a simple pipe mounted maybe 8" above the top of the auger.
On the pipe was welded 3" long steel bars at slightly offset angles. This thing was powered off the auger by a chain.

I used to get a ton of snow from the city snowplows & that wrecker made short work of it.
Also if we got a big snow with drifting that wrecker had the effect of the snowblower having a auger a 30% bigger in dia.

Driveway is over 200' long now and too old to walk behind a snowblower now it's a 4WD compact diesel tractor!

Evan
12-04-2010, 12:18 PM
We usually get dry light snow here and not that much since this is a semi arid area. A neighbour gave me this blower with a dead engine so I decided to install a motor that will start easily even at -30. The motor is an 1800 rpm 1.5 hp that needs a 20 amp circuit which I have just inside the garage door. It works too although it doesn't throw very far. It's just for doing the small close areas that the Land Rover can't do with the blade.

http://ixian.ca/pics8/snoblo.jpg

vpt
12-04-2010, 12:55 PM
I bet it would throw snow farther if there was a drive belt on the motor.

Evan
12-04-2010, 01:54 PM
There is. That is a variable pulley and it is set to a small diameter and the belt runs under the idler with the tension handle.

madman
03-04-2011, 06:19 PM
Well had a phone call the other evening. Seems the Minister (My Neighbour) asked me to quit blowing snow 50 feet from my driveway (18 car size) onto his rear deck with my new snowblower. I call it Kill Blower. I tightened up the augers, installed a experimental (thats what mtd told me when I bought it new from the Manager)) 15 horsepower motor on it. Man it jets snow like quite a ways. OH he (my neighbour finally moved away) with my motorcycles,,,, snow on his porch he couldnt take it?? NO he just got old and mocved im Not a prick. I try to be a good neighbour. My blower even has a muffler not a open pipe. (Yet??)

PixMan
03-04-2011, 07:41 PM
After some 40 years of shoveling (I'm 51) and one of the top-ten snowiest winters on record here, I finally broke down and bought one. It's a used one, but a good one.

I got a 2006 Husqvarna 10530SBE from a Craigslist seller for $500, and couldn't be happier. Supposedly has 10.5HP and 30" cut. I can see a few small areas for improvement that I might tackle this coming summer, but it's pretty darn nice the way it is.

dneufell
03-04-2011, 08:19 PM
I have a older Honda with tracks and hydrostatic drive....really well made. My brother works on ALL types of
lawnmowers, snow blowers, and boat motors (same location for 50 years) and says Hondas are the best made. What I like about it most is you can slow the speed of the tracks to what ever you like....I run mine just enough so the governor does not come on to speed up the
drive motor. It effortlessly tosses ANY kind of snow with ease. $2,100 at the time was allot of money....well worth it.

mygrizzly1022
03-04-2011, 09:29 PM
Hi All

To me a snow blowers main objective is to take the snow off your driveway and deposit it on you.
Have a look at this video clip. This puppy would be way more fun than any snow blower. Not to mention quite the winter build project.


http://www.myspace.com/video/374239818/rc-dozer-pushing-snow/33110601


Regards ..Bert

Rich Carlstedt
03-04-2011, 10:27 PM
Well, Let me break into the super power boys, and get back to some shop work.
I have a 30 year old Arhens snowblower, with a 5 HP Tecomseh engine called the "Snow King" . After all these Green Bay winters, it gave out last year and seized solid, when the Oil slinger (spash lube) broke off the con rod from metal fatigue. When I checked on new engines, I found a surplus new engine for 135 bucks, however it did not match the old engine. My old one had two shafts and the cheapest I could find from the locals was a short block for 500 bucks !!!
The crank shaft drives the Impeller , and the second shaft is really an extension of the cam shaft, and it's much needed slower speed is used to drive the traction wheels. So what to do ? Being retired means no big bucks, but hey, I have a full machine shop---lets use it .

So I took the old cam shaft and bull gear out, and separated the small gear from the old crank.
The new engine (block) had a depression where the extended camshaft should come out, but it was just a casting and none functional. I mounted a 3/16 steel plate to the case and had a 90 degree plate on one end of it for another mod not done yet ( in the photo)(electric chute control).
The Plate was bored to match the Camshaft position in which to hold a ball bearing
I turned down the cam shaft with the intergral (one piece !) Bull gear and mounted a pulley and two Ball Bearings on it. The shaft was too small for a keyway, so I used some pins doweled into the gear for power transfer, and the bearing kept them together and placed them in a stiff bracket.
I bored out the small gear and keyed/mounted it on a new pulley for the impeller drive. I was ready to blow.

Here are the pics of my modifications turning a single crank engine into a two output shaft engine with only scraps used

Nothing fancy , but a whole lot cheaper than a custom engine
Rich
http://i273.photobucket.com/albums/jj220/StationarySteam/Shop%20tales/P3040004.jpg

http://i273.photobucket.com/albums/jj220/StationarySteam/Shop%20tales/P3040008.jpg

http://i273.photobucket.com/albums/jj220/StationarySteam/Shop%20tales/PC060001.jpg

http://i273.photobucket.com/albums/jj220/StationarySteam/Shop%20tales/PC060003.jpg

Oh by the way, I did get a power increase.
The 30 year old engine was 5 HP and the new one is 5 1/2 HP !

CCrowell
04-14-2012, 10:17 AM
The worm gear mechanism is cumbersome, but most of these use a worm gear that is a spiral wound heavy rod welded to the end of the winding rod. It's very much like ornamental wrought iron work.
However, these mechanisms (I'm sure there are many thousands of them out there) take six full revolutions to move the chute from left to right.
Here's what I did in response to this:
http://youtu.be/EGUwuAj5rtw[/URL]

Chester
04-14-2012, 10:02 PM
For anyone looking for a REAL snowblower try and find one of these...........

http://i44.tinypic.com/4royzo.jpg

http://i41.tinypic.com/2dhz77a.jpg

Belongs to a friend and it really does the job on any kind of snow, plus throws it "forty miles".

Chester
04-14-2012, 10:20 PM
Well, Let me break into the super power boys, and get back to some shop work.
I have a 30 year old Arhens snowblower, with a 5 HP Tecomseh engine called the "Snow King" . After all these Green Bay winters, it gave out last year and seized solid, when the Oil slinger (spash lube) broke off the con rod from metal fatigue. When I checked on new engines, I found a surplus new engine for 135 bucks, however it did not match the old engine. My old one had two shafts and the cheapest I could find from the locals was a short block for 500 bucks !!!
The crank shaft drives the Impeller , and the second shaft is really an extension of the cam shaft, and it's much needed slower speed is used to drive the traction wheels. So what to do ? Being retired means no big bucks, but hey, I have a full machine shop---lets use it .

So I took the old cam shaft and bull gear out, and separated the small gear from the old crank.
The new engine (block) had a depression where the extended camshaft should come out, but it was just a casting and none functional. I mounted a 3/16 steel plate to the case and had a 90 degree plate on one end of it for another mod not done yet ( in the photo)(electric chute control).
The Plate was bored to match the Camshaft position in which to hold a ball bearing
I turned down the cam shaft with the intergral (one piece !) Bull gear and mounted a pulley and two Ball Bearings on it. The shaft was too small for a keyway, so I used some pins doweled into the gear for power transfer, and the bearing kept them together and placed them in a stiff bracket.
I bored out the small gear and keyed/mounted it on a new pulley for the impeller drive. I was ready to blow.

Here are the pics of my modifications turning a single crank engine into a two output shaft engine with only scraps used

Nothing fancy , but a whole lot cheaper than a custom engine
Rich


Oh by the way, I did get a power increase.
The 30 year old engine was 5 HP and the new one is 5 1/2 HP !


Excellent solution to that extended cam shaft problem. I also have that engine on my blower and would love to use one of those (single out put shaft) imports and really boost the power. How did that arrangement work out with the gears outside like that?

I have seen a few of these beasts for sale which could also be a candidate for re-powering, except they are single stage, and we get mostly wet snow here.

http://i42.tinypic.com/2pphrvb.jpg

This is the double out put shaft arrangement referred to above.

http://i43.tinypic.com/1hpj02.jpg

Chester
04-14-2012, 10:23 PM
The worm gear mechanism is cumbersome, but most of these use a worm gear that is a spiral wound heavy rod welded to the end of the winding rod. It's very much like ornamental wrought iron work.
However, these mechanisms (I'm sure there are many thousands of them out there) take six full revolutions to move the chute from left to right.
Here's what I did in response to this:
http://youtu.be/EGUwuAj5rtw[/URL]


Can you give us a direct link for that youtuber? My computer doesn't like that one. Would really like to see what you did.

BTW.....Welcome! Where are you??

sasquatch
04-14-2012, 10:32 PM
Somewhat snowblower related:

I have a friend who has a small fab shop at home with a large yard as he does a lot of tractor trailer work, heavy equipment etc.
He HATES SNOW!!
Had a blower behind a tractor, but he thought it was taking him too long to clear the yard.
So he has an old "Pettibone" and he built a bucket for it, the bucket is 4ft high x 14 feet wide.
Threw chains on it , and man, does that thing move snow IN A HURRY!!:D

Chester
04-14-2012, 11:02 PM
Speaking of loaders.........Used to have a joint/private laneway behind the house when I lived in Montreal...........this is the hired contractors work, just getting started on winter, 1978.

http://i40.tinypic.com/v3379t.jpg


The seventies were brutal on snow removal contractors. After they got burned on multiple huge snowfalls, most included a clause in their future contracts so they could charge extra after 100" of snow.

The Fixer
04-15-2012, 12:11 AM
Bought a new Honda 9hp, tracks, electric start and chute. Great machine but no steering so I robbed the planetaries from my 29 yr old Craftsman and fabbed them in. No pics, but it was quite the mod! Works flawlessly, can't believe Honda doesn't sell it with steering, cuz it's a heavy beast.