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View Full Version : Sorta OT, snowblower impeller mod...



alanganes
01-06-2018, 01:40 PM
With all of the snow happening up where I am, I was noticing my snowblower running a bit wonky. While looking around for solutions to that, I could not help but stumble across a bunch of videos and such showing guys adding a rubber flap on the end of each impeller blade to close the gap with the housing. Has anyone tried this? Is it worth the effort? Just curious if there is any first-hand experience here...

Willy
01-06-2018, 02:21 PM
Yes it is definitely worth it if you need to throw the snow further/higher.Wet snow especially really flies a lot farther due to it having more mass. It's not a miracle cure however for clogging but it does help somewhat in this regard. We have mostly cold and dry snow here so so it's not an issue most of the time. When it is wet I find working the blower very hard cuts down on the clogs.
My snowblower had about a 5/16"-3/8" gap between the impeller and it's housing and the use of of rubber belting bolted onto the impeller blades closed this up to zero.
The zero clearance feature did make the blower more susceptible to freezing up though if the temperature drops after using it in wet snow. This happened before as well if the drain hole in the housing froze closed after the last use. Easy to free up but it is something to be aware of if the machine is parked outside. Lately I have parked it in the shop after I'm done so not a big deal.

EddyCurr
01-06-2018, 02:35 PM
I do not have first-hand experience, but post to say that adding material to the impeller vanes is a popular topic at SnowblowerForum.com. I visit seasonally, have benefited from advice and consider the site a worthy resource.

Starting w/ first principals, what kind of machine do you have: brand/model & type (one stage, two stage). If belts drive your impeller(s), what condition are the belts & pulleys in?

Sparky_NY
01-06-2018, 03:40 PM
I did it several years back and it made a world of difference in the distance it threw the snow. (when I lived in NY state) It also changed the sound considerably ! You could really hear the air moving once those gaps were sealed up. I used bailer belting from Tractor Supply, one of the common sources. The bigger the gap you have now, the bigger the improvement you will see.

01-7700
01-06-2018, 04:17 PM
I did it. Well worth the effort. At first it smoked a little as the flaps seated in but I did it in the summer. I haven't had any problems with this $50 Craftsman getting clogged since the flaps were put in. I used some pieces of sidewall from an old tire. Recommended highly.

BCRider
01-06-2018, 04:40 PM
My blower does not have vanes as such. Instead the cage uses wide pieces of reinforced rubber as the vanes as opposed to extensions for steel vanes. In fact I need to check them after throwing around all the ice we had mixed in with the snow.....

alanganes
01-06-2018, 05:38 PM
Great info, thanks very much!

As for first principles:

Mine is a 26", 2 stage, a Troy built Storm 2620, 208 cc engine. It is belt drive but the belts are in good shape and properly adjusted.
It only has a few winters on it and I do maintain it properly.

I am not really having an issue with it throwing or clogging as such. The actual original issue was the engine surging unless it was run partially choked. Lots of info suggesting cleaning/replacing/opening up the carb high speed jet. So I cleaned that and it seems much improved. I didn't want to mess with it any further in the middle of winter, so I'm ok with how it's running now.

It works pretty well for what I'd consider a mid-grade machine. For my driveway, I do have one area where the ability to throw just a bit higher/further would be a benefit as there is a high retaining wall that I need to throw the snow up to the top of. I just make it most of the time. If we get a few successive storms, I have to revise my entire method, as I just don't quite make it over the top, and much of it just slides back down. Boo.

I mostly asked because I saw so many instances of people doing this, I was curious if it was really effective. I know I can trust the first hand observations from this group more than most random stuff I see on youtube.

On mine, there is a considerable gap between the end of the impeller and the housing, maybe 1/2" or more. There are small upturned "wings" at the forward edge of each impeller blade. I've not seen that on others I've owned.

Late breaking news:
Between the time I made my original post and now, it seems something has failed in the right angle drive gearbox for the auger. This machine has the auger in 4 small sections, each with its own shear pin. The pins are all fine. The shaft from the impeller turns, but it's not driving that auger shaft. It's in the shop warming up and thawing right now...

So I may just do the impeller mod while I have it in the shop. I'll have to look around here and see if I have any suitable rubber-like material.

Thanks again.

dbq49er
01-06-2018, 11:16 PM
I was not satisfied with how my snowblower was working so I also went to utube. I saw that when you place rubber extensions on the impeller blades that it would through the snow further. I went and found my webbed rubber material. I cut to fit the impeller, cut some flat bar stock and put two holes in it, and used hex headed self drilling tech screws to fasten them to the impellers. I felt that the bar stock would help the rubber all across the impellers. I used an extension on my impact driver and a magnetic 5/16 hex chuck to install the tech screws. That was three years ago and have had NO problems. The tech screws have not loosened and the bar stock holds the rubber in place. Yes it has helped with wet slush but the light fluffy snow gets pushed out farther as well. I vote yes do it and don't look back. The company engineers should have built them into the product to begin with, IMO!

dave_r
01-06-2018, 11:40 PM
The manufacturer prefers you buy a more expensive machine to throw the snow a bit further...

alanganes
01-07-2018, 08:07 AM
https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180107/e0f6328086d20caac8918ef65e95baff.jpg

Well I guess this explains the auger not turning. Parts are on order. The impeller mod should be easy with it sitting on the bench. Iíll have to locate some material for that. This not being a real agricultural area, the local Tractor Supply doesnít stock baler belting. Have to look around for creative alternatives ...

Willy
01-07-2018, 10:56 AM
Sorry to see that but from your previous description it is what I expected. Strange that the shear pins did not protect the box. Were there any warning signs before the complete failure? Are the auger shear pins the bolt style with a nut on the end?
I ask because I often see folks tighten these up pretty snug. What this does is that it clamps the auger's outer sleeve onto the inner drive shaft, this then defeats the purpose of the shear pins because they no longer have free movement. If clamped tightly the shaft and auger sleeve effectively become one piece.
Hopefully just the brass gear is all that is needed. Good luck with the repair.

garyhlucas
01-07-2018, 11:08 AM
Just looked at my Ariens blower. The blades are cup shaped and about 3/8" from the housing so might be a good upgrade. The material you want for this is conveyor belting, and McMaster sells it by the foot.

Strange occurrence this year. We got about a foot of snow here in NJ and it has been very cold, below 10 F every day since. The town sanded/salted our street. We now have an enormous brownish semi-frozen puddle in front of our driveway about 4" deep. I am wondering if the chemical used was something other than rock salt and has lowered the freezing point of the melt off but not as low as the current temperatures. This puddle has like waves frozen in it and is creeping slowly towards the storm drain.

Willy
01-07-2018, 11:20 AM
Could be beet juice. A lot of areas are switching to beet juice as it is very effective in this role. Although initially much more costly than salt it's much cheaper in the the long term term due to it being much less damaging to infrastructure. The total cost of ownership of salt runs into the billions annually because of the enormous amount of damage it inflicts to roads, sidewalks, buildings cars, etc. There is also the environmental impact to consider when using salt. Not cheap making the roads black in the winter.

01-7700
01-07-2018, 11:44 AM
Just looked at my Ariens blower. The blades are cup shaped and about 3/8" from the housing so might be a good upgrade. The material you want for this is conveyor belting, and McMaster sells it by the foot.

Strange occurrence this year. We got about a foot of snow here in NJ and it has been very cold, below 10 F every day since. The town sanded/salted our street. We now have an enormous brownish semi-frozen puddle in front of our driveway about 4" deep. I am wondering if the chemical used was something other than rock salt and has lowered the freezing point of the melt off but not as low as the current temperatures. This puddle has like waves frozen in it and is creeping slowly towards the storm drain.

might be calcium chloride

projectnut
01-07-2018, 12:21 PM
You just need a better snow blower. Take a look at one of the Ariens tracked models. I bought the Ariens Hydro Pro 28" ST28DLET 420cc Track Drive Snow Blower 3 years ago to replace my now retired 1974 Sears Craftsman single stage one.

http://www.snowblowersatjacks.com/new-snow-blowers/snowblower-brand/ariens-snowblowers/drive-type/tracks

The adds say it can blow snow up to 60 feet. My experience shows under the right conditions it can be more than 80 feet. The first time I used it was in 2014 for a 12" snow fall. The drive is 170' long and runs along side the house and ends at a fence to the back yard. I was slogging through the snow and not paying attention to where it was landing. Before I realized it I was blowing snow on the neighbors roof. That doesn't sound like much until you realize it's 40' from the fence to the back of the yard, and another 40' over the neighbors outdoor pool and patio. The snow was landing about 10' up on the neighbors roof.

Fortunately there was no damage. Now I watch much closer as to how far the snow is being blown, and where it lands. If I had picked up a piece of ice or hard snow it could have easily put out a window or injured someone.

EddyCurr
01-07-2018, 01:27 PM
https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180107/e0f6328086d20caac8918ef65e95baff.jpg

Mine is a 26", 2 stage, a Troy built Storm 2620, 208 cc engine.

It only has a few winters on it and I do maintain it properly. Any chance someone replaced the factory-fill lubricant ? Possibly with an 'EP' rated oil ?

alanganes
01-07-2018, 01:28 PM
Sorry to see that but from your previous description it is what I expected. Strange that the shear pins did not protect the box. Were there any warning signs before the complete failure? Are the auger shear pins the bolt style with a nut on the end?
I ask because I often see folks tighten these up pretty snug. What this does is that it clamps the auger's outer sleeve onto the inner drive shaft, this then defeats the purpose of the shear pins because they no longer have free movement. If clamped tightly the shaft and auger sleeve effectively become one piece.
Hopefully just the brass gear is all that is needed. Good luck with the repair.

I agree it's strange. No warning I noticed, I had done maybe 2-3 hours each day of snowblowing between last Thursday and yesterday. I had just finished up and only noticed when I was driving it to the shed to put it away.

I suspect this is mostly wear rather than some trauma stripping the gear. As mentioned all four of the shear pins are intact. These are not the bolt style, they are pins with hair-pin type spring clips so they cannot be clamped down on the shaft. I do get what you are saying on that, I know better but could see people doing that. I always use the "official" ones sold for the machine. There were lots of shavings in the gearbox, and no larger broken off teeth so I think it just wore out. The worm looked to be pretty worn as well, so that is getting replaced too.

Poking around the web, this seems to be a bit of a thing with these machines. must be a weak spot in the design. I bought mine used and did not pay a lot for it, so I don't feel too badly. Parts including some potential wear parts unrelated to this failure while I have it apart are a bit over 100 bucks. Not awful I guess.

alanganes
01-07-2018, 01:32 PM
Any chance someone replaced the factory-fill lubricant ? Possibly with an 'EP' rated oil ?

It's not impossible as I bought this used. There is no real way to drain the gearbox, and what's in there looks more like grease. There is a plastic fill plug thing in the top. I was planning to clean out the crud and look into what the manufacturer specs for the lube. Failing that, any recommendations?

EddyCurr
01-07-2018, 01:33 PM
The Effects of EP Additives on Gearboxes (http://www.machinerylubrication.com/Read/28958/ep-additives-effects)

Coles Notes: Sulphur attacks bronze.

alanganes
01-07-2018, 01:37 PM
You just need a better snow blower.

Understood, but unfortunately there is often some significant distance between what I need and what's possible. :)

Actually, this works pretty well overall and is about the right size. If it were much larger it would be a hassle to maneuver in the space I have to clear. So for the average winter it does fine and I don't regret the purchase. I sort of figured that while I have the chance and folks here have tried it and find it helpful, I'll do this little mod and if it improves things by say 10%, I'll be in pretty good shape.

alanganes
01-07-2018, 01:41 PM
The Effects of EP Additives on Gearboxes (http://www.machinerylubrication.com/Read/28958/ep-additives-effects)

Coles Notes: Sulphur attacks bronze.

Wow, that's really interesting. Thanks for sharing that, great info to keep in mind for this and other applications.

Much appreciated!

EddyCurr
01-07-2018, 01:52 PM
I was planning to clean out the crud and look into what the manufacturer specs for the lube. Failing that, any recommendations?'Any recommendations?'

Examine the 'Copper Strip Corrosion' value in the specs of whatever lubricant is considered for use where bronze gears or other copper-bearing components (sleeves, washers ...) are present.

Do your own research. 1A and probably 1B ratings are good. 4C is at the expensive/frustrating end of the short life scale
for bronze.

ecortech
01-07-2018, 02:42 PM
Recomended lube is usually Shell Alvania EPR00 grease or equivalent.

Ed

Machine
01-07-2018, 02:43 PM
With all of the snow happening up where I am, I was noticing my snowblower running a bit wonky. While looking around for solutions to that, I could not help but stumble across a bunch of videos and such showing guys adding a rubber flap on the end of each impeller blade to close the gap with the housing. Has anyone tried this? Is it worth the effort? Just curious if there is any first-hand experience here...

I did this a couple years ago on a rubber tracked 5hp Craftsman snowblower I had. It helped, but I found the unit still lacked real throwing power. Plus it would get clogged frequently, especially when confronted with the wet/heavier snow common to my area. If it was dry powdery snow like out west, it would have worked acceptably. But not acceptably well in heavy/wet snow. The main cure for it would have been to get a more powerful unit. I was planning on getting something with at least 10hp, but then decided I didn't want to keep a bulky unit like that around taking up space and also have to maintain yet another small motor every year.

So instead I got a snow blade for my Gravely 20hp tractor and haven't looked back. Works faster and better than just about any snowblower I could have gotten (within practical limits). Plus no motor to maintain and when the season's over, I simply leave it outside so it doesn't take up any space in my shed or garage. Plus, another positive is that I waited until a storm was upon us and sold the snowblower for $50 more than I paid. Done deal.

EddyCurr
01-07-2018, 02:43 PM
I ask because I often see folks tighten these up pretty snug. What this does is that it clamps the auger's outer sleeve onto the inner drive shaft, this then defeats the purpose of the shear pins because they no longer have free movement. If clamped tightly the shaft and auger sleeve effectively become one piece.A supplemental remark regarding snow blowers and their shear bolts/pins.

Even without ham-fisted behavior during repairs, auger sleeves can (will?) become bound to the driveshaft. A consequence of a hostile operating environment and non-existant/infrequent maintenance (greasing/testing/disassembly & cleaning) leads to corrosion between sleeve & shaft. The extensive surface area corrosion can act on creates a considerable bond.

Back when people were less inclined to discard equipment as readily as today, good practice included: periodic greasing if the auger sleeve was fitted for g-nipples; wiggling the auger blades while observing to confirm there was movement between the auger drive sleeve and drive shaft; pulling the shear pins if further verification was required and disassembly for cleaning/lubrication - preferrably during summer months.

Willy
01-07-2018, 03:25 PM
Good points Eddy about the auger maintenance, I took it for granted that all snowblowers have grease fittings on the auger sleeves, silly me.

However now that it's all apart it would be the ideal time to install them. Between the gearbox and impeller upgrades it will be a better machine when all is done. Or should I say when Al is done.:)

paul463
01-07-2018, 08:32 PM
https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180107/e0f6328086d20caac8918ef65e95baff.jpg

Well I guess this explains the auger not turning. Parts are on order. The impeller mod should be easy with it sitting on the bench. Iíll have to locate some material for that. This not being a real agricultural area, the local Tractor Supply doesnít stock baler belting. Have to look around for creative alternatives ...

Get an old car tire and cut some of the sidewall out of it. That's what I did the first time.

I've done the Impeller mod to 5 different machines, and it helped every one of them to varying degrees. John Deere 826 and a 726, and an old 5hp Ariens it made a huge difference. They would throw dripping wet slush like nothing.
Honda HS1132, not as big of an improvement but it still helped, I hated that blower though.
My current Ariens 1336Pro has the 6 blade impeller and I only did 3 of them, small improvement. The biggest improvement on the big Ariens came from putting a dual impeller belt kit on it, no more slipping when its really hogging snow.
Ariens 1336

alanganes
01-07-2018, 08:41 PM
I do follow the issues noted about auger maintenance. I had half of the auger on an old machine I owned years back freeze up like that.

Interestingly, the manual for the one I have now tells you to remove the shear pins and squirt a bit of spray oil in there and reinstall the pins. Now that I have taken this apart, it makes some sense why this has no grease fittings. The ID of the tube in the augers is maybe 1/8" larger than the OD or the shaft they run on. They are centered on the shaft with plastic bushings that only contact the shaft for maybe an inch on each end. As the augers turn with the shaft unless a shear pin breaks, the bushings don't wear, and the clearance prevents the shaft from rusting onto the augers. It appears to work just as designed. The shaft on mine needed only a light cleanup with some sandpaper to slide the housings and worm gear off.

Gary, thanks for the mention of the belting from McMaster-Carr. No idea why I didn't think to look there. I have some on order, arrival only takes a day or two from McMaster typically.

Ed, thanks for the info on the Shell grease, I'll look for that.

Machine, I like the idea of the plow, but a 20HP tractor may be a bit much for my puny little 1/4 acre lot! Much of which is covered by a house. Not that I would not want a tractor, well because who doesn't want a tractor!!?
Actually , there is not a lot of places to "push" snow onto with a plow, the way things are arranged here. So this will have to do.

Thanks again to all who have replied, I always learn something and enjoy the conversation.

YukonHam
01-08-2018, 12:53 AM
Just a thought for when you put it back together - double check that the shear pins/bolts really are shear pins. I had a virtually identical looking failure a few years ago, turned out the package of replacement shear pins I bought and put in that year actually contained regular bolts. I didn't notice the missing groove until too late.

Somehow I doubt that I got the only package ever sent with the wrong contents...

alanganes
01-08-2018, 07:54 AM
Just a thought for when you put it back together - double check that the shear pins/bolts really are shear pins. I had a virtually identical looking failure a few years ago, turned out the package of replacement shear pins I bought and put in that year actually contained regular bolts. I didn't notice the missing groove until too late.

Somehow I doubt that I got the only package ever sent with the wrong contents...

Thanks, good point, and I'll bet that was REALLY annoying to discover after your worm gear got ruined! In my case, the pins are not the bolt style, they are grooved pins with a head and cross drilled for a retaining clip. Like these:

https://sep.yimg.com/ay/yhst-136001134851880/forester-replacement-shear-pin-for-mtd-738-04124a-9.jpg

SteveF
01-08-2018, 08:42 AM
Just contract it out to a lower life form. No machine maintenance on your part and they can use the money.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nANisKruQC0

Steve

EddyCurr
01-08-2018, 11:56 AM
Just a thought for when you put it back together ...Consider treating the gears to a break-in period.

I have no third-party expert advice to refer you to, just instinct. If someone suggests a better procedure, use it.

30 min at NO load, turn engine OFF and feel the speed reducer case for abnormal temperature. 30 min at MINIMAL load (loose leftovers from hand shovelling), engine OFF and check temp. 30 min light to moderate load
If you are going ahead w/ adding belting; consider trial-fitting all the pieces, marking locations w/ witness lines and then leaving the belting off until after the break-in period.

Home study: http://www.geartechnology.com/issues/0393x/simonelli.pdf. Pg 38 'Pitting' draws attention to worm gear generation characteristics that make these different than other gear forms.

ecortech
01-09-2018, 10:11 PM
Snowblower worm gear failures like these are very common I've repaired/seen hundreds of them.
Most are from lack of lubrication, even have seen some new that had no grease from the factory.
Rarely does anyone check/add lube when service is done.
Proper shear bolts are a good thing, there are a number of different designs, some are grooved pins/ bolts,
some are just low grade bolts no grooves.
Proper shear bolts are no guaranty against gear box failure, I've seen many with original factory installed
shear bolts intact with gear failure/broken housings etc..
Most of what I've seen on snow blowers are pretty crude they are far from a precise gear set.
Shafts usually run in a die cast housing, no bearings or bushings, many have no seals, tolerances are pretty loose.
Shafts with approx .750 dia .005"-.010" or more clearance etc..
They are a minimal design engineered to last x number of hours which usually exceeds average use, they will at some time fail period.
No breakin required with new gears it won't make a bit of difference.
Install new parts lubricate well drive on.

Ed

ecortech
01-09-2018, 10:32 PM
Impeller mod does work if there is a considerable gap 1/4" or less you won't see much if any improvement.
Many times I've found the governor is set a little low, motor rpm at full throttle is a little low.
A few hundred rpm will make a considerable difference in how far it will throw snow.
Basically the impeller mod extends the tip of the blade which increases tip speed of the impeller.

Ed

Willy
01-10-2018, 12:49 AM
Basically the impeller mod extends the tip of the blade which increases tip speed of the impeller.

This and more importantly it makes the blower more efficient. Think of it as a hydraulic vane pump that is extremely loose with lots of bypass between the vanes and it's housing. Closing up the clearance between the vanes and the housing makes for a pump that is more efficient in the volume it can pump and one that can build greater pressure.

I hear ya on the auger drives. I have an older FMC Bolens blower with a cast iron auger gear housing and I can't believe the pot metal gear housings I see on a lot of newer blowers. I can't believe they last as long as they do considering how they are made and the service they see. I've seen power window regulators with more substantial housings.
A good semi fluid or fluid 00 or 000 lithium based grease has allowed many to live longer lives. Remember it's cold out there last thing you want is a common #2 weight grease.

alanganes
01-10-2018, 09:31 AM
Thanks again for taking the time to reply.

This does at least have sleeve bearings and shaft seals bit was clearly designed to a price point. Itís about 10 years old and is not exactly a top end machine. I didnít pay a lot for it so I canít be too bothered.

Parts should arrive today and Iím hunting down a local source of the proper lube.

One thing I notice is there is a fill point on the top of the gearbox, but no way to get any of the old stuff out. Think there would be any value in adding a drain plug so that it could periodically be flushed out and refilled with fresh lube?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

A.K. Boomer
01-10-2018, 10:06 AM
Boy that is one ugly gearbox and iv seen some doozies,,,

I would be really careful with your modification as it's bound to put more load on that box when you get it repaired...

at the very least make sure none of the extended flaps drag on the housing - about the best you can do - and even if it does shorten the life of the blowers gear box hour usage wise weigh that out with how much more efficient it makes it - if the blower only has to run 2/3rds the time to get the same job done it could be worth it ---- i would be going the best quality synthetics in that box that's for sure and keeping a close eye on it...

seems worm drives just have a way of eating themselves over time...

Willy
01-10-2018, 10:31 AM
Personally I wouldn't bother with the drain plug as the lube being a semi fluid grease is going to be extremely hard to drain thoroughly without resorting to a lot a solvent flushing techniques
As mentioned in the video that I'll leave a link to, if you don't have any visible leaks that need to be addressed, check it at the end or start of the season and top it up.

I've repaired quite a few gearboxes over the years and have always initially filled the gear housing with a good 00 lithium based grease and have asked the owners to top it off annually. Upon initial reassembly I'm always been pretty generous with the Lubriplate 105 (https://www.lubriplate.com/PDFs/PDS/3_30-No-105_and_C-105.aspx). I believe the zinc anti-wear additives helps protect the gears well after break-in. No come-backs yet.
My old Bolens has got to be pushing 35 years old since I added the Lubriplate to the gear lube and it hasn't been apart yet. Just make sure it has a lube in there that will flow in cold weather.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xzDTVS3ALO4

A.K. Boomer
01-10-2018, 10:50 AM
yes i too have fortified grease with some 80w90 wt hypoid to keep it flowing, I think hypoid would be ideal due to it holding up to the shearing effect of hypoid gears and worm gears are up against the same thing just way more of it...

one of the main reasons for failure on the greased units is the grease getting out of the way of everything and just staying in the area's it's not needed.... and like you say esp. in cold temps

alanganes
01-10-2018, 12:37 PM
The gearbox is ďdownstreamĒ of the impeller mod, so the mod wonít add any load to it, but I do plan to keep the added flaps clear of rubbing the housing. Just seems the smart thing.

The stuff the manufacturer recommends is a shell 00 grade grease. I had no leaks at all prior to this, but the lube in there did seem thick and flung around the periphery as AK described. It also looked thicker than 00 grease should. So no idea if it was the wrong stuff or thickened by all of the bronze shavings or just old.

Anyhow, Iíll follow up when I get this back together. Of course itís going to hit 50ís this weekend so thereíll be no more snow. But Iím ok with that.
Thanks


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A.K. Boomer
01-10-2018, 12:49 PM
The gearbox is “downstream” of the impeller mod, so the mod won’t add any load to it,

Good deal sounds like a win/win can't go wrong. you would think they would build them that way from the start

01-7700
01-10-2018, 01:15 PM
I do plan to keep the added flaps clear of rubbing the housing. Just seems the smart thing.



I installed my flaps 1/8" oversize and let them burn in. Can't get a better fit than that without a lot more effort. It was summer when I did it so the tire sidewall flaps did get hot enough to smoke lap.

Willy
01-10-2018, 01:43 PM
Yup,the rubber belting I used was installed with a bit of a slight drag. Mind you I could still turn the impeller by hand easily enough. With snow to cool and lubricate it I wasn't too concerned about too much drag.
By the time I had made one pass up and down the driveway (200') it was broken in and turned freely. It's been several years now and the clearance is still almost zero, no wear whatsoever.
Amazing how long things last when no dirt is involved, well other than the bit of dirty snow near the road.

Puckdropper
01-16-2018, 08:35 AM
If you need just a little boost, get a can of snow and ice repellant and spray the blower before use. It helps, especially on the wetter snows that would stick to the chute. I was tempted to do the impeller mod, but the snow and ice repellant gave me enough of a boost I really didn't need it. (I'm not sure if mine would support it anyway, it's got a plastic impeller.)

alanganes
01-17-2018, 09:41 PM
So just by way of follow up:

After some delays due to unrelated circumstances I got to reassembling my snowblower. I got all of the parts for the gearbox including the sleeve bearings, seals, washers, along with new shear pins and belts. I got started late but with snow predicted to fall here I worked on it until 10:30 last night so it would hopefully be ready to go this morning.

As I had it apart, I went ahead and installed some rubber extensions on the three impeller blades. I had ordered a square foot of 1/4" thick conveyor belt material from McMaster-Carr which gave me plenty to make the pieces I needed with plenty to spare. I attached these with two 1/4-20 stainless bolts on each. I did all of the other typical maintenance stuff, cleaned things out, oil change, new belts, and welded new bottoms on the two skids that were almost worn away to nothing. I could have just gotten new ones, but forgot to order them, and welding stuff is more fun anyhow.

The predicted snow did not turn out to be as much as predicted, but I did get a chance to try this out. The replacement parts for the auger drive worked as designed and I have to say I would consider the impeller mod a success and worth the effort. It clearly throws noticeably further and higher than it did. This will be helpful for my situation as there are a few areas where I need to get the snow up and over a tall retaining wall. It was always somewhat marginal on this, it seems to easily clear the wall now. They are still rubbing a bit, but if they don't wear in (smoke lap...) after the next use, I'll get in there somehow and trim just a bit more off.

Thanks for all of the input. Good advice, as always!

Willy
01-17-2018, 10:20 PM
Thanks for the update, glad it all worked out and met your expectations.
Not to worry I'm sure you'll soon have enough snow to try it out properly. The looking forward to trying it out will soon go away though. LOL

alanganes
01-18-2018, 07:56 AM
Thanks for the update, glad it all worked out and met your expectations.
Not to worry I'm sure you'll soon have enough snow to try it out properly. The looking forward to trying it out will soon go away though. LOL

HA! Yep, I can feel the excitement fading already.

alanganes
03-13-2018, 09:29 PM
So just another follow up to this. As was discussed in another thread, last week we got over a foot of heavy, wet, sticky snow. It stuck to everything and took down trees and power lines all over the area. So it was the first real chance I had to try this out on snow like this and again am here to report that I deem this a worthwhile mod, at least in my case. Pretty much no clogging, and throws the stuff noticeably higher and further.

Used it again today (~20"), the snow was not quite as obnoxious as the stuff we had last week but the machine worked great.

EddyCurr
03-14-2018, 11:10 AM
Snowthrower mods - that's a slippery slope you are on.

What is next, now that you have done the impeller mod?

PTFE skids & bumpers, Balanced chute direction handle, High output generator, Heated grips, LED lightbar, Repower w/ big HP, ...

alanganes
03-14-2018, 05:55 PM
Snowthrower mods - that's a slippery slope you are on.

What is next, now that you have done the impeller mod?

PTFE skids & bumpers, Balanced chute direction handle, High output generator, Heated grips, LED lightbar, Repower w/ big HP, ...

An entire summer to do all of this stuff! So many possibilities!!!

duckman
03-14-2018, 07:12 PM
The best thing I did with my SB (52" Kubota) is install an electric motor on the chute rotator it was 38 turns from left to right, looking in the Surplus Center catalog found a 12 V 450 RPM motor the motor was originally for the spinner on an ATV salt spreader, whipped up a bracket to mount the motor, got some rubber coated wire, and wired it thru a DPDT spring center off which got mounted on the control lever which normally operates the front end loader, ta da no more spinning the crank.