Snow Blowers


Snow Thrower Maintenance

July 21st, 2017 ernie Posted in Repairs & Mtce No Comments »

Snow Thrower MaintenanceRegardless of when you decide to complete maintenance on your snow thrower, there are eight areas that consumers should focus on. Obviously it is better to do this maintenance in the spring or summer time when it is warm. However you can perform these snow thrower maintenance tips any time during the year, even when it is cold and the beginning of winter has begun. But do you really want to perform this kind of maintenance in the cold weather? I prefer to do this in warm weather just when it warms up for the spring season after the snow is gone.

Snow Thrower Maintenance Tips

Here are eight tips that all consumers should consider to keep their snow thrower machine running smoothly all year long.

  • Install a new spark plug
  • Check the impellers and the auger
  • Review the belts
  • Inspect the shave plate
  • Reverse the skid shoes
  • Confirm the shear pins are ok
  • Change the engine oil
  • Add fresh gasoline with stabilizer to the gasoline tank

A few more comments on each:

Install a new spark plug – at the very least remove the spark plug, remove all corrosion and set the gap to the proper amount as specified by the manufacturer

Check the impellers and the auger – to make sure they are not damaged in any way and grease the auger if there are grease nipples

Review the belts – to make sure they are not frayed or coming apart and are at the proper tension

Inspect the shave plate – it should not be loose and about 1/4 inch above the surface if you are clearing snow off a paved driveway. Higher if on gravel.

Reverse the skid shoes – check the skid shoes and if they are beginning to show signs of wear, reverse them and ensure they are tightly secured

Conform the shear pins are ok – replace them if they are showing signs of being sheared off.

Change the engine oil – once per year and more often if you are using your snow blower every day during the winter

Add fresh gasoline with stabilizer in the gasoline – this will ensure that the tank and filters do not get gummed up by old gasoline that is beginning to separate into its component parts.

 

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Snow Blower Maintenance Tips

July 7th, 2017 ernie Posted in Repairs & Mtce No Comments »

Regardless of when you decide to complete maintenance on your snow blower, there are eight areas that consumers should focus on. Obviously it is better to do this maintenance in the summer time when it is warm. However you can perform these snow blower maintenance tips any time during the year, even when it is cold and the beginning of winter has begun.

Snow Blower Maintenance Tips

Here are eight tips that all consumers should consider to keep their machine running smoothly all year long.

  • Change the spark plug
  • Check the impellers and the auger
  • Inspect the belts
  • Inspect the shave plate
  • Reverse the skid shoes
  • Check the shear pins
  • Change the oil
  • Add fresh gasoline with stabilizer added

A few more comments on each:

Change the spark plug – at the very least remove the spark plug, remove all corrosion and set the gap to the proper amount as specified by the manufacturer

Check the impellers and the auger – to make sure they are not damaged in any way and grease the auger if there are grease nipples

Inspect the belts – to make sure they are not frayed or coming apart and are at the proper tension

Inspect the shave plate – it should not be loose and about 1/4 inch above the surface if you are clearing snow off a paved driveway. Higher if on gravel.

Reverse the skid shoes – check the skid shoes and if they are beginning to show signs of wear, reverse them and ensure they are tightly secured

Check the shear pins – replace them if they are showing signs of being sheared off.

Change the oil – once per year and more often if you are using your snow blower every day during the winter

Add fresh gasoline with stabilizer added – this will ensure that the tank and filters do not get gummed up by old gasoline that is beginning to separate into its component parts.

 

 

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Snowblower Electric Starter Repair

June 21st, 2017 ernie Posted in Repairs & Mtce No Comments »

snowblower electric starter repairThis component is a standard on many snowblower engines. If your snowblower electric starter needs to be repaired, you have several choices. You can attempt to repair the unit by trouble shooting to find out what is wrong or you can just replace the entire component. Home mechanics will find that it is very easy to remove the electric starter motor from the engine housing. There are usually 2 or 3 bolts that need to be unscrewed. Once it is removed you will want to make sure that the shaft moves freely and the sprocket moves out along the shaft easily. If not you need to lubricate this area to ensure that it does move freely. Next you need to make sure that the push button switch is actually making a connection and closing the circuit. Use a volt ohm meter to test it.

Snowblower Electric Starter Repair

If the wires are broken or corroded, and you cannot make the necessary repairs, the next step is to replace the entire module. You will find that these modules can be ordered on Amazon and shipped to your home.

You will need the make and model number of your snowblower to order the correct module. Once it arrives, install it on your snow blower engine following the sameĀ  process you used to remove it in reverse. Make notes if need to help ensure that the right connections are made.

Trying to start some of the larger snow blower engines using the pull chord is almost impossible unless you have a perfectly tuned engine.

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Snowblower Starter Motor Problems

June 7th, 2017 ernie Posted in Repairs & Mtce No Comments »

The picture on the left is a typical starter motor package for snow blowers. It consists of the motor, a connecting cable and a push button starter terminal that accepts an electrical extension chord connection. On the motor there is a sprocket that spins out and away from the housing to engage with the engine drive shaft sprocket. There are many different snowblower starter motor problems that can occur as these devices age and are used. Lets face it the engine is much easier to start with an electric starter compared to a pull chord. As engines get larger, pull chords are even more difficult to use. Unless your engine is tuned perfectly it can be very difficult to start a snow blower engine with a pull chord. Recently the writer found that on his snowblower, the electric starter would spin, but the sprocket would not engage with the engine sprocket.

Snowblower Starter Motor Problems – Lubrication

We removed the starter by unscrewing three engine screws and found that the sprocket which is supposed to slide out needed lubrication. The chaft was a bit rusty preventing the sprocket from sliding out. WD40 is a great product. I sprayed the shaft and the sprocket liberally with WD40 and reinstalled the motor. Presto it worked and I was able to start the engine and clear the snow from my driveway.

The major problem I had was that I had to do this in freezing temperatures. The good news was that I am handy enough to do this sort of thing on my own. The alternative might have been a $75 to $100 repair bill along with transportation costs to get it to the repair shop. I would probably lost the use of the machine for at least a week or longer.

Bottom line, this is a maintenance item this summer for me when it is warm and I have time to do proper repairs and lubrication. It could have also just as easily been a broken wire, a bad switch on the starter switch or a seized electric motor.

You can purchase the entire component online from Amazon as well for a reasonable price and they are relatively easy to install.

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Snowblower Spring Maintenance

May 21st, 2017 ernie Posted in Repairs & Mtce No Comments »

Snow Blower Maintenance KitYou may not be thinking about doing snowblower spring maintenance in the spring, but this is actually a great time to get this task completed. One of the big advantages is that you drain all of the fuel out of the system before it has a chance to gum up the carb or the fuel lines and filters. This situation can cause your engine to he very difficult to restart in the fall. Another advantage is doing your lawn mower maintenance at the same time. You can save time and also complete two jobs in a lot less time than if you tried to do them both separately. Grease the auger, oil the housing, check belts for tension and wear, change the oil and complete any other repairs that may be needed. If you do this work now, your repairs can be completed while the weather is warm. Parts can be ordered and received in lots of time prior to the next season.

Snowblower Spring Maintenance

In summary, the following should be considered as part of your snowblower spring maintenance routine.

  • Change the oil
  • Grease the auger shaft
  • Oil the housing to prevent rust
  • Check the belts for proper tension and wear
  • Verify the tires are at the proper pressure
  • Drain all fuel from the system
  • Perform any maintenance that is needed

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Snow Thrower Spring Maintenance

May 7th, 2017 ernie Posted in Repairs & Mtce No Comments »

Snow Thrower Spring MaintenanceThe spring is actually a great time to complete your snow thrower spring maintenance. You have just finished the season and the repairs you need to make are at the top of your to do list. Draining old gasoline out of the fuel system now will prevent it gumming up the carburetor and filters. Combining your snow thrower maintenance with preparing your lawn mower for the summer lets you complete two jobs at the same time. Both can be accomplished more efficiently. Now is the time to get this work done so you do not have to do it in the fall once it gets cold again. The picture shows a John Deere engine, however these tips apply to all small engines that are used on a seasonal basis.

Snow Thrower Spring Maintenance

The following steps and tips will help you with your spring maintenance.

  • Grease the impeller and augur shafts
  • Change the oil in the engine
  • Drain the fuel from the fuel tank and carburetor
  • Check the belts to make sure they are properly tightened
  • Check the belts for signs of wear
  • Correct all other maintenance issues you may have noticed through the season
  • Repair lights, oil the housing to prevent rust
  • Check the air pressure of the tires and inflate as needed

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Can bad Spark Plug affect Snowblower

April 21st, 2017 ernie Posted in Repairs & Mtce No Comments »

can bad spark plug affect snowblowerCan bad spark plug affect snowblower engine performance? The answer is definitely yes. Plugs that are dirty with soot or have an improper gap can affect a snowblower engine in several different ways. They may become difficult to start. When they do start, they may run rough and also use more fuel in the process. You may get a lot of exhaust because of the poorly burned fuel. In some cases when a spark plug is in really bad shape the engine may not start at all making it quite frustrating on those really cold snowy days. If you are having problems of this sort, attend to the problem immediately before your snowblower will not start at all.

Can bad Spark Plug affect Snowblower Performance

Remove the spark plug using a spark plug removal socket after first disconnecting the spark plug wire from it. Once it is removed, inspect the spark plug for damage. Any damage to the metal of the porcelain should require a new plug to be installed.

If you decide to keep the old one, clean all of the soot and deposits off the plug and then reset the gap to the manufacturers specifications. Once this is complete reattach the spark plug wire and hold the plug against the metal housing to properly ground it. Pull the crank to turn the engine once or twice to confirm adequate spark is being produced.

If there is no spark, you may have other problems to deal with other than the spark plug. You may have to do this several times to ensure that you have a spark. Make sure you properly ground the plug against the housing.

Reinstall the spark plug in the engine and reattach the spark plug wire. If the engine still will not run smoothly you may have a gummed up carburetor which will require cleaning etc.

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What will a bad Spark Plug do for a Snowblower

April 7th, 2017 ernie Posted in Repairs & Mtce No Comments »

what will a bad spark plug do for a snowblowerThe answer to the question, what will a bad spark plug do for a snowblower, is nothing good. At the very least, your engine may run rough, be difficult to start and use more fuel than normal. At the very worst it will not stat at all, especially on the coldest day of the year or when you have the most snow. These things just have a habit of occurring at the worst times leaving you to shovel snow or look for help from a neighbor. Your snowblower engine can run rough for other reasons as well such as bad gasoline, a gummed up carburetor and other issues. However one of the easiest things to check first is the condition of your spark plug. The one shown in this picture needs to be clean and reset. It may even need to be replaced if the corrosion is bad once you remove all of the dirt etc.

What will a bad Spark Plug do for a Snowblower

Remove the spark plug while being careful not to dislodge any dirt from around the spark plug area. Disconnect the wire first. You will need to use a spark plug removal tool to unscrew it from the engine.

Once it is out, clean it with sand paper and a spark plug cleaning tool. If there are pock marks in the porcelain or you cannot get it to clean up just buy a new one. In both cases you will need to reset the gap according to the manufacturers specifications.

While the spark plug is removed you should also verify that it is producing adequate spark. Reattach the spark plug wire and ground the outer metal of the plug against the housing. Crank the engine once or twice to confirm that it is producing a spark. If not you may have other problems to resolve besides replacing or cleaning the spark plug.

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Tubeless Tire Conversion

March 21st, 2017 ernie Posted in Repairs & Mtce No Comments »

Tubeless Tire ConversionWe discussed options for a tubeless tire repair in our last post. We wanted to spend a few more minutes discussing tubeless tire conversion. This is a viable option for older snow blowers with tubeless tires. It is an inexpensive way to repair the tire and you do not even have to take the tire and rim off the axle. This can be a problem for older snow blowers. We will outline a step by step approach to completing a tubeless tire conversion assuming that you cannot remove the tire and rim from the axle. If you have the rim off the axle, just ignore the appropriate steps.

Tubeless Tire Conversion – Step by Step

  • Place blocks under the snowblower to raise the wheel off the ground
  • Disconnect the spark plug wire to avoid accidental engine starts
  • Remove the existing valve using pliers to pull it out of the rim
  • Using several screw drivers pry the outside edge of the tire off the rim
  • Reach inside and run your fingers along the inside of the tire to detect any sharp edges that could damage the new tube
  • Remove any sharp objects from inside the tire
  • Place the new tube inside the tire and position the valve in the rim
  • Begin blowing up the new tube
  • Massage the tire as you are adding air to ensure it properly seats onto the rim
  • Fill the tire with air to the recommended pressure

The tire is repaired inexpensively and without waiting for a mechanic.

 

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Tubeless Tire Repair Snowblower

March 7th, 2017 ernie Posted in Repairs & Mtce No Comments »

tubeless tire repair snowblowerIt should be pretty easy to do a tubeless tire repair snowblower, right? Well there is always a complication. To begin with the tire always goes flat when it is really cold outside. If only the tire would go flat in the summer time and you had the presence of mind to repair it then. Another complication is that your snow blower is old and the rim is rusted on to the axle. No matter what you do it will not come off! Even after using penetrating oil, hammering it and trying to get a gear puller on it, nothing works. What can you do to get this fixed? In some cities there are mobile small engine repair mechanics to call on. You may have to load it on to a trailer and take it to a mechanic. While these solutions are viable, they can be expensive and time consuming. There is another answer.

Tubeless Tire Repair Snowblower – Install a Tube!

If you cannot get the tire and the rim off, there is another approach. Purchase the proper size of tube for your wheel. Pry off one side of the tire from the rim. Install the tube inside the tire and insert the valve into the appropriate spot in the rim.

Pry the tire back onto the rim and blow up the tube. Take care to make sure that the rubber tire seats properly on the rim. You may have to massage the tire a bit to get everything to fit. Now you have a tubed tire with a lot less effort and very little cost.

If you can clean the rim and the existing tire, reapply glue and then blow up the tire you may be able to keep your tubeless option. When it is cold or you cannot get the rim off the axle, this can be quite difficult to do. Never the less it is another option to a tubeless tire repair.

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