Snow Blowers


Replacing Belts on Snowblowers

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

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Replacing Belts on Snowblowers

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Replacing Belts on Snowblowers is not something that operators really want to do very often. In fact the average residential owner should probably never have to replace any belts. This assumes that they are only clearing their own relatively short driveway. It also assumes that they do not engage the forward drive wheels when the wheels are blocked. The same thing applies to the auger as well. If either are blocked or stuck, you can risk burning the belt and breaking it as it heats up. If there is ice or snow blocking the auger, first shut the machine off and then use a broom handle of a special snow clearing tool to remove the ice and snow from the auger. Never put your hands near the auger.

Once the pressure is release the auger could turn 90 degrees which would be sufficient to slice a finger or even a hand off. Back to replacing belts on Snowblowers.

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Replacing Belts on Snowblowers

The first step is to check the condition of the belts. There is a plastic housing that covers the pulleys and belts. It is located between the engine and the chute of the snowblower. Remove two bolts that hold it in place and then remove the plastic housing.

You should see two belts, each on a different set of pulleys.  Make sure the engine is turned off and cannot be started. Examine the condition of the belts. Look for fraying or splitting. They should be replaced if you see these conditions.

Check your manual for the correct belt size if they need to be replaced. If only one is frayed, replace both. You might as well replace both even though one of them may appear to be fine.

Depending on the snow blower you may have to temporarily separate the engine from the blower housing.It splits in the middle providing access to the belts. Replace the belts and then reassemble the housing with the engine.

Start the engine and test to make sure that it is assembled properly. You may have to adjust the tension to ensure it engages properly. Always turn the engine off before making any tension adjustments.

If you do not have the tools or necessary skills, make arrangements for a small engine mechanic to complete the repairs. You may have to have it picked up and delivered for repairs to be completed. for more repair related posts, click here.

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Snow Blower Pre Season Maintenance

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

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It is time to start thinking about doing snow blower pre season maintenance. It is still not that cold and relatively comfortable to work outside on equipment. Much more than after that first snow fall and you are trying to start your snow blower for the first time in the cold weather. A snow blower is pretty basic, however there are a number of things that you can do to ensure that it runs smoothly for you on the first day of winter after a large snow fall. We will list them and then give you a bit more detail on each.

Snow Blower Pre Season Maintenance Activities

Always refer to your service manual for any details and questions. These are the items you should be reviewing as part of the pre season maintenance activities:

  • Check Spark Plug
  • Check Belts
  • Check Tires
  • Grease Auger
  • Check Light is Working
  • Check for Loose Bolts
  • Test Start with Fresh Gasoline
  • Clean Carburetor if Needed
  • Test all Gears
  • Test Auger and Impeller
  • Oil Change

Check Spark Plug – remove the spark plug, clean the electrode and reset the gap. If badly corroded, replace with a new one.

Check Belts – for proper tension. Adjust tension pulleys if needed

Check Tires – for proper air pressure, any cuts or cracks. Replace if needed

Grease Auger – find the grease nipples and apply crease using a grease gun

Check Light is Working – replace bulb if needed and check connections

Check for Loose Bolts – make sure all bolts are tight and secure

Test Start with Fresh Gasoline – add fresh gasoline that has been treated with conditioner. Start your engine and let it run for 5 or 10 minutes to ensure there are no problems with the filter and carb.

Clean Carburetor if Needed – if your engine is difficult to start or runs roughly, then you may need to have the carb cleaned.

Test all Gears – make sure all forward and revers gears engage and work properly with adequate power

Test Auger and Impeller – make sure the auger and impeller are clear and then engage to confirm proper operation.

Oil Change – drain the engine oil into a pan, and reinstall fresh oil in the engine following the manufacturers instructions.

These are the basics of getting your snow blower ready for the coming season. Anything more serious may need the services of a small engine mechanic.

 

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Snow Blower End of Season Maintenance

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

snow blower end of season maintenanceIf you have not already completed your snow blower end of season maintenance, it is time to do it before the winter season arrives. No one wants to do this kind of work in the cold weather. Although you really do not want to think about winter it is really just around the corner and it is time to get your equipment tuned up and ready. Over the years we have found that regularly maintaining your snow blower will add many years to its life and possibly to yours as well. It can be quite frustrating to find that your snow blower will not start on the first day of a really big snow fall. Your snow blower will run better, smoother and at full power with new spark plugs, properly tension-ed belts and fresh engine oil. Clean fresh gasoline helps as well. We put together a list of items that should be part of your standard checklist for end of season maintenance or preparation for the coming season. Don’t procrastinate, get going now and get your snow blower ready for the coming season.

Snow Blower End of Season Maintenance

This is our list of Snow Blower End of Season Maintenance items to check on your snow blower to ensure it runs well and starts every time:

  • Change the engine oil
  • Ensure the tires are properly inflated
  • Check the spark plug, clean and set the spark plug gap
  • Install a new spark plug if needed
  • Check the belt tension
  • Grease the auger shaft
  • Check the gear changer and adjust if needed
  • Spray the housing with rust inhibitor to protect the frame from rust
  • Ensure there is fresh gasoline in the tank
  • Add preservative to the gasoline as needed
  • Repair any other damage that may have been caused in the past year

For more information about repairs and maintenance, click here.

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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 same  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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