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jrosenboom

Snowblower pains

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jrosenboom
Well Murphey has been having his way with me! Haven't had any snow this year until now. Smoked the belt on the blower in the first 10 minutes of use. Went to Napa and bought two(one spare) heavy duty automotive belts for $16 a piece. Finished blowing that night. Had more snow yesterday, smoked another belt. I'm hoping that I just need to fiddle with the tension a little, the over-center lock was popping out last night. Think it's too loose, thus rubbing the belt against one of the two guide pulleys. Anybody else have bad luck with the single belt blowers? I feel like a dummy when I have to keep pulling it into the garage to work on it. Have to work on it for 1/2 hour to play with it for 5 minutes.

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Kent
The problem is likely the belts that you're using... Automotive belts aren't designed for use with back-side idler pulleys. Also, they're not designed to twist and turn 90 degrees like the snowblower requires. As a minimum, use a lawn/garden type belt -- such as Gates Green belt. Even they will not last but a fraction of the time that a Simplicity belt will. The Simplicity belt has much more cloth and cord in it... Automotive belts will get hot from all the flexing at this RPM and stretch significantly. In desperation once in a storm, I put one on and it lasted maybe 15-20 minutes. Original Simplicity ones last for about 3 or 4 years for me, unless there is a mechanical problem that causes them to fail -- such as the driven pulley coming loose like it did earlier this year. BTW, I set my clutch so that it will barely stay engaged, and disengage fairly easily -- in case I ingest a stick, chunk of ice, etc -- it functions like a safety release. I set the belt stops so that they will barely clear the belt when the clutch is engaged and the engine is running.... With the right belt, and everything adjusted correctly, these snowblowers are awesome machines....

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UCD
Bite the bullet and buy a Simplicity belt. It might be expensive but cheaper than buying 3 or four aftermarket belts. Aftermarket belts are just not designed and made to multiple angles and on the back side of the belt on idlers.

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Dutch
quote:
Originally posted by jrosenboom
Well Murphey has been having his way with me! Haven't had any snow this year until now. Smoked the belt on the blower in the first 10 minutes of use. Went to Napa and bought two(one spare) heavy duty automotive belts for $16 a piece. Finished blowing that night. Had more snow yesterday, smoked another belt. I'm hoping that I just need to fiddle with the tension a little, the over-center lock was popping out last night. Think it's too loose, thus rubbing the belt against one of the two guide pulleys. Anybody else have bad luck with the single belt blowers? I feel like a dummy when I have to keep pulling it into the garage to work on it. Have to work on it for 1/2 hour to play with it for 5 minutes.
That was me last year during the blizzard. First my center PTO clutch went out on one machine. Modified a hitch to work on a second machine. Then the front PTO clutch went out on the second machine. Swapped out the center PTO clutch on the first machine only to have the auger chain break, then the auger bearings went out after the chain was repaired. After "making" clutches out of leather, and scrambling for spare belts, had to use my Case loader to do the job. Finally, had to listen to my wife say, "I just don't understand why you keep spending time and money playing with those toys. You've used that loader for 30 years and never had a problem. What am I missing?" What could I say? Hey...... when she's right, she's right. After many hours of work and several hundred dollars spent reconditioning everything during the summer, this winter I'm ready (I think & hope). All new bearings, sprockets, chains, pulleys & clutches installed. Spare bearings, sprockets, chains, pulleys, clutches and belts on the shelf. So far, so good. But, I still waiting for "Mr. Murphy." I did learn a few things. Unless you are absolutely positively certain you are using the exact OEM parts designed for your tractor, hitch, and snowthrower, you may have problems. The slightest difference in parts can cause problems. For example, a slightly different idler pulley may require relocation, redesign, or readjustment of belt guards or stops so the belt tracks properly and does not rub at times. This can be very difficult to determine since the belt may not rub under moderate load, but does rub when heavily loaded or not loaded. I also discovered some apparently inherent problem areas. One such is the hitch swivel joints. A friend (JohnnyRotten) had a problem with his B-112 chewing belts. The problem turned out to be a swivel joint that had bent causing the backside of the belt to rub on another pulley, but only at times. It took both of us to determine the problem. John ran the engine up and down and engaged and disengaged the belt while I closely observed what was happening. The joint looked okay until compared with a new joint. Straightening the joint lasted for only a few uses until it slowly bent again. I welded a "strong-back" to the joint and it's okay now. If struggling with problems in snow and freezing temperatures wasn't so damn much fun, and if I didn't want to give my wife something to ridicule, I'd go back to using equipment that is 10x stronger than that needed for homeowner use. BTW - I agree with using Simplicity belts, especially on a front PTO driven snowthrower. Regular "heavy duty" belts are like throwing money away. Premium Kevlar belts may or may not do the job, but they are just as expensive (sometimes more expensive) than OEM belts.

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Dutch
quote:
Originally posted by ambler
Dutch, Perhaps you should have stayed in bed and let Judy push the snow away.
Now that's a capital idea and a bloody good suggestion........... Judy was pushing the snow, just look at what she did. She claims the handle from broadcast spreader was too light. I think she was trying to push too much snow at one time. I told her to take it easy, but she complained about being cold to stay out too long. That's what I get for being a nice guy and making that push blade as light as possible so she could carry it up the steps to clear the deck without straining too much. I'll fix that bent handle....... with heavy solid bar. [img]/club2/attach/dutch/bent.jpg[/img]

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Bunky
I agree that the Simplicity belts are the best belt to use... But I buy my belts at my local TSC store The Blue ones and have had no probles with mine and I don't even have the guards on the front of my tractor.... I question the Napa Belts... Others on here also have had poor luck with them....

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jrosenboom
Well, I took your guys' advice and called the local Agco dealer. Gonna swing by there after work and pick up the right belt! Just as well, the first one that blew out on me was an original, but who knows how old it was! That's the bad thing about accumulating a large collection of these classic machines. I end up with a bunch of little problems that I never get around to till it's time to use it! Last year I was impressing the entire neighborhood! I'd have my place and the rest of the block done before my neighbor had his driveway done with his little push blower. The B-12 with the 42" sure does the trick!! I was embarrassed running to the garage every 10 minutes to work on it! I hate to think I was giving any of the neighbors a bad impression of AC by not properly maintaining my equipment!!

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tractormike
This is just my rule of thumb on my old machines. I use oem belts on anything that bends the belt backwards around an idler pulley or has sharp twists in it. I have not had problems with a good grade aftermarket belt as long as it doesn't have to bend backwards or twist a lot.

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HubbardRA
The only automotive belts designed for flexing both ways and for use with the backside idlers are the Goodyear "Gatorback" belts. They were designed for the first serpentine belt systems before the flat multi-groove belts were developed. This is what I used for the short belt that goes from the engine pulley and around the front and backside idlers to the double idler on my setup to drive the Sears blower on the AC716H. I used this belt because of the extreme flexing required. Only problem with using one of these belts on a factory setup is that these belts are designed not to slip. I'm not sure they would release properly. Not recommemding these instead of the factory belts, but they my work in a pinch.

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