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snow thrower installer tool


AC710

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I am wondering if anyone has tricks, tools, or jigs for installing the older style single stage snowblower and hitch when it comes time to get ready for winter. It seems to be a chore to get everything lined up, pinned up and hooked up. "There must be an easier way".

This week I made this tool for extending the tensioner spring arm to put the belt on the front PTO pulley, and it works well. You're supposed to step on the lever - haha - but I can never seem to get my foot, body, arms, wheels, etc in the right place all at once. I had been using a big crescent wrench but it slips off easily.

 

 

installer tool.jpg

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When I was using the 2 pulley hitch and electric PTO on my 16GTH-L, I don't remember the belt being that difficult to get on.  

Might your belt be too short?  

 

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5 hours ago, PhanDad said:

When I was using the 2 pulley hitch and electric PTO on my 16GTH-L, I don't remember the belt being that difficult to get on.  

Might your belt be too short? 

It's the right belt and goes on easily once the tensioner lever is pulled down. This tool just makes that easier by extending the handle. I'll share a photo once I get the tool and tractor in the same place in daylight.

What I'm really asking is how to ease the process of lining up the hitch, then the blower, getting the pins in place underneath, lifting the arms into relatively tight slots while horsing the blower or tractor around. Seems like I have to unpin the hitch from both the blower and the tractor to get it all apart or back together and it takes 3 arms to do it while standing on your head.

For example, when I mount the snow plow I use some wood blocks to hold the hitch up at the height of the tractor axle.

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1 hour ago, AC710 said:

What I'm really asking is how to ease the process of lining up the hitch, then the blower, getting the pins in place underneath, lifting the arms into relatively tight slots while horsing the blower or tractor around.

First I mount the hitch (by itself) onto the tractor - just hook it over the front axle and insert the 2 pins.  I keep my blower on a small Harbor Freight dolly with a piece of wood under the tunnel end such that the height of the mounting holes are the same height as the hitch mounting holes.  Wheel the blower up to the front of the tractor, line up the hitch mounting ears into the blower mounting slots and insert the pins. Connect the lift rod and use the tractor to lift the blower off the dolly.  Or if I’m feeling strong that day, I  lift the front of the blower up with my hands and use a foot to move the dolly from under the blower, then lower the blower to the floor.  
 

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18 hours ago, PhanDad said:

I keep my blower on a small Harbor Freight dolly

Interesting, I have a couple of those dollys I got for moving stuff around to install flooring, and I had thought of using one to store the blower. I like it.

Once you mount the hitch, isn't it difficult to thread the belt up through the two pulleys? Not much clearance there. I have been jockeying the blower and hitch around together, but not pinned, with the belts around the pulleys.

Here is a pic of the installer lever. It just takes that short, stiff lever and lengthens it for easy stepping.  The hole goes over the eyebolt nut and the bolt with flanged nut goes over the top of the bar.

 

 

blower lever.jpg

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3 hours ago, AC710 said:

Once you mount the hitch, isn't it difficult to thread the belt up through the two pulleys?

I’m using the single pulley hitch so I don’t have that issue.  
 

I can see where that can be an issue.  I would think that once everything is pinned up, with the tractor hood open, you could get the belt up over the front PTO pulley.  I think that’s how I did it years ago when I ran the 2 pulley hitch with an electric front PTO. 
 

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3 hours ago, CarlH said:

Also handy for tillers, particularly the 38" ones.

Sounds good. I keep my tiller hanging in the rafters of my carport,  along with a front scoop, aerator, snow plow, and spring rake. I have a boat winch rigged up so I can loop the cable through a pulley and raise or lower them as needed. It's easy to hold them just off the ground to get them mounted up.

With all that junk up there swinging from chains it would probably make a good setting for a horror movie.

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3 hours ago, PhanDad said:

I can see where that can be an issue.  I would think that once everything is pinned up, with the tractor hood open, you could get the belt up over the front PTO pulley.  I think that’s how I did it years ago when I ran the 2 pulley hitch with an electric front PTO. 

Yeah, I think it just takes some patience and stepwise process to get it all lashed up. I had it in the back of a shed and drove the tractor inside to hook up. There isn't much room there and that made it frustrating. It would be much easier out in the open and the dolly might be the key for that. The lever I made makes getting the belt on the PTO pulley easy.

Thanks for the ideas!

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Sounds good. I keep my tiller hanging in the rafters of my carport,  along with a front scoop, aerator, snow plow, and spring rake. I have a boat winch rigged up so I can loop the cable through a pulley and raise or lower them as needed. It's easy to hold them just off the ground to get them mounted up.

With all that junk up there swinging from chains it would probably make a good setting for a horror movie.

Come on we gotta see pictures.  I have a small plow and cultivator hanging from mine.  I like to call it garage art. 
Edited by Justplaintim
Sorry that was a quote from AC710. Still learning the ropes
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I find that the RBT tractors are much harder to install the snowblower with hitch than the FDT tractors (the FDT has the axle beam right out in the open to hang the hitch on) .

On the RBT tractors I use a Harbor Freight furniture dolly to set the snowthrower on and roll into place.  It is the exact height to match the axle beam.

 

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