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Old 12-29-2012, 07:50 AM   #1
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Default Honda HS55 Snowblower

My very reliable Honda HS55 snowblower suddenly stopped moving forwards or backwards. I suspect it may be a belt or a sheer bolt, but have had no luck finding an online repair guide or even an expanded view of the assembly. My query is if anyone is acquainted with this machine and can give me some practical pointers. It would be most appreciated.
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Old 12-29-2012, 09:07 AM   #2
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hello homeboy, welcome to SBF. i don't think it would be a sheer bolt causing the problem, never heard of anyone using a sheer bolt in the driveline that makes a machine move. if it has a friction disc i would look at it and the adjustment of it and the cable for it
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Old 12-29-2012, 09:43 AM   #3
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Hi Homeboy, and welcome to SBF.

I took a look at the owner's manual shown on the Honda Power Equipment web site. All I could find in reference to the adjustment of the drive clutch was this:


NOTE: (1) These parts may require more frequent inspection and replacement under heavy use.
(2) These items should be serviced by an authorized Honda dealer, unless the owner has the proper tools
and is mechanically proficient. See the Honda Shop Manuel for service information.

Then I looked at a web site of a company that sells parts for Honda Equipment and checked out some of the exploded diagrams for the parts. Looks like your Honda has a dedicated transmission, not a friction disc like many snow blowers have, but the transmission and auger are both actuated by a belt drive.

Be sure to do all of the checking with THE ENGINE TURNED OFF AND THE SPARK PLUG WIRE DISCONNECTED.

I would first recommend that you look at the cable that runs from the handle that engages the drive, and follow it down to where it enters the shroud near the engine. Actually, it would be good to look at the cable that works the auger also. These cables do tend to wear out, stretch and even break over time.

You will most likely have to remove the shroud to take a look under neath it to see how the mechanism works. There will most likely be a pulley on the engine, another one attached to the transmission, with a belt running between them. At third pulley on a movable arm that is moved by the lever on the handle bar. There will most likely be a spring that pulls this third pulley back to a "neutral" position to release tension on the belt.

Look for broken or worn parts, and check the tension on the belts. It might require adjusting or replacing the cables to get enough tension on the belts, or perhaps the belts are worn or broken and need to be replaced.

I hope this has helped. Please let us know what you find out.
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Old 12-30-2012, 10:18 AM   #4
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To DetDrBuzzard & BwdBrn1:

Thank you both for taking time to respond to my query. I am concerned that the machine is approaching an age where parts, if needed, may become difficult or impossible to obtain. I will be checking your suggestions later and will let you know as to mind findings. Thanks again.
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Old 12-30-2012, 10:35 AM   #5
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No problem at all Homeboy. Take a look at this site. I've gotten a lot of parts from them in the past, mostly for lawn mowers, but their prices, even with shipping, are pretty darned competitive. You should be able to get a pretty good idea if parts are still available by looking here first. It also gives you the Honda part number and name, so if you go to dealer, you can tell him what it is you're looking for.

You didn't say whether your HS55 has wheels or tracks, so I gave you both links.

The first is tracked.
All Years HS55 TA SNOW BLOWER, JPN Honda Snowblower Parts

This one is wheeled.
All Years HS55 WA SNOW BLOWER, JPN Honda Snowblower Parts

There are also additional models of the HS55 listed on their site, so you can search for the one you have.

Ebay is also a pretty good source for parts on older machines. Right now there are 30 listings for the HS55 on there.

Good luck, and please let us know how things go.

Last edited by bwdbrn1; 12-30-2012 at 10:39 AM.
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Old 01-02-2013, 06:49 PM   #6
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Default Honda HS55 track model

Gentlemen:

My HS55 is back in service. It was quite a chore to change the drive belt on that unit. Ended up removing 10 bolts and breaking the machine in two. Discovered the auger belt had very little life remaining so changed that as well. A 30.5" belt was recommended, I could only find a 30" & 31" by Gates (my preferred brand). The31" was too slack and the 30" works great except the clutch in ineffectual. I am able to move the gear selected freely but when you enter the slot you're on your way. Fortunately I needn't worry about safety as I am the only operator.

Thank you both for your feed back. Enjoy a happy, safe and prosperous new year.

Homeboy
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Old 01-03-2013, 12:02 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Homeboy View Post
Gentlemen:
A 30.5" belt was recommended, I could only find a 30" & 31" by Gates (my preferred brand). The31" was too slack and the 30" works great except the clutch in ineffectual. I am able to move the gear selected freely but when you enter the slot you're on your way. Fortunately I needn't worry about safety as I am the only operator.

Homeboy
Here's a little tip that might be of use sometime. Most blowers have either a 3/8" or 1/2" belt(s) on them. Finding intermediate sided belts (like a 30.5") can be close to impossible to find unless you special order them. Many brands of alternator belts can be gotten in 1/2" increments, admittedly they're 7/16" width typically so you may not get as long of life out of them. I have used them at times when I couldn't find exactly what I needed and had a need to use the blower in the mean time. I have one blower I've been running that on for 2 years now and though it's not my first choice for a belt and it's working ok for now. One other thing, first off I'll say I have not tried this but there's the possibility a link belt might work if you're in a desperate situation. They're hard on pot metal pulleys but I've used them on some woodworking equipment for about 5+ years not and they've done the job. You add or remove as many links as necessary to get it around the length you need. One other thing to know it's not a smooth back so brakes may not like them and they are directional.
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Old 01-03-2013, 12:12 PM   #8
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Glad to hear it's up and running again. Thanks for letting us know.
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Old 01-31-2013, 01:37 AM   #9
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In follow-up to HOMEBOY describing replacing his belts, I can confirm the OEM replacement belts - for drive & auger clutches - that I obtained and successfully fitted to my 2007 HS55:

GoodYear 85350 (with 14122011 printed on belt) - Drive Belt
GoodYear 84310 (with 0187 329/330/331/332 on belt) - Auger Belt

If I recall correctly, the cost was $9.50 and $11.25 respectively.

Both belts fitted perfectly although the Auger belt needed 1/4 inch slack taken up by the cable adjustment.

Not having replaced them before I did a lot of Googling to find guidance on how best to approach the job. It turns out to be quite straightforward (if you ignore the fella that says you can and remove/reinsert the belts by taking off the Auger Pulley - not possible, just too little room to work the pulley wheel off.)

Step1. Tip the machine forward by 90 deg, propping up on a pair of gallon paint tins. (Handles will point up vertically.)

Step2. Remove bottom plate - just 6 bolts.

Step3. Remove from below 3 brackets retaining the pulley belts (7 bolts)

Step4. Lower the machine back down to its normal position again;

Step5. Remove the upper plastic shroud behind the Chute that covers pulleys - just 4 bolts.

Step6. Remove upper Chute, and disconnect Chute lever from side frame of blower.

Step7. Remove 4 of the 5 bolts on either side of the pulley housing (leaving the bottom one, on each side, loose). This will allow the Auger housing to tip forward.

Step8. Be ready to prop up the bottom of the machine as it canter-levers backwards.

Step9. The Auger housing can now partially separate from the pulley housing, giving lots of space to access the belts.

Step10. Replace belts and do reverse of above steps. Should take about 30 mins to reassemble - if you can remember which bolts go with which steps.

Hope this helps anyone who might be wondering if this is a big job, or manageable by a DIY person. Need metric 10mm and 12 mm spanners & sockets (and extended sockets).

Last edited by INXS9000RPM; 01-31-2013 at 01:45 AM.
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Old 02-05-2014, 10:16 AM   #10
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This thread has been dormant for a while but it seemed better to post here than to start a new thread with the same topic. I have a 28-year-old HS55 that has had minimal maintenance but is still going strong. I opened it up and discovered that the auger belt was pretty much ripped to shreds - but somehow was still functioning. Finding a replacement belt seems like it should be the easiest thing in the world, but even after reading through this thread as well as various other sites, there still seems to be no clear answer. The serial number is 100____ so it should be one of the early ones. I've measured the belt and it's exactly 32.5 inches. I don't know if it's stretched or if that is the original diameter. I've seen lots of different lengths mentioned - both larger and smaller - but never 32.5. I've also seen lots of people saying they did their homework, ordered the "right" size, and found that it was either too loose or too tight.

So far I'm just trying to figure out what to buy for a replacement auger belt. The drive belt is still in very good condition, but I'm thinking that since I have it opened up, it might be a good idea to replace that as well. So I'll need the figure out that one too.

So, is there any foolproof way to determine exactly what kind of belts I need?
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