Blowing in extreme cold - Snowblower Forum : Snow Blower Forums
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post #1 of 35 Old 01-16-2019, 03:34 PM Thread Starter
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Blowing in extreme cold

Sorry if this is another dumb newbie question.


Weather here in Middle America this weekend calling for blowing and drifting snow, with temps down to -5F and windchill at -25F. I have my Deluxe 24 in the garage but does it require any additional warm up or care in using when it's that cold? I've tried to run the auger a few minutes after finishing so I think I have that part figured out.


Any tips are appreciated! TIA.
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post #2 of 35 Old 01-16-2019, 03:38 PM
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welcome newbie ,
know your kind of cold out there, the type that diesel trucks don't get up enough heat to warm the cabs'


stored in the garage , i'd let it warm up a bit before going full steam slow down the ground speed let it do it's work

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post #3 of 35 Old 01-16-2019, 03:51 PM
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Garage
I agree with 33 Woodie, I'd let it sit for a minute, until the choke is on 0 or 1 then go, using a lower gear and going slower is always a good idea.

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post #4 of 35 Old 01-16-2019, 04:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 33 woodie View Post
welcome newbie ,
know your kind of cold out there, the type that diesel trucks don't get up enough heat to warm the cabs'
in the garage , i'd let it warm up a bit before going full steam slow down the ground speed let it do it's work

Yeah I have been in my fair share of trucks where the ice on floor of cab stays ice all day.


I let all my machines warm up just above idle for as long as ten minutes some days. Cool down just as important summer or winter for longevity of machinery.

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post #5 of 35 Old 01-16-2019, 04:55 PM
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Can you wait until it warms up to 35?
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post #6 of 35 Old 01-16-2019, 05:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DriverRider View Post
Yeah I have been in my fair share of trucks where the ice on floor of cab stays ice all day.


I let all my machines warm up just above idle for as long as ten minutes some days. Cool down just as important summer or winter for longevity of machinery.
What do you mean by this? Is there some kind of recommended shut down procedure when finished blowing snow?
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post #7 of 35 Old 01-16-2019, 05:15 PM
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What the boys have said!


Here is some tips:
Common Cold Weather Snow Blower Problems
Posted on January 29, 2014 by SnowBlowerSource
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.
With the polar vortex refusing to stay in its own backyard, snow blower owners are facing a new set of problems: snow blowers that take one look at the cold weather and decide it’s too frosty to go to work. Here are some troubleshooting tips to coax your snow blower to start.

Fuel Shutoff Valve

Sometimes, the most frustrating problems are the ones with easy solutions staring you right in the face. In this case, a non-starting snow blower could be as simple as making sure the fuel shutoff valve is in the “ON” position. Another place to check is the throttle; it should be positioned to three-quarter speed or higher. If either has happened to you, don’t worry. Nobody saw.
.

Gas Tank

Just like you’d be grumpy if you had to go to work in the frigid cold on an empty stomach, so, too, is your snow blower. Make sure the tank never gets too empty, topping it up just a little bit each time you use it.
If you’ve stored it and are taking it out for the first time this winter, one problem may be the volatility of the fuel. Adding fuel stabilizer to the gas before storing it is the easiest way to combat “lazy” volatility. But if it’s a hindsight problem, simply drain the system through the carburetor and then add new fuel and stabilizer.
And remember to always check the oil.
Spark Plug

Remove the spark plug and look for one of two things: the right gap size, and an absence of fuel (the spark plug should be dry.) If it’s the latter, turn the engine over a few times to get rid of fuel in the spark plug hole, clean off the spark plug and put it back in (a new one may be required.)
As for how to check for a correct gap and adjust an incorrect one,
offers a step-by-step tutorial.
Non-Engaging Starter

Manual or electric starters can be a little finicky, which is why having an optional electric starter is a pretty good idea: there’s always a backup plan in case one starter doesn’t work. If that’s not the case, applying safe heat is a quick solution, but the problem will likely flare up again once the temperature drops.
.

Manual Starter

Snow blowers with manual starters have a metal “dog” (or metal tab) that’s susceptible to freezing, so remove the starter to find the “dog.” The pulley doesn’t have to be removed, just the center screw so lube can reach the pivot area. Just make sure not to use grease because it’ll gum up in cold weather.
Electric Starter

Sometimes, the starter gear can get frozen to the shaft, resulting in a spinning sound with no engine turnover. To combat this, first thaw with safe heat, and then put a light coating of lube on the gear shaft. Some snow blowers don’t require you to remove the starter, as you only need a spray lube with a nozzle extension on the shaft, but others do.




Here are some more:
From DIY Network

1. Buy fresh gas. Leftover gas from summer lawnmowing won’t cut it for snowblowing. Winter gas has a more volatile blend, which means quicker snowblower starts.
2. Use additive. Modern gas has a short shelflife. Old gas is actually one of the top reasons that small engines won’t start. Make gas last with a fuel stabilizer—but only add the prescribed amount. Too much, and the stabilizer gums up the snowblower carburetor. Too little, and gas gums up the carburetor.

3. Get enough gas. Blowing through deep snows burns through fuel quickly. Our small 1-gallon gas can works well for summer mowing, but our winter delivers frequent and sometimes large snowfalls. We found we needed a larger gas can to keep the snowblower going, especially when the big storms hit.

4. Clear obstacles. Before snow starts, scout your snowblowing area for objects that could jam the auger: frozen newspapers, holiday light or extension cords, a dog cable, rocks or garden hose. If stone mulch borders an area you snowblow, mark the edges so you don’t accidentally move into the gravel. In regions with heavy snowfalls, plan ahead and insert markers into soil before it freezes.

5. Adjust height. Skid shoes (also called skid plates) control how close the auger comes to snowy surfaces. Double-check these prior to cold weather. We had to make a last-minute adjustment--which required getting down on hands and knees--in a 40-degree garage. That's a cold task we don't relish repeating. If a skid shoe becomes cracked or worn, replace it.

6. Plan your attack. Think about the pattern you’ll follow to move snow and where you’ll put it. We tackled our first snowblowing during a windy blizzard, so quickly learned to work with the wind. The best place to blow snow is onto your lawn. Avoid blowing it too close to the house, and don’t forget to clear a spot near the end of the driveway for placing garbage cans.

7. Harness the sun. Time snowblowing to take advantage of solar power. Our driveway gets morning sun, so we try to clear snow before the sun gets too high in the sky. That way, the sun melts any remaining snow and gets us to bare concrete—and safer footing—sooner.

8. Start your engine. Always start the engine outside—or just inside an open garage door. For an electric start, keep a properly rated extension cord handy. We didn’t realize this for our first start. Our cords hang on a peg board—on the wall opposite from where we store and start the snowblower. With two cars in the garage, traversing from snowblower to extension cords presents an intense obstacle course. In future, I’ll move a cord over near the snowblower before winter arrives.

9. Get out early. If the forecast predicts large storm totals, start blowing before snowfall finishes. This saves gas and wear on your machine, since blowing small amounts is easier. If you clear the driveway before the plows come through, take time to blow snow along the road edge heading toward your driveway to reduce what the plow will deposit.

10. Work as a team. When dealing with deep snow or a tall plow lump, I knock down snow with a shovel so my husband can easily throw it with the snowblower. I love a bent-handle snow shovel for moving snow, but that bend doesn’t provide the necessary downward force for knocking down deep, cold-hardened snow. Use a shovel with a straight handle for best results.

11. Clean up after. After shutting off the engine, grab a broom to whisk snow off the blower. Use a clean-out tool or something similar to remove any snow from the chute. Knock snow off outside to avoid a wet and messy garage floor. Remove snow around the base and top of the chute so it doesn’t freeze into position.

12. Buy a boot dryer. In areas with frequent heavy snowfalls, a boot dryer pays for itself in the first storm. It means you can head out, blow snow for Round 1, come inside to warm up, dry your boots and gloves, and have toasty, dry gear to put on when you head out again. It's also super handy for drying mittens and hats after friendly snowball fights!
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post #8 of 35 Old 01-16-2019, 05:21 PM
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This is improving performance by Ariens website:


As always, review the safety information and the instructional details in your operatorís manual before performing service or adjustments.1. Adjust snow blower scraper blade

Depending on frequency of use, contact with your pavement can wear a scraper bar. As it wears, it wonít clear snow as effectively, however, it can be adjusted to compensate for wear.
  1. Carefully tip your snow blower back so its weight rests on the handlebars and secure the unit so it will not tip unexpectedly. [see photo of service position]
  2. Loosen scraper blade hardware at the bottom of housing.
  3. Pull the scraper blade down as far as possible.
  4. Tighten the scraper blade hardware.
After adjusting your scraper blade, you'll need to adjust your unitís skid shoes. If your scraper blade is worn too far, you can get a replacement at your local Ariens dealer or online at parts.ariens.com.
2. Adjust snow blower skid shoes

The position of the unit's skid shoes regulates the gap between the scraper blade and the clearing surface. As the scraper blade wears or is adjusted, the skid shoes will need to be reset so an effective clearing gap is maintained.
  1. Position a spacer under the left and right sides of the scraper bar.
    • Use a 1/8-inch-thick spacer if clearing paved surfaces
    • Use a 1/2-inch-thick spacer if clearing gravel surfaces
  2. Loosen all skid shoe hardware.
  3. Position skid shoes against clearing surface.
  4. Tighten skid shoe hardware.
If you prefer non-abrasive skid shoes to standard steel skid shoes, you can find them at your local Ariens dealer or online at parts.ariens.com​.
3. Snow blower tire pressure recommendation

Underinflated tires can affect how your snow blower drives. To help ensure the unit maintains grip and drives in a straight line, inflate the tires to adequate, equal tire pressures. On Ariensģ Sno-Throģ models, there is no tire pressure recommendation other than the pressure range listed on the tire sidewalls.
4. Adjust snow blower chute cable

Adjust chute deflector
All newer Ariens Sno-Thro models are equipped with an identical chute deflector, or chute cap lever that controls the height of snow discharge. If the deflector doesn't stay at its selected height, tighten the nut on the chute deflector lever under the dash panel.
If the deflector doesn't follow its full range of travel, adjust the chute cable nuts on the deflector.
  • To adjust the deflector lower, loosen the lower nut and tighten the upper nut.
  • To adjust the deflector higher, loosen the upper nut and tighten the lower nut.
After adjustments are made, test the lever to make sure the deflector follows its full range of travel.
Adjust chute rotation
If the discharge chute doesn't remain in the desired direction while throwing snow, adjust it. Depending on the snowblower model, the discharge chute rotation will be adjusted in one of two ways.
Ariens Compact and Deluxe models:
  1. Tighten the nut under the discharge chute gears.
  2. Test discharge chute rotation and repeat adjustment, if necessary.
Ariens Platinum and Professional models:
If discharge chute does not stay in position:

  1. Remove chute gear cover.
  2. Loosen rear adjustment nut and tighten forward adjustment nut until lock arm engages gear teeth.
  3. Test discharge chute rotation and repeat adjustment, if necessary.
  4. Reinstall gear cover.
If discharge chute does not rotate freely:
  1. Remove chute gear cover.
  2. Loosen forward adjustment nut and tighten rear adjustment nut until there is no cable slack and lock arm engages gear teeth.
  3. Reinstall gear cover.
5. Adjust snow blower auger cable

If your snow blower's throwing ability is diminished, the issue could be resolved with one or two simple adjustments. Remember, details and illustrations for the procedures can be found in your operatorís manual.
Check auger clutch cable
  1. Check for slack in auger clutch cable that extends from the right clutch lever to the rear of the frame.
  2. Loosen the jam nut on the cable adjustment barrel and turn barrel down until slack is removed.
  3. Tighten jam nut against adjustment barrel.
Adjust idler position
If the auger cable is already taut or has just been adjusted, you may need to reposition the idler on the attachment arm.
  1. Rotate unit into the service position and remove the bottom cover. [See photo of service position]
  2. Check the distance between the attachment idler arm roller and the frame.
  3. Loosen the adjustment nut on the attachment idler (located under the belt cover) and reposition the idler.

6. Adjust snow blower drive cable

If your snowblower isn't driving correctly, it could be corrected by adjusting the drive clutch cable, which extends from the left clutch lever to the rear of the unitís frame.
  1. Loosen jam nut on the adjustment barrel of the drive cable.
  2. Turn the adjustment barrel down to shorten cable slack.
  3. Tighten the nut against the adjustment barrel.
7. Adjust snow blower track

Snowblower track tension should be within specification and equal. If your track snow blower is pulling to the left or right, adjust the track tension.
  • If snow blower drives to the right, tighten the left track adjuster
  • If snow blower drives to the left, tighten the right track adjuster
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post #9 of 35 Old 01-16-2019, 05:29 PM
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I didn't know that excessive fuel stabilzer can gum up a carb. I'll be more measured the next time I add some. I added a dollop more than called for last couple of times. Dam. I should probably be adding some SeaFoam or something to hopefully lessen any gumming up caused by the stabilzer use. Thanks for that info.
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post #10 of 35 Old 01-16-2019, 05:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barney View Post
What do you mean by this? Is there some kind of recommended shut down procedure when finished blowing snow?

It is known as stabilizing equipment temperatures before operation and prior to shutdown. No equipment operator starts a cold machine and proceeds immediately working it to its' limits and operators manuals also state to let temps stabilize prior to shutdown. Be happy your pilot of the plane you fly in follows procedure. Operators get to know their machines and when they balk at abuse.

Could be the reason why all my machinery is still ticking away after 55yrs with original engines and others' in the scrapheap after 20yrs, do you think I carry it too far with a few minutes of idle time?
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