Used Craftsman II 8/25 Trac drive : Get ready for winter - Snowblower Forum : Snow Blower Forums
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post #1 of 19 Old 09-01-2017, 10:37 AM Thread Starter
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Question Used Craftsman II 8/25 Trac drive : Get ready for winter

Hello everyone,
I just got a used / old Craftsman II 8/25 Trac drive.

Model #536-884900
Serial #705518 78 7331.

The thing runs great and it was cheap so I said why not. Now I'm realizing that I didn't research this machine properly.

1) Does anyone know if these snowblowers have common issues that i should address?

2) Everything looks and sounds good (I don't know much about snowblowers but I work on cars a fair amount), is there anything I can do properly test it (augers specifically) to make sure it works 100% with snow?

3) Does anyone know what engine I have...I thought they all had Briggs but apparently they also come with Tecumseh does this make any difference?

4) Does anyone have a manual or guide to help me get it ready for winter? I don't even know the year.

Any thoughts/comments/ideas even if I didn't ask about it.

Thanks for your time

Last edited by hend1x; 09-01-2017 at 10:54 AM.
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post #2 of 19 Old 09-01-2017, 11:07 AM
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post #3 of 19 Old 09-01-2017, 11:23 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the link! I'll give that a read through. It looks really similar to mine (I'll attach an pic just encase it helps someone else identify it). I'll definitely do the things you listed. I guess I'm having trouble trusting this guy and snowblowers are strange because you don't use them very often. When I buy a new (used) car I'm always expecting the worst for a few months and then it earns my trust.

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post #5 of 19 Old 09-01-2017, 01:09 PM
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That looks like a pretty solid machine, For the Engine, It seems MOST Snow blowers from before 2009 have Tecumseh engines with a few using Briggs, Tecumseh was the only engine for a while known to be a "Snow Engine" but Briggs followed suit but Tecumseh had the snow blower line covered and stayed with it until 2008 or so when they shut down.

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post #6 of 19 Old 09-01-2017, 01:21 PM
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I had a 8/24 Craftsman track drive from 1996 till 2013, I had not 1 problem with it ran great and started easy. I just wanted a new blower so I got a new Toro.

2014,TORO 1128 OXE Power Max HD
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post #7 of 19 Old 09-01-2017, 08:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hend1x View Post
Hello everyone,
I just got a used / old Craftsman II 8/25 Trac drive.

Model #536-884900
Serial #705518 78 7331.

The thing runs great and it was cheap so I said why not. Now I'm realizing that I didn't research this machine properly.

1) Does anyone know if these snowblowers have common issues that i should address?

2) Everything looks and sounds good (I don't know much about snowblowers but I work on cars a fair amount), is there anything I can do properly test it (augers specifically) to make sure it works 100% with snow?

3) Does anyone know what engine I have...I thought they all had Briggs but apparently they also come with Tecumseh does this make any difference?

4) Does anyone have a manual or guide to help me get it ready for winter? I don't even know the year.

Any thoughts/comments/ideas even if I didn't ask about it.

Thanks for your time
1) Problems specific to the TRAC drive... look for seized tracks due to rust build-up between the shafts (axles) and the plastic inner wheels. I have a lots of info in the thread jtclay pointed you at. You should be able to push and pull the machine (engine off) without getting a hernia.
Once you are sure the machine is all working then you may decide to add grease zerks to avoid seizing in the future. That's all in my thread that jtclay mentioned. It's here.
https://www.snowblowerforum.com/forum...p-honda-c.html

2) General way to test augers is (with the shear bolts connected) engine OFF.. reach in and rotate the impeller by hand (that's the vertical mounted wheel seen down inside the snow chute) If the auger gearbox is in good shape, it will turn the augers as you turn the impeller. If the auger gearbox is damaged, expect to get grinding noises or augers that don't rotate smoothly as you turn the impeller. There is a brass gear inside the auger gearbox that sometimes/often gets damaged. You CAN buy a replacement for that but the effort needed to break down everything to get into the gearbox usually is a pain and you end up damaging stuff trying to get parts removed past all the rust. If that gearbox is dead then I personally would not go any deeper to try to fix it. Try rotating the impeller in both directions but only expect it to move the augers properly in one of those two directions... that's OK if it does. Alternatively.. fire up the engine and just push the auger engage handle. ;-)

3) Almost certainly a Tecumseh engine. The model and serial number etc are etched on top of the engine next to where the electric starter is fixed (if you have one) You may need to remove the starter button to see that etching clearly. I noticed you DON'T have an electric starter... so look in the area between the gas cap and the exhaust for the etching. In general the Tecumseh engines were excellent and lots of parts are still available. However, if it bogs down and seems underpowered in real snow conditions, many people switch the engines out for a cheap Predator engine however there are issues when replacing a twin shaft engine with a single shaft engine. Cross that bridge when/if you come to it. It's all explained in my other thread.

4) I don't have that particular manual.. they tend to be uninformative anyway. The same prep is done for all snowblowers.
As jtclay mentioned. remove the auger shear bolts. make sure the augers spin freely on the shaft (not rusted) apply marine grease to help them spin, replace the shear bolts (make sure they ARE shear bolts.. you need them to fail if you trap a newspaper etc). Don't use heavy duty regular bolts. You want the shear bolts to fail BEFORE the auger gearbox gear gets damaged. The reason you want them free-spinning is to avoid them being rusted to the shaft. Again this is to protect the auger gearbox. If a newspaper gets trapped you want the shear bolts to fail and the augers to free-spin to avoid grinding those gears to pulp.
I have three manuals from SIMILAR models.
Manuals here: https://www.snowblowerforum.com/forum...c-manuals.html

There should be a model number decal down near your feet on the transmission case. That (plus serial number) will get you parts lists for everything you could ever need. I notice you already found them in your first post. You still need to find the engine etchings though if you need to get engine-related parts.

To figure out how to look up parts, see my post here over on the Toro thread (the SAME rules apply to your machine however)
Start reading at the "generic" section
https://www.snowblowerforum.com/forum/1267226-post2.html

In case you didn't know... 8/25 means 8HP engine with 25" wide auger bucket.

Finally... if you decide to abandon the machine for any reason..... there are people actively searching for TRAC parts and they may even want to buy the whole Trac assemblies from you if the price is right. Shipping would be expensive though. I can help find those people if you can't spot them on the "Parts Wanted" thread.

Come back and let us know how you get on (good or bad)

Last edited by unknown1; 09-01-2017 at 09:06 PM.
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post #8 of 19 Old 09-01-2017, 08:41 PM
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Without breaking anything now is a good time to try and take apart and lube the track drive assembly and do any adjustments. Reading through the links on the rebuild will highlight some of the areas where you might encounter problems in the future. Having it already freed up or at least soaking some to be tried again next spring is better that having something break in the middle of a storm and finding out something is frozen solid with corrosion !!

.
Make sure the windows are up before the snow plow goes by !!

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post #9 of 19 Old 09-02-2017, 10:01 PM
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It's been a while since I've worked on a track unit. Biggest issue as has been noted was the rusted tracks. If you're careful, you can drill the sprockets etc to take grease zerks. The more grease you get into and keep in them will make it work better. The other issue was the friction disc availability,


On an unrelated item. I looked at one time at a manual on a track vs wheel unit. It didn't look like it might take much to switch from tracks if need be to wheels.
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post #10 of 19 Old 09-02-2017, 10:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HCBPH View Post
.... I looked at one time at a manual on a track vs wheel unit. It didn't look like it might take much to switch from tracks if need be to wheels.
The whole track assembly slides of the shaft and then you just slide on a wheel. Piece of cake.
If you have no gradients and don't want to fight the seized tracks that's an easy solution.
The zerk thing is all on my other thread and I'll add links to the photo album here too for convenience.

https://goo.gl/photos/j5W2g7RJtbvL6TmD7
https://goo.gl/photos/tiZYUdsZ53hkR2Xv6

https://goo.gl/photos/4XNhyRMCpo3L222E6
https://goo.gl/photos/stgHFQzo1uPHR2jr9
https://goo.gl/photos/gd3qSYXWnnRC6Mxu9

To get the long version
Head over here
https://www.snowblowerforum.com/forum...p-honda-c.html

Last edited by unknown1; 09-02-2017 at 10:54 PM.
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