5/23 Track Drive Rebuild Thread - Snowblower Forum : Snow Blower Forums
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post #1 of 33 Old 12-07-2014, 06:42 PM Thread Starter
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5/23 Track Drive Rebuild Thread

New guy here... great form! I want to share my experience as well as utilize the knowledge and help that I know is out there. More over, contribute back to the Craftsman forum community.

Ive had this old Craftsman at the house for a loooog time, im only 28... but I just cant part with it! Shes been a tank and still keeps on working so I owe her a bit of TLC, at the least.

Ive done a few things over the past few winters but I feel like I need to go to the next level in order to continue the same reliability as ive come to expect. I love projects such as this one but as ive learned may times over, my homework needs to be done first before diving in.

A little back ground on my unit:
Model #536.884810; Code 8302
Craftsman II 8 Speed 5/23 Trackdrive
4 Cycle Engine

Maintenance performed:
Oil Changes, almost every season
Spark Plugs
New drive belts
Auger Gear Gasket
New Shute
Carb rebuild kit
Rebuilt trackdrive, grease everything! 2x
Friction Plate
Fuel Fitting
Fuel Line
Primer fuel line
Height Skids

So I solved the locked up trackdrive, the poorly running engine, and the busted shute. She runs fine other than all the noise in front of the engine, I think... Feels like I need some bearings or need to clean/rebuild a thing or two. Could easily be smoother down in there somewhere. Now im a big "while we're in there, change that part too" guy, on a budget of course, and see the value in "doing it right". What can I say, I like projects!

Goals:

Find out, specifically, what kind of engine I have? 5hp?
What does the Code mean after the Model#?
Clean and paint the rusted ol bucket. Stock colors: Black and Grey
Replace a few parts here and there
Grease this and that
All new decals. (my old man is a signs/graphics guy)
Basically try and fix it up to "cats ass" status.

Im hoping for some guidance before I start ripping things apart. I didn't find a ton of info on my craftsman here on the form. Hankfard recently did a 5/23 restoration but didn't do a build thread but either way I plan on reaching out to him. Any feed back or in sight is greatly appreciated!
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post #2 of 33 Old 12-07-2014, 07:47 PM
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hello pzl. welcome to SBF!! your craftsman looks to have held up well over the years

current machines
1-toro2450E-38419. 1-toro3000E-38435. 1-toro 3650E-38445
2-toro 521E-38052. 1-toro xl824pt 38086
1-.............,TORO XL 624ps..............
1-............, TORO XL 824ps..............
william
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post #3 of 33 Old 12-07-2014, 09:18 PM
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Welcome, and most Craftsman run with Tecumseh engines. And whatever you do in your restoration, make darn sure to take plenty of pics.

Garage:
MTD....2 stage(modern 8.5 HP) not my favorite
Honda HS622 TA-B - acquired at an auction- nice machine for it's size.
Toro S-140- Picked it up on trash day... it runs, sort of.
Yamaha YS 240 TB "Ricky" latest Craigslist find- on the bench now.
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post #4 of 33 Old 12-07-2014, 10:27 PM
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Just picked up my first trac drive. It's an 8\25 and it's going to be an adventure. Mine was pretty neglected. Missing a pulley cover and heater box cover, trac really stiff,and a couple bolts snapped off on the 8hp tec dual shaft block. Ill be following the thread and the race is on.
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post #5 of 33 Old 12-07-2014, 10:50 PM
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Hello and welcome to the forum PZL523. The 536. number indicates your machine was manufactured by Murray who is now owned by Briggs & Stratton. Right above the sticker on the recoil that says this engine has provisions for electric start, you will see numbers stamped into the shroud. These numbers will help identify your engine specifically. I know it is a Tecumseh 5 hp, but the other numbers will tell us what parts your engine uses.
Here is a link to the engine service manual.
http://www.barrettsmallengine.com/ma...headmanual.pdf

Toro 8/24 (38080) 1989
Toro 721-QZR (38743) 2015 (Hemi Predator Power)

Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.
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post #6 of 33 Old 12-08-2014, 10:10 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the warm welcome guys!

Good call on checking the shroud for my engine model number Grunt, thanks. Its not easy to read but I think I can figure it out. I didn't get much done at work today, studying the link to the engine manual . I also found a bunch of good videos on youtube about these engines too.

I got some progress today. Took off the belt cover, chute and the belly cover. **** mice like making a home in my 523 . Seem to find their way in every year. Anyways, I gave everything a good inspection. Belts I put on last year are already missing chunks and rust is slowly taking over. I wonder if the belts are wearing out quicker due to stressed out springs and rough pullies. Whats the best place to source belts? I have a SEARS and Tractor Supply along my travels.

Is it really as easy to pull the engine as it seems? Just 4 bolts, 2 belts and she out?

Here are some pics of tonights work. Its going to be a slow process but ill try and keep moving.
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post #7 of 33 Old 12-09-2014, 08:15 AM Thread Starter
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Snowblower motor

I found this on craigslist. Seems like a perfect match with electric start. My engine runs fine but this one is so much cleaner. I like the idea of having a parts engine...

Should I jump on it?
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post #8 of 33 Old 12-09-2014, 01:04 PM
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Yes, pulling the engine is as simple as you thought. The $80 engine APPEARS to be in good shape cosmetically, the unknown fact is if it was maintained to keep it mechanically sound. Another more important consideration is, your engine has a drive pulley on the cam shaft also, does the NEW engine have ONE or TWO pulleys. Single shaft engines are common, two shafts are harder to find. The second smaller drive pulley is for traction drive and rotates in the opposite direction of the main shaft.

Toro 8/24 (38080) 1989
Toro 721-QZR (38743) 2015 (Hemi Predator Power)

Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.

Last edited by Grunt; 12-09-2014 at 01:07 PM.
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post #9 of 33 Old 12-11-2014, 08:55 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grunt View Post
Yes, pulling the engine is as simple as you thought. The $80 engine APPEARS to be in good shape cosmetically, the unknown fact is if it was maintained to keep it mechanically sound. Another more important consideration is, your engine has a drive pulley on the cam shaft also, does the NEW engine have ONE or TWO pulleys. Single shaft engines are common, two shafts are harder to find. The second smaller drive pulley is for traction drive and rotates in the opposite direction of the main shaft.
Right, ill keep an eye out for the double pulley setup. Im new with these engines so I have a lot to learn. The CL guy has yet to get back to me so no up dates yet on the find.

So the engine came off last night. Easy as pie. Nice having it out of the way to pick at the rest of the unit.
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post #10 of 33 Old 12-11-2014, 09:59 AM Thread Starter
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I rolled up the sleeves last night and got some more work done. I have my 523 separated into 4 main pieces. Engine, back hf, front hf and the auger assembly.

Getting the auger housing off the auger was a bit of a pain. I used some penetrating oil to loosen things up and im sure it helped but the square key holding the pulley was on there good. After an hr of beating and cussing it came out. Needed to use a pickle fork and a gear puller for the bearing and housing to come off. Hope I didn't bent the auger pulley any more than it already was but we'll have to find out later. Sears wants $60.00 for the pulley. Also the pulley bearing and retainer $65.00 needs to be replaced, another expensive item... Anyone know of a different source or should I stay with Sears on this one?

I plan on having the auger housing abrasive blasted and primed next week or so. What color name or number is this grey? Anyone know or use something close?
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