Snowblower design? - Snowblower Forum : Snow Blower Forums
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post #1 of 14 Old 12-11-2019, 12:26 AM Thread Starter
mbr
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Snowblower design?

New to the forum and have been looking for my first used machine for the past week, (my great plow driver decided to retire suddenly). My head is swimming looking at listings. They all seem to be the same basic design.
It occurred to me this basic design is all wrong. I'm wondering if this has ever been tried:
Suppose the engine was mounted 90º, so the pulleys are on the side instead of facing front. They would rotate in line with the auger and the drive wheels. That would make a more efficient transfer of power to a sprocket on the side of auger shaft and to the wheels. Toothed belts can be used to eliminate slipping. No more shaft coming through the middle of the auger and changing direction via a worm gear that's prone to stripping.
In between there would have to be some actual gears to change speed, a disengagement device and other details, but that's all do-able.
No more friction discs, not to mention easier belt changes. It would be similar to a motorcycle engine-rear wheel set-up.
It seems more logical.
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post #2 of 14 Old 12-11-2019, 01:48 AM
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Originally Posted by mbr View Post
Suppose the engine was mounted 90º, so the pulleys are on the side instead of facing front. They would rotate in line with the auger and the drive wheels.
That actually IS how a single stage blower is laid out. But not a two stage, where the impeller velocity is more important than the auger velocity. And once you have the engine oriented properly to drive the impeller, the drive-train just goes along for the ride, so to speak.
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post #3 of 14 Old 12-11-2019, 04:20 AM
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post #4 of 14 Old 12-11-2019, 04:23 AM
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Welcome to the forum. I have seen some older units that might be called a hybrid single stage with a transverse mounted engine. I assume they weren't that successful as pretty much all of them use the current layout.
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post #5 of 14 Old 12-11-2019, 10:34 AM
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A long time ago I had a single stage Craftsman machine that was laid-out like that. It had a chain drive from the engine to the auger that was on one side. With the large angular moment impeller spinning at a high speed, it was a little scary and the auger didn't stop spinning right away when you released the lever. I was always worried about safety, as well as what would happen if something really got stuck in it in a manner that caused it to stop right away.

Regarding today's designs with the worm gear for driving the auger from the impeller, that's actually a great design. Worm gears offer a very high ratio with only a single gear stage. Certainly the worm gear assembly needs to be robust enough to handle the high output torque for the auger.

Last edited by ericr; 12-11-2019 at 11:46 AM.
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post #6 of 14 Old 12-11-2019, 10:45 AM
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I am sure designers in this field stay with the current design for a reason. I am sure through the years, many have succumbed to the tried and true design. I would imagine if there was another design that would crush and take over the competition, it would have been implemented. That is not to say that other designs would not work, but evidently not for the masses, at this time anyways.

BTW, in my opinion, the friction disc drive is probably one of the easiest, cheapest, drive system, one that lasts a long time, and easy to adjust and service by the homeowner.
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post #7 of 14 Old 12-11-2019, 11:59 AM
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I agree that the current design is old and that's because it works. Are airplane propellers still valid? If it ain't broke, don't fix it. The friction drive is almost primitive in concept but works smoothly through a wide range of speeds both forward and reverse with minimal moving, easily replaceable, long wearing, inexpensive parts. So please, don't let them change that into something more sophisticated, complex, expensive, non field-serviceable and untried because the end users become the guinea pigs and we can see by the sorry state of some used to be reliable machines, newer isn't always better. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Last edited by vstorm; 12-11-2019 at 08:52 PM.
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post #8 of 14 Old 12-11-2019, 08:15 PM
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I'd recommend looking into Wisconsin Marine Bob-Cat/Crary Bear-Cat snow throwers. They're likely the closest thing you'll find to what you've described insofar as two-stage machines are concerned.

You'll need some slippage/give someplace unless you want to replace expensive components after ingesting that frozen newspaper or worse.
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post #9 of 14 Old 12-11-2019, 10:06 PM
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Hello MBR,

Look at the Motomower Snow Shark pictures on the internet and on the forum here to see simplicity and function go hand in hand.
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post #10 of 14 Old 12-11-2019, 11:41 PM
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Hi mbr

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