During maintenance check, remove bottom pan - Snowblower Forum : Snow Blower Forums
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post #1 of 6 Old 03-02-2018, 09:21 PM Thread Starter
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During maintenance check, remove bottom pan

It was just posted by Thool, "Continuing Transmission issues on 1977 Yard Man", that he had a worn gear underneath. He had posted February 10 the machine would not move in reverse and problems with moving forward. He discovered this worn gear was the problem after he had to haul the snowblower up his driveway 300' in the snow.

I feel we all failed him on here. There were no responses to his request of February 10. Why? I don't know. I don't know why I didn't respond. He has my apology for not responding.

Since the blower was moving, most likely it wasn't the belt. We should have told him to stand the blower on the auger housing and remove the bottom pan and have a look around, as that's where the problem lied.

From this we learned whether we are working on our own machine or someone else's, it's a good idea on a regular basis as we do our servicing or maintenance or tune up, to remove both the auger belt cover and the bottom pan, and look around. If Thool had been knowledgeable, he would have done this and discovered the problem before the winter. If we were on top of our game, we would have told him to do this as the majority of us are better than this as mechanics. The next lesson, sorry, how many of us procrastinate and do our winter prep in Nov or Dec? I've been caught in this, including doing repairs in the first snow! But the past few years I've been doing pretty good, doing my repairs in April, doing my startups and checks in Sept and again in November, then starting and moving the snowblower 2 days prior to the start of the storm.

1986 Ariens ST522, 5hp, 22"
1995 Murray Craftsman 10hp, 29" w. 12" impeller
A 1983 Real John Deere 10hp, 32" w. 12" impeller, 16" auger, 20" high front, cast iron gear box, chains
Noma 9hp, 27" w. 12" impeller
Noma 5hp, 24" w. 12" impeller, 20" high front
Gravely Convertible, 12hp Kohler cast iron, 26" width, 600 lbs of cast iron & steel, 2 speed impeller, 4 ground speeds
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post #2 of 6 Old 03-03-2018, 07:53 AM
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With the proliferation of variations on machines, it becomes harder and harder to give educated information on all the flavors of blowers available. Schematics are good but trying to diagnose an issue purely by way of a schematic can be problematic in and of itself, it shows the perfect condition not the failure. Pictures may show something otherwise missed. Another thing is everyone's perception of an issue may or may not be correct, along with their mechanical ability.

I know I don't necessarily comment on things I know nothing about. guessing to me is a last resort, it can be a case of throwing good parts at a unbroken part just for the sake of throwing parts at something. Costly and ineffective in many cases which does not help a user with their problem. Sometimes I wait to see if someone else has experience with a particular machine and has seen the requestors issues. Many times no one has and do you want to just throw guesses around?

I agree that maintenance is good and unfortunately not done in many cases. Even if maintenance is done religiously it's no guarantee that the machine will work as intended. Speaking from experience I gave the Searsasaurus a complete checkup including fluids last fall. In January the engine threw a rod while just above idle, being warmed up in preparation to use it. The engine had the right oil, sufficient level and was not anywhere near max RPM's when the rod let go. Don't know the ultimate cause though I suspect it just aged out. Even if you disassembled everything and magnafluxed everything every year, there's no guarantee every pending defect would be found ahead of time. Sometimes it's just a crapshoot on whether a machine will eventually fail or not, life isn't perfect nor are snowblowers.

I guess what I'm saying is maintenance is good but even that is no guarantee of perpetual perfect performance of our machines. More uptime - yes, total uptime - no.
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post #3 of 6 Old 03-03-2018, 09:18 AM
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To be brief, after describing problems of a specific snow blower, many members like to see a photo as it relates to the problem. This can be helpful in providing quicker assistance to the poster in need.

Jack of all trades, Master of none!
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post #4 of 6 Old 05-09-2018, 11:52 AM
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I'm just reading this now. I'm the OP for the thread mentioned at the top.

Just so everyone knows, there are absolutely no hard feelings! If anything, I am 100% guilty of ignoring a potential issue and not at least investigating. In hindsight, I should have opened it up and looked before my first post, but not knowing what to look for stopped me...I probably would have seen the issue if I stared long enough. Upon finally opening the belly pan after the failure, the source of the issue became very apparent. Funny that I am borderline OCD with PM on my mower, but I failed my snowblower. A mower out of service means long grass, but a snowblower out of service may mean getting stranded.

My final post in that thread is my "lessons learned" documentation to offer some PM tips. To sum it up: Don't ignore noises or performance issues!
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post #5 of 6 Old 05-09-2018, 12:19 PM
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good advice jlawrence.

i did not respond since am not familiar with yardman but this advice pertains to all blowers and small engine equipment.

I have found mouse nests, seeds , small pine cones , missing clips for cables , very dry stuff that needs to be lubed , hanging parts , and other stuff after taking belly pan off. also some adjustments have to made here as well as accessing belt for removal .

I use to wait til the last minute also when i was working 60-70 hours a week but now have plenty of time to service this stuff during the off season. The last couple years it was really nice to have my blowers and generators start on the first or second pull and knowing that they were good to go. i also give them a good looking over a month or so before I need them.

Peace of mind.

"It Feels Like Beer O'Clock "
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post #6 of 6 Old 05-10-2018, 06:43 AM
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If it is not a TORO then I will NOT comment on machines I know nothing aboot. but if they post pics then I just might try and take a shot in the DARK. IF something might be in Disaray.

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