Gearbox support - Snowblower Forum : Snow Blower Forums
 
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post #1 of 10 Old 11-25-2018, 04:55 PM Thread Starter
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Gearbox support

I've found nothing mentioning struts holding auger gearbox vertically. One of the machines I sold off this year had one. Why aren't they universal as just the bearings on the ends of the auger shaft give any support? As the auger turns it pushes up on everything too. Also some designs don't have solid one piece shafts so there may be more opportunity for the movement. All that would certainly make life hard for the bearing at the back of the bucket. Maybe I'm wrong and they are common as I don't see many other machines up close.
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post #2 of 10 Old 11-25-2018, 05:49 PM
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I think they would be a good idea but my guess for why they aren't more common is $$$ and that they can get away without them.

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post #3 of 10 Old 11-25-2018, 09:09 PM Thread Starter
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Ya, let's see $0.03 for the brace + $0.07 for nut & bolt + $0.15 for labor = $0.25 per machine x ?1,000,000 machines.
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post #4 of 10 Old 11-27-2018, 07:01 PM
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I was under the impression that the machines with auger supports are the ones with short, stubby auger shafts, which don't extend all the way to the side of the bucket.

In that case, you don't have a full-length solid shaft to prevent the auger gearbox from moving up/down, or twisting, so it makes sense to me that you need to support the gearbox.

But if you have a full-length shaft, the engagement into the bucket, at the sides, would prevent the gearbox from twisting. And it prevents up/down gearbox motion.

With a full shaft, adding a support could actually make things a bit tougher on the gearbox, as you might over-constrain its location. Imagine if the support wanted to position the gearbox 8.5" from the ground, but the holes in the bucket were 8" from the ground. Now you're stressing the shaft and the bushings, trapping it between the two heights. Whereas normally, it would have just tilted a bit at the impeller bearing, but would have avoided the extra stress on the shaft and related bushings.

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post #5 of 10 Old 11-28-2018, 12:18 AM
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I'd agree that the brace is a work-around for the stste of some of today's machines.


1) Auger shafts that don't run side to side
2) Auger bearings that need all of the help they can get.
3) Collector housings that are less rigid
4) Worm drives that do not extand back towards the impeller very far.


Once you put it all together it's not uncommon to see a little oscillation in the positioning of the worm drive. If you brace the drive that motion will be sunk into something else, loading the bearings needlessly.


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post #6 of 10 Old 11-29-2018, 08:18 AM
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I have two old machines from the '90's. Both have a Rectangular cast aluminum auger gearbox and needle bearings/ball bearings in gearbox and auger ball bearings. One has a brace - the other one doesn't. The brace seems like a good idea to take some of the torque caused by the augers hitting hard pack snow etc. I am repairing the gearbox on the one without the brace - and was considering installing a brace on it. Short story is it had too much end play (+ 1/4" ) in the worm gear shaft - destroyed needle bearing and chewed up the housing. In fairness - I have used it for over 18 years, and it did ingest a hockey stick (curved end) so I can't complain. I do think the brace would have helped to keep shaft in alignment/reduce side (up/down) load on the bearings. I will post some details on the rebuild in a new post.


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post #7 of 10 Old 11-29-2018, 10:00 AM
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how about this theory.

a fixed auger tranny is more apt to be damaged because it is in a fixed spot compared to one that is more free to move when the augers hit something solid. well that is what the chief mechanic at the Honda dealer told me . he sees more damaged gearboxes that have been supported than with those that are not.

and they work on different brands also.

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post #8 of 10 Old 09-16-2019, 12:38 AM
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So here's a question on whether to brace or not to brace.

The latest addition to my hoarding problem is a Noma 12 hp 33".
Below is a pic of the bent brace and the damaged gearbox housing (the hole at the back of the housing which is where the brace used to mount). I can only assume something large and heavy hit the brace and sheared the bolt, taking a small chunk of gearbox housing with it.
The gearbox is still functionally intact, the shaft seems straight, and auger and impeller turn smoothly when I rotate the pulley wheels by hand (haven't used the engine to turn the auger yet - waiting for carb repair parts).

Do I fix the brace or leave it as is? The brace would seem to help support the 33" length, but be a target for projectiles which might damage the gearbox housing further rather than just passing on through?

I'm a snowblower noob, so advice from the experienced would be very welcome.

Gearbox support-dscn4228.jpg
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post #9 of 10 Old 09-16-2019, 10:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonny View Post
So here's a question on whether to brace or not to brace.

The latest addition to my hoarding problem is a Noma 12 hp 33".
Below is a pic of the bent brace and the damaged gearbox housing (the hole at the back of the housing which is where the brace used to mount). I can only assume something large and heavy hit the brace and sheared the bolt, taking a small chunk of gearbox housing with it.
The gearbox is still functionally intact, the shaft seems straight, and auger and impeller turn smoothly when I rotate the pulley wheels by hand (haven't used the engine to turn the auger yet - waiting for carb repair parts).

Do I fix the brace or leave it as is? The brace would seem to help support the 33" length, but be a target for projectiles which might damage the gearbox housing further rather than just passing on through?

I'm a snowblower noob, so advice from the experienced would be very welcome.
It seems unlikely that the gearbox brace is a factory feature with only one mounting hole. I would think the factory would use the front and rear top bolt holes for the brace mount to gearbox. Perhaps you can find a parts diagram for your model on one of the online stores selling parts.

If the auger shaft through the gearbox is a one piece unit then check the side bearings for wear. If they are worn the shaft and gearbox will oscillate and over time find the weak spot in the unit and break it. Perhaps in this case the strap rear mounting hole. Also check the impeller bearing by lifting the impeller shaft or the impeller itself for up and down movement, replace it if any movement. If you have the 33" auger shaft you will not need the brace anyway.

If the auger shaft is short and just extends a few inches each side of the gearbox then you will need a gearbox brace. Start with the outer bearings supporting the auger assembly itself and the impeller bearing for wear and replace as necessary. If the gearbox rear bolt hole is still usable then I would use the front and back gearbox bolts to attach the gearbox to the brace.

Good luck.

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post #10 of 10 Old 09-16-2019, 01:10 PM
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I will check the bearings throughout as you suggest.
After I posted yesterday I was looking at the thing again and wondering if the auger blades themselves had hit the brace. There appears to be little clearance there. The way the brace is bent would be explained by this.
The parts diagram shows the single bolt attachment to the simple strap brace. It is the stock part.
At this point, based on your reply and the fact that the auger seems well attached to the housing at the sides I'm probably taking the brace off completely.
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