Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Lawrenceville NJ
Explanation of the friction disk, Don't shift gears while moving
I'm in the camp of stopping the snowblower before I shift to a different gear. If you shift gears while you are moving, I feel there is greater wear AND tear on the rubber friction disk. While standing, only the metal friction plate is turning and quite fast as it is run off of the engine. There are two belts connected to the engine pulleys, auger belt and the drive belt. The drive belt is connected to this metal friction plate. When the engine is running, the pulleys are turning, thus the drive belt is turning, thus the friction plate is turning because they all are connected. When you shift standing still with the engine running, the rubber friction disk is not turning as it's connected directly to the wheels. When you move the shift lever, the fiction disk slides to the left and right across the friction plate but there's a space between the rubber friction disk and the metal friction plate. Every time you let go away of the drive lever on the handlebar to move you are wearing away of the rubber on the friction disk, very similar to the clutch on a car. The more often you stop and go, the more rubber is worn off. You have a straight up and down wear on the rubber. If the snowblower is physically moving, you are wearing the rubber from the top and the sides thus beveling the rubber. This is wear the damage comes in. Tremendous wear to the sides and at times, chunks of rubber coming off. There goes your traction! If you have chunks of missing rubber, it's probably from shifting when the snowblower is moving. That's my take!
I posted this because someone posted today about their 3 year old machine has a worn friction disk with chunks of rubber missing.
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