Wet friction disc problem - Snowblower Forum : Snow Blower Forums
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post #1 of 29 Old 11-06-2019, 07:38 PM Thread Starter
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Wet friction disc problem

I have a yard machines 22" two stage blower with a tecumseh 8 horse snow king. It has been repowered from a tecumseh 5 horse snow king which is what it initially came with. It is an old model but i have been able to keep it running. The motor fit flawlessly by the way.

I was having an issue last year where the wheels would decide to stop engaging half way (or more) through its duty cycle of snowblowing the driveway. This would happen at the mouth of the driveway where a lot of melting snow and water accumulates. Also due to my geographic requirements i am constantly moving my chute from one side to the other (can only blow snow to one side of driveway)

I believe the friction wheel is getting wet. To be on the safe side i have ordered a replacement rubber ring for the disc which i am waiting to receive at the moment.

Has anyone here encountered this problem and what did you do to resolve it? I am thinking of going nuts with a tube of silicone and a caulking gun although i would definitely be open to a better idea!

P.S. could anyone share the correct spec for cable free play? I am positive that is not the issue but just like to play by the book whenever possible. Thanks guys!

2000 Yard Machines 22" cut re-powered with 8.5hp flathead Tecumseh
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post #2 of 29 Old 11-06-2019, 07:45 PM
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Hard to tell what is going on without inspecting it, but off my head, I would probably lean to friction disc, but could also be spring, adjustment, drive belt, idler pully out of adjustment, etc., etc.... someone is going to have to inspect it, whether it be you, or maybe a friend, neighbor or relative, with some mechanical knowledge.

I will tell you one thing, don't waste your time with a silicone caulk gun. …
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post #3 of 29 Old 11-06-2019, 08:16 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the response!

Well the thing works mint until i get into the wet stuff. On the last few uses before i start, i engage the wheels and plant my feet and lean back to see if i can get it to slip. And it will sit there and spin and spin and and pull me down the driveway (i weigh about 240 lbs)

It isnt until I get into a wet situation -- melting snow, standing water etc -- that it starts to happen. I often get a good pool of standing water at the mouth of my driveway where I have to turn the machine around.

I certainly cant rule out something being out of adjustment but Im having trouble finding specs to go by to check my belts/springs etc. Any chance you guys could point me in the right direction?

I should also add that I have cleaned the friction wheel several times. The belts are new, the cables are snug when levers are depressed. And the friction disc looks good (to the best of my judgement) but i have a new one on the way just to play it safe!

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post #4 of 29 Old 11-06-2019, 08:38 PM
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First off, the friction disc drive is in an enclosed body on every machine I have seen, not open to the elements.

Hopefully you are not driving it through water up to the friction disc ... That is not advisable.

You should not have to clean a friction disc ..... Do you have grease sprayed on it or oil? The drive plate and friction disc should never have any oil or grease on them.
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post #5 of 29 Old 11-06-2019, 08:44 PM Thread Starter
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One thing that is really confusing me with these Tecumseh motors is I have found a couple Service manuals online but they seem to have contradictions between one another. (Like valve lash for instance) More importantly i havent been able to find one that specifically includes my model (hmsk 85) like its an odd ball model or something.

I see a Clymers manual for about $15 that covers Tecumseh L head engines. Is this a decent manual?

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post #6 of 29 Old 11-06-2019, 08:56 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oneacer View Post
First off, the friction disc drive is in an enclosed body on every machine I have seen, not open to the elements.

Hopefully you are not driving it through water up to the friction disc ... That is not advisable.

You should not have to clean a friction disc ..... Do you have grease sprayed on it or oil? The drive plate and friction disc should never have any oil or grease on them.
Yes its enclosed within the body of the snowblower. I am not driving it through water up to the disc height. Could be a couple inches of water/slush mix at times though. Again this is at mouth of the driveway only. The town plow goes by and makes an awful mess with the snow and salt. It is also at a low spot where all the run off collects. Some times i am puking slush up through the chute and i think some of that is leaking in from the top. No the disc is not greasy or oily. I push it hard but I dont think beyond its capabilities.

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post #7 of 29 Old 11-06-2019, 09:33 PM
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Snowblower drive fails when wet or wet freezes to ice on Ariens 924 and others, FIX

How to Reduce Ariens Model 926 drive slip (52605600 Baffle Kit)


A baffle fix is need for snowblowers that get a wet drive system. Like this user wet snow is causing issue. MY issue in frozen north was the blowing snow would melt on the hot engine and drip on drive disk and freeze. I lost all traction. Only happens with fluffy snow and wind that blows back at operator/machine. My local dealer did not know....but I showed him.

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post #8 of 29 Old 11-06-2019, 10:34 PM
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The center of the friction disk is at the same height as the center of the auger shaft. I don't know your machine specifically but I'll speculate that the bottom of that disk is at least 8" above ground level. Not likely you are flooding the box with enough water to get up there. What's more likely is that the belt is getting dowsed and is slipping. Double-check the belt itself and make sure the spring and cables are OK and engaging the belt adequately. Look hard at the drive pulley on the engine, making sure there's no oil making it's way into the groove where it might let the belt slip. Maybe add a new belt just because you can.

Replacing the tire on the friction clutch is a good idea, especially if the old one has seen a lot of years and service. You'll get a look at the disk WYAIT, and be able to see if there's evidence of slipping or deposits that might allow some slippage.

Last but not least, go through any cables that might allow water to gather inside the casing. I discovered that a little water in a cable housing with a loop/sag in it was enough to bind the cable after a bit of blowing, as the water froze in there. It was perfectly fine when I tried it in the heated workshop. Hair drier for a bit, and a shot of TriFlow spray lubricant seemed to solve that one. I remember that whenever I get a symptom that includes "runs OK for a while, then part way through it stops doing something that might depend on a cable to work.

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post #9 of 29 Old 11-07-2019, 02:40 AM
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That is a very common problem with friction disc drives slipping when they get wet, and they do get wet under normal use.
If they didn't slip, then you know you have a problem.
They get water and condensation down in the drive box under normal operating conditions, they are not waterproof. People who say they never get snow or water down there have no clue how water or snow enters, they probably never ran a snow blower in the snow before. They do get snow on the machine and it melts when in contact with the warm surfaces and drips down on the drive disc rubber tires causing the "Slip". That is just one of the ways water enters, also every little nook and crannie/little openings in the drive box will allow water, condensation or snow into the drive box area.
That is the reason a Hydro-static drive is much better, they are not effected by water or getting wet.
They can get snow packed up inside of the box just from driving it through the snow, that is an extremely common problem, they are not air tight or waterproof.
Some people go crazy trying to seal them up with caulk and silicone but you have to be able to let fresh air get in to be able to cool the components in the drive box or you will wear out the rubber tire in a big hurry and overheat bushings/bearings and wear them out prematurely.
If you ever spun or skidded your car tire on a wet road/surface, that is the same thing happening when the friction disc and rubber "Tire" get wet on the snowblower.

Last edited by ST1100A; 11-07-2019 at 03:21 AM.
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post #10 of 29 Old 11-07-2019, 05:55 AM Thread Starter
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Excellent responses guys. Is there anything i can do to reduce water getting on to the friction wheels?

Also is the Clymer manual a good resource? I would like to know proper cable tension, belt tension etc. Have not been able to find a good resource.

2000 Yard Machines 22" cut re-powered with 8.5hp flathead Tecumseh
Tire Chains, Homemade Impeller Kit
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