A different auger belt question - Snowblower Forum : Snow Blower Forums
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post #1 of 13 Old 12-20-2010, 12:12 AM Thread Starter
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A different auger belt question

Great suggestions in the previous thread! I hope that your collective expertise can help with my issue.

I have a 14-year old Craftsman 8.5 horse snowblower (mfd. by Murray). Last weekend, while clearing out from the blizzard that hit Minneapolis, I noticed that the auger wasn't keeping up, so I replaced the auger belt with a OEM Murray belt from Sears. After clearing my sidewalk, I again noticed that the auger wasn't keeping up. (I bought it when I lived in the UP of Michigan, and it handled snowfalls like this beautifully.)

The idler is adjust to maximum tension, but the belt is still loose. Today, the auger stops with the slightest resistance. I took off the belt and measured it, and it's a quarter-inch longer than the spec (38-5/8 instead of 38-3/8). Could it have stretched that much so quickly? (It's now about the same as the belt I took off, which was 4-years old.)

Any ideas?
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post #2 of 13 Old 12-20-2010, 02:43 AM
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I find it hard to believe that a belt could stretch a quarter inch in a week. However, if it was me , when buying a new belt of the correct part number, I would not think to measure it, and would assume that it was of the correct length. Thus , unless you actually measured the brand new belt, we don't know that it actually stretched. How does the belt sit in the sheaves ? it should sit flush with the edge of the pulley - if the edge of the belt is below the edge of the pully, it is too narrow. Also there may be an adjustment on the auger engagement linkage to take up some slack, or sometimes the idler pulley itself can be loosened and slid in a little more to compensate. Good luck. Larry
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post #3 of 13 Old 12-20-2010, 10:41 AM
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belts do not stretch even tho that is the term used. They wear on the sides, causing them to sit lower in the pullies. I believe that you were given the wrong belt.
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post #4 of 13 Old 12-20-2010, 07:06 PM
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I know for a fact that any shop will sell you a belt even if they dont have the right one, so they check the size and then try to find one that is close to that size.
I had a guy sell me a belt for my Snapper rear engine rider and it worked for a bit then began to slip so I took it of went to the Snapper dealer and got the correctone and work like it suppose to now. As far as the belt the guy sold me well while he was at work I tied it around his doors to the back of his shop.
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post #5 of 13 Old 12-20-2010, 08:21 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the comments. Unfortunately, it's the OEM belt--I cross checked it with the manual, the Sears parts website, and the computer at a hardware store.

I'm stumped. The auger system is so simple: a drive pulley, a driven pulley, and an idler. The former two cannot be adjusted (as far as I can see or tell from the manual), and when the idler is engaged, the lever drops into a curved slot, so the only adjustment is the position of the idler on the lever--and it's as close to the belt as it can be.

If you think I might be missing something, please let me know.
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post #6 of 13 Old 12-20-2010, 10:55 PM
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Couple of things - Your shear pins are okay, right ? and usually the rod or cable that goes from the lever on the handlebars down to the back of the machine is adjustable. I have an old craftsman (Roper built) from circa 1975. It has a rod that you unhook from the lever ans screw/unscrew from the bottom arm. depending on style, newer machines have a cable/ rod that either does the same or some connect into multiple holes at the bottom lever. Sometimes this has a plastic covering.
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post #7 of 13 Old 12-21-2010, 12:06 AM Thread Starter
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Yeah, the shear pins are intact--that was my first thought (and hope, actually, since I have a couple of extra sets). The cable is adjustable, but the way the pivot arm--which I called a lever in my earlier post--connects, it's basically engaged or not-engaged. I tightened it just to be sure.

I was able to get the auger and impeller spinning by pushing on the belt (very carefully) with a broomstick, and it worked great until I had to disengage it. While it was working, there was a clanking sound, and the pulley looked like it was wobbling--it feels tight, which makes me wonder if the pulley is bent (looking closely, I see that it's two pieces of stamped metal, rather than a forged pulley).

Any thoughts?

Thanks again for the replies so far.
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post #8 of 13 Old 12-21-2010, 04:33 PM
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can you post the model number of the snowblower? Usually found on the back panel between the tires.
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post #9 of 13 Old 12-22-2010, 02:28 AM Thread Starter
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Craftsman*model*number
536.886650

I was wrong about the pulley--it's one piece. It's also the only variable left, so I ordered a new one from Sears.

I put some belt dressing on it today, and it worked long enough to clear my (small) driveway. I kind of wonder if the increased power after my tune up has something to do with it!?!?!?
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post #10 of 13 Old 12-22-2010, 10:49 AM
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You should check the back bearing/bushing in the auger box, just ahead of your bottom pulley. If it's worn it may allow the pulley to raise toward the engine pulley and decreasing the distance between the two. I'm reaching a little here, but your last post said something about clanking and wobble.
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