Craftsman 22inch, groove in idler pulley - Snowblower Forum : Snow Blower Forums
 
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post #1 of 10 Old 02-26-2015, 07:18 AM Thread Starter
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Craftsman 22inch, groove in idler pulley

5year old Craftsman 22inch Snowblower.

Why is the auger belt causing a groove to develop in the idler pulley?

Background:
Earlier this year, the wormgear in the auger gearbox stripped out. Don't know why, it never jammed up, the gear box was full of grease. Maybe it was just wear from several years and the occassional wet heavy snow. Because I could not just get the wormgear, I had to replace the entire gearbox.

One or two snowblows after replacing the gearbox, the auger again would not turn and I noticed the auger belt was fraying and the idler pulley was almost destroyed. I changed out the belt and the idler pulley. At some point, I tightening the belt up just a little by adding a little more tension to the auger engagement cable because it was slipping. Basically I went from max looseness to moving the adjustment bracket 1/4 inch forward. I do not think the belt is too tight because I can only loosen it up slightly before its looseness is maxed out. I had the belt cover off last night and it looks like a nice groove is developing again in the idler pulley. I believe this is what happened initially to cause the idler pulley to fail.

I've thought through various possibilites including did I mess up the gearbox installation, is the idler pulley not properly lined up, is the belt too tight. I just don't know. The new pulley which now has a good grove in it (whereas it was smooth when new) only has 3 or 4 hours on it.

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post #2 of 10 Old 02-26-2015, 08:24 AM
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I believe the groove you are seeing is where the 2 halves of the idler pulley meet when they are welded together and leaves a line. That groove has been there since the machine was new. Find something else to worry about. Roger
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post #3 of 10 Old 02-26-2015, 08:59 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhenning View Post
I believe the groove you are seeing is where the 2 halves of the idler pulley meet when they are welded together and leaves a line. That groove has been there since the machine was new. Find something else to worry about. Roger
Wish that was the case but it is not. The idler pulley/bearing on the left is what I replaced in early January. The idler pulley/bearing on the right was what I replaced it with. Nice somewhat smooth metal. From the first picture I posted, you can see where the belt has worn a groove into the pulley/bearing. A few more snowblows, or perhaps sooner, I believe my pulley/bearing will look like the destroyed pulley/bearing that came apart.

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post #4 of 10 Old 02-26-2015, 09:25 AM
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That groove is deep. The outside of a V-belt is flat. The groove looks like it's formed by geometry that simply doesn't exist on the flat outside of a V-belt (the belt would need two raised edges).

I'd be looking closely for something else riding against the idler pulley, something metal. Like the large pulley that's next to the idler.

Could they be touching while running, when the idler is moved and under tension? Is there any unexpectedly shiny metal near it, like on the adjacent pulley?

It's tough to see details in the first picture, sorry.

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post #5 of 10 Old 02-26-2015, 09:26 AM
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In the first photo, it looks like the idler pulley is not lined up with the drive/engine pulley, which will put a lot of stress on the idler. See what you can do to straighten it, if thats the case. It might just be to tighten the pivot point, or add a washer or two on one side or the other, or in an extreme case/ twist the idler arm to make it line up.
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post #6 of 10 Old 02-26-2015, 09:31 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sid View Post
In the first photo, it looks like the idler pulley is not lined up with the drive/engine pulley, which will put a lot of stress on the idler. See what you can do to straighten it, if thats the case. It might just be to tighten the pivot point, or add a washer or two on one side or the other, or in an extreme case/ twist the idler arm to make it line up.
Sid

Will do that. My best guess is a pulley alignment issue. What I'm hoping it is not was me screwing up the auger gearbox replacement, and now there is too much resistance from the auger gearbox when the auger belt tries to turn it.
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post #7 of 10 Old 02-27-2015, 01:55 PM Thread Starter
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Turns out the idler pulley is pressing up against the auger pulley when it is in the engaged position. That is what is causes a band to wear on the idler pulley. I backed off the idler pulley to max looseness and I don't think there is contact now. The tension I did have set was only a little and to stop the auger belt from slipping off the pulley.
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post #8 of 10 Old 02-27-2015, 10:37 PM
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If your belts are old, they may be stretched and should be replaced. The idler should not come in contact with the auger pulley if the belts are the correct size.

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post #9 of 10 Old 02-27-2015, 10:52 PM
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This is a strange case.....has someone put a larger pulley on the engine. ??? That could be why it's touching the idler pulley. !!
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post #10 of 10 Old 02-28-2015, 07:31 AM Thread Starter
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The belt is new, the idler pulley is new and did the replacements myself. The only way they are not the correct parts is if the manual listed an incorrect part number or the part I was given was not the correct part despite the item number being on the package.

I had some of these components disassembled when I replaced the auger gearbox earlier this year. I don't know how I could've buggered up reassembly to result in my correct problem. I wonder if that is the explanation.
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