Plastic bushings to bearings - Snowblower Forum : Snow Blower Forums
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post #1 of 12 Old 07-03-2011, 11:39 PM Thread Starter
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Plastic bushings to bearings

Thought I'd pass along something I came up with. Some Craftsman (Murray built) snowblowers have plastic bushings on the auger and drive axel. Unfortunately they wear and aren't available, so you have a problem. I did too, but came up with a way to use flanged bearings in their place.
First off, mine has a hole on both so you need those dimension to make a guide adapter to fit

On mine, I needed something at least 1/4" thick. Happened to have some aluminum and a metal lathe so it was quick. Next you need to have a way to center it onto the bearing. On the one, I bored a 3/4" hole centered to match the axel. The other I made a smaller guide block that fit inside the bearing.


Now strip off the auger ends and axel so you have a clear hole to work with.
you now have to insert the adapter into a bearing and fasten them together (bottom 2 bearings)

Now insert a bearing with the jig/guide into the hole and align it (I mounted mine with a grease zerk on the bottom side

clamp the bearing, either drill through the hole or use transfer punchs to mark the hole center and drill them as needed. My axel bearing has 4 hole while the auger has 3 and closely matches the existing bushing.
Now remove the guide jig and mount the bearing


The auger end, all I had to do was extend the existing holes about 3/16" and they bolted right on

One thing I did have to do on the auger was reverse the bearing so the set screws are on the inside due to the length of the auger shaft. There is a hole to get grease into the bearing so align it with the zerk. Middle left bearing is reversed, the right top shows how they normally come.


You might have to make or get some shims to center the axel and shaft, just depends on your situation. I also used antiseize on the surfaces and set screws where rust might build. I also had to clean up the rust off both the axel and auger shaft so they would easily slide through their respective bearings. I greased the shafts etc to keep them as rust free as I could. I also greased the auger shaft prior to putting the augers back on being I already had it apart.

This is part of the mods I'm making to a 10 hp 32" 3 stage that I'm converting to a 10 hp 26" 2 stage. It's not done yet but is looking good so far.

Hope this helps someone that is fighting unavailable broken plastic bushings like I've run into.
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post #2 of 12 Old 07-04-2011, 11:41 AM
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Thanks for the writeup and pictures of your bearing replacement!
I'm going to 'stick' this up in this section so it will be easier to find for others who may be having the same problem with plastic bearings.

Wayne

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post #3 of 12 Old 07-04-2011, 02:37 PM Thread Starter
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Added info

Found out something else today, just finished assembling the blower today. Leave the bearing set screws loose and the mounting bolts barely snug on the axel especially, till you get everything aligned and assembled. You may have to shift the auger a little side to side to center it into the impellar bearing. Same with the axel, surprising in the axel is exactly centered yet it took a bit of effort to get the drive chain hooked up (acted like the chain had shrunk a 1/4 link initially, would not fit both pulleys initial correctly). Just loosening the axel bearing mounts on the one side allowed the chain to line up fine on both sprockets. I also added some shims to the drive axel to help keep the sprockets aligned, but yet allow a slight amount of horizontal play. I just used 3/4" washers, but the o.d. ment they had to be inserted while on the chassis inside. I needed something with a smaller od so it would slide through the original axel hole but didn't have time to make any today, that will come later.
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post #4 of 12 Old 07-04-2011, 09:53 PM
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Excellent job, and write up HCBPH. Thanks for sharing your work with us. Great tutorial all around.
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post #5 of 12 Old 02-26-2016, 10:40 PM Thread Starter
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You can find them on places like Ebay under a lot of different names, Flat flange mount bearing being one of them.
Main thing is you want one that will mount flat in the space available, not every one has a flat mounting surface.
In my case, I spun the bearing 180 degrees so the set collar and screw was on the inside of the housing when mounted. I had enough room between the end of the auger rakes and the collar, it worked out. If assembled in the original position, there wasn't enough auger shaft sticking through the end of the bearing for the set screw to bite onto. You want the set screws to grab onto the respective shafts.
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post #6 of 12 Old 04-18-2017, 11:11 AM
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Hi HCBPH, that was a great idea for repairing snowblowers you can no longer get bushing's for. However I have an issue and a question. I am attempting to make a similar repair to my machine. For the axle repair you made shown in this thread. I looked all over online and those 4 bolt block flange mount bearings are a total width of 1.5 inches in total. On my machine the bushing now broken and the original setup no longer able to be used only comes out a half inch. My wheel hub has to slide onto the axle and it gets locked into the hole on the end of the axle with a wheel locking clip. If I use the bearing you showed in this thread their will not be enough space for the wheel hub to slide onto the axle and lock in place, it will be an inch too far out. The new bearing would be an inch to far out and my wheel would never be able to get on and lock onto the axle. Do you have any suggestion on what else I could possibly use that has a thinner width in diameter so that I will be able to get my wheel back onto my axle after I make the repair? Thanks in advance. Anyone with an idea please feel free to comment.
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post #7 of 12 Old 04-18-2017, 12:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FearlessFront View Post
Hi HCBPH, that was a great idea for repairing snowblowers you can no longer get bushing's for. However I have an issue and a question. I am attempting to make a similar repair to my machine. For the axle repair you made shown in this thread. I looked all over online and those 4 bolt block flange mount bearings are a total width of 1.5 inches in total. On my machine the bushing now broken and the original setup no longer able to be used only comes out a half inch. My wheel hub has to slide onto the axle and it gets locked into the hole on the end of the axle with a wheel locking clip. If I use the bearing you showed in this thread their will not be enough space for the wheel hub to slide onto the axle and lock in place, it will be an inch too far out. The new bearing would be an inch to far out and my wheel would never be able to get on and lock onto the axle. Do you have any suggestion on what else I could possibly use that has a thinner width in diameter so that I will be able to get my wheel back onto my axle after I make the repair? Thanks in advance. Anyone with an idea please feel free to comment.
can you hack-off some of the wheel tube? usually they have some extra room. before you try that, check that the tire will still clear any protrusions on the machine (bolts, handlebars, chute linkage, etc.).


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post #8 of 12 Old 04-18-2017, 01:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HCBPH View Post
You can find them on places like Ebay under a lot of different names, Flat flange mount bearing being one of them.
Main thing is you want one that will mount flat in the space available, not every one has a flat mounting surface.
In my case, I spun the bearing 180 degrees so the set collar and screw was on the inside of the housing when mounted. I had enough room between the end of the auger rakes and the collar, it worked out. If assembled in the original position, there wasn't enough auger shaft sticking through the end of the bearing for the set screw to bite onto. You want the set screws to grab onto the respective shafts.
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Originally Posted by classiccat View Post
can you hack-off some of the wheel tube? usually they have some extra room. before you try that, check that the tire will still clear any protrusions on the machine (bolts, handlebars, chute linkage, etc.).
Yes I can cut the hub and shorten it. I was thinking about doing that. But cutting a whole inch down is a lot. The added length of the bearing will keep the wheel back where it was and stop it from making contact with the frame.
Another thing I was looking into was these thinner pressed steel bearing's. They are definitely a lot thinner than the block style. SBPF204-12 3/4" Pressed Steel Bearing Unit 3-Bolt Flanges Mounted Bearings 12375 | eBay
But I'm still not sure how thick they are, I haven't been able to find there total thickness posted anywhere. With those if I had to cut the hub it would be a lot less. My issues with that are the bearing moves around inside the support and I do not want the axle to start swaying around in needs to stay solid in place. The other issue is it takes the square set screws to use these or they could end up moving and I don't think the frame and the support are thick enough to use set screws. It would be better if the mounting holes were round.
The other thing I have thought of doing was using a bushing support and bushing like this one from an Ariens machine:



If I do it that way I am going to have to cut (drill) a perfect circle into the frame, exactly where it needs to be so the axle is level, than I can drill 3 holes and mount this bushing support to the frame and I can use the original bushing from my machine inside that bearing support and it will be at about the same length it originally was and the axle will stay nice and tight and wont sway. I think this may be my best option. What do you think?
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post #9 of 12 Old 04-22-2017, 07:37 AM Thread Starter
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If I'm understanding your issue, you don't have enough room between the outside of the tractor unit and the inside of the hub measured on the axel.


The first option depends on whether you have enough space on the inside of the tractor unit to mount the flange bearings or alternate bushings on the inside of the unit instead of the outside? I don't think it would cause issues as long as they'll fit there. You would still want to make up some spacers similar to what I did to center the bushing or bearing to the original hole and drill your mounting holes from the outside of the unit just for the ease of doing it that way vs from the inside. The only difference would be your assembly. You'd likely have to slip them on the axel and put the axel through the tractor holes then bolt them up. I don't see why that wouldn't work in your case.


The other method would be to cut the length of the hubs down. I've attached a photo of one I did that to. Drill Press, small cutoff wheel from HF and using a slow rotational motion move the wheel around the cutoff wheel till the hub is shortened. The picture is of one 2 piece wheel from another brand machine I shortened the hub and redrilled the hole to match another machine. In your case it would likely be shorten it to less than where the mounting hole is.


Hope that helps.


Paul


Just thought of one thing more. Take a look at the photo regarding the auger assembly. I flipped the bearing 180 degrees in the flange housing, putting the extra length on the inside. It reduces the amount of bearing extending beyond the housing. If the thickness of the flange bearing housing will fit between your housing and the hub, that might be a workable solution for you. In essence combine the procedure for the tractor unit as noted, spin the bearing in the housing to align the grease hole and go for it.
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post #10 of 12 Old 04-30-2017, 07:24 PM
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Okay folks, specifically Snapper snowblower owners- series 6 and back, those who own real Snapper snowblowers built prior to 2004 and have ever had the issue where the bushing blew out and the axle started eating the lip of the frame (bushing support) which in our case the frame is the bushing support (typically the left side since the gears are inside gear case on that side 1/4 an inch away from the frame). I figured out how to repair the issue and what I feel would be the best method. First I cut off what was remaining of the squashed lip on the frame. I than took a dremel and made sure the side of the frame was perfectly flat and flush. After ordering two types of bearings, a pillow block cast Iron flange bearing, as well as a pressed steel Flange bearing, along with a bushing support from an Ariens 10000 series Snowblower. After receiving the 3 parts, I quickly determined the bushing support from the Ariens would be the best method for the repair. Reasons for that choice were it is the smallest of the 3 parts length, width, etc, plus it is a part that was designed for a snowblower and has good small mounting holes and the mounting nuts and bolts are perfect for this situation. It is made specifically to support the axle on a snowblower and for one that is 3/4 wide (you can use any inner diameter bushing depending what size axle your machine uses, but the outer diameter has to be 1" to fit in the support). Also when mounted, the back of the bushing support will not get in the way of the gears turning on the inside of the frame in the gearbox and the bushing sticks out exactly 1/2 inch just like the bushing originally stuck out and like the bushing sticks out on the other side, so the wheel hub will come up to the bushing nice and snug, no having to cut the wheel hub. I took the bushing for the Snapper which is 1 O.D., 3/4 I.D. and 3/4 in length. I knocked the bushing into the bushing support. After cutting the lip off the frame I was able to insert the bushing into the frame from the outside and stick the axle thru until it was just flush and used the mark on the center of the axle to perfectly mark a 1,3/4" wide hole perfectly where it will need to be cut out of the frame. From their I went and got the special metal cutting bit that was 1,3/4" and cut the hole out of the frame (a scroll saw can also be used if you have a steady hand and stay within the line you marked). (The lip behind the Ariens bushing support is 1,3/4" that is why the hole needed to be 1,3/4"). Then I marked and drilled the 3 holes for the special round head mounting bolts for the support which stay flush with the side of the frame so they do not get near the big gear that turns inside the gearbox. The other thing that made using an Ariens 10000 series bushing support the best choice is with the bushing in the support the bushing support sits no farther back than just under 1/4 from the frame, so it will not impede the gear. (Just like the gear setup in the gearbox of an Ariens 10000 series machine). I than painted the side of the frame on the inside and outside with rustoleum primer and then a perfectly matching snapper red rustoleum. I than mounted the bushing support with the bushing already in the support to the frame. After that I sanded the burrs out of the axle especially at the ends where the clevis pins had made the axle a bit rough from all of the torque. I cleaned all of the parts, put white lithium grease onto the gear selector shaft, used wheel bearing grease on the ends of the axle and benzolene grease on the key for the gear and the hole for the key on the axle and on the gears. After that I put everything back together, wiped away any excess grease that could have fallen onto the drive plate or disk. I put the belly pan back on and tested the machine, good as new, as if the bushing had never blown and ate the frame, except even better now because if the bushing ever blows out again, their is a bushing support their and if that gets damaged it can be easily swapped out for another as Ariens is still manufacturing those bushing supports brand new and of course there are many online used in excellent condition. The repair was a nightmare and took about a week from start to finish with all of the cutting, painting, waiting for the parts, but in the end totally worth it, as these machines were $1400 new (that's $2000 today) and they no longer build real snapper snowblowers anymore and no where near the quality that the real Snapper company made, basically you cant buy a machine of this quality new any longer, 2004 was the last year for this brand and it's been a decade for most in general. Total time for repair, 1 week, total cost of repair, just over $50 dollars, to make this machine ready to take on snow for many more winters to come. If your a Snapper owner (series 6 and back) this is how I was able to successfully repair the machine. If anyone ever has any questions or needs help or advice on this repair, feel free to reach out. If cutting metal is intimidating to you, you could always take the machine to a machine/metal shop and have a machinest cut the hole into the frame for the bushing support along with the mounting hole's, from there the remainder of the repair is basically a cake walk. Good luck to all Snapper owners who are dealing with this same damage, in the past, present or future.
(This way of repairing your snowblower will also work well for other machines with a similar setup, however this was particularly for the Large Frame Snappers series 6, 2004 and back).
Part used along with a Snapper series 6 bushing:



Last edited by FearlessFront; 05-01-2017 at 12:07 PM.
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