My 1978 Yardman Snowbird 31600-9: Problem #2, fricton wheel/aluminum drive plate - Snowblower Forum : Snow Blower Forums
 
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post #1 of 8 Old 12-04-2015, 06:24 PM Thread Starter
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My 1978 Yardman Snowbird 31600-9: Problem #2, fricton wheel/aluminum drive plate

Gentlemen,
Even though I haven't resolved my previous maintenance question relating to wheels and tires, I'm analyzing another area of the Yardman Snowbird while I'm contemplating that problem. I never have memory of having removed the back/bottom frame cover for any reason and I doubt seriously my dad ever had it off either. It may have been removed previously for some maintenance my dad had done, but I can't confirm that idea.

My thought was since I was examining the wheel/tire topic and had the wheels removed from the axles, I'd have a look/see at what was going on in the bowels of the beast. I was aware some things really should have some seasonal maintenance....ideally that is. But I suspect the majority of owners never bother and simply run their snowblowers until something goes to H E Double Hockey Sticks. Several years may pass for that to occur.

After opening the thing up, several things immediately were obvious to me that needed lubrication.....chains and sprockets, shafts over which the friction wheel hub slides, and various bushings and wear points. While I really knew nothing of the drive mechanism of what makes these machine move forward and in reverse, and spin the impeller and spiral auger blades up front, I soon saw and basically understood the relationships between assemblies and what made something work or not work.

To my untrained eye concerning snowblowers, the only immediately suspect area I noted was the rubber rimmed friction wheel. As I rotated the drive wheel on the axle with the machine in gear, I noted a somewhat large crack in an area of the rubber rimmed friction wheel as it was rotated. For all I know this probably is the original friction wheel installed on the machine at the time of manufacturing. While the machine seems to shift and drive OK and the friction wheel is still doing its job, the big crack I noted in the rubber rim was a big RED FLAG to me. It well could continue to function in reasonable fashion for some time, but I do know if it fails completely and the entire rubber rim falls off (probably in the middle of heavy use in extreme conditions), the snowblower will be dead-in-the-water. Please excuse the poor analogy.

So, in the hope of avoiding a dire situation involving the friction wheel/aluminum drive plate relationship, I'd appreciate it greatly if the assembled expertise here at the forum could provide their honest and blunt assessment of the mechanical state of the drive mechanism of this aging machine in the attached photos. Don't be shy.....tell me up front if you would seriously depend on this friction wheel if it was on your machine.

Pic #1 "the crack".


rotated 120 degrees


rotated another 120 degrees


What is the assessment of the aluminum drive plate?





Give it to me straight, guys.

Regards.......and thanks,
Steve

2003 Toro 826 LE Power Max
1978 Yardman Snowbird 31600-9 (5hp x 24")


* Don't worry about the world coming to an end today. It's already tomorrow in Australia !

Last edited by ztnoo; 12-04-2015 at 07:17 PM.
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post #2 of 8 Old 12-04-2015, 07:37 PM
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I wouldn't trust that friction wheel period. If the rubber comes off it doesn't take long to wipe out that aluminum drive plate. That's how I got my "free" TroyBilt. First thing I had to do was replace the friction and drive wheels and both axle bushings. It was all trash.

It looks like you need a part number 05080A but you should double check.




or you can order one through Oreilly auto parts too: http://www.oreillyauto.com/site/c/de...keyword=05080a


Manual for your machine: PDF Manual Web Archive

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Make sure the windows are up before the snow plow goes by !!

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Last edited by Kiss4aFrog; 12-04-2015 at 07:44 PM.
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post #3 of 8 Old 12-04-2015, 08:09 PM
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Great advice from kiss4afrog. If you are fixing up rims on it...easy enough to go the extra step and replace the friction disk

Steve
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post #4 of 8 Old 12-04-2015, 08:28 PM Thread Starter
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Well, I will get something worked out on the wheels and rims, but...........if the friction wheel is on the verge of taking a crap on me (as I suspected, given what I saw and what I took pics of), and one of the "heavy lifter mods" is viewing I need to replace the part.......that's gonna get done, regardless if I get wheels and tires on the thing in short order.

If the drive ain't drivin', the wheels and tires don't matter........

Steve

2003 Toro 826 LE Power Max
1978 Yardman Snowbird 31600-9 (5hp x 24")


* Don't worry about the world coming to an end today. It's already tomorrow in Australia !
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post #5 of 8 Old 12-04-2015, 10:07 PM Thread Starter
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Kiss4aFrog,
Wow........I missed your attached pic earlier.


Looks like the owner/operator of that rig definitely wasn't looking at his friction wheel and drive mechanism.
That's some pretty serious mechanical damage to the friction wheel and drive plate.
Yikes!
Glad I caught this when I did.
Thanks.

Regards,
Steve

2003 Toro 826 LE Power Max
1978 Yardman Snowbird 31600-9 (5hp x 24")


* Don't worry about the world coming to an end today. It's already tomorrow in Australia !
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post #6 of 8 Old 12-04-2015, 10:37 PM
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It was elderly (80+) mother in law. Father in law lost leg and was in poor health so he couldn't get around. They bought it new and she hated it. Not sure when it took the dump but she quit using it and would just shovel by hand !! We're too far away to be there when they need it done. Might have been fixed under warranty if she could have done a better job telling him what was wrong. I think she only told him she hated using it because it had poor traction. He bought her a new tracked machine and gave us this one.
There was a lot of aluminum flakes in the bottom.

She never used the new tracked machine either. Maybe once and then he died and she moved to a condo where everything is done for her. His sister grabbed the new blower. It was a big Troy with electric L-R and up down chute and trigger steering. I used it a couple times and it was fun.

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post #7 of 8 Old 12-05-2015, 07:27 AM Thread Starter
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What's your assessment of the aluminum drive plate, from what you can see??? Do you believe it to be serviceable?

Regards,
Steve

2003 Toro 826 LE Power Max
1978 Yardman Snowbird 31600-9 (5hp x 24")


* Don't worry about the world coming to an end today. It's already tomorrow in Australia !
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post #8 of 8 Old 12-05-2015, 10:36 AM
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The drive plate is fine. The friction wheel is due for replacement. That style friction wheel will not as a rule come apart like the one on that Troybilt did. It's bonded directly to the metal wheel, the Troybilt is a separate rubber tire on a two piece wheel. I have yet to see one fly apart and damage the drive plate. I've seen lots of those smaller MTD/Troybilt friction wheels disintegrate and chew up the drive plate though. Those larger 5" MTD friction wheels will crack like that after a couple of years of use, it's more than likely been replaced several times already.

Last edited by 94EG8; 12-05-2015 at 10:38 AM.
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