Disengage Auger - Loud Rattling - Snowblower Forum : Snow Blower Forums
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post #1 of 34 Old 12-16-2013, 08:44 PM Thread Starter
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Disengage Auger - Loud Rattling

Hi All - I just purchased a new cub cadet snow blower. despite being "just another MTD" as I see in some of the posts here i really like it so far - it threw a foot of wet snow like a champ this weekend without breaking a sweat.

However, after / during first use I noticed that when I disengaged the auger, I would hear a rather violent rattling for a few seconds. I have a gravel drive, and I thought that initially there was maybe a stray piece of gravel in the impeller. not the case, in fact, the machine hardly picked any up at all with skids all the way down.

Anyways, noise didn't happen every time, and would vary in intensity. sounded almost like a pebble ricocheting in a bucket. made this same noise with some tests in the garage with no snow in the blades at all. I haven't opened up the auger belt cover yet to investigate, but i am thinking that could be the culprit. Would appreciate any insight that the pro's have to share.

auger engages smoothly and promptly. same with the drive. it is only when the auger is DIS-engaged that i hear the noise.
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post #2 of 34 Old 12-17-2013, 12:07 AM
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What is it's model number

Pull the belt cover and inspect the tensioner pulleys and arms.
If you don't see anything you might want to try and take some photos of that area from a couple angles and post them.

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post #3 of 34 Old 12-17-2013, 10:06 PM Thread Starter
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I opened the belt cover today and think I found the culprit. I'll try to post pictures soon. However, there is a piece of bent metal, like a bent thin steel rod, acting as a belt keeper for the drive shaft pulley. Or maybe this is the belt brake? Anyways...

There was wear on the outside of the auger belt, and i suspect that when the tension pulley is released the keeper arm is grabbing the outside of the belt and creating the noise as the pulley slows, but is pressed against it by centripidal force since is was just disengaged. This would explain the short duration of the sound.

I'll fiddle with the tension arm adjustment to see if I can get it tighter to a point that stops the noise and still allows disengagement. If not, what do you suppose the harm of meddling with bending around the belt keeper thing? It is bolted on at two points but has a free end, which I think creates the rattling noise.

Used the machine again today, throws like an Olympic shot putter still!
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post #4 of 34 Old 12-17-2013, 11:27 PM
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Originally Posted by KMac View Post
I opened the belt cover today and think I found the culprit. I'll try to post pictures soon. However, there is a piece of bent metal, like a bent thin steel rod, acting as a belt keeper for the drive shaft pulley. Or maybe this is the belt brake? Anyways...

There was wear on the outside of the auger belt, and i suspect that when the tension pulley is released the keeper arm is grabbing the outside of the belt and creating the noise as the pulley slows, but is pressed against it by centripidal force since is was just disengaged. This would explain the short duration of the sound.

I'll fiddle with the tension arm adjustment to see if I can get it tighter to a point that stops the noise and still allows disengagement. If not, what do you suppose the harm of meddling with bending around the belt keeper thing? It is bolted on at two points but has a free end, which I think creates the rattling noise.

Used the machine again today, throws like an Olympic shot putter still!
Not that you should or shouldn't bend things on your snowblower to fix something but I've bent many a part on many a thing to fix it. And I'm sure many others have as well.
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post #5 of 34 Old 12-18-2013, 12:46 AM
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If it is new I would take it back and get another one. It really should not be making any funny noises.
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post #6 of 34 Old 12-18-2013, 01:30 AM
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Before anyone says bend it or mod it . . . it's new, why not just take it in and have it repaired under warranty properly ??
If you're talking about the "belt finger" that little metal rod that keeps a belt from coming off a pulley when the tension is taken off the belt I don't see how it could be making enough noise to be noticed above the engines noise ??

Pictures will really help.

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post #7 of 34 Old 12-18-2013, 01:00 PM Thread Starter
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Yes, it is the belt finger where I think the noise originates from. I will post pictures tonight.

If it is actually just the belt finger - I assume this is no reason to go through a full return of the machine? (i.e. no major mechanical issue).

I'm mostly worried about premature belt wear and decreased impeller force as the belt wears. Agree that this is something that should not happen on a new unit. Hopefully Home Depot agrees,=.
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post #8 of 34 Old 12-18-2013, 01:10 PM
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It might seem "Little" to you and that "returning the machine" seems not warranted, but....if later down the road you have issues and bring it in for warranty work and the shop sees that you muttled with things....this could intentionally VOID warranty in some cases.
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post #9 of 34 Old 12-18-2013, 03:29 PM Thread Starter
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just to check before i try doing this - would anyone here advise against running the machine and engaging / disengaging the auger while the belt cover is OFF?

I would of course be standing by the levers and away from flying belts - but I think this will help me to visually confirm if the source of noise is / isn't the belt finger.
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post #10 of 34 Old 12-18-2013, 04:13 PM
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The main reason for the cover is to keep snow out of there so the belt(s) doesn't slip. The secondary reason is for protection if the belt snaps. The belts are new so you shouldn't have to worry as much about a belt coming up at you but keep it in mind.
I would fire it up and run it to try and see if I can find the problem.

The belt finger is only to keep the belt from coming off the pully, idler, tensioner ... whatever it's mounted near when the belt is loose. What the belt is operating the finger is just hanging in air and shouldn't have any contact with the belt so there isn't any issue with premature belt wear or less power being transmitted to the wheels or impeller. It's just to keep the belt form coming off when it's disengaged since that's when the belt is loose on the pulleys and not rotating. If you pulled it off and tossed it in the trash the only problem you'd have is once in a while or more the pulley would fall out of place, off it's pulley. So you do want it but you don't have to worry about it causing wear unless it's adjusted way too close to the belt when the belt is TIGHT or engaged. With the belt loose it's not uncommon for it to be touching the belt but that's when it's disengaged or loose and not spinning. There usually is an adjustment spec in an owners manual on how much gap should be there when the belt is tight.

I'm sorry to be difficult but I'm still thinking it sounds more like a tensioner that's loose or bad and when you let go of the handle (disengage) and that tensioner goes from spinning like crazy against the belt to spinning in air it's more likely to be the cause. It could make a pretty noticeable rattling as it slows down from a loose mount or bad bearing.
BUT . . . I'm here sitting on my butt guessing and you can actually see and hear it.

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