Auger Idler Tension Pulley Smoking My New Belt - Snowblower Forum : Snow Blower Forums
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post #1 of 37 Old 02-03-2016, 09:00 PM Thread Starter
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Auger Idler Tension Pulley Smoking My New Belt

Hi,

First day on forum. Forgive me if this is the wrong place for my post or it has already been addressed (although I couldn't find it).

I have a Yard Machines (MTD) 611 series 24" Snow Blower Model #31AS611E352

Just replaced (from MTD directly):
1. 712-0116 Lock Jam Nut 3/8-24
2. 756-0178 Flat Idler
3. 784-5632B Auger Idler Arm
4. 710-0459A Hex Cap Screw 3/8-24 x 1.50
5. 738-0281 Shoulder Screw
6. 736-0167 Wave Washer
7. 732-0611 Extension Spring

And got a new 731-1324 Belt Cover (which I modified, because I am tired of having to buy a new one every time a belt breaks). FYI: When the belt breaks, it cuts a long hole through the top since it is cheaply made of soft plastic. So I got a piece of sheet metal and cut it to fit inside the cover so that the next time the Auger Belt breaks, the cover won't get ruined (see attached). I also think it will keep the belt from falling off as often.

Anyway, back to why I am on here in the first place.

I have read a lot of stuff both on this forum and in Google searches about getting the Auger Idler Tension Pulley adjusted properly. However, these all seem to address whether the pulley is too tight or too loose, which generally gets fixed by getting a new un-stretched Auger belt or adjusting the cable's tension, so that it is loose enough to not turn the Augers when not engaged, and tight enough to turn the Augers properly when the handle is down and the Idler Tension Pulley is engaged against the belt.

My problem is that when the handle is down fully engaging the Idler Tension Pulley against the belt, it seems to be too tight and the belt actually starts smoking. Which I assume is not good and will quickly wear out the new belt.

Here's the difference: The belt is brand new along with the other parts that I mentioned above. The cable is properly adjusted so that the Auger doesn't turn at all when disengaged, but starts the Auger great once engaged.
The problem however is that the movement (or swing) towards the belt is too much if the handle is pressed more then slightly down, and smokes the belt more and more the more the handle is flattened. I literally have to loosen the cable all the way so that it has a couple of inches of play in it so that it doesn't tighten the pulley until the handle is almost all the way down. Which is obviously not good as the cable might fall off or get damaged just hanging like that.

So my question is, how can I regulate the amount of movement that the Auger Idler Tension Pulley is allowed to move, so that it doesn't continue to press any harder against the belt and stops once the belt is tight enough.
Is there a "stop" or other adjustment that will prevent it from moving such a big distance when engaged?

BTW: There are 2 holes on the new Auger Idler Arm that can be used and I have it in the outer one which would allow it to move close to the belt the least.
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post #2 of 37 Old 02-03-2016, 09:20 PM
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Perhaps you could post some pictures of the belt, idler and pulley assembly. That's where the problems are and maybe somebody will see something out of the ordinary or misplaced.

The cover photos are not much help, but that fact that you go thru that many belts and the blow the cover apart when they go leads me to believe something is put together wrong in that machine, maybe from day 1

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2008 Craftsman 944.528391 (It's a Husqvarna ST227P)
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post #3 of 37 Old 02-03-2016, 09:30 PM
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One other question, are you replacing the belt with an OEM or equivilent belt, of something else?

Snowblower and other power equipment belts are not the same as automotive belts.

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I can watch somebody work for hours...
2008 Craftsman 944.528391 (It's a Husqvarna ST227P)
27", B&S 305cc 13.5 ft/lb Torque 9.5 hp
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post #4 of 37 Old 02-03-2016, 10:40 PM Thread Starter
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I find that the OEM Belts are not very strong, so this time I got Pix Snow Blower Belts made with Kevlar replaces MTD Belt 754-0430A, 954-0430B. They claim to be stronger?
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post #5 of 37 Old 02-03-2016, 10:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mzblues1 View Post
I find that the OEM Belts are not very strong, so this time I got Pix Snow Blower Belts made with Kevlar replaces MTD Belt 754-0430A, 954-0430B. They claim to be stronger?
I dunno about Pix belts. They are made in India. Are you sure they are Kevlar? Does your machine have dual auger belts, seems I saw a picture showing two belts for auger replacement. Did you MTD belts smoke or just break?

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2008 Craftsman 944.528391 (It's a Husqvarna ST227P)
27", B&S 305cc 13.5 ft/lb Torque 9.5 hp
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post #6 of 37 Old 02-04-2016, 11:34 AM Thread Starter
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Honestly I don't know if the OEM's smoked or not since they were always covered before they broke. However, I have replaced at least one per year when using them.

Regarding the Kevlar Belts, it says it is, so I can only hope that they are being truthful. They actually are cheaper then OEM, so I figured it was worth the try.

Here are the images that you requested.
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post #7 of 37 Old 02-04-2016, 11:47 AM
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I have found out the hard way that belt alignment in critical. First, check that the engine mount bolts are tight. then look at the pulley alignment when you have the drive lever engaged. That way you can see the belts tension and alignment when it's in operational mode. It needs to be straight and have decent tension on it. If you need to loosen up the motor mount bolts and adjust them accordingly. Having belts that are designed for th machine is critical since they must be able to hold up to pressure in 2 directions (against the tensioner as well as the pulleys)

Test it by running it without the cover on and watch it - then stop it and feel for heat on the belt right way...... shouldn't' be overly hot




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post #8 of 37 Old 02-04-2016, 11:57 AM
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Does the driven pulley [s] turn over by hand fairly easily? Are the pulleys lined up? they cannot be out of line more than 1/16" of an inch. The idler / pressure pulleys must be inline also.
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post #9 of 37 Old 02-04-2016, 12:14 PM Thread Starter
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Yes, after replacing the Idle Pulley and it's parts, everything looks good. It seems to be working good as well as long as I don't pull the Auger Handle down all the way. Then it starts to smoke.

The only fix so far is to leave the belt so loose as not to have it engage the Idle Pulley too tight against the belt. Other then that, it seems o be working fine so far.
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post #10 of 37 Old 02-04-2016, 12:15 PM Thread Starter
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Meant leave the cable so loose
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