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post #1 of 14 Old 11-02-2016, 08:40 PM Thread Starter
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New projects already

Well here we are in November already and I am not done with fall projects, yet already knee deep in snowblower stuff...

I sold off the Cub Cadet 524SWE and 221LHP I had. I justified it by wanting a 4 post post lift so that I can park the Trans-Am and Z28 on one side of the garage and still be able to park my Lincoln on the other side (instead of having it sit outside for another winter). Well, I got my lift, which ended up snowballing into replacing the 26 year old Genie screw drive openers with new Liftmaster 8500 jack shafts openers, as well as replacing the light fixtures with dual t8 4ft lights, then adding in another 8 of the same fixtures to light of the garage light a real shop. All that required adding in new outlets, fishing romax and even running on-surface wiremold for a few (finished walls/ceiling with plaster over drywall). All of that cumulated in adding in a wink hub 2, GE z-wave light switches and even converting the home security system to an Internet capable setup. But now I can turn off all the shop lights for my phone and open/close the garage doors via multiple locations in the garage as well as via phone. My garage lights that turn on with the doors are dual 4ft t8s as well.

While doing all that I got a bug to convert the 120v electric start on my redone MTD snowblower to 12v while adding in a battery along with grip heaters.

So I collected all the parts needed, including solenoid, keyswitch, heaters, leds, battery box and battery and the required wiring... I got the keyswitch mounted, figured out the battery mounting and mounted the solenoid.

Then day before yesterday I was going through Craigslist and found someone posted a 2006 Cub Cadet 528SWE for $50. The ad stated it had issues with the drive. Now considering I have quite a bit of experience with MTD drives, I figure it was a safe gamble.

I drove the 60 miless to pick it up. The electric start wouldn't work, but it pull started just fine. I paid the guy, loaded it up and brought it home. When we got it home I started in on it. This poor thing was so far out of sorts it wasn't even funny.

To start with the handle frame wasn't tight at all... I literally had to tighten every bolt. Then none of the cables were adjusted properly, found out that the drive belt was stretched and that the chute support wasn't bolted on tight with one of the bolts wedged in the belt (probably how it stretched), as well as the coupler shaft for the axles was almost siezed to the axles. GOT that all resolved and moved onto the console...

This model has a 4-way chute control and even though it worked, the trigger lock was siezed, so I ripped it apart and got that fixed, as well as lubing the pivots so it no longer creaked when you went right-left. I then fixed the drive lever lock, which required removing the whole console, which was good be because I found that the bolts for the console lower support were loose.

I got all of that done, got a bunch of the outside cleaned up, and found that they used stainless steel on the skid shoes and the shave plate on this model. The only rusty part is really the auger housing, so I decided to only cleanup the rest and replace the housing as a whole.

So, today I ordered up about $250 worth of parts, including new belts, auger housing, bushings for the auger ends and axles and various odd and ends. Then I decided to go for broke and ordered up and adjustable carb to give the engine more longevity, OEM grip heaterz, a set of drift cutters and even a set of stickers for the new auger housing.

Tomorrow I will put some good gas in it, run it for a little to heat up the engine, change the oil and finish cleaning it up.

I will post back when I get everything in and done.

I was just looking for a backup snowblower and ended up with another maxed-out high end unit. Overall I don't think having $300 into a snowblower easily worth $900 is too bad.

Dennis

Last edited by DennisP; 11-02-2016 at 08:44 PM.
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post #2 of 14 Old 11-03-2016, 06:03 AM
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Congrats on the lift (I'm envious) and on the blower - if you're happy then it's a good move. Glad it worked out.
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post #3 of 14 Old 11-03-2016, 04:26 PM
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you have been busy Dennis !

24 " 1967? Ariens Sno thro
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post #4 of 14 Old 11-04-2016, 06:58 AM
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We need some photos of the "shop".

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

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post #5 of 14 Old 11-07-2016, 08:11 PM Thread Starter
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I will grab some pics of the shop when I get the Trans-Am moved and on the lift...

I did get the new adjustable carb in, got that on along with grip heaters... The engine runs great. It idles in beautifully, I adjusted it on the rich side of things at full throttle so it should be better for longevity.

I started getting in parts. Still waiting on my main parts order to get to the major overhaul.

I will say I am kinda surprised at how big of wheels/tires they put on this model. They are as wide as the auger housing.

But, I did get sidetracked this last week. I bought a 33" Troy-Bolt old school walk behind mower this spring that is a tank. It s a zero turn unit and allows me to get around all the landscape beds great. But it is also too big for anyone else to use safely, so I have been on the lookout for a small push zero turn unit.

Well, this week a Honda HRZ216 came available. The Honda is nice because they have a remote lever and cable system to lock and unlock the casters, and the HR series uses their 4 blade quadra-cut system. Went and looked at it, the transmission was missing and it was in kinda rough shape. The guy was asking $125, so I offered him $100 and he accepted. Got it home, changed the oil, put a new plug in it, pulled the carb and cleaned it and even pulled the valve cover and reset the valve lash. It runs good at full throttle, but has a vibration to it. It did come with the grass bag, so that was a plus, along with newer (but rusty) blades.

The next day a HRR216 was available. Looked to be in good shape, guy was asking $40 for it, said it had transmission issues. Go check it out, it is surging and running uneven (guy stated it might be bad gas), but was in great shape. Bought it, got it home, put a new plug in it, new oil, changed the gas out for non-ethanol premium and use some seafoam. Start it up and within 10 seconds it smooths out and runs great. Basically runs like a new mower. So I figure out the transmission issue, it is that the cable isn't adjusted properly, get that done and it pulls and shifts just fine. So I then move over all the zero turn stuff, lube the rear wheel bearings, get it all cleaned up and new zip ties and it basically like new. It also had the mulch plug included so I got everything I need for a complete setup. I did pickup a new set of blades at Home Depot. Turns out that they now include the bagger blade as part of the mulching set.

I will probably sell the non-zero turn mower for $40. It runs fine at full throttle, still surges at part throttle and I am pretty sure it is because of carb gaskets, but I am not inclined to spend any more money on something I have no use for.

This afternoon I ended up spending some time repairing the wall the original owner mounted the garage door consoles to, as they finished it, but it wasn't "right". Tomorrow I get to sand it down, texture and paint it.

Last edited by DennisP; 11-07-2016 at 08:21 PM.
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post #6 of 14 Old 11-09-2016, 06:38 PM Thread Starter
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Today I got in some more parts... I received both the auger and the drive belts. I was going to wait until I have everything in to put them on, but the drive belt was a LOT smaller than I expected, and I just had to know if it was the proper one for the snowblower, so I put both belts on. Well, the drive belt was the proper one, as it fit perfectly on the crankshaft pulley.

Well, after both belts were on I decided to fire it up and see how well they work. All I have to say is just changing the two belts ended up getting rid of 80% of the rattles and noises. I am shocked at how bad it sounded before all because of worn out belts (and here I thought it was the units drive that needed new bushing/bearings and needed to be lubed to get it to quiet down).

After I get the rest of the parts in, I am certain the thing will be as quiet as a Tecumseh 10hp engine can be. As it is the only real rattling is because of the stainless steel shoes and scrapper bar vibrating on the concrete driveway. I am sure if I put on a set of poly shoes it would quiet it down quite a bit, as well as adjusting the scrapper bar to the proper height (ie, not sitting on the concrete), but I figure I have enough sunk into this unit, so I will rock the "like new" stainless steel shoes. I bought a new stainless steel scrapper bar to put on with the new auger housing.
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post #7 of 14 Old 11-23-2016, 03:53 PM Thread Starter
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Well, got even more parts in, but the auger housing is on backorder. I was told it should ship early next week, so we will see if I get it in a week or two.

But, in the meantime I took the time, and nice weather we had for a few days this last week, to winterize the pool (I got lucky it was so warm while taking care of it) and take care of a few last items needed before we get a good freeze...

One of them was painting the wiremold I used for some of the shop lights, as well as fixing some drywall holes and expansion cracking near the door jambs and retexturing, as well as fixing up some holes in the ceiling where the previous owners hung some stuff as well as the locations that had the original garage door openers hanging from (and they hung big seperate receivers too, all of which required plaster patch and sanding/texturing/paint). I also filled in the holes in the wood braces used as a header for the tension springs and original opener rail mounts. I got all of that done and painted and touched up the entire eastern wall so it looks very nice now. The ceiling is hole free and textured and painted as well. The garage is so nice I could almost convert it to a living space now...

One of the other items that needed redoing was the gate latch. We have an old-school tension welded wrought-iron fence around the backyard. When they did it they never put the short panel next to the house opposite the gate in with footings. I thought that was weird since that panel flops around. So, as part of the backyard redo I dug down a good 40" and put in proper footings (40" deep, 16" diameter and 32" high). Well, last winter I found out that they never put in proper footings for ANY of the fence posts, as in the entire fence "floats" with the footings that were poured being at an inch or two below grade and not going very deep. So when you get frost heave the fence moves with the frost. Not a problem considering how heavy the fence is (the gate at 42" wide is like 120lbs+), but it does cause a problem with the new section I put proper footings in that do NOT heave. Lets just say that I got lucky last year in that it lifted and tilted the side with the latch a good inch+ and I got lucky in that I was able to get it to settle back in (using ratchet straps and tons of pressure) with only a 1/4" lift on it, which I compensated for on the other side of the gate by jacking that post up a good inch and leaving it that way for about 3 weeks during and after the big thaw and a few good rains. When I dropped it back down I was almost where I wanted it, so I had my oldest son and myself hang on the gate for a little while bouncing and got it to be exactly in the middle of the latch. It stayed that way all year, so I figure it is set solid. Gotta love the fact that everything here is all tan heavy clay underground.

Well, this winter I didn't want to have to deal with all that jazz again come spring, so I cut the welded on latch post off the gate, fabbed up a metal plate out of 1/4" steel with a hole as a pivot point and a slot for the other bolt to ride in. I also had to fill weld and grind back down to form part of the latch that got eaten away with grinding it off. Got that all done, used some stainless washers and Super-Lube and assembled it after I painted everything and let it sit for a day. Now the latch post takes some decent effort (maybe 10-15lbs) worth of force to make it move up and down but it now gives over two inches of throw for the gate to move with the frost heave and resettle when it thaws. Nice thing is with as much clamping force I tightened it all with it will self-adjust to where it is useable and no-one has to mess with it when going in/out of the yard.

On top of that I ended up buying a brand new Simplicity 1222EE single stage snowblower, I sold the extra HRR216 lawn mower, and my oldest has been working his tail off getting all the extra stuff organized. We also mowed for the last time and did all the leaf vacuuming and other seasonal stuff.

So, I ordered up new auger gearbox oil seals along with a few plastic spacers and other items I noticed when looking at the auger stuff on the 528SWE. I figure this week I will finish reorganizing the garage, get the mowers stowed for the winter after I change the oil, get the rest of the walls in the garage washed down and touched up if they need it, then I will start tearing into the 528SWE and get as much of it torn down and redone/assembled so that when I get the auger housing in it should be a quick final assembly and adjustment. I may also take the time to finish the 12v start conversion on the other 28" blower as well.

And it never ends...
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post #8 of 14 Old 11-25-2016, 08:42 PM Thread Starter
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So, I took yesterday off, ate just about the right amount for the first Thanskgiving in many many years, and pretty much just vegged out...

Then today I ended up going and helping a friends get his networking stuff in order, then had to get a new toilet handle for the one off the computer center, and then remembered a needed a NGK BR2-LM spark plug for my rebuilt Craftsman last spring. Picked that up, got home, had lunch, then headed out to the garage to put the new plug in...

Got that done, fired up that blower for the first time this fall. Started right up. Adjusted the full throttle position to the rich side of things (since I can't remember if I did that when it was cold out or warm out, and with it being in the mid-30s today I figured it was good to get it done). Warmed it up a little, checked everything else out and got the bug to figure out the bracket for the battery mount. Still not happy with any of the solutions, but what I did come up with was pretty decent. Only 1 new hole needed in the auger housing and I can live with that.

After that I started up the 528SWE project and got it also tuned in on the rich side of things. Then I remembered I had a coupon code for MTDParts.com with 25% off your order. I ended up spending some time with the family and taking a short nap and all the while I am scheming about putting on a tall chute on the 528SWE rebuild...

So, I just got done ordering the chute, new cables for the deflector, new tension spring for the auger lever (so maybe the auger will stop turning the way it should when you release the handle), and since I needed to order a few more dollars in parts to get free shipping (you have to order $75) I ended up ordering a new deflector, new stickers for the housing, the deflector and the console as well as a couple of bolts. So when all is done it will look just like a newer 528SWE, except it will have the old-style joystick control and a Tecumseh 10hp engine.

I was tempted to order up the new joystick control system, since it is a pretty good deal at $115 on ebay, but I couldn't justify it. As long as the old system I have works well, I don't see a need to replace it. Now if, once I am done, I find that the tall chute causes issues with the right/left chute mechanism I may just have to buy the newer setup.

Tomorrow I will start tearing it all apart once I make some room on my workbench. I figure I will get the impellers and augers cleaned up and repainted and everything in the drive cleaned up and rebuilt. I will also remove the few brackets that need cleaning up and get them done and repainted as well.
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post #9 of 14 Old 12-01-2016, 03:45 AM Thread Starter
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Well, got a late start on things, but I finally started tearing into the rebuild...

Flipped it into service position, clamped off the fuel line, got my oldest to hold down the drive lever while I removed the bolts for the wheels... They came off quite nicely, both the bolts and the wheels so that was good.

I then started tearing into the drive. Got the axles and gears out, then removed the driveshaft.

I got out the snap-ring pliers and removed one side to find the needle bearings still greased and everything looking pristine. I thought, "niiiccceee!"... That was short-lived...

Once I pulled the other sides snap ring and shim washers I could tell this side had the look of rust in the needle bearing... NOT GOOD!

Pulled it all apart... The planetary "cap" basically had all the needles fall out and the bearing itself was half gone. ARGH!!! The other half the needle bearings were in place, but all rusty.

So, here I am thinking I am looking at hours figuring out the necessary needle bearings and then hoping I can order them on Amazon under prime to get them within a few days (otherwise I am looking at next week)... And that is when it dawned on me, that I might just have the exact bearing to replace the one in the cap... So I went hunting...

Of course it wasn't in my rebuild stuff, that would be too easy. It wasn't in my box of Tecumseh parts either, since it isn't a Tecumseh part... I look at the big workbench I still have procrastinated cleaning off, and dreaded having to jump into that right now... When all of a sudden I remember I have a shelf dedicated to old snowblower parts that might still be useful... BINGO! Sure enough they were in there.

At this point I figure I will go over to the press and press out the old bearing and then I remember, the press is "put away" and to move everything to use it would be a big PITA... So I grab a 3lb sledgehammer, find a socket that fits the bearing and go over to the bench vise... I tap out the old one and sure enough the new one looks and feels like it is the right one. I then grab the driveshaft and yes, the needle bearing is the right one for the end of the shaft. If it was one of the bearings in the base of the planetary I would have been up the creek, but I got lucky.

So, I tap in the new needle bearing to the right depth and then move on to seeing about cleaning up the needle bearings in the base... That was a good hour+ of my life I can't get back... But after some PB Blaster, some WD-40 and some brake cleaner I finally got them smooth and 98% cleaned up. I then cleaned up the driveshaft, noticed that it had some marks, but in general was serviceable (especially for this, since the ends of the driveshaft is held on the end caps with full roller bearings I am replacing with new ones the needle bearings in the cap is for coupling to the drive levers and the ones in the base are for coupling to the axle gears all of which are low-speeds applications with the driveshaft roller bearings taking the higher speeds), so I got the needles packed with lube and got everything reassembled. I really dodged a bullet and I should have learned from my last MTD driveshaft nightmare that I should have pulled it apart and checked that before I ordered any parts. As it stands I am at least $400+ into parts for this thing. Would have REALLY sucked to have found a major problem with the driveshaft since those are $250+ new.

I also cleaned up the drive housing a bit, tomorrow I will finish getting it totally clean as well as getting the rubber replaced on the driveshaft. Then I can get the entire drive back together and then get it back upright and get the auger housing off so I can remove the impeller and augers to get them repainted as well as tearing down the gearcase, replacing the oil seals, check the gear for wear and flip it around if I need to and getting it all cleaned up and reassembled with new lube so when the auger housing comes in next week I can just get it back together and have the thing running in short order.
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post #10 of 14 Old 12-02-2016, 03:54 AM Thread Starter
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Ok, another day, more progress...

Got everything torn apart today. Went for broke and stripped EVERYTHING.

Needless to say, the driveshaft was a PITA to cleanup. Lots of rust on the shafts themselves. The augers came off without a problem, only 1 shear pin needed to be tapped out, the impeller needed to be persuaded off with a large deadblow and some PB Blaster and in general things went well...

Turns out I figured out why the trigger release didn't seem to lock the chute in position well enough, that is because almost half of the throw of the retaining pin was gone because it obviously froze up at some point and the previous owner jammed the pin in with a tool and in the process flared out the cable for the pin. That along with a bent cable by the trigger ate up more than half the throw. I got all of that fixed, got everything ready to go back together after the paint on the handle dries.

I am still pretty well pissed off that they don't use all stainless hardware on EVERYTHING. I mean these **** machine cost a bunch of cash new and it would literally cost only about $15 more manufacturing cost to use all stainless fasteners. I mean, at least use them on the parts that get wet all the time. I am just sick of cleaning up rust on plastic more than anything...

Also, I did some more research and for anything that is sandwiched with plastic you can't use Super Lube with it. Over time (like 6-9 months) anything that is plastic with Super Lube applied ends up having the Super Lube dry up and leave a sticky residue. I found that out with the plastic chutes and control pulleys from last spring.

For anything that is like that I have found that the best thing is Lubriplate low-temp grease. It is like a white lithium, but never dries out and never cakes. I am using it on all the control points that interface with plastic, both on the chute control joystick, the trigger, the lock pin, the chute to deflector and the chute to auger housing adapter.

I also found out that Liquid Wrench Silicone spray smells horrendous. Works great (I am using it on the chute and the back of the chute to deflector interface) but smells really bad when spraying it.

So, for the progress today I got a few pieces painted, most of everything cleaned up and tomorrow I will finish the cleanup, get the drive back together and get the auger gearbox back together...

Now I have to decide if I want to go through the hassle of wire-wheeling and then painting all the augers and impeller, or if I want to see if I can fit the old-auger shaft dual-ganged augers I have sitting in boxes to the new auger shaft (I know I will have to drill a single hole for the older-style shear bolts if I do that) and then just order up a new impeller, or if I want to make some calls and see if I can find someone who will both sandblast the impeller and augers and powdercoat them for a reasonable price... After all the **** time spent today wire-wheeling I am really in no mood to mess around with more of that tomorrow.

I can truly say I really understand why no-one seems to go all out on rebuilds... Too much time needed to do it right.

What I really need to do is to move onto Honda machines... Some parts are extremely cheap for them, making a complete redo, like I have been doing, a more economical endeavor...
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