Toro 521 Impeller Bogs Down - Auger belt? - Snowblower Forum : Snow Blower Forums
 
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post #1 of 9 Old 03-17-2018, 09:24 AM Thread Starter
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Toro 521 Impeller Bogs Down - Auger belt?

Hi All, I bought an old 521 and a few days ago tried to use it for the first time in a heavy wet snow. It was downright anemic - would barely throw the snow out the chute and the impeller and augers would bog down and stop turning almost immediately. The impeller spins and augers turn under no load. I can turn the impeller when stopped without any movement of the auger or feeling like it is engaged to anything, don't know if that is normal or not. Shear pins okay, I replaced the carb when I got it because it was hunting when I bought it and would only run under full choke, and the engine seems to be running fine. I am thinking that it might be the auger belt is worn or loose and needs replacing but haven't been able to check it yet. Can anyone tell me if I am on the right track or if there might be something else wrong? I have used snowblowers before and know that the heavy wet stuff tends to clog up a lot, but this doesn't seem normal.
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post #2 of 9 Old 03-17-2018, 09:32 AM
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hello capecodman, welcome to SBF!! do yourself a favor and change both belts simply because you don't know how old they are. add an impeller kit to your 521 to help with the wet snow you are dealing with and check the auger bushing too

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post #3 of 9 Old 03-17-2018, 10:36 AM
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I agree with buzzard...change the belts. Spend the big bucks and get a Toro belt from the dealer.

Once the belts are burned to a glaze, they slip without an audible screech, leading one to look for more serious problems.
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post #4 of 9 Old 03-17-2018, 12:22 PM
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"I can turn the impeller when stopped without any movement of the auger or feeling like it is engaged to anything, " This suggests to me that the bronze gear in the auger gearbox is worn.....I just did over a 521 that worked well......until it hit snow! New gear $65....gasket $15....all good now.
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post #5 of 9 Old 03-17-2018, 02:00 PM
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Capecodman,

Cranman knows his stuff, as do most all of the posters here, and I think he's absolutely right about what might be ailing that little 521. But just to be sure, you can do a little test. Keep in mind that the impeller spins many times faster than the auger so you need to spin that impeller quite a few revolutions before you see much movement in the auger.

If I suspect a problem in the gear box, I attach a set of vicegrips to the auger in such a way that they touch the ground. Then as I turn the impeller I wait to feel a resistance back through the gear box due to the auger being stuck by the vice grips. It may take a few turns, but you should eventually be able to feel the resistance. Of course when you encounter the resistance, don't force it any further. Those brass gears aren't very rugged.

Little or no resistance?

Do as Cranman suggests. Make sure there's enough grease in the gear box before you button it up back together. Maybe you can even save the 15 bucks on the gasket, and make your own from a cereal box like Donyboy73 did in one of his videos......
Good luck with it!

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post #6 of 9 Old 03-17-2018, 02:40 PM
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I believe the impeller is welded to the shaft. In this case the impeller is bogging down along with the auger, indicating the shaft is not turning at speed when under load.
That would point to a fried belt. Also, there should be an adjustment in the linkage for slightly tightening that auger belt, if it turns out the belt is in good shape.

If impeller was spinning but auger wasn't, then look in the gearbox.

The impeller should spin with little resistance when stopped. What would cause the resistance?
The belt would be loose, the gears and bearing should spin free...nothing to cause resistance.

Last edited by Spanker; 03-17-2018 at 03:15 PM.
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post #7 of 9 Old 03-17-2018, 05:33 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone, I am starting with belt replacement and hoping that is all it is. Will let you know -
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post #8 of 9 Old 03-17-2018, 05:54 PM
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if it does end up being a failed auger gear i still have a few laying around for cheap
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post #9 of 9 Old 03-17-2018, 06:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spanker View Post
If impeller was spinning but auger wasn't, then look in the gearbox.

The impeller should spin with little resistance when stopped. What would cause the resistance?
The belt would be loose, the gears and bearing should spin free...nothing to cause resistance.
If you go back and read Capecodman's original post he said:

..."I can turn the impeller when stopped without any movement of the auger or feeling like it is engaged to anything...."

As to your question of what would cause resistance, if you go back and read my post again I was describing a test Capecodman could try by attaching a set of vice grips to the auger, and letting the vice grips touch the ground. Turning the impeller, you SHOULD encounter some resistance quite soon because the auger can't spin because of the vice-grips. If the impeller continues to turn with little or no resistance, the problem is in the gearbox, likely the teeth on the brass gear, as Cranman said earlier.

Using this test, if you feel light resistance but the impeller continues to turn, you may also be able to hear the worn teeth of the brass gear slipping on the worm gear on the shaft. This would explain why under power, with no load, both the auger and impeller do turn, but when the auger encounters the snow load, the drive is now working against greater resistance, and the marginal worn gear can start slipping. In such an instance it will hardly throw any snow at all, which was another symptom that Capecodman described as happening in his original post.

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