New to me Toro Powershift 824 - Snowblower Forum : Snow Blower Forums
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post #1 of 15 Old 02-10-2019, 01:23 PM Thread Starter
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New to me Toro Powershift 824

Seasons Greetings everyone.

We haven't had much snow this winter, but I've been wanting something more beefy than the little Craftsman 522 We've had since new in 2006. Bless it's little heart, it always starts and runs, but between replacing the entire front housing, frequently having to fix the chintzy push mower style handlebars, and it's small size being overwhelmed by bigger storms, I wanted something more.

Came across a Toro Powershift 824 38540 on CL. Said it ran but threw the auger belt all the time. Went with a friend to take a look. It did start and run, but not great. Drive didn't engage either, but the machine was really solid, so I pulled the trigger for $100.

I had done little research beforehand what could cause a belt to come off, and bad impeller shaft bearing was one of the possible causes. I popped the belt cover off, and sure enough I could move the enter shaft around with my hand. The drive belt was on though, so I followed the cable and found that it had simply come off the bracket on the handlebars. Put them back on and tightened the nuts, cleaned the carburetor, replaced teh fuel line, and replaced the corroded and broken ignition switch terminals, and she fired right up!

Next was the bearing. I disassembly was pretty straight forward for a repair I've never attempted. Cheap air hammer makes a world of difference for getting the pulley off. I'm so impressed with the condition of t his 1995 machine. There's barely any surface rust on the sheet metal (which is nice and robust, there's no flex is in this machine), many of the bolts still had at least some of their zinc coating, and there was no rust on the impeller shaft.









But this is better:






I would say that the only tricky bit is the four bolts that hold each side of the augers to the housing. The barrel design makes getting at them tricky. There's access holes but they are fairly small. Getting the bolts off was easy enough, but getting the nuts back on was more of a challenge. To my delight, everything went back together though and works! Today I changed the oil and spark plug. I'm planning to touch up the paint come Spring, but for now I'm thinking of applying fluid film to the impeller housing (looks like it scrapped the paint off the bottom from making contact due to the bad bearing).

I cannot wait to try this machine out. I think I've got the carburetor tuned well. It takes a bit longer than the newer Tecumseh on the Craftsman to idle smoothly, but it does once warmed up, at least the couple times I've run it. The (working) PowerShift feature is an novel idea, I wonder how effective it is? It has electric start as well which also works, and reverse! Such fanciness!








I have a couple questions.

Speaking of reverse, I seem to have to hold the gear selector while pressing the handle for it to work, if I let go of the gear selector it goes back to the middle position and stops. Is that normal?
This is more of a joke, but what's the point of 4th Gear? That's practically jogging pace!
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post #2 of 15 Old 02-10-2019, 02:38 PM
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Nice looking machine! Powershifts get a lot of love around here!!

Wake me up when the snow's done...
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post #3 of 15 Old 02-10-2019, 03:00 PM Thread Starter
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One other question, the manual says the auger gearbox calls for 85-95 EP. Where does one find that, Toro dealer? I don't see it listed online.


Anyway, since today was actually decent, in addition to the oil change, I cleaned her up, applied a quick coat of wax, and fluid film'd the blower housing and chute. More thorough cleaning to come int he Spring, but at least it's got some protection.











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post #4 of 15 Old 02-10-2019, 03:02 PM
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Nice machine! she's lucky you found her!

I never ran this particular model however Reverse was always "momentary" on the older Toros...wouldn't be surprised if that feature carried forward.


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post #5 of 15 Old 02-10-2019, 03:08 PM
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Looking good. As Gibbs mentioned, there are a few PowerShift fans here, so I am sure they can help out on that feature. Regarding the impeller housing, simple fix, but yes, awkward to reinstall the bolts. I just use grease to hold the bolts in the housing while installing the bearing. Regarding reverse/shifting, it could be as simple as a gunked up hex shaft that is kind of pushing back against the shifter. Did you look underneath? The easiest way is to put the machine up on the housing (service position) and remove the bottom panel. But I usually drain all the gas and oil before doing this. Then clean up the old grease on the shafts and apply lite coating again. The manual may say what type.

Looking forward to hear your review of the machine in use.
.

Paul
----------------------------------------------------------------
1995 Toro 724, 1988 Toro 521
1980 Toro 421, 1995 Craftsman 524
1997 Toro CCR 2500 & 1994 Toro CCR Powerlite
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post #6 of 15 Old 02-10-2019, 08:30 PM
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Few answers for you

The gear box spec states 85-95 gear oil but all the ones I've ever rebuilt, from power shifts to the little 524s, and even back to the 824s of the 80s, have been packed with MAG-1 so I consider them sealed until rebuilt myself. I've been around a lot of these machines and have never seen one leak like an Ariens so I suspect they're all packed with MAG-1 from the factory. Toro seemed to only shift over to a gear oil at assembly with the 2000s power max. I think they offer the alternate spec because getting MAG-1 into a gear box fill hole wont ever happen. As far as where to find 85-95 any auto parts store will carry something close enough as automotive differential or axle oil. Make doubly sure what you buy is safe for yellow metals otherwise the sulfer will pit the gears and bushings. Personally i'd just run it. All of the failures I saw were due to the seals wearing out after 20-30 years of hard use allowing significant water intrusion. Toro knows how to build a very robust auger gear case.

Reverse should lock. If the bar is snapping up back into forward gears the plastic interlock is broken or stuck. If the shift lever stays roughly in place but you simply lose reverse then its just a cable adjustment (looking under the dash its the bottom cable at the front which you want to shorten). When you put it into reverse you're moving a shift collar in the transmission over to engage 4 bosses on a separate gear. If the cable is improperly adjusted or just stretched a bit the collar will no longer make contact or only partial contact which can lead to damage. The bosses aren't really robust either so its always a good idea to cradle the shift lever before releasing the drive handle so it doesn't "slam" back into forward.


If you like the machine enough Toro still offers a differential conversion kit for them to the tune of around $180.

By the way you can get away without taking the gear case out while doing that front bearing by either shimming the 3 bolts in place (notch shim stock so it catches the threads) or using a small magnet and some patience. Did a lot of those too and I agree air hammer is wonderful for lifting the pulley.

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post #7 of 15 Old 02-10-2019, 10:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SnoThro View Post
Reverse should lock. If the bar is snapping up back into forward gears the plastic interlock is broken or stuck. If the shift lever stays roughly in place but you simply lose reverse then its just a cable adjustment (looking under the dash its the bottom cable at the front which you want to shorten). When you put it into reverse you're moving a shift collar in the transmission over to engage 4 bosses on a separate gear. If the cable is improperly adjusted or just stretched a bit the collar will no longer make contact or only partial contact which can lead to damage. The bosses aren't really robust either so its always a good idea to cradle the shift lever before releasing the drive handle so it doesn't "slam" back into forward.
Yeah, that makes sense since 1990 and beyond have deadman controls.


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post #8 of 15 Old 02-11-2019, 10:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hanyoukimura View Post
One other question, the manual says the auger gearbox calls for 85-95 EP. Where does one find that, Toro dealer? I don't see it listed online.


Anyway, since today was actually decent, in addition to the oil change, I cleaned her up, applied a quick coat of wax, and fluid film'd the blower housing and chute. More thorough cleaning to come int he Spring, but at least it's got some protection.











Use 80/90w Non syn Gear oil. The Seals will not hold the Syn STUFF.

Long LIVE THE POWERSHIFT!! MAY IT NEVER RUST IN PEACE!!
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post #9 of 15 Old 02-13-2019, 09:53 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info guys!

We finally got some snow last night. Not a lot, only 4" or so. However, it was heavy wet snow that was slushy at the bottom with a layer of ice on top. Pretty messy stuff that would have been very unpleasant to shovel and would have clogged that little Craftsman for sure.

Not the Toro though! It powered through everything, including the end of the driveway. I saw snow go as far as 20 feet or or so, and it never bogged down or clogged! PowerShift feature is actually useful and does indeed help keep the front end from riding up over compacted snow. Love it! Very happy with my acquisition!









Quote:
Originally Posted by SnoThro View Post
Few answers for you
Reverse should lock. If the bar is snapping up back into forward gears the plastic interlock is broken or stuck. If the shift lever stays roughly in place but you simply lose reverse then its just a cable adjustment (looking under the dash its the bottom cable at the front which you want to shorten). When you put it into reverse you're moving a shift collar in the transmission over to engage 4 bosses on a separate gear. If the cable is improperly adjusted or just stretched a bit the collar will no longer make contact or only partial contact which can lead to damage. The bosses aren't really robust either so its always a good idea to cradle the shift lever before releasing the drive handle so it doesn't "slam" back into forward.
If I out it into gear it'll hold for a few seconds then starts to slide out back towards the forward gears. Could that be the cable needing to be adjusted?

Last edited by hanyoukimura; 02-13-2019 at 10:27 PM.
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post #10 of 15 Old 02-14-2019, 12:21 AM
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The shift lever should hold its position until you release the drive handle, you'll just lose reverse. If that's the case then yes its just a cable adjustment.
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