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I'm taking a page from the Yamaha book here...

I've been wanting to experiment and do some of my own R & D in regards to a chute liner for some time now. Yamaha has set the standard, (now it wont look it but...) I'm basing my insert off of their design.
I've been waiting months to get the material I wanted from my local Canadian Tire and their supply finally came in last week. It's not really the color I wanted but it'll do. For this experiment anyway.

To start with, I'm using what I call my number 2 machine, a Certified/Champion built 22" blower. Other than the poly skids I made being the stock original size/length, I have the machine set up identical to its twin sister (which I use for roof blowing). Both are exceptional yet inexpensive blowers. I know from experience they both have an excellent dis-charge for a 7 HP.
My experiment is to create a bit less friction in the chute along with seeking an even further dis-charge. I have zero clogging issues due to making/installing a standard impeller kit. (Same goes for all my blowers).

Dis-charge before the liner...

As you can see, the chute has marring due to use on gravel drives. No big deal, there aint no paved drives in my region. Gravel wear is a standard in these parts, easy to get used to.

Other than the deflector I removed all nuts/bolts and associated hardware from the chute.
Then using a full sheet of newspaper (no pic) I tracked out a template of sorts before engaging the liner material, (even tho its very inexpensive, they store is nearly sold out already).
This models chute has a pretty good arc in it, so keeping the insert sheet in one piece presents a slight challenge, (reminded me of wrapping Christmas gifts...)
With the material being only .030 thick it's quite pliable, a little bit of heat goes a long way. This material is excellent to work with, HD scissors makes quick work in cutting/trimming.
Unfortunately the heat wont allow it to shrink to what I require. (I use a standard heat gun BTW, very handy and a commonly used tool in my garage)
I decided to make a single cut (with a slight overlap) on each side of the material to allow it to sit in and follow the chutes arc. No, it doesnt look factory, but I'm OK with that. Like said earlier, an experiment, this is R & D fun for me.
If you try this, the straighter the chute, the better the outcome.

I made both the main insert and deflector piece to fit tightly to the deflectors hinge. (Testing results show the material needs to be underneath that hinge bracket).
I like the fact that the base of the chute has it's own removable retainer ring. I've found it's more common to see them welded in place.
Anyway, because it's removable, this allowed me to make/bring the material right to the bottom edge of the chute itself, resulting in no edge for the blowing snow to catch and disrupt flow wise. I also let the material dictate itself to a more rounded profile over pressing it tightly into the corners near the exit.
It was also nice to have a good amount of pre-drilled holes already in the chute, the only added holes were on the edges of the deflector, 4 in total.

Now there's no salt used on side roads in my region, (sand only), however there'll still be moisture getting in behind. So before installing the liner I used an already oil soaked rag to coat the inside of the chute to minimize rust for the rest of the season.
Because of what could/would be a rust issue, I elected to use nuts and bolts over fat head rivets. The chute and liner are both easy to remove when it's springtime service time.

As I said earlier, it most certainly doesnt look like a Yamaha factory liner...;) But I think it may just offer some improvement over having no liner.
We'll see.
I have the chute re-installed and ready. I'll be testing it over the course of the next few days and will report my findings here.

Just in case the liner works as well as I think it might, I used this one as a template to mark out the (backside) remaining material for the blowers sisters chute.

The material used BTW is from a Crazy Carpet from Canadian Tire. Their spec sheet labels it as polyethylene, very slippery on one side and somewhat grippy on the backside. Size wise, .030 thick and 24" x 48". I hope it's able to stand up to my demands over the long run.

Altho it was mild and somewhat ugly, I was able to get out and do an hour of testing yesterday...
First impressions? I like it! A bit hard to describe, the snow is exiting with more force, the stream a little more defined.
Dis-charge after the liner..

Not long after blowing with it, I noticed the exit stream 'flaring' (for lack of a better term).
I stopped to inspect and could see right away the force of the snow leaving the chute had started to get underneath the liner insert on the deflector creating a lip. When installing that piece, I figured it might but hoped for the best it wouldnt. It was quickly unbolted and removed.
I know what the fix is, slide the material underneath the deflectors hinge. A little time consuming but easy enough. That's OK, it's what R & D is all about.
I'll again update when I've completed.
Until then I'll continue to use this blower without having the liner insert on the deflector.

OK, you may ask, was the difference huge? Too early to say, but no, it's not. I've found it to better yes, the difference IMO is not huge.
Would I recommend adding a liner to your blower? I like 'different', I enjoy a good mod, to experiment, I want every bit of performance possible out of pretty much anything I own. For me, the easy answer is yes.
For the average Joe who isnt into wrenching, dis-likes snow and just wants to clear his drive, IMO I'd have to say no.
Like said, even tho there is a difference I didn't find it to be huge. The conditions yesterday were not great, but I'd estimate a just a coupla more feet of distance due to a lesser degree of exit friction.
Will I be adding a liner to the Toro? No, I cant see it, the dis-charge and distance thrown on that machine is already a force in my view.
However, the twin sister to this machine will soon be getting the same mod. (Keep in mind these are both smaller 22" blowers).
Results will vary, a higher HP machine could indeed prove a great difference.The choice is yours.
I hope you enjoyed :)

(There will be future updates)

Bit of a mild spell here of 34 F the last few days, (-18 F this morning tho). Yesterday and the day before we accumulated 5" or so of wet and heavy snow.
After spending a few hours using this blower with the liner yesterday I have to up my satisfaction level to somewhere in between better and huge.
I found the dis-charge with the heavy snow much better over not having the liner, I was rather impressed actually.

I did have a fail with it tho...My gravel drive is made up of a surface of sharp stones/gravel, (not sure of the exact name), some of them are a pretty good size.

On my final pass of the drive I was clearing the edge, no real base there, the blower picked up and tossed some gravel (not unusual), once back up to my garage I inspected the liner. As you can tell in the pic the gravel sliced it pretty good.
R & D has now shown the .030 material thickness of polyethylene just aint enough to sustain it from gravel injury. I did however continue to use it clearing pathways and what snow I had pulled down from one of my roofs. I figured continued use would have tore the liner even further, but no, it stayed the same.
One also has to consider the fact the liner has a small gap between it and the metal of the chute when installed in that area. Were the liner fitted tightly to the entire chute surface it may only have incurred dents from the gravel. The pic doesnt define them, but there are a few dents in the poly.

Regardless, I'm quite happy with the results so far. I'll still be installing one in the sister blower, that machine sees no driveway duty. I have enough material purchased to make a few more, so this one will be replaced shortly and R & D will continue.

FEB 22 update..
Instead of warming the material up to help it 'bend' into the chutes curve, I decided to try letting the liner dictate the path it wanted to travel, meaning it's nearly a straight run up the length of the chute. I kinda shook my head at this point as there is a good gap in the bow bend of the chute, but I wanted to gauge the result with use. I cant imagine a sharp rock or large piece of ice not tearing it.
After 2 hours of use (driveway & pathways, doing my best to not run rocks thru it...), this design is surprisingly holding up well, couple of dings, but no tears. The dis-charge provided now is a pretty good difference IMO, (no, not huge but a good bit better than no liner).

This may well last the rest of the season for me, (hoping anyway). Because it works as well as it does, I did the exact same design in the sister blower.

I'll continue to search for some thicker material, .050 delrin if I can find/get it with a reasonable associated price.
For now tho, I'm calling this little experiment good (y)

Since the chute mod is working well, I decided to give my number 2 blower the double width (1") poly skid treatment. 1/2" has and continues to work very well with excellent durability, however I want them to provide just a wee bit more 'float' on certain areas of the gravel drive and pathways.
The 1" kit I made for two of my other machines has netted/proved the results all season I was seeking without changing the balance or drive characteristics of the blowers.
The paint I used has shown not to hold up tho, I expected as much. It does OK but the paint really cant hold up to constant wear against the ice, snow and gravel. They do look great freshly painted before the season begins tho. (y)

I'll be doing future updates when warranted.
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