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Hi,
I recently picked up a JD 826. It appears to be in very good shape. It starts with one pull, it runs pretty well, and has very little rust. I called the dealer to get chains and gauge the age. They told me that it was a 1983 according to the SN, and that I should make sure the differential locked correctly before putting chains on the machine.

The person I spoke with at the JD dealership mentioned that he owned a few 826, and loved them. He explained that the older 826 differential were really nicely designed, and that the differential worked more like a “positraction” differential - where both wheels get power but can turn somewhat independently allowing the operator to turn the machine with ease while locked – unlike today’s machines where the locking differential literally locks and you need to skid one wheel to turn the machine.

When I tighten the differential wingnut, both wheels lock up like similar to a normal locking differential, and you have to skid one wheel to turn the machine, which is not how the dealer described it should function. Also, when the wingnut is loosened and you go to turn the machine, the wheels spin independently up to a point, and then they seem to no longer spin independently. For example, you can turn the machine about 180 degrees, after which point the wheels no longer turn independently and you have to skid the one wheel to turn the machine further.

1) Does anyone know if the differential is supposed to function as the dealer described – where both wheels get power but the machine can be turned easily
2) If so, does anyone know why what could be wrong with my machine, and what I would need to do to fix it.


Any help is much appreciated!!!

Best,
John
 

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yeah, I think you will see that the wingnut is supposed to engage and dis-engage the rive system. Once they get rusted/corroded you have to try and deal with that..... or live with it.
 

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Thanks, for the info. Do either of you know if the differential is supposed to act like a limited-slip differential when the wingnut is tightened? On my unit, when the wingnut is loosened, I can turn the machine with ease, and when it is tightened, it acts like a normal locking differential.
 

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I have never worked on this type blower so I have to quote the owners manual, page 6, "Turning the wing nut clockwise locks the differential, counter clockwise allows the differential to slip".
 

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I have a 726. It works perfectly as a limited slip or pretty much fully locked or free wheel, depending on how tight the wingnut is.


Under the wingnut is a lockwasher. Under that is the large flanged nut. You should have under that a washer which looks to be a composite mat'l. I presume the function of this is to provide a means to vary the friction coefficient between the left and right axles.
Make sure this washer is in good shape and free from grease and oil. If you get to this point, don't lose (forget) the woodruff key which engages both the axle and the flanged nut.


Probably a good idea is to separate the left and right axles and clean/grease. While you're in there, disassemble the diffy and regrease.
 

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Make sure this washer is in good shape and free from grease and oil. If you get to this point, don't lose (forget) the woodruff key which engages both the axle and the flanged nut.

Probably a good idea is to separate the left and right axles and clean/grease. While you're in there, disassemble the diffy and regrease.
Have a new (to me) 826 I got for free.
Just pulled my diff apart...glad I did, as it was getting dry (no rust) and needing grease. And the drive shafts were getting rusty.
On top of that, the key to the left wing nut wheel was jammed and would not allow the tension to be applied to lock the wheels.
And last but not least, the axle bushings were egg shaped.
So, with new parts it's all good and ready for the first snow to fly later this year.

I'd say this needs to be done every other year to see how things look. If not, it could get ugly or expensive.
 

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Thanks, Kbob. Can you also post some photos? It will be helpful for me as I still have 2 1983/1984 JD826s I need to keep running for at least another 5 years before the church can replace them with new Ariens machines. Doing rust mitigation and welding work to the bucket on one of them this summer. I really hate it when people let their scraper blades go bad and ends up chewing up the bottom of the bucket. Grrrrrrr.
 

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:welcome: to SBF john. In addition to bad69cats excellent link, here are links to the service manual and owners manual for your machine. Be aware that the service manual is 33 megs in size and will take a few minutes to download, but well worth having.

http://download.snowblowerguide.com/download/526-726-732-826-832-1032-TM1234-01740.pdf

Owners Manual-
https://www.dropbox.com/s/3jh4tugqqpyvouh/John Deere 826 Snowblower Manual.pdf
The Service Manual link seems to not work any more. Can you verify the link or if that is not under your control, possibly send it to me directly?
 

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The Service Manual link seems to not work any more. Can you verify the link or if that is not under your control, possibly send it to me directly?
:welcome: to SBF gwbeyer

John Deere is one of those companies unlike Toro or Ariens where they don't allow their information to be freely distributed. They will usually ask/force a site to remove anything of theirs that's copyrighted like ops manuals, parts manuals, ...
It's not uncommon to find links to something JD dead unless it's dealer or for sale and they are exceptionally expensive IMHO. So getting someone to send you a copy of their PDF is usually the way to go. :wink2:

.
 

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If you take that differential apart to clean and grease it you can also drill the cover and install a grease zerk. A couple easy pumps a year and you're good. I haven't been in mine yet but it appears to not have any seals so if you had the zerk and added some grease it should squish out at the axle openings the way a tie rod end or ball joint seeps grease when it's full.

Might be a little overkill but beats having water get in there.

.
 

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I also took my recently acquired JD 1032 apart earlier this summer... and found rust, seized shafts, dry differential etc. After much labor of love... it's running well but haven't tried it on snow yet. I did install a grease zerk in the housing of the differential as Kiss4aFrog suggested. Why this or having another way to keep the unit lubed is beyond me. The axle shafts were seized up with rust as well. Once I got those apart I used anti-seize to prevent that from happening again. I hope to try it soon here in Michigan.. but really no rush.
 

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Had a JD similar to yours, can't remember which one right now, in the 12 years I owned it I rarely tightened the large wingnut and never had a traction problem
 
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