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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 7-26 which I suppose is about 50 years old. It blows snow very well, but almost everything about the controls could stand improvement:


chute rotation is slow and inconvenient--takes many turns of crank.


deflector does not stay in position


no deadman clutches on traction or auger



no brake on auger drive


and so on....


Am wondering whether anyone has modernized these controls and how they did it.


am
 

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I guess it looks like this one:






If so,


1. Yes, it takes many turns of the crank to turn the chute. Probably not much you can do, unless you want to modify it (maybe by motorization).


2. There should be a two rubber washers (one on each side), each roughly the size of a fender washer, between the chute and the deflector above. Tightening the nuts on the bolts that act as pivots creates friction between the deflector and chute. Either tighten the nuts to create enough friction, or you can make or buy your own rubber washers.


3. There are no deadman clutches on traction or auger. For neutral either move the shifter to neutral or pull out the two levers for the wheel clutches.


4. No real brake on the auger either, the lever engages the auger drive belt when you flip the lever up over center.


There probably were deadman switches when it was new. Under each handgrip there should be a metal lever. Each is a deadman switch. When the engine is running, and the auger is engaged or the stick-shift is in anything but neutral, one of these must be squeezed up (towards the bottom of the handgrip) or the engine will die (the ignition gets grounded).


There is also another safety that prevents the engine from running whenever the shifter is moved away from the neutral position. This is a paddle type limit switch under the dashboard that is held open (no electrical continuity through the switch) when the shifter is in the neutral position because the shifter lever depresses the paddle of the limit switch when the shifter is in the neutral detent.



Look up the parts diagram for the snowblower and one of the parts sheets will probably have a wiring diagram of the electrical safety system wiring.


You may also have a keyed ignition switch where (if it isn't broken) turning the key to off will ground the ignition, and also moving the lever all the way back past slow may also ground the ignition, killing the engine.
 

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Forgot to mention that I haven't modernized any of the safety stuff but did make sure it works correctly.


The chute crank is so slow, as you wrote, that I'll probably motorize my chute and deflector once I decide on just how I want to do that. I want to make sure that if something breaks on the motorized system that I can quickly and easily revert to manually turning the chute and moving the deflector, because it will most certainly break when I am blowing snow.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I wrote a long reply and it went away when I tried to post it. I should know by now to *always* make a copy first.


Mini-version:


"traction assembly" 31760
"auger assembly" 31260


This one has never had any electrical interlocks.


I think the biggest improvements in convenience of use would be better chute and deflector control. How to do it is not clear to me. I see that most new machines seem to control the chute from the top. Could put a cheap battery drill on the shaft?


I'm an old fart and it would be nice to be able to control the machine without having to lean over and crank away, or stop the machine and walk around to adjust the deflector....


Alan
 

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Deflector rubber washers:
Now that I know the model number I was able to look up the parts list for yours, and I didn't see the two rubber washer between the chute and deflector shown like I have on mine (I have a 38150 model 826 from 1979). The Toro part number for the rubber washer is 20-4320 and the site I looked at wants $4.53 each. I'm sure if you look in the plumbing section of your big-box home center you'll find some that aren't so pricey. Even garden hose washers would probably work.


I'm about 6' tall so I just lean forward over the dashboard and engine to adjust the deflector up or down. I have the bolts pretty tight so the force of the snow impinging on the deflector won't move it out of adjustment, so I have to hit it with my hand pretty good for it to move.



Chute control:
You could cut the z-bend of the handle off and just chuck a cordless drill on the end of what now would be a straight shaft, but I don't think I'd do it that way unless I had a spare handle first.


Or you could get some solid rod to match the crank handle (mine looks to be 3/8"), drill a hole in one end, drive out the roll pin that holds the worm to the existing handle, put the worm onto your new straight shaft, and chuck your drill to that. This way you don't ruin your crank handle by cutting it up.


Deflector Control:

If you want to motorize the deflector, you could use a rear wiper motor assembly from a minivan. You might want to look for one that has the reversing action built in, like one from a early 2000's Dodge Caravan and other Mopar minivans. I'd also suggest getting the connector from the tailgate (5th / rear door) wiring harness too (the motor assembly will already have a connector). You might want to get the wiper arm too.



There are a few videos on YouTube of how people have motorized their chutes, maybe they will give you some more ideas.


Safety Switches
Some of the sidewalk and driveway here has a decent slope to it. I'd hate to slip and fall, then have the snowblower keep going before I could get back up and catch it, so I'm glad my snowblower has them.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Again, I wrote a reply and it went away when I tried to post it. Once more:


Thanks for the reply!



My parts breakdown shows a metal washer under the lock nut on each side but not a rubber washer between the chute and deflector. I'll try it.


As for safety, I'm thinking of two approaches that would be pretty easy to install:


A deadman switch with lanyard as used on ourboard motors. https://www.amazon.com/d/Motorcycle-Switches/Sea-Dog-420488-1-Switch-Lanyard/B00DH3QHBI


A magnetic switch with magned and lanyard as used on treadmills.


What do you think?


Alan
 

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I don't have any real experience with either type of safety switch, so I don't know which would be better, an outboard type kill cord or a magnetic red switch. My initial thought is to favor a fully encapsulated reed switch, but that is without having sufficiently educated myself.


I'll look again at how the throttle mechanism kills the engine then the throttle is moved from Fast to past Slow. I think it grounds out the ignition but haven't looked since over a year ago.



I think that something reliable would always be better than no deadman switch at all.
 
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