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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
The idea behind this is to list item’s that can be substituted or modified to make a repair on a snowblower, along with some general maintenance/repair info. Especially when you have a good blower and that one part you need is discontinued by the mfg/seller, there may be options available. Most of the items I’m listing are for mid 80’sMurray/Craftsman snow blowers, but there’s no restriction to brand etc so list all you can, your tip may help the next person out. Here are some of the things I’ve found work for me:

Metal Belt guides get bent or broken. Get some 3/16” rod, a good torch (like a MAPP gas torch) and something to wrap it around (like a long bolt) and something to hold it with will bending it (it’s hot so use pliers, vicegrips etc). Heat it till it’s hot then form the guides you need.


If you can’t find your belt or especially if it’s an off size, check out your local farm supply vendor. Many carry belts in ½” increments. If worse comes to worse and you cannot find a belt, consider a linkbelt and made your own length belt. If you have any pot metal pulleys, linkbelts can be hard on them.
The impeller bearing on a Craftsman 2 stage blower can be costly to get. If you press the old bearing out of the mounting bracket, most likely you can get a replacement from a bearing house. You might need to shim the back side but it works fine. Be careful as there are at least 2 or 3 different bearings based on snowblower frames even within the same year so measure your original bearing before purchasing. For the 4 & 5 hp Craftsman snowblowers, check out a Peer 77R12 bearing, I’ve used that one on the small frame showblowers I’ve worked on.

Most bearing suppliers carry shims of varying size and thickness in case you need to shim an axel or pulley.

Some broken cable ends can be fixed by making a small clevis to hook onto wherever it was previously connected and using a Cable Stop on the broken end of the cable. If you can’t find what you need, check out McMaster-Carr: they have a lot of different items available. Alternates can be Graingers or Fleet-Farm. You may even be able to make something yourself to fix your problem.


On a Craftsman 536.90515 snowblower, there are 2 bronze bushing on the shaft that fits between the pulley and friction plate. If you can’t find one like that, a B&S 50304MA for a auger gearbox was almost exactly the same dimensions (very slight difference in length, otherwise the same) and pressed in a worked perfectly.


So far, all Tecumseh-Peerless transmissions used in Craftsman snowblowers are physically interchangeable regardless of the number of gears. If yours is broken and another is available, you may be able to simply swap them out.

There is a chance of damaging the mounts on a Tecumseh-Peerless transmission on the 7HP and larger frame snowblowers. It happens because one or both bolts on the end of the intermediate shaft come loose and it drops, eventually damaging or breaking the mounts. If you pin the end bolts on the intermediate shaft, they won’t come loose. If it already has happened, the 2 bad mounts can be removed, a new mount system machined to fit the other 4 and new spaces fixed up.


Bronze bushings from the 4-5 HP snowblowers (536.918100 & 200) axels and augers will directly replace the plastic 3/4" axel bushings on the 7 HP and larger machines. They won’t work in place of the plastic large frame auger bushings, because that’s 1” where the smaller machines are ¾”. For info on how flanged bearings can be substituted, see my other thread under Maintenance. I did get the auger bearings at: The Big Bearing Store. The axel bearings were SB204-12 3 1/4x3 ¼ and I found them on Ebay. Depending on availability, they can be rather costly, it would be good to find a suitable 3 hole ¾” bore bronze bushing with roughly 1 15/16” between centers of the holes. Possible bearings for ¾” shafts: SBPF204-12KG5 or UFC204-12 Square Flanged bearings. For 1” check SBPF204-16KG5 or TRD205 flanged bearings.


If you can’t find a substitute scraper bar, if all else fails then take some metal off the depth of your existing one then weld on some new metal stock to it. Most times there are scraper bars that will work but may take some redrilling to fit. You may have some warping after welding, so it may need straightening.

If a governor wire is missing or broken, a duplicate can be made from 16 gauge anchor wire (Hardware Hank Hardware Store item). It bends easy and holds it shape when in use and costs around $5 for 100’.


The same basic engine can be used on a lot of brand and models of snowblowers. Other than different colors and minor issues, most have the same basic long-block (some have the 1 shaft vs. 2 shaft issue), so many can be substituted for others with little or no modification. You need to do your research though to confirm that.

Electric starters for Tecumseh 7 HP and up: I’ve found little difference in them other than the pinion gear along with the end with the plug and starter button. If it’s for your make of engine, has the right number of pinion teeth and it spins, it should work. Even if yours needs a short pinion, most have an end on the pinion that just removes if you need the short version. The starter for a 4 HP works just fine on a 5 HP.


My first friction disc snowblower was missing a number of parts for putting tension on the disc when propelling the unit. After not find the parts etc to take it back to original. I added a spring in the chassis that will pull the friction disc to the friction plate when it’s in gear. I added a bracket to hook the one end of the spring to. Worked out well in place of the original missing parts


Bulk chain can be greatly cheaper than buying precut-to-length chains from the retailer. Just make sure you get the right size chain, grind the pin off the right link and drive it out with a hammer/punch or chain splitter. You still need a split link etc to put it together. Remember to lube it well before putting it in. I found True Pitch 41 RIV roller chain worked on most of my snowblowers, though there are other sizes available so check yours against the various sizes.

If you have the auger assembly out or off the snowblower, I suggest removing the auger sections from the shaft and paint and/or grease the shaft to insure the augers are not rusted solid to the shaft. If in doubt, replace your shear pins too while you have it apart.

If you can’t find a correct friction disc for your snowblower, check other brands. It’s probable you can find something that will work with a little modification. Might have to drill new mounting holes or alter the shaft hole, but those can be handled easily. Looks like a 6” Toro friction disc may work on a Craftsman snowblower if the center hole is enlarged and new mounting holes are drilled.


If you need a specialty piece of equipment for one or two uses (like gear pullers, bearing separators etc), many times you can rent them or check your local auto parts stores as many also will loan them out with some purchase.

A simple jig can hold an auger assembly vertical once removed from the snowblower. This is useful if you are soaking it to loosen the auger sections from the shaft. Once removed, if you clean the shaft up then either paint it or use a rust arresting coating prior to greasing, it will help prevent future rust issues.


Something I’ve used to encapsulate rust is a product called Rust Bullet. Clean it up as much as you can then paint this on the metal parts. It’s worked pretty good so far for me. Another thing is if you have things apart, now is a good time to clean it up and use rust preventing paint like Rustolium to help keep it from reoccurring.

To clean up carbon off the piston or head areas, I found brake cleaner along with a Scotchbrite pad works well. Around the valves, I rotate the engine so one valve is open at a time and use brake cleaner and a brass rotary brush in a hand drill. Once that’s done, I spray the piston, cylinder walls etc with WD40 after cleaning them up.

As you’re disassembling something, take pictures to remember how it goes back together.

I needed a spring for the belt tensioning mechanism on one snowblower. I found that a spring from a mini trampoline like is used for exercising (around 4' diameter) and it proved to be a direct replacement for the missing part.


The auger assemblies on Murray/Craftsman snowblowers will interchange between the same model ranges (536.918xxx & 536.882xxx) so if yours is bad and you can find a suitable replacement, you may be able to use that instead. Same with many parts, they’re the same within the various models (small frame to small frame and large frame to large frame). The following startes as a 32" 3 stage and I swapped a 26" 2 stage.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Couple of additional items

Thought of a couple of additional items.
If you need a skid pan for a snowblower, heavier heat duct metal works well for me. You can cut, bend and form it, it's readily available and takes paint.

If you are looking for an electric starter, be sure that you understand that a starter for a 4 or 5 hp unit will not fit on large frame motors and vice versa. The have different mounts, different pinions, the smaller starter has a shroud over the pinion and requires opening a spot in the flywheel cover while the larger motor starter fits into a expanded are in the flywheel cover. When mounting, be careful of the bolts you use. Use too long a bolt and you could punch a hole in the side of the cylinder.
 

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Tips

HC,

Great tips! You obviously put a lot of time into adding this to the forum.

I did see that Youtube of the small engine guy (donyboy) who solders new ends on cables making them from wood molds. In this manner, you can remanufacture new cables from what's available. Many times a cable with the same ends as needed but longer length will work by just rerouting the cable to travel farther.

These devices are fairly crude and it is fun "going through" the web's parts bin so to speak.

QR
 

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A better replacement for the small (#9 in the picture) plastic bushings (Sears part number #53703) used on the auger control/brake shaft (#44 in the picture) (Sears part number #1451).

McMaster Carr #9440T21 Graphite SAE 841 Bronze Flange Bearing Diameter, 5/8" OD, 3/8" Length for 1/2" Shaft @ $1.08 each.

Their selection of bushing sizes is the best I have ever seen.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Good source

Here is a good selection of bushings. Unfortunately there is no easy way to search so just kind of have to look at every category and look at the sizes.
Bearings, Bushings and Repair Kits.
Thanks for the tip on this one. Found one that I'm going to have to check out. Looks like it may work as an auger shaft bushing replacement for the smaller units I have with the 3/4" auger shaft. I have a little checking to do, but that's more than I've found on that in quite some time. Thanks again.

Paul
 

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Two questions

Thanks for the tips. With minor changes some of these tips should work for my tractors and motorcycles as well.

I've got an older Ariens with a two shaft motor that I'd like to replace. Are there any new engines that are available with two shafts?

I use my snowblowers for commercial work. Often the business I'm clearing is closed, so I don't have access to 120v power to start the engine. Do you know if 12v starters from lawn tractors can be used on snow blower engines? Does each brand have it's own starter or are there a couple of standard sizes that fit all engines?
 

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You should be able to get a 12v starter for any snowblower engine. Just a matter of finding a compatible one. Do you plan on also putting a small tractor battery on the blower or jumping it from a car battery? A charging coil on the engine would be helpful if you are using a small battery. If you plan on using a car battery than you will need to make sure that is charged. Probably best to use a separate battery than the one actually in your car.
 

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You should be able to get a 12v starter for any snowblower engine. Just a matter of finding a compatible one. Do you plan on also putting a small tractor battery on the blower or jumping it from a car battery? A charging coil on the engine would be helpful if you are using a small battery. If you plan on using a car battery than you will need to make sure that is charged. Probably best to use a separate battery than the one actually in your car.
I am using a 11hp honda clone with a 12v starter and charging circuit on my cub cadet snow blower. I made a battery box for a lawn tractor battery and fitted it. Now i can just turn the key and start it just like my lawn tractor.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Starter options

I've got an older Ariens with a two shaft motor that I'd like to replace. Are there any new engines that are available with two shafts?

I use my snowblowers for commercial work. Often the business I'm clearing is closed, so I don't have access to 120v power to start the engine. Do you know if 12v starters from lawn tractors can be used on snow blower engines? Does each brand have it's own starter or are there a couple of standard sizes that fit all engines?
Unfortunately the only 2 shaft units I know of are the 5hp and below Tecumsehs. Might be others but I don't know.

On the starter issue, something just came into my thoughts. Two items that might work if a 12v starter doesn't, one would be a small generator and the other would be a small 110v invertor. Don't know how practical either might be for you, but worth consideration. Good luck

Paul
 

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Two items that might work if a 12v starter doesn't, one would be a small generator and the other would be a small 110v inverter.
The inverter isn't a viable option, the starters pull a LOT of electricity. An inverter of the size I'd need is well over $100.

only 2 shaft units I know of are the 5hp and below Tecumsehs
that's what I've found as well. The best option I've found for engine replacement is to buy a single shaft engine and replace the cam and cam cover.

Right now the plan is just to use battery cables and jump start it if necessary. The starter is a backup anyway, it fires right up unless it's out where there isn't any electricity available.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Tire chain repair

If you have a set of snowblower tire chains with broken cross links, you may not need to replace them if they're otherwise in usable condition. I bought some twisted link chain as a home supply store, came to $1.50 a foot and a foot should replace around 2 sections.

If you look at the end, there's a simple hook type connector there. You need to bend it open to remove it from the outer chain. Mark where that end it on the outer chain, lay it out flat on the ground or bench. measure a good section to measure out how much chain to cut for the repair.
Hold the hook end with a pair of pliers and work the bends wrapping the outer chain, use a large strong screwdriver or other tool and open up those bends. Remove the old broken cross chain, put the new one on the hooked end, put that back onto the outer chain and close the bends up using pliers, hammer or whatever you feel comforable using.
Now do the other end, same process except before closing the bends, insure that the chain lays as flat as it can.

This set came on a blower I bought but had some damaged chain on it. They aren't anything special but I have them and want to use them. for $1.50 and a little time, seemed like a good investment. I have some extra chain left so I'm thinking about changing a few more.

Here's a tip for putting chains on. If they seem next to impossible to get on and are definitely for that tire then there's a couple of things you can do. Hook the inside first and orient the chains on the tire so it's not hooked on any of the tread. If you still have trouble getting the outer connecter hooked on the tire, consider letting some air out of the tire. If you let some air out, the chains will be easier to get on the tire. Remember when done to air up the tires again.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Auger pulley bearings

If you have a bad auger pulley bearing, don't necessarily assume you have to go back to the vendor for a full replacement. Here's one from a Craftsman snowblower 536-918200

A replacement was something like $40 from Sears for the whole thing because you can't buy just the bearing. I used a socket and drove out the old bearing from the housing. I then started the new bearing into the housing, a couple of pieces of wood for protection on either side and used a vice to press the new bearing into the housing. It was the same bearing as was in there originally. I just measured the old one and ordered a new sealed bearing as a replacement.

Cost of the bearing was a couple of bucks along with shipping.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Auger beaters

Sometimes the auger is rusted or stuck on the auger shaft. Sometimes you can impact the auger enough to loosen it up, if it has the right conditions. There needs to be a full length auger shaft, there has to be some room between the inside of the augers and the gearbox and you have to be able to get the assembly out of the auger housing.
First thing I made was an auger beater (for lack of a better name), it's nothing more than a piece of steel pipe that the I.D. is slightly bigger than the O.D. of the shaft, along with that the pipe should closely match the end of the auger as you can.
Here's a pair I made for both 3/4" and 1" auger shafts, they're a piece of steel pipe with a chunk of steel welded onto one end. It needs to be long enough to not impact the end of the auger shaft, only the ends of the augers.

The auger assembly needs to be supported, along with that you want something like a chunk of 2x4 under it to protect the opposite end of the assembly.


If there's a size issue, slip a thick proper diameter washer between the auger end and the beater.
With the assembly properly supported, I give it a whack with either a heavy maul or a sledge hammer swung choking up on the handle and using 1 hand. You need to be careful you don't drive the auger into the gearbox but that takes time and finess.
I've used this along with heat, penetrating oil, hydraulic press and various other things to free up augers that were stuck solid on a auger shaft.
Here's the last one I used this (along with a few other things) to get some stuck augers off the shaft. It took some time but it worked.
 

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Awesome site fellows!! I've always wished there was such a site like the My tractor forum for snow throwers!!

Just a food for thought since we all know what snow, salt and metal does. Name me one old snow thrower that comes apart easly.
I received this from a friend since he overheard me talking about my stuborn rusted pulley on my Eager-1

Have a rusted bolt problem? A 50/50 mix of acetone & ATF=Best Ever! Here's the cold, hard facts from the April/May 2007 edition of Machinist's Workshop. They did a test of penetrating oils where they measured the force required to loosen rusty test devices. Buy the issue if you want to see how they did the test. The results reported were interesting. The lower the number of pounds the better.

Penetrating oil . Average load .. Price per fluid ounce
None ................. 516 pounds .
WD-40 .............. 238 pounds .. $0.25
PB Blaster ......... 214 pounds .. $0.35
Liquid Wrench ... 127 pounds .. $0.21
Kano Kroil ........ 106 pounds .. $0.75
ATF-Acetone mix.. 53 pounds .. $0.10

 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
More alternatives

If you have some plastic bushings like this one (top left in picture) there may be a replacement available:

I found a B&S part 9517MA looks to be the same item. Only thing I can't tell from the picture is whether it's for a 3/4" shaft or 1"
The Sears part number was either 54423 or 54424.

I also found that the cable for a remote chute control (the one that adjusts the tip up or down) on many Craftsman Snowblowers apparently is still available. Check out part (I think it's B&S) 49551MA as a replacement. This is the one with a sheath on it and a loop on each end of the cable. You might be able to modify it to use as a auger/drive control cable also.
 

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I have the Craftsman 536.918100. You stated the tires can be replaced. Mine are warn down and there is no information on the size.

Do you happen to know the wheel size? Or better yet what tire can be used?

Mark
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
Replacement wheels

Jumpy

I've changed wheels on several of the smaller 536.918xxx model snowblowers, changing from the hard rubber to pneumatic tires. This was one with a 22" wide auger, if you have a 20" it may stick out a tad beyond the width of the auger, depending on what you get and how you cut them. Easiest check I can think of is measure from the bolt hole to the outside of the wheel/tire and compare it to your snowblower and see if it's acceptable or not.

I don't have the size here in front of me but I can get that if it will help. I just did eyeball measuring and found the closest ones to the original wheels I could find.

Here's one of them with the rubber tires:


I bought the rims used so I don't know the source, but I found all the same type with the same tires. Make sure the tires are 'rounded' tread rather than flat or you won't have enough clearance by the bottom of the handlebars:

The axel is 3/4" while these were 7/8" but had a sleeve that reduced them down to 3/4". The hubs on the inside were too long for this to use without modifications. I took a piece of wooden dowel (happened to have on hand), made a mark for the bolt hole then measured and marked from there the distance to the inside of the axel tube on an original then did the same thing on the replacement wheel. The difference is how much the replacement wheels needed to be cut down:


To shorten them, I made a support that fully fit the table of my drill press, supporting the wheel by the edge of the rim. I put an arbor with a 3" abrasive cutoff wheel in the drill press, adjusted so the wheel aligned with the mark

I run the drill press at a medium speed and just slowly rotate the hub against the cutoff wheel slowly and let the wheel do the cutting. Do it this way and it cuts it off even, don't just try and push the wheel through the cutter or it will come out uneven.

Once it's cut off, then it's a simple matter of using a file and clean up the edges, touchup you cut with some paint. If the bolt hole is the same size then mount it up. Happen the wheels had 1/4" holes while the axel had 5/16", so I came in at an angle with a 5/16" jobber drill bit (a long one) to open them up a little then I used a piece of a round file to even out the holes. Here's how one looked when I was done:


Just for comparison here's one that still has the original wheels on it:

Note the obvious difference in diameter on them, the replacement pneumatics are larger but definitely worth the effort in my mind.

Hope that helps.
 

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brass bushing are available at most hardware stores, standard sizes on the old machines are great! Also springs, roll pins, keys, and so on. Ours also has a huge selection of belts, normal and heavy duty kevlar. Heck they even stock numerous sizes of bearings!!!! All in there nut/bolt/hillman isle.
 

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Thank you very much for such a detailed reply.

This is what I came up with as far as the tire dimensions:
2 3/4" tire width
5 1/2" rim
3" Hub length
OD = 9.5
Axle shaft = 3/4"

Does this look right?

I guess what I am really trying to do is purchase a pneumatic tire and rim. What dimension would I put in when looking?
 
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