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Hi all, I bought an old 1987 master craft snowblower in September. It was manufactured by mtd I’m told, but am having a lot of trouble finding any information or parts for it, so I decided to join this forum. My first question is, as the title says, are there any other options to chains on tires when the tires slip badly? I’m asking because I have a concrete driveway and don’t want to damage it with chains.

My next question will be brief, where to find a manual and parts for this snowblower, mastercraft, or mtd Model number 317 851 5157?

Thanks for any assistance!
 

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can't find anything on that model number but if you need a particular part you could look at the similar MTD blower as I did with a White brand blower, Looked up MTD parts and a perfect match.
 

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Welcome to the forum.:welcome:
I can't help you with parts but the chains wont harm your driveway, my dad used them on his for over 30 years without any damage.
 

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hello greg, welcome to SBF
 

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:welcome:

I'm a believer of better tires instead of chains. Are you having a tough time with the existing tires?

As far as the model number, can you post a few pictures of the machine and the model number tag? Parts are fairly generic across the MTD line. Does it need any parts right now?
 

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Welcome! As tpenfield said, better tires may help you. I'm not aware of other alternatives to chains, if you want to avoid metal that could damage your driveway. Some people put screws into their tires, to stud them. That's an *alternative*, but no better, for what you want.

The Carlisle X-Trac tires apparently perform quite well, and are reasonably priced. You may need to take the tires and wheels somewhere to swap over to the new tires, however. Something like those could be an option. Or maybe adjusting your tire pressures, or adding weight over the wheels, for more traction.
 

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I'll echo what others have said... better tires are the way to go!

I used chains years ago but they were a PITA and make the machine (more) uncomfortable to use as the wheels bounce up and down on the chains whenever they're rolling. I had one machine with solid tires and tried driving screws into them... it helped a bit but the screw heads wore down very quickly.

Seach here or Google "X-trac" and "Sno-hog" to read about better tires that are available.

I should say all this applies only if your machine has pneumatic (ie not solid) tires. If you have solid tires, your options may be very limited unless you can swap on a set of pneumatic tires on different wheels.
 

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I had a machine with (worn) solid (non-pneumatic) tires, and I put chains on it. I remember it being great, at least on ice. The tires had no give, so they punched the chains down into the ice as it rolled. And it was a great transmission, so no slipping. Sadly, the 5hp engine (which may have been tired) let it down. But you can put chains on solid tires if needed.
 

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I used wheel chains on my blowers for years before I switched over to tracked models. I was doing quite a few concrete drives, never any notable damage. The home owners were doing real damage with ice melt thou on the lower grade concrete. Told them it was eating up their drives, but they put it anyway. Never a problem from chains.
 

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Can you sew or know anyone that does. Sweat shirts turned inside out provide excellent traction. You can search u-tube for proof of concept.
I have a very steep concrete driveway and when it gets icy I put autosocks on my 4-wheel drive truck or Jeep Rubicon to get up the driveway if regular 4 wheel drive won't do it. The autosocks will always get me to the top of the hill. These type of traction improvers come in a variety on names by different manufacturers such as TireSocks, Michelin Easy Grip, and ISSE.
You cannot buy these for your snow blower but you could sure make a set with an old sweat shirt and some elastic around the sides.
I know this is thinking out of the box but I do know they work for greatly improved traction on my vehicles.
Check this link.
https://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2016/01/snow-traction-when-you-need-it/index.htm
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Welcome! As tpenfield said, better tires may help you. I'm not aware of other alternatives to chains, if you want to avoid metal that could damage your driveway. Some people put screws into their tires, to stud them. That's an *alternative*, but no better, for what you want.

The Carlisle X-Trac tires apparently perform quite well, and are reasonably priced. You may need to take the tires and wheels somewhere to swap over to the new tires, however. Something like those could be an option. Or maybe adjusting your tire pressures, or adding weight over the wheels, for more traction.
I just looked up the tires you mentioned. They look good, but I’m not sure which ones I need. How do I determine that? Thanks for your help
 

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You need to look at the markings on your existing tires:


If you're having trouble finding the correct numbers, see if you can get a good photo of one of the tires and post it here.
 

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The autosocks will always get me to the top of the hill. These type of traction improvers come in a variety on names by different manufacturers such as TireSocks, Michelin Easy Grip, and ISSE.
You cannot buy these for your snow blower but you could sure make a set with an old sweat shirt and some elastic around the sides.
Interesting idea! I'd never seen these things before, but I saw a bunch of them over the holidays while traveling. Kind of emergency snow tires/chains, but you can drive around on them somewhat (it's not *just* for getting up the hill you're stuck on).

It's an interesting question, of how effective they would be on a snowblower tire. The car ones are meant for fairly-smooth tires, so the sock has a lot of contact area with the ground. On a blower with modern knobby tires (Snow Hogs, X-Tracs, etc), the sock would only be squeezed by the knobs on the tires, I wonder how that would impact its effectiveness.

I'd love to hear the results, if someone tried it. Perhaps there is something that could be done, between just tires, and full-on chains. Using a strip of fabric, sewed to a suitable circular length that held it tight around the tire, could be pretty cool. This isn't a car, no one is going to die if it came off and you lost traction. So perhaps it could be a long strip that you wrap around the tire (vs sewing it into a circle), and use velcro to secure it around the tire. If there was some fabric with little plastic bumps, maybe you could gain a little extra grip, without scraping up the driveway.
 

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I'm sure the OP has a couple of old sweat shirts he could sacrifice to try it out. I went with the autosocks because both my Jeep and Ram truck does not allow the use of tire chains due to clearance issues between the wheels and brakes/brake lines.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
:welcome:

I'm a believer of better tires instead of chains. Are you having a tough time with the existing tires?

As far as the model number, can you post a few pictures of the machine and the model number tag? Parts are fairly generic across the MTD line. Does it need any parts right now?

Here are some pics, its taken me the last 2 hours to upload them. for some reason it wouldn't work. anyone ever have that problem on this site?
 

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You need to look at the markings on your existing tires:


If you're having trouble finding the correct numbers, see if you can get a good photo of one of the tires and post it here.
I'll take a look at the tires and see what I can find. if I cant tell I'll post some more pics. You might be able to tell from the pics I already posted, I'm not sure. Thanks again for your help.
 

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Your tires are not as knobby as I was expecting. The newer tires have more aggressive treads. Changing to X-Tracs, or at least Snow Hogs, would seem like a good place to start.
 
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