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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)

New to the forum. I have a 12 year old Troy Bilt 24" Tecumseh Model #31AS6BN2711. I have ignored it maintenance wise until now but have seen the error of my ways.

I had a question about the auger case vent plug. In the MANUAL it says the following:

Gear Case

The auger gear case has been filled with grease at the
factory. If disassembled for any reason, lubricate with
two ounces of grease (Part Number 737-0168).
NOTE: Do not overfill the gear case. Damage to the
seals could result. Be sure the vent plug is free of
grease in order to relieve pressure.
I asked MTD chat (big mistake because it seems they are completely useless) and the person said it's a grease fill plug. I said if it's a fill plug, why is it referred to as a vent plug in the manual and what pressure are we talking about? Warm weather usage? I was confused because who uses a snowblower during warm weather where pressure build up in the auger case is relevant?

So here are my questions:

1. Is it a vent plug?
2. Is it a fill plug?
3. Do I have to fill the auger case with "00" grease if I have never done it in 12 years after say 5-7 hours of use each year?
4. If I take apart the gear case, are you supposed to use gasket sealer on the vent plug? I saw a video of some guy who said gasket sealer was already on the fill plug.
5. If it's a fill plug, why does the manual say "Be sure the vent plug is free of grease in order to relieve pressure."?
6. If it's a fill plug, why didn't they make it threaded so that it can be sealed up properly instead of just a flimsy rubber plug?

Thanks in advance.

P.S. I have since done the following maintenance:

Changed the oil twice - ran it for about 30 minutes in between to really get the old oil out. 5W30 as I'm in the Northeast.
Ordered a new drive and auger belt (lots of rubber shavings inside of the housing)
Used an angle grinder and a sanding disc and cleaned up, primed with rust reformer and repainted all the rusty spots on the housing. FYI Rust-o-leum "Regal Red" is a perfect color match for my unit.
Installed a set of 12" monster skids from with new galvanized hardware (non-carriage since the square hole on one side was rounded out). Hex bolts with washers on both sides, lock washer, and nut. Old ones were TOAST.`
Greased the drive shaft, auger gear.
Removed wheels (one side I had to tap the shaft with my wife pulling on the tire), used some 120 grit sandpaper to remove rust build up and lubed up the axle with Blaster Pro Grade Multipurpose lithium-based grease
Replaced the shave plate
Lubed the idler and tension pulleys
Lubed auger shaft (white lithium grease)
Replaced all shear pins (this whole thing started when 1 shear pin broke preventing the unit from throwing snow effectively
I've also done the rubber tire auger mod. 1/4" steel stock x 1 1/4". Galvanized hardware.
New champion spark plug

Here are some pics.


2,446 Posts
is there a drain plug on the gearcase ?

Super Moderator
2,677 Posts
Very similar to the one on the Searsasaurus and others I've had. It's a vent, not unlike the vent on a automobile differential. IIRC there should be a threaded plug of some form for filling the unit. If no plug is present then it likely will require disassembly of the unit to add grease.

There's the chance of pressure building up within the case during heavier use and if no way to vent the pressure it can cause seal failure.
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