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Discussion Starter #1
I have a Craftsman 88999. The chute when I rotate it all the way to the right will not lock in place. As a result I can not throw snow a full 180 degrees. I have to hold the chute in place as I walk with the machine.

Can any point me in the right direction on how to fix this?
 

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Hmmm.... not realy understanding the setup. Is there a crank that turns it, or another means? Do you have a picture maybe of the setup, or maybe a full model number?
 

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From what I've seen when I googled that model number, the 88999 is a very highly rated machine. If I understand the parts diagram, the chute rotation and elevation is controlled by a single joy stick, but it's not clear to me what makes the connection between the stick and chute. If it's all cable, then perhaps there is an adjuster link at the end of the cables,sort of like those on motorcycle cables, that isn't quite where it needs to be.

Wish I could be of more help than that.
 

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Discussion Starter #5

Here's a picture. As you can see the chute is controlled by a joy stick attached to several cables that either rotate the chute left/right or up/down.

When I move the chute to the left, the red button on top of the joy stick pops out indicating that the chute is locked into position. I went out today and noticed that if I FORCE the chute all of the way to the right, the button will pop out and the chute does lock into place, however, a lot of effort is needed to accomplish this compared to moving the chute all the way to the left.

Why does this happen? I didn't even notice that I could lock it in place when moved all the way to the right until today, that's how much force is needed.
 

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Given what you've described, I'd guess that the cables that control the left right motion are some how out of proper adjustment. The Sears parts diagram didn't show the cables, but I think I'd look under the piece that covers the pivot point at the top of the chute to see what there is under there, or under the "dash board" where the bottom of the joy stick is. Those cables have to begin and end somewhere, and something sounds like it's just a bit out of alignment, or adjustment since it does lock, even though with some force.

Sears Parts Direct has a chat, and email option. It's in the upper right hand corner of the screen marked Get Help. They might be able to tell you how to correct the problem, if it isn't covered in the owner's manual.

Worth a try, especially if there's any warranty left on it.
http://www.searspartsdirect.com/partsdirect/faq.pd?pop=flush?pop=flush&commercialUI=false#
 

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Discussion Starter #7
You bring up a good point. I think it came with a 2 year warranty. I think I'll call Sears and find out if I can have it serviced before the snow comes. It certainly clears the snow with ease, so I like the unit itself. However, if I can get a tech. to come out to the house to fix whatever is wrong with it, that would be awesome.
 

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that would be awesome.
Sure would! Still, an online chat fix, or one via email, their claim being a response in 24 hours, would be pretty trick too.

Keep us posted, we all like to hear success stories.:cool:
 

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DEFENTLY seems that a cable is out of adjustment. Does it list any needed adjustments in the manual? I know my old MTD showed how to adjust them.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The manual does have a section on adjusting the cables, however, it's not very comprehensive. I fairly handy, so I'm sure I can handle it, but calling the service tech. would certainly be easier. Plus, while he's here I can grill him with questions about maintenance and what typical issues to look for in my unit.
 

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Ya defently fill us in!!

I find that sometimes you just need to bring the manual out with you, and read/fix together.... sometimes once you get in there, it all makes sence.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I got online and chatted with customer service, he wasn't very helpful. I then called and the woman on the other end tried to explain the problem to me, but you can tell she didn't really know what she was talking about. However, she did schedule an appt. for me on Friday, the tech. will be at the house between 1-5.

I then went out to the garage and took a look at the problem myself. I was out there for about an hour, I think it's just a bad design. I don't think there is anything wrong. I adjusted the belts, but I really don't think they needed adjustment. I think I'm going to have to live with just forcing the joystick all the way over so that the pin underneath locks the chute in place.
 

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I think it's just a bad design. I don't think there is anything wrong
You know.. sometimes I think they change things just to have a new "cool" design, and dont put enough thought into wether it works well, or is realy any better then the setup thats always been around. Ive messed around with them before at the store, and it just seemed strange to me the way it worked. Other then it not locking like it should, do you like the joystick setup?
 

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I'm not really surprised that the chat folks didn't have that good a notion of what to do. Can you imagine the range of products they've got to cover! Anyway, it was worth a try, and who knew, maybe you'd have gotten in touch with a snowblower buff at the other end who knew exactly what to do.

Let's hope the tech that's coming to your house has a trick or two up his sleeve.
 

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Here's a picture. As you can see the chute is controlled by a joy stick attached to several cables that either rotate the chute left/right or up/down.
Am I doing something wrong?
I don't see a picture. :confused:
I think it's just a bad design.
Certainly a possibility, but I think MTD builds that unit for Sears/Craftsman as well as many other resellers. If it is a bad design, they probably have thousands if not millions of them out there.

Needing adjustment still sounds like the most likely problem to me.
(And my opinion is worth just about what it cost you):D
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Tech. is coming out tomorrow. I don't think he's going to do anything though, like I've said before, I think it's poor design.

I have looked at the newer models. I really like that there is a metal rod leading from the joystick to the chute. It makes for a much easier movement and the chute actually locks in place.

Maybe the tech. and put that rod on my machine. That would be awesome.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Well the verdict is in. The tech was at my house and looked over the snow blower. He said exactly what I thought, that the chute/joystick is just a fairly poor design made of plastic parts. He sprayed some WD40 and that seemed to help a bit, but.........

I like the snow blower over all. It certainly is more machine than I need living in central Connecticut, so it should last me a long while since it will almost never be put to its max. In fact, the tech. said that there really isn't anything to watch out for in my snow blower, that they are pretty dependable. So as long as I do the normal maintenance, I should be happy for a long time.
 
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