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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I read a bunch of reviews and most were very positive about the cub cadet 3X setup, so I bought a 3X 28, and was very happy with it until this spring, but I find it useless in the heavy, wet Nor'easter snow we had all spring. It almost immediately clogs up the center auger and turns into a 300 lb shovel. I'm very unhappy with my $1200 paperweight. My question is what to do about it?

I see quite a few brand new 3x's for sale on craigslist. I'm guessing there are more than a few people who have experienced the same disappointment and want to get rid of their machines. I would be happy to just convert it to a 2x if that is possible. I saw another thread that asked if it could be done, but all the suggestions were to just sell it. I don't really want to unload my headache onto someone else if I can convert it to a 2x.
 

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Hi Moog,
welcome to the forum! :)
You are far from the first to have this issue..but there is probably something you dont know..the story of 2-stage snowblowers and slushy snow:

Converting it to a 2X wouldnt help, dont bother, the "3-stage" isnt the problem, at all.
it would work exactly the same in wet slush if you converted it to 2-stage..you would gain nothing.

The problem is that virtually *all* 2-stage snowblowers are useless in wet slush..they just arent equipped or designed to handle it.
they basically *cant* handle it, because of the way they work..
the problem isnt your snowblower, its the snow. ;)
If you have less than 2" or 3" of slushy snow, and its October or March..just dont bother to clear it at all..it will melt away in a few days..
thats how most people handle Autumn and Spring slush..

Your snowblower (and all 2-stage snowblowers) (your snowblower is really a 2-stage..calling it a "3-stage" is just a marketing gimmick)
are designed for 4" or more of "cold" winter snow..25 degree F or colder..thats where they shine.

My advice..dont worry about it.
your snowblower is fine, there is nothing wrong with it.
it does what its supposed to do, and it cant do what it isnt designed to do..same as virtually all 2-stage snowblowers.

Here in western NY, we get more than 1" of "slushy snow" maybe once or twice a year, and 90% of the time the snowblower isnt even needed..because there isnt much of it, and its 40 degrees the next day and it quickly melts. I only break out the snowblower for 4" or more of "regular" snow..almost never use it for wet slushy snow.

If you live in a climate where the *majority* of the snow is wet and slushy, like Virginia, or near the Atlantic coast, then you want a single-stage snowblower.
where do you live?

There is one thing you can do to improve the slush handling on a 2-stage, an "impeller kit"..lots of threads about it this forum.
I bought an impeller kit probably 6 years ago for my 1971 Ariens..still havent installed it! ;) because there is about one time per year where it would really be needed..
but it is an option..Threads about impeller kits:

https://www.google.com/search?q=snowblowerforum.com+"impeller+kit"&oq=snowblowerforum.com+"impeller+kit"&aqs=chrome..69i57.6894j0j4&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

Scot
 

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How much would it cost to switch over????????? I am guessing it really only involves changing oot the Augers. and it just might keep on clogging anyway. can you return it or is it a little to late for that. What shape are the belts in also??? might have to tighten them down and see what happens. Anyhoo, ALOHA from the never ending snowstorm here in the Paradise City.:smiley-rpg027::smiley-rpg027::smiley-rpg027::smiley-rpg027::smiley-rpg027:
 

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mmogie - I agree with Sscotsman completely that a 3 stage machine is a marketing ploy though I've never used one. It's possible that the third stage might be effective for high EOD after the town plows have come by. Also agree that 2 stage machines are not designed for wet slushy snow. I have not done this yet, but many on here swear installing the rubber impeller kits are the way to go. I suggest YouTube to see what everyone is taking about. I also have a paddle driven single stage machine, which virtually all single stage are paddle driven, I use for those light snows or for slushy snows that aren't very deep.

Not to long ago there was another new person making the same exact inquiry concerning 3 stage. Again, it's not the 3rd stage that is causing the problem.
 

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3 stage snowblowers

I read a bunch of reviews and most were very positive about the cub cadet 3X setup, so I bought a 3X 28, and was very happy with it until this spring, but I find it useless in the heavy, wet Nor'easter snow we had all spring. It almost immediately clogs up the center auger and turns into a 300 lb shovel. I'm very unhappy with my $1200 paperweight. My question is what to do about it?

I see quite a few brand new 3x's for sale on craigslist. I'm guessing there are more than a few people who have experienced the same disappointment and want to get rid of their machines. I would be happy to just convert it to a 2x if that is possible. I saw another thread that asked if it could be done, but all the suggestions were to just sell it. I don't really want to unload my headache onto someone else if I can convert it to a 2x.
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Hello mmogie,

As mentioned by the members the three stage design is nothing more than a marketing gimmick.

Short of:
Using fluid film to coat everything that contacts snow each time you go out-It works and many of us have been using it for years.

painting the inside of the impeller housing and chute with slick plate paint

Taking 1/2 or 1/3 cuts

1. installing larger jets in the carburator
2. lining the chute with slick sheet material
3. lining the impeller housing with slick sheet material
4. removing the propeller in front of the gear box

You do not have a lot of options.


Slush will always be a problem as it takes a huge amount of power and torque to get rid of it.


The three stage designs are nothing more than heat generators due to the twin snow and ice breaking propellers
as they generate a huge amount of heat simply due to the friction they create when chopping through the snow as it enters the cross auger housing.

Unless you are lucky enough to live in an area that has very little temperature change they will not work well.

Adding the impeller kit and painting the impeller housing, the chute, and the cross auger housing with slick plate is about the only other option I can offer except for some snow blower surgery.

The snow blower surgery involves a bit of surgical preparation to close off a 1/3 of the impeller housing opening with a steel plate drilled with several holes to mount to the cross auger housing.

1. wash out snow blower with hot water to get rid of all the grit and salt.
2. Remove both cross augers so you have room to work
a. remove the snow and ice breaking propellers completely and throw them in the scrap bin.

3. Measure to fit the restriction plate so 1/3 of the impeller housing opening is closed off.
a. you will be able to take everything apart if you need to remove the impeller as it just bolts into place

4 have a machine shop cut a piece of 1/2 moon shaped steel that will cover 1/3 of the impeller housing opening (square area) and drill the holes for you so you can simply line it up and drill the matching holes in the cross auger housing.

If possible bring a picture of the interior of the cross auger housing and the exterior of the cross auger housing
where the bolts will pass through to the exterior next to the impeller housing.

5. paint the piece of steel with several coats of slick plate paint on both sides and let it dry.

6. purchase fine threaded bolts and washers and blue loctite to coat the bolt threads to secure them in place and to prevent them from vibrating loose. the bolt heads are the only portion of the bolt you want in the cross auger housing.


By installing the baffle plate in the upper left hand corner the amount of snow that is being pushed into the impeller housing is metered/reduced and the impeller paddles will not be overwhelmed with slush or snow.

I guess its going to be a case of how much you want to try to do with it.

The better larger farm tractor rear mounted snow blowers have this plate to prevent the impeller from becoming plugged up with ice and snow.

The snow, ice and slush has no chance of being pushed back out into the cross auger housing and has to be ejected through the chute and spout.
 

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I should have mentioned this in my previous thread, leonz reminded me and I will repeat him. Installing some type of slippery plastic that would line the chute and impeller housing area would help improve the removal of all snow. You can use HDPE, or a very flexible plastic sledding material called Magic Carpet.
 

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Welcome to the forum! I'm sorry you're having trouble with your new machine. Knowing where you're located would help people better understand what kind of snow you're dealing with.

I have lots of respect for Scot, but cannot fully agree with his suggestion. At least for just waiting for slushy snow to melt, and that a single stage is the only option. Our driveway goes up an incline, we may not be able to get out if I have to wait for it to melt.

I would first be certain that your machine is functioning properly.

Are all of the shear pins intact? With the engine off, make sure that neither of the main augers can spin on the auger shaft, make sure their shear pins are still locking them to the auger shaft. Then check this on the center, 3rd stage auger as well. Maybe watch the impeller, and try to rotate the 3rd stage auger by hand. It should be locked to the impeller, they need to turn together. If anything is able to spin on its shaft, when they should be locked together, that will create snow-clearing problems.

I am a believer in the impeller kit. I made my own, it took some time, but was worth it. I have a 2-stage Ariens, it never clogged once in the wet snow we got in MA late this winter.

If you're dealing with a small amount of snow, and it wants to clog, you can also try using a faster ground speed. Sometimes 2-stage machines have trouble when there isn't much snow, as there's not enough going through the impeller. In those conditions, traveling faster, and making full-width cuts, can help feed more snow into the impeller, which may help avoid clogs. It's free to try, at least.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
More info

Thanks for all the input.

I’m in central New York, near Cooperstown.

I should clarify a couple of things:

The snowblower is brand new and fully functional. No broken shear pins, everything is turning fine.

It worked great on the drier snow early on the year and I was quite happy with it. The trouble started with the several-in-a-row nor’easter’s we got late in the season. It was not slush, just late-season snow that is wetter than the early winter snow.

I have a 25-year-old 24” toro 2-stage that handled it just fine. But the the cub’s 3x central auger just plugged up with the snow, basically nullifying the screw action. It becomes a solid cylinder of snow that spins around but does not feed into the impeller.
 

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While I was oot side cleaning up this Lastest and Greatest CRAP Show. I was watching people who have a single stage unit and they were having nothing but problems with this heavy moist snow. So I went and lit up 'SR" And he was pitching the stuff a country mile long. and HE has no impeller kit on him and is not coated in any High FLOOTING SPRAY SCHTICK what so ever. and laid waste to everything in his path. AND THAT IS ALL THE MORE I AM SAYING ON THIS 1.:smiley-shocked033::smiley-shocked033:
 

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But the the cub’s 3x central auger just plugged up with the snow, basically nullifying the screw action. It becomes a solid cylinder of snow that spins around but does not feed into the impeller.
Go see leonz for some of his Fluid Film. I think he is located neat your locale. It will probably help keep the slush for sticking. Or, maybe you can just extend the length of your 3rd stage long enough that you can just collect ALL of the snow from your driveway on it, and park your snowblower in the sun, or in your garage and have it melt off of it. LOL, of course.
 

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If it's getting stuck on the 3rd stage auger, and everything is functioning correctly, then that kinda sucks. I've never used Fluid Film. But before chasing down a specialty product, other options include cooking spray (Pam, etc), and silicone spray. I haven't needed either one on my Ariens machines, or my previous MTD, but I tried them with a very old (60's-70's) Simplicity that I had. It had a rusted metal chute, which was part of the sticking problem, I'm sure.
 

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+1 for doing the impeller kit. That may help enough that the 3X gimmick won't be a problem.

Those Cub Cadets are made by MTD , which do not have the best impeller designs.
 

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Considering that the snow gets packed on the '3rd stage' auger, it may be worth changing from 3X to a 2X and it may solve the issue.
I'd look at reviews on the CC 2X to see if there are complains about clogs as well and make a decision.
An impeller 'seal' will definitely help if it clogs at the impeller housing or chute, but if the snow can't get there the impeller 'seal' won't help.
 

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Thanks for all the input.

The trouble started with the several-in-a-row nor’easter’s we got late in the season. It was not slush, just late-season snow that is wetter than the early winter snow.

I have a 25-year-old 24” toro 2-stage that handled it just fine. But the the cub’s 3x central auger just plugged up with the snow, basically nullifying the screw action. It becomes a solid cylinder of snow that spins around but does not feed into the impeller.
Good thing you kept the Toro :smile2:
 
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Make sure all your shear pins are good. It sounds like the center one may be broken. The 3x is not a marketing ploy it is a legit design. Which i have yet to find a benefit to over a good 2 stage. I will say anyone that says you cant throw wet slushy snow has never run a toro powermax hd.
 

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I also have a Cub Cadet 3x that the days of me liking are coming to a middle.

A few years ago, I got mine from Home Depot. As I have come to learn, the Home Depot portion of the program is part of the problem. The Home Depot versions of stuff are apparently incredibly cheaply made. So, the first few years of the snowblower it worked pretty darn well. Handled most snow without too much drama.

The last year, though, has been rough. Last March I blew the auger belt with one of those ever-popular winter mixes. Since then, the only snow I haven’t had the repair guy out to change the belt is the one 6" powder snow. From reading reviews and comments on this site, this seems to be because the 3rd stage hurts more than it helps, plus the chute is small so it’s easy to clog up. I could repair the auger belt, but it’s a challenge. I do have 2 that I keep in reserve if I suddenly need one, though. Part of the problem with last year was we were getting hit again before I could get it fixed.

Last night we got 12-14" of heavy wet snow. Fortunately, I was able to pay a neighbor’s plow guy to plow me out. When I went out later to do some clean up, the auger is making an incredibly loud clanging noise. I just took a look at the blower and the middle auger and the impeller are resting against each other. So, I probably blew the bearings on the impeller.

I am starting to lean towards putting this on Craigslist and getting a different brand.
 
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