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Discussion Starter #1
Been lurking a while so thought I'd finally join. Grew up on a farm so I'm a tinker by heart. This years first snow fall proved my little 1 stage wasn't going to cut it so looked at new and didn't find what I wanted so I started looking for used blowers. Bad enough I had to keep digging my place out but I also had to dig out the Daughter/Granddaughters place. I liked the old gear drive transmission Murray/Craftsman units so I first picked up 3 to rebuild into 2 working units. Found a pair of 4 hp 20" units and a 5 hp 22" blower. Mixed and matched parts (using the best parts on the final blowers), ended up with a 4 hp electric start blower and a 5 hp electric start blower - one for home and one at the daughters. Both start the first or 2d pull of the rope with the electric starter as backup.
Here's what I started with (working 4 hp in back, then parts machine then the 5 hp unit - before I changed out the wheels) after the rebuilds and parts swapping:

Then I stumbled onto a 7 hp 26" with drive issues for a bottom-feeder price. Well the front transmission mounts were broke off, so I found a parts chassis and the transmission mounts were broke on that one too. Not one to give up (and being too cheap to buy a new transmission), I designed and made my own transmission mounting system to reuse the original Tecumseh transmission and it worked. I stole the low speed needle out of the crap 4 hp motor and rebuilt the carb on the 7 HP and had a running snowblower.
Here's the 7 HP compared to the previous 5 hp one on the left - I'd already changed out the wheels to pneumatics on the 5 hp:

Here's what the broken transmission mounts looked like before I made my repair kit (I'd already cut off the damaged are in preparation for the repair parts):

Changed out a few things like putting pneumatic tires on the 4 & 5 HP units, swapped out the plastic drive axel bushings on the 7 HP with some metal ones from the 4 hp unit etc. I'd like to find something comparable to those metal bushings but with a 1" id to do the auger on the 7 HP, but haven't found any yet.
Next thing I plan to do is split the controls on the 7 HP one. Right now you can't engage the auger without also engaging the transmission which I don't like. I'm going to remake that so it's like the 5 hp - one control for the auger and a separate one for the drive.

I don't feel too bad, around $400 invested, 3 working blowers and a bunch of spare parts, including 2 extra auger gear housing and transmissions.

Pretty much sums up regarding my snow equipment, except I kept my 1 stage and snow shovel for when those apply.

Paul
 

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glad to have you. nice work on the machines. for a while plenty of friends and family would joke or laugh when I pulled something out of the garbage or spent $10 on some rusty hulk in a backyard. but they all come a knocking when their new tin toy falls apart and the need to borrow my tank-like iron that is still purring. even though the tanks are 45 years old
 

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Glad you decided to jump in HCBPH! Nice looking job on your snowblowers. Few things more satisfying than making something work again.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks

Thanks for the welcome and I appreciate the comments. I'm another one that enjoys seeing something given a second life. Having grown up on a farm, if it broke you fixed it and that philosophy is something I still believe in. Whether it's wood working equipment, metal working equipment, cars, etc; many of my things are old or even older than I am in some cases. I like seeing something that someone else viewed as junk doing it's job again. I honestly think that these machines will outlive me, given proper care and maintenance.

I do have one complaint though. I was still in the process of repairing and rebuilding the 7 HP blower when we had the last big snow this year, so I haven't had a chance to try it out other than moving some snow around in my back yard. It's snowing again today, but just a dusting from what I've seen so far so it's going to have to wait a while longer to see how well it works.

Paul
 
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