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Discussion Starter #1
Hey All,

Title tells my story. I was raking snow off the roof, and went to use the ST726 to clear that from the walk. So the snow was pretty packed and a bit wet due to warm temps. I guess it was a bit much for the auger to handle, it squealed a bit and stopped spinning. Impeller was still going. Hand-spinning the auger it goes around a ways and then stops, both directions.

Opened the auger drive gearbox, and it was mostly dry, and the gear was not touching another gear. Makes me think something went wrong in there. Guessing that parts are NLA. Unless there is some sort of universal fit gear set, is this going to be fatal? I love this machine, its old and heavy and not as efficient as newer stuff, but maybe that's why I identify so well with it, LOL.

Did run it with the gearbox cover off, and center drive shaft was spinning. I filled the case with gear lube, and tried again. Augers spin, but not with much force. Light pressure brought back the squealing sound and disrupted their motion. So I don't think that the shear pins are the issue.

Any ideas/suggestions? I have a trusted shop but can't get to them until Monday at the earliest. Going to head out and shovel, not looking forward to that. Will check back in later. Thanks for reading.
 

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I've had a few old Jake...and with the impeller kit they are great! Looks like you have to hit e-bay for a used gearbox. I would get a used backup machine that isn't so old or obsolete that you can still get parts....The 924 series Ariens would be my first choice.
 

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I guess you're going to have to wait until monday and see if your shop can find something that fits.

Sounds like the bronze gear is stripped of teeth, since you mentioned that its not turning with the impeller shaft and there is daylight between the bronze gear and the worm gear. Since your our machine is made by Jacobson so you might try searching for a parts manual from them to see if there is such a thing as a part number.
 
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Thanks for the replies. Did do a little online searching. The gear kit part number is JAC501323, which consists of 2 gears, separate part numbers JAC 341606 and 341608. Google of those did not return very much that made me feel hopeful.

Yes, I did A DIY impeller kit, and had the carb redone at the shop last season, so the machine has been a total beast ever since, I usually clear a lot more than just my own drive once I get it out there. Garage storage space is a bit of a premium for me, I have the old toro that is currently down as well, forcing me to shovels now. I might end up sending that one away as well if I can't repair the Ford, and I will upgrade to something newer. This machine was purchased new, by my Father, and has been in the family its whole existence. It will be a sad day if/when I need to send it on its way. Really hoping that there is a source for the gears.

thanks for your input!
 

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I see some of the Jacobsen Imperials occasionally in Massachusetts....The best bet is to buy one or two as a parts machine and backup. No need to send that old Jake away.
 

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I had seen that gear set. Not sure if that a match for me or not, based on the part numbers I had found, and the part that is listed as. But need to figure that out before dropping $100 on a whim. There are a few Imperial 626's on my local craigslist, that I could scavenge parts from I suppose. Hope to make some headway this week, but we have below zero temps in forecast, limits my motivation to get out to the garage and turn wrenches.. Hoping to chat with my local shop later this evening.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well, discussion with my shop left me somewhat discouraged. Their opinion was that I could very well be in for many opportunities for disappointment, if the augers are rusted to the shaft, if this or that pulley doesn't come apart well, etc. A lot of their reasoning was that parts have to be scavenged on Ebay, craigslist, etc.


So if I decide to dig into this one, and attempt to fix, versus replace with something newer, it's going to be a project that is going to have the machine down for some time. Not sure I like where that leaves me, with plenty of snow season still coming in our area. Already did a full removal of our last snowfall using the shovel this past sunday, and did not enjoy my time out there as much as I used to when I was younger.


So I think I'm going to see what is left at a few local stores as far as new machines, this weekend. We have more snow forecast this week, so time is going to force my hand I am afraid.


Thanks everyone for your input.
 

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Can you see if the existing gear on your machine is iron or bronze The worm gear is always steel or iron, but the helicut gear on most machines (recent vintages) is bronze. The ebay pair seem be both made of iron.

I agree that disassembly might be a problem if it has never been disassembled before, or if maintenance has been sketchy. If you remove shear pins/bolts, can you turn the auger rakes against each other? If they are free on the inner drive shaft, that eliminates probably the biggest potential problem.

The auger pulley should be removable with some mild encouragement. I guess your biggest question is what else might need doing while its all apart anyway, and if you can track down the correct gears for the thing, as well as other items such as bearings, and bushings and gaskets etc.

Let us know what happens in the end.
 
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Discussion Starter #15
What is the DIY impeller upgrade?
After first reading of such a thing on this forum, and noticing that I had nearly a 1/4" gap between the impeller blades and the housing, I cut some rubber flaps (from some cheap automotive mud flaps) and shaped them to bolt onto the 4 impeller blades, to close that gap and basically scrape the housing walls to keep wet snow from packing on there and collecting. That snow pack would decrease my throwing distance and lead to clogging quite a bit if snow was wet at all.


Probably nearly doubled my throw distance for average snow. I have not had opportunity to really throw wet stuff post-modification, but it made a huge difference in performance.
 

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Following up on a few comments:

Heh, I hate to admit but maintenance has been sketchy, as the machine has always just answered the call when needed. In hindsight I could have done more had I thought it might have been an issue down the road.

I am going to see if I can get the shear pins out and see what happens, that does seem like it will be a telling moment. Saw augers for 30" jake's on Ebay, etc. But not for a 26, betting that they are not interchangeable.

Does anyone know how the gears are held on their respective shafts? The pair that was on Ebay looked like they would slide onto a shaft and had some sort of keyway. Could I have just had one of them slide out of contact from the other? It was difficult when I had the front cover off, to see exactly what was going on, but at the time I had not posted and had any discussion with you all, to even know what I was looking at.

Temps are still in the single-digits here in the evenings, making it tough to do anything out in the garage. I will check back with findings after I do get a chance to open that gear box again.
 

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I guess you're going to have to schlep that machine into the kitchen or the living room so you can work on it in a decent temperature. Might I suggest that your sketch yourself a nice cardboard sign that says something to the effect of

"Change the oil and grease everything that needs it or you'll be sorry!"

I have an unheated garage, and if I have to do something fiddley in cold temps, I bring out a couple of portable 1500 watt heaters and focus the fan driven air flow where my fingers will be. Not ideal, but sometimes you gotta fix stuff now that won't wait until spring.

Those 30 inch augers probably have about 2" per auger more ribbon than you want. I would try moving the existing ones with the shear pins out before I started looking for replacements. Always try the easiest stuff first...:nerd:
 

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Here is an idea (might be costly but...) If you can get the gear case apart and the damaged gear out, take it to machine shop and see if they can mill you a new one. Might be tricky to figure out how to space the worm gear and the auger gear but can be done.
Robert
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Robert,

I did find a place online that did custom gears, just the other day. I did not go so far as to get a quote, but it definitely looked like they were capable of re-creating gears even from damaged originals. Cool stuff.

I am actually going to look at a new Toro machine today, as an easy solution. Regardless if that comes home with me, I will still be following up on possible repair to the Ford. The rest of the machine is just too good to think about scrapping without exhausting every option.
 

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I swear I saw yesterday in one of the upper midwest CL farm & garden listings a Ford snowblower of your vintage for sale for $100. Had a shot drive, but everything else worked. I cannot seem to find it now.

For some reason I thought it was Minneapolis, but I noticed just now it's no longer there. I usually check around Cedar Rapids/Dubuque/Des Moines/Waterloo/Quad Cities/Rochester/Minneapolis/LaCrosse/Madison/Mankato...I know it was in one of these.

They usually turn up listed then sell fast. Others in your area must be scrounging up machines for themselves. They're out there, and will be again at some point. I simply go to CL, farm & garden, and search for "snow".
 
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