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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi all,

I just joined this forum and I'm looking forward to sharing thoughts.

I live in the Boston area and we have had a ton of snow this year. My old MTD 8hp tracked two-stage blower keeps on ticking and is running better than ever this year (I'm knocking on wood now!). I purchased this machine used about 12 years ago when we moved into our current home. We have a fairly steep incline on our driveway and I thought the tracked units would be beneficial.

I do normal maintenance on the machine (belts, fuel management, lubricating, etc), but decided to replace the carb this year. I had rebuilt the old one a couple of times, but I needed to just let it go to carb heaven. It had a good long life. $50 later, I bought and installed a new Oregon carb and it has ran great. I also started to use "Restore" in the oil. This stuff works really well and it is great for yard power equipment.

This machine works great and throws the snow really well. The only condition that it doesn't do well with is the slush and I'm hoping the impeller kit will improve this. My neighbor has been looking for ways to get better performance out of his old Craftsman machine and ran across this impeller kit. I started reading the site and thought it sounded cool and decided to order it. I thought about making the parts myself, but it didn't seem to be worth the time vs the cost of the kit.

I'll be installing this over the weekend and I'll let you all know how it goes.
 

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I'll be interested in hearing about the install. I've been considering doing it to my Ariens.
And your right, we've been getting hit really hard with the white stuff. Can't wait for spring!
 

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Yes, please let us know if it improves slush throw. My understanding is that the attachment may restore impeller fan clearance to near OEM specs but I'm not sure anything helps 2-stages with slush... though I could be wrong. I'm new at this. I thought single stages were better at slush.
 

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The kit is suppose to help most with slush. I have one on my 77 Ariens and it works great. I did not try it without it though, so I have nothing to base it on.















 

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I could see how that would help with slush on a 2 stage machine. Should keep the slush from escaping from fan blade to fan blade with silky slush. For slush I get get out my plow. But my neighbor needs this as his fan impeller has too much clearance.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I wonder why the engineers design these with that much space between the impeller blade and the housing. I can understand how an older machine could have larger gaps as a result of use (or for example....getting small newspapers jammed in there...I have a "friend" that does that occasionally), but I don't understand why new machines are designed that way. My neighbor just spent a truckload of money on a new Ariens prosumer model with track system. It is a beautiful beast, but I noticed that the impeller blades in that machine are a good almost 3/8" away from the housing. My other neighbor's 2yr old Honda has a much tighter fit.
 

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I have heard it is cheaper. Certainly a less tight fit would be less problematic when dealing with machining discrepancies. I have also heard it prevents the machine from being overloaded by allowing a bypass and also allows room for foreign objects to pass if it picks something up.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Here is a picture of my snowblower. The MTD label is blank after all of these years and I don't know the exact date of manufacture. I'm the second owner of the machine. I think it is an early 80's model. I know MTD still makes this model today after seeing it early this winter a Lowes with a Troy Built label on it. It has the typical 8hp Tecumseh and has a 26" width.

In yesterday's snow clearing, it did a fine job and held its own compared to my neighbors with their Honda (928, wheels) and Ariens Pro Track machines. Yesterday's snow was a good test for all of them. The end of driveway stuff was 2-3ft high, more dense than usual and went further up the driveway openings than typical. At this point, there is just no place for the street plows to push the snow. Every driveway opening becomes a relief point for the blades.

For our driveways, the track drives are really beneficial and perform better than the wheeled machines.

My impressions:
- Honda: Quiet, good strong drive system, serrated auger really cuts into dense snow well, auger box is short compared to other machines (not high enough for the typical depth of snow this winter), can throw snow a good 40' if desired.

- Ariens ProTrack: Strong 12hp BS engine, well built, a bit of a bear to turn even with the lockouts, handles deep snow with ease, for our driveways - would benefit from more weight up front, track system works well, can throw snow 20-35 feet easily

- My MTD: 8hp Tecumseh is loudest of the bunch, engine is sufficiently strong enough for my needs, track drive is system works really well and steers much easier than the Ariens (finger trigger steering control on each handle), weight transfer system works well, plastic discharge chute always seems like it will break off (but hasn't in the 12 years that I have owned it), bending down to turn the crank to change the direction of the discharge is a pain, throws the snow 15-30 feet depending on conditions.

I was considering buying a new machine earlier this winter. I wanted something a little bigger and with an easier to use discharge direction changer. After choking on the prices of the bigger track drive machines (only Honda or Ariens), I decided to stay with my machine and do some tweaks to it. This included the new carb mentioned earlier and now the impeller kit. Compared to the neighbor's $2500 machines this winter, my old and cheap MTD is doing just fine.

- My MTD:
 

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Just wondering, where do you buy this kit ? Is it universal ? I think I have an old Ariens with a 12" diameter impeller. Not sure the width.
 

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I just bought the kit. Took a week to get.
Snowblower Impeller Kit

Some people prefer to make their own since it is quite a bit cheaper.

I think the only complaint I have ever heard about Clarence is the price.

Lots of good reviews of performance, durability, shipping speed and customer service with questions.
 

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Have you considered cutting the rotating chute rod behind the bracket installing a simple U joint behind your stand off and extending it? Just add length of rod to the turn handle and another stand off up by the hand area. :rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I installed the kit this morning. It took about 2 hours as stated and was easy to do. My machine has 3 impeller blades. I took my time with the first one and that took about 50 minutes from start to install. The other two were done in about 20 minutes. I did find that one of my impeller blades is bent a bit. I tried straightening it before I put the kit on, but I was unable to move it much and I left it. It has probably been that way for years.

The performance of the machine after the install brought a big smile to my face. I could smell the rubber wearing in initially. I ran it that way for a minute or so and then moved to the snow. I had to remind myself a couple times that it was a stupid snowblower, but I have to admit I had fun running it after the install. I have plenty of snow around to test it out and I have to say it works exactly as advertised. It is probably throwing the snow, on average, about 33% further. At the top of my driveway, I was actually able to throw the snow completely across my street and behind my neighbors mailbox. I paced it off and that distance was about 42 feet. It is a bit warm today as well and I was able to make some slush. It wasn't enough to really test it in the slush, but it did clear it easily a good 15 feet away. Without the kit, I would guess that stuff would have just dribbled out of the discharge.

My neighbor was clearing snow off his porch roof. His comment after I was done was simply "holy crap!".

All in all, the kit is well worth the money and time in my opinion. Yes, one could easily make the same parts if they have access to the rubber belt material. I didn't and I was ok with the $30 given I didn't have to spend a day trying to find that stuff. Delivery from Canada to the Boston area took about a week.
 

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Cash for low tech

I put the kit on the binford. No more clogs! Tried it on 2" which normally won't pickup....just tumble around. She cleared everything.

You could make kit easily....but a little cash for a good idea is a good thing. We need to help the canadian economy, too!
 

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How does one install this kit... I looked in my impeller housing and see no way to drill holes in the impeller..... How does one install these kits?
 

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Mounting kit

How does one install this kit... I looked in my impeller housing and see no way to drill holes in the impeller..... How does one install these kits?
First off, I have not mounted one so take this with a pound of salt. I suspect the best way to mount (the kit that is) would be pull the chute first, mark each one to the respective impeller vane. Disassemble the auger then drill and rough mount the extensions to the impeller vanes, reassemble then do final adjustments and put the chute back on. Be sure to pull the sparkplug wire etc so it can't start by accident on you.

I suspect reality would be to remove the chute, clamp each to a vane and drill from the chute opening (making sure of your clearances), bolt it on and rotate the impeller and continue till they're all done. Obviously remove the sparkplug wire etc so it can't start accidently. You'd probably want to do some prebending of the backup plate before marking and drilling.

I've looked into it and I'm considering it eventually on one of my blowers. One thing I've throught about is using 1/4" bolts and when drilling the holes, undersize them so the impeller vanes could also be tapped then add a self-locking nut. I think that would be pretty much permanent yet removable if needed. Though not impossible, adding metal would be more permanent but also you may have an impeller housing that isn't perfectly round so it might hit or bind in one area or another.

Just some thoughts.
 

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I have looked through the forums and seen plenty examples of people that installed that kit... But i don't see how you guys did it.

On my 73 Craftsman i could pull the chute to get to the impellers but i would have to clamp it down to the impeller somehow with it on the other side of the housing then rotate it around, because when the impeller gets to the chute side of the housing it goes straight up on the outside wall, if i set the gap to that location it would never fit the rest of the housing.

I doubt i will ever attempt this. I only have about a 1/8" gap between the impeller ends and the housing, maybe 3/16" of an inch at the bottom of the housing but the side opposite the chute and the top is pretty tight.
 

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Impeller distance

I doubt i will ever attempt this. I only have about a 1/8" gap between the impeller ends and the housing, maybe 3/16" of an inch at the bottom of the housing but the side opposite the chute and the top is pretty tight.
I think you'll find that you can only go as far as the tightest distance. Now having said that, there's a couple of thoughts came to mind.

Is the distance the same for every vane on the impeller or only certain ones. If they aren't all the same distance then it may be a matter of adjusting your setup 'per vane'.

On an additional note - this will take some work. If the impeller bearing on the pulley side isn't centered in the opening it will skew the shaft, impeller etc to one side or another. Same if the bearing or bushing is well worn. To get to that bearing or bushing, you'd likely need to remove the auger housing from the drive portion of the snowblower. You might be able to work from the pulley side and check it out, or possibly have to pull the auger/impeller portion out of the housing to check from the inside. There are ways to check whether it's centered or not but most I can think of would have to be from the inside of the impeller housing.

I don't know if it's worth it for you to do this or not, only you can answer that.
 

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Nothing wrong with it, impeller is perfectly centered, the bottom of the impeller housing just has more wear, the top and sides there is about 1/8" of clearance between the end of all impellers. About 3/16" at the bottom.

What i was saying is my impeller housing is not totally round as it has a flat side on the chute side, if i were to install this kit i would have to clamp on the extensions with the impeller set to the other side then rotate it around to drill and install. If i set the extensions to the flat side then rotated it would be way to far out and would hit the round top of the impeller housing, if that makes any sense. I could install them all with about 1/8" overhanging the impeller vanes, that would give a tight fit to the left and top but about 1/16" of gap at the bottom. But what a pain for another 1/8".

I would be better off making some metal pieces and welding them on to leave about 1/16" of a gap on the sides and top, with about 1/8" at the bottom. A lot easier than drilling through the chute opening as i could clamp and weld them on fast.

But from what i have read on here this seems to be the improvement people do when it doesn't toss far. Mine has never had that problem in any snow conditions. It really moves air if you run it without putting nothing threw it, so much air that when i drive past the trees it blows the snow off them. So i don't think i have a problem. Now if the vanes were to wear down more this might be a good idea.
 

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Just checked my impeller gap in my new Ariens 28LE Deluxe... gap is definitely wider as each wing approaches the chute. While at the far side and bottom of the housing, it's around 1/8" or less, it's much wider as the impeller approaches the chute as the housing opens up a bit to match the chute opening.... aside from the hassle of installing correctly, it would not remove the entire gap as the impeller approached the chute. Figure I'll see how things go this winter before "voiding my warranty" :)-)
 
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