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Discussion Starter #1
I've read many postings here on impeller kits and did considerable research elsewhere. Now I'm trying to figure out whether an impeller kit is worthwhile for my Craftsman 88173, purchased 12/2014. Like anyone interested in impeller kits, I'm less than enthusiastic on my current snow thrower's ability to throw snow (around 20 feet) compared to others I've owned.

My 88173 has an impeller gap of 5/8". For some reason this seems to be the cutoff point where impeller kits cease to be effective: 1/4"-5/8" kits are effective; 5/8" and over kits are not effective. I'm hopeful someone can tell me whether the kit would be effective for a Craftsman 88173, a popular machine. Beyond that, perhaps someone can explain to me why over 5/8' is OK and under 5/8" is a problem.

This is my first post and I'd like to thank everyone in advance.
 

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You may have worded it wrong. The bigger the gap, the more effective the kit will be. You should do it. You'll be impressed.
 

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I think they mentioned ⅝" as the upper limit only because they couldn't imagine anyone having a gap larger than that !

A ⅝" gap at the ends of your impeller blades is enormous !

The word "kit" is thrown around loosely; but you can actually buy your own nuts and bolts and washers and reinforced rubber . . . . and make your own so-called "kit".
 

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My Jacobsen had a 3/8 gap...and really sucked in wet snow. I only did two of the four blades and tried her out on the same patch of snow and was amazed at the difference. I did her sister Jacobsen with all four blades, and didn't miss a beat on the last storm. My neighbor across the street wanted to know what I did to make such a difference. I'll bet he was secretly mocking me when I was clogging!
 

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My Jacobsen had a 3/8 gap...and really sucked in wet snow. I only did two of the four blades and tried her out on the same patch of snow and was amazed at the difference. I did her sister Jacobsen with all four blades, and didn't miss a beat on the last storm. My neighbor across the street wanted to know what I did to make such a difference. I'll bet he was secretly mocking me when I was clogging!
Very cool. Did you notice any difference between the 2-blade mod vs the 4-blade mod?
 

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hello tony, welcome to SBF!! I can't remember anyone on the board doing an impeller kit and not seeing an improvement in the throwing distance of their machine
 

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I think they mentioned ⅝" as the upper limit only because they couldn't imagine anyone having a gap larger than that !

A ⅝" gap at the ends of your impeller blades is enormous !

The word "kit" is thrown around loosely; but you can actually buy your own nuts and bolts and washers and reinforced rubber . . . . and make your own so-called "kit".
see snow blowers from about 1985 and earlier i bet they were 1/2" and even some larger.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Thanks to all for your help. The kits do seem to be very expensive. In fact, when I started looking I thought the price of one blade kit was the price for the entire impeller. I'd prefer to make it myself but I'm finding rubber skirtboard to be SBR which concerns me because of its less than stellar resistance to petro-based chemicals (I spray my snow thrower to reduce snow accumulation.) and salt. Instead, I came across 3/8" neoprene (unable to include a link, specs below) and would like to know if anyone thinks it could do the job:

Neoprene Specs:

Min. Temp. (F): -30

Max. Temp. (F): 225

Durometer: 70A

Elongation: 200%

Tensile Strength (PSI): 1500

Also, are there other rubber materials I should be considering?
 

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Thanks to all for your help. The kits do seem to be very expensive. In fact, when I started looking I thought the price of one blade kit was the price for the entire impeller. I'd prefer to make it myself but I'm finding rubber skirtboard to be SBR which concerns me because of its less than stellar resistance to petro-based chemicals (I spray my snow thrower to reduce snow accumulation.) and salt. Instead, I came across this 3/8" neoprene (unable to include a link) and would like to know if anyone thinks it could do the job:



Also, are there other rubber materials I should be considering?
When I did it on an old machine I had just changed the tires on it... So I cut out sections of sidewall and used that. It has the appropriate strength and stiffness.
 

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:welcome: to SBF Tony


I think you'd be happy with the improvement.
 

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Thanks to all for your help. The kits do seem to be very expensive. In fact, when I started looking I thought the price of one blade kit was the price for the entire impeller. I'd prefer to make it myself but I'm finding rubber skirtboard to be SBR which concerns me because of its less than stellar resistance to petro-based chemicals (I spray my snow thrower to reduce snow accumulation.) and salt. Instead, I came across 3/8" neoprene (unable to include a link, specs below) and would like to know if anyone thinks it could do the job:

Neoprene Specs:

Min. Temp. (F): -30

Max. Temp. (F): 225

Durometer: 70A

Elongation: 200%

Tensile Strength (PSI): 1500

Also, are there other rubber materials I should be considering?
What i did was used 2 self tapping metal screws and 2 large washers per blade. i used the below paddle and cut into sections. Cost maybe $12

http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-Toro-S200-S620-paddle-fitting-snowblower-thrower-23-3730-replacement-/132047781739?hash=item1ebea93f6b:g:ZUcAAOSwl9BWK6E9&rmvSB=true
 

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Discussion Starter #12
When I did it on an old machine I had just changed the tires on it... So I cut out sections of sidewall and used that. It has the appropriate strength and stiffness.
Thanks for the comment. I'll just stop by the dump and pick up an old tire.
 
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