Snowblower Forum banner

1 - 20 of 24 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
250 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi,

Looking for advice from people more experienced than me with my current project. I am mechanically minded but this is my first snowblower.

I have a Honda HSS724 and am in the process of fitting rubber paddles to the 3 impeller arms to help close the gap between impeller end and auger housing.

I have 4" x 60" baler belting on order from Tractor Supply to use for the paddles.

I have the impeller out of the machine and ready to drill. One thing, a really important lesson that I learned while taking out the impeller, is that the end gap between impeller and blower housing is highly variable, by about 1/8th of an inch at it's widest. I measured around the impeller with a feeler gauge comparing the end gap at different points. This is why I have chosen baler belt becuase it is apparently more suited to this secnario and more flexible.

I will be using stainless 5/16ths x 1" bolts and nylock nuts, with a dose of loctite because it's near Holiday season ;)

My question Do you think it's really necessary to use metal flat bar / metal sheet bracing between the bolt head and the rubber paddle? I want to avoid using the metal if possible to keep costs down and for simplicity sake. I was thinking of using nice wide stainless washers under the bolt heads.

I'm assuming folks use the metal bracing to help clamp the rubber and thereby reduce risk of tears, etc?

Thoughts, opinions and advice all welcome, thank you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,224 Posts
I use two 1/4"x3/4" stainless bolts with nylock nuts and fender washers per paddle, no problems.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,221 Posts
Hello Skunkylawnmowers,

The blue loctite will not help you at all with the nylock nuts. Either use the nyloc nuts alone with washers for each bolt or a fine threaded nut and bolt with a second one to lock the first nut in place.

I would feel better if you bought one of the kits available ONLY because all you will need to do is use a pair of small vice grips to hold the metal plate to the impeller paddle so you can drill it using Dewalt twin point drill bits so you do not have to worry about the drill bit walking around while you are drilling the holes.

Just use a drop of motor oil in each drill hole using a cotton swab to just touch the hole with a drop of oil to lubricate the metal before you drill it.

The metal plates provided help reduce any chance of prematurely having the rubber paddle tear on you as the entire square area of the rubber is clamped in place against the metal impeller paddle.

After you have drilled the holes use some hand cleaner to remove the oil then use a rag to wipe it dry and be sure to check for any burrs or steel cuttings and file them off.


You can always cancel the order for a piece of baler belt or return it for credit.

You can order the kit tonight and it will be at your door in a few days and then you can do the work as you will have everything you need except the drill bits to do this.

If you have a variable speed drill that will help you a lot so you can have more control of it while drilling the holes with a low pressure against the drill bit.

I want you to succeed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
579 Posts
I second Grunt's work. I used stainless steel 1/4 bolts, nylon locknuts with the largest fender washers you can get on there - probably an inch or slightly larger. I did this to my 10 hp. Ariens and 10 hp. Craftsman with no problems.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
250 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Thanks all for your replies and information, it's appreciated.

Leonz -

I was considering a kit but, apart from the cost aspect, I also wanted stainless fittings which most kits don't tend to have. More importantly for me, I needed a rubber material with inherent flexibility which apparently the baler belt has. According to user reports. most kits typically come with a much stiffer rubber material which would not be good for me, epsecially as I have a markedly non concentric auger housing with at least an 1/8th run out.

I have a couple of cobalt bits which should do the job on the impeller. Thanks for your thoughts on the drilling, all good stuff.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
871 Posts
since rubber is on top face of metal and the momentum keeps it there fairly secure with the downforce and snow, its not really that necessary to overkill the rubber attachment. i used self tapping screws w/washers because it was the easiest method and has fewer steps.
after one season it still holding up very well and is the best mod for many sb bar none., makes my neighbors envious that my 30+ yr old blower can blow that far.
on my todo list is increase rpms and bigger motor pulley for the impeller
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
75 Posts
I just used some self tappers and hard rubber. Held up great. Didn't even use washers. Pro tip lube up the impeller area before trying it. I didn't have to take the impeller off but that was on an Ariens. I thought Honda had tight clearances already?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
250 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
I thought Honda had tight clearances already?
Hi,

The main reason I want to do this mod is because of the really bad clogging issues I experienced in last year's wet snows. The machine would clog like every 2 minutes and was borderline unusable. With the gradual rise in temperatures I think wet snow is going to become even more of an issue.

So the widest gap on my machine seems to be at chute where there is appx 5/16ths between impeller end and housing wall. Even if I could half that gap I think it would help. I'm also going to investigaste the new chute that Honda has brought out for the HSS series which was designed to help with the clogging issue.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
250 Posts
Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
since rubber is on top face of metal and the momentum keeps it there fairly secure with the downforce and snow, its not really that necessary to overkill the rubber attachment. i used self tapping screws w/washers because it was the easiest method and has fewer steps.
after one season it still holding up very well and is the best mod for many sb bar none., makes my neighbors envious that my 30+ yr old blower can blow that far.
on my todo list is increase rpms and bigger motor pulley for the impeller
Small world, I was watching some of your Youtube videos before I joined this forum! :)

Funny you should mention neighbours - last snowfall, all my neighbours were outside shovelling 6" of icy, wet snow. So out I wheel my Honda HSS724, feeling proud my machine would do the business. Within 10 seconds, seemingly, it had clogged and continued to do so for the next hour. One lady even came over to my house and asked if she could help shovel for me!! Very kind of her, but, oh, the humiliation!! hahaha

So hence wanting to do the impeller mod so badly ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,221 Posts
Hello Skunkylawnmowers,

The stiffer rubber used in the kits will only help you as it acts like a stiff broom and they will wear into place as far as the problem with clearances go. the tighter the clearances the better the cleaning and clearing of any slush that could refreeze on you.

The problem with baler belts is that they are a woven sandwich of nylon thread and thin layers of web reinforced rubber conveyor belt and they are designed to be flexible to enable it to roll around the small and large conveyor pulleys used in round balers.

They will work but for a first time installation the kits are better to use and the rubber will last many years longer for you.

I want you to succeed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
340 Posts
There are plenty of other materials that can be bought and used beyond baler belt. Buying a kit isn't necessary for success. Also, if the gap to be taken up is fairly small, the material choice will matter somewhat less (as there will be less flex anyway).

Being flexible might actually be good, as you could get a tighter fit to the housing if the gap isn't even all the way around. The more flexible material would be able to bend a bit against the housing in the tighter spots without things binding up.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,799 Posts
I just used some self tappers and hard rubber. Held up great. Didn't even use washers. Pro tip lube up the impeller area before trying it. I didn't have to take the impeller off but that was on an Ariens. I thought Honda had tight clearances already?
the clearance on the older Honda's are unbelievable. I can get a finger between the impeller and auger housing. I wondered why they designed them this way. Maybe the blower couldn't handle the extra strain? In that case I just listen to the motor and take less of a bite.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
871 Posts
Flexable is better imo
Thats why i use car/suvtires
i found it seals better
some just need to learn on there own
i would say pliable or softer, i cut up an old tire and it works great, butt it up against the housing and it will wear itself to the metal like a glove.
i leave mine outside and the bonus is that there shouldnt be any snow left in the housing to freeze up which freezes the impeller to the housing
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
250 Posts
Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
There are plenty of other materials that can be bought and used beyond baler belt. Buying a kit isn't necessary for success. Also, if the gap to be taken up is fairly small, the material choice will matter somewhat less (as there will be less flex anyway).

Being flexible might actually be good, as you could get a tighter fit to the housing if the gap isn't even all the way around. The more flexible material would be able to bend a bit against the housing in the tighter spots without things binding up.
The main reason I chose baler belt was after reading lots of threads about it and particularly by people who have variable gaps in their impeller / housing clearances, like I do.

I did try a stiffer material, some rubber strip used for 1 stage snowblowers. I fitted it to the impeller but what happened was that it jammed the impeller from turning when the impeller travelled around to the spot where the clearance was much tighter.

So I had a choice of reinstalling the stiffer rubber and reducing the over hang of rubber such that it would not be as tight on the areas of reduced clearance. The issue with that, I reasoned, was that the impeller gap with rubber fitted in the areas where clearance is greater would now be much more than it was before, particularly at the chute area which is really where I want the gap to be smaller.

However, maybe it isn't as critical as I think because the impeller is spinning so fast and the centrifugal forces are such that as long as slush is being scraped from somewhere within the housing that the slush, or at least more of it than before the modification, will still be expelled from the chute.

So that's my reasoning thus far. I'll try the baler belt and see, due to its greater flexibility over the rubber I was previously using, if it will scrape the areas that I need it to without binding up or jamming like it did before.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
250 Posts
Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Lubricating the impeller / housing to help reduce friction when first engaging the auger after fitting the impeller extensions is a great tip, thanks, and something I didn't do before. I'll unleash one of my cans of PB Blaster in there.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,312 Posts
I use belted rubber, works like a charm. I would advise against self tapping screws, they can not be relied on to never loosen up.

Stainless bolts are nice but not entirely necessary, also nyloc nuts are a good move.

I always install the paddles with an interference fit with the impeller installed in the machine. Then simply let the rubber wear itself into place.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
250 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
I always install the paddles with an interference fit with the impeller installed in the machine. Then simply let the rubber wear itself into place.
Hi,

Thanks. So, for example, if one had impeller to housing clearances ranging from a low of 2/8ths to a high of 3/8ths, one could set the rubber overhang to 3/8ths and and hope that the elasticity / flexibility will allow the impeller still to turn in the areas of lower clearance? That's what I'm hoping for.
 
1 - 20 of 24 Posts
Top