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Discussion Starter #1
I need to replace the auger shaft on a John Deere 44-inch snowblower. I have the shaft and the auger gearbox out of the blower, and the augers off. How do I remove the shaft from the auger gearbox? I have found any number of videos and descriptions for repairing the gearbox, but I have not found anything on what appears to be a simple process of removing and replacing the shaft. I know it fits in with a key, but do I have to split the gearbox halves in order to remove the shaft? Or does the shaft simply slide out, and in? In my case, the shaft will not budge.

Thanks in advance for any advice
MAS
 

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Split the Case. Shouldn't be that big of a deal
 
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Discussion Starter #3
Turns out that disassembly of the gearbox adds nothing to advance the cause. The construction of the gearbox is such that there is a machined tube that is bracketed by the gearbox halves, each half having a brass bushing in place to ride on the machined surface. The driven gear fits over the machined collar and is itself fixed in place on the collar with a woodruff key. The auger shaft fits through the collar and is also fixed in place with a woodruff key. Both ends of the collar are visible from the outside of the gearbox.

So in theory, the smooth auger shaft ought to slide in and out of the gearbox with relative ease, and it probably does at the factory. However, after 8-10 years of use, the typical shaft will have built up some rust and it is highly likely that the shaft and the gearbox collar surface have seized together with rust, making this operation near impossible unless a hydraulic press can be employed. In order to have the collar pressed off (likely damaging the contact surface of the collar), then it is probably best to split the halves and disassemble the gearbox, at which point one might find that after 8-10 years of service the brass driven gear is pretty much shot as well.

Thanks for the suggestion. Hope we both learned something.
MAS
 
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