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Discussion Starter #1
Well, since my Craftsman rebuild is going to take some more time than I expected, and with impending snow this next week, I started looking for another snowblower (yes, I fully blame all the multiple-snow blower-mentalities on this forum for egging me on)... :eek:k:

So, after some searching I found a Cub Cadet 524SWE, that per the serial number was built in 2011, that was barely used for a song... I figured it had to have some sort of issue with it, but couldn't tell anything upon initial look.

I bought it, stopped at the store and picked up a new spark plug for it, I already have synthetic oil at home to change the oil...

Once home we unload it and I start looking it over... Come to find out one of the augers on the RH side is bent... Bent so bad it was actually hitting the impeller shaft... It even took a chunk out of the gearbox, one of the bolt bosses got nicked...

So, come to find out MTDParts is out of stock on that auger, so I found a used replacement for about 30% savings on ebay and ordered it up...

Now, after looking at everything else, it really does look like it was barely used. I figure whatever caused the bent auger ended up breaking both shear-pins on that side and that was why only 2 sheer pins were still on the control panel. But, the impeller still has all the paint/powdercoat still on it, the impellers are pristine (except for the nick on the bent one) and it looks as if the blower had barely a tank of gas run through it (I figure the gas in the tank was just some stuff the guy added to make sure it would start, as it smelled more like seafoam than gas). Everything looks "as new" as something that sat for 4 years or so can, with the only rust at the very bottom of the impeller housing (like water sat in it all winter). The chute control works well (not sticky like a lot of even moderately used chute controls of this configuration are). And there isn't any sort of scratching in the impeller housing or the chute at all.

The new auger won't be here until tuesday and we are getting snow monday night/tuesday morning, so in the meantime I am going to strip it as much as possible and re-lube everything. During that process I will rebend the auger back into shape to use it until the new auger comes in, as well as making sure everything else is up to snuff. I can tell already that the cables were never adjusted properly, and it seems like the auger cable is stiff/sticking (as in it won't release properly once you press it down as well as being harder to press down than expected) and loose as well when the lever is up.

I will put the new plug in (anyone have an opinion on the OEM Torch vs the equivalent Champion plug?). Along with cleaning the friction plate and checking all the pulleys. I am also going to change the oil and fill the tank with gas stabilized with seafoam.

I did find out I can add hand warmers to this model with a readily available kit for about $45, so I might go that route after this winter.

Does anyone know of the part number for the spray paint from Cub Cadet so I can cleanup and repaint the bottom of the impeller housing?

I guess I could be pissed that the owner didn't tell me of the damage, but considering even with the spark plug, oil change and replacement impeller I won't even have half the cost of a new 524SWE in it, I really can't complain. :)
 

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Congrats! I have a 2014 version of that model. I'm very happy with it!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
That engine won't run well with a champion plug. Use an ngk bpr6es to replace the stock torch plug
Thanks, that is the kind of feedback I was hoping for...

I must say, I find it really strange how "dynamic" spark plugs are for given engines/setups...

My T/A for example runs best and produces the best power on Autolite AR103 racing plugs... I tried 5 other ones and the worst were NGK plugs, yet so many other LT1 owners claim their setups run the best on NGK plugs... Now, the big difference for me is I have a coilpack setup vs a stock coil and cap...

I do know that the Tecumseh 8-11hp snow king engines run best on a Champion plug, same with my Brute 21" (Briggs & Stratton) lawnmower.

So, quick question then, is the NGK BPR6ES a big improvement over the stock Torch plug, or does it pretty much run the same with either? Again, I know certain plugs do make a difference (ie, the Champion plug for the Tecumseh motors)...
 

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Discussion Starter #6

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Discussion Starter #7
Well, I am all done setting this one up. She runs well and is ready for snow.

I changed the plug (used the OEM Torch plug for now), changed the oil, put on a new auger belt, reset all the cable tensions, lubed the mainshaft, cleaned the friction disc and wheel, fixed a pulley issue that was a manufacturing problem, and even replaced a shoulder-bolt and nut I snapped off. I even ran it in for a couple hours. It starts on the first pull from cold.

Oh, I also ended up straightening out the auger, too bad I already ordered a replacement, stupid on my part. I also fixed all the other issues the original owner didn't address.

I will say, the guy I got it from must be one heck of a poseur. He owns a '80 Bronco I believe, was crowing about how all-original it was. Had a couple of Harleys, painted garage floor, couple other cars, etc... Acted like a he was a "car guy", but it is obvious by how this thing was improperly setup/taken care of, that he is a complete "waxer" with absolutely NO mechanical ability at all. Some of this stuff is so blatant that it is purely owner incompetence that he even tried to use it in the state it was in.

Sure, all his stuff looks pretty, and I am grateful he took good enough care of this unit, since I benefited from it, but from a real "car guy" perspective, you gotta be kidding me. As bad as all these wanna-be Harley guys that don't even know how to give their bike a tune-up (I live in a suburb of Milwaukee, so we get over-run with Harley events and more wanna-be morons than I ever care to recount).

Well, bring on the snow next week... I will be giving my wife and my oldest daughter lessons on the new 524SWE. It is much easier to handle compared to the bigly Craftsman I am redoing.
 

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Well, bring on the snow next week... I will be giving my wife and my oldest daughter lessons on the new 524SWE. It is much easier to handle compared to the bigly Craftsman I am redoing.
My wife is 5'1" and likes the 524SWE because it is so easy to use and steer.
 

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Glad you were able to make good on it Dennis - that Craftsman rebuild is one serious undertaking! I like how you take it over the top! ;>P
 

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Thanks, that is the kind of feedback I was hoping for...

I must say, I find it really strange how "dynamic" spark plugs are for given engines/setups...

My T/A for example runs best and produces the best power on Autolite AR103 racing plugs... I tried 5 other ones and the worst were NGK plugs, yet so many other LT1 owners claim their setups run the best on NGK plugs... Now, the big difference for me is I have a coilpack setup vs a stock coil and cap...

I do know that the Tecumseh 8-11hp snow king engines run best on a Champion plug, same with my Brute 21" (Briggs & Stratton) lawnmower.

So, quick question then, is the NGK BPR6ES a big improvement over the stock Torch plug, or does it pretty much run the same with either? Again, I know certain plugs do make a difference (ie, the Champion plug for the Tecumseh motors)...
the performance between the torch and ngk plugs are the same on paper but in reality the quality of the oem torch(or whatever chinese plug it comes with) is poor and the failure rate is high.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
After taking the kids to see Kung Fu Panda 3 (great movie, btw), I stopped and picked up a couple of NGK BPR6ES spark plugs at the local Farm and Fleet.

Got home, gapped them to .030", swapped them into both the 524SWE and the 221LHP and started up the 524SWE...

All I have to say is WOW! There was a big difference in how it ran at full speed. No more surging once warmed up, ran solid, not a single sputter, and that is with the choke full open at horizontal position. Now, I am sure the seafoam in the gas in this tankful and all the previous running helped clear out the carb and all the old/bad gas that was in there, but I was so impressed I just had to go start the 221LHP.

Now my 221LHP normally runs solid. Even with the stock Torch plug in it you could tell this year compared to last year it has a bit of sputter every now and then. It also has a cycling surging while warming up from cold with the choke in the run position. That one doesn't even have 5 hours on it yet, only 2 tanks of gas have been run through it (and the second isn't even done yet). I always use seafoam in the gas.

Well, with the NGK BPR6ES in it, it started right up and had a quick surge while warming up with the choke in the run position, but the quick surge cycling smoothed out and went away within 15 seconds and it ran solid. Not a single sputter in the 5 minutes I let it run. I would say it was a great improvement over the stock Torch plug.

I also took the opportunity to set the shoes properly on the 524SWE. While I had the back cover off the 221LHP I noticed the wheel (the one on the left while looking at the primer bulb from walking position) had the inner bearing literally off the wheel. I mean there was enough space for the bearing to actually walk off the wheel. I pulled the axle cap and compared the axle length to the right hand side and it about 1/2" extra axle length. I looked through my stuff and found a plastic bushing, bored out the center to fit the axle and used that as a spacer between the axle cap and the outer wheel bearing.

The more and more I inspect and check stuff out, the more I am pretty well disappointed at the modern-day quality of MTD products. Like I have said before, it seems like the late 90s-early 2000s MTD were better built. At some point they really started taking a "throw away" mentality towards things.

About the only thing I haven't done is pull the auger axle end-bushings and clean it all up and lube them. I noticed when I changed the belt that the auger pulley is bent, I can only imagine that happened when they bent the auger and broke the shear pins. I am going to order a new pulley and hub to have on hand when I pull the auger housing and the impeller/gearbox/augers. I figure then I can redo everything, get it all lubed up properly and even paint the area of the lower impeller housing where the paint peeled.

I am going to order up the hand warmers (I know my wife and daughters will appreciate it) and I am contemplating if I should do an impeller mod to this one as well... If I do I will probably use the thinner rubber instead of the heavy-duty thicker stuff. Or, since the wife and the girls will be using this one is it better to leave it alone?
 

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Amen Dennis - the throw away mentality boggles my mind. It really doesn't cost much to add just a bit more quality to improve them - but the bean counters get to make the call over the engineering dept and that's what kills them. In Engineering circles it's called "value engineered!" That way you have to come back for over priced parts....... :>\
 

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I did the impeller mod on my 524 SWE last year. It made a huge improvement with the slush. It never clogs now.
I also had to bend the brackets to get them to fit the impeller blades, but I must have done something different, because they never shattered!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Take a look here to see some issues when doing an impeller mod with your housing set up, just FYI.
http://www.snowblowerforum.com/forum/snowblower-repairs-maintenance-forum/71241-impeller-mod-troy-bilt-2410-a.html
Yeah, I checked that out...

The reason for the shattering is because he was trying to get too close to the housing and the chute adapter has a lip that sticks down. They put that lip on to get rid of the extra metal reinforcement plate they used for 10+ years on the previous models. Gotta love cost savings that ultimately reduce the longevity and performance of a machine.

I am going to pull my chute adapter here in spring and compare it to the old design. If they are bolt-in compatible I will convert my 524SWE to use the old chute adapter and reinforcement plate.

I must say, I am kinda at a loss as to why there is varied clearance in the housing for the impeller. Is is because the bearing is drill off-center? Is it because the impeller is machined off to one side? Is it because the impeller hub is not centered when welded, or is it simply because the impeller doesn't fit tight to the shaft?

I am thinking it is because of too much play in the center. If that is it I will be figuring out a way to use a bushing to center it properly on the shaft. I would hope if that is done then all of the rubber paddles could be set with the same clearence.

When I was checking out my 524SWE after bending the impeller back to where it should be, it definitely looks like the impeller doesn't sit perfect, since it seemed to be unbalanced in it's swing.
 

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I am pretty sure they do that to allow a littel forgiveness in the impeller and allow some bearing degrade room..... they get pretty sloppy over time if not greased/cared for.
 

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Since that housing adapter has bolts holding it right at that "lip" extension down into the impeller housing, I don't see why sanding it (the lip) off would be a problem. Probably faster with an angle grinder. I know from doing a few Craftsman you won't need bolts and nuts to place the kit on the blades, way overkill IMO. The impeller metal is very thin and using self tapping screws with a healthy washer will work fine. I did drill a pilot hole mostly for alignment, and then ran the screws with a battery powered impact driver. Just FYI.








Yeah, I checked that out...

The reason for the shattering is because he was trying to get too close to the housing and the chute adapter has a lip that sticks down. They put that lip on to get rid of the extra metal reinforcement plate they used for 10+ years on the previous models. Gotta love cost savings that ultimately reduce the longevity and performance of a machine.

I am going to pull my chute adapter here in spring and compare it to the old design. If they are bolt-in compatible I will convert my 524SWE to use the old chute adapter and reinforcement plate.

I must say, I am kinda at a loss as to why there is varied clearance in the housing for the impeller. Is is because the bearing is drill off-center? Is it because the impeller is machined off to one side? Is it because the impeller hub is not centered when welded, or is it simply because the impeller doesn't fit tight to the shaft?

I am thinking it is because of too much play in the center. If that is it I will be figuring out a way to use a bushing to center it properly on the shaft. I would hope if that is done then all of the rubber paddles could be set with the same clearence.

When I was checking out my 524SWE after bending the impeller back to where it should be, it definitely looks like the impeller doesn't sit perfect, since it seemed to be unbalanced in it's swing.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Did my "mod" for today... I added heated grips to the 524SWE. I am hoping my wife and girls end up appreciating it. I must say, the kit includes everything you need, even for older models that need the adapter harness, like mine. I am considering adding the LED light kit as well. I have to see how well the stock bulb works first before I splurge.

In regards to the impeller mod, I honestly think the bolts are more for the "worst case scenario" in the case that you suck in a frozen newspaper or something you run the best chance of keeping everything intact and in place (with screws I would fully expect the flaps to rip out with trauma like that). Also, I really think the bolts also help when you may need to replace the flaps. With screws they could corrode into place and be a PITA... With bolts you can also repaint the holes you drill to stave off corrosion.
 

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I recently installed the heated grips on my 524SWE as well. They get warm, but not what I'd call hot. Not as hot as the grips on my motorcycle, but every bit helps when it's really cold out!
The stock headlight is pretty good IMO, but more light is better! haha
 
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