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Discussion Starter #1
I have another thread below where I discuss that I recently installed the "impeller kit" easily found on the internet. I am convinced that filling that gap between the end of the impeller blade and the impeller housing will give you the biggest boost of performance you can add assuming your machine is in good running condition. This also assumes that your non-Honda machine has a typical gap of 1/4" to 1/2" between the end of the impeller blade and the housing. My 8hp MTD machine had a gap of about 3/8".

We have now had two more storms since I installed this kit and I have to say that I wish I found this 12 years ago when I purchased my snowblower. The two storms we had this week so far have had just about every kind of snow. The earlier storm was light fluffy stuff and today's storm changed quickly to rain in my area resulting in 2-4 inches of slush on my driveway.

That type of slush used to be the biggest pain with my machine. It would dribble out the shoot and eventually clog resulting in a snow clearing job that could be measured in hours. Today, not 1 clog and I could run using the top 3 speeds on my machine. With the impeller kit, the slush is now being thrown the distance the machine used to throw snow without the kit (15ft+). Last night, I was clearing yesterday's snow (medium density to a light fluff varying) and it was consistently throwing the snow 35'+ (over 45' many times and depending on altitude of the discharge).

My point is mentioning this is that we all at times have been looking for more power. First thought is a bigger machine or engine, but that is an expensive proposition. My advice, fill those impeller gaps with an available kit or make your own. You won't be sorry. In fact, if I purchased a new machine and it had a 1/4"+ gap as I have seen in the stores, this would be the first thing I would do to them. I have always admired the throwing distance of Honda machines, but hated the idea of spending that kind of money for one. Now I have that ability with my old and trusty machine. It doesn't have the Honda transmission, but I haven't missed that yet.
 

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But to have maxim throwing distance you want a little clearence in there perhaps a few thousands. If you have zero clearence it scrubs hp turning the fan and the faster it goes the more hp it uses.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Agreed, nothing should bind. After a short bit of running, the rubber impeller extensions of the kit I used wear to a size/shape that spins freely within the housing.
 

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yeah but dont you think the soft give of the rubber and the lubricating effect of the snow/slush negates the friction drag loss on the machine? descriptions and pics online of this system have convinced me to give it a try. this wiper action of the rubber against the impeller housing kind of turns the blower into a slush pump and the beauty part is the give of the rubber still allows for the intended bypass or release that the manufacturer designed in with the impeller blade to housing clearance.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I don't know. I will say that, after initial installation, there was a bit of a load put on the engine with the new blades and you could smell a slight rubber burning odor. That stopped after about 20 minutes of use. Mine are still touching the housing a bit particularly where screw heads are in the blade path within the housing area (must hold the housing together or to something). The blades still hit those a bit. In any case, I expect they will continue to wear to a good fit over time. If there is any load on the engine now from these, I can't tell.

I just don't understand why such gaps are built into the machines. I understand that high precision = higher costs, but even reasonable precision wouldn't leave a 1/4" - 3/8" gap on new machines. Maybe it protects against debris getting jammed between the impeller and the housing. If that were the case, the Honda engineers obviously have a different opinion.
 

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i have read that the break in should be under actual use with slush or snow or if done in the warm off season then soapy water should be sprayed to lubricate the break in so its more of a gentle polishing effect on the rubber for the break in rather than a hot melt in. made sense to me.
 

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as for the intention of the impeller clearance i believe its for longevity, plenty of 40+ year old ariens and other american brands still in use. dont know why honda is closer not familiar with them other than their excellent rep, maybe they have something that gives on impeller like a shear pin, do not know.
 

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I have a Honda 828 track blower. It is 15 years old. It does not throw as far as it used to. Also, I had to weld a patch in the impeller housing from rocks getting stuck in there. Impeller to housing clearence is over 1/2 inch now from wear. There is a shear pin for the impeller but it takes a big rock to shear off. I have picked up rocks big enough to stall the engine and the shear pin still held. I plan to install an impeller kit on my Honda and I am sure it will work. The Honda has only 3 blades on the impeller. I figure I'll have to use an 90 degree angle drive to drill, or take the whole works apart.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
My old mtd machine's impeller has 3 blades. Don't know about the Honda, but once the mtd discharge was off, it was easier to drill it than I thought. You can always pick up a drill bit extension for a few dollars to make life easier. Also, make sure you are using a sharp drill bit. Makes life a lot easier.

It has been about a month now after I installed the kit. Still love it. We have had a lot of heavy wind lately and there are branches and tree bits everywhere. We had a inch and a half or so of snow yesterday morning and I thought I would see if the kit was effected by the many small branches. They didn't bother it at all (ie get stuck).
 

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Honda 828 update.....I went out in my garage tinkering and checked the impeller clearance. It was almost 3/4 inch in places. I cut 3 pieces of inch and a half flat bar and drilled 2 holes in each. I used them to drill starter holes in the impeller arms. I bolted them in one by one and checked the clearance, grinding a bit where needed. Clearance is about 1/4 inch now. No rubber used. I tried the blower on a bit of real heavy snow we had last night and the blower is back to its former glory with 30 foot throw. HERES what wore my inpeller out. 150 foot gravel driveway plus gravel shoulder on the road. The plow pushes all that snow filled with road gravel. Over the years it just eroded my impeller and housing.
 

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Honda 828 update.....I went out in my garage tinkering and checked the impeller clearance. It was almost 3/4 inch in places. I cut 3 pieces of inch and a half flat bar and drilled 2 holes in each. I used them to drill starter holes in the impeller arms. I bolted them in one by one and checked the clearance, grinding a bit where needed. Clearance is about 1/4 inch now. No rubber used. I tried the blower on a bit of real heavy snow we had last night and the blower is back to its former glory with 30 foot throw. HERES what wore my inpeller out. 150 foot gravel driveway plus gravel shoulder on the road. The plow pushes all that snow filled with road gravel. Over the years it just eroded my impeller and housing.
I did almost the same thing on my 1985 snapper except i used 1 x1/8 flat stock drilled three holes in it and Plug welded it to the impeller through the three holes. I only left 1/16" clearance I installed them 1 at a time and ground/fit them. It now throws slush like a fire hose. My gap to start was a little over 1/4" but tightening it up to 1/16" made a huge difference.
 

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Just looked at my ariens 28... there definitely is a gap between the frame and the impeller... but I don't see any way I can get in there and drill holes in the impeller arms without taking the whole shaft out... How does one go about installing these impeller kits?
 

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Just looked at my ariens 28... there definitely is a gap between the frame and the impeller... but I don't see any way I can get in there and drill holes in the impeller arms without taking the whole shaft out... How does one go about installing these impeller kits?
You have to remove the chute and then you can drill out one blade of the impeller and turn it to do the next. Mine didn't require an extension, but you can get a 12" drill bit extension that might make things easier for you.
 
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