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Discussion Starter #1
We have researched threads and attempted to find a reason/solution to our problem, but can't pinpoint what is going wrong. We have a new Sno-Tek 24 snow blower...our first snow blower (military family...we have not needed one until now). This is our second use of the machine...the first use last week had the same problem.

The blades appear to be rotating correctly, and the machine throws snow when the snow gets up into the chute, but the blower seems to push snow in front of it more than actually taking the snow past the augers and into the chute. I am to trying to post video link to youtube showing what is happening. If anyone can offer some advice on what is causing this and how to remedy it, we would be most appreciative.

I am new, so this forum won't let me post an attachment. Some are saying to do quick reply. I will try that, but I'm at a loss as to how to link to my video at this point. I can certainly email the link to anyone who would like to look at it to see the problem. Now this forum not letting me post a video is a whole new frustration! LOL!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Posting one more video. I went out and observed the husband again and noticed that even when snow does get in the chute, it does not seem to throw very far compared to other videos I see of this particular blower in action. Hoping this second, longer video gives more visual with which to get some solid advice. I have to believe something is haywire with the machine...this machine gets so much praise and works great for others...

 

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That is unusual behavior! but I think I can explain it..
the snow on the right side (right side from the operators perspective, left side when looking at the snowblower from the front)
is simply too light, and its just getting pushed along, because there is nothing to hold it back.
You can see the snow on the other side is being fed into the auger blades normally, because of the friction along the un-cleared edge.

I dont think there is anything wrong, its just a matter of a small amount of light snow being pushed on the virtually frictionless ground, rather than being chewed up by the augers..the augers cant bite into the snow, because there is nothing to hold back the snow.

When the machine is digging into snow on the driveway that hasn't yet been cleared, I assume it works normally?

I agree this is odd behavior! ;) never seen anything quite like it.
but the augers are spinning correctly..the only thing that explains it is what I said above: a small light pile of snow, and the augers just push it rather than "eating" it, simply because there is nothing to hold the snow in place.

other theorys welcome!

Scot
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the reply, Scot. Unfortunately, when biting into "whole" swaths of snow, the pushing problem is just as prevalent, if not worse. The only way to get through it at all is to eat up really small swaths. The snow is actually wet and heavy. The snow we had last week was light and fluffy...same problem. This time wet and heavy...same problem. This snow has a layer of ice under it, which makes the "friction" theory more plausible though. We've tried going very slow and that doesn't help because the blower is not a "vacuum"...it doesn't suck the snow in...you have to cut into the snow. Going slow just means we're plowing slower. Going faster to try to cut in doesn't help either.
 

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When I made my reply above, I had only seen the first video..
Now I have also seen the second video..

ok, what I said above is obviously not the answer..
that machine is pushing snow much more than it should..

I doubt its broken shear pins, because if they were broken the augers would stop spinning completely, but they dont.
very weird! I dont have an explanation at the moment..I will watch the videos several times to see if anything else pops-out at me..
im sure others will chime in too..
Im sure we can get it figured out!

Scot
 

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If, during assembly, one auger was installed backwards, it would push snow rather than collect it. Can't tell if that's your case, but I've seen it before. Just sayin. MH
 

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Could be that the impeller is broken loose..and just spinning loosely on its shaft.
The impeller is the "second stage" in a 2-stage snowblower, its the "fan" that sits behind the augers and its what forces the snow out the chute:



impellers dont usually have a "shear pin" like the augers do, but they have a bolt or key attaching the impeller "fan" to its shaft..
if that is broken, the impeller would be spinning, but loosly, and not forcing snow out the chute as strongly as it should.

With the machine turned completely off, take a stick and try to spin the impeller..it should *not* spin loosely..
if it does, thats your problem.

Scot
 

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I wonder if there is a shear pin or roll pin in the impeller that is broken. Seems not to be sending too much snow out the chute but the augers are spinning well. Noticed one drive into a big pile where the discharge was good, but that might have been a fluke. How much clearance on the scraper bar?

With the machine off, and the spark plug cap removed, use a piece of wood threaded through the auger and push on the impeller blades to see if they rotate free or even tightly, but independently of the augers. If the impeller can move when the augers do not look for shear bolt holes on the impeller that are missing bolts.
 

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If you compare the second video above to this other video:

https://youtu.be/ZjU1C3dOBAc?t=50s

The augers in both appear to be moving in the same direction. If you also pause the first video above and look at this image:

http://www.homedepot.com/catalog/productImages/1000/9b/9bae2880-2c75-41db-993e-633784a1253c_1000.jpg

The auger looks like it is assembled correctly.

So while there's something funky with this snowblower, the auger actually seems like it is working as it should. Maybe the impeller stopped spinning entirely?

PS - Be very careful sticking your hand near the impeller even with the engine off. If it is stuck it can have a ton of tension behind it, which if you fiddle with it you might free causing fingers to be swiftly sliced off.
 

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Found this page that indicates that the impeller does indeed have a couple of roll pins to lock it to the drive shaft. I would be looking at those.

Ariens 920402 Parts List and Diagram - (000101) : eReplacementParts.com

They are part 5 on the drawing of the Gearcase and impeller page, listed as part F-5 on the parts list below the drawing.

Roll Pin - 1/4 x 1-3/4
Note: Models 101, 309
Part Number: 05803700
In Stock, 25+ Available

Might not be the exact correct model you have, but you didn't mention the model number.

If the machine is new, it should go back to the dealer, unless you accidently ingested a rock or a brick or something else that caused a loud BANG CLANK sound when you first used it.
 

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With the machine turned completely off, take a stick and try to spin the impeller..it should *not* spin loosely..
if it does, thats your problem.

Scot
Please, also remove the plug wire before doing this. It is harder to type with one hand having its fingers missing. Better safe than sorry.
 

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I'm with Scot on the impeller being the issue. Not positive but the most likely cause. It's spinning but it doesn't seem to be "blowing" out the chute the way it should. Looks to be pretty weak.
With it off ... :) and the plug wire removed reach in and see if the impeller will spin on the shaft.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thank you everyone for such helpfulness! Really a great group here. We checked the impeller and it is rotating when the machine is running. With the machine off you can move the impeller with resistance. Should it not move at all? Hard to tell if it will move "freely" as there is ice built up in the machine, but at this point I'm saying it can be moved with resistance when the machine is off, and it is rotating when the machine is running.

Should the scraper be adjusted higher or lower to help gobble up the snow? Appears to have a small amount of clearance at this point. Will try adjusting it lower.
 

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Friction between the shaft and the impeller may cause it rotate. The thing is it should not rotate without the auger also rotating, as they should be solidly linked together in the gearbox.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
So...my husband discovered that the wheels can be engaged or disengaged independently with an axle lock pin. Only one wheel was locked, so he adjusted to lock both. With that one adjustment, the blower seems to be working 90% better. I'm theorizing that we were "pushing" the machine which then caused it to act like a plow vice now it's walking itself through the snow. Does that theory make sense? Amazing that would make such a difference, but I'm hopeful it is the fix.
 

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I don't think that would cause it. Weather forward momentum is provided by the wheels or you pushing should make no difference in the machines ability to throw the snow. Check for this set screw and there should be a square keyway between the shaft and impeller right in line with this set screw.
 

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With the machine off you can move the impeller with resistance. Should it not move at all? Hard to tell if it will move "freely" as there is ice built up in the machine, but at this point I'm saying it can be moved with resistance when the machine is off, and it is rotating when the machine is running.
mystery (probably) solved! sounds like a loose impeller..

if its just a missing set screw, like GMH posted in the post above this one, that would be an easy fix!

the impeller is *tight* on the shaft normally, so even if the screw is missing, it will still actually spin when the machine is in use..but if its not *locked* to the shaft as it should be, when its loaded up with snow its slipping and and not throwing the snow out the chute with its full normal power.

Try one more test please: with the machine off:

1. Can you rotate the impeller completely around 360 degrees, even if it moves "hard" with resistance?
2. While that is happening, while you are moving the impeller around in a circle, do the augers also move? or are they stationary?

That test will tell for sure, 100%, if the impeller is broken or not.

I also dont think the wheels locked, or not, has anything to do with it...its not the wheels.
I am now 99% sure its a loose impeller..that would explain the behavior..please try those two things above and let us know! :)

Scot
 
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