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Discussion Starter #1
I have a John Deere 5-24 blower. There is something wrong in the impeller to auger shaft drivebox... impeller spins, augers don't. I can spin the augers freely including the axles (shear pins are in place) so there's nothing happening in the drivebox. This followed an incident where I picked up a piece of wood that stopped the auger in it's tracks.

My question it about how to open up that drive box to check it out inside. I'm guessing that I can unbolt the outer ends of the shafts and remove them, then split the gearbox. But, although I am mechanically skilled, I've never worked on a snowblower drive before. I'm wondering if the axles need to be pulled somehow, if there are seals involved that I have to be careful with, etc.

Guidance for my initial exploration appreciated! Thx,
 

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Loo for the parts exploded view, for your machine. You don't have to remove the axle's. But you will have to split the machine. That is, remove the auger housing from the back half, were the motor is. Take the belt off the pulley for the auger, beforehand. It really isn't hard to repair. But you need to price out parts. They may be more than the machine is worth.
 

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Welcome! If you have a specific model number for the machine, that might help people to look up parts diagrams, etc. Do you have a picture of the augers gearbox area, so those of us unfamiliar with the machine could see how it's laid out?

You would often need to split the machine in half, separating the bucket & augers half from the engine & wheels half. You may need to remove the pulley that's on the impeller shaft, driven by the engine, to help allow removing the augers & impeller assembly from the bucket. Bushings or bearings at the ends of the auger shaft would also need to be removed first. Then, once the assembly is out, remove the augers from the shaft, then you may be able to split the augers gearbox.

Some machines use grease in the gearbox, some use oil. The machines with oil will have tighter seals, of course, which you'd want to avoid damaging.

This is a general process description, I don't know the details of your machine, sorry.

Are the auger shear bolts proper shear bolts? They will usually have two grooves, one near each end, which are the break points. If they were replaced with regular bolts, those won't break off the way they're supposed to, and are more likely to cause gearbox damage if you hit something solid. Also, make sure that the augers are able to rotate on the shaft. This is easy to check once you've removed the shear pins. If they are rusted to the shaft, then the rust locks them together, and the shear pins can't break, and do their job.

Hopefully you find a simple & cheap fix inside the gearbox. But sometimes it blows the worm gear, which can be expensive, assuming they're available.
 

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welcome to SBF!

the model # of your blower would be helpful...many different JD blowers out there.

normally they're relatively simple in their construction / assembly.

the pain lies in whether or not the auger rakes are rust-welded to the shafts.

when you remove the shear bolts, do the rakes spin freely? I'm going to guess they don't based on the wood incident.
 

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I would start by looking at these videos to see what you are getting yourself into:

https://www.youtube.com/user/donyboy73/search?query=auger+gearbox

The most likely cause is when you hit that piece of wood it broke the brass gear in the auger box. This is most likely caused because you had the incorrect shear bolts, or the augers are rusted onto the shaft solid. In very rare incidents there is a woodruff key or roll pin holding one of the gears that snaps.

The short answer:
The front scoop has to be removed from the drive section.
The belt pulley needs removed from the impeller shaft.
The bearings on the side of the auger shafts need removed.
The auger gearbox assembly needs slid out of the front of the scoop.
The augers need removed from their axle.
The gearbox case needs taken apart.

In theory expect a couple hours to do the work.
In practice you have to pray the augers come loose from their shaft and the impeller pulley has to come loose from its shaft.

There are seals where the auger shaft comes out of the gearbox as well as where the impeller shaft goes in. You could replace these and the bearings/bushings inside of the gearbox if you want while it is open. It depends on how much money you want to spend. Some gearboxes use oil that can leak out, though a lot of them use a grease and the seals are more to keep water out. You can use a 00 type grease inside there when you repack it.

You could probably remove the bolts from the gearbox and slip it open enough to peek inside with a flashlight without removing everything. Then you can decided if it is worth repairing or not. Sometimes those auger gears are only about $30-$40 and sometimes they are closer to $100. Sometimes you have to buy a whole new gearbox for more like $200.

Examine the gearbox case closely as well. Sometimes the cheaper aluminum ones can crack.

This would also be a great time to replace the bearing behind the impeller where the belt attaches. Those wear out on all old machines.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Appreciate the responses. Attached is a photo of the gearbox.

I am a little confused about the need to split the blower to get into the case... I don't see how I will be able to split the halves of the gearbox without pulling the axles out the sides - and if I do that, is there still a need to split the blower?

I'm willing to do what you guys advise, but it looks like even with the blower split and the impeller shaft free that the axles will still hold the gearbox halves tightly together. Can you clarify that for me?

Thanks again,
 

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For my machines, the shaft for the augers is a single long piece, the width of the bucket. So you can't remove the augers without removing the augers & impeller assembly from the bucket.

But to remove those (again, on the machines I've had), you have to split the machine in half, and then remove the impeller-drive pulley from the impeller shaft. That pulley is on the engine-side of the impeller housing, so you can't slide the impeller shaft out of the bucket with that pulley still attached to the shaft.

From what I've experienced, you'd need to split the machine in half, remove the impeller pulley from the impeller shaft, then remove the bearings/bushings at the ends of the augers shaft. Then remove the impeller & augers assembly from the bucket, side the augers themselves off the augers shaft, then you could split the gearbox.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Ah, I see what you are saying. I was assuming it was two shafts, not one. What you say makes sense. I will have to see if I can find the old manual... Deere doesn't seem to list this blower anymore at their web site and I can't find any parts diagrams on-line.
 

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I don't know if this will help you or not but here's a picture of another 5HP blower auger gearcase after splitting it in 2. It still had the grease in it (though it should have had oil) but it should give you an idea what the internals look like.
Most times I've had issues where the impeller and auger shafts weren't working together and the sheer pins were ok it was the bronze gear on the auger shaft that was damaged.
Hope that helps.
 

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Appreciate the responses. Attached is a photo of the gearbox.

I am a little confused about the need to split the blower to get into the case... I don't see how I will be able to split the halves of the gearbox without pulling the axles out the sides - and if I do that, is there still a need to split the blower?

I'm willing to do what you guys advise, but it looks like even with the blower split and the impeller shaft free that the axles will still hold the gearbox halves tightly together. Can you clarify that for me?

Thanks again,
As I said in the post above yours. Watch some of those videos and it will give you a really good idea of how your machine has to come apart. I don't think there is a specific John Deere video in that list, but almost all snow blowers use the same parts and concepts.
 

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As I said in the post above yours. Watch some of those videos and it will give you a really good idea of how your machine has to come apart. I don't think there is a specific John Deere video in that list, but almost all snow blowers use the same parts and concepts.
I agree, you could look at the parts diagram of just about any similar snowblower and you will have about 90% of the picture. The main difference between the various brands of blower is the color :smile2:
 

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That will make it something of a PITA to buy replacement parts for whatever's broken, unfortunately. But I'd start by seeing the extent of the damage. If it's just like a sheared woodruff key (happened to me once), it's a $1 fix at the hardware store. If it's a blown brass gear/worm drive on the shaft, that gets more expensive, and parts availability becomes a question.
 
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