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Discussion Starter #1
I have a used Power Max 1028 (about 10 yrs old) for the past 2 years, and this year, the last 4 uses, the traction belt has slipped off the traction pulley - not the engine pulley. It is a PITA to roll it to my garage and re-seat the belt. I have looked it over pretty good, and there doesn't seem to be anything broken or loose, except maybe the belt has stretched ? It is a 34 x 3/8" cogged belt, which is what is called for. Not sure, but the belt may be after-market. Anyone experience this, and have any suggestions ?

Thanks
 

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Did you check the swing plate bushings they are probably bad. The one on the left hand side "drivers side" gets the most wear. You will need to take the wheel off to see if they are bad. They are small white bushings and any movement on that swing plate rod will cause the belt to jump.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Did you check the swing plate bushings they are probably bad. The one on the left hand side "drivers side" gets the most wear. You will need to take the wheel off to see if they are bad. They are small white bushings and any movement on that swing plate rod will cause the belt to jump.
Help me out - Where is the swing plate bushing, or part number ? One thing I noticed the last time the belt came off, I had just hit a bump in the ice, which caused the blower to jump a little.

Another, possibly unrelated. My 1st two forward gears are almost zero speed. I have adjusted the gear selector rod to be max length without bending, and that didn't help.

Oh, my PowerMax is an LE - i.e. no trigger steering.

Appreciate any help !

I just did some googling, and I see that you are the expert on this issue, and Yes, I am in the re-call model/serial number time frame. Do you have the info on whether Toro will do anything, or am I on my nickle ? Is there a PDF with instructions on what to do ?

Addtl info - the bushings are worn on both sides. Will replacing them fix it, or do I also need to cut down the pulley ?

THX
 

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It must be a 2004 if it's in the update range. I don't think toro will help being that old. You will have to check how long the rear pulley is the one closes to the motor. It may have been done already. I would make sure you got the right toro belt also. Did the hole in the frame for the swing plate get worn at all?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
It must be a 2004 if it's in the update range. I don't think toro will help being that old. You will have to check how long the rear pulley is the one closes to the motor. It may have been done already. I would make sure you got the right toro belt also. Did the hole in the frame for the swing plate get worn at all?
As you guessed, the left bushing was worn more than the right, so I switched them, and made a bushing for the right side out of a butter dish to allow me to use it if I need to, until I can get 2 new bushing. The frame holes were fine.

Can you elaborate on what to do to the rear pulley ? I suspect that it is still factory knowing the previous owner.

THANKS a lot - I would never have looked at those bushings. I suspect that they just got to the tipping point, because I never had a belt come off last year.

Happy New Year, and have an extra cocktail on my behalf, and I'll have one on yours...or maybe a couple.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
http://www.snowblowerforum.com/forum/toro-snowblowers/128321-power-max-1028-traction-belt-issue.html#/topics/122145

Post #4 says the length it should be. I just use a hand grinder and keep it as flat as possible. Happy New year!
Are you talking about the pulleys on the engine crank ? Is the strategy to bring the traction pulley about 1/8" closer to the engine ? Seems like that will align the traction pulleys when they are engaged, but it will throw off the alignment of the auger pulleys - at least from a quick look. It was about 5 degrees F in my garage, so I didn't spend a lot of time inspecting !

Again, thanks for the suggestions.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Just completed the shaving down of the traction pulley that sits on the crank. Guess what - NO thrown belts ! It worked perfect - well, sort of. The nylon bushings were shot, and I spent a good hour fudging up a substitute that finally worked, although I do need to get the Toro ones.

Thanks again for the help/suggestions.

I am amazed that Toro never caught this when they were engineering the machine. Shame on them !
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Just completed the shaving down of the traction pulley that sits on the crank. Guess what - NO thrown belts ! It worked perfect - well, sort of. The nylon bushings were shot, and I spent a good hour fudging up a substitute that finally worked, although I do need to get the Toro ones.

Thanks again for the help/suggestions.

I am amazed that Toro never caught this when they were engineering the machine. Shame on them !
OK, I "lied". The last 2 days of using it, the traction belt continues to jump off the lower traction pulley. I have a 550' driveway, and it seems like after about 3-4 passes - so about 2000' of use, it jumps off. Before shaving down the pulley, it would jump off the front of the lower pulley while using a non-OEM belt.

I have since replaced the 2 Nylint bushing on the swing-arm for the traction pulley, am using a brand new Toro traction belt that is about 1/2" shorter than the new OEM belt and I shaved off 1/8" from the traction pulley it is darn close to exact.

So, does anyone have a suggestion of what else I can adjust or replace ? This gets very frustrating when the belt comes off 500' from my garage, and I have to push the machine into the garage to work on it.

Thanks for your patience on this issue, because mine is running out !

Rit
 

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not knowing your sb but afaik all blowers have some kind of belt retention for the auger/impeller pulley so it wont come off of that pulley, maybe look there
 

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Discussion Starter #12
not knowing your sb but afaik all blowers have some kind of belt retention for the auger/impeller pulley so it wont come off of that pulley, maybe look there
There is a guard around the crank pulleys, but none on the drive pulley. That is what is needed, but since there is none, then there's gotta be something else that isn't right.
 

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Why are you using a shorter belt? I would check the motor for loose mounting bolts. Is the friction wheel worn down much? Also make sure the bearing in the swing plate is not worn any play will cause it to jump. They dont need a belt guard something is definitely wrong. Check the friction wheel tension if you look down on the left side of the frame you will see a slot in the frame were a rod thats part of the swing plate pokes out. Now with the drive handle not engaged you should have a gap about .095 from the end of the rod to the front most part of the slot ( towards the auger)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Why are you using a shorter belt? I would check the motor for loose mounting bolts. Is the friction wheel worn down much? Also make sure the bearing in the swing plate is not worn any play will cause it to jump. They dont need a belt guard something is definitely wrong. Check the friction wheel tension if you look down on the left side of the frame you will see a slot in the frame were a rod thats part of the swing plate pokes out. Now with the drive handle not engaged you should have a gap about .095 from the end of the rod to the front most part of the slot ( towards the auger)
No I am not using a shorter belt than required. I am using the OEM TORO belt, which is 34 1/2". The one that was on there was aftermarket and it was either 35" started out at 34.5 and stretched 0.5". Do you think the belt jumps because it is too short, or too long ? I could go back to the 0.5" longer belt.

When you say "bearing in the swing plate", are you saying that there is a bearing in the traction pulley that the belt rides on ? I didn't look at that. Is it pressed in, or does the whole pulley need to be replaced ?

I do have that rod adjusted correctly. I think the manual says to set the front gap at between 1/32 to 1/16" and I am probably closer to the 1/32" setting.

Just checked the engine and it is tight to the frame - darn, that would have been an easy fix.

I am thinking of possibly shimming the crank pulley a bit closer to where it originally was, since the belt seems to come off the back of the blower, where before it seemed to come off the front.

I will not get a chance to dig into it further til the weekend - wife has Drs. appts tomorrow.

PLEASE bear with me on this, because I am almost out of ideas and you seem to know this stuff inside out. I am sending you a PM.

THANKS
 

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ok I miss read the belt part. I would only use the original belt # 94-8812 so if that's the one you got your good on that. The bearing for the swing plate is the lower drive belt pulley # 108-0031 it has one nut holding it to the plate. Did you use the toro 256-257 swing plate bushings and make sure there is no play? The friction wheel new has about !/4 rubber on it so about 6 inches total height.
 

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Maybe the belt idler bracket got bent with how much the belt has been thrown. Make sure the idler pulley is straight with the engine pulley. There is also a bolt and nut holding it to the frame make sure its not loose.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Maybe the belt idler bracket got bent with how much the belt has been thrown. Make sure the idler pulley is straight with the engine pulley. There is also a bolt and nut holding it to the frame make sure its not loose.
Thanks - I am in Drs. waiting room and will pick up a friction wheel after - just for insurance. The bearing on the traction pulley seems good. I'll keep you posted, and THX a lot.

Yes - the Nylint bushing are brand new, and no elongation of the hole that they go in, so they are tight. You are right though, there are just so many things in this process - should work !

When the friction wheel wears, does ir wear to nothing ? Mine seems to have about 1/4" of rubber, but for $30, it will need it eventually. I suspect it is original - I have only owned it for 2 yrs.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I did some adjustments and "fixes", but was not able to give it a true test because the 1/2 pulley sheave cracked on me - or I guess "I cracked" it - stupid pot metal. I was using my impact wrench to put it on, and realized later that it only calls for 29 ft-lbs. My $15 mistake.

I did notice that there was excessive play in the lower traction control lever where it goes through the bracket, and the frame. Not sure if it was supposed to be like that, but the friction wheel was walking a little on the disc, so for that reason, I wasn't able to run in forward speed 1 or 2. I also put in a small washer to move the crank pulley a bit closer to where they originally were - as opposed to the 1/8" cutting down position.

Further update will follow after I get the replacement 1/2 pulley sheave.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
OK< I buttoned everything up, and tried it out, and once again, the traction belt came off. It seem like it came off at the instant that I disengaged the auger/impeller. I would guess that the change in engine load was what caused the belt to jump.

I did find on another forum that there are several updates to the Power Max following 1st yr introduction - which would include mine.

Toro has monitored the "first season" performance of the Power Max snowthrower and has identified several areas that have not consistently met our high standard of performance. Toro has prepared a package of updated parts which includes a new impeller housing cover and seal and parts for the traction drive system. These improvements will increase safety, overall durability and the performance of your Power Max snowthrower.

The impeller housing cover does not bother me, and I already shaved down the pulley, but does anyone know what other changes/parts might they be referring to ? Might someone have the actual repair sheets that I could get a scan or photo of ?

I was wondering if I changed out the Toro 34.5" belt to a different one, if it would be less likely to throw the belt ? And, if so, would I be better off with a 34" or 35" ?

THANKS !

Rit
 

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The update kit had a new auger cable return spring, pinion, pinion shaft, front cover that dont say power max, the seal was just a metal plate that went under the corner of the cover i wanna say that was it i can check in the morning.
 
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