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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Just got a hand me down snow blower and everything worked great yesterday when I used the snow blower. However sometime today the self propelled wheels stopped working. I leave a very steep hill so it is worthless without this feature.

I tried to google some various issues but it appears everything is engaging but for whatever reason the wheels will not turn. If I pick the blower up and spin the wheels with my feet the linkage will keep them turning but if any pressure is applied they will stop turning like there is no torque to move them. I have three videos that I think will very helpful. Turn your speakers down. That snow blower is loud. See below:




 

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yes, the wheels should turn with that large gear.
Missing a pin between that large gear and the wheel axle?
 

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:welcome: to the forum

What he said. I think it's a bolt, looks like an Estate I have but a bit newer. Could be a roll pin ??

What's the model number ?? You can find the part number here - - > Genuine MTD Parts - Snowblower and Lawn Mower Replacement Parts
And do a little on line shopping or even call around local to see who has it.
You might want to check those axle bushings for play as the wheels seem to shake a bit when it's running.

.
 

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There is a woodruff key under the large (final drive) gear. The horizontal motion of the gear is controlled by a split pin. My guess is that the woodruff key has sheared off or is somehow missing. Your friction disk also needs a thorough cleaning.
 

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There is a woodruff key under the large (final drive) gear. The horizontal motion of the gear is controlled by a split pin. My guess is that the woodruff key has sheared off or is somehow missing. Your friction disk also needs a thorough cleaning.
I had one with this. The key was nowhere to be found.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I am not sure what a woodruff key is but i will google. I have attached an image of the model and serial number so hopefully this helps:

317E662G013 1I196B50054 for easier copy and paste. Thanks for the help.



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p/n: 914-0126

Description: 3/16 x 3/4 Dia HT

Translation: 3/16" wide x 3/4" in diameter, Heat Treated. A woodruff key is actually not a 3/4" diameter circle, but it looks like a half moon. You do not have to buy one from an MTD dealer IF (and that is a big if) you can find one that you KNOW is heat treated. If it is not heat treated, it will shear off, which is what may have happened already.

You will also need a 915-0249 roll (or split) pin.

Hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I will check my local hardware store tomorrow and see what they have.

From the information I have gathered it looks like the woodruff key slides into the gear so the shaft will turn the wheels instead of the shaft just spinning on itself and the roll pin keeps the woodruff key from sliding out? Is that close? This is my first small equipment repair job and I appreciate the education and advice.
 

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I will check my local hardware store tomorrow and see what they have.

From the information I have gathered it looks like the woodruff key slides into the gear so the shaft will turn the wheels instead of the shaft just spinning on itself and the roll pin keeps the woodruff key from sliding out? Is that close? This is my first small equipment repair job and I appreciate the education and advice.
That's pretty much how it works, except the pin keeps the gear in place on top of the key.
Here's a link to what it should look like assuming that picture is for the right model year.

MTD 317E662G013 (1997) Parts Diagrams for Frame Assembly
 

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This one has a roll pin, MTD 715-0249, or your local Ace.
For some unfathomable reason, the wizards of smart at MTD have decided to change a whole bunch of p/ns that begin with "7" to now begin with "9". Go figure.
 

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For some unfathomable reason, the wizards of smart at MTD have decided to change a whole bunch of p/ns that begin with "7" to now begin with "9". Go figure.
They got a new inventory software for Christmas I guess. Much easier to confuse customers and make every manual printed up till then obsolete.
 

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The upside, is that this should be a pretty straight forward repair.

First things first you probably don't want more than half tank of gas. Because the next step will require you to flip it onto the bucket, aka "the service position."

And since you already have the bottom panel off, the next step will be to remove the left wheel, and you can pull the axle to the right. You can remove it completely, or just enough, your call.

You will need a drift punch, if you do not have one. Chances are that the broken pieces of the roll pin are still in place and will need to be driven out.

If you run into problems, we're here for ya.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I just wanted to follow up for anyone else that has this problem. The woodruff key was missing but the pin was still in. I reinserted a key and I cleaned the friction disk, tightened the throttle cable and this thing is now operating like a mini plow truck. I had everything so clean and adjusted that the snow blower wanted to pull a wheelie. It cracked me up. I readjusted so it now operates more like I think it should.

For anyone that stumbles on this thread it actually was quite easy to fix. Take your time and make sure the friction disk is completely clean and dry. Go ahead and make a mental note that you will probably have to do this three times after letting it dry and running it again. Mine had so much grease and dirt that even though it was clean before I started it up, once I started it up the disk was completely dirty again.

Also make sure you buy a couple of woodruff keys. They run about 30-75 cents if you buy them locally at an ace hardware or its equivalent (not lowes /home depot who do not have them in the stores).

I appreciate everyone's advice and help! It is truly appreciated and I am glad there ares till helpful people in the world. I cannot speak for everyone, but as for me, I hope I don't have to ever use my snowblower again. Here's to summer.
 

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Glad you are up and running. A lot of that grime and crud on the friction wheel plate may be from using a light weight oil on the hex shaft and gears.

I have been using a thin coat of 10-w40 on the hex shaft and chain lube on the gears. It is pretty tacky and is designed to not fling off. you don't need to use much.
Good Luck
 
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