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So yesterday when I was out working on the new Deluxe 28 my neighbor sees me looking at the auger area and I said "look bolts and not sheer pins" he goes to explain that he only uses 5/16" grade 5 bolts in his auger as he had a failed brass gear using the factory sheer pins that didn't break but the grade 5 bolts always broke. Now why is it that his sheer pins didn't break? I need to get new pins but yes I have put bolts in blowers in the past and those did not break on mine and damaged the gear. Don't need to go through that again if I do not need to.
 

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Grade 5 makes me cringe, gotta say.
Grade 5 is medium strong... Equivalent to Metric Grade 8.8. But shears well unlike the lesser grades since it is medium carbon steel, quenched and tempered.
 

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I'd use what manufacturer says, and if they are bolts, do not overtighten them. My tractor blower specs grade 5 fully threaded 1/4x20 bolts. Grade 5 makes me cringe, gotta say.
Yes, what every they spec is the wise decisions. Unless you have a Cub Cadet 3x. They now spec Grade 8 bolts on the impellar shaft due to too many complaints of the shear pins breaking. There are long threads on this for anyone who is curious. If I had one of those machines I would stay with something softer and protect the impellar shaft and related parts. Just stop running over rocks and junk under the snow. Or get a different machine.

I had a Toro that spec'ed Grade 5 bolts. No grooves or anything special. Just an of the shelf bolt. Toro says their auger gear box is tough enough to handle the shock.

There are a variety of configurations speced on machines out there from custom pins with grooves to off the shelf grade 2 or grade 5 bolts.
 
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