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Dr Bob, I've been watching your thread on the ST227P with interest, particularly the latter posts on lubrication of the gears. On looking at the owner's manual (115 68 34-27 Rev. 3), page 14 has this:


TRACTION DRIVE SYSTEM
DO NOT lubricate the drive components inside the snow
thrower. The sprockets, hex shafts, drive disc and friction
wheel require no lubrication. The bearings and bushings
are lifetime lubricated and require no maintenance.
CAUTION: Any lubricating of the above components
can cause contamination of the friction
wheel and damage to the drive system of your
snow thrower.


It would seem that your findings are contrary to what the manual says. I got mine in February 2018; would that have changed things vs your 2015 machine? Perhaps the mfg has learned from mistakes, improved quality control?


Another question: if I do get into checking lubrication of the planetary gear bearings, for ease of access is it ok to tilt the machine up onto the front of the bucket, or would I be asking for trouble by putting the engine 90 degrees out of horizontal and having fluids dribble out the wrong places?
 

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Discussion Starter #62
Hi Dick --

I looked at the manual recommendations for no lubrication on drive pieces in the box, and then looked at the chewed up steering shaft and the fragments of roller bearing rollers that had locked up the planetary box. Their idea of "lifetime lubrication" for the bearings was the same as "none". Maybe their "lifetime" expectancy is a lot shorter than mine for these pieces. It was a tough decision (not...) to replace the bearings, pack them with heavy grease, and reassemble. I agree that you don't want anything to contaminate the friction disk and the rubber tire on the drive wheel, so of course you'll want to use some good sense and not add globs of grease where they will get thrown around on the drive disk. The dry needle bearings were inside the planetary reduction box, three in each one. There are no seals of any kind to keep grease in the bearings or housings so this will likely turn into an annual exercise at least for me. Meanwhile, looking at the parts sheet, the rubber tire for the friction drive is about $7, so a new one came this week (finally...) with the rest of the new and spare drive parts. I'll be getting into the project in the next few weeks, as soon as spring really launches and the machine is ready to be put away for the summer.

Maybe of interest: I dropped the drive box cover for a peeky after about 4 hours of use on the greased bearings. No traces of grease on anything except the cover itself and the case flanges it fastens to, all below the drive gears. Nothing anywhere near the friction disk or the tire. The difference in noise and smoothness is pretty impressive, by the way. Having the reduction boxes working is essential, while the telltale noise reduction is icing on the cake really.


Plan is to run the video cameras when I take the box apart this time. Hopefully someone will find it useful, and save themselves the annoyance of the bearing failure over less than an ounce of synthetic CV joint grease.
 
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Discussion Starter #63
Carrying the "lifetime" theme a little further, the only lubricated and sealed bearings in the drive section are the two ball bearings that carry the steering shaft. You can see the bearings from the outside of the case on either side, above where the main wheel axles pass through the housing. These bearings were all but frozen up, so they were replaced with new as part of the band-aid session for the planetary units' dry needle bearings. Bearings were cheap (under $15/pr on Amazon with the needle bearings), so there's an extra set in the spares box for the time I find them even a little grumbly. They come off the shaft when the needle bearings get serviced, so easy to check and easy to just replace when needed.
 

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Discussion Starter #64
Tempting the Snow Gods (!)

Tempting the snow gods, yesterday I took the opportunity to get started on end-of-season pre-storage prep. I drained the tank and the carburetor bowl, but put off the next parts of the protocol when I saw winter storm warnings go up for the Cascades an hour north of us. I was inspired by the main forums thread here https://www.snowblowerforum.com/for...d-proper-use-snowblower-avoid-breakdowns.html where I listed all the stuff I do. It wan't a big list, but it's important. Draining the fuel is pretty easy, after you remove the small bolts that hold the carburetor and muffler covers. Total time less than 10 minutes, cheap insurance against corrosion and other fuel system problems related to keeping old ethanol-laced fuel in the engine all summer and fall. It's an easy first step on the way to off-season storage. I was told by mrs dr bob that there will be no more of this kind of activity for at least another few weeks. :devil:
 

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Discussion Starter #65
Way Too Early, But Here We Go!

Forecast for this weekend has maybe 4" of snow mixed with rain between Saturday and early Monday. Kinda rude especially so early on the calendar. But it did inspire me to swap in the new "steering shaft" as promised last spring. I ran the video camera but have so say that my video skills absolutely suck. I spent 20 mins getting the machine up high enough on jack-stands to get good video up into the drive case. Then futzed around for another 20 mins doing a five-minute job. Bottom line is that the new shaft is in with new needle bearings and new grease, but no movie studio is going to be releasing my DIY wrench-umentary very soon.

In preparation for the blooozard forecast starting tomorrow, I celebrated with fresh fuel and stabilizer in the red cans. Re-sealed the painted metal bits including the augers and impellers. Looked hard at the impeller to find inspiration for drilling for the rubber "impeller kit" flaps. There's maybe 10mm of clearance between the arms and the barrel, something I'll cry about later when slush has filled the chute for the fourth time in as many minutes. Need to bring a couple snow shovels down out of storage and get them paint-sealed too. Now where did I put those gloves and the other winter gear? I'm sure it's around here somewhere... Hey, it's not even October yet, yet I expect to see the resident "first flake" out doing a snow dance tomorrow. Film at 11...
 

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Discussion Starter #66
Our early 3-6" soggy-snow prediction fizzled. Nothing on the street or driveway, but the trees and lawn got enough to make it look like winter. In anticipation, I decided to put fuel in it and make sure everything is still good. It looks/sounds like the forward support for the exhaust shield has cracked at the exhaust port end. I looked at the Husky and LCT parts drawings, but this bracket doesn't have a listing or a part/diagram number. I may have to do a little fabrication to get a new/better bracket in place. The original one is captive by the retainer so this isn't fatal, giving me some time to get a new piece made. The original is very thin steel, and it's Swiss-cheesed to help it shed heat. I may do some hacksaw surgery on a couple fender washers, and pop-rivet new tabs onto the original metal. Else make a whole new one. Else everything starts-runs-drives as new.

Historically, first measurable snow happens no earlier than mid-November. There's a good case for draining the tank and carburetor again, with fuel into the sealed fuel can again. Jury is still out on the ATF and cylinder fogging.
 

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Discussion Starter #67
In my pre-season false-start prep and run, I noticed a bit of engine cover rattling at isle speed. Turns out that the front support bracket for the muffler shield has cracked through right where it fits around the exhaust coupling where it bolts to the cylinder. The bracket falls into a parts limbo where it doesn't show as a separate part, or even as a part of the muffler heat shield assembly or the muffler itself. I'll likely end up fabricating a new one or at least a new bottom end I can attach to the exhaust studs. Hmmm.

Others are encouraged to take a look at that front bracket at the bottom end for similar cracking/failure.
 

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Discussion Starter #68
Working in the shop today, I'm starting to get that itch. You know the one. The "toyz that make noiz" one. We need some more snow on the mountain for skiing please, and maybe some here in town too for good measure. Summer driver will get its winter storage prep soon, probably before Thanksgiving. Once that gets put away, the only outdoor fun thing left is winter toys. Jesdog is probably still playing golf up at Eagle Crest. Our little 9-hole is done for the winter, but Bend is still offering mid-morning golf if I get the WD's.
 
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dr bob, yes we were golfing last week enjoying the last warm days of this fall. As accurately predicted snow came last night and continues today (November 28, 2019). I was able to fire up the ST227P with fresh gas/stabilizer in anticipation for this (too early)snow event and did our driveway in an hour. 4-5" of wet snow but the job is done for today. I helped my neighbor clear his driveway as he had an electric Sno Joe and he got most of it done before i was on scene. I had him clear a perimeter so I could finish without running over anything.
After lubricating the planetary gears and drive unit last spring following your excellent guidance, I noticed the reverse was not engaging normally and it was tempermental and mostly not engaging at all. When the cover of the drive train was off I noticed that the round wheel that engages the friction disc would move slowly on the horizontal shaft and then engage reverse. I thought it was a little too slow but after shifting several times, it worked fine after the spring tune up. Today, it was not engaging again and although the reverse is slow anyway by design, hefting it backwards was strenuous. Anyway, what are your thoughts. Hopefully, maybe a cable adjustment but I'll await your sage advice. Well, hopefully this storm passes through and the snow melts and on to golf again. When State transportation has to close the border between CA/OR you know the storm is/was a big one. Happy Thanksgiving to all.
 

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Success thanks to YouTube. Now have Reverse and FWD drive speeds. Apparently, I failed to link the Trunion Bearing to the Bracket Yoke (connects to the friction disc assembly) which negated the reverse speed.

Here is the video on the 200 series drive train. I thought it was pretty good.

Anyway, my skill level still has its limitations and glad I came across the video. Should snow tonight so I'll give it a go in the am.
 

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Discussion Starter #71
Sorry I missed your last postings. I was, um, busy clearing snow and munching turkey. Great find on the video, by the way.

The last little blast turned into soggy concrete right about the time I decided that raking some of my garage roof would be a good idea. Sun was out and temps rising faster than I thought. No ice in the gutters, but moving all that concrete was more than I was planning for.


A few days of warm and sun should slush and freeze the roads here quite nicely. Driveway and our little circle are clean and dry already. Fun stuff! So far so good this year as far as the machine goes.
 

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Discussion Starter #72
Managed to give myself a few "clinics" this weekend. Rain first. froze into a skating rink for the private street and the neighbors' driveways. Our driveway is paving stones that drain nicely, but the rest was slippery as he!!. Did OK, except the snow was really heavy, and it was just sliding on the ice layer rather than loading the bucket and the impeller. The machine was having trouble, and separately so was the operator. I should have stayed in my own driveway... but NOoooo. The heavy snow was clogging the augers, a few stray rocks in a neighbor's drive tested a shear pin, and deciding to add add yaktrax to my boots happened a few falls too late. I learned how to fall and not get hurt while playing hockey through college so nothing damaged except my pride. Ended up going after the augers and bucket and chute with with another couple layers of paint sealant and solved the clogging, replaced the broken shear pin after clearing the rocks, tossed the old boots that were way worn down, and had a much better day today with more snow. It's snowing now but it's dark and there's playoff ball on the TV, so whatever is out there will be ready for me in the morning.

Better tomorrow.
 

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That is good info, thanks. One suggestion: I have been hearing complaints that Stabil does not work or last as long as it once did and I've noticed that myself so what I have decided to do is empty the tank before storing and pour a pint of True Fuel into the tank. Start the motor and run it through the system. This should keep any seals / rubber from drying out. I also remove the plugs and apply anti seize to the threads. First thing I did to the backup blower I bought as well as the tires and the plug both felt like they were put in with an impact driver - ridiculous. Anti seize helps with insertion as well as it gives you a better feel for the threads. Love the tip about the dolly. I have a couple of these laying around doing nothing, think I will put them to good use. Great Post.
 

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Heated Grips not working. I haven't had the need to use them since I bought it new in 2017. However, I thought I might try it today. 2" semi-dry snow and finished the driveway in 30 minutes with no issues other than the heated grips.

I rocked the switch to the on position during the activity and then when finished, took my gloves off and did not notice any "warmth/heat" from the grips. This area, I believe, is the padded grey material attached to the handle bar.

I checked the voltage on the leads to the switch(removed both connector) and got the 12V on the multi-meter. I proceeded to check the switch in the on position and there was the correct connectivity. I checked in the off position and had no reading (closed).

I really don't need the warmer for the short time I use it but was just wondering......any tips appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter #75
Unplug the heated grips again, and this time use your meter to measure the resistance (Ohms) of the grips themselves. A lower number is better, while infinite means the hearing element or the connecting wiring has failed. Without going out and inspecting/measuring, remember that the switch may need to be on for the testing.

And for some reason a coincidence.... I too decided to flip the heated grips switch on for the first time. Have to also say that I didn't notice anything. I have to say that air temp was right at freezing and I had gloves on. When I was shutting down and ready to go in, I bare-handed the grips. Were they warmer than they would have been with the switch turned off? Ellifyno. I've been using the thing for years now with the grips turned off, and I'm pretty sure I can do it some more. I may go after the grips and wiring with the meter, and will share what I find.

I do need to flip the skid shoes again. The bottoms are worn thin, tops still new. So over they go. I may drop a new scraper on it too, as the old one is showing the signs of wear. All normal wear parts of course. I've chugged through about three gallons of fuel so far this season. Haven't looked at the Hobbs in a bit.

Forecast sez either soggy snow or rain tomorrow and for the next several hours. I've got all of last week's snow and slush gone and the driveway and our street are clean and dry. The fun never sets.
 

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Discussion Starter #76
That is good info, thanks. One suggestion: I have been hearing complaints that Stabil does not work or last as long as it once did and I've noticed that myself so what I have decided to do is empty the tank before storing and pour a pint of True Fuel into the tank. Start the motor and run it through the system. This should keep any seals / rubber from drying out. I also remove the plugs and apply anti seize to the threads. First thing I did to the backup blower I bought as well as the tires and the plug both felt like they were put in with an impact driver - ridiculous. Anti seize helps with insertion as well as it gives you a better feel for the threads. Love the tip about the dolly. I have a couple of these laying around doing nothing, think I will put them to good use. Great Post.
I drain the tank and run things completely dry for off-season storage. Pull the drain from the carburetor to get the last bits of fuel drained out. Plug comes out for some ATF or fogging oil, then back in with fingers only so no risk of cross-threading. The NGK plug I have in there now has cad plating on the threads so no steel corrosion. The threads get oiled, may get anti-seize annually but it's not that critical here (dry mountain/ high-desert climate). So far so good.

I use StaBil all year, run the carb bowl dry at the end of each use. I go through a bottle of StaBil every two years or so, with the cars and other toys. No sign of it not lasting mostly because we don't test it for more than half a year at a time. I think folks are becoming more aware of the shelf life and life after opening numbers showing up on the bottles. IMHO those numbers are a bit of a scam -- so long as the bottle stays closed, there's no evaporation or evolution of low-boiling components, so it's a way to get us to buy more.
 

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Unplug the heated grips again, and this time use your meter to measure the resistance (Ohms) of the grips themselves. A lower number is better, while infinite means the hearing element or the connecting wiring has failed. Without going out and inspecting/measuring, remember that the switch may need to be on for the testing.

And for some reason a coincidence.... I too decided to flip the heated grips switch on for the first time. Have to also say that I didn't nodown and ready to go in, I bare-handed the grips. Were they warmer than they would have been withtice anything. I have to say that air temp was right at freezing and I had gloves on. When I was shutting the switch turned off? Ellifyno. I've been using the thing for years now with the grips turned off, and I'm pretty sure I can do it some more. I may go after the grips and wiring with the meter, and will share what I find.

I do need to flip the skid shoes again. The bottoms are worn thin, tops still new. So over they go. I may drop a new scraper on it too, as the old one is showing the signs of wear. All normal wear parts of course. I've chugged through about three gallons of fuel so far this season. Haven't looked at the Hobbs in a bit.

Forecast sez either soggy snow or rain tomorrow and for the next several hours. I've got all of last week's snow and slush gone and the driveway and our street are clean and dry. The fun never sets.
New Husqy ST227P for 2014-15 snow season.

I love my snowblower. Every beat of it's little heart is one mine won't have to take.


Great and thanks for the updates on your experiences and wear on your ST227P. I thought I'd leave the grips project till end of season where I can run out the fuel, etc. Likewise, I can get by without them as time of use is limited before I head back into the garage. I estimate probably close to a gallon of use so far (only needed it once.....oh, oh, maybe mis-typed, lol).

Anyway, did some basic investigation on these Husky grips and general opinions are that they are not the best. I can do without but will use the resistance check later. Keep warm,golf course opened for walking only yesterday, maybe carts today.

There is a question on the Husqvarna forum regarding the grips, page 5 or 6 if I can recall. Last posting was in 2017.
 

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Discussion Starter #78
Had a snow weekend, after a month of very warm weather. Plants coming up, birds happy, chipmunks out playing. Now snow. I burned a tankful today pretty effortlessly. Just a few inches of nice dry powder, with temps peaking at less than 20ºF all day. Another inch or so fell this evening, maybe more overnight. So more fun tomorrow. Then back to spring-like weather by the middle of the week.

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Machine is performing flawlessly. A neighbor put a blade on his yard tractor, and we tag-team our private roads here. He presents two of maybe three rows of plowed powder, they get thrown off the pavement so we can keep full-width clearance. Still cleared four driveways with shovel and machine plus the roads. A few hours work total.. The exercise is good for me. Tank is almost empty, and tomorrow will tell if I need to add some or let it go for end-of-season storage prep.
 

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Looks like our season has ended. Total hours on use this year was about 1 1/4 hrs. No need to drain/change oil but drained the fuel as it will be over 6 months before fall pre-winter check and start-up. Will lube cables, etc. I spent a few minutes yesterday cleaning the auger/impeller area and did some touch up spray painting in scratched areas. I'll put a coat of wax and buff and then back on the dolly. I did check the handle grip warmers while it was running the last gulps of fuel and yes, there was heat to the grips but it was minimal. Can't fault advertising for "Heated hand grips" because it does heat. Anyway, golf course is open and COVID-19 recommendations are in place for carts, etc. I'll bring my own wipes just to add peace of mind. May be walking more until this cycles itself out.
 

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Discussion Starter #80
Amen. Gathering up our club members to see how we will do sessions and tournaments with one per cart, safe distances and such. It's a pretty senior group, and a few decided to hold an impromptu face to face meeting. Clearly the message is falling on deaf ears.

Meanwhile, I spent the last couple days spring-cleaning the yard. I have pine needles and cones for sale, local pickup only though.

I made the same end-of-season decision yesterday, washed the machine and did a full service. Gambling that we are done with major snow in mid March? Sounds too early, so we are surely tempting Flurry, The Goddess of Blizzards. Changed the oil with only seven hours added this season. Drained the tank, and also drained the carburetor.

The whole carburetor and muffler cover comes off with six bolts and the knobs pull straight up, so you can get to the bottom of the float bowl. The hose comes off from the fuel valve to the carburetor, and the last bits of fuel go in the can. There's a small bolt with a gasket going up into a boss in the bottom of the carburetor. Put a cup under there and remove the bolt. Not a lot of fuel left in there after running the engine out, but enough to foul the bits if we leave it in there. It's maybe ten minutes of work to do that whole fuel-draining exercise.

I need to do the touch-up painting and redo the paint sealant before the cover goes back on for summer hibernation.
 
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