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Discussion Starter · #101 ·
20210227

Don't have pics of the install process. Take a look at the link to the screws in #99 above to see what a TEK screw looks like.

The TEK screws self-tap the equivalent of machine-screw threads in the paddles. I added flat washers under the heads, and have them tight enough to let those washers and the washer-heads on the screws do the job of keeping them from falling out in service. The installation couldn't have been easier really once the chute pieces were out of the way. No drilling holes, no fiddling blindly with screws-nuts-lock-washers or lock nuts, screwdriver and wrench. The TEK screws go in in one shot, using a drill or in my case the impact driver. The impact driver never made it to impact mode, suggesting that any decent drill with the hex nut driver bit in the chuck would work at least as well. As described, the Vise-Grip pliers held the plastic pad in place while I set the screws, and also held the impellor paddle up in the discharge opening just perfectly for the surgery. Zip-zip-zip-zip, rotate the impellor 120º, clamp the pad in place, zip-zip-zip-zip, and again for the third paddle.
 

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@dr bob what is the approximate amount of your gap between impeller and housing?
 

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@dr bob what is the approximate amount of your gap between impeller and housing?
I don't know what variation there might be in gap due to production tolerances, but in my own ST227P the gap was roughly 3/8" IIRC. I do believe that after the impeller modification the machine performs better in general and notably with very wet snow. After the last storm, which left about 2" of wet snow then rained on it, the machine still was throwing the slush 20' or more most of the time. I did get a little buildup of slush in the chute at times, which I would clear out with the tool. I think I need to pay more attention to spraying the chute regularly to cover times when the snow gets slushy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #104 ·
@dr bob what is the approximate amount of your gap between impeller and housing?
Gap started out at an average less than half an inch, with a metal protection flange where the chute mounts that's less than 3/8". The other "high spots" in the housing are the bolt heads where the chute mounts, somewhere in between as far as impellor clearance. The urethane pieces were placed so there was a slight interference with the housing, and the first few minutes of operation caused them to self-clearance (read: wear...) to just make contact with the drum, and flex as they pass that protection flange. There are narrow notches worn in from the bolt heads. I will have to repaint the barrel in the spring before it goes to summer storage. It was due anyway, but the wear from the new flaps removed all doubt.

The last snow was very similar to what Dick R. describes. A few inches of heavy snow, from just barely freezing temps as it snowed. I started just pushing it with the shovel, but hung that up and pulled the machine out after a few shovel passes to the street. I need to add another layer of wax/paint sealant to the augers, but in the meanwhile the engine loading tells me that the impellor is doing a bit more work than previously. It easily slings the soggy snow 30+ feet. I had no issues with the chute clogging, but the augers were definitely suffering with clogging if I went at normal full-speed for the snow depth. In average snow, there's a very definite improvement in throwing distance, and more engine load with the extra distance and performance. A worthwhile tradeoff for almost all the area that I clear. We live on a shared private road with a 80' diameter cul de sac in front. If I wait for the HOA's contractor to clear snow, we get plow piles in the cul de sac and on the lawn areas. Better to wander down the street and toss the snow completely clear of the pavement. Prior to the impellor mod, the cul de sac would get some double-throwing. Now, there's enough range to get almost all of the middle snow off the pavement in one go at it. In heavy/deeper snow conditions, this saves a lot of work. Previously I'd do a few 'laps' of the perimeter to make room for the middle snow that I couldn't throw far enough. There's still some that doesn't get there especially when it's soggy, but for the rest it's a pretty decent improvement.

For me, the performance improvement is worth the effort.
 
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Discussion Starter · #106 · (Edited)
20210308

Certainly worth a try, as it's easy enough to change it back if you don't like it. Whether that will add the expected 30-50% to the throwing distance for the <10% change in impellor speed is debatable. Math says Not Likely.

Just adding the impellor-mod paddles definitely affects the engine loading, which net affects impellor speed a small bit. Engine is working a little harder, just based on listening to the exhaust note. The urethane paddles are just touching the inside of the drum now most of the way around, so not much in the way of added friction at this point. It definitely throws farther now, but the extra 'work' it does isn't free -- the engine knows it's working a little harder. It's a net-positive result so far.

----

I still need to get new wax/sealant on the front bits before we get more snow. Next-door neighbor with the little blade on his lawn tractor asked if it's OK to pull his driveway snow stakes, as we've had some pretty warm afternoons lately. I told him to go ahead, but also mentioned that it's just getting into March, and there's at least another month of snow season available. Nothing triggers a blizzard quite like being unprepared in March. Snow stakes are still there.

More when it happens!


Bob
 

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Someone else on SBF changed their pulley from 3" to 3.25" and it made a huge difference in throwing distance.

I figure it's worth a try. I hate having to throw the same snow twice. I have plenty of room all around my driveway, so the further the snow goes the better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #108 · (Edited)
Someone else on SBF changed their pulley from 3" to 3.25" and it made a huge difference in throwing distance.

I figure it's worth a try. I hate having to throw the same snow twice. I have plenty of room all around my driveway, so the further the snow goes the better.
20210327

Let us know how well it works. Any improvement is good, especially the easy stuff like a pulley change. Spring pre-hibernation maintenance this year should probably include splitting the case and checking/replacing the impellor shaft bearing. If the quality of that one is similar to a few others on this one, it's time. Of course, with all that apart, testing a new drive pulley would be pretty easy. Remember that there's no such thing as a free lunch, as increasing the impellor speed will add load to the engine. For most light-snow days we'd probably not notice it much. Bu in deep or heavy/wet snow it will likely slow the engine down as load is added, netting a similar impellor speed in the end. Slippery slope, solved with an engine upgrade. "More Power!"
 

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Discussion Starter · #109 · (Edited)
20210327

I went down the block and harvested all my snow stakes earlier in the week. Still have a few little caches of snow hidden under some bushes by the road, but it's clear that it's a warm winter and spring. Safe tp pack everything and put it all away. Should have irrigation water going into the pond in a couple weeks, pretty much the official transition from winter to not-winter around here. I have a maintenance list to attend to this spring, and may just jump into that in a week or two after I line up some parts and some paint for the impellor barrel. A little bit of wrenching, a little touch of the Krylon Picasso treatment.
 

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I am making a list of parts to get for my machine. Some are upgrades that Husqvarna made to newer models that are bolt-in for my older machine. I did replace the original LH358SA engine with a HMSK100. They are almost the same thing. I believe they are both 358cc engines. I have been looking for an OHV engine of similar or higher cc's that I could use. I would need to get the engine mounting plate that Husqvarna started using when they changed over to LCT engines. Also the center of the crankshaft on these OHV engines is 1" higher, so I would need longer belts. I think I'm good for the impeller belt (use 40" belt with newer engine and 3" pulley), but not sure about drive belt, yet.

I'll test the 3" pulley next winter and see if the HSMK100 can handle it.

I passed up on a great deal for an LCT 404cc engine (electric start, manual throttle, proper crankshaft: 3/4" - ~2.5" long - tapped 3/8 - 24) earlier this year and I'm kicking myself now. I still would have had to get the mounting plate and longer belts for that engine, but I would have had the summer to work on it.

Hopefully some new deals will pop up again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #111 ·
20210401

Will you change the belt cover too? I looked hard at some of the bigger LCT replacement engines last fall when I saw an ad, but then figured that I'd just tear up the homeowner-grade drive pieces if I asked it to do much more work. The original engine still works perfectly, needing only a fab'd muffler cover support so far. I might put a new spark plug in it, mostly because I have a box of them for a car I no longer own. Thought I gave the last ones away, but found some anyway.

It's been in the 70's here the last few days. Forecast shows a bit of mixed precip on Monday, but overnights are barely freezing. Still have 10' of snow at the ski area. I've been cleaning up after a weekend windstorm dropped a Ponderosa Pine in the driveway. Top of it managed to puncture a bit of the roof over the garage, ripped gutters, so it will get new sheathing and the rest to bring it back to its former happy state. I did get to play with the chainsaw a bit. I can get out of the garage and driveway now anyway. Getting too old and crabby for cutting up trees this size.

So next task after the final tree removal (still have 40' of it standing...) will be to line up the maintenance lists/ parts for the pre-hibernation tool-fest. It was a very light snow year so under 15 hours added. I'm thinking hard about that impellor bearing. Haven't seen any mention of a common bearing part number, so may end up kicking and screaming at the Husqvarna parts catalog trying to find one. Can't imagine they would invent their own bearing for that duty though.

I'll probably check back in once or twice between now and next fall, otherwise adios and see you sometime after Labor Day.
 

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I haven't even checked to see if the belt cover has room for a higher crankshaft. I could always built something out of wood that would probably work better than the original cover.

The bigger engine still runs at the same or even lower RPMs. It will have more torque, though. I'd only be going from 358cc to a little over 400cc. Having a 30" bucket on my machine, I don't see it being that huge of an increase, plus my older Husqvarna is better made than the newer stuff. I would hope the newer engine would be able to maintain full power when under full load instead of loosing power like the Tecumseh does. Might be a reason why people love those Predator 212 engines (small yet powerful and easy drop-in replacement).

Pulley change first. If still not happy, then bigger engine.

Luckily I cut down all of the large trees around my house a few years ago. The Nor'easters I get love taking down the biggest trees and totaling vehicles and damaging homes.

Are you talking about #12 532198791 ? PartsTree - Home of OEM Parts for Outdoor Power Equipment

See you later.
 

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Discussion Starter · #113 ·
Had lunch with a neighbor, who reminded me that he's ready to do all the pre-season PM and prep on his second-year Craftsman machine. Meanwhile, I procrastinated about replacing the impellor bearing over the summer, so need to decide if that's something necessary before we see first snow in late November. Two other big car mechanical projects are on my winter list already, beyond the normal service everything and swap from summer vehicles exercises. If I ignore the impellor bearing we'll get a massive snow dump and I'll regret the laziness. Lots or summer drought and we could use that snow-dump water though. Film at 11...
 

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Discussion Starter · #114 ·

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Discussion Starter · #115 · (Edited)
So... I have all the drive box bearings coming new, plus the impellor shaft bearing x2. I am just -so- looking forward to having the whole bottom end apart again. The good news is that this is pretty much the whole bearing load, except for the auger shaft bearings. And the angle drive gearbox for those augers. Going into year eight, things should remain pretty reliable with this machine.

Overnight temps dropped to 20ºF yesterday. Today's low was right at freezing, with highs in the high 40's both days. It's a little early here for any lasting snow at least based on recent history. But things have been anything but normal lately. We need a pretty massive amount of snowfall this winter to hep restore some water levels all along the Cascades here in Oregon. Pray for snow with me, but not until the parts get here and I get them installed. If you don't mind.

Everybody have a safe and bountiful snow season this year. Send your excess here.
 
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Hope you get the work done before snow hits.

Over here on the East coast, we don't need snow or rain right now, but I'd rather get snow than more rain this winter. We are due for some big snow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #117 · (Edited)
20211014

Amen! A lot of moisture that we usually get somehow made its way to the east coast this year. Plus, we sent a few clouds of smoke along as a bonus gift. We've had worse smoke years here, but not by a lot. I grew up on the east coast, and escaped to the west for college, and in search of fewer allergies and less summer heat and humidity. Got the education thing OK, but the smoke has, um, rekindled some long-forgotten issues.

50's today, but I have a temporary no-lifting restriction so no option to start breaking down the machine in advance of parts arriving. It actually runs and operates fine right now, and for the average user that's a good enough way to go into a snow season. After seeing how marginal the drive box bearings were designed and spec'd, getting that impellor bearing checked and renewed would worry me every time I started the machine.

For those following along at home, I started with the ST227P for my own driveway. Then the HOA jammed me the first winter by failing to clear the (private) street a few times. Then a neighbor's wife had some serious medical issues and care needs, so his driveway got cleared for paramedic access. Then another neighbor who's in her 80's and has a derelict son whom she relies on for logistics support like this. Others on the street here have been helping with the duties lately, but the residential-class machine ended up doing what a commercial-class machine would normally be asked to do. I'm having plenty of fun keeping it going through all this, and the parts are a lot cheaper than buying a new commercial snow blower. I have no idea how many years the "average" homeowner keeps an "average" snow blower. The forum members here are definitely not a typical test audience. I might guess three or maybe four years average before the time it doesn't start, or it locks up from ice in the barrel, bends or breaks trying to get through that three-days-old frozen rock-hard EOD pile, or it gets too rusty after sitting outside under a leaky tarp between uses. Or gets run without oil...
 

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Discussion Starter · #118 ·
20211015

Reminder:

After going through the service manual procedure again for the impellor bearing replacement, I'm reminded that Husqvarna identifies all the bearings in the drive box as 'lifetime lubricated'. I discovered the hard way that the needle bearings in the steering shaft and clutches are anything but 'lifetime lubricated'. The needle bearings on the steering clutches especially, which had no lubrication and no good way to retain lubrication. Take the time to disassemble at least those steering shaft pieces, add grease to the needle bearings, and replace the ball bearings that carry the shaft at either end.

The ball bearings carrying the shaft in the drive housing: (Takes 2) Amazon.com: Stens 230-144 Wheel Arm Bearing, Replaces Snapper 7046983YP : Patio, Lawn & Garden

The larger needle bearings in the steering clutch drive: (Bought 4) INA SCE98 Needle Roller Bearing, Caged Drawn Cup, Steel Cage, Open End, Inch, 9/16" ID, 3/4" OD, 1/2" Width, 19600rpm Maximum Rotational Speed, 2420lbf Static Load Capacity, 1730lbf Dynamic Load Capacity: Amazon.com: Industrial & Scientific

The smaller needle bearings in that same clutch drive on the shaft: (Bought 4)
https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B006KT1B2G/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Delivery from Jeff B's garage warehouse was a lot faster and more reliable than from my "regular" parts supplier in Florida. These are generic bearings, repackaged and marked up when purchased in Husqvarna bags.

There are a few posts plus a link to a video about the actual work needed, if you look back at some of the 2019 posts in this thread. I'd need to go search through the logbook on the machine to find the run hours when I did this service last. It was five years into ownership though.

HTH!
 

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I haven't noticed the smoke, but then I have been indoors a lot more the past couple of years. Plus, I don't suffer from allergies. It's been in the upper 60's and lower 70's for me the past couple of weeks. I've been tempted to upgrade some parts (which I already have) on my machine, but as in your case, my machine runs and operates perfectly fine. Why fix something that ain't broke. Next summer will be a better time to get that stuff done.

A lot of bearings are "lifetime" lubricated. All that means is that the lubrication lasts the lifetime of the part, not the life of the entire machine. Plus, many times they are sealed and can't be lubricated to extend their life. It's how they drum up business. Planned obsolescence.

It's the same with a lot of newer automobiles these days. Their transmissions are sealed and come with "lifetime" transmission fluid. The fluid lasts the life of the transmission, which can be only 50-100k miles. They don't make money selling vehicles, they make money servicing vehicles.

I completely restored my Husqvarna 10530SBE four years ago and replaced all the bearings. The old ones were still good (even at 10+ years old), but figured I'd change them all since I had it apart. The old ones are backups now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #120 ·
Amen. The newer machines have had the engineering specs and designs passed through the cost-accounting 'profit over function' department on the way to purchase and fabrication. Definitely the lowest-cost suppliers were chosen at least for the bearings.

My first real job out of school was designing packaging machines for a large consumer-products company. I quickly learned from the veterans that 'good enough' was never really good enough. I added a little sign in my office that reminded me to "do it once, do it right, do it like you mean it!". My first big engineering effort was a rotary stamp for soap bars, and I used bearings intended for railroad car wheels in the stem, sitting in a bath of oil. Oil was easy to change, but getting to the bearing for replacement took a lot of effort. Kinda like how the center speaker in the dash was the part to which the rest of the car was attached. Somewhere north of a dozen years in, someone decided they needed to replace that bearing to solve a drive issue. Three days of disassembly later, and after a warning from the original engineer (me) that they were wasting their time, that bearing still looked just like the day it was installed.

Perhaps this explains my sensitivity and fascination with spec'ing real industrial-strength bearings. That can be lubricated in service.

Conversely, it's pretty impressive how well the machine worked for so long with the cheap unlubricated steering shaft needle bearings. The little planetary clutch drives are so cute. With just the tiniest bit of thought and a few neoprene lip seals, they truly could be lifetime-lubricated pieces both the gears and the needle bearings. At assembly, they could have at least added a smear of some cheap waterproof bearing grease in them. The new steering shaft was cheap enough to buy, but took a long time to arrive. Would have been all down-time except that the original shaft cleaned up some with a file and stone, and I was able to quickly and easily source the needle bearings through a not-Husqvarna parts channel.

Still on lifting restriction for another week or so. It's not likely that we'll get any measurable snow in that time, plus the that impellor shaft bearing won't be here for that week or so anyway, it turns out. It's a drag race between the brown truck and getting some stiches out. Whichever takes longer rules the schedule.


-----

Still happy with the machine. Lots of good service hours on it. I'm turning it into a science project though.
 
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