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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

I've done lots of reading on these forums regarding the impeller mod and decided this is a definite must before I paint and reassemble my 1979 Ariens 924039. Lots of people went about this mod in distinct ways, but I'm trying to gather what's generally been regarded as best practice. Here's what I settled on and bought so far:

Baler belt from TSC
Zinc plated steel punched flat bar, 1-3/8" wide, 1/16" thick, Everbilt brand (Home depot)
Zinc plated 5/16" nylock nuts
Stainless 5/16 x 1 coarse threaded hex bolts

What I'm still undecided on is the following:

1) I have a 4-blade impeller. Do I mount 2 of them, or all 4? I've seen arguments for both, but never a generally-accepted best practice

2) My impeller blades have about 3.25" of flat space before curving upward. I've seen people mount the rubber only on the flat portion, and I've also seen it mounted up the curve. Is going up the curve necessary?

3) How many bolts are needed? I've seen 2, 3, and even 4 per blade. The center of each hole in the plate steel is about 3/4" apart, so my bolt spacing will be either 3/4" or 1.5"


My impeller fan is currently free of the blower and shaft. What's the best way to drill through thick steel like this? Vice grip and a good drill bit with oil?

Also, most impellers like mine have a dip in the middle of the blade and that's where people usually drill. If I mount the impeller and plate steel over this, there will be a gap that I assume will retain moisture from time to time. Is this a recipe for accelerating rust/rot?

Thanks in advance.
 

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My Method for Seals

Here's one I did last week on a 4 blade ariens 32 impeller.( I don't do seals on the 6 blade Ariens machines; I don't feel they need it.) I first cut 4 pieces of belt and backing plate, and then remove the chute. I then set the belt on the impeller blade in the position I want it, and then mark holes on the belt, taking into consideration the distance of the holes on the backing plate you are using. I then drill holes in the belt, and then re position it where it was. I then mark the impeller by using a sharpie through the holes in the belt. I then remove the belt, and place a large screwdriver between the impeller blade and the wall to keep the impeller from moving. I then drill the holes in the impeller blade and attach the belt and backing plate. Rinse and repeat. Use a "Good" New Drill bit, and drill using low RPMs. I use 2 bolts per side with red loctite applied. I Generously Spray the entire area with PB Blaster to help it break in. Make sure you look at the bottom side of the impeller before you drill holes, there's a flange that can interfere with the bolts. Good Luck with your "First Rodeo"! Addenda.... I use 1/4"hardware ...5/16 is overkill IMHO
 

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this is how i do it for ariens snowblowers. i use toro s200 paddles. i remove the chute. measure the impeller blades and cut them to size using an angle grinder. i then cut a piece of sheet aluminum or sheet steel slightly smaller them the piece of rubber i cut out. then i take the rubber and sheet metal and lay it on the the impeller blade pushing the rubber as close to the impeller housing as possible. i then use self tapping screws with i believe a 5/16 hex head, and use my impact driver to put it in the screws, making sure that the screws are not hitting any impeller support brackets. i then start the engine, let it get up to operating temperature, set the throttle to full, and engage the attachment clutch slowly, dont engage it suddenly like you normally would or you will more then likely stall the engine, when you feel you can safely completely engage the augers. i then allow the snowblower to run with the augers engaged for 5-10 minutes to wear them in, i dont use a lubricant to help break them in. after i check to make sure everything working properly, i then reinstall the chute. you will be amazed by the difference in not only dry snow but especially in wet snow. ****, mine can even slow the super wet slush far without clogging. if you have a honda clone, feel free to crank up the rpms to 3800, and bore out the main jet with some micro drill bits or a torch tip cleaner. i just bought a tach for setting up my machines that i sell and i just clocked in my 910018 at 4400 rpms, with a pretty much stock predator that only has a bored out main jet. the clones can take the abuse(mines been running like that for two years and the engine was used when i bought it with an unknown service history), and the engine still runs great with no signs of developing . oh, and i only do half the impeller blades, so if you have four blades, do the two opposite of each other, the impeller spins so fast that it wont even matter that you do all four, the goal is to keep the impeller wall as clean as possible so ice and slush doesnt build up and cause clogging
 

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how I did mine while out of the machine. cut square holes to use carriage bolts. steel backing plates from h d. used thick reinforced Honda paddles, ( they were the size I wanted) lock washers and nylon insert lock nuts, with loc tight. put on all 4 paddles. sprayed with fluid film, then ran for about a min or 2 to fit in. you can see the rubber marks and the black from the burn in. i put them on the back side and used carriage bolts because of the full paddle design on these.i did not want to interfere with cintrifical force from the center outward and have snow pack on the edge of the paddle. made a big difference with the slush and water.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
@Jack: So it looks like you use 2 screws per paddle. I can't tell from the picture - do your paddles continue to follow the curve of the blade? Also, it looks like you did not drill in the center "dip" of the blade, correct? Would it matter if you did?
@43128: What would you have done differently if you have the fan out on the bench like I do? Also, you're the only one of the three that did only 2 blades. You're sure there's no difference?
@ctdave: That looks great! I can tell you had just painted yours. I am on the fence about painting mine now or next year. One of my holdups is the idea of breaking in rubber paddles on brand new paint and stripping it. How's the paint where you broke yours in? I also noticed you put your paddles below the blade instead of above. How come?
 

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sorry forgot that yours was out on the bench. assuming that all of bearings were in spec?tolerance, i would have measured the gap before disassembly and then left however much i had measured hanging over the edge of the impeller blades(so if you measured a 1/4 inch gap before disassembly, leave a 1/4 inch overhang when installing the paddles. i believe that two paddles is just as good as doing all four, i have not experienced any issues with accelerated bearing wear or anything like that, and for somebody like me that buys and sells equipment for a hobby, it saves me money in materials when i go to sell these machines. and im not doing the two blade impeller kit on only machines i sell, i do it on my personal machines because i believe it is the best and most economical way to do it
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Bearings were all in spec (but I'm replacing them while I have them out anyway). I seem to remember about a 3/8-5/16" gap, but I'm kicking myself for not writing it down as I could be wrong about that.
 

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@Jack: So it looks like you use 2 screws per paddle. I can't tell from the picture - do your paddles continue to follow the curve of the blade? Also, it looks like you did not drill in the center "dip" of the blade, correct? Would it matter if you did?

@43128: What would you have done differently if you have the fan out on the bench like I do? Also, you're the only one of the three that did only 2 blades. You're sure there's no difference?

@ctdave: That looks great! I can tell you had just painted yours. I am on the fence about painting mine now or next year. One of my holdups is the idea of breaking in rubber paddles on brand new paint and stripping it. How's the paint where you broke yours in? I also noticed you put your paddles below the blade instead of above. How come?
why below blade, i say why in my post, the style of impeller blade (full) on that series. just my reasoning though, not sure if it makes a diff .......paint ; so far just the rubber marks from wearing them in, you can see in the pic
 

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Discussion Starter #9
why below blade, i say why in my post, the style of impeller blade (full) on that series. just my reasoning though, not sure if it makes a diff .......paint ; so far just the rubber marks from wearing them in, you can see in the pic
Ah I misread your post. I thoughts you meant "i put them on the back side and used carriage bolts because of the full paddle design" instead of "i put them on the back side and used carriage bolts because of the full paddle design". I'm not sure if I understand what you mean by full paddle design, though ::shrugs::
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Regarding my question about drilling into the center "dip" versus the edge of the paddle, here's a visual of the dip I am referring to:



 

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for that style impeller i always use self tapping screws on the outermost edge so the rubber is held up nice and tight against the impeller wall. its parts of the reason why i use self tapping screws, not only are they easier to use but they are thinner and just as strong so you can fit them in tight areas that you wouldnt be able to drill large holes into. sometimes i dont even use a piece of sheet metal its not necessary for every snowblower
 

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I think ctdaves version looks slick. Literally slick, with the seal underneath and the smooth carriage bolts. I was after something similar (slick) when I used full size plastic seals on top.
This blower has been operated since this old thread linked below was written and seems to work well.
Link to HDPE impeller seals thread
 

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Ah I misread your post. I thoughts you meant "i put them on the back side and used carriage bolts because of the full paddle design" instead of "i put them on the back side and used carriage bolts because of the full paddle design". I'm not sure if I understand what you mean by full paddle design, though ::shrugs::
sorry for the confusion. on my series of machine ,look close at the shape of the impeller, then look at the shape of yours and the other pics in this thread the impeller blade are a different design.my series (older) are one solid piece from the inner edge to the outer edge
 

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I think ctdaves version looks slick. Literally slick, with the seal underneath and the smooth carriage bolts. I was after something similar (slick) when I used full size plastic seals on top.
This blower has been operated since this old thread linked below was written and seems to work well.
Link to HDPE impeller seals thread
thanks, slick is why I wanted to do it this way ,with this style of impeller. i did not want interference with snow over the impeller blade, from the inside edge to the outer edge, and I keep it sprayed with fluid film. I did the square holes while I had the impeller out of the machine. the rubber paddles, have a slot that I cut, so if needed ( if it gets worn to much for any reason) I can reach in loosen the nuts and adjust the rubber paddle without removing from the machine
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks for the followup info and pics.

Given the perpendicular metal below each fan blade, I would have to mount the rubber on top, so I guess it's just a question of whether I drill through the dip or up along the lip. Has anyone had any issues with trapping moisture in the dip and subsequent corrosion?
 

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I am wondering how much of a space people have on their machines between the impeller fan edge and the body where they think they need these impeller kits. I just went down in to the cellar and I checked my space. I checked right at the exit hole at the top and I have maybe... 3/16" of an inch, maybe. I can just get a slight finger tip in there. Then I checked down in side of the impeller area at about 4 o'clock. I have just about the same amount of clearance and this is with all four fins. I can throw in the range of about about 35'-40' (ish).

Now when guys add these kits, what kind clearance space left? And how much do you actually gain in throwing distance?

Here is my clearance kit...

 

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I am wondering how much of a space people have on their machines between the impeller fan edge and the body where they think they need these impeller kits. I just went down in to the cellar and I checked my space. I checked right at the exit hole at the top and I have maybe... 3/16" of an inch, maybe. I can just get a slight finger tip in there. Then I checked down in side of the impeller area at about 4 o'clock. I have just about the same amount of clearance and this is with all four fins. I can throw in the range of about about 35'-40' (ish).

Now when guys add these kits, what kind clearance space left? And how much do you actually gain in throwing distance?

Here is my clearance kit...

on the 24" machine I had a 1/4" and slightly more on one of the blades. probably from hitting stuff over the years. the addition of paddles made a huge difference. we had little snow last year here, but I went along the edge of the street in about 5-6 inches of slush (mostly water) and was able to throw it with no prob and no clogging. my 32 inch machine like yours has very little space. no paddles needed. it never clogged on me and throws 40' or so.. the impeller paddles close the gap on the impeller housing to zero they run right up against the housing.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I haven't been able to find any info about moisture/crud getting into the "dip"/channel. It seems to me like that would be a recipe for causing it to rot out over time, no?
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Ok so I opted not to cut the rubber long enough to travel up the curve, figuring I would keep the "dip" open so water and slush can be flung out and not get trapped.

On to my next question: This may be a silly one, but do I want my holes to be threaded so my 5/16" bolts screw into the fan blades (and still get secured with a nylock nut on the other end)? Or do I want to drill slightly larger than 5/16 so the screw passes through? I suspect it doesn't matter and I could probably just drill a 5/16" hole so it snugs right through, but I figured I'd ask before I drill.
 
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