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Discussion Starter #1
Newbie here. My TroyBilt snow blower (Storm 2690XP Track Drive) is just 2+ years old. Worked just fine until several months ago when the friction wheel peeled down to the metal part of the wheel. Ordered replacement wheels (admittedly not the higher priced ones). Some minor damage to the friction plate, sanded with a very fine emery. Cleaned with a gas soaked paper towel. Did not clean the friction wheel as it was new out of the package. Checked the clearance between the wheel and the plate at all shifter positions – using several layers of thin cardboard. Free and clear. Tracks spin freely. With engine off, drive clutch engaged & cannot move the tracks. Looks good. Started out at the top of the driveway, made it to the bottom and about 100’ up and total drive failure again. After a 3 hour teardown / repair job. The track drive assembly and controls make this difficult. My old 1980 MTD track blower had to finish the job (It’s in semi-retirement but has to sleep outside).
Belly pan and belt covers in place. Blower sleeps in the nice dry garage. Starts very easy, don’t even use the electric starter. Driveway is 450’ long with a switchback midway and a parking pad at the top. Elevation change is 80-90’ – so maybe 20% grade on most of it and 30% near the top.
Snow totals are 18 – 22’ average per season and there is not much melt between October and April, so I need this blower to get over the snow walls.
Recent efforts to resolve this problem; Inspection showed the friction plate clean and dry. So, new friction plate, new, more expensive rubber wheel, New track drive v-belt (cannot spin the plate with engine off – so I think belt is OK) Plate spins freely with belt off. Have adjusted the clutch cable – seems to be per specs in the maintenance manual. This repair/rebuild lasted maybe 1.5 hours before failure, again near the bottom of the driveway. Again, plate clean and dry. Friction wheel down to the metal. Such fun.
Also, have a Sears 5hp POS that throws the snow maybe 3-4 feet. Not much use even as a spare.

Some questions;
1. Does the price / quality of the rubber wheel make that much difference ? My 1980 MTD friction wheel lasts just fine using cheapo replacements purchased on E-Bay.
2. Last Summer maintenance and inspection showed the friction wheel to be worn a little, but plenty of rubber remaining. Why did the first friction wheel last for two years ?
3. Am I asking too much of the new blower due to the steep grade ? I admit, it leads a tough life, but my old blower took it fine – just doesn’t have the power (&rpm's) to get the snow over the walls.
Would appreciate any thoughts or suggestions you might have.
Thanks in advance.
 

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I PMed you with thoughts and questions. MY biggest concern was the use of gasoline to clean the friction disc. I am concerned that it may have left residue that helps to eat the rubber of your new rubber wheel. I would re-clean it with spray brake cleaner or carb cleaner, neither of which should leave a residue.
 

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I would also check to make sure the pivot plate that engages the friction disc to the friction wheel has it's full free travel and is engaging completely.
 

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:white^_^arial^_^0^_ snowjobincolo

Please, Never clean anything with gasoline. The residue is one thing but the chance of the parts, machine or your garage going up in flames just aren't worth it. There are just so many good products out there including water based it's just not worth it. The fumes are invisible and spread along the ground and if they find some source of ignition you'll be amazed how fast you have a fire. Trust me I know. I used to use gas, had it on hand, cheap, cleaned pretty good but then one time I was using it for lighting a small fire pit and the fire came at me. I had room to move so other than being scared to death I was unburnt. I've never used it since.
In your case with the drive disc and friction wheel alcohol would work great. Alcohol would likely be easier on the rubber than brake cleaner. Brake and carb cleaner can dry out the rubber. One time shot likely would really matter.

There are a couple reasons the friction disc might wear out prematurely. One is the pressure against the drive disc. Have you checked it against the instructions in your machines manual?
Any chance you're driving too fast into the snow? Where the auger and impeller aren't blowing it out as fast as you're going into it? That would cause a condition where you're using the machine more like a plow, more resistance to forward movement might cause some slippage between the discs.

I personally don't think that there are that many companies making any particular disc for a machine. My guess is that it's one or two companies and the parts are bagged in different brands like the OEM, PrimeLine, Stens, Oregon, ...
If you look at the advertisement for a particular disc on a parts site or Amazon, Ebay ... you can usually see they use the same photo or in some cases their own photo but the part looks identical and has the same manufacturers markings on the friction disc in the same spot.
From the ones I've replaced I haven't noticed a difference in quality other than cost. :2cents:

.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for your suggestion. I have checked the friction plate for free travel and have always checked for free clearance when the clutch is disengaged. And I always check for full contact when the clutch is engaged. I'm hoping to get this resolved soon as we are nearing the end of snow season. Thanks again for replying.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Perhaps you are right about driving too hard, however the original friction disc lasted a year and a half while leading a pretty tough life. There are places like my upper apron near my garage where I have to throw the snow twice because of the distance off the apron. Approx. 50 feet or so. That duty has always been tough on the machine but I always drop down to the lowest speed setting for the double throw. The 30% grade uphill could also be a problem but it used to just slip the tracks on the pavement.

I cleaned the friction disc and wheel last time using brake cleaner. Next time I'll try the alcohol.

Thanks for the gasoline tips - but I never even open a gas container in the garage - too volatile for me.

Supposed to snow again next week, so maybe I can test it out. If it fails again, I may try one of your name-brand ideas.
Thanks again.
 
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