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Discussion Starter #1
I have a yard machines 22" two stage blower with a tecumseh 8 horse snow king. It has been repowered from a tecumseh 5 horse snow king which is what it initially came with. It is an old model but i have been able to keep it running. The motor fit flawlessly by the way.

I was having an issue last year where the wheels would decide to stop engaging half way (or more) through its duty cycle of snowblowing the driveway. This would happen at the mouth of the driveway where a lot of melting snow and water accumulates. Also due to my geographic requirements i am constantly moving my chute from one side to the other (can only blow snow to one side of driveway)

I believe the friction wheel is getting wet. To be on the safe side i have ordered a replacement rubber ring for the disc which i am waiting to receive at the moment.

Has anyone here encountered this problem and what did you do to resolve it? I am thinking of going nuts with a tube of silicone and a caulking gun although i would definitely be open to a better idea!

P.S. could anyone share the correct spec for cable free play? I am positive that is not the issue but just like to play by the book whenever possible. Thanks guys!
 

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Hard to tell what is going on without inspecting it, but off my head, I would probably lean to friction disc, but could also be spring, adjustment, drive belt, idler pully out of adjustment, etc., etc.... someone is going to have to inspect it, whether it be you, or maybe a friend, neighbor or relative, with some mechanical knowledge.

I will tell you one thing, don't waste your time with a silicone caulk gun. … :)
 

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Thanks for the response!

Well the thing works mint until i get into the wet stuff. On the last few uses before i start, i engage the wheels and plant my feet and lean back to see if i can get it to slip. And it will sit there and spin and spin and and pull me down the driveway (i weigh about 240 lbs)

It isnt until I get into a wet situation -- melting snow, standing water etc -- that it starts to happen. I often get a good pool of standing water at the mouth of my driveway where I have to turn the machine around.

I certainly cant rule out something being out of adjustment but Im having trouble finding specs to go by to check my belts/springs etc. Any chance you guys could point me in the right direction?

I should also add that I have cleaned the friction wheel several times. The belts are new, the cables are snug when levers are depressed. And the friction disc looks good (to the best of my judgement) but i have a new one on the way just to play it safe!
 

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First off, the friction disc drive is in an enclosed body on every machine I have seen, not open to the elements.

Hopefully you are not driving it through water up to the friction disc ... That is not advisable.

You should not have to clean a friction disc ..... Do you have grease sprayed on it or oil? The drive plate and friction disc should never have any oil or grease on them.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
One thing that is really confusing me with these Tecumseh motors is I have found a couple Service manuals online but they seem to have contradictions between one another. (Like valve lash for instance) More importantly i havent been able to find one that specifically includes my model (hmsk 85) like its an odd ball model or something.

I see a Clymers manual for about $15 that covers Tecumseh L head engines. Is this a decent manual?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
First off, the friction disc drive is in an enclosed body on every machine I have seen, not open to the elements.

Hopefully you are not driving it through water up to the friction disc ... That is not advisable.

You should not have to clean a friction disc ..... Do you have grease sprayed on it or oil? The drive plate and friction disc should never have any oil or grease on them.
Yes its enclosed within the body of the snowblower. I am not driving it through water up to the disc height. Could be a couple inches of water/slush mix at times though. Again this is at mouth of the driveway only. The town plow goes by and makes an awful mess with the snow and salt. It is also at a low spot where all the run off collects. Some times i am puking slush up through the chute and i think some of that is leaking in from the top. No the disc is not greasy or oily. I push it hard but I dont think beyond its capabilities.
 

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Snowblower drive fails when wet or wet freezes to ice on Ariens 924 and others, FIX

How to Reduce Ariens Model 926 drive slip (52605600 Baffle Kit)


A baffle fix is need for snowblowers that get a wet drive system. Like this user wet snow is causing issue. MY issue in frozen north was the blowing snow would melt on the hot engine and drip on drive disk and freeze. I lost all traction. Only happens with fluffy snow and wind that blows back at operator/machine. My local dealer did not know....but I showed him.

Fred
 

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The center of the friction disk is at the same height as the center of the auger shaft. I don't know your machine specifically but I'll speculate that the bottom of that disk is at least 8" above ground level. Not likely you are flooding the box with enough water to get up there. What's more likely is that the belt is getting dowsed and is slipping. Double-check the belt itself and make sure the spring and cables are OK and engaging the belt adequately. Look hard at the drive pulley on the engine, making sure there's no oil making it's way into the groove where it might let the belt slip. Maybe add a new belt just because you can.

Replacing the tire on the friction clutch is a good idea, especially if the old one has seen a lot of years and service. You'll get a look at the disk WYAIT, and be able to see if there's evidence of slipping or deposits that might allow some slippage.

Last but not least, go through any cables that might allow water to gather inside the casing. I discovered that a little water in a cable housing with a loop/sag in it was enough to bind the cable after a bit of blowing, as the water froze in there. It was perfectly fine when I tried it in the heated workshop. Hair drier for a bit, and a shot of TriFlow spray lubricant seemed to solve that one. I remember that whenever I get a symptom that includes "runs OK for a while, then part way through it stops doing something that might depend on a cable to work.
 

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That is a very common problem with friction disc drives slipping when they get wet, and they do get wet under normal use.
If they didn't slip, then you know you have a problem.
They get water and condensation down in the drive box under normal operating conditions, they are not waterproof. People who say they never get snow or water down there have no clue how water or snow enters, they probably never ran a snow blower in the snow before. They do get snow on the machine and it melts when in contact with the warm surfaces and drips down on the drive disc rubber tires causing the "Slip". That is just one of the ways water enters, also every little nook and crannie/little openings in the drive box will allow water, condensation or snow into the drive box area.
That is the reason a Hydro-static drive is much better, they are not effected by water or getting wet.
They can get snow packed up inside of the box just from driving it through the snow, that is an extremely common problem, they are not air tight or waterproof.
Some people go crazy trying to seal them up with caulk and silicone but you have to be able to let fresh air get in to be able to cool the components in the drive box or you will wear out the rubber tire in a big hurry and overheat bushings/bearings and wear them out prematurely.
If you ever spun or skidded your car tire on a wet road/surface, that is the same thing happening when the friction disc and rubber "Tire" get wet on the snowblower.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Excellent responses guys. Is there anything i can do to reduce water getting on to the friction wheels?

Also is the Clymer manual a good resource? I would like to know proper cable tension, belt tension etc. Have not been able to find a good resource.
 

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@ST11,

You are correct in condensation on metal in cold weather as well as melting snow on snowblowers. This happens to every machine during normal use and everyone is aware of that..

My point was that under normal use, with proper maintained equipment, you are not going to experience your snowblower just sitting there not moving.

Equipment and parts such as friction discs, springs, drive plates, brackets, bushings, etc., etc., have to be in good working order and properly adjusted and maintained.

I have never once had any of my machines just sit there not moving unless there was an issue somewhere that needed attention to correct the matter. I used to do driveways, and have encountered every type of snow event, and even doing it in the rain many times.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
@oneacer -- I appreciate your input. Do you know of a good resource that outlines proper adjustment specs?
 

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@baker,

Every machine will either come with an operators manual, or you can go online, usually the manufacturer of the unit, to obtain one. In that manual, it will instruct you on all the proper adjustments for that specific unit, as different models will have there specific way of doing adjustments, and many might very well be similar.

Let me just state, that your unit has been modified, and in my opinion, an 8HP is a lot of engine on a 22 inch unit designed for a 5HP … just sayin.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
@baker,

Every machine will either come with an operators manual, or you can go online, usually the manufacturer of the unit, to obtain one. In that manual, it will instruct you on all the proper adjustments for that specific unit, as different models will have there specific way of doing adjustments, and many might very well be similar.

Let me just state, that your unit has been modified, and in my opinion, an 8HP is a lot of engine on a 22 inch unit designed for a 5HP … just sayin.
Thanks oneacer! I will look into that. Yeah i know 8hp is a lot. It has been a good machine. I still have the 5 horse on a shelf and it runs great. We dont get a lot of snow in southern Maine but when we get a storm we get hammered pretty good at times. Thankfully my driveway is small, just too large to shovel by hand.
 

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I had a similar problem on a Craftsman (Husqvarna 227). When getting into extreme slop, slush and water would attempt to blow out the chute, but quite a bit of water simply fell back on the auger housing, when it was pointed to the right, and there are enough gaps and spaces that the water flowed directly down into the drive disk, and then I suddenly lost traction power.

I mostly cured this problem by adding an impeller kit, plus making a plastic strip from a Lowes plastic bucket, and cutting it to fit over the biggest gap that I figured was where the lions share of the water and slush were falling into the machine. Problem was pretty much solved. The impeller kit fits closely enough that the machine will actually pump water out the chute with a bit of pressure, although some will still fall back onto the auger housing area. The plastic strip is long enough that it redirect the excess water off to the side of the machine instead of allowing it to get inside.

Next time you are blowing slush and slop, try pointing the chute to the left instead of the right and see if that solves your problem. You might have to revise the pattern you normally use to clear the snow so your direction puts the mess where you want it, but if it cures the problem, then look at the impeller mod and attempt to clock the gaps where water gets in.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I had a similar problem on a Craftsman (Husqvarna 227). When getting into extreme slop, slush and water would attempt to blow out the chute, but quite a bit of water simply fell back on the auger housing, when it was pointed to the right, and there are enough gaps and spaces that the water flowed directly down into the drive disk, and then I suddenly lost traction power.

I mostly cured this problem by adding an impeller kit, plus making a plastic strip from a Lowes plastic bucket, and cutting it to fit over the biggest gap that I figured was where the lions share of the water and slush were falling into the machine. Problem was pretty much solved. The impeller kit fits closely enough that the machine will actually pump water out the chute with a bit of pressure, although some will still fall back onto the auger housing area. The plastic strip is long enough that it redirect the excess water off to the side of the machine instead of allowing it to get inside.

Next time you are blowing slush and slop, try pointing the chute to the left instead of the right and see if that solves your problem. You might have to revise the pattern you normally use to clear the snow so your direction puts the mess where you want it, but if it cures the problem, then look at the impeller mod and attempt to clock the gaps where water gets in.
This is exactly the advice i came looking for! I should mention i already have the impeller kit installed and it works good. The bucket is a great idea and now the gears are turning!
 

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@ST11,

You are correct in condensation on metal in cold weather as well as melting snow on snowblowers. This happens to every machine during normal use and everyone is aware of that..

My point was that under normal use, with proper maintained equipment, you are not going to experience your snowblower just sitting there not moving.

Equipment and parts such as friction discs, springs, drive plates, brackets, bushings, etc., etc., have to be in good working order and properly adjusted and maintained.

I have never once had any of my machines just sit there not moving unless there was an issue somewhere that needed attention to correct the matter. I used to do driveways, and have encountered every type of snow event, and even doing it in the rain many times.
+1 on this.

Definitively make sure you have the proper belt, new friction disc and traction cable is adjusted correctly. Here is a video that details a common problem on certain years of MTD blowers.
 

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@ST11,

You are correct in condensation on metal in cold weather as well as melting snow on snowblowers. This happens to every machine during normal use and everyone is aware of that..

My point was that under normal use, with proper maintained equipment, you are not going to experience your snowblower just sitting there not moving.

Equipment and parts such as friction discs, springs, drive plates, brackets, bushings, etc., etc., have to be in good working order and properly adjusted and maintained.

I have never once had any of my machines just sit there not moving unless there was an issue somewhere that needed attention to correct the matter. I used to do driveways, and have encountered every type of snow event, and even doing it in the rain many times.
Hi Oneacer,
We had a lot of local school districts with large fleets of John Deere, Areins, and Toro that all had the problem of the machines not moving when they got wet.
All of those machines were well maintained, all cables and springs adjusted, new friction wheels and everything else you could think of.
The John Deere's were probably the worst for not moving, all the other ones had to be pushed with effort to get moving.
The school districts scrapped/junked most of their snowblowers and went out and bought Honda's because of the Hydro-static drive and no more slipping when wet.
You figure how hard those machines are used and how fast they have to get the job done with them to get school opened on time, they couldn't wait around for them to get moving again or constantly repair/replace parts on them.
Then to think, it was the "Tax-Payer's" money that bought all the new Honda's, and what it cost them, but at least the Honda's are still going strong after 20 plus years with very little break-down time and they get the job done in time quickly, so they actually are saving money by not having to repair them all the time or replace them every year or two.
It cost a lot of money in the beginning to buy all of them, but when they saw the money they saved over the years, they would never want to go back to the friction drives again.
They are happy with their older Honda's that have the better Honda built Hydro Trans units in them.
But what it cost the Tax-Payer is a different story, when they buy 30 to 50 snowblowers at a time.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Good info guys. I need to verify my adjustments are either correct or incorrect.

I was able to find a user guide for my model but it was only 8 pages and did not get into belts/cable adjustment etc. only mentioned basic engine operation, oil changes etc.

My model is 31B-611D352
Yard Machines 22" two stage

Does anyone know where to find the info i need?
 

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Baker300 Check with an MTD dealer, like Cub Cadet, they might be able to get you a service manual that could help you.
The owners manual just shows basic adjustments, a service manual should show you more if you can get your hands on one.
Sometimes if you go on MTD's website and look under "Support" you might be able to find service manuals you can download.
 
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