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problem changing gears/speeds with Northern Tool (Murray) Snow Blower

Discussion in 'Residential Snow Removal' started by ensign, Feb 4, 2010.

  1. ensign

    ensign Junior Member
    Messages: 9

    Hello,

    I'm a homeowner with an approximately 6 or 7 year old Northern Tool (Murray) 27" Snow Blower with a Tecumseh Snow King engine. The unit hasn't been used much at all (not a whole lot of snow near Baltimore usually), but this year I've been having a problem changing gears/speeds on it.

    I took the bottom cover off and found out the flanged bearing (I think that's the name I found on a similar online parts diagram --- it's the end of the mechanism that is connected to the rod that runs to the handle for changing gears/speeds and kind of looks like two tuning forks) had detatched from the trunion clutch bearing (again, a part name I found on a similar online diagram). I saw one large washer in there loose, and it looks like there are supposed to be two washers, one on each end of the clutch bearing. I was able to get the "flanged bearing" back on the "clutch bearing", but after using it this week, it came off again, so I'm not able to change speeds or get it into reverse. It's basically preventing me from moving the "clutch bearing" across the friction wheel.

    I apologize for my potential incorrect description of the parts, but hopefully someone out there can help me out. :help:

    I don't really see how the washers would stay on the "flanged bearing" since there doesn't seem to be any bolts to hold them on. Does the "flanged bearing" just kind of float on the "clutch bearing"? :confused:

    Thanks for any help you can provide, as it looks like we're getting a big storm this weekend.

    Take care!
     
  2. leon

    leon Senior Member
    Messages: 872

    snow blower

    If the belt is original equipment that is the first thing I would change.


    If that nut has backed off I would use one drop-one drop only of blue locktite to hold it in place if it is threaded in place and has a stop point.


    Is there a rubber friction disc in that power train somewere?, as that does most of the work.

    If there is one washer there its a spacer and does not need a second one unless it is indicated on the exploded drawing.

    The flange bearing is simular to the pilot bearing in a manual clutch-flexes in and out etc.



    leon
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2010
  3. ensign

    ensign Junior Member
    Messages: 9

    Yes, the belts are original.

    There are not nuts or threads on what I am calling the clutch bearing.

    Again, I apologize for my ignorance in describing the issue. I've attached pictures of the parts diagram I was looking at online for a very similar designed snow blower as mine. I circled and highlighted the parts I'm referring to.

    Thanks again!

    clutch.JPG

    flange.JPG
     
  4. openbook

    openbook Junior Member
    Messages: 6

    Speaking from experience with an ariens blower there should be 2 washers holding the forks in place. You might also have to adjust the speed control rod to make up for wear in the friction disk. With the speed selector in the slow reverse the friction disk should be just left of center of the friction plate. In slow forward it should be just to the right.

    Good luck, I found it challenging to get both washers back on the forks. But with frozen fingers eventually got it.
     
  5. ensign

    ensign Junior Member
    Messages: 9

    So, the washers slide on the inside of the forks? Do those keep the forks from sliding to far one way or the other? I guess the washers just kind of float freely?

    Thanks!
     
  6. openbook

    openbook Junior Member
    Messages: 6

    I think they just help keep the forks from falling off. In my case the rod needed to be adjusted so when I put it in high gear the rod pushed down too far and was hitting something and the forks came loose.
     
  7. ensign

    ensign Junior Member
    Messages: 9

    I was able to get everything setup ok and even found a washer that was very similar to one of the ones that had fallen out. Everything was good for my first clearing of the driveway, but then after things were more clear, I tried the higher speed setting and the forks came off again! I guess no more high speed until I figure out why this is happening. (I was able to get things back together again and luckily both washers were inside the housing still.)

    I think the belts are ok, as the unit has no trouble moving snow or turning the wheels. I adjusted the speed changing mechanism so the friction wheel was dead center when it was not in a forward or reverse speed.

    Any other ideas?

    Thanks again so much for the help.
     
  8. openbook

    openbook Junior Member
    Messages: 6

    Glad to hear you made it through that blizzard. I think all you can do is put it back together and watch what's happening when you try to shift it into high gear. It's funny how these machines get out of whack. Now mine wants to keep going forward a few feet after I release the lever.
     
  9. ensign

    ensign Junior Member
    Messages: 9

    I was clearing some area for the doggies today and the forks came off again. This time, without even going into the highest speed. I think what's gong on is when the forks come off, the friction wheel just gets kicked all the way to the right side, effectively putting it in the highest gear setting.

    Believe it or not, I found the washers IN the snow! I put it back together again, and decided to slightly bend the forks inward towards the washers. so we'll see how this holds up.

    The belts look like they're in decent condition.

    The research continues...

    Looks like we're getting 11 to 15 inches more snow over tonight and tomorrow. Thank goodness I'm at least able to use the snowblower and work with this issue.
     
  10. ensign

    ensign Junior Member
    Messages: 9

    Bending the forks inward did nothing to help. ARGH! Luckily I found the washers in the snow again!

    Any other ideas as to what could be causing the problem?

    Thanks again.
     
  11. leon

    leon Senior Member
    Messages: 872

    snow blower

    Good morning,


    I would inspect the linkages to see how much slop there is in the pins and pinholes,
    unfortunately the pin holes on the linkages wear more quickly than the pins.

    you may need a new set of forks the as the forks are a thinner weak steel piece

    If you have a welding shop near by that may be a much faster permanent solution as the forks do not come in contact with anything-

    replacing each fork with a smaller piece of strap iron with a hole drilled on the end may be a faster repair as the forks movement is linear.




    :waving:
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2010
  12. mattc

    mattc Junior Member
    Messages: 2

    Looking at everyone's reply, I see the frustration of loosing speed control on the Murray/Northern Tool. I've had the same problem since I purchased. I have done many rig jobs to get by; however the design seemed to be poor. Here is what I did to permanently repair. Have gone through several storms know and the thing seems to be holding. All you need to do is get a 5/16" -16 tap (no drilling needed) and tap out the hollow hole( where washer is to go) and lock tight ablot in. That's it...you will never have the problem again.
     
  13. ensign

    ensign Junior Member
    Messages: 9

    Now, that's an interesting idea! That sure seems like it would do the trick. Did you use a washer with the bolt too?

    Thanks!
     
  14. mattc

    mattc Junior Member
    Messages: 2

    Yes, Use a washer so the bolt does not slip through the forks. Like others described I also bent the forks inward
     
  15. ensign

    ensign Junior Member
    Messages: 9

    I've never tapped a bolt hole before. How difficult is that? How can you do it without drilling?

    Thanks again.
     
  16. leon

    leon Senior Member
    Messages: 872

    snow blower

    tapping an existing hole is very easy to do but you must be patient in doing so.

    You need a tapered starter tap for that size to do the job and not worry about a finishing bottom tap as its a simple repair.

    just be sure the starter tap level or it will be a real pain to start the threads. lightly tap the taper tap into the edge of the hole untill it stops-the tap can and will break if you are not carefull..

    use a 12 point box end wrench to turn the tap while putting slight down pressure on it while you turn it. once you start cutting metal the tap will lower itself and continue to cut the threads for you-be sure to use a light oil to lubricate the tap while tapping the tube.

    be sure to reverase the tap to clean the threads while you advance the tap. advance the tap and continue to cut the threads until you have enough thread equal to the threaded length of the bolt-be sure to buy and use a bolt with full threads.

    If you dont feel comfortable doing perhaps you have a friend that is a mechanic a coffee and donut bribe works wonders.


    :waving:
     
  17. ensign

    ensign Junior Member
    Messages: 9

    I did some checking around this weekend and couldn't seem to find a 5/16" 16 tap. All they had was 5/16" 18. I'm assuming as long as I use a similarly threaded bolt, I'd be ok, right?

    Thanks.
     
  18. leon

    leon Senior Member
    Messages: 872

    bolts and taps

    Yes,

    the tap and bolt must be the same thread type and size as well as right or left hand threaded-the majority of taps and dies in a hardware or automotive store are right hand thread and left hand thread is a special order usually.

    :mechanic::waving: