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S-492 Ground Clearance Remedy

Discussion in 'Fabrication S.Houle Equipment' started by Herm Witte, Dec 22, 2011.

  1. Herm Witte

    Herm Witte Senior Member
    Messages: 555

    We had an issue with a lack of ground clearance from the spring loaded rear scraper to the ground with our S-492. We tried all of the different configurations and when we did end up with proper ground clearance the PTO shaft would rub on the auger when running fully lifted. To fix the issue we removed the original PTO shaft keeping it as back up, manufactured a cross member and welded that into the framing (with gussets), manufactured an assembly to hold a carrier bearing attaching that assembly to the cross member, and then had a PTO shaft custom built to our specs. Please note that the short piece of the PTO shaft between the carrier bearing and the impeller stays remains at a constant pitch eliminating the potential of rubbing on the auger. In addition, should there be a failure the carrier bearing assembly can be easily removed and the original PTO shaft put back in. We now have 20 inches of clearance from the bottom of the rear scraper to the ground when fully lifted. Attached are pictures of the process.

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  2. DGODGR

    DGODGR Senior Member
    from s/w co
    Messages: 639

    Excellent idea and execution Herm. You don't show it in the pictures, I assume that you cut that long shaft that goes through the carrier bearing. Did you weld on a U-joint or is there one on the PTO shaft (the one between the tractor and blower).
    I have been considering a tractor/blower set-up for a while. The S. Houle blower was at the top of my list until I saw this thread. While I think you have fixed the blower the fact that you had to is unsettling. IMO one should not have to pay top dollar for a "top of the line" blower just to turn around and spend more money, and time, to "fix" or complete the product.
    What type of tractor are you using it on? Would these modifications be required on other tractors?
    Paul, if you are monitoring this thread can you weigh in on this? Do you use the back blade? If so, are you having the same problem when used on your Kubotas and New Hollands?
     
  3. Herm Witte

    Herm Witte Senior Member
    Messages: 555

    The answer to your first question is, yes we cut off the excess shaft material. There are now three u-joints in the drive line, one at the impeller, one on the tractor side of the carrier bearing, and one at the tractor itself. The u-joints are part of the yoke assemblies and are bolted to the shaft, not welded. The slip drive shaft is located (of course) between the carrier bearing and the tractor. The pitch of that portion of the drive line seems to be at about the same degree when fully raised or fully lowered. I don't know the exact pitch but it is not a severe pitch at all. No issue running the blower fully raised.

    It may be unfair to assume or state that this fix was needed to " fix or complete the product" as I have not seen this (my) issue discussed at all. The issue I encountered may be related to the specific tractor it is mounted on. It is on a new Holland T4030 which may be on the small side as far as original design of the blower is concerned. Plenty power just too low to the ground, remembering that the pitch of the drive shaft is related to height of the output shafts (on the blower and tractor) in relationship to each other.

    By the way, we now have twenty inches or better clearance between the bottom of the spring loaded scraper(rear blade) and the ground. Our firm has been in the snow plowing industry for over 45 years and are continually tweaking products and I call this a tweak - kind of a big one but still a tweak.
     
  4. StuveCorp

    StuveCorp Senior Member
    Messages: 341

    Thanks for some more clarification on that, Herm. I also was a little concerned reading this, so the 'issues' with the blower were the smaller tractor and if a larger tractor was used it's all good?
     
  5. DGODGR

    DGODGR Senior Member
    from s/w co
    Messages: 639

    I will concede that we have not heard about any body else having this problem. At this time I would think it might be the fact that others may not have the back blade option installed more than the tractor make or size. I would think that any size tractor could lift the 3pt arms to the same angles and that the relationship of the PTO output shaft to the 3pt arms would be pretty close, or the same, regardless of tractor size. I will also concede that a larger tractor may not have to raise the lift arms as high to clear the same pile as a smaller tractor. IMO theoretically the arms of the larger tractor COULD still be raised to the point of PTO and auger shaft interference. If this is true than it does not meet my expectations. I understand "tweaking" things to suit your needs. IMO what you have done here is a little beyond that. I do hope you are correct in that it may only happen on tractors like yours. Again, great job on the modification.
     
  6. Herm Witte

    Herm Witte Senior Member
    Messages: 555

    I can't speak to your question. It would be better answered by others that are using the Shoule inverted blower.
     
  7. Neige

    Neige Sponsor
    Messages: 2,198

    Hey everyone, sorry I was just busy finally clearing some some snow. We had back to back 3 inch snow falls.
    Herm that is an amazing tweak, what you did is how they used to have the PTO shafts run. If you look at a Lucknow blower they still make them that way.
    I have not used a pullback blade on any of my blowers, so really do not have any first hand experience. I do believe the the issue was because Herm is using a much smaller tractor, therefor the blower had to be lifted at a much sharper angle for the back blade to have decent clearance. I know 5 other contractors in Quebec that use the back blade and it has not been an issue for any off them.
    :drinkup: this one is to you Herm, for sharing your ideas and tweaks.
    Lastly Merry Christmas all.
     
  8. Herm Witte

    Herm Witte Senior Member
    Messages: 555

    Thanks for the Kudos Paul and wishing you and all that read this post a Happy and Blessed New year!