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Toro 521 repair question

Discussion in 'Residential Snow Removal' started by mysteryman, Dec 19, 2009.

  1. mysteryman

    mysteryman Junior Member
    Messages: 27

    I have a Toro 521 (approximately 17-18 years old). I have used it only once this year and experienced a hesitation of drive wheel engagement when pressing the drive wheel hand control. Since I don't want to spend any more time than necessary in the cold garage troubleshooting this I thought I'd ask this Plowsite community for advice on what could be causing this problem. Could it be glazed belts? belt tension? Could it be temporary since it's been approximately ten months since I last used it? Can I expect this to stay this way or maybe get worse to the point of not engaging the drive wheels at all? I am hoping that somebody knows what I'm talking about and has either experienced it before or just knows how to resolve it.
    Any information that will allow me to fix it quickly would be appreciated. Thank you.
  2. cpsnowremoval

    cpsnowremoval Senior Member
    Messages: 223

    im working on a 524 toro for a guy now
    sounds like what u said id check the drive belt for cracks and ware if found replace the belt
    the linkage to the lever might need adjusting
  3. Lugnut

    Lugnut Senior Member
    Messages: 250

    could it be wet belts slipping? ive never had this problem with a snowblower but its very common with mowers when its raining or mowing wet grass. I would try it again now that the belts have had a chance to dry out and it should be fine now if that was your problem. If its still doing it I would check to see if the belt needs replacing, it may have streched out and is no longer tight (could possibly be adjusted to tighten up too)
  4. mysteryman

    mysteryman Junior Member
    Messages: 27

    Thanks CPSNOWREMOVAL and LUGNUT, I'll start with the easier recommendations and work onward from there.
  5. leon

    leon Senior Member
    Messages: 872

    toro 524 snow blower


    About your snow blower-

    A lot of the issues you have right now are due
    to the temperature in the garage.

    If you have any fluid film or wd-40 or warm ten weight oil
    you shoud spray or drip lube all the exposed linkages,
    pins, the throttle cable linkage in that is fed through steel
    or plastic tubing by spraying the lubricant in the tube or on
    the wire to drip inside the tube and work the throttle linkage
    to the point where there is little to no resistance operating
    the throttle linkage.

    Spraying Fluid Film in the chute to coat it as well as the area
    where the auger and fan are located will help protect the metal
    and make it much more slippery to ease the snow blowing.
    WD fourty works in a pinch but fluid film is better and cooking
    spray works as last resort too-dont smoke while you are spraying it
    if you do smoke tobacco.

    As old as the snow blower is the drive belts should be replaced
    period due to rubber rot; If possible get the Gates brand green
    colored belts for the blower as they are high strength woven belts
    that have stronger rubbers to absorb shock loads and increase
    belt life-but if they have your belts in stock at the toro dealers you
    could do that as well

    I would also obtain several shear pins for the auger to have on hand
    as well if you have none.
    and be sure to grease the end bearings on the cross auger as well as
    checking the oil level on the auger gear box.

    One more thing:

    Standing 6-8 feet behind the snow blower operating station
    you need to observe if the center of the blower housing is lower than the
    stub axles for the rubber tires- this means the axle shafts have started
    to walk out of the transmission housing and they need to be reinserted
    and have the set screws/ readjusted and tightened.

    About the engine:

    If the fuel tank does not have a shut off valve you need to buy one,

    the fuel tubing from the tank to the carburator should be replaced
    due to rubber rot.

    The engine oil should be a 5w-30 as you have a cold garage-saying that
    having a kerosene or propane fired salamader works wonders to warm
    everything up prior to starting.

    Adding "sea foam" to your gasoline should be done to help preserve the
    gasoline and adding a little to the tank at every fill up will help you tremendously
    as well.

    I always use the high octane fuel for better perfomance in my engines both 2 and 4

    When I am done using the 4 cycle engines I have, I always shut the fuel line off to
    starve the engine of fuel while it is running, and then after it dies I open the choke to
    start it again to run all the fuel out. It only takes a minute for the fuel to reach the
    carburator after you open the valve back up.

  6. mysteryman

    mysteryman Junior Member
    Messages: 27

    Thanks, LEON, for the thorough run-down of items that I need to address. I actually have performed some of the lubrication items, but not all. Thanks for the advice on the Gates belts and replacing other aged rubber as well.
  7. fig865

    fig865 Junior Member
    Messages: 2

    I'm also working on a Toro 524 that my father gave me. I just recently "tried" blowing a small length of chain and it rapped around the auger right next to the gearbox. After the awful noise I shut it down and took a peek. The chain came out easily as it didn't get lodged in to bad. But since then, when I engage the auger it starts to blow but then I get a really loud noise. A couple times while I was testing it, it bogged the motor enough to kill it. The best way I can describe the noise is that it sounds like if you were to spin a shaft in a loose bushing, it starts out fine but then starts to shimmy.

    I don't have any kind of manual for this so I was hoping for a little help.

    First off, are there bearings or bushings at the two outer ends of the auger? Without tearing it apart yet, they look like bearings but they don't spin so they feel like bushings.

    Second, what are the chances that the auger gear box could have bad bearings or bushings in it? What type of lube should be in there?

    Any help would be awesome.

  8. leon

    leon Senior Member
    Messages: 872

    toro 524


    You should be able to obtain a manual from toro wheel horse with phone call/and a charge card purchase to Toro.

    check for a manual on the snowblower web site

    You should see grease zerks either inside the auger housing or outside it, they may be covered in dirt and grease and not easily visible and or they are recessed to protect them from damage-do some cleaning with alcohol and a clean paper towel.

    The bearings will not spin as the inner bores of the bearing are supporting the auger shaft,
    The outer races of the support bearings are set in the sides of the auger housing.
    there is nothing wrong with the bearings that a little grease will not fix.

    The auger is powered by a worm screw which rotates the spur gear that powers the auger.
    The worm screw delivering rotary energy to the spur gear will have a bronze bushing
    or two supporting the drive shaft at the end of the shaft in the gear box.

    If you have a bad gear box it would grind and argue and then eventually stop running the auger- until the worm is shot, shaft is broken-not likely- the belt driving the unit will either burn up or break.

    The fact that it is blowing snow and then squealing tells me the belt or belts are shot=worn out-it takes a lot of damage to bend a fan shaft- the fan will stop working by slipping due to overload.

    Most likely it needs new belts which is an easy fix but takes time-by the green gates belt sized for your blower belt- heavy duty v belt for heavy shock loads like snow blowers and flail mowers.

    The belt drive is either on the rear of the blower or in the middle if the motor shaft is forward.

    Use fluid film to coat the auger and spray the inside of the auger housing to reduce rust and aid in blowing snowby spraying the fan paddles and the inside of the fan housing as well.

    If the belt have never been changed that is the most likely culprit from what you have described as badly worn-slipping belts will allow the drive pulleys to scream.

    leon :eek::waving::drinkup::sleeping:
  9. fig865

    fig865 Junior Member
    Messages: 2

    Thanks a ton Leon. It makes complete sense. I'll take a look tomorrow.
  10. mysteryman

    mysteryman Junior Member
    Messages: 27

    in regard to my original post above, the outcome was a worn friction disc drive. I replaced the 'platter' and the 'wheel', as well as the two belts. I did this after the 2010-2011 blowing season so cannot report on the success, but expect it to be 'like new'. I meant to post this long ago but time slipped by. thanks for all of the responses.
  11. mysteryman

    mysteryman Junior Member
    Messages: 27


    You seem to know your way around these machines, am I missing something or are there not any zerk grease fittings on the auger assembly? If there are any I surely am missing them, thanks for your reply.
  12. leon

    leon Senior Member
    Messages: 872

    toro 521

    You may havwe one that is using sealed bearings and has no grease fittings UGH!!, It will be interesting to see how my RAD/JD snow caster works this winter as it has no grease fittings.

    Be sure to check the back side of the augers to feel around for any recessed grease fittings. If yiu have small inspection mirror t hat will make it easier.
  13. mysteryman

    mysteryman Junior Member
    Messages: 27

    thanks again, Leon, for your help. I have a feeling that they are sealed, but I will check with the mirror and will feel-around back there. Maybe for what it's worth, I'll lubricate them from the outside...it has to be better-than-nothing and I'll certainly feel better about doing something.