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OT, Snowblower rebuild.

Discussion in 'ATV / UTV Snow Removal' started by Reb, Sep 24, 2009.

  1. Reb

    Reb Senior Member
    from Wyoming
    Messages: 136

    I know this is off topic but where I have only participated in the ATV forum I hoped it would be ok. I don’t move snow for hire like a lot of you, I move it because I have to so I try to do it in as efficient a manner as I can afford.

    Towards the end of last winter a neighbor gave me an old snowblower he hadn't used in a couple years. He had bought a new small Cat articulating loader with various attachments including a snowblower so he didn't need this one anymore.

    I know this snowblower is at least 30 years old and that it could be up to 5 years older than that so lets say this blower has a lot of experience. It has been used on a driveway that is one mile long so it blew full width one way then half blower width going back. This was done at least once a week but sometimes twice a day for several days in a row.

    The blower is a McKee 84” wide, three point attached, pto driven with a hydraulic rotated shoot. As shown in the picture it is two stage with a double auger in front for deep snow. My tractor is a Ford 4400 with about 60 hp which is at the lower end of power requirements for this size blower.

    Once I got the blower home I did a once over for any obvious problems, hooked it up and put it to work. It was clear that it needed to be totally gone through. Snow was blowing out around the second stage housing due to all the holes in the housing from the years of picking up gravel. When blowing, once the snow got 10” to 12” deep I would have to keep stopping the motion of the tractor to let the blower catch up. The tractor just didn’t have enough power to run the blower but I suspected the blower had some bad bearings which were robbing a lot of power from the tractor.

    On to the rebuild, what was done.

    I removed the gear box, cleaned it good. Bearings appeared fine but were a little loose. Where the bearings were Timken it was a simple job to just adjust the excess slack out. Other than that, new gear oil is all it needed.

    The jack shaft bearing was marginal so I replaced it. The chain sprocket was fine.

    The bottom auger had some bent fins and the bearings were shot. The drive sprocket was also worn out so I basically just swapped the top and bottom augers so the good drive sprocket was on the bottom, put new bearings in and drilled and tapped the end caps for grease zerks so I could grease the bearings.

    The drive chain was ok, just required removal of a half link.

    I installed a liner in the second stage. Basically I found a piece of pipe a couple inches smaller in diameter than the original housing and with a one eighth wall thickness. I cut the pipe for width and split it. Starting at the top of the housing I would just press the liner into place and weld it. About every 4 to 6” I would press and weld. It worked out that all the bad areas of the original housing were covered. Then I just ground the blades on the impeller to fit the new liner.

    Last was to fix the shoot rotator which wasn’t a big deal.

    Below is a picture of the final project. It still needs some paint but that may have to wait until next summer. If it still requires too much power I may remove the top auger and install a plate to direct the snow to the bottom auger, time will tell on that one. All totaled, I am into this about $160 which isn’t too bad by my way of thinking.


    If this all works out I am hoping I can keep the snow pile in front of the house to a minimum. When the snow gets so deep it backs up on the roof the wife gets cranky. She says it is like we are living in a cave due to not being able to see outside. All I say is it is a warm and comfy cave which doesn’t help.

  2. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    Sounds like it came out OK. You'll have to post some pics in action.
  3. sublime68charge

    sublime68charge PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,090

    Reb Anytime you wanna post something put it in the ATV forum that's fine with me.

    Not that I have any power or so on such things but I thought I'd give my $.02 on it.

    Good luck with that Snow Blower.

    How much HP tractor was used on the Blower before?

  4. Reb

    Reb Senior Member
    from Wyoming
    Messages: 136

    Thanks Sub.

    I had asked the neighbor what hp his tractor had but he didn't know. Next time I am at his place I am going to find out what model it is, then look it up for reference. I am guessing it is around 70 hp to maybe as high as 80 hp.

    I don't know that it makes any difference but his is a farm tractor where mine is industrial.
  5. sublime68charge

    sublime68charge PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,090

    I don't know what the differances are from field to industrial for tractor's though most Industrial tractors seem to have a heavy duty front axle. that is all I know of

    ALSO rated HP and HP at the PTO can be different and what is your ground speed? vs what is the speed of the other tractor?

    if you have Less HP but can creep at 1/2 speed of what the other tractor did it just might work for ya.

    at any rate the price was right and it's worth it to find out how well it works

    good luck

    sublime out.