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Old 11-30-2010, 11:38 AM   #1
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MTD Snowblower Problem


I've been lurking for a while and now I have a reason to post,
so I joined up.

I have been house-sitting for a neighbor and we just had our first snow
of the year....about 7 inches of light stuff.

I fired up his (probably) 10 year old MTD 8HP/26"" and the engine runs fine, but it doesn't blow snow well at ALL.

It is not the shear pins, as both of the augers do turn, but it doesn't seem to be turning quick enough to get the snow out of the chute. So it just plops it out, or gets clogged up quick to a point where the augers don't turn at all until, or at least the main one, until every bit of snow is out its way.

The drive train that controls the moving self-propelled speed of the blower works fine too, but gotta figure out why the blowing efficiency is so weak.

Not even usable as is and I am disabled, so shoveling doesn't work so well!

Can't find the owners manual, but am wondering if I'm looking at a possible auger belt issue or is there an adjustment somewhere that I should take a look at?

I'm a good wrench with my Jeep Cherokee, but haven't done much with a snowblower, so thought I'd check in before I "tear in".

If anybody can tell me where I should look first and how to do so if it is tricky, that would be great.

Thanks much!


Last edited by tjwalker; 11-30-2010 at 11:45 AM.
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Old 11-30-2010, 11:56 AM   #2
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MTD Snowblower Problem


I am not familiar with MTD in particular, but if you follow the linkage below the handle that engages the auger, I believe that you will find an adjustment where you can lengthen or shorten it (probably shorten it), and since you have already checked the shear pins, this is where I would start. After that, it's probably on to the belt(s). There are other considerations too, which go beyond what I consider routine maintenance, such as loose or worn bearings, etc., but I would look at the maintenance items first.

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Old 11-30-2010, 12:38 PM   #3
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MTD Snowblower Problem


Could be a belt that drives the auger. Could be worn, slipping or off the pulley.
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Old 11-30-2010, 02:07 PM   #4
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MTD Snowblower Problem


Thanks for the quick replies....

First I looked at adjustment of the linkage for the auger. I played with that and found that it is set correctly and with auger lever on the handlebars pulled in, it is fully engaging the mechanics that work the auger. I even took the linkage from the handlebars off and operated it manually and there is no difference. So that appears to be okay.

Then I took off the plastic inspection cover between the engine and the chute.

There are 2 belts in there, one is for the tranny that drives the wheels and the other is for the auger.

The wheel drive belt is at appropriate tension, but the auger belt is really, really loose. I would expect it to be loose without actuating the lever for the auger but it is sloppy loose. And even when I pull the lever that actuates the auger, it does tighten up some but is still very loose with more than an inch of deflection. Too loose for proper operation I think.

There is a small round thin pin that is sticking out on the chute side of the assembly inside the inspection cover on the auger mechanism, near the route of belt travel. It is maybe 2.5 inches long and maybe 1/4" thick. The auger belt was currently not routed around that pin, I don't have a belt diagram to verify. The belt did fit if I push in on the belt and guide it around that pin, so I tried routing the belt around that pin and when I start the engine, the auger turns all time without even pulling the auger lever, so that obviously isn't right as the auger belt should not be turning at all until auger lever is pulled.

Any ideas? The auger belt itself really looks fine, no deterioration or cracks. Is it possible that a belt would stretch enough to make it THAT sloppy loose?? Sure doesn't seem like it from my experience with belts.

Gotta figure out how to get that auger belt tight again as it seems to me that might be root cause of my problem.

Any ideas??

Last edited by tjwalker; 11-30-2010 at 02:40 PM.
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Old 11-30-2010, 02:58 PM   #5
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MTD Snowblower Problem


No, I would suspect that the belt was not intended to run on that pin, as you confirmed, but armed with this information, I would now look at the pulley, to see if perhaps there is supposed to be a spring between it and this pin, to keep the pulley in closer proximity to the belt. I obviously don't know what condtion the machine is in, but you may be able to see where the paint is worn, or possibly even a groove is worn, on the pin.
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Old 11-30-2010, 03:05 PM   #6
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MTD Snowblower Problem


Quote:
Originally Posted by DexterII View Post
No, I would suspect that the belt was not intended to run on that pin, as you confirmed, but armed with this information, I would now look at the pulley, to see if perhaps there is supposed to be a spring between it and this pin, to keep the pulley in closer proximity to the belt. I obviously don't know what condtion the machine is in, but you may be able to see where the paint is worn, or possibly even a groove is worn, on the pin.
Dexter, I am hoping that you might just be onto the problem! Thanks for your help with this.

Looking for more clues, I tipped the blower up on it's front, pulled off the bottom inspection cover and a broken heavy duty spring fell out. It is about 4 inches long; one of the spring ends snapped off.

Obviously, that spring is important and I will look to see if it goes between the pulley and the pin as you suspect. I'll check back in a while and post results.

Getting closer!
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Old 11-30-2010, 03:30 PM   #7
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MTD Snowblower Problem


I don't think the spring goes to that pin on the "inside" of the auger mechanism (would get in the way of moving parts), but after more inspection, the only place I can see that spring going is between two bolts on the outside of the auger belt actuating mechanism.

One of the bolts is on the outside of the idler pulley. The other is on the outside of another part of the auger mechanism. It does appear that a 4" spring would just fit in the gap between those two bolts, and that the spring ends would fit around those bolts. That spring would I'm sure provide considerable tension to bring the idler pulley in closer and keep the belt tight.

Sound logical? I don't know what else it could be other than that as I mentioned the belt itself looks great and the broken spring I found has to be the smoking gun here......

Now to find a replacement spring! I do know a guy that operates a small engine repair shop and I will visit him and see if he can hook me up!
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Old 11-30-2010, 03:52 PM   #8
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MTD Snowblower Problem


Yes, sounds logical, and whether or not that is the case, it definitely sounds like you are headed in the right direction. I'm still wondering what else may be involved, as the pin is there for a reason, but I am sure that you will figure it out. Now, since you don't have a manual to confirm that you have everything in the exact order that it was designed, once you have the spring in place, be extra careful, to make sure that all of the controls operate as they are intended, and that the machine is safe.
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Old 11-30-2010, 03:57 PM   #9
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MTD Snowblower Problem


Boy, documentation (and parts) for these old MTDs can be tough to find.

I finally found a diagram on PartsTree for a model almost identical to this one, so I called it up.

It does show a 4" spring going between these two bolts, so looks like we found a home for it, now just have to find a new one. I found a part number and a superceded part number but looks like neither is available any longer......so I have some searching to do to find a replacement spring!

But I'm happy that we were able to diagnose it. Thank you very much for your help Dexter! A good first experience on this forum!

Last edited by tjwalker; 11-30-2010 at 04:01 PM.
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Old 11-30-2010, 08:47 PM   #10
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MTD Snowblower Problem


I don't know where you are located but we have a home hardware here that caters to farmers. They have all sorts of different springs of different lengths and diameters. If you have one of those near bring it in to them.

Even a shop that repairs small engines might have a generic supply that they can pick from to match up your spring. Last resort bend the last coil on the spring into a new hook.

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