foot of snow in drive and blower won't move


Old 01-11-09, 09:54 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 4
foot of snow in drive and blower won't move

I've had a tecumseh snowblower for a few years and it's been used about 10 times. I just used it a couple weeks ago and needed it again (Chicago) and it won't move. Here's what I've done and can't figure out the problem (I am not mechanically inclined, so please forgive my non-tech descriptions):

1) Adjusted the tension on the wire to engage.
2) The disc with the belt around it moves fine but when the wheel with the rubber around it touches the gears don't engage.
3) I cleaned off the disc (with the belt around it) and noticed when I go to engage it the wheel leaves a rubber residue on the wheel immediately.
4) There is no pushing this thing and it takes a wrench to try and move the axle that moves the gears (I don't know if this is normal).
5) My assumption is the wheel that engages the gears needs replaced, but I can't imagine it needs replaced with only a few uses.

Any help would be appreciated. We're due to have a baby (induced) this week so you can imagine the pleasant way my pregnant wife is encouraging me to get the driveway cleaned... (no remarks about being lazy and just shoveling).

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Old 01-11-09, 11:16 AM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Central New Hampshire
Posts: 754
Please post the make and model number of the snowblower.
Tecumseh is the engine manufacturer.
Old 01-11-09, 11:23 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 4
I believe it is:

Yard Machines by MTD
Model #31AE6FHE706
Old 01-11-09, 12:03 PM
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 6
It sounds like the auger may have gotten some snow packed behind it the last time that you used it. If this is the case, it melted after you shut the machine down and then froze after the engine cooled off. This will freeze the auger in place - the drive belt won't turn the pulley. Some older machines require the auger to be running before it can engage a drive gear. Put it in the garage and put a heater to it for a couple of hours. If you have a kerosene bullet heater or a heat lamp, aim them directly into the auger housing. After that, anytime you run the thing - before you shut it off, be sure to run the auger dry - blow all of the snow out of it. This will prevent this in the future.
Old 01-11-09, 12:10 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 4
The auger actually moves fine. It's the wheels that will not move. I looked at the owner's manual and I'm guessing the friction wheel needs replaced. Is that a realistic solution considering it has less than 20hrs of run time on it?
Old 01-11-09, 02:09 PM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: MA
Posts: 514
Could be the friction wheel but if only used 20 hours unlikely.

1)If you have a manual follow instructions for adjusting drive cable. If you do not have one, you can download one here.
PDF Manual Web Archive

2) clean of speed disk, residue will cause it to slip.

3) check drive belt may be slipping, even though it is turning speed disk, once friction wheel engages it may be slipping.
Old 01-11-09, 03:05 PM
hopkinsr2's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: canada
Posts: 1,561
You say "There is no pushing this thing"". Do the wheels not turn if you try to push it??? M.T.D. had some issues with gears & shafts siezing a few years ago. To me it almost sounds as if something is siezed. Try to lube where the drive gears & shafts meet & try to work the wheels back & forth.. Also contact your local dealer to see if there is a repair program on this model.. Good luck, Roger
Old 01-12-09, 03:25 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 4
I'll try both options. The wheels are seized. Simply pushing or pulling the machine does not move the wheels at all. I literally had to use a wrench on the axle to convince myself the thing could move. I'll contact the manufacturer and get their input on this issue.

Great feedback, I really appreciate the help.

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