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Multiple issues with Craftsman Snow Blower- Auger/Carb


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12-12-10, 04:00 PM   #1  
Multiple issues with Craftsman Snow Blower- Auger/Carb

I have a Craftsman 5hp Snow blower, model #536.886140

Last year it ran fine for the most part, with exception to being a little tough starting, a cracked fuel fitting near the end of the season, and a couple issues with bogging down easily. I had a few new issues this year.

I just replaced the fuel fitting and line, so that is good. However, in the process, I was interrupted for a few hours, and stupidly forgot to mark down where the governor link went on the lever and carburetor. I took the opportunity to adjust it and the extension spring from the throttle to what should have been the optimal positions. After finishing, I tested it out and now has a tendency to run a little rougher at times. Anyone familiar with this model that could tell me what holes are the best for both of these?

Second issue is with the auger. The bolts (the originals, not shear pins) are still intact. The impeller turns flawlessly under any load. The auger would only turn when there was no load, but now they don't turn at all. It sounded like the woodruff key, but I wanted opinions before I tore it apart. I also just replaced the Auger clutch cable and the L-bracket for it while I was updating parts, as it needed it. While testing out the carburetor, I took the opportunity to check the tension. No matter what I set the tension at, the auger belt starts smoking a bit. The belt doesn't look like it did this last year, so I have to assume it has something to do with the above issue.

Anyone have any ideas for the tough starting/tendency to bog down under load? Once I get it started (after about 5-10) minutes, it won't stall out anymore unless under decent load. By decent load, I mean moving on speed 1 or 2 through 2-3 inches of decent weight snow or more. I have to use a start/stop method to get through it.

This is my first snow blower, but I have worked on small engines before, just rusty.

Any insight would be very much appreciated.

 
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12-17-10, 05:38 AM   #2  
Nobody? :[

I figured after 5 days at least somebody would have given some insight

 
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12-17-10, 06:40 AM   #3  
the bogging/hard starting of the engine is most likely a varnished up carb. The main jet (the bolt on the bottom of the bowl) is the most likely culprit. Drain all the gas from the tank (or shut off the gas if you have a gas shut off). Then remove the main jet and clean the holes. There is a tiny hole that everyone misses. That hole is 0.0155in (smaller than a paper clip).

If yours is adjustable,the screw setting is 1-1/2 turns out from lightly seated. The idle screw on the side of the carb setting is the same.
Also check the primer hose for cracks, splits, breaks ect. If the primer is not working , the engine is extremely hard to start.

 
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12-18-10, 12:58 PM   #4  
Thank you! I will check that out in a bit, see if either of those is the issue :]

 
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12-18-10, 09:55 PM   #5  
Apologies for the double post, but I wanted to post this for others, as a word of advice.

The prior owner was lazy, and only used bolts, instead of shear pins on the auger. The bolts were mangled so bad I had to pound on them to straighten them enough to get them off. I know Craftsman used bolts on some of their snowblowers by default, according to the manual, so I would check to make sure. If you have bolts, switch to shear pins ASAP.

I tore apart the auger and opened up the gear case, and this is what I opened it up to:



Don't let this happen to you

One problem solved, now to get the worm gear, put it back together, and start on the engine!

 
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12-19-10, 05:51 AM   #6  
Don't forget to get the proper shear pins.

 
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12-19-10, 03:41 PM   #7  
haha, yeah...forgot to say that in my post :]

 
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12-31-10, 05:20 PM   #8  
Hello, I have been having trouble with my snowblower as well. Last year I was cleaning a neighbors driveway and something got stuck in it and I smelled something burning. I shut it down and tried to use if a few weeks later. The impeller spins and the auger moves, but once it hits snow, they stop. The shear pins didn't break and I have disassembled it and checked everything. I am trying to reassemble it and am stuck at re-installing the auger cable. It has a little S-shaped piece of metal that goes in a hole behind one of the pulleys, but I don't know where to mount the piece of metal that is attached to the cable. There is a hole in the metal and a metal rod that the hole fits into, but if I mount it there, it gets in the way. Does anyone have a pic of this assembly so I can see where to mount it. It is a craftsman snowblower. I called sears and the guy couldn't help me, but he said that most models have the same setup as far as where the cable is attached. Also, if anyone knows why the auger and impeller stop moving, that would be great. I opened the gear box and it was in good shape, not like the one in the picture above. I also replaced the belt. Thanks a lot

 
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12-31-10, 11:13 PM   #9  
the hook should go in the hole closest to the auger pulley. Put it in from the front side of the hole (the side facing the auger housing). I'm assuming it's that general area that is getting in the way, and not somewhere else.

After you get that hooked back up, make sure the tension is set correctly. If the cable running up to the handle is hanging a little loose, you will have to tighten that up. Push the tension pulley as far over as you can, to get it to loosen up more, then remove the cable from the handle and where it meets the snow blower. Where it goes into the snow blower, there is a spring covered in a plastic sleeve. Slide those up to expose a nut. Tighten that up a bit at a time, reconnecting it to the snow blower and handle to(or at least to the snow blower, and gauge the tension by holding the end up to the hole on the handle), until it's not slack any more.

The other thing to check is the woodruff key, which holds the worm gear where it should. If what I said above doesn't work, check it. It may have sheared off. take apart the gear box, and with a block of wood and a rubber mallet, slowly work the gear away from center. There is a small half-moon key in there, make sure it looks to be in one piece. If it is, work the gear back in place via the same method, working it until both sides are flush with the edge of the key.

Hope this helps.

-Sky

 
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12-31-10, 11:28 PM   #10  
Thank you so much for the reply. I actually looked at the worm gear today and it looked fine, but I have been doing some research and just found out about the wdodruff key and now you are mentioning it, so I will have to look at that in the morning. I got the little hook into the hole, but there is a mounting bracket that is connected to the cable and I don't know where to mount it. I can take a picture in the morning and post it, if that helps. Again, thanks for the help, I really appreciate it.

 
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01-01-11, 01:11 AM   #11  
The bracket mounts directly to the auger housing, above the auger pulley. There should have been a bolt to attach it to the housing.

Too dang cold to be bothered to go out and take a picture, so I drew up a quick, basic setup for the bracket.



If you look, you should easily find the hole where the bolt holds it in place.

Forgot to mark it in the drawing, but the cord should be obvious, and the blue mark on the bracket is the hole for the bolt.

-Sky

 
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01-01-11, 08:53 AM   #12  
Thank you very much for your help, I really appreciate it.

 
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01-12-11, 05:44 PM   #13  
SyrSky - great info. I fear I have the same with the worm gear. What is the best way to get the auger blades off? Disassemble the housing or try to pull the impeller and all out through the front?

Great pictures by the way - hope I don't find the same when I open the gear box.

 
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01-12-11, 05:53 PM   #14  
It is easier if you pull the impeller out, but it will be hard. I had to take a prybar and stick it down the chute to get behind the impeller and even had to put a piece of wood on the shaft and hit it out with a hammer. Make sure you take pics of all your progress, so you know where everything goes in case you get sidetracked and have to leave the project in the middle.

 
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01-12-11, 06:06 PM   #15  
Thanks. I appreciate the help.

 
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01-12-11, 11:25 PM   #16  
Pulling the whole assembly out is quite easy. Many say you need to take the whole housing off, but you don't have to. Even though that is quite easy, it is just another bunch of steps you don't have to take.

If you want to take the housing off: Detach the auger cable from the tension pulley, and take the cable off of the L-bracket. Take out the auger belt. If your chute is turned by a crank assembly on the handle, you need to disconnect that from the housing. There should be bolts holding the chute to the auger housing (vertical bolts, not the horizontal ones). Take those out, remove the chute, and this will release the chute handle from the housing. There are a couple bolts on each side of the pulley housing up near the auger housing. Take those off. On mine, there are two bolts near the top on each side that you take out, and 1 on each side near the bottom that you just loosen.

Whether you do that or not, here is how you take the auger/impeller out of the housing: There are two bolts on the auger side of the pulley, holding it to the shaft. Loosen those, and the pulley will slide right off. There is a small "key" that holds the pulley at a certain spot on the shaft. Make sure not to lose that! You then take the bolts that hold the auger to the housing off. On mine there are 3 on each side of the housing. After you take those off, the whole thing will slide right out of the housing, easy as pie. Take out the shear pins, slide the auger off the shaft, and you are good to go. You can then open up the gear housing and look.

You do NOT need to take the impeller off the shaft unless you need to replace the oil seal on that shaft (which, unfortunately, I had to do). It is a pain to remove and put back on.

-Sky

 
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01-15-11, 06:24 AM   #17  
Thanks Sky. This makes sense. I'm struggling to get the pulley off. It appears to be rusted to the shaft. Heading to buy a pulley puller now. Once off, I'm hoping the rest comes easy.

 
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