MTD Snowblower - Wheel fell off?


Old 01-10-15, 09:05 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: CANADA
Posts: 282
MTD Snowblower - Wheel fell off?

This is a new one for me.

As I was finishing blowing a heavy snowfall yesterday, the axel came apart and a wheel came off.

This is a 10.5HP, 30" MTD blower, I believe Model 5ML - I cannot find the model tag anywhere on the thing. This model has separate steering controls that govern each wheel.

I've attached a couple of photos. The only loose part I found is shown as a hex flange bearing in the parts diagram.

I have a couple of questions.

First - why would this happen? Is this a matter of re-assembling the parts or would it seem more likely some part has failed?

Presumably, the re-assembly has to take place in a certain order. How do I determine this?

Of course, we are expecting another dump of snow tomorrow...

All help most appreciated!
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Old 01-10-15, 09:35 AM
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: U.S.A.
Posts: 1,470
See that half circle in the end of the shaft? That is supposed to be a complete hole where the clip pin that holds the wheel on goes. I'm seeing a lot of spalling going on in there, on multiple parts. Won't go far as to say that it can't be fixed, but definitely needs a number of parts that you are not going to find in short order, so, sorry to say this, but your best bet is to get busy finding a new unit.
Old 01-10-15, 09:37 AM
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 21
That shaft looks totaled. You will want to replace or have welded. I have had a lot of issues with snow blowers, but I have never, and I mean never seen a tire break off a shaft like that. My guess is the shaft was damaged or tapered to begin with. I seriously doubt it had anything to do with the way you were running it.

Basically the shaft needs to be pulled and replaced, and any bearing or mount that held it in the side of the frame. Only unless any mounts and bearings seem to in perfect condition should they not need to be replaced, and even then there is a risk that it has non-visible damage.

Last time I had this happen it was to the main shaft that goes to the blower blades.

I will go out and take a peak at my blowers and see what would need to be done, I will post back.
Old 01-10-15, 09:51 AM
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: North East Kingdom of Vermont
Posts: 2,402
A Friend of mine just had that happen TWICE on a unit similar to yours.

The first time he replace the axle . . . . the second time (on the opposite side) he had the shaft welded back together, and the pin hole redrilled. I don't know if the two sides are identical, or if it would be worthwhile to have a spare on hand.

I gather that there's just too much stress transferred to that part of the axle, and the hole drilled through it doesn't leave much stock left for it to absorb the stress, so it weakens and breaks.

Hopefully, you found the piece that's broken off.

Last edited by Vermont; 01-10-15 at 10:18 AM.
Old 01-10-15, 01:53 PM
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 21
I checked out my blowers to compare. It seems that the shaft should be very easy to remove. In fact, my blowers do not even have retaining bolts for the shaft. If you have the chain off, and remove the tire that is on, you should be able to work it out and replace it.
Old 01-10-15, 03:10 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: CANADA
Posts: 282
Thanks for the replies. I think I've found a replacement axle. My model number seems to be unknown on all the manufacturers' sites, though, so I have to go by dimensions rather than part number unless I can find something on the axle itself. The model 31AE5B3H515 is apparently from 1995, although the blower looks great and the engine is strong.

Wish me luck!

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