Troy Bilt snow blower "frozen" cables


Old 01-28-15, 12:05 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: United States
Posts: 80
Troy Bilt snow blower "frozen" cables

I am having an ongoing problem with the cables (drive & auger) freezing up on my snow blower. I use the word "freezing" because I am able to free them up after placing a hair dryer at the bend where the cables enter the "innards." Once I get them free, everything works fine. After it sits for awhile - or overnight - the cables bind up. I'd like to take it all apart, but we're dead in the middle of winter, and I'd rather not do that now. I'm wondering if the cables themselves are binding, or if there is some moisture getting into the belts/pulleys (although I don't see anything) and causing them to freeze up. I also don't see any rust on the cable or anything that would cause them to bind. I wonder if the cable is a red herring.

I realize this is not much to go on, but I was just thinking that maybe someone has experienced similar problems and came up with a triage solution. I'd really like to put the unit in the basement to get it to dry out, but not crazy about a gas engine inside the house.


Last edited by cdbma; 01-28-15 at 12:42 PM. Reason: typos
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Old 01-28-15, 12:36 PM
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: North East Kingdom of Vermont
Posts: 2,411
My snowblower is a "White Outdoor" (built by MTD) and I have those plastic coated cables that retain moisture in their valleys (like a drip loop) between the Joy Stick and Chute Directional and Pitch Mechanism.

After a few years, my cables began getting frozen, and I began spraying a silicon lubricant down inside the cables from the ends, and during one summer after 5 years or so, I detached the cables and put a layer of grease inside the coiled cable housing. That has worked for another 3 years . . . . it might be time to do it again.

The plastic coated cable housing is a nice idea; but once moisture gets inside the housing, it can't find a way out. Your hairdryer solution is a good one; I might want to use it and keep it handy for defrosting my impeller too (it has a tendency towards getting frozen in position unless I park its blades at 4, 8, and 12 o'clock.

Maybe these snowblowers were designed by people who live in warmer climates ?
Old 01-28-15, 01:13 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: United States
Posts: 80
Thanks for the reply. I did try to shoot some lubricant down the cable, but I'm guessing it didn't make it far. I am going to try it again, this time I will follow up with a "chaser" from my air compressor.
Old 01-29-15, 12:34 PM
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: u.s.
Posts: 1
Lightbulb Frozen cables

I was wondering if this may work for you.
Back in the day I used to hang my motorcycle cables up and put a makeshift funnel on them and add some light weight oil so as to lubricate them, this would allow the oil to penetrate the cables by gravity.
This would necessitate the removal of the cables but it may alleviate the moisture problem you are having with them. Maybe you might just be able to remove one end and try that.
This would not only remove the moisture but also lubricate your cables at the same time. I am certain that your problems are caused by moisture because you have stated that warming them up relieves your problem.
I hope that this will help,
Aloha and God Bless
Old 01-29-15, 12:45 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: USA
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Use WD40, want to guess what the WD stands for?
Water displacing.
Any oil or grease is going to stiffen up the colder it gets and does nothing to displace the moisture.
Old 01-29-15, 01:02 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: United States
Posts: 80
Yes, WD-40

Agreed. Some use it as a general lubricant. Not good for that. I have an arsenal of lubricants...let's see what I can find!

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