MTD snowblower wheels don't turn

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  #1  
Old 02-16-16, 03:42 PM
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Question MTD snowblower wheels don't turn

Hi

Murphy's Law says equipment MUST break down when most needed.
Today we got 2 feet of snow dropped on us. My blower ran fine for hours.
This is a MTD Model 315640F000, serial number 1H264B20111. Suddenly the wheels don't turn. I suspect a broken key may be the problem. I have added a schematic of it. Am I on the right track to think the key #14 is the problem?? Or, is it something else??
 
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  #2  
Old 02-17-16, 04:41 AM
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Check the belt from the engine to the blower drive, it may be broken or need adjustment (tightening).
 
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Old 02-17-16, 05:07 AM
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If the auger still turns (throws snow) then I doubt that the belt is at fault. You will need to pull the bottom cover off the unit and see if the wheels turn freely by hand. It could be several things including a worn friction wheel. Take several pics when you pull the cover off and post them.
 
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Old 02-17-16, 05:40 AM
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Hi
The auger turns and will throw snow a good 15 feet. Going to have another cup of coffee then I'm going out and pull the cover off. Taking pictures is an excellent suggestion, never would have thought of that, SMART too.

I didn't realize the wheels weren't turning, as just the 2 feet of snow I was trying to work my way through. I wasn't until I pull it back out of the snow and tried to go forward I realized the wheels weren't turning. Then I thought boy it's a LONG way to push this sucker back to the garage
George
 
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Old 02-17-16, 06:46 AM
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Hey Norm
I just went out and for laughs I thought I'd fire it up and see if it worked today. Wasn't expecting it to but never hurts to try. The stupid thing works now. What the.....???
I also noticed that there seems to be oil (light brownish) in the snow around the blades and what the diagram is calling the Fan Assembly. Fan assembly just feeds the snow up to the shoot. Where would that oil be coming from?? It kinda the same color that is inside the gear box?? I don't see any seals that could be blown either. I downloaded the whole parts diagram and still don't see any seal unless it's inside that Friction Wheel Assembly (#2 in diagram)
George
 
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Old 02-17-16, 01:41 PM
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Ok new issue, don't know if they are related or not. I was over helping the neighbor clear out his 2 feet of snow. Today it was warmer and it is seriously heavy and wet. No issue with the wheels today, so far. However while I was running mine he was in front of me and said that the auger on the right side wasn't turning, it would if I backed off and let the snow clear out. My best guess on this one is the belt like beelzebob said. In looking at the manual I realized this bad boy is 21 years old. I've NEVER changed a belt on it since I bought it. Would that effect the wheels if the drive shaft was slipping because of a loose belt??
George
 
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Old 02-17-16, 01:53 PM
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Auger turning on only 1 side sounds like shear bolt on the side that doesn't turn. Good luck, Steve
 
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Old 02-17-16, 03:48 PM
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I agree; if one side of the auger is not performing properly, I would suspect a shear pin. As far as the belts, at 21 years, yes, it's past time to replace them. Same goes for the seals, so the fact that it's leaking a little bit wouldn't bother me too much, it may be as simple as checking and tightening some of the bolts as needed, but the level of the oil is of concern. Have you checked that? Also, while I don't necessarily agree with changing it every year or whatever the manufacturer may recommend, it is going to break down over time, and is going to have at least some condensation, so, if the machine is otherwise in good shape, it might be time to change it.
 
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Old 02-17-16, 04:30 PM
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Agree with Pedro completely. At 21 years I'm betting that friction wheel is nearly worn out. I suspect you will see more and more drive interruptions as you use it. So if it's worth it. replace all belts, friction wheel and complete tune up.
 
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Old 02-18-16, 10:19 AM
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I change the oil, clean and paint any rust spots and drain the gas before I put it away. When I get it out it gets new gas and a fresh plug.
I thought sheared pin too, but both are good. I looked up belts this morning, not problem, cheap enough. When you say friction wheel, are you talking about the one that connects to the wheel itself or #2 on the first diagram? My parts list shows them as both being friction wheels???? I'm assuming it's the one going out to the actual wheel. Again assuming (dangerous), this means I need to pull the wheels off to get at it, or can it be disconnected from inside the housing unit with out pulling the wheels off?????
George
 
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Old 02-18-16, 11:06 AM
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I would lean toward #2 on the first drawing, meanwhile of course looking at anything and everything else because who knows for sure without being there, but will defer to Norm to answer for himself, or anyone else for that matter, because I have fortunately not had to deal with a lot of snowblower issues. One thing I did want to confirm though is that when I mentioned oil I was referring to the gear box oil. Most people change their engine oil, maybe not as often as it should be, but often enough, so I assumed you were doing that. But gear boxes are a bit more difficult to get to, both for draining and filling, so they tend to "let it go for now", which many times becomes the life of the machine.
 
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Old 02-18-16, 12:00 PM
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It will be the friction wheel that allows you to change speed and direction. I can't quite tell from the diagram on first post (the upper left section, the item that will ride against part #2). I'm also referring to my memory of working on several Arien's snow throwers that had to have the friction wheel replaced.

Pedro makes a good case to check the gear box lub, but that won't affect the drive or wheel shaft. The front gear box is the main transmission for the auger. You can remove the auger along with the gear box to put on other accessories.

This is the gear box for the auger/impeller



Here is a pic of the drive gear box or transmission



Also the circle to the right. Notice how the frame is dimpled to hold that shaft. In the old units this was a bracket. These new machine use the frame. If this begins to wear you loose gear mesh as shown on the left hand circle.

This is my big hang up about Ariens. They cheapened the machine and this is a typical wear location. Very difficult to fix. I've had three machines that this location to hold the shaft has worn out. If you find this to be the problem you can either have a piece of plate welded and drilled or do what I did and use a large washer and cotter pin to hold it in place.
 
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Old 02-18-16, 01:31 PM
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Ok Guys I'm back. Got it (finally)!
I guess I wasn't seeing that wheel as a friction wheel. To be totally honest I wasn't sure what it's function was, now it totally makes sense.
Pedro; I have never put oil in the gear boxes I thought those were sealed units filled with grease. I was also always hesitant in pulling that housing cover off because I thought it was probably full of some kind of oil that would come pouring out all over the place.

Now I feel more confident. I going straight to Walmart and buy a new one for $688. I will probably donate the old one to Goodwill. They have guys who rebuild stuff then they sell it. I can write the donation off my taxes, or, sell it as is for a hundred bucks and take that off the cost of the new one. Win win. I get a new machine and I don't have to keep freezing my butt off.
The thing doesn't owe me a dime.

I DO want to thank you guys for all of your time and knowledge though. I will at least know now what I should be doing for PROPER maintenance.
George
 
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Old 02-18-16, 01:51 PM
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George,

FWIW, just a quick note before you buy that new machine. If you've seen my past rants about Ariens you'll know how I feel about today's snow throwers. What you buy at Walmat, HD, or Lowes is the same junk pretty much made by the same factory or the same design. And they are cheap. That's not to say that you should not buy it. Just understand that you will get about 5 years worth of worry free use before problems arise. Then it will be nickel and dime year after year. The other choice is to spend about 2x's that amount and buy a Cub Cadet or a John Deer and it will last a lot longer trouble free. Also don't get caught up with all the bells and whistles. Keep it simple and you'll be happier. With that said, at my age most likely if and when my machine dies I will buy the cheapest piece of junk that will last til I die. If I out lived it then I'll buy another piece of junk.
 
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Old 02-18-16, 03:39 PM
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Yeah Norm I know just what you mean. If I were a much younger man I'd be thinking the same thing. At my age I should be paying somebody to be plowing my drive but I need to get out of the house to keep my sanity.

I've been looking at another MTD (21 years out of the first one must be a record for never having a belt change )
The one I'm looking at has the chute crank over top the motor? It lets it crank to 200 degrees instead of the traditional 180. Suppose to get less snow all over you when the wind is blowing. Even if it only last 5 or 6 years that will be good, by then I will either be down south someplace or having it plowed.

I do want to thank you guys again though. That was a ton of useful information.
George
 
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