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my 37A restoration


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#1 MacWorld OFFLINE  

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Posted January 20, 2012 - 06:25 PM

Since my MF 1655 is currently not in working order and I didn't had time to find the parts to fix it, I decided to buy a snowblower for my JD 214.

I had 2 choices available to me in the local classifieds, a complete one that was in acceptable shape for 600$ or one that the bottom was rusted and with the chute control rod missing at 350$. Guess which I bought? Yes, the 350$ one. I preferred paying less and having to restore the snowblower and know it's in good shape (and how it's made) than to pay more and to guess it will work properly.

BTW it's not an "extreme" restoration. I wanted to make it last for some years to come as best as I could without going with too much time. Like we say 80% of the job takes 20% of the time and the remaining 20% of the job takes 80% of the time. I stuck with 80% of the job (:

I don't have pictures of it before having started the restoration but here it is ready for paint after having disassembled it completely and after having replaced the first 2" of the bottom of it.

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here are the parts ready for paint
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JD primer on the paint-less shell
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Here you can see the square holes I had to made... I made them using a square file... I had no other ways of doing them. It's not as long as it looks to do but there is still 8 square holes to make!
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Assembly started! New bearings, everything properly greased and aligned.
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To clean the chain I submerged it in ATF fluid for 3-4 days. It helped removed most of the grease and rust, afterward I played with it to make it flex like it's supposed. The snowblower had been sitting for a while!

BTW the difference between the 37 and 37A is the method to inverse the rotation of the crankshaft. On the 37 the drive belt is reversing the rotation by being crossed between the engine and the snowblower as on the 37A (like mine) the belt is not crossed and there are 2 additional small idler sprockets to guide the chain BEHIND the big sprocket
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Back assembled and installed on my 214! As always my Audi is not too far from what I do in my garage.
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I "sealed" the joint between the 3 metal parts at the front to try to prevent rust... There is sealer between the parts and in front of all of them. We'll see if it helps over time
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I had to repair the "stupid manual PTO" rod which is NLA. I did cut it, made a long threaded bushing (stores were closed), threaded the remaining of the original rod and added a threaded rod at the end. I am not saying it works properly. If I can get a electric PTO I'll definitely make the swap.
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Now, since I didn't had the chute control rod I made one myself. I hoped this kind of handle would work properly... nope
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Support rod
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Since the other handle proved to be too hard to turn I resigned myself and made a copy of the original handle. I don't know if I am lucky or skilled but I managed to make the handle 4.125" wide when I wished 4.000" (quite close!) and the handle is perfectly (as much as I can measure) centered in the handle!!
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Here I am now, the blower works and the new handle is still to be installed. I will cut the current handle and weld the 2 rods together as straight as I can (will I be lucky/skilled?) to install the new handle.

The snowblower broke twice on me the 4th time I used it (if I don't count the PTO that never disengages), once one pulley's bolt got loose and the pulley felt (no damages since I heard it and stopped my engine quickly) and later the same day the chute control cable dropped from the drum on which it's turned on.

I am surprised how well a 1 stage snowblower can work... when the tractor pushing it can have any traction.

I will also make a counterweight (I currently have a scrapped 5cyl cast iron Audi engine block strapped behind my tractor which is not enough) currently I guess it will weight about 260lbs (considering it will be 1.7 cubic feet and considering concrete as about 140lbs per cubic feet). Is that enough weight? Too much weight? My driveway is all in asphalt, quite hard to have grip on that.

#2 lyall OFFLINE  

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Posted January 20, 2012 - 08:29 PM

Great job - you should have fun blowing the snow around

Edited by lyall, January 20, 2012 - 11:44 PM.


#3 JDBrian OFFLINE  

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Posted January 21, 2012 - 07:53 AM

That looks really well done and should last you a long time. Those square holes look like they would require some serious elbow grease! Thanks for the pics.

#4 TerryD OFFLINE  

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Posted January 22, 2012 - 01:01 PM

Nice save. Looks to be very good work. Thanks for the pictures and write-up

Enjoy your seat time.

#5 Moosetales OFFLINE  

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Posted February 01, 2012 - 08:38 PM

MacWorld,

Great job on the overhaul. I too completed a mini overhaul (see below) of my 37A just before the snow hit this year. I ran into the same problem as you did with part of the shoot being rusted out. Your paint job looks great. I truly am impressed with your metal art on that second handle. Can't say I've been that blessed with my metal work turning out to be as close to what I had planned. Enjoy.

Matthew


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#6 caseguy OFFLINE  

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Posted February 01, 2012 - 10:25 PM

Very nice work on the blower and the bends! Bending steel is a tricky skill to learn. I can't get over the money those fetch even when in need of what I would call a fairly involved repair! Nice score and great looking refurb!

#7 Cvans ONLINE  

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Posted February 01, 2012 - 10:39 PM

Your metal fab. work is very nice. The finished product looks great.

#8 MacWorld OFFLINE  

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Posted February 02, 2012 - 09:02 AM

Thanks for the replies!

I finally welded my new handle yesterday. It was quite a challenge because I am not totally equipped. I have my first house/garage for 6 months so there is a lot of tools I didn't need because friends had them. Currently I have no bench vice, no C-clamps and only 1 vice-grip!

The technique I used to align the 2 rods is to clamp them inside a straight angular profile metal piece (this is a technique a friend explained me, he's a skilled welded and a welding teacher).

Because I didn't want to remove the whole handle from the snowblower I had to suspend a pressdrill vice from the ceiling to hold the snowblower side rod in the angle then I added a vice grip to hold the handle side rod but since it's not a wide opening vicegrip I had to clamp it at the end of the angular part but the rod was not staying properly aligned. I finally found a "tie rod extractor" that I had and with a VW wheel bolt I was lucky enough to be able to squeeze the end of the handle rod in the angle! Anyway my explanations are probably not quite clear (second language!) so bellow are some pictures.

I think I did something good, I grinded the welds with a sandpaper-flap disk so closely you can see that both sides of the welds the rods are a bit thinner but it's minor. At least the handle is straight!

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#9 Moosetales OFFLINE  

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Posted February 02, 2012 - 07:10 PM

Nice work. I love seeing the blow by blow via pics. If ever you're in a jam and can't weld, I've seen guys thread the end of the rod and add a large nut and then thread the end of the handle and attach the two that way. This way they can change out handles for different uses. Thanks for sharing.

Matthew

#10 JDBrian OFFLINE  

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Posted February 03, 2012 - 11:08 AM

Actually, you did an excellent job of explaining. No need to apologize for your English skills. Thanks for posting this. That is a helpful technique for others when in the same situation.



Thanks for the replies!

I finally welded my new handle yesterday. It was quite a challenge because I am not totally equipped. I have my first house/garage for 6 months so there is a lot of tools I didn't need because friends had them. Currently I have no bench vice, no C-clamps and only 1 vice-grip!

The technique I used to align the 2 rods is to clamp them inside a straight angular profile metal piece (this is a technique a friend explained me, he's a skilled welded and a welding teacher).

Because I didn't want to remove the whole handle from the snowblower I had to suspend a pressdrill vice from the ceiling to hold the snowblower side rod in the angle then I added a vice grip to hold the handle side rod but since it's not a wide opening vicegrip I had to clamp it at the end of the angular part but the rod was not staying properly aligned. I finally found a "tie rod extractor" that I had and with a VW wheel bolt I was lucky enough to be able to squeeze the end of the handle rod in the angle! Anyway my explanations are probably not quite clear (second language!) so bellow are some pictures.

I think I did something good, I grinded the welds with a sandpaper-flap disk so closely you can see that both sides of the welds the rods are a bit thinner but it's minor. At least the handle is straight!



#11 Hammer OFFLINE  

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Posted February 03, 2012 - 07:55 PM

Very nice work.

#12 tractorgarden OFFLINE  

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Posted February 03, 2012 - 08:34 PM

Great job on the blower!




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