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Increasing the speed of the snow blower

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#1 John Arsenault ONLINE  

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Posted September 02, 2017 - 06:47 AM

As many of you know me know that my main necessity for a garden tractor is its snow removal ability. I decided that this year I was going to re-power our old Sears Suburban. I chose an engine with a little more torque and HP then the original and now I am wondering if by going up on the drive pulley 1/4 inch if will help the blower speed with out robbing all the extra power it has. I think I will be ok because this is a hydro tractor and even with the original set up it didn't bog must just didn't throw as far as I would like. 



I have never played with ratios on tractors although I understand the concept very well. I feel that a 1/4 may not be enough to really tell the difference and maybe I should try 1/2, however I have changed gear ratios in motorcycles before and one tooth on the drive sprocket makes a HUGE difference. 


Sprockets are 20.00 or so and its not the end of the world if I have to buy two before I get it right, but would like to hear from others that have swapped out pulleys before to change ratios before I decide to just go up a 1/4 inch and then maybe another 1/4 inch. 


I am asking if you think a 1/4 inch is to little or is 1/2 to much. Or does 1/2 increase sound like a good starting point. 


This is the hydro tractor so I am not concerned with matching the drive speed with the blower and because its the hydro is why I am even thinking of this. I know with my manual wheel horse there are more factors to deal with  Re: gear selection , snow depth, weight , etc.  I find that at times with the horse 1st gear is to slow and then 2nd is to fast of coarse that depends on the type of snow, but those are issues we only have with the manual drives. 


BTW yes I know its a bit early to be doing anything snow related but I don't want to wait till it gets here to get it figured out. 




Photo for entertainment value.



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#2 shorty ONLINE  



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Posted September 02, 2017 - 06:55 AM

A coworker increased pulley size on his mower. He thought he could mow faster but a thicker area caused it to bog quicker. Faster reaction time was required to keep it from dying out. And the engine was always lugging. I would guess snow blowing would be similar. Let us know how it works. A single stage blower it seems would be better at a higher rpm.
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#3 poncho62 ONLINE  

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Posted September 02, 2017 - 06:55 AM

Before looking at gear ratios, I would look at the overall condition of your blower first......My single stage last year would not throw very far. I got to looking at it and noticed that the blades are fairly bent up and there is a fairly wide gap to the housing. I am going to straighten those up and close that gap. I bet it throws much better this year.

Edited by poncho62, September 02, 2017 - 06:56 AM.

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#4 Arti OFFLINE  

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Posted September 02, 2017 - 06:59 AM

To calculate the speed increase we would need the diameters of the existing pulleys.

However I would likely try 1/2 inch first.


If the throw distance isn't good it might be better to rebuild the blower and get the attachment in good condition again.

I put new rubber parts on a single stage one a few years ago and couldn't believe how much better it works. Same on a 2 stage the impeller needs to be in good shape and adjusted correctly.

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#5 John Arsenault ONLINE  

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Posted September 02, 2017 - 07:30 AM



The blower is in excellent condition and I am sure  is working properly, this thing can and will eat through the heaviest and wettest snow we get. I just want it to shoot snow a few more feet if possible. Last year we ended up with some really tall banks and my WH was able to send snow to the top the sears was just a tad short. 





I'll try 1/2 inch increase, with the new engine I think it will be alright, plus with the hydro its easy to adjust your travel speed to get the perfect amount of snow feeding the blower so its easy not to bog. 





As you can see here I am not trying to fix anything, just make it better if possible. 

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#6 chieffan OFFLINE  

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Posted September 02, 2017 - 08:00 AM

That last photo looks to me like your blowing the snow up, rather than out.  poncho62 was right about to much clearance on the throwing paddles of the augur.  Put rubber belting on the paddle part to shut the clearance down to very near 0 or less, tip the top of the cute down a little and you could gain another 2-3 foot of distance.  Also keep the chute waxed good and has to be smooth.  Condition of the snow makes a ton of difference.  Heavy wet stuff will not throw good from any smaller machine.  It take the large tractor mounted units or commercial blowers to get rid of it.   Good luck with your snow season.  I haven't used the thrower in the last 2 winters.  Just the blade.  Will put it on again this year and wait and see.

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#7 Doug E. ONLINE  

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Posted September 02, 2017 - 09:57 AM

I also initially picked up a garden tractor for snow removal, and it remains my main purpose, although I use them for what ever used I can find for them, gardening being my second main use. 


I also would suggest installing the rubber bailer belting onto the augur if it is not already there.  My Bolens G16XL  blows the snow farther with it, blows even slush (and water), and now rarely clogs the chute if I keep the augur full.  I could throw the snow farther if it had more HP or a hydro tranny, but it does very well as it is, and the engine is strong, so I can't justify an upgrade. 


And no, it is not too early to be going through your winter equipment!  I started working on another tractor (with more HP and a 2 stage blower) to be my primary snow tractor in July.  You never know with these older tractors what snags you will run into.  I'm predicting light snow here this year since I will now have a back up!  : )





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#8 boyscout862 ONLINE  

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Posted September 02, 2017 - 10:30 AM

The increase in belt speed by adding 1/2" to the diameter is only 1 1/2" per revolution( pi x Diameter change). If your pulley at the blower is 4"(12" circumference) it will increase the blower speed by about 12%. That could mean an increase in stress on the blower too. Fixing the condition problems first makes the most sense. Put a cab on it so that you can work slower will also help. I am going to set up a tent garage for my snow removal equipment this year with an electrical cord to it so that the tractor will be easier to start. I figure that this will assure that we get no snow and bitter cold. Life is a b*tch but, we can make use of its quirks. I'd rather spend 20 hours now getting ready than 20+ hours later plowing. Good Luck, Rick

Edited by boyscout862, September 02, 2017 - 10:33 AM.



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Posted September 02, 2017 - 03:42 PM

How much more power do you have with the new engine vs the old?

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#10 propane1 OFFLINE  

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Posted September 02, 2017 - 04:22 PM

I slowed down the speed of the impeller in my Ford blower. Works great now. No bogging down any more and having to slow down or stop to let the engine catch up. So the blower throws the same distance all the time. I didn't gain any distance in throwing , but I didn't loose any either. When engine bogs down, distance goes down.


#11 Tecumseh power ONLINE  

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Posted September 02, 2017 - 04:28 PM

Have a custom 10 I had to make the snowblower pulley for and it is 1/2" larger and works fine.
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#12 Cat385B ONLINE  



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Posted September 02, 2017 - 04:39 PM

The gap between the paddles and the housing right before it goes up the chute is the most important thing for single stage blower performance. Any gap greater than 1/16" is a problem.