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36" Sno-Caster gearbox repair - advice needed

sno-caster snow blower h16

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#1 Corvairguy OFFLINE  

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Posted January 04, 2018 - 04:55 PM

Thank you all for the warm welcome! I found this forum while searching the internet for parts to repair my Sno-Caster and here's the situation:

 

The gearbox front bearing failed which ruined the housing and input shaft.  

33ol3ed.jpg

 

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The ONLY gearbox parts that are still usable are the gears and the output shaft.  I'll need another housing, a bearing and seal kit, and an input shaft.  All this to repair a snow blower whose housing is completely "pooched out" (stretched so far it's almost to the frame behind it.)

nnwf2s.jpg

 

So, should I cut my losses and find another Sno-Caster for sale? These things are rare in the West.

Should I repair the gearbox and housing ($300 in parts)?

Could I find a used gearbox here on the forum?

Or maybe I invest the money in a new Ariens snow blower and move on?

 

What do you guys (and gals) think? 

THANKS IN ADVANCE!  :thank_you:  Craig


Edited by Corvairguy, January 04, 2018 - 07:56 PM.

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#2 James Bosma OFFLINE  

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Posted January 04, 2018 - 05:08 PM

Hard call to make

I am not sure what those snow blowers sell for

I would look around to see if there is another snow blower in decent shape 

This is one of the problems with the older stuff

 

If you have access to a lathe the shaft looks easy enough to repair

 

Another option for the housing is to see if you can get a bearing with same inside dimension for shaft and slightly bigger on the outside

Take house to machine shop and have housing bored to except new bearing

This will only work if there is enough meat on the housing where the bearing is installed 


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#3 MyBolens1053 OFFLINE  

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Posted January 04, 2018 - 05:09 PM

A good machinist can true up that shaft. Build it up by weld and then turn it on a lathe.
Bearings are cheap enough.
That housing is another question. NOT sure if a mower deck gear box would work or not.
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#4 Bolens 1000 ONLINE  

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Posted January 04, 2018 - 05:10 PM

Someone on here may have a complete gear box for you if not I can supply all the bearings, seals and gasket for $80 shipped you would have to source the housing & input shaft else where though.

 

Rick's bolens parts or Classic bolens who are members here may also have complete NOS gear boxes or can build you one possibly


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#5 29 Chev ONLINE  

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Posted January 04, 2018 - 05:58 PM

That housing is another question. NOT sure if a mower deck gear box would work or not.

 

There is a parts break down of a square back (as well as the newer round back style in the Bolens manuals section.

Here is a link for the manual - http://gardentractor...ster-partslist/

 

The part numbers for the housing and input shaft are different from the part numbers for the lawn mower decks that look similar - you would have to examine the housings and shafts side by side to determine what the differences are and whether it could be adapted. 

 

If there was enough material left the housing could possibly be bored and sleeved to the correct I.D. - I believe the seal and bearing for the input shaft are the same O.D. so I am not sure if using a larger O.D. bearing would allow a seal to fit. 

 

The shaft surface where the bearing ran was probably hardened originally so building the shaft up and turning it down would probably work but the gear lube level would have to be checked to make sure that the bearing and shaft would always be running in gear lube or else the shaft might wear again fairly quickly.  If memory serves me correctly the gear lube level on my snowcaster (it is a newer round back design) pretty well covers the input and output shafts and bearings when filled correctly.  Just things to consider when you weigh your options.   
 


Edited by 29 Chev, January 04, 2018 - 06:05 PM.

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#6 Corvairguy OFFLINE  

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Posted January 04, 2018 - 06:17 PM

About the housing.... Not only is the bearing-end worn oversize, the bell portion got "ventilated" by the forward gear.  It could be welded up and machined if there were no replacement parts but I'm pretty sure I can find a used one so I think that's the way to go.  

 

Thanks so much for the thoughtful responses.  I'm kinda hoping someone will step out and say they have a sno-caster they would sell. Someone posted a "parts" sno-caster back in September and I have a PM into them but no response so far. 

30ngkg7.jpg


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#7 James Bosma OFFLINE  

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Posted January 04, 2018 - 06:25 PM

Maybe you will have some luck if you post a ad in the wanted section

Some members just check certain forums, not all forums, 

I would say it is worth the effort to post a ad


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#8 blackjackjakexxix OFFLINE  

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Posted January 04, 2018 - 11:36 PM

Im currently out of town for a couple weeks,if you cant find a gearbox by then email me at [email protected], Thanks,Rick
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#9 1oldbuzz OFFLINE  

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Posted January 05, 2018 - 01:31 AM

seen a few gear boxes on ebay

mostly for decks

but would think it would work

range 50-150


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#10 Corvairguy OFFLINE  

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Posted January 07, 2018 - 08:06 PM

Well good news boys... I found a replacement 36" Sno-Caster locally!  

 

A want-ad on Craigslist generated a response less than 24 hours later. The call was from the nearby 509 (Eastern Washington) area code.   Area code 509 ranges from 20 minutes away to over four hours away so I was ecstatic when I found out he was only 20 minutes away - virtually in my back yard! :dancingbanana:

 

The guy has three or four Bolens (1000,1256, G14 +?) a bunch of implements and two snow blowers, neither of which he uses due to having a gravel driveway.

 

While it's not in perfect shape, what's not right about it I have on my existing, broken sno-caster so I'll make one good one out of two.  I think I'll take the housing  from the "new" unit, straighten it and have it and discharge chute sand-blasted and power coated. 

 

Question: Is there any advantage between the round discharge chute vs. the square one?  I assume the Square one is the newer design,

 

Yeah Craigslist!

Craig

Attached Thumbnails

  • Two Snow Blowers.jpg

Edited by Corvairguy, January 07, 2018 - 08:08 PM.

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#11 Bolens 1000 ONLINE  

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Posted January 07, 2018 - 09:01 PM

Both blowers should function the same, the square chute design came around 1969, the round ones were older


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