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Abby’s Guide > Outdoor Power Equipment (Lawn Mowers, Snow Blowers, Chain Saws and more) > Discussions > Snowblower auger won't turn

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LogansDaddy


Joined: Oct 4, 2006
Points: 5

Snowblower auger won't turn
Original Message   Mar 2, 2007 1:13 pm
I have a Chieftain snowblower and haven't had any problems for a couple years. I just used it on Sunday with no problems til I was putting it away and a kids rubber basketball got sucked in and stopped the auger dead in it's tracks. I used a knife to puncture the ball and remove it, then put it in the shed. Well, I got it out today and it worked, a little groggy, for about 1 minute then stopped altogether. When depressing the auger lever, nothing turns. With the engine off, the blades do NOT rotate either.

Please help...I have 18" on the ground that I'd HATE to have to shovel!!!!!

Thanks,
Brian
This message was modified Mar 2, 2007 by LogansDaddy
Replies: 1 - 8 of 8View as Outline
RickJ


Location: Minneapolis, MN
Joined: Nov 30, 2006
Points: 35

Re: Snowblower auger won't turn
Reply #1   Mar 2, 2007 1:59 pm
You might have sheared a pin or key on the auger shaft, where it meets the pulley that goes to the engine. I had that happen once on my old blower. The engine would run, but when I engaged the auger nothing moved. Replaced the sheared key, and it worked fine.

I would check for shear pins and shear keys, to see if any of them are missing.

1995 Simplicity Sno-Away 860 Snowblower, 2001 Craftsman POS lawnmower
LogansDaddy


Joined: Oct 4, 2006
Points: 5

Re: Snowblower auger won't turn
Reply #2   Mar 2, 2007 2:06 pm
I figured it might be that. I have no clue what to look for, or where to find them, or how to repair it. The snowblower was a gift and I don't have a manual.

Did you get more than a foot down there? I got about 18" up here in Luck, WI.
nibbler


Joined: Mar 5, 2004
Points: 745

Re: Snowblower auger won't turn
Reply #3   Mar 2, 2007 2:34 pm
I'm assuming that when you say the augers don't rotate when the engine is off you mean that you are trying to rotate them by hand.

That sounds like the belt from the engine to the auger system is either busted or has come off. If it was a shear bolt then you could rotate the augers by hand.

If it were a shear bolt problem then you can check the several other "augers don't rotate" threads to get the explanation. There seems to have been a lot of that problem happening recently.

If its an auger belt broken or come off the pulley problem then it would be best if you could get some sort of owners manual. since the blowers are all very similar it doesn't have to be for your specific machine, just one that is similar. It will help you visualize the procedure. You can download from some of the manufacturers' web sites.

Since I'm not familaiar withyour machine I need to know if its  one stage or two stage. If its two stage I can help.
LogansDaddy


Joined: Oct 4, 2006
Points: 5

Re: Snowblower auger won't turn
Reply #4   Mar 2, 2007 2:48 pm
Sorry, I don't know the difference between 1 & 2 stage.
RickJ


Location: Minneapolis, MN
Joined: Nov 30, 2006
Points: 35

Re: Snowblower auger won't turn
Reply #5   Mar 2, 2007 3:36 pm
A single stage snowthrower has a single drum with rubber paddles attached to it. The drum spins immediately when the engine is started, and it "throws" the snow. It may or may not have a chute. They are lightweight, and do not have powered drive wheels.

A 2-stage snowblower has an auger out front that pushed the snow back to the impeller. The impeller then blows the snow through a chute. These are usually pretty heavy, and have powered drive wheels.


I'm guessing that yours is a 2-stage, based on the one picture I could find on the internet. My limited google search found one person who claimed that Chieftain was made by MTD. You could try to see if an MTD blower looks like yours.

To access the pulley, there is usually a belt cover in front of the engine. Remove the spark plug wire, (so the engine can't start) and then remove the pulley cover. See if you can move the pulley by hand. If a key is sheared, it should spin or wiggle pretty easily. Another way to see the pulley is to look from underneath. I usually rock mine up on it's front, so I can look at the pulley from underneath. Beware of gas or oil spilling out if you do this.

Good luck with this. I don't envy you if you have to shovel.

1995 Simplicity Sno-Away 860 Snowblower, 2001 Craftsman POS lawnmower
LogansDaddy


Joined: Oct 4, 2006
Points: 5

Re: Snowblower auger won't turn
Reply #6   Mar 2, 2007 5:34 pm
Thanks for the info. It is a 2-stage. I went back out and tried again. Seems the snow is SO WET that it's clogging the chute. I was able to "get by" and get enough done to get the cars out. I did notice that it's not shooting the snow out the chute as it normally does. The majority comes out, but some of it just falls out instead of shooting. When this happens, I just stop the drivetrain and keep the auger running and it seemed to work.

What website did you go to? Thanks again for the help.
RickJ


Location: Minneapolis, MN
Joined: Nov 30, 2006
Points: 35

Re: Snowblower auger won't turn
Reply #7   Mar 2, 2007 5:38 pm
Google.

I typed in Chieftain snowblower in google, and one of the early links went to a thread on some other board asking about those blowers. Although they didn't sound any more knowledgeable than here.

At least you got the thing working for today. But it still sounds like something is broken. Even if the key is sheared off, there might be enough friction to spin the impeller at a low speed. But eventually it will wear down the shaft, and then you have a bigger problem. Take some time and check for the broken shear keys, or take it to a mechanic.

Good luck.

1995 Simplicity Sno-Away 860 Snowblower, 2001 Craftsman POS lawnmower
nibbler


Joined: Mar 5, 2004
Points: 745

Re: Snowblower auger won't turn
Reply #8   Mar 2, 2007 8:31 pm
Here are the possible problems that I can think of in order of most likely to least:
  1. Shear bolts attaching the augers ( the big things out front that scoop the snow inside) to the auger drive shaft have sheared due to an obstruction jamming up the augers. They're supposed to do this so the auger transmission doesn't break;
  2. Loose auger belt, need to adjust the idler wheel, happens due to wear;
  3. Worn/busted auger belt, need to replace it, I've had one mechanic tell me the belt is upposed to break if the impeller gets jammed. My experience is that the belt slips instead;
  4. Auger system frozen up. If so heat it so it melts;
  5. Sheared pulley key
  6. Busted auger worm gear
Items 5 & 6 may be the other way round but both are unlikely since the first three are normal wear and tear and for 5 or 6 to happen the first three would have to not happen.

Since it started to work for you with possible dimished performance I would guess you have loose or worn auger belt. The busted keyway is possible but the belt is more likely especially since I have a hunch it hasn't been adjusted in a long while.
Replies: 1 - 8 of 8View as Outline
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