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Abby’s Guide > Outdoor Power Equipment (Lawn Mowers, Snow Blowers, Chain Saws and more) > Discussions > Chute controls and handlebars

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slinger


Joined: Sep 22, 2010
Points: 158

Chute controls and handlebars
Original Message   Dec 4, 2013 2:37 pm
Whatever happened to crank controls for chutes on SS blowers? Were they made so cheaply that they all broke prematurely? The one on my 10 year old green Craftsman 5hp 4cycle still works fine. OK, to be honest after a number of years it would tend to turn back to center on it's own when I had it cranked to either side, but it was nothing that $2 worth of Delrin plastic and a few ss screws couldn't fix. That's an issue that any manufacturer could overcome. It seems like a much simpler method than cables and plastic control levers.

Also, the handlebar on my old Craftsman had a nice pipe insulation type cushion on the handlebar that made it much easier to grip, absorbed vibration, AND was a nice alternative to grabbing cold steel when operating the unit. It REALLY made the blower a pleasure to use. It's still in perfect condition after 10 years. I think ALL SS blowers would benefit from the addition of this inexpensive improvement. I'm not a Craftsman fanboy by any means, but just wondering what happened to these beneficial features.
Replies: 1 - 11 of 11View as Outline
niper99


Location: London Ont
Joined: Dec 2, 2007
Points: 354

Re: Chute controls and handlebars
Reply #1   Dec 4, 2013 5:30 pm
ya I would half to agree with ya!!!
Shryp


Location: Cleveland, OH
Joined: Jul 26, 2010
Points: 532

Re: Chute controls and handlebars
Reply #2   Dec 4, 2013 5:58 pm
niper99 wrote:
ya I would half to agree with ya!!!


Which half?
niper99


Location: London Ont
Joined: Dec 2, 2007
Points: 354

Re: Chute controls and handlebars
Reply #3   Dec 7, 2013 9:03 pm
Shryp wrote:
Which half?

well I agree that the older crank style chute in my opinion worked better and with less repairs.. joy stick is nice but they so far aren't holding up great.. (mostly cable issues)
aa335


Joined: Nov 29, 2008
Points: 2434

Re: Chute controls and handlebars
Reply #4   Dec 8, 2013 10:20 am
I have the crank chute on my 2 stage machine.  Yes, they are very reliable don't think they will give me any trouble in harsh conditions.  However, I do like the convenience of the modern quick chutes and deflector adjustments.  I can deal with it being less reliable as a trade for convenience, even if I have to have to keep a closer eye on maintenance so these don't jam or freeze up during use.
niper99


Location: London Ont
Joined: Dec 2, 2007
Points: 354

Re: Chute controls and handlebars
Reply #5   Dec 9, 2013 4:21 pm
aa335 wrote:
I have the crank chute on my 2 stage machine.  Yes, they are very reliable don't think they will give me any trouble in harsh conditions.  However, I do like the convenience of the modern quick chutes and deflector adjustments.  I can deal with it being less reliable as a trade for convenience, even if I have to have to keep a closer eye on maintenance so these don't jam or freeze up during use.

Ya i agree for someone like myself or someone handy, because if it breaks they can fix it fairly cheaply.. but if its someone that's got to bring it to a repair shop then $75-150 is costly and in convenient, especially if the customer has to have someone come out and pick machine up for repair.. Of course in time my guess is they'll fine tune them so there more reliable..

With that said I do prefer the Joy stick (style) over the older crank style…
longboat


Joined: Feb 11, 2009
Points: 103

Re: Chute controls and handlebars
Reply #6   Dec 10, 2013 8:36 am
I have the cables on my two-stage (MTD) blower.  They are nice for quickly changing directions, but the range on the chute is a little less than desirable.  I move it all the way to the stop and it slowly moves back a few degrees.  By the same token, the chute extension will not stay at a low angle (force of snow pushes it back up to a higher angle).  I've adjusted the friction and bolt tightening, etc. but it still does it, just to a slightly lesser degree.  Very touchy and definitely not set-it-and-forget-it.
niper99


Location: London Ont
Joined: Dec 2, 2007
Points: 354

Re: Chute controls and handlebars
Reply #7   Dec 10, 2013 10:55 pm
longboat wrote:
I have the cables on my two-stage (MTD) blower.  They are nice for quickly changing directions, but the range on the chute is a little less than desirable.  I move it all the way to the stop and it slowly moves back a few degrees.  By the same token, the chute extension will not stay at a low angle (force of snow pushes it back up to a higher angle).  I've adjusted the friction and bolt tightening, etc. but it still does it, just to a slightly lesser degree.  Very touchy and definitely not set-it-and-forget-it.

sounds like ur cables are in need of replacement... there probably not moving the full range as there indended to...
longboat


Joined: Feb 11, 2009
Points: 103

Re: Chute controls and handlebars
Reply #8   Dec 11, 2013 8:23 am
niper99 wrote:
sounds like ur cables are in need of replacement... there probably not moving the full range as there indended to...


Nah, they've been that way since brand new.  I think it was MTD's first foray into cable-operated shoots and just plain sloppy manufacturing, not to mention sloppy manufacturing on the chute turret itself.  I tried adjusting them six different ways from Sunday, but only small improvements to be had.  Modified the turret to turn a little more, so now I get close to 180 degrees turning as opposed to the 150-160 degrees I got before.  I could really use something closer to 250 degrees turning since my driveway curves a bit and I don't want to be shooting snow onto my shed nor out on the street, but onto my lawn where I could use it.  Been toying with putting some solenoids on there and converting it to remote electric controls, but not sure its worth it - might be ahead to sell it and get a better model.
Tubby


Joined: Dec 5, 2007
Points: 78

Re: Chute controls and handlebars
Reply #9   Dec 16, 2013 8:37 pm
I absolutely love the electric control on the simplicity.........Right up until it breaks.
I did get it working again by taking apart, cleaning, and re-greasing. I can rip right down the driveway, do a really quick 180* reversal, and at the same time hit the chute to the other direction. It is a great improvement.
One thing I think about when I am using it; I fly what most would call drones. (Really called FPV, but I digress)  We have flight controllers with GPS and mag compasses, and it would not take a lot of imagination to set it up so the chute was always pointed in the downwind direction....AUTOMATICALLY, gimbaled as it were, to always point in that direction unless re-adjusted via the rocker. Who knows? I can see this in the short future.
longboat


Joined: Feb 11, 2009
Points: 103

Re: Chute controls and handlebars
Reply #10   Dec 17, 2013 1:11 pm
I'd be happy with a little thumb wheel on the handlebar with an arrow on it.  Point the arrow whichever direction you want the chute pointed, and the chute moves to that position via robust electric motors.
blomberg91


Location: Talkeetna, Alaska
Joined: Nov 22, 2011
Points: 9

Re: Chute controls and handlebars
Reply #11   Dec 17, 2013 2:11 pm
If you have a nice warm space to thaw out your cable controls after every use they function just fine. A lot of people store their snowblowers in the cold in my neck of the woods, and the freeze up on the cables, control arms and linkage makes them a clear second choice to gear driven chute controls for anyone who stores their machines outside.
This message was modified Dec 17, 2013 by blomberg91
Replies: 1 - 11 of 11View as Outline
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