Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Workshop Wednesday-Snowblower Tweak

 Faithful readers are aware of a project I did adapting a hydraulic broom to a john deere tractor. When the snow is deep we run a blower on the front of that tractor. One of the operators managed to catch a large crack in a sidewalk and bend the blower housing and cutting edge to the point that the auger would no longer turn.
 With a reputation of building things with overkill, I was the perfect guy to handle this repair.

 I should have taken better "before" pics. These don't really express the extent of the damage. The blower is pictured face down. The cutting edge is twisted and the mount is pushed forward. Not only does this wedge the auger from turning but it changes the relationship between the two gears in the chain drive pto.

 After removing the old scraper edge it was easy to see how twisted the housing was. The old scraper was 2" deep and 3/8" thick. Greasy Shop Rag specs called for something much bigger. I plan on using a 1/2" thick hardened cutting edge that's 6" deep. Ignore that piece of black shiny steel in the above pic. I changed plans mid swing and went another direction.

 With the new scraper edge in place it was time to straighten the sheet metal. I made this little fixture to adapt to a porta power ram. You can see everything to the left is nice and straight and everything to the right still needs tweaking.

 The blower is upside down in this pic and you see the new scraper bolted in place. I added the black piece of angle iron across the bottom and back of the housing. This will help prevent the housing from bowing like it did before. The black diamond plate pieces on the ends are something I made a few years ago. John deere offers something like this as an upgrade. I don't understand why they make this shit so weak, charge a fortune for it and then ask for more money to make it as strong as it should have been from the start.

 And one final pic to put it all into perspective. You can see the black angle iron along the back bottom edge. It ties into the center mount plates and the black end plates. If they hit something now they will probably break the windshield with their face as the tractor comes to a screeching halt.
 Now all we need is snow. It's been a slow winter.

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