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BigRed84

314-H Single stage thrower struggling

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Mornin'!  Had another rare opportunity to put the wheel horse to use for this past weekend's 5" snow storm.  Has roughly 750 hours on it.  Runs great (kohler magnum 14hp).  Two questions:

1.  the belts don't slip on the pulley and the engine RPM's don't dip, yet the main drive (on the engine) pulley will slow down and stop when the snow is too heavy for it keep throwing it.  How does that happen without the engine RPMS bogging down at the same time?  Is there a part I can replace that slips or something?  I'm talking as little as a few inches of wet snow, I tried a steady forward speed, I tried creeping forward...sometimes it just doesn't through it as much as a foot.  But I would expect to hear the RPM's drop....any ideas?

 

2.  I got 90% of my driveway and walk paths to the wood shed and side doors complete, everything seemed to be going perfect aside from the pulley slowing to a stop issue, and then outta no where, the auger chain snaps again.  This is the second time.   First time was a few weeks back, it was the original chain, and stretched so I believe it just jumped off one of the sprockets.  I replaced it and I THINK I made it too tight, so it fatigued too fast and just popped.  Is there a rule of thumb to follow when setting the chain tensioner sprocket at the bottom of the auger housing? 

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1. Go through the adjustment procedure in the manual for the pto clutch - it needs to be quite a bit tighter from your description.

2. Make sure the sprocket teeth aren't worn down too far - it's a common problem and they can be replaced. The chain needs to be set snug at first and run it in for a few minutes, then re-adjust per the manual.

 

Sarge

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Thanks Sarge,  I look up the manual PDF.  I'll inspect the sprocket teeth (assuming you're referring to the sprocket on the auger?)  I replaced the two smaller sprockets toward the front of the housing when the chain broke last time.  I think that leaves just the welded sprocket on the auger itself if I'm picturing it right?  Will check when I get some time this week. 

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From what you are describing, it sounds like the key is missing on the engine pulley. If the pulley is just spinning on the engine shaft, there wouldn't be a drop in RPMs when it stops turning.

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Friction disk shouldn't be worn out or you would talking about "what heck is that noise".

My money is on the pto adjustment. Gotta be able to grip it and rip it.

:sad-bored:

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PTO adjustment sounds like a winner, and thinking about the concept behind it makes perfect sense for the issue I'm experiencing.  Thanks fellas!  I'll post up when I find the right manual so I can do it the right way, and with any luck the 60 degree weather we are supposed to get here in CT over the next 2 days will disappear so we can actually get some more snow to test it out.

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try spinning the blower over by hand. You might have a bearing "dragging". There are drawings on this site that show proper belt drive installation. Make sure your tensioner pulleys are positioned correctly. I oil the chain on my blower every time I use it , to the point that I put a pan under the machine to catch the runoff of excess oil. 

 

When you spin it over by hand (engine off ) do it by grabbing the belt. It may look tight but not actually be tight enough. 

Good luck, let us know how things go.

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This has been a mild winter down here. I actually haven't done any removal as it gets warm right after. Although the last three out of four middle-of-March time frames we have been dumped on.

 

If your snow was similar to what we had down here, you need to get a dozer blade. Wet snow is very hard to move with a single-stage and is better moved than thrown. Regarding your issue, did you count the links on the original chain and use the same number of links on the replacement chain? Hopefully you didn't make it the same length as the stretched chain. It does sound like an issue with you PTO though.

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Sounds like the PTO adjustment. If that chain is at all loose or the sprockets have points on them and no longer resemble gears. Replace the chain and idler sprockets. It’s cheap insurance. Those chains are prone to letting loose at th worse time. It can destroy your blower. 

 

Keep the chain well lubricated!!!!

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8 hours ago, BigRed84 said:

 the engine RPM's don't dip, yet the main drive (on the engine) pulley will slow down and stop 

 

   Tighten the PTO.     t has to be slipping.

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Just to clarify...  Chains do not stretch.  The sprockets can wear down and the chain then sits lower in it making it looser.  To a very small extent the rollers in the chain can wear and the pins can also wear loosening the chain.

 

As an aside modern belts do not "stretch" either.  The sides wear or the pulleys wear allowing the belt to sit deeper in the grooves.

Edited by pfrederi
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12 hours ago, pfrederi said:

Just to clarify...  Chains do not stretch.  The sprockets can wear down and the chain then sits lower in it making it looser.  To a very small extent the rollers in the chain can wear and the pins can also wear loosening the chain.

 

 

It may be just a question of semantics. Here is a photo of a new chain on the left and old chain on the right. They are both 32 links but you can see that the old chain is "longer." It probably was still serviceable but it is best to change out chains every other year. I also included a shot using a chain breaker as I don't care for master links.

 

5a8c14664bb0b_WP_20141030_0021.jpg.19c948ce8eaa7b779eac5a197ed6d58d.jpg

 

5a8c155358b34_WP_20141030_0011.jpg.b4efeaa1823d62ec45f03bf6540bf2ca.jpg

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I took the lower sprocket off and pulled the chain the other night, the master link was completely missing so I either didn't secure it properly or I have an underlying issue with worn sprocket teeth on the auger. 

 

As for PTO adjusting, I looked through the manuals posted here but it seems like they are all listed as "electrical".  Does anyone have a link for a late 90's 314H PTO adjustment? 

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If the PTO clutch disc material is in good condition,   Just pull the hair pin clip, pull the trunnion out of the plate, turn it one turn (toward the rear to shorten the rod and increase the clutch pressure)  , then reassemble and try the blower.   Repeat this until the clutch stops slipping.

After the clutch pressure is adjusted, the PTO brake should be adjusted with 0.010" clearance with the PTO engaged.

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Thanks Ed, I appreciate the detailed response.  I'll dig out the feeler gauges.

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Check your sprocket bearings too. Sprockets wobbling will wreck a new chain faster than you can say "Horse Hockey I broke another chain! " :)

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Sprockets - Check!  I replaced the two smaller sprockets a few months back when I got rid of the old chain.  The sprockets didn't even look like they had any bearings left.  haha.  (tail between legs)  The only sprockets that are original at this point: Main sprocket welded onto auger (can this be torched off and professionally welded back on with a new one without jeopardizing balance or how straight the center tube of the auger is?) , and the smaller sprocket that doesn't have bearings on the horizontal drive shaft behind the housing.  The teeth looked okay to me so I didn't think that was the issue.  Although eyeballing it, looked out of alignment with the rest so I loosened the two set screws and bumped it over about 1/4".  I managed to find a spare master link to reassemble it for the snow we are supposed to get tomorrow night!  Looks like I'll be able to test it out after all.  Has been in the 50s and 60s here for some reason, so I thought CT was done with winter.  Tonight I'll run it for a few minutes, and then see if I can figure out how to get that tensioner sprocket tighter even with the chain putting resistance on it.  As of now when I pull that front safety guard off that blocks the view of the chain, I can push and pull the chain in either direction roughly a half an inch from the neutral position.  Is this too much slack? 

 

Thanks in advance for all the feedback!  I'll also be attempting to tighten the PTO tonight. 

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The sprocket on the anger can be cut off and replaced but I certainly wouldn't use a torch. I've done a few in the past, the end of the anger tube is stepped to fit the center bore of the sprocket. This center's the sprocket correctly to the tube and sets the alignment for the chain. Just carefully grind out the weld with a 1/8"-3/16" wheel , dress it up with a file and find a sprocket with the correct bore and tooth pitch to replace it. Tack it evenly and straight, replace the auger bearings and put it back into service.

 

The trick is finding the correct bore size,  last one I did had an odd sized center so I had to bore a standard sized one off the shelf to fit on the lathe. If you don't have the equipment or welder for this,  most welding shops can handle it.

 

Sarge

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Excellent.  Thanks for the info!  They updated the storm totals for my area....7 to 11" possible.  I'm going to hit it at two points because the temps look warm, so I don't want to worry about having issues throwing 11" of wet snow.  Does anyone else get excited for snow JUST so they can play with their Wheel Horse!?  haha

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I do but we haven't had much snow here 30 miles west of Cleveland for a long time.  East of Cleveland gets a lot.  Oh well guess I will have to move

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Posted (edited)

Master link disappeared 10' out into the driveway.  Ended up shoveling 8" of the heaviest snow I've seen.....all 70' of my driveway at 9pm last night.  So angry/sore today..  hahaa  more sore than angry.  I can't get this thing right.  Maybe I'm routing the chain wrong?  Maybe the master link is junk? 

Snow Thrower Chain.jpg

Edited by BigRed84

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Make sure the clip on the master link faces the correct way so normal rotation forces it on and not off.

 

They do not normally just come apart on their own.

 

Cleat

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Sorry for your troubles. It could have been a freak point in the rotation to throw the link off. That is why I used a chainbreaker so all of the links have the same "strength." Master links are fine if the chain doesn't reverse on itself like it does with the snowthrower. Also, a single-stage snowthrower revolves at a a higher rpm than a two-stage snowblower. When I had my Dxi, I use to run at a lower rpm because the diesel had tremendous torque and I had heard would overwhelm the single-stage snowthrower.

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Picking up a chain breaker tool is on my list of things to do...haha. 

 

I didn't however, think about the rotational force being able to throw the clip....so I didn't pay attention to which direction I pushed it on.  If that's all it is half of my will be happy that I don't have to spend anymore money, but the other half will be pissed that I couldn't use the tractor for this heavy storm because of my own stupidity   hahaha    thanks for the ideas fellas.

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I had one link come apart before I realized I never slid the clip back, locking it into the groove in the pin.    After I assembled it correctly, I never had a problem.

 

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