Snowblower auger not turning

jrcagle(z7 MD)February 11, 2010

Hi all,

I see I'm not the first to post these sorts of things ...

My snowblower (Craftsman) has worked fine this season, like a champ after the first blizzard of 2/5 - 2/6, although it needed a carburetor cleanout. But when I went to use it this morning, the auger wouldn't turn.

* The engine starts without trouble.

* The first time I engaged the auger, it wouldn't turn and the engine immediately stopped.

* I cleaned out snow just in case. There was a small amount of ice on the inner mechanism that pushes snow up and out the chute, but clearing that didn't fix the problem.

* The second (and subsequent times), the auger wouldn't turn and smoke came out of the belt housing.

* Off came the belt housing, and I examined the belt while the engine was running. The auger engager roller correctly pushes the belt taut when engaged, and then releases when not engaged. The belt looks ok to the eye.

* But when engaged, the auger pulley simply doesn't move.

* It's hard to see the bottom of the belt, but with a flashlight I think I could see that the belt was properly on the pulley.

Summary: The belt mechanism appears to be working; the auger seems to be clear of obstruction; but the blinkin' thing won't move.



Jeff Cagle

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This typically happens when something is caught in the impellar system, perhaps a newspaper. If you can loosen the belt to see if you can turn it by hand. Either something is cought or something seized up, a bearing perhaps.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2010 at 4:38PM
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I assume that this is a two-stage blower. You have an auger to move snow to the center and a fan to spit the snow out the chute. Most likely, the fan is frozen to the housing. This often happens when owners don't clean their unit before putting it away.

You either have to find a way to warm the machine to make the ice melt or you have to apply pressure to the fan and try to break the ice bond that is preventing it from moving. Covering the entire blower unit with some blankets or a tarp and then putting a heater underneath in a way that it cannot touch the covering is my only suggestion.

The larger the heater, the sooner it will thaw out but I caution you to be very careful when doing this. You don't want to cause a fire. This will only happen if flammable material directly contacts the heating device. As long as the complete heater is several inches away from the blanket, you'll be ok.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2010 at 5:53PM
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Jr : Yep I believe Kompressor is on Top of it ! We all have experienced this especially with Wet Snow . Always try to ensure Chute and Turbine (Fan) area is cleaned as best as possible prior to storage. Hopefully you did not burn a flat spot on the Impeller Belt. Now if the auger (Bottom) Mechanical Advantage Prime Mover is not spinning then either you have an obstruction , which should be rather obvious or a Seized Auger Shaft Bearings or Damaged Internal Gear Case Problems , lets hope it just Frozen up , try to get into a warm environment for a few hrs..Ty !.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2010 at 7:41PM
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About 10 seconds into working with the latest snowfall, there was a sharp clang and the auger stopped throwing snow. I cleared the snow from the auger, dislodged a small stone caught behind one of the blades, and restarted - but still no snow throwing.

While checking the shear pins (both intact, and the augers don't turn freely), I noticed that (as one looks into the mouth of the machine) the left side of the auger axle was disengaged from the fitting attached to the metal frame.

First, why would this left-side disconnection disable not only the left side auger but the right side auger and upper stage auger from turning, too?

Second, if the disengagement is the sole problem, is it something I can fix on my own?

Thanks in advance for any advice.
Bill (Maine)

    Bookmark   January 17, 2013 at 10:14AM
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If the auger axle was knocked out of its bushing, I could see where the axle would also allow the impellor to drop and bind against the frame. Did you put the auger axle back into place and still you have this problem?

If so, try turning the impellor while holding your auger still. They have pins too. If not that, maybe the set screw came loose on the pulley that drives the auger assy. Maybe the V belt broke.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2013 at 10:14PM
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I have a #522 Snapper 2-stage snow thrower. Bought it used. Used it twice this yr. and it worked great with the last time being just last week. Went to use it again today. It started right up as usual but when I depress the lever to engage the auger blades it just stalls. It acts like something's stuck or frozen somewhere in the auger drivetrain.. The transmissions' fine as it moves forward and back. What gives?

    Bookmark   February 6, 2014 at 2:45PM
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Possibly some snow had melted in the impeller housing, refroze and now is holding that impeller from turning. With the machine off, you should be able to turn or at least rock the impeller.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2014 at 4:44PM
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