Toro 724 Snow Blower Makes Screeching Noise When Auger Engaged
I have a 1995 Toro 724 snow blower. The snow blower had previously hit something hard (not certain what) and it chewed up the auger drive belt some what. It still continued to operate but emitted a screech when ever the auger was engaged or disengaged. I assumed this was due to the shredded belt.
I have now replaced the auger belt, and still get the same screeching noise. This only occurs when the auger drive is partially engaged, so my first thought was a slipping belt. When it's fully engaged, the drive is quiet and the unit throws snow fine. The sound may be coming from somewhere in front of the impeller but it's hard to tell. On close inspection, one of the spirals on the auger was bent. With the belt off, and turning the impeller shaft by hand, I can feel increased resistance at one point in a full 360 degree rotation of the front auger. Is it possible to have a bad bearing that is sensitive to lateral load, or is the increased drag at the one point causing belt slip? I plan on trying to drive the auger belt from my drill, so I can adjust the tension, and possibly hear better without the engine running.
There is some vertical play in the bearing by the auger pulley but I'm not certain how much is normal. There is no sign that the impeller is making contact with the metal casing. I do have the operators manual and parts diagrams but it doesn't explain how to actually dismantle the auger assembly. Any thoughts and suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks,