I just saw this, and need to say 3 things:
1. Direct drive blowers are cheaper, HOWEVER an original Eshland still is loafing along TODAY with the very same indirect motor it was shipped with in 1976. NO FURTHER COMMENT NEEDED BY ANYONE!!! READ BETWEEN THE LINES!!! Don't even touch that damned keyboard!!! Pete Axeman does it right, nuff said!!
2. A Puller on a fan assembly that has seen 1000 to 1500 degrees for a couple years? Are you nuts? New fan in 99.99 percent of the cases. If you don't convert,(to the indirect) simply keep a spare fan and motor on the shelf, gaskets and the ceramic protection ring. I know the success rate of removing the fan at AHS was about that average. Been there, done that. Now a simple motor change-out becomes a 550.00 adventure....plus tax. I asked Jeff to not offer that; ONLY the indirect drive. If ANYONE were smart out there and in the same situation, just CHANGE out the direct for an indirect. I've done 5 myself, and never looked back. PLEASE DO NOT go back to the direct drive. If I buy a boiler with a direct, I deduct 1200.00 just because of this.
3. Wood/Coal dual fuels are OK and AHS is one of the best, yet like oil=gas/ coal. it is a compromise. Rugged, safe, but still a compromise. The only dual fuel (meaning oil or gas) units that are available are old Van Wert's, Current Keystokers, Current 110K LL, and EFM's or some homemade rigs that probably are as good.
I have cleaned, serviced, set-up many with these setups, and it was as easy as can be imagined. Of the 11 Keystoker's with the burners, NOT ONE is used. EFM's 5 installed, 1 used.
Van Wert's....some folks have run them for years on oil, no coal. MY .02 is to have/keep or get a used oil, gas or nukie boiler and pipe it up.
Not much different from a hybrid car when you want dual fuel for heating. Lots of extra work created, for a small dividend. KISS...keep it separate stupid!......or something more user friendly if you are in a kind mood.
Also, I would like to add that Jeff Gingritch, family and employees are back at the helm, and things are sailing toward warmer waters. Keep that in mind; they are great folks....in a business that likes to take no prisoners. Nice guys don't necessarily finish last, and the politics of life hurt many, so look before you leap. Ever hear the old expression: Building a reputation, not relying on one.
Know anyone named Matt or Dave that sounds like that? Jeff is right there also. Don at Keystoker is the best.......Pete Jr and the staff......it gets no better than this.
Lead, follow or get the hell out of the way........and for all the SOB's/Democrats who plant IED's along our way.......your day is coming!!!