Craftsman Snowblower Plastic Chute.......DIY?

Craftsman Snowblower Plastic Chute.......DIY?

PostBy: Crow Horse On: Sun Feb 23, 2014 8:00 am

I have a Craftsman snowblower (27") that has a plastic discharge chute. In my particular case, I'm using a wee bit beyond it's design parameters. My driveway is unpaved, in places somewhat rutted and app. 600 ft. long. The problem is that every now and then a rock gets pulled in and the resulting discharge either cracks the plastic chute or weakens in so that it will fail at a later date. I've been through 3 or 4 of these plastic units and always say that I'm going to fab one made from steel or aluminum but it hasn't happened as of yet. Now that I'm doing some maintenance and repairs on it, I'm more motivated to resolve this once and for all.

Has anyone made there own discharge chute or modified an existing one?
Crow Horse
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Golden Flame
Coal Size/Type: chestnut
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Re: Craftsman Snowblower Plastic Chute.......DIY?

PostBy: WNY On: Sun Feb 23, 2014 8:15 am

MInes and older MTD snowblower and my driveway is gravel, i've never replaced mine, it's pretty thick plastic.

Maybe just line it with a thin piece of sheet metal or something, instead of making a complete new unit.?
WNY
 
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Re: Craftsman Snowblower Plastic Chute.......DIY?

PostBy: NJJoe On: Sun Feb 23, 2014 8:20 am

I think we have the same snowblower. I bought it secondhand for $300 from craigslist when I moved in with my lady and we needed a way to clean the driveway. Engine is strong, 9 HP, and throws the snow pretty far. The design is simple, no bells and whistles and my only complaint about it would be that it is hard to turn and handle but otherwise it works and does the job. It would make a simple no non-sense snowblower until I upgrade to a nice machine: except for one glaring design flaw that I'm sure you know all too well: the PLASTIC snow chute. :mad:

WTF...the rest of the fricking machine is made of metal and sturdy. But the one piece that arguably sees as much stress and abuse is made of plastic?!!? The only way for it to get worse than this is to also have the auger made of plastic. Thats how much sense a PLASTIC discharge chute makes. :x :mad: What f!cking drugs were the engineers smoking when they put this to production!!???1

With regular snow it is adequate but the second you start munching heavy snow or god help you if there is any ice, the entire chute rattles around. and threatens to break clean off the machine! Oh wait! That actually did happen to me. This is what I looked like holding the broken off chute in my hand, realizing the reason it broke was because it was made of plastic: :? Without a chute, the snow launches straight up and on top of the machine, totally useless. I'm so mad thinking about it. I've replaced it once and the new one on it is on its last legs. As soon as this winter is over, I'm going to sell it! What assinine build quality!

Ok, now that I've gotten that out of my system, yes I would be reasonably interested in a metal discharge chute!
NJJoe
 


Re: Craftsman Snowblower Plastic Chute.......DIY?

PostBy: NJJoe On: Sun Feb 23, 2014 8:25 am

WNY wrote:MInes and older MTD snowblower and my driveway is gravel, i've never replaced mine, it's pretty thick plastic.

Maybe just line it with a thin piece of sheet metal or something, instead of making a complete new unit.?



The problem is not the body of chute being made of plastic. The exact problem is the spinning collar that allows you to aim the chute left and right is made of metal and allows for a 3 bolts to thread through it and affix the chute to the collar. You have a metal collar with metal bolts passing through holding a plastic chute.

The mounting location on the chute, being plastic is the weakest point. The plastic body can withstand punishment, the greatest stress and where it breaks is the mounting location. The bolt holes on the chute break. You ingest some ice/rocks and as they exit, the entire chute rocks back and forth cracking it where the bolts hold it to the mount point. :mad:
NJJoe
 

Re: Craftsman Snowblower Plastic Chute.......DIY?

PostBy: Crow Horse On: Sun Feb 23, 2014 8:53 am

The plastic body can withstand punishment, the greatest stress and where it breaks is the mounting location. The bolt holes on the chute break. You ingest some ice/rocks and as they exit, the entire chute rocks back and forth cracking it where the bolts hold it to the mount point.

You are spot on although other places on the chute have failed as well on mine......
As a band aid fix I might make an aluminum liner to support the mounting area better. I'll have to search Ebay and maybe I can find a steel one for cheap and modify that to fit....If not, make one from scratch.
It is frustrating and expensive. Nothing like having the chute fail and send snow straight up covering you....
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Crow Horse
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Golden Flame
Coal Size/Type: chestnut
Other Heating: kero

Re: Craftsman Snowblower Plastic Chute.......DIY?

PostBy: titleist1 On: Sun Feb 23, 2014 9:02 am

would expoxying (high strength two part mixing type epoxy) a couple washers to both sides of the plastic body help distribute the stress of the bolt attachment?
titleist1
 
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Re: Craftsman Snowblower Plastic Chute.......DIY?

PostBy: D-frost On: Sun Feb 23, 2014 9:13 am

Crow Horse,
website: http://www.snowblowerforum.com
I went there for a part for an old Ariens. The site is set up by manufacturer/model, so it's pretty good.
You need the numbers(Model/Serial) to navigate the site.

Also, you might find a part in 'snowblower heaven', if you have a local 'boneyard'. There are a couple listed on that site.

DIY fix: Make a chute by cutting an old tire, and fabricating the mounts to the rotating thinghy.
P.S. Only if the rest of the machine is worth saving.
Good luck!
D-frost
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Chubby
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Coal Size/Type: nut/Reading anthracite
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Re: Craftsman Snowblower Plastic Chute.......DIY?

PostBy: Crow Horse On: Sun Feb 23, 2014 10:35 am

Thanks for the link AND the tire idea!!
Crow Horse
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Golden Flame
Coal Size/Type: chestnut
Other Heating: kero

Re: Craftsman Snowblower Plastic Chute.......DIY?

PostBy: coalvet On: Sun Feb 23, 2014 10:55 am

I have the same machine with the same problem until I did this. Just three pieces of rigid galvanized strapping and some 1/4x20 bolts with locking nuts(very important). This has worked for the last four years without any problems. :D
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coalvet
 
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Re: Craftsman Snowblower Plastic Chute.......DIY?

PostBy: Crow Horse On: Sun Feb 23, 2014 11:26 am

coalvet wrote:I have the same machine with the same problem until I did this. Just three pieces of rigid galvanized strapping and some 1/4x20 bolts with locking nuts(very important). This has worked for the last four years without any problems. :D


OUTSTANDING!!!!!! I'm going to jump right into this!!!! Thank you!!!!!!
Crow Horse
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Golden Flame
Coal Size/Type: chestnut
Other Heating: kero

Re: Craftsman Snowblower Plastic Chute.......DIY?

PostBy: Crow Horse On: Sun Feb 23, 2014 3:11 pm

Got it done... The only issue is that in turning the chute there is more resistance than before. I'm guessing that the aluminum distorts the chute which in turn distorts the geared ring it mates to. After I identify the culprit and correct it, I'll bring the pieces to work to powder coat them......
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Crow Horse
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Golden Flame
Coal Size/Type: chestnut
Other Heating: kero

Re: Craftsman Snowblower Plastic Chute.......DIY?

PostBy: Dennis On: Sun Feb 23, 2014 4:27 pm

I have the same snowblower also.I have a stone driveway and the stones beat the hell out of the machine.After the first time using I put adjustable lawnmower wheels on the front and keep the scraper blsde up about 1" above the stones and it's worked for 8 years now,except this year I picked up a larger rock and wedged in the auger and sheared the brass worm gear,all is now fixed.
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Dennis
 
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Re: Craftsman Snowblower Plastic Chute.......DIY?

PostBy: NJJoe On: Sun Feb 23, 2014 4:43 pm

Hey Dennis, great mod! How do those wheels perform when the snow is deep? I can;t really tell but is the weight of the snowblower riding on those wheels and the skid plate no longer used anymore? Adjustable height too!
NJJoe
 

Re: Craftsman Snowblower Plastic Chute.......DIY?

PostBy: NJJoe On: Sun Feb 23, 2014 4:45 pm

coalvet wrote:I have the same machine with the same problem until I did this. Just three pieces of rigid galvanized strapping and some 1/4x20 bolts with locking nuts(very important). This has worked for the last four years without any problems. :D


:idea: Going to have to do this. Thumbsup
NJJoe
 

Re: Craftsman Snowblower Plastic Chute.......DIY?

PostBy: D-frost On: Sun Feb 23, 2014 4:56 pm

WOW! Not only experts in coal, but snowblower repair too! Great job guys.

Ahh..........how are you at picking lottery numbers????????
D-frost
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Chubby
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Yukon Eagle I (multi-fuel oil, wood/coal)
Coal Size/Type: nut/Reading anthracite
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