The snow is finally gone up here in Wisconsin so it’s time to put away my snowblower. You may have already stored yours, but read this article and watch the video anyway.
DonyBoy put together a good video for storing your snow blower. You can watch it at the end of this article. He goes through all the steps so the engine is ready to run next fall. I am going to suggest a few more steps to getting your snow thrower put away though and having it ready to go next winter.
Auger, Blower, Housings
You might as well get your machine ready for next fall. It is easier to find the parts and install them now than to wait until the snow is on the ground again. Get out your manual (you can find a copy of your Craftsman manual at managemylife.com)
1. Check all the cables for wear. Replace any that are frayed.
2. Inspect the skid shoes. Turn them over if you have reverseable ones or get new ones if they are starting to wear.
3. Check the scraper. The wear should be even across the entire bar. If it wearing on one side readjust your skid shoes and check the inflation in your tires. If it is worn, remove it, turn and turn it over, and reinstall. If you have one that is not reverseable order a new one.
4. Remove the shear pins from the auger. Check to see if the auger spins freely on the shaft with the pins out. If the auger has grease jerks pump grease into them until the grease comes out the ends of the auger. If there is no grease jerks spray some lube in and around the auger. Spin the auger to evenly coat the shaft. Check the shear pins to make sure they are not ready to break and reinstall them.
5. Look inside the auger and blower housings. You may see bare metal areas where the snow has worn the paint off. You will want to protect those areas so they don’t rust. Lightly sand these areas and spray them with Rustoleum paint. Instead of paint I use a chain lube that comes in an aeresol can.
1. Remove the belt cover from the center of the snow blower. Check to see if the belts are frayed on the edges. Check to see of they are glazed. (hard and shiny on the side) Replace them if any of these conditions exist.
Have someone push the levers on the handle down and check for proper tension on the belts. Your manual will show you the proper tension. If you have an older blower like mine you can adjust the tension by moving the idler pulleys. The newer machines…just replace the belts.
2. If you thought your snow blower would not push through the snow, change the drive belt.
3. If you thought your snow blower did not throw snow as far as it should, change the blower/auger belt.
If you don’t have spare belts hanging in your garage, order new ones so you have them next winter in case your break one.
Tires and Traction Drive:
Check the pressure in the tires. They both need to be the same for the snow blower to go in a straight line.
Check for cracks and checks in the tire. Replace BOTH tires if one is bad (so it drives evenly)
Tip the snowblower up on the front auger housing so that the back of the snowblower is pointed straight up. Remove the transmission cover and look inside the transmission.
Use spray chain lube to coat the moving/sliding parts inside the trans. DO NOT spray the big round disk and the rubber tire (wheel with a rubber edge) These are parts 210 and 221 in the diagram above.
Replace the cover and set it back down.
Change the oil.
In the video he shows you red StaBil. I also highly recommend the blue Stabil. The Blue is designed for marine use and helps keep the water out of the ethanol fuels.
Myself, I use Sea Foam. Both the liquid and the spray. Instead of the StaBil I use the liquid Sea Foam for a fuel stabilizer and the spray instead of the storage spray he shows in the video.
In the video he states one way to store your motor is to run it out of fuel but if you live an an area of the country that uses ethanol I highly recommend you put twice the recommended amount of Sea Foam in the gas tank and then run the engine for about 5 minutes or until it stalls out. Yes, it may smoke and smell bad when running. Leave the gas tank FULL.
Spray the inside of the engine like he shows you in the video.
Do all these steps and your snow blower will be ready to go this fall.