Another often overlooked tip, Snowblower Maintenance-Friction Wheel and Traction Pulley requires you to inspect and clean the traction pulley and fiction wheel. These two parts are the key (transmission) or drive components that ensure your blower moves responsively to the gear selections you make.
Over time a build up rubber residue from the friction wheel making contact with traction pulley develops “skid marks” so to speak on the pulley. These skid marks cause the interaction between the pulley and wheel to become less and less effective as the build up increases each time the blower is used.
As a result the snowblower will seem as though it doesn't want to move or moves very slowly even though a high gear speed has been selected.
To do this procedure you will need small piece of plastic grocery bag (min. 6”x6”), a 5/16 wrench, a rag and a can of brake kleen. (an automotive spray product used by mechanics to clean brake parts that won’t leave any moisture or residue on metal parts)
First open gas cap and place the plastic over tank opening and then tighten gas cap back on. Next locate the fuel shut off located directly under the gas tank and make sure the valve is turned to the off position.
Once this is done you will need to tip the blower up so the front of the blower is flat on the ground and the handle/controls are pointing up towards the sky. (this may be difficult as snowblowers are heavy) if needed ask a friend or relative to help.
Facing the bottom of the blower you will notice 4 bolts on the bottom that need to be removed plus 4 on the side of the blower at the bottom as well. After removing all of the screws the belly pan will come off, exposing the inner workings of your snowblower, including the traction pulley and friction wheel.
You will easily be able to locate these two parts. First the traction pulley will be a large silver coloured metal circle facing you, once located the rubber friction wheel will be perpendicular to the traction pulley (almost touching the pulley).
Inspect the traction pulley for pits in the metal and the above mentioned “skid marks”. These marks normally form a circular pattern and are quite visible. Spray the brake kleen generously onto the traction pulley and then wipe it clean with a rag. It may take more than one spray to completely clean the pulley.
**Note: DO NOT SMOKE or use in an enclosed area** while performing the procedure as the brake kleen is extremely flammable.
To inspect the friction wheel a flash light may be helpful. While looking at the friction wheel closely, holding the flash light in one hand use your other hand and spin one of the blower tires slowly. (this will turn the friction wheel) You are looking to see if there are any cracks or breaks in the wheel and how far the friction wheel has worn. If the wheel is tread is extremely flat and there is little depth in the rubber part of the wheel then it should be changed.
To clean the friction wheel spray brake kleen on the wheel while spinning the tire. Once you've spun the friction wheel a couple of revolutions then take the rag and hold it tightly against the wheel and spin the tire again a couple of more revolutions.
These procedures will remove any built up residue and will provide your blower with much better “grip” or traction now and resulting in your blower moving more responsively to the gear selections you make.
Perform the tear down directions in reverse order to put the blower together again and return it to its’ proper position. (handles and controls parallel to the ground)
You should notice much better drive performance with your blower after completing Snowblower Maintenance-Friction Wheel and Traction Pulley.
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