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Thread: 19 year snow blower dead - I don't think anything new will last as long

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
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    3,971

    19 year snow blower dead - I don't think anything new will last as long

    My 19 year old Troy-Bilt snow blower is dead. A bearing support for the auger broke and no longer available. This was one of the last units made before Gardenway went bankrupt. This is not an MTD. This thing is a tank. It broke a few years back and the hardware store I bought it from said to spend $500 on repairs instead of a new one as it is made better than today's units. (It did not cost $500 to fix that time.) The engine starts on the first pull every time.

    I'm not happy that it is dead simply due to a $30 or $40 part.

    I think the only snow blower that will last as long is the Honda and I don't want to spend $2,000 on a snow blower. I think I spent at most $800 on mine in December 2000. The bad part is it is supposed to snow overnight and I have no way to remove the snow from my 175 foot driveway other than a shovel. Ariens would probably be my choice today, but they still have a Chinese engine. I have a feeling the engine will be the first thing to go.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    E TN, near Knoxville
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    8,766
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Elfert View Post
    ... A bearing support for the auger broke and no longer available.
    Probably not enough time before the snow and I don't know what the bearing support looks like, but is it possible to repair by welding or machining a replacement? Here on farm I tend to repair rather than replace.

    Lacking that, could your existing engine be adapted to the new snowblower when that engine dies? I've never looked at a snowblower but I know it's usually not difficult to adapt an engine to a different lawn mower.

    Living in TN I've never used a snow blower. I guess I'm missing out on one of the joys of life, eh? Growing up in PA we had plenty of snow but everyone I knew used shovels or a plow. I have "fond" memories of helping shoveling the driveway out after a nearly 3' snow. It took days.

    JKJ

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Peshtigo,WI
    Posts
    827
    Sorry to hear about your breakdown. I wonder if you might find the part you need on eBay, if not could you possibly have one made?

    For the interim, could you have someone plow your drive? Around here a lot of the landscape/lawn service businesses will do snow removal in the winter.
    Confidence: The feeling you experience before you fully understand the situation

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Yorktown, VA
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    2,540
    How about some pictures. Maybe someone will see another solution.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Cincinnati Ohio
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    4,481
    I am not as far north of you (Cincinnati) But I have a Toro electric and love it. Had it for about 10 years.

    "Remember back in the day, when things were made by hand, and people took pride in their work?"
    - Rick Dale

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Modesto, CA, USA
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    3,356
    The Southern Pacific Railroad, which knows something about rotary plows, uses a diesel electric to drive the blades but it still has a steam boiler that runs to heating pipes to keep the moving parts from freezing up. That includes the fan bearings.
    2-3,000 horsepower for the fan.
    6,000 horsepower plus for the pusher locomotives. At least two pushers are used, more for deeper snow.
    Bill D.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RjBQ3MaBYiU

  7. #7
    I feel for ya. I've got the old man's MTD from the mid 90s. I keep resurrecting it because it will take a least a grand to replace it. Mostly it has only needed relatively common engine parts, no model-specific drive train parts yet. Fortunately they have lowered the forecast closer to 2 - 4 inches for us now.

    If it makes you feel better, the Chinese have gotten annoyingly good at making stuff these days.

  8. #8
    What will "go" first will be the fuel line and the primer tube if so equipped, which will likely guck up the carb's fuel bowl, IF you use gas with ethanol... Sure fire fix for all that is to find some ethanol free gasoline and use ONLY that.

    Winter of '71 when I was in high school, a huge storm was coming in, so my dad bought an Atlas snowblower. Single stage, just the main auger spinning at ludicrous speed, and it picked up the snow and threw it. One snowy day in '84 I hit a railroad spike my stepson left on the driveway. Wouldn't start, found out the sudden stop sheared the flywheel woodruff key. New key, ran great again. Around '95 it wouldn't start after sitting for the summer. After 24 years I figured I was due for a new one, gave the old one to my neighbor. He drained the gas and cleaned out the float bowl, put in new gas and it fired right up... I bought me a new MTD.. about 4 years ago I gave IT to my brother in law, there was nothing wrong with it other than it wouldn't quite sling snow from one edge of my 4-across driveway to the other, so I picked up a 3-stage Cub Cadet, which does
    My BIL is still using the MTD and as of when we moved out in '06 the neighbor was still using the Atlas, for all I know it's still going..

    I wouldn't worry too much about a new one breaking down

    That all said, I'm with John, you can probably have your part fixed, or a metal shop would probably fab you a new one for $100 or two...
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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    How hard have you looked for the part?

    Someone other than Troy Built may have NOS or have parts from other sources.

    Try > Troy-Bilt snowblower auger bearing support <

    If you have a part number, even better.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Lafayette, IN
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    4,323
    Sounds to me like a 175' driveway in MN is probably not the situation to be going cheap on snow removal equipment. $800 in 2000 is probably not too far from $2000 today. You guys get some big snows on a regular basis up there. You want something that can handle it--maybe find out what the pros use and where they shop. I bet it's not Lowe's/HD/Menard's.
    Jason

    "Don't get stuck on stupid." --Lt. Gen. Russel Honore


  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Minnesota
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    252
    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Seemann View Post
    I feel for ya. I've got the old man's MTD from the mid 90s. I keep resurrecting it because it will take a least a grand to replace it. Mostly it has only needed relatively common engine parts, no model-specific drive train parts yet. Fortunately they have lowered the forecast closer to 2 - 4 inches for us now.

    If it makes you feel better, the Chinese have gotten annoyingly good at making stuff these days.
    I bought a 24" Ariens with the 208cc Chinese LCT engine 9 years ago. I run non-oxy gas, change the oil and plug yearly, and haven't had a single issue. I think these days, if you do your maintenance, most of these things will run fine.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Dufour View Post
    The Southern Pacific Railroad, which knows something about rotary plows, uses a diesel electric to drive the blades but it still has a steam boiler that runs to heating pipes to keep the moving parts from freezing up. That includes the fan bearings.
    2-3,000 horsepower for the fan.
    6,000 horsepower plus for the pusher locomotives. At least two pushers are used, more for deeper snow.
    Bill D.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RjBQ3MaBYiU
    Neat video Bill!
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
    - Sir Edmund Burke

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    3,971
    I have looked all over online for the part and no go yet. MTD has the part list with a Buy Now button, but clicking the button says not available. I think I might be able to replace with a flange bearing. The question is how much time and money do I spend on something 19 years old? What if something else breaks that is definitely not fixable?

    $800 in 2000 is only $1,200 today. I donít know for sure that I even spent $800 on it.

  14. #14
    Just curious as to why you put 2 identical posts up.... one at 10:34 pm and one at 10:47 pm?

  15. #15
    My Simplicity snowblower is well built with no plastic parts other than the fuel tank. It starts on the first pull and throws heavy wet snow25+ feet and rarely if ever clogs. I live in snow country in northwester PA so it sees a lot of use.
    1696920_83197_1000.png
    Last edited by Lee Schierer; 12-09-2019 at 9:46 AM.
    Lee Schierer
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