Well, it has been a strange winter here in northern Wisconsin, very mild until mid Feb and then we got hammered. After the first significant snowfall I spent as much time fixing my snowblower as I did using it, thank goodness it’s spring. I averaged 2 main shear pins breaking during each snowfall, and at least 1 auger section shear pin, so I took a closer look, the impeller blade had sheared from its welds, since only 1 of the 3 welds was actually good enough to hold it, the other 2 weren’t even touching the blade just sitting close to it so it looked like it was welded. All in all 12 years of service with that crappy welding, I’m actually impressed, so was my friend Galen, he owns a metalfab shop, Minnesota Implements, he re-welded the impeller for me. Since it was apart I decided to check the stuff I can’t normally get to, the plastic parts that normally wear are fine, the stuff that should last forever was shot, the roller bearing sounded like someone walking on fortune cookies, the Lovejoy coupling needed a new spider and to be moved back into position, the grease in the 90° gear box is so stiff that I can barely move the shaft by hand. Now the small auger gear box just needed a quick shot of grease, I grease that gear box at the end of every season, but with general purpose grease, I was able to find some low temp grease for the grease gun, but this year it felt like the old grease was stiffer than usual, I gave it a couple extra squirts of the thin grease and it didn’t push passed the seals so either the old grease baked off or lost so much moisture that it shrunk inside the case, I’m betting on the latter.
I guess I’ll pull apart the 90° gear box, clean out the old grease and refill it with the low temp grease and see how it works next season, unless we get another April snowstorm, then I’ll just slap it back together and abuse it again.