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I have a couple 3000 Series Tractors set up with the 353 Blowers. They work very well, but I have learned a few things along the way that might not be obvious to first time users/potential buyers.

I will post some things, but hopefully others will also provide advise/tips here.

REMOVE the "Rod-Front Latch, PN 747-3336" BEFORE you install the front hitch at the start of the season. Makes it quite a bit easier to get the PTO coupler on and off of the front PTO splines (you can do it with it on, but easier with it off)

Hitch mount: The Large bolt (that allows the hitch to pivot when angling blade) NEEDS to go through the hole with the threads pointing down. I had noticed that the bolt would sometimes dig a small ditch in the ground so when I had one apart to check the wear on the bushings, I put the bolt in with the threads at the top. I discovered that the bolt now hits the bottom of the Gear Box (actually a chain inside, but CC calls it a gear box) and does not let the hitch fully engage with the blower so I had to flip the bolt to where it is pointing down.

Both of my Blowers tilt to the left. Have others noticed this?

I tried to adjust the tilt out by modifying the front hitch(this modification only works if you will NOT be using the angle function of the hitch) I'll post photos later, but even with my modification, the blowers both still tilt to the left. I have not blown snow with this modification which "takes the slop out" of the pivot point. Easy to undo the mod, and after I use the blower for a while I will evaluate to see if the mod is beneficial or not. I thought it would be nice to hold the blower more parallel to the ground when lifted, but having some "slop" may actually "be good" and let the blower follow the contour of the ground/pavement better and put less stress on the blower/hitch/tractor.

Carry extra shear bolts and 1/2" wrenches. Some days I don't break any, other days(other snow/ice conditions) I will break several.

The auger gearbox is apparently stronger than it looks. I bought a blower that was in very poor condition. I would not have purchased, but it was priced according to condition. One of the shear bolts had been replaced with a bolt that had 12 marks on the head of it, which is apparently a GRADE 9 OR HARDER. A bi-metal reciprocating blade did not put a scratch on it and I had to cut it with a cut off wheel on a grinder. The bolt had cut a groove into the tube that holds the auger, but the gearbox was still functional. I was very surprised that the gearbox was intact, but I DO not recommend using anything other than shear bolts designed for this use.

Discharge chute rotation: My chutes were hard to rotate, even with things lubed up and it took me a while to figure out why. (NOTE: it is easier to figure things out when it is not 10 degrees and everything is covered in snow and ice) Where "Chute Adapter, PN 731-1696B" attaches to the metal housing, the metal housing was bent outward(at the top) causing the Chute Adapter to be deformed. The deformation, caused friction and hard rotation. Once I got rid of the deformation, I can rotate it with 1 finger. My Chute Adapter was still deformed, even after I straightened the metal where it attached. I ended up making a small reinforcement plate that took the distortion out and it will hopefully prevent the metal from getting deformed as easily in the future.

I shortened the "Chute Crank Rod, PN 731-1696B about 1.5". Does not seem like a lot, but makes it significantly easier to get on and off the tractor when all bundled up.

I'll add some photos and additional comments later, but hopefully this will help some people out and get the discussion started.
 

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Ejl in Pa.
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Joelk I hadn't noticed a tilt to the left on my snowblower, but after reading your post I did a check and the left side is 5/8" lower than the right.
 

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I don't know if it's something about the 3000 series or just an issue with my GT but my 3240 leans to the left(drivers side). I have no idea why.
 

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I have worked on a number of the snowblowers for the 3000's and some with many hours on them. The front hitch really takes a beating and there many pivot points to wear and develop slop. My brother just gave me one to mount on my "helper" tractor that needs considerable TLC. I have a mill and lathe so I will make new bushings for all pivot points and insert some delrin blocks to replace what Cub Cadet calls "Stab Plates". Joelk's incite on the blowers is right on, I too have seen auger tubes cut in two by using to hard a bolt in place of shear bolts. One thing to pay attention to is the little rubber plug that is in the auger gear box. It is intended to be removed to add grease with a needle attachment on your grease gun, and then replaced. I have seen these left off, the gear box gets water in it and then freezes and breaks the case apart.

Bill
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I have worked on a number of the snowblowers for the 3000's and some with many hours on them. The front hitch really takes a beating and there many pivot points to wear and develop slop. My brother just gave me one to mount on my "helper" tractor that needs considerable TLC. I have a mill and lathe so I will make new bushings for all pivot points and insert some delrin blocks to replace what Cub Cadet calls "Stab Plates". Joelk's incite on the blowers is right on, I too have seen auger tubes cut in two by using to hard a bolt in place of shear bolts. One thing to pay attention to is the little rubber plug that is in the auger gear box. It is intended to be removed to add grease with a needle attachment on your grease gun, and then replaced. I have seen these left off, the gear box gets water in it and then freezes and breaks the case apart.

Bill
Bill,

I have several front hitches and one of them has a lot of wear. I got it from a guy that had bought it from a Snow Belt High School where it was used with a PA Blade. I think it was used a LOT more than a typical front hitch. It has a lot more wear than the hitches that I have that were used with just a blower.

My theory was that instead of using it with a plow, I would use the plow with a hitch from a blower with a lot less wear and use the "worn hitch" with a blower, thinking the blower would be more tolerant of the "slop" from the wear and that I could modify it to take most of the slop out if I was not using the angle function of the hitch.

I discovered that the slotted part of the "worn hitch"(top where blower pins go in) is worn so much that it will not let me easily use it with a snow blower. There are very close tolerances and approx. 1/8" of wear in the slots lets the bottom rear of the blower housing hit the top of the lower bar on the hitch, preventing it from letting the lower pins engage, unless I jostle things around.

I think that hitch will still work OK with a blade, but it has wear to the bushings and "Stab Plates". Since have several hitches, I will probably just keep it in reserve for now.

Please let me know what you end up using for replacement "Stab Plate" material (info on where to buy would be nice)

Regarding the hole in the top of the gearbox. I recently replaced the chain, bearings and seals in one of mine and filled it with Bentonite Grease https://www.mytractorforum.com/threads/353-snowblower-3000-series-gearbox-grease.1339685/#post-12367869

It seems that I overfilled it and because it was overfilled, it pushed out the rubber plug and a small amount of the grease the first time I ran it. Very light snow, not really enough to use the blower, but I wanted to test it out, so I used it. I suspect that it will push more grease out the next time that I run it for a longer time and/or work the blower harder.

Not sure what I will do regarding that hole. I might end up plugging the existing hole with a threaded metal plug and drilling another that would be oriented so that the opening points toward the ground and therefore will be less likely to let water in.

Do you think it would cause any harm to plug the hole and not have any way for the gear case to vent?

It might be hard on the seals, but the Bentonite Grease is very thick so I suspect that once the excess has pushed out it will still stay in the case pretty good, but???
 

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It's your equipment, but the problem with overly thick grease is it moves to the outer edge of the case and then the chain runs dry. Lubricant that flows back over the components is best. The gear case I was talking about is the one out front that changes the impeller direction to rotate the auger.

The front hitch for the 3000 series is really a solid system and making other attachments for it is pretty straight forward. I made a mount that a walk behind string trimmer fits into. I off-set it to just out side the left front wheel so you can trim along flower beds and other objects.

Bill
 

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Here's another issue on 3000 series snowblowers, the support arm for the chute controls cracks at the bolt hole closest to the tractor. I don't know if people use it as a handle to help them get on/off the tractor, but because of the length tremendous pressure is transferred to that bolt hole. It is a non-available part so they have to be repaired. Cub actually tried to strengthen this area by putting a second piece of smaller tube inside. It is then pressed flat on the back side and the holes drill into it. To repair, I grind the area clean, then v-cut the crack so I can get weld down to the inside tube. I TIG the crack closed and build up enough material to grind it smooth. Then I add a 7" long piece of 2" band iron to the flat side and weld it in place, then re-drill the bolt holes.

Bill
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