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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I started pulling apart the 38" blower that came with my 812.

Not precisely sure what model it is, I thought MA213, but the manuals for those show a blower with a different mount, and a chain drive for the chute. This appears to be part number 20981 as described in http://www.oldgravelys.net/pdf/44_38_Inch_Snowblower_Op_Man_0775.pdf

Got the beast into the shop. The manual say 250 lbs, and it felt like at least that :)

The overall condition is mostly decent. Structurally and mechanically it appears to be pretty good. There's quite a bit of rust, but these pieces are beefy enough that it's far from compromised. All the bearings feel smooth and tight, with the possible exception of one of the end bearings for the auger. Have to fiddle with that one and see if it's servicable.

The chute was jammed, but that turned out to be simply dirt and rust. A bit of working it freed it up.

I took off the handle and chute rotation mechanism. This is one place where the condition is worse; the shaft that the cable wraps around is badly rusted and pitted. It will need to be remachined.

While horsing around with that mechanism, I had the brainstorm of wouldn't it be cool to put an electric motor on there in place of the crank handle. I'll have to explore that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I started looking at the auger and impeller. Everything came apart pretty easily, with the exception of the little bolt which connects the u-joint to the auger gearbox. That's stuck in there good.

I ended up pulling the c clip off the splined shaft which holds the impeller in the main bearing and pulling the whole auger and impeller out as a unit.

I was surprised to discover that there's just that one bearing behind the impeller. Apparently the front gearbox is located well enough to hold that whole thing in alignment with only the one bearing.

Next I have to figure out how to get that bolt out. Not sure whether I can get the thing into the press or not. I may have to build a little jig to support it on the bench while I whack at it with a big hammer.
 

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The old style blower, the ma-213 is the one with the chain crank. For one year, Gravely made a left crank that was gear driven instead of chain driven. The following year they changed over to the right had crank with the cable drive. Some where in there they started going by a 5 digit number and the MA-2xx disapeared.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I spent some more time trying to get that bolt out, to get the u-joint off the front gearbox. It did not go well.

I set it up on a block with steel tube, with the end machined to go around the bolt head, and whacked at it with increasing-in-size hammers. That did nothing but further destroy the nut and the end of the bolt.

I took the auger sections off, and figured how to get it situated with a shorter section of tube as a cradle, in the press. The bolt didn't budge, but I completely flattened the end of it, and finally crushed my little cradle.

The friend who owns the shop was looking over my shoulder, and saying he thinks the only way to get it out is to heat it up enough to melt the rust. I'd just as soon avoid that, as I'd like not to destroy the u-joint and the seals and stuff in the gearbox, but it may come to that. Grumble.
 

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Looking good man! Keep up the good work!

Oddly enough, I just got the same blower today. I went down to Southern CT. to grab a couple QH mowing decks and came back with an entire truckload of goodies, including the same blower as yours. Conditon on the housing is similar to yours, as well as the crank and chute being sticky. I have no idea but I am tossing the idea around of retrofitting a QH cradle from a junk MA210 onto this pig.
 

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The shear bolt you are trying to press out is probably bent. I saw this happen on a post hole digger (much larger) but it makes it almost impossible to get the fastener out. We ended up drilling in from both ends (very carefully). You may want to try that to save your U-joints. The best thing would be if you had an end mill the right size to finish the bottom of the drilling. That's one problem that can occur if you try using a soft (grade 2) bolt for a shear pin: it can bend!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The shear bolt you are trying to press out is probably bent.
I'm pretty sure it's not a shear bolt, its function is just to hold that end of the u-joint in position. The shaft is splined. On the IPL it's number 22, just a regular 7/16 bolt.

But if it wasn't bent before, it surely is now :(

I've also considered drilling. I really don't like the idea of trying to get that thing apart with heat, I don't see a way to get it hot enough without frying the seals and stuff in the gearbox, and maybe cooking the u-joint too. During the week I'm going to noodle about whether it's possible to construct a jig to hold that thing secure so that I can get it into the milling machine and drill very precisely.

All part of the fun :)
 

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I think if you cut both ends flush and drill into it past the coupling on both sides you can then knock the coupling off then you can drive the rest of the bolt out of the shaft.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Just a silly question but does it have to come out?
Not silly :)

I considered leaving it in before I started all the banging and pressing. But part of my motivation for doing these projects is to "get it right". I like fiddling with machinery, and putting something back into the condition it was designed to be in provides a sense of satisfaction. Besides which, I can't count the times I've done half a job and discovered that I should have finished it while I had it open.

It's good fun. If I wasn't spending time doing this, I'd probably find some other way to get into trouble :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Yep, this thing's been neglected :(

After a liberal amount of penetrating oil, drilling, banging with drifts, and talking to it, I got the remains of the bolt out of the end of the u-joint. After that the shaft to the gearbox separated with little trouble.

Drained the gearbox oil. Hmmm. What there was of it was fairly cloudy, with some alarming lumps. Opened up the side of the gearbox, and boy was it sludgey in there. But after wiping the crud pretty much out, the mechanicals mostly didn't seem too terrible. There is evidence of corrosion in the surfaces where the auger shaft exits the sides of the box, but they're pretty smooth to the touch, I think that can be polished a bit and will be fine. The big bronze gear shows a little wear, but really not too bad. The worst is that there are a few places where there's nontrivial corrosion on the worm. That's no good; it'll for sure tear up the bronze gear if I put any power through it. I'm going to try to get some sort of tool in there and scrape it down and see if I polish the rest down to a surface I can live with. I guess if I can't I'll have to look for a replacement worm.

I continue to be amazed at the engineering that goes into these beasts. Needle bearings everywhere!
 

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Good job!!! Glad that you finally conquered that beast!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
You may be able to turn the bronze gear assembly around and utilize the other side of the teeth.
Yeah, I had the same thought. It appears to be cut symmetrically, and it's only held on there by a key, so ought to go on either way. I'll examine it more carefully when I get everything cleaned up for real.
 

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The shear bolt you are trying to press out is probably bent. I saw this happen on a post hole digger (much larger) but it makes it almost impossible to get the fastener out. We ended up drilling in from both ends (very carefully). You may want to try that to save your U-joints. The best thing would be if you had an end mill the right size to finish the bottom of the drilling. That's one problem that can occur if you try using a soft (grade 2) bolt for a shear pin: it can bend!
Wait till you use a Grade 8 or 9 bolt on an auger down here. They can play havoc getting out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
More.

Finished cleaning up the guts of the gearbox.

I looked some more at the worm. Used a wire wheel to (gently, mostly) scrape out the rust. I didn't try to grind out the pits, figured what matters is the finish, so used arkansas stones to smooth and polish the working faces of the worm. Seems like it might be usable, if not ideal. I plan to check availability of a replacement. It's part number 20696P1, in case Don's listening :)

BTW it looks like this worm gear was rolled, rather than cut. Anybody know what gravely's manufacturing process was? I don't see why this application would require a gear that's extra strong, but I suppose I shouldn't be surprised to find evidence that they overengineered stuff.

Cleaned up the auger shaft and bronze gear. They are not gorgeous, but are usable. All the needle bearings seem fine. The seals also seem fine, though I think I have some in stock to change them out. I think with new gaskets, new lube, and some fresh paint, I'll be good to go with the gearbox.

Started sandblasting the impeller. This is going to take some more work :)
 

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Gravely bug bit.
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More.

Finished cleaning up the guts of the gearbox.

I looked some more at the worm. Used a wire wheel to (gently, mostly) scrape out the rust. I didn't try to grind out the pits, figured what matters is the finish, so used arkansas stones to smooth and polish the working faces of the worm. Seems like it might be usable, if not ideal. I plan to check availability of a replacement. It's part number 20696P1, in case Don's listening :)

BTW it looks like this worm gear was rolled, rather than cut. Anybody know what gravely's manufacturing process was? I don't see why this application would require a gear that's extra strong, but I suppose I shouldn't be surprised to find evidence that they overengineered stuff.

Cleaned up the auger shaft and bronze gear. They are not gorgeous, but are usable. All the needle bearings seem fine. The seals also seem fine, though I think I have some in stock to change them out. I think with new gaskets, new lube, and some fresh paint, I'll be good to go with the gearbox.

Started sandblasting the impeller. This is going to take some more work :)
Me, listening? Not a chance.:lalala:

8/14/2010 Ariens Service Part Availability
7:21:38 PM
Part Number: 21132400 SHFT,SNOWBLOWER WORM Product ID: GRAVELY
Qty Required: 1 Qty Available: 0
List Price $: 183.90 USD

Discount Code: Stocking Code: 5 Service Status: X Standard Pack:

Location Available


You know what the X means.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
You know what the X means.
Yeah. S'awright, that's almost half what I paid for the tractor, blower, and deck. Yikes.

Well, ok, so it looks like I'll be putting this one back into service. Guess that hour spent polishing it wasn't in vain :)
 

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That qty 0! Does that mean unavailable? If so, does it mean never available again? Or just not right now? Is that the same gear used on all of that style blower, from the walkbehind to the big boy? Thanks Ed BTW nice job on the blower JRD, you always have great pictures and info in your posts, Thanks :thanku:
 
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