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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all. I recently purchased a 2004 GX345 that came with a 42 Snowblower (technically I think a snowthrower, but whatever) and I'm wondering if I'm installing it correctly. I don't have the manual and have a few questions.

Here's what I've done...

1. Removed the mower deck
2. Slide the frame of the blower under the tractor
3. Attached both sides of the rear of the blower to the frame (over the bushing\spacers) and installed the "C" shaped latches on both sides

Now for my first question. I think that the yokes are supposed to attach to the lift kit shaft flanges with pins, but when the blower is sitting on the wheels, the yokes aren't even close to being long enough to line up with holes in the flanges on the lift kit shaft. Even with the lift kit shaft rotated "down" or "forward" as much as I could move it by hand.

Didn't seem right, but I raised the blower up as much as possible by shimming in 2x4s and the alignment of the yoke holes to the holes in the lift kit flanges was still off by and inch or so. I can adjust the yokes some, but since this is a used unit and had previously been on the tractor, I figured they shouldn't need to be adjusted and maybe I'm doing something wrong?

So...Is it right to have to lift the front of the blower up to install it? Or should the yokes holes line up with the flange holes on the lift kit shaft with the blower sitting on it's wheels?

Also, I don't understand how the lift kit works? Prior to installing the blower I looked under the tractor while engaging the hydro lift up and down and the lift kit shaft didn't move at all. Only the mechanism that raises and lowers the mower moves. Is this right? Does the lift kit engage when there's weight applied to it (i.e when the blower is attached?)?

Thanks for any feedback!! I'm trying hard to get up and running before the first snow hits tonight\tomorrow here in Wisconsin!! Yikes!!

:thanku:
 

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not sure I understand all the queations but I can help.

NO you do not need to lift the blower to install it. On the blower arms should be two turnbuckles. Even with the "rolling" wheels REMOVED you do not need to lift the blower it should install just fine, (easier to move with wheels on but not needed) if not then the blower will never reach the ground. if you have to lift it to install, it means the blower is floating when in the down position, not right-

Do you know that this blower came off a 345, I am thinking the bolt that attaches to the turnbuckle may be too short, I just measured mine and they are: the bolt is 3" long, the turnbuckle is 2.75" and on mine the bolt is threaded into the TB with about 1" of threads showing through the TB.

I slide the blower under the tractor, install the back first, then lower the "raise mechanism" and insert the two pins and clips into the turnbuckles, put belt over PTO, move belt tensioner - Done.

The turn buckles are adjustable but only about 1.5"s. You want the blower to raise to max height, and U want the full weight of the blower on the ground when in the down position.

TIP: what is did do was widen the openings on the bars at the end where it attaches to the tractor, (a few nice taps with a heavy hammer made a nice wide starter point to slip the arms on) they are parallel from the factory, widening the ends makes it MUCH easier to slip on, I can get the blower on and off in under 5 mins!


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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the replies.

MXZRXP: The previous owner told me he bought the tractor and blower new at the same time, so yes I have to believe "once upon a time" it went on and came off the tractor.

I'll measure my bolts and turnbuckles when I get home. Like I said, it didn't seem right to have to raise the blower to install it. Good tip to "widen" the openings for easier mating of the blower to the tractor.

When you say...
lower the "raise mechanism" and insert the two pins and clips into the turnbuckles
does this mean that the front lift kit shaft rotates and lowers the flanges that are welded to it so that the turnbuckles and flange holes align? When I operate my hydro up and down, my lift kit shaft doesn't rotate. That's why I was wondering if it will with the blower attached (under load) or if that shaft should rotate without anything hooked to it? I can manually rotate it a few degrees and the linkage bar along the frame moves back and forth, but that's all it does.

Here's to wishing mine will only take 5 mins on and off once I get it figured out!

Thanks again!
 

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Make sure you turn your height control to zero, the black knob on the floor between your legs. I'm not sure if you did that when you took your mower off.
 

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I too agree with jim put the height adjustment to 0 to get full extension...

Just went out to check to be sure, and yes, even without the weight of the blower, my shaft rotates when the lever is moved forward and back... (engine running)


Hope it helps...


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I haven't put mine on yet, but it seems like I have to pull it down into the yoke. You should be able to move the plate up and down, maybe it's getting caught on something.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks guys!

I'll have to look at my lift kit linkage to see why it isn't moving when the hydro lever is operated. Maybe it is getting caught or catching on something???

Arghhh....And snow is on its way! Go figure!
 

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Arghhh....And snow is on its way! Go figure!
once U get it working properly, the Arghhh will go away. It actually becomes FUN to move snow with a tractor. Now you need a cab... :)



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While I'm thinking of it, you have to remove the front bumper, and there's a stabilizer bar that attaches to the front part of the frame.
 

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The "initial setup" of the yokes is the threads flush with the inside of the turnbuckle. +/- turns will give you more or less adjustment for following ground contours. Blower should set on the ground with a bit of slack in the lift @ this setting.

IF the lift kit attachment points are not rotating up with the hydraulic lift (with the height knob set to "0"), something is screwy with the linkage back to the mower lift. Sometimes you have to pull down a little bit on the arms to hook up (with the hydro lift all the way down), they will stick up in some situatuations.

With the lift and lift kit operating correctly, the arms will never stick in the "down" position because they "float". The linkage between the mower lift and the front lift kit is slotted giving only "UP" pressure. I'd check along that linkage between the F/lift arm and the mower lift. Pin may be out, etc. Front lift should move freely from the attachment height all the way up manually if all is well with the linkages.
 

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Is the stabilizer bar part of the tractor, included with the snowblower, or an accessory?
It should be included with the snowblower.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thank you all very much for your responses. I’m not sure what was going on last night, but tonight I unhooked everything, pulled the blower out from underneath the tractor, moved the tractor about 10 ft forward and then I manually rotated the lift shaft to the down position freely?? I could have sworn it was stuck in the up position last night and perhaps it was per jim335 & HydroHarold’s comments. I moved it forward on the garage floor, so I find it hard to believe that shook something loose, but I’m not going to complain.

Anyway, after rotating the shaft down I slid the blower back underneath and had everything hooked up in no time at all. Including the front stabilizer bar (thanks jim335!). The turnbuckles fit without any adjustment too!

Not really…but let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

:trink40:
 

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Glad you got 'er straightened out!!! Even grizzled ol' geezers like myself with eons of experience with my GX.... have forgotten to operate the lift lever forward to allow the front attach points to lower! Now, I'm NOT saying you might have accidently by some strange coincedence have done this... But it does happen after taking off the mower deck once in a while sometimes maybe.:D:D:D

"The turnbuckles fit without any adjustment too!"
IF you encounter dips in the driveway that are not getting scraped, you can let the turnbuckles off a little bit to allow the blower to drop a bit further. Just a small adjustment will give a larger distance of drop due to the leverage of the lift points vs. the rear pivot/attachment points. Just make sure you leave sufficient threads for strength. Of course this will reduce the amount of lift you can get in the full up position also...

NOW, how's yer belt alignment? Everything running straight down the center of the pullies? Proper belt tension? You don't want to pull a "HydroHarold" and burn off your belt in the first 1' of use in the very first storm due to misaligned idler pullies! I used (babied) that poor tattered belt anyway and made it through... BTW, there's 2 different belts for these GX applied blowers and you'll want to find the "heavy duty" one as a spare or change out the lesser one and use it for the spare.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks for the honest feedback HydroHarold. Some I'm sure aren't humble enough to admit mistakes.

I checked the belt alignment\tension and it seemed okay. However that said, how do you know if the alignment is good and also how do you adjust it if needed? The tension is pretty easy to figure out.

I haven't gotten a spare belt yet, but that's my next task.

BTW...As of early this morning here in West Central Wisconsin its snowing like mad. Huge wet flakes!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Speaking of getting a replacement belt. What's the consensus? Stick with JD belts or are others just as good? At one time I thought I had a cross reference chart for different manufactures, but I can't find it now.

What does everyone run?
 

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I would stick with the JD belts. Also I would keep about half dozen shear bolts on hand.
 
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