Here is the thread that Wooly talk about.I had the same 44 blower, and in the winter, I was always nervous that those "teeth" were going to break off. I think there is another thread here somewhere that dealt with lubricating that chute to decrease the problem. Maybe it was one of Stladrill's threads with the broken teeth? IMHO, seems like an el cheapo design by JD.
http://www.deere.com/en_US/homeowners/media/pdfs/WarrantyUS.pdfDo the snow blowers come with any kind of a warranty?
Seems that every thing now days is so darn cheaply made.