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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
JD 54" Snowblower Chute rotation modification

I love mt X748 with the 54" snowblower and WE but have not liked that the chute only rotates 90 degrees each direction from pointing forward. It really limits where you can put the snow.

I found this thread http://www.tractorbynet.com/forums/j...ation-mod.html that talks about it and linked to another thread on it. This picture was part of that thread.



I started with the same two holes. You can see light coming through them below the middle pulley.


I modified this modification a little. Instead of using two slightly longer 1/8" cables I used one double length + some extra piece. This meant I did not need to crimp on sleeves or have a swag tool. I ran the cable through the two holes and left equal amounts of it on each side (like lacing a boot).



and from the underside.


I ran the cables in the pulleys not on the bushing as the borrowed 1st picture above shows. The cable was a little short so I attached them to the closer mount instead of crossing to the farther one.


Now it turns further than before. This photo was before an adjustment that took some of the shack out of the cable. You do not want things tight though or it will bind.


and the other way






You might have noticed a different that one of the chute hold downs has a different bolt/washer than stock. The following two photos are what I found when I touched the original bold and the head fell off. I used vise grips from below to turn it out. I'll get one from the dealer next time I'm there. The other bolt was sooo tight they must have been tightened with an impact driver.




I lubed everything up well before closing it up. I will check it out after a few uses and again as needed. I have 50' of cable so can replace it as often as needed if it wears the cable faster than normal.
 

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That is a great mod. Well done!! And thanks for showing how you did it.

Is the rotation amount different between the 54 and the 47 blowers? I thought they were more than 180 degrees, but maybe I'm thinking of the Bercos. Makes you wonder, if it is so easy to increase the arc of rotation, why doesn't JD just build them that way in the first place?

That is amazing about those bolts. Either they were defective or they WAY over-torqued them.
 

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Nice Job. So far I havn't had the need to throw the snow at that kind of angle but who knows, maybe I'll need that in the future. The weather is so bad and the wind is so wicked right now, i tried to blow but can't get the traction without chains.:banghead3 The're on the way but when ???? also need a weight bar , have the suitcase weights but my bar went to the son with the Ariens tractors, ( 3 point hitch bracket) which i don't have on this tractor.:crybaby: oh well Hopefully this week:fing20: Take care and be safe.
Jerry in Wisconsin
 

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Nice job and thanks for the pics. As I said before, my 47 does rotate more than 180 degs. And I had the same problem with the same bolts when I got my blower in 2007. The dealer gave me enough new bolts (different than the ones that broke) to replace all of them. When 1 broke, I checked the others and a couple more broke. I replaced them all, and haven't had a problem since.:fing32:
 

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POENY,

As I stated in the other thread, I had problems with my attempt at this modification.

As Dale1995 posted on the tractorbynet forum, my center pulley/bracket/bolt bent. This caused the the tracking of the pulleys to be askew and the cable would not track correctly. The left side of the cable rack had the cable wedged between the bracket and the pulley. This pulley had a small chunk missing, likely caused by the added stress. The pulley on the right side was actually split in two. The spot weld had popped. This was likely caused by the added stress, again.

I did not have time to completely disassemble and evaluate everything, but I will soon. I am thinking that I may have to allow more slack in the cables. This mod really is very convenient and I am reluctant to go back to stock. I really recommend that you keep a watchful eye on this mechanism. At first glance, this mechanism should not take hardly any force to operate. The stress in my thrower likely is being caused by cable binding.

As it turned out, my other blower broke a cable on the chute rotator, so I pillaged the cable from the single stage to at least get one machine back in action. This cable break was by age and a bit of corrosion. Just another thing to add to my pre-season maintainace list:fing32:
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I did see some issues with those that had the cables too tight and the one running on the bushing. I'll pull it apart after the 1st real use and give it a look. I thought about getting different pulleys to replace the ones at each end (maybe center too). They would be thinner so I could run two of them stacked and have one for each cable.

Were your cables/pulleys well lubed?
 

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POENY,

Like you, I was thinking adding two pulleys on each axle. I believing trying to source thinner pulleys may prove difficult. I may look into stacking the John Deere pulleys (#20), and then adding spacers to each side of the hydraulic shaft. This would require longer bolts, as well. I am almost certain there is enough room for this to fit under the cover.

I just checked JDParts, this idea will cost me nearly $170!:thSick:
I may have to look for another source!
 

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POENY,

Like you, I was thinking adding two pulleys on each axle. I believing trying to source thinner pulleys may prove difficult. I may look into stacking the John Deere pulleys (#20), and then adding spacers to each side of the hydraulic shaft. This would require longer bolts, as well. I am almost certain there is enough room for this to fit under the cover.

I just checked JDParts, this idea will cost me nearly $170!:thSick:
I may have to look for another source!
Good lord don't do that yet. That is expensive. I was looking at < $10 per pulley plus a little for the right sized bushings. I think it could work.

I went out tonight to move things around and played with the control again. It seems very smooth to operate as it is. I did have the cover on so can't really see what is going on now. It will have to wait for some real snow and some real work to know for sure. I know I really want (well I think need) to have the extra rotation for good hassle free snowblowing.

BTW - I wish I could change the name of this thread from "JD 54" Snowblower Chute rotator modification" to "JD 54" Snowblower Chute rotation modification". A simple typo early on makes it look quite special...:trink39:
 

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Update:

While surfing the web tonight, I came across a pic of an "old style" 47 from a 420/430. This blower has stacked pulleys. Here is the webpage: http://www.weekendfreedommachines.com/discus/messages/17/116246.html?1292200680#POST127661

I checked JDParts, and the cost for 6 pulleys, 3 bushings and 3 spacers (sandwiched in between pulleys) is $56.46!

I will keep you all informed on the direction I choose to go.

POENY, this mod is worthwhile. I do a lot of 10ft wide shotgun driveways. These drives dictate that i drive straight up to the garage door. Having more rotation gives more options to place the snow. I want this to work, but not at the cost of damaging the mechanism time after time.
 

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Re: JD 54" Snowblower Chute rotation modification

POENY,

I was looking at this again, and thinking it would be a good idea to buffer the cable where it loops under in the photo below. I think as it is now, it will "work" a small amount and gradually chafe the metal and/or the cable. All you'd need is a small, tapered, piece of plastic or wood, with a groove for the cable, to wedge in place there under the loop. That should stabilize it and keep the cable at a better angle where it passes through the holes. Just a suggestion...

and from the underside.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Re: JD 54" Snowblower Chute rotation modification

POENY,

I was looking at this again, and thinking it would be a good idea to buffer the cable where it loops under in the photo below. I think as it is now, it will "work" a small amount and gradually chafe the metal and/or the cable. All you'd need is a small, tapered, piece of plastic or wood, with a groove for the cable, to wedge in place there under the loop. That should stabilize it and keep the cable at a better angle where it passes through the holes. Just a suggestion...
That sounds like a good and easy to implement idea. Thank you.

I thought of drilling two holes to mount a wire cable clamp to the snow blower next to the hydraulic cylinder. The wire would stay on top and just get clamped. I didn't have one with me and was anxious to see how things would work so took a shortcut...
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Update:

While surfing the web tonight, I came across a pic of an "old style" 47 from a 420/430. This blower has stacked pulleys. Here is the webpage: http://www.weekendfreedommachines.com/discus/messages/17/116246.html?1292200680#POST127661

I checked JDParts, and the cost for 6 pulleys, 3 bushings and 3 spacers (sandwiched in between pulleys) is $56.46!

I will keep you all informed on the direction I choose to go.

POENY, this mod is worthwhile. I do a lot of 10ft wide shotgun driveways. These drives dictate that i drive straight up to the garage door. Having more rotation gives more options to place the snow. I want this to work, but not at the cost of damaging the mechanism time after time.
That is interesting. It looks like the pulleys might be smaller diameter which would change the amount of cable movement and therefore rotation. Maybe that model blower had a longer traveling cylinder so smaller pulleys/sheaves worked. If this is true and larger diameter ones would fit it would be possible to run the cable the stock path and get a little more rotation. This would take less pulleys to do.

I'll have to do some measuring but it might take until the weekend to get a chance to look at it again. I think I will be testing things tonight as we have 4" of snow this morning and we may get a few more today/tonight.

How long did you have yours modified (or how many hours of use) before you had a problem?
 

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A chute that rotates 180 is just not enough. I could not agree more!

it is a shame you have to do all that rigging on a +10$K machine though!

come on deere wake up, do you ever use these things???




.
 

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A chute that rotates 180 is just not enough. I could not agree more!

it is a shame you have to do all that rigging on a +10$K machine though!

come on deere wake up, do you ever use these things???

.

I have no experience with it, but in theory I like the way Berco does it, with a geared system instead of pulleys. I wonder how well it works compared to the JD arrangement -- could be issues with icing? They claim 237 degrees rotation, which ought to be enough: Berco 48" Blower Specs

Hopefully JD will take note of these clever mods that folks like POENY are making, and make some adjustments to their own product.
 

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That is interesting. It looks like the pulleys might be smaller diameter which would change the amount of cable movement and therefore rotation. Maybe that model blower had a longer traveling cylinder so smaller pulleys/sheaves worked. If this is true and larger diameter ones would fit it would be possible to run the cable the stock path and get a little more rotation. This would take less pulleys to do.

I'll have to do some measuring but it might take until the weekend to get a chance to look at it again. I think I will be testing things tonight as we have 4" of snow this morning and we may get a few more today/tonight.

How long did you have yours modified (or how many hours of use) before you had a problem?
I ordered the parts this morning. I will have it back together on Wednesday evening. I plan to replace the grade 5 center pulley bolt with a grade 8 bolt. I am also considering fabricating a plate that this center bolt will fasten to. This plate will ride on top of the existing bracket and help to reinforce the bolt. The plate and bracket will be well lubed, to minimize friction. I sure hope these modifications will strengthen what failed yesterday. I do not believe I will have the app. 270 degree rotation as before. I will be content with around 220 degrees.

I compared the specs of the two cylinders. You are right; the old style cylinder has a 1/2" longer stroke. The pulleys that I ordered have a groove diameter of 1.26". The existing pulleys have a groove diameter of 1.70", according to my caliper. I hoped to achieve similar results as you with this change, but now I am not so sure.

The idea of putting larger diameter pulleys on would work in theory. But, there is not enough clearance to go larger than stock overall OD. As it is, less than 3/8" of clearance exists between the pulleys, when the cylinder is fully retracted (extended for a 47). I am not sure if you remember, but I am doing these modifications to a 46 single stage thrower, same mechanism. This mechanism sits behind the chute. The overall OD of the existing pulley is 2.625". A source for cheap pulleys may be garage door mechanisms. I will look into that, as I still need to mod my other blower. I want to get one blower sorted out; I do not need to have to unreliable test mules.

I had this mod set-up in use for two snow events, probably 12 hours of use total.

I also agree that you need to re-work the cable termination under the mechanism. I would like to suggest that you drill a larger diameter hole to allow a more gradual bend, on both the top and bottom of the steel plate. Also, my local hardware store will crimp the ferrels on the cables for free, or rent the clamping tool out for $5.00 a day. The cost of the ferrels are extra.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Well don't tell anyone but we had about 2.5" of snow in the driveway tonight and I thought it a good chance to escape the house and test thing out. Now it was 10 PM when I got started but better late than never.

The chute modification worked great! Wow does it make a difference at the end of the driveway and when approaching the garage door from straight on to be able to throw it back over your shoulder. Oh, the WE makes a lot of difference! I'll put a quick update over in that thread too.

Not enough work to open the cover and look at things but better than not getting out!

More as things progress.
 

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Keep us posted guys, I need to do this as well. What size and length are the cables used? Man I have been wishing for something like this. Never gave it a thought that it could be Just what the doctor ordered.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I used 1/8" cable. I'll provide updates as I learn more. Today I had 5"-6" of light stuff. It was very handy having the extra rotation ability.
 
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