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Discussion Starter #1
So now that I have my new Snowcaster I figure it will be a good place to try my hand at restoration. Mechanically everything appears sound but I have some rust that will limit its capabilities. I plan to take it entirely apart, sand, prime and plaint.
I would also like to add in some wheels or skis for my gravel driveway and some of those rubber flaps to increase the throw.
My first steps for this weekend will be to build a separate island bench for the project and unbolt everything I can spin/twist/pull.
I will take lots of pictures as I go but would appreciate tips and advice too.
 

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I will take lots of pictures as I go but would appreciate tips and advice too.
Make sure you have the correct parts diagram before you start. I was surprised at how many pieces of mine were replaced over the years with the wrong thing.
Don't even bother trying to save/reuse the nuts and bolts. Toss 'em and buy new. The gas you spend in making two unplanned trips to the harware store is more than you'll spend replacing them in the first place.
Look very closely for stress cracks where the chute is welded to the ring. Easy to weld while it's bare. A big annoyance when you don't discover them until after it is painted.
Do NOT paint the pin the idler arm bushing sits on. I had to hand sand mine clean to get the bushing to go on. (It was 11:00 at night and snowing like crazy and it's still in pieces on the basement floor and I had to use it in the morning. I was not happy.)
Most important: At the bottom of the bucket, look where the bucket is welded to the bottom piece the blade bolts to. There is probably not a continuous bead all the way across. At the places where it is only butted moisture can get in. I had severe corrosion underneath that couldn't be seen until I started grinding down to clean metal and went all the way through. Lots of weld to fill it all in afterwards. Once it was all completed and primed, I filled in from the back with auto body caulk. The front was done (before priming) with PC-7. I'm happy to see that it still looks great after a year.

I also used the PC-7 to fill in the tiny pits that sandblasting cleaned out in the bucket. It has held up perfectly, but it is tough to work with compared to body filler.

I had a thread on this but it's been archived so the pics are gone. Yours looks like it is in a lot better shape to start with than mine was so it'll probably go a bit easier.
Good Luck.
 

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There are actually just a few parts to dis-assemble the snowcaster completely. It should be quick & easy. The jackshaft assembly can be a PIA to get apart because of rust, so if the bearings appear to be good and the small sprocket is not worn bad, then you may want to leave it alone but that would be your call. I prefer to sandblast everything but a 4-1/2" grinder with a cup wire wheel will get most of it. Pay special attention to the auger bearings for wear because they are generally the #1 item to fail.

:fing32:
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Made some headway dismantling tonight. I was on baby duty so I didnt set up the saws for the new bench for noise reasons. I did get most of the way done dismantling though. Here are some pics.
Also Bill, Thanks for the tips. I was thinking I might go overboard and replace all the bolts with stainless. You think it would be worth it?
 

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I don't think it can hurt! I didn't, but I used Weather-Pruf on all of them after assembly.
 

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I am right in the middle of this same project....I got a 48" blower for $140 and decided to replace all the bearings chain and do a restore and repaint, I am gonna scrape mine and use some POR15 on it then spray it...the bearings will set you back about $100 and the chain you can get from Tractor Supply. I am still working on mine too...the edge at the bottom of yours appears to be in much better shape, I have a buddy who recommends making my 'edge' out of stainless so that should be better than stock. Hopefully we can adjust the auger to less than 1/2" of the housing, if we can do it then there will no need for the 'rubber lip' but we will see.

I had to cut my drive shaft the one with the little sprocket on it to get it out, now I gotta re weld it so, just another thing in the day of a snowcaster, I may powdercoat the pulley and shaft before I reassemble it...GL and I am following this thread...:trink39:
 

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Good luck with your project and please keep posting the process for us. slkpk
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Haven't had much time to play today. I had to get the '72 ready for the parade tomorrow and was on baby duty. Maybe I will dig in some tonight after he goes to bed.
While I have it apart is there anything I can do to ensure the impeller bearings last through the winter. The wife is already after me for all the little expenses of my new hobby and new bearings would send her over the edge lol.
Also what is this POR15 stuff. They have a number of products. Should I get the self etching primer or another version. Also is this carried at any local shops like Tractor Supply.
I am new to this style of painting. As a carpenter it is prep, prime, touch up prep, 2 top coats. How should I go about painting the caster? I know I need to get it relatively clean with my grinder, but what are the best steps after that.
 

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I could have sworn last night on that Rick's Restorations show they were restoring an antique 60 gallon fuel caddy and they painted the inside of the tank with POR-15. He said it was the best stuff in the world for coating fuel tanks and preserving metal. I couldn't find in their website where it said it was impervious to fuels but possibly it is ???? Anyway, it sure is good stuff for rust prevention ....

:fing32:
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I definitely plan on following the advice you guys give. Just so I understand what is the purpose of the POR 15?

My original plan was to get everything as clean as I can. Spray with a rattle can of primer, then a few rattle cans of paint. Is the POR 15 in place of the primer or a new step before? Also I saw some mention of elf etching primer. Does this go on after the POR 15 and should I use that as opposed to regular hardware store primer?

Thanks guys.
 

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The wife is already after me for all the little expenses of my new hobby and new bearings would send her over the edge lol.
Also what is this POR15 stuff. .
If bearings are pushing her "over the edge" wait till she she sees the price of POR-15. She`ll push YOU over the edge.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
I think this might be a phase 1 restore project. Just a tune up and basic coat of paint so the snow caster is ready for the winter. I know that bearings and a heavy duty paint job would be the best way to go, but that might have to wait until I have a little more experience under my belt and another stash of extra cash built up.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Here are some pics of a little more progress. I was able to sneak out of the office for a few while the little man was napping.

The first is the body of the caster stripped of everything except the shaft (the amount of rust on the little sleeves that hold it place makes me think I should let it be for now as it all spins perfect) and powerwashed

The second is my little box of disasembled parts after a nice long vinegar bath. I am amazed at how well a cheap bottle of vinegar can strip rust.

The third is what may be the chosen final weapons for the project. Given my timeframe and budget there isnt room for too much more than these. Let me know if there is anything seriously wrong with these paints though. So long as they last 2-3 years I will be happy
 

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I'm skeptical of engine enamel. I'm no paint guy either, but engine enamels use heat to cure. Unless you're going to bake this when you're done, it may not set up properly.

I used that exact paint on a cylinder head, and following the directions were either oven temperatures, or start engine to for certain time, then stop for certain time, the start again for certain time to reach another temperature, then let stand again to cure.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks for the heads up Dave. I just went down to the garage to double check. The label does not say anything about baking the paint. Just Dry in 1 hour and can be assembled in 3.
That would have been bad.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Now that I have dissembled as far as I want to go I am going to start working on the extension wings and wheels while I practice prep and painting on some of the smaller parts.

I had read elsewhere on the forum that the wings had been discontinued and a few members were thinking about producing them. Did anyone ever really get into this or is there a file with dimensions somewhere?

Also I am planning to mount the wheel in place of the skids and have them protected by the wings. Does anyone have any experience with these modifications or advice?
 

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Also I am planning to mount the wheel in place of the skids and have them protected by the wings. Does anyone have any experience with these modifications or advice?
I'm just thinking out loud, but I wonder if "wheels" would work, due to strain on housing? not a lot of meat there. Over the years I have found more driveway damage is done by spinning the wheel chains due to (not working with the storm) than the skids.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Im not too worried about digging up the gravel in the driveway. That is just more spring fun with the plow blade:fing32:
My biggest concern is damage to the snowcaster from picking up the gravel. I am out in the middle of the woods so I don't really have to worry about throwing gravel on the lawn or at other houses.
My thought was that either wheels or beefy skids would do a better job of keeping the caster just above the uneven loose gravel and save the auger from wear and tear.
Again I might be over thinking this, but want to make sure I as close to 100% ready for winter in the next few weeks. I have my second son on the way in early novemeber and dont anticipate I will have much time for tweaking and playing over the winter.
 

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Im not too worried about digging up the gravel in the driveway. That is just more spring fun with the plow blade:fing32:
My biggest concern is damage to the snowcaster from picking up the gravel. I am out in the middle of the woods so I don't really have to worry about throwing gravel on the lawn or at other houses.
My thought was that either wheels or beefy skids would do a better job of keeping the caster just above the uneven loose gravel and save the auger from wear and tear.
Again I might be over thinking this, but want to make sure I as close to 100% ready for winter in the next few weeks. I have my second son on the way in early novemeber and dont anticipate I will have much time for tweaking and playing over the winter.
Most of us* with your type driveway have learned to drive over the snow when only about 1" deep, this will give a nice buffer when you plow/blow the rest of it later, only down side is you won't be down to "pavement".

* I too I'm in the woods with 500'+ road and about 5000 sq foot parking area and have been doing it this way for years.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Great tip. So once I get my first inch of snow I fire up the tractor and do a few victor laps. Then once I get a little more accumulation I can head out and let the caster float. Just the tip I was looking for.
As I mentioned earlier I want to keep this as simple yet effective as I can given the limited time frame.
Maybe I will just beef up the skids a little. They are not stock and had an additional bolt hole drilled into the body of the caster since they were much shorter. Maybe I can find a stock set on ebay or something.
 
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