Craftsman snowblower lacks throwing power

My craftsman snow blower is about 5 years old. The last couple storms I've noticed that it is lacking power when it comes to throwing the snow through the shoot. It seems to clog a lot more then usual as well. I'm not sure if there is a belt that may be loose .if that's the case where is it and how do I access it?
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On Friday, February 7, 2014 11:45:10 PM UTC-5, Eddie wrote:

If you want to see how the blower drive works, go to Sears parts with the model #. They have exploded parts diagrams that show how it's put together.
IDK either, but there is definitely some kind of belt or clutch involved because the blower stops when you release the handle. My first suspect would be that a cable that probably connects the handle to the mechanism needs to be adjusted. You have the assembly instructions? Anything in there about that?
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On 2/7/2014 11:45 PM, Eddie wrote:

There is a belt. Not knowing if your have a single stage, two stage, or whatever, I have no idea where the belt is. Look for a shroud you can remove.
Find the manual and it probably tells you what you need to know.
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drive section and blower section of the blower are connected with 4 bolts. The bottom 2 pivot, the top 2 hold it together. You "break the back" of the blower to access the belts. Not a job for the mechanically timid and inept, but not a difficult job for the intrepid do-it-yourselfer.
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manual is likely online
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On Friday, February 7, 2014 10:45:10 PM UTC-6, Eddie wrote:

Usually a plastic cover on the belts and pulleys...after you remove the cov er look for an idler pulley/arm that moves when you engage the auger. You n eed to either change a worn belt(s), adjust the idler pulley further-in, or some have an elongation slot to move the position of the idler. (new belts will sit slightly above the diameter of a V-pulley)
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On 2/7/2014 11:45 PM, Eddie wrote:

Is you gas fresh and clean ? Have the last few snow storms been wet heavy snow? The heavy water laden stuff is tougher to move thru the machine. Are your shear pins in good shape? Are your control cables adjusted properly? Can you get max rpm out of the engine or is it running slow? Sometime spraying the inside of the chute with a lubricant can help. My snow thrower seems to throw snow farther if the machine is moving down the driveway faster.
Good luck.
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It throws farther when you move faster because you are feeding the impeller with more snow so there is less "slop" (air) around the snow at the impeller.
There are impeller kits that include a metal bracket and a rubber pad that can be attached to each impeller blade to close the gap between the blade and the impeller housing. DAGS for Clarence kit as one example. With less gap at the ends of the impeller blades, you will get more throwing power. That's basically what happens when you feed more snow into the impeller by moving faster.
There's not much more satisfying than a huge rooster tail coming from the chute. :-)
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First, just to keep the terminology straight, it's called a chute, not a shoot.
Second, it would help if we had a model number to refer too. What some people call "snow blowers" are actually "snow throwers". I'm not saying you used the wrong term, I'm just saying that we don't know what you have since we can't see the machine from where we're sitting.
So, assuming it's a two-stage snowblower, with an auger and an impeller, one quick check it to make sure both sides of the auger are turning. Either have someone look into the front end while the auger is engaged or strap the handle down and check it yourself. If one shear pin has broken only one side of the auger would be turning. Less input to the impeller, like when you're blowing 2" of snow as opposed to 8”, means less oomph to the throw.
You could also check for a broken shear pin by attempting to spin each side of the auger by hand with the machine off, although I would never recommend that you put your hand into the auger or impeller housing, regardless if the machine is running or not. That's your decision. If either of the augers spin freely with the machine off, you probably have a broken shear pin.
Another thing to check is to make sure the blades on the impeller are not cracked or bent, perhaps from a rock or chunk of ice. This can happen with plastic impellers.
AFAIK, most two stage snow blowers don't have belt for the impeller. The impeller is either pinned or welded to the shaft from the gear box on the auger axle. Via gear reduction, it spins much faster than the augers. That' sphere it's throwing power comes from. If the impeller pins are broken, the impeller won't spin except perhaps via friction. This could reduce the output. It could also be the gear box itself that is shot.
Again, if we had a model number we could offer specific advice or point you to the correct place for more information.
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On 2/8/2014 10:33 AM, DerbyDad03 wrote:

third, it's a moaner who doesn't realize it's not a web forum.
--
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Please explain how that's relevant to a snowblower that lacks throwing power.
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On Saturday, February 8, 2014 9:33:22 AM UTC-6, DerbyDad03 wrote:

I understand AFAIK, but you are way off base...most use belt(s) for the auger and a friction disc for variable drive speeds. Yes,there is a gearbox but that transfers power from fan/impeller to the auger.
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You are correct. I know what I meant, but that is certainly not what I typed.
I meant there isn't a dedicated belt for the impeller separate from the auger. It's the auger belt that drives both. My apologies to the OP if my response was misleading.
I wonder why they don't call it an "impeller belt". ;-)
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Eddie wrote:

Assuming you have a 2-stage blower -> ie. it looks like this:
http://static.bootic.com/_pictures/1522463/350x350/craftsman-179cc-22-two-stage-snowblower-88779.jpg
1) Check to see if a sheer pin for the auger blades is broken. A broken pin will result in that auger not being turned by the motor, and snow will pile up on that side as you move forward. Since you normally can't see the augers turning as you operate the machine, see if you can spin them by hand before you start the engine. If the auger blade spins, then the pin is broken. You can use a short 1.5 or 2" bolt (1/4" soft steel bolt and nut) to act as a perfectly suitable sheer pin. Naturally, a hardened steel or stainless steel bolt will not work very well as a sheer pin.
2) is the engine running at full speed? Is the choke still full-on? Does the motor bog down when you push it into the snow? Setting the choke somewhere between full-on and full-off can result in more even engine speed and more power when you cut into moderate to heavy snow. Take a 1/2 pass instead of a full pass if the snow is deep or heavy.
3) a slipping blower belt will cause a lack of snow-blowing abilit. The belt can slip if it gets wet (is the plastic belt cover cracked or missing?). Your belt might be stretched and hence is too loose - so get a new belt. The handle/rod that operates the blower pulley pivot might need adjustment so it takes up the belt slack, making the belt tighter and grab the engine drive pulley better.
To get to the belt, there will be 2 bolts (9/16") on either side of the round drum part where it connects to the front blower shell. Take those bolts out, and the blower shell will pivot away from the drum, and the belt will be right there. Take the plastic fan shroud off first, and be prepared to support the back half of the blower when it pivots backwards when the bolts are removed.
But before you do all that - note that if the ambient temperature is close to or at (or above) freezing (32f) and hence the snow is also at that temperature, that the snow will be near it's melting point and will be more likely to gum up the auger and impeller vs if the snow was colder. So there might be nothing wrong with the blower, but the snow will simply be at too warm a temperature to be blown very well.
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On Friday, February 7, 2014 10:45:10 PM UTC-6, Eddie wrote:

We already sense you are in over your head.
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Eddie;3194873 Wrote:

Eddie:
If you have a two stage snow blower (which is one that has a large auger in front that directs the snow toward a smaller high speed impeller behind the auger), then a very common cause of lack of snow blowing power is a loose or stretched V-belt.
There will probably be a plastic or metal cover between the motor and the scoop. If you remove that cover you should see two V belts. One of those V belts drives the wheels of the snowblower and the other drives the auger and fan in the scoop.
Your owners manual will tell you how to tighten the idler pully with the existing auger belt in place and what the part number is for the auger belt should you want to replace it.
--
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