Yard Machine by MTD Snowblower Problem

I have owned a single-stage snowblower for ten years, and it has been great.
For some reason, it easily goes downhill, but driving it back uphill is too much for me. It does a great job of throwing snow.
Can anyone tell me what to look for? It appears that the fan belt is OK. I will probably have to take it into a shop, but I am hoping it is a quick and easy fix.
Thanks.
Kate
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On Wed, 12 Jan 2011 21:48:24 -0500, "Stormin Mormon"

Is this a multi-speed unit? Most MTD multispeed blowers use a friction wheel that moves across a spinning disc. If the rubber gets hard/glazed - and then gets wet with snow, no drive. I just replaced the rubber friction wheel on my blower - part cost here in Canada was roughly $18 and it took me about half an hour to replace it. Mine is not an MTD, but I've done it on MTD blowers too (my last blower was an MTD, and I've done several for friends and neighbours)
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On 1/12/2011 7:00 PM, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

OK, thanks for this info. I will check out the belt as well as the friction wheel, etc. At least, this gives me something to go on.
Many thanks.
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?

I has a fan? Perhaps you mean the V belt? If it is like mine, the "driving force" is the paddles that blow the snow. They may be worn and not gripping to assist you in moving the machine.
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On 1/12/2011 7:32 PM, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

My error Ed. It does not have a fan. I don't know what a V belt is, but this unit only has one belt. I am sure we are talking about the same thing.
Thanks.
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On Thu, 13 Jan 2011 08:58:05 -0500, "Stormin Mormon"

It APPEARS this is a "snow thrower" or "power shovel" type machine, not a "wheel drive" machine.(which is what I was referring to with the friction wheel Stormy is also referring to)
If it still throws snow well, it is NOT a drive belt issue.
One of the advantages of these machines is they scour right down to pavement, cleaning the sidewalk extremely well, using what is basically sections of conveyor belting on the "flutes" of the spinning auger. The spinning rubber flutes provide traction to drag the blower across the surface. This wears the flutes down. When they get worn sufficiently they still throw snow, but to not drag the thrower across the ground any more.
I would say the chances are better than 99.9% that this is the situation with the OP's blower. At 13 years of age, the likelihood is still pretty good that new auger flute rubbers will be available from MTD or the aftermarket for that machine.
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On 1/13/2011 6:13 PM, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

I called the snowblower co. this AM. You have hit on something here. They said if the machine throws snow, then it is not a belt.
But, it could be the auger or paddles.
Right now, our streets are like ice skating rinks, but when the weather improves, I will take it into a dealer near me that the guy said works on this model of snowblower.
Thanks everyone, and I will let you know the outcome.
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Is the uphill problem new, or has it always been weak on th uphill side? My snowblower pulls itself forwad by the paddle wheel gripping into the snow and also slightly rubbing on the ground.
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On 1/12/2011 8:01 PM, hr(bob) snipped-for-privacy@att.net wrote:

This machine has been great. With light snow, I could push the unit up the hill with one hand. Not now - I can't even push it up the hill.
I will check out the paddle wheel grippers too.
Great group with good ideas.
Thanks all.
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That's what I thought made it single stage. If that is the case with Kate's, then the only two things it can be are; 1. worn pads on the paddle 2. she needs to raise the handle a bit when going uphill.
Jim
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Since the only "drive" with a single stage is the rubber "paddles" on the auger contacting the ground, it's possible that the paddles are worn and that the slight backwards lean of the unit as you go uphill is separating the paddles from the ground enough to lose traction.
Try lifting up on the handle, forcing the front end down towards the ground. If the traction improves, the paddles may be worn.
P.S. I got to use my new 2 stage machine yesterday in some decent snow. 7 inches on the ground, over a foot at EOD. It was sweet!
I finished my driveway and then went and did 2 more just for fun! I was like a snowblowing ninja - in and out before the neighbors got home from work. I'm sure they (both single ladies) were surprised and grateful.
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Oh yes! :)
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?

What did you buy? I sometimes want mine to die so I can justify getting a bigger model. The little single stage was a gift about 10 years ago and it is all I need most of the time, but the EOD can be a bear at if it is deep and heavy.
I bought a big Cub Cadet at work and it is great there, but far too much for me at home.
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I bought this unit (link below) in the late fall when Ariens had it on sale for $599. It was available at Home Depot as well as a few independent Outdoor Power Equipment dealers. Since Ariens sets the price, it's the same everywhere, so I went to an independent dealer.
I had more trust in them setting up the machine than a HD employee, plus they told me that they are the authorized service dealer for machines sold at HD. As a customer of theirs, I would be ahead of an HD customer if warranty repair work was needed.
I'm glad I went that route because when I went to pick up the machine a tech showed me how to operate it (I'm a newbie to 2-stage snowblowers). As he engaged the auger, he didn't like the sound of it and took it back inside for a slight adjustment. I wouldn't have known it wasn't right and I doubt HD would have even spent the time teaching me or - more importantly - noticing the minor problem.
The Ariens Sno Tek line is Ariens' endeavor to offer some entry level machines to compete with Sears, MTD, etc., which are basically all the same (MTD) machines. When on sale for $599, the quality of the Ariens machine blows the others $599 machines away. Metal where they have plastic , stronger welds, overall better quality. Some of the other models have plastic impellers. Plastic *impellers*. Are you kidding me?
The Sno Tek line doesn't have any features like hand warmers, differential steering, headlights, etc. but as I said, it's an entry level machine and all that I need.
It comes in a 24" and 28" width. I believe there is a Sno Tek single stage model also.
The dealer told me that Ariens usually puts their machines on sale in mid to late November and then again in late February to early March.
http://www.ariens.com/products_snow/sno_tek/sno_tek_24/Pages/default.aspx
If you want information on snowblowers as well as other outdoor power equipment, I recommend this site, which pointed me in the Sno Tek direction. These guys live and breathe that stuff:
http://www.opeonthenet.com/phpBB2/index.php
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?

That is exactly what I'd be looking for. My driveway is only 60 feet long or so. We get a total of about 48' of snow a year, mostly 6" or so at a time. Two dealers not far from me too! Thanks.
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Ed Pawlowski wrote:

48 feet of snow???? Wauuuu, have you any pictures showing that??
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Sorry, but I can't get out through the chimney to take pictures. Doors and windows are blocked.
Some years we only get that many inches though.
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Many of these single-stage units have multi-V belts (flat like an auto serpentine belt).(and I don't mean multiple belts) Also what they are saying about the paddles being the drive is correct.
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On Thu, 13 Jan 2011 09:00:21 -0500, "Stormin Mormon"

Which is a 3L width (or format) belt 41 inches long. And Stormy is right - they VERY seldom stretch any appreciable ammount. They wear narrower, so the original 3L belt becomes a 2L belt (or close to it) which might measure as a 2Ll415 or 2L420 (41.5 or 42 inch) (which "appears" to have stretched)
Automotive belts start with either 4L (12.5mm wide) or 3L (9.5mm). The number following it is the outside length of the belt in tenths of inches. The inside length of the belt is typically 2" less for a 4L belt, and 1-1/2" less for a 3L belt. An example would be 4L460, which would be 46" long outside, 44" inside.
"Classic" or "fractional horsepower" v-belt numbers start with a letter identifying the cross section, A through E - A series belts are the most common. The number following it is the inside length in inches. The outside length is typically 2 inches more. An example would be A44, 44" long on the inside, 46" outside; the equivalent of the 4L460 above.
A 3V is 3/8", a 5V is 5.8", and a 8V is 1" wide. A is 1/2" wide, B is 21/32, C is 7/8, D is 1 1/4
It is important to use the right series belt, particularly not using a V series in place of a 3L or 4L, or letter sized belt because the V series are a 30 degree included angle while the rest are 40 degree angle belts.
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Likely the friction disc. There is an adjustment procedure in the manual.
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