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So I have an old Toro 824 used snowblower from the mid 90's. The last two times I used it we had wet snow. Snow kept getting clogged and I had to break it up with broom and then it would just clog again.

Like an idiot I kept doing this and the augur froze. The belt was smoking a bit and the auger wouldn't turn. I put the blower back in the garage let it sit (and melt). When I came back out the auger turned fine.

We had another snow last night and I used the blower today. The snow clogged pretty easily and it didn't "throw" the snow and eventually clogged. I borrowed the neighbors 524 new blower and that handled the snow albeit poorly.

Is it likely my belt needs to be changed or tightened? Or are belt issues an all or nothing deal? Changing the belts on the two stager's seems pretty challenging and I may have to sub it out. I'm hoping I can chalk it up to wet snow.

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I would suggest that since you experienced the burnt belt smell, it's probably time to replace. Overall, the procedure looks pretty simple and straight forward. Here are the instructions for replacing the traction drive belt:

REPLACING AUGER/IMPELLER DRIVE BELT

  1. Pull high tension wire off spark plug and make sure it does not contact the plug accidentally.
  2. Remove two thread forming screws holding belt cover in place and set belt guard aside.
  3. Move auger drive control to DISENGAGE and wheel drive control to N, neutral. Next, remove auger drive belt from engine pulley and large auger/impeller pulley.
  4. Install new belt around large auger/impeller pulley. Next, loop belt over engine pulley, making sure that belt is on inside of idler pulley and wire belt guide.
  5. Install belt cover with two thread forming screws.
  6. Reattach high tension wire onto spark plug.

ADJUSTING AUGER/IMPELLER DRIVE BELT

  1. Loosen jam nut from clevis at bottom of auger drive control rod. Next, remove cotter pin and clevis pin holding clevis to bent rod.
  2. Rotate clevis counterclockwise - out - to increase belt tension. By contrast, rotate clevis clockwise - in - to decrease belt tension.

NOTE: When adjusting clevis, rotate it one half - 180° - turn.

  1. connect clevis to bent rod with clevis pin and cotter pin. Next, tighten jam nut against top of clevis.
  2. Check tension of belt by operating the auger. If belt still slips, adjust clevis again.

NOTE: This was taken from this video of the Toro 824 Manual. Quality was so bad, I did a lot of squinting to get it for you. Please watch it yourself and be thoroughly as unimpressed with it as I was ;-)

  • @tjcinnamon - Glad I could help. If you feel this answers your question, consider selecting it as such. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Dec 30 '15 at 19:21
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    That worked great!!! You saved me a few hundred dollars by not purchasing a new snowblower!!!! – tjcinnamon Jan 19 at 16:27
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@Paulster2 gives great information in his answer. Consider one other thing in snowblowers: surface friction. With wet snow, sometimes spraying the chute, auger and other snow contacting surfaces with silicone spray can help provide better feed. Using silicone spray may help your blower move more snow without sticking as much, but it is not a substitute for maintenance and adjustment.

  • What specific silicon spray? Is that like WD-40? – tjcinnamon Dec 10 '18 at 18:48
  • A general purpose silicone spray. The one I have is sold under the CRC brand, but there are others. Under $10/can. I have used a really thick kind which I sometimes use on single engine aircraft props without deice. It stays on the prop longer and helps the ice slide off. But for the snowblower, just a common silicone spray from the auto parts store works. Oh, WD-40 will not really work. Engine oil doesn't really work well, and is very messy. The silicone is much more hydrophobic. – mongo Dec 10 '18 at 23:31
  • Oh, use cardboard or something to make sure you don't get the silicone spray on the belts. – mongo Dec 10 '18 at 23:32
  • It doesn't last long, but if you are handy with paint, repainting the auger with a urethane paint, waxing it, and putting silicone spray is about the best one can do. I don't know but perhaps the texture and toughness of a power coat might help. Also doing this on plow blades works as well. I just use a $1 can of paint applied to a back blade every fall, and he helps roll the snow off for the season. The cheap paint lacks good UV protection so it needs to be renewed frequently. – mongo Jan 19 at 17:35

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