So, I finally broke down and bought a 54" Snow blower for my 1026R. Got it all home and started to assemble it and found they forgot to include the mounting bracket that goes on the frame to attach the quick hitch to the tractor (apparently this is included with newer models).
After a lot of back-and-forth with the dealer, trying to get the missing part, I finally got it almost 2 weeks after getting the blower itself. Due to work, I couldn't install the brackets immediately, so I started doing it today. Due to the brush-guard I have, I couldn't use the provided bolts for the front 4 (2 on each side) bolts on the side brackets as they weren't long enough to go through the brush-guard AND bracket, so I used the ones that were already being used to keep the brush-guard on. These bolted on just fine... 140 NM like the bracket install guide said (I'm just a little concerned as they're slightly smaller in diameter). I also put the front bracket on and tightened the bolts to 140 without issue. The other 4 on the 2 side brackets, however, did not go so well.
I set my wrench back to 140 NM (took a short break before tackling the harder to reach bolts) and started to tighten. Right about where I expected the torque wrench to do its signature "Click" to tell me it was tight, I was surprised to find the bolt just kept turning with the same, and then decreasing, difficulty until the bolt broke. So I think to myself "Ok, one bad bolt... let's just try another". That bolt went in and tightened down fine. Next bolt: tightening... tightening... tightening........ Yep, broke again! Replaced the bolt with another (thank god I had spares due to using the brush-guard bolts), start tightening and I can tell this one is going to do the same, so I take it out before it breaks. NEXT bolt! I reduced the torque value to 120 and tighten it to that value, no problem! Adjust the wrench to 130 and no problem again. Up to 140 and we're right back to breaking bolts again. Somehow the bolts can't take the extra 10 NM needed to reach to suggested torque value. It's as if the bolts are made of aluminum rather than steel! Even holding the bolts in my hand, they feel "soft" and are clearly not hardened steel if they even are steel.
Out of curiosity, I decide to check the torque on my loader mount, which is 150 and 310 NM (depending on which one you're tightening), and no problems there, everything's tight; even loosened and retightened a couple, so I know it's not the wrench.
The dealer's response when I mentioned it was "What do you want me to do about it?"; though it sounded like the rep was honestly confused as to what to do about the issue as they just replace any broken bolts when installing the parts themselves, and apparently don't even use a torque wrench, just an air ratchet until "sufficiently tight". The reason I decided to install the blower myself was not only to save some money, but more due to issues with the previous dealer (whom I got the TLB from) not tightening (barely snug, even) the bolts on one side of the loader frame. Sadly, the old saying of "If you want something done right, do it yourself" is becoming more and more true, every passing day...
Anyway, looking at the broken bolts, they appear to keep turning in the nut (and I can easily remove the nut by hand after they break), but are simply stretching until they finally break. My question is: Has anyone else run into this issue while installing the mounting brackets for a front quick-hitch? Is it going to be safe for me to use the blower and hitch with 3 of these 4 bolts torqued to 130 NM, or should I be looking to find some replacements? When I put the 2 pieces of the broken bolts back together, there is a clear "hourglass figure" shape to them where the break happens.
I've lucked out on snow so far, but that can change at any time, of course. Any advice anyone can give me? I'm pretty much just right now when I should be