With the help of the many posts in these forums, I was able to install a nice Snow Blower Discharge Chute Actuator. This is another take on something that's been well covered here, so I'm not trying to reinvent the wheel. But I learned a few things along the way and did a couple of things a little differently so I thought I'd put all of those lessons in one place and share the different bits.
Based on the recommendations from many other owners, I went with the Firgelli Automation linear actuator. I chose to go with the Premium Actuator because it claimed better water and corrosion resistance. I picked the FA-35-12-4"-P. That actuator has 4" of travel and delivers 35 lbs. of force. It moves through it's full travel in 2 seconds and has limit switches at both ends to prevent damage or binding if energized for too long.
Coincidentally it's stroke and dimensions perfectly fit the holes pre-drilled into the chute for the factory cable setup (no drilling). I just needed to spend 15 minutes at the hardware store finding and collecting stainless steel hardware to mount it. I went with (2) 2" x 1/4" x 20 Allen Screws, (4) 1/4" x 20 Stainless Nuts, (2) 3/4" spacers and (2) Stainless 1/4" washers.
The holes pre-drilled in the actuator were actually 6mm, so the 1/4" bolt was a touch too big. I drilled them out to 1/4" so they'd fit. I did this because the assortment of available stainless steel bolts was much greater in US sizes. If I could have found the hardware in metric, I would have done so. But drilling them out was very easy.
I greased the shoulder on the Allen bolt, passed it through the actuator so it would ride on the shoulder, not on the threads. Then through the spacer, a nut, through the chute, then another nut. It's important that the hardware isn't tight on the actuator. So when you tighten the nuts, make sure you turn the outside nut so you relieve any tension on the spacer. When you're done, the spacer should spin easily with your finger but not have any noticeable movement side to side.
I've seen a number of different solutions for controlling the actuator. Most of them use a rocker switch. I'm not entirely crazy about using a rocker switch because I don't imagine it will be easy to use with thick gloves on. I also don't expect a rocker switch to be completely resistant to water. So I did some digging hoping to find something that would be completely water proof and easy to use with gloves. I found a nice Joystick Switch on eBay that was very reasonably priced ($12):
I took a shot and ordered one. Once it arrived (in just two days) I was pleased to see that it was actually a very nice quality control. For $12 I was expecting it to be real chinsey. It's not. The switches are a bit big, but are clearly a good quality. The stick is well done with a nice rubber boot. It's 3" high with 3" of travel (1.5" each direction). The switches close very close to the end of that travel. So these are going to work well with big padded ski gloves.
I ordered this thing before I even had received my tractor (a 1025R), so I had no idea where I might put it. Once I got the tractor, this spot won:
I couldn't center it under the turn signal switch because it would hit the tilt steering release, so I lined it up with the outer edge of the switch. It looks good and everything works well.
This switch has two SPDT switches in it. That stands for Single Pole Single Throw. It's not really possible to control a motor in two directions with two SPDT switches, but this can be achieved with a couple of relays. That's fine by me because I am not a fan of passing high current through switches anyway and would have likely used relays no matter what switch I was using. But to do so you need a little understanding of relays. Relays are really just electrically actuated switches. I used two SPDT (Single Pole Double Throw) automotive relays for the task. They are rated at 30 amps of continuous current flow, which is way more than the actuator will need (it uses 5 Amps under maximum load). So here's how it's done:
If you're not into reading schematics, here's what the wiring looks like. First I started by taping my two relays together and I stuck them in the vise so I could easily push the connectors onto them.
Then I whipped up my Power wire. We're going to need power on 4 of the terminals, #86(s) and #87(s).
I'm going to get my power from the fuse box, so I added a 0.125" female quick disconnect to the end. More on this in a little bit.
Time for the Ground. We only need to hit two connectors here, the #87a(s) but we will need to run ground to the switch, so I added a male quick disconnect for that (once again, more later):
Remember that 1/8" female quick disconnect...? Well that's going right into the back of the fuse block opposite the wire marked 072H. I looked up the tractors wiring diagram. That 072H is an accessory wire from the ignition switch. It is not used on the 1025R but we're going to change that. The distortion to the quick disconnect left by the crimper is going to make it really tight in the hole. That's OK. We need it to be tight or it's going to pop out when we insert the fuse.
Insert a fuse into the once empty Fuse 12 position and snap the fuse block back into the fuse box carrier and we've got a nice clean power source that turns on and off with the key. Nice and clean like John Deere himself did it.
Now it's time to hook up the switch. These are going to go to the #85 connections on the relays. I ran a three conductor cord from the switch (sorry, I didn't take pictures of that part). I made Green the common, White and Black the Up and Down outputs. Remember that male quick disconnect we put on the ground before? Well here's where we use it:
We still need to connect the ground. I went right to the engine block, right above it's ground connection. For this I added an eyelet connector and some split loom, just like John Deere uses.
Just two wires left. The output to the actuator. I used 16 AWG SJOOW Cord (Water and Oil resistant, super flexible, rated for -40ºC to +90ºC). You know where those two wires go... To the #30 connections.
I routed that wire down the Fuel Filter mount and out the side of the engine compartment down by the loader mount. Then I added a nice set of Waterproof Plugs so I can attach and detach the blower with ease.
I don't want those relays loose on a machine like this. I screwed them right to the bottom of the compartment. I checked, there is nothing under there that would be hurt by the screw.
Mount the fuse box, test everything, then put the tractor back together. When you're all done, you should have something like this:
I hope this post will help the next guy who's looking to install a chute control. If you have any question, please feel free....