Easy Installation of Snow Blower Drive Shaft
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Thread: Easy Installation of Snow Blower Drive Shaft

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    Easy Installation of Snow Blower Drive Shaft

    After my initial adventures installing the Front PTO Kit in the 1025R, I decided that there must be a better way. This post describes an easy and quick method Iíve used a couple of times now. I like it and it has worked well for me.

    The first time you assemble the Front PTO kit, the manual (LVU27270) directs you to insert the spline of the shaft into the bearing openings of the quick hitch mounting bracket and then adjust the sensor. They end the instructions with ďDo not remove PTO drive shaft from mounting bracket.Ē I suspect this instruction is to prevent damage to the sensor. If youíve installed the bracket first on the front of the tractor and youíre trying to insert the spline from underneath while managing the full weight of the drive shaft, it might not be hard to get a bit of an angle going in and hit the sensor. You canít see the sensor from beneath the tractor, so youíre working blind. And the sensor must be very close to the shaft to work properly. So while the instruction is reasonable, itís not practical. Take two heavy things, one very long, and connect them loosely with a floppy connection. Now figure out how to transport and store that very heavy, awkward thing. I donít know anybody who keeps the two pieces together when theyíre off the tractor. So my method assumes that these two pieces are separated during storage and also considers protecting the sensor. If you are a stickler for John Deereís instructions, this method is not fully applicable.

    The method is described below in detail and summarized in the attached pictures:

    1. Clean all the connection points, then grease them. The grease that was put on last year is sticky like tar. Itís also full of dirt. If itís a new Front PTO kit, there is no grease, but the connection points may still be dirty. Carefully clean each of the 5 connection points and then use a brush to apply a thin layer of fresh grease to all the surfaces. This makes a big difference in how smoothly everything will go together in the later steps. I do this on my workbench. It is much easier to apply grease there than while underneath the tractor, and I end up wearing less grease.

    2. Set up 2 dollies in front of the tractor. You will need about 7 feet of clearance in front of the tractor for this method. The dolly closest to the tractor is for the PTO end of the drive shaft. Itís height should be such that it fits underneath the tractorís undercarriage with the drive shaft on it. In addition, it should have some means of securing the PTO shaft end to it and preventing it from sliding off the end. The dolly farthest from the tractor holds the Quick Hitch Mounting Bracket. It is 4 3/8 inches high. It could be another ľ inch higher, but no more. If your dolly is lower, it will be easier if you add some board shims underneath the bracket to get it somewhere close to 4 Ĺ inches.

    3. Put the drive shaft on the dollies. The PTO end goes on the dolly nearest the tractor, and this is helpful because this dolly will manage that end for you while you carefully insert the hex end of the shaft into the bearing assemblies, avoiding contact with the sensor. You have complete visibility of the sensor and itís not hard to control the hex end because it is well-greased and the other end of the drive shaft is moving freely on the other dolly. When I did it this way, at no point did I feel the sensor was at risk.

    4. Place a hairpin clip on the locking groove of the hex end to keep it in place. This keeps the drive shaft connected to the mounting bracket during the rest of the process. The large hairpin clip was slightly modified by placing it in a vice and opening it up a bit more than normal. If you donít have a hairpin clip handy, Iíve also successfully used a cable tie. (Youíll have to cut it off later.)

    5. Roll the shaft under the front of the tractor and connect the mounting bracket to the tractor. Roll the shaft and bracket under the front of the tractor until the bracketís side posts are directly beneath their installation slots on the tractor. Then tilt the back end of the bracket up so that the posts go into the slots, pushing the bracket toward the back of the tractor. When the posts are fully in their slots, lift the front end of the bracket up and install the retaining rod.

    6. Connect the shaft to the PTO spline. Set the PTO selector lever to ďrear PTOĒ; this disengages the mid PTO and makes connection to it easier. The trip under the tractor will be brief. The connection will be easy because everything is freshly greased. After connecting the shaft, tug on it to make sure itís locked in place. Then go to the front of the tractor to remove the hairpin clip and connect the sensor to the tractor.

    A final tip: Before firing up the front PTO, clean off any excess grease from the joints and zerks. Once turning, the PTO shaft is amazingly self-cleaning. Better to have the grease on your rag than on your driveway and the bottom of your tractor.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails sbshaft1.jpg sbshaft2.jpg sbshaft3.jpg sbshaft4.jpg sbshaft5.jpg

    sbshaft6.jpg
    1025R SCUT
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    Everything Attachments: Pine Needle Rake, Aerator
    Bxpanded: Ripper Claw, Trenching Bucket, Quick Change for 260 BH
    Artillian: 3K fork frame & 36" tines
    Miller Tire: R4 tire chains

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    etcallhome's Avatar
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    Thanks for your posting, like the idea of the large hairpin clip,. Also like the idea of using dollies, but in case you don't have the 2 dollies or a smooth floor . Some have gravel or grass where they park there tractor.
    If I had read this before I mounted the QHMB , I may have put the shaft onto the bracket. Then put the hairpin clip and then just slide the shaft between front axle. Attach the bracket and then connect to the PTO and making sure it was connect ..

    Agree with cleaning and either fresh grease ,I used fluid film to help make the shaft slide into brackets. This year I already had the Quick hitch mounting bracket (QHMB) on the tractor. I was going to remove the long rod holding it to the tractor and then insert the snowblower shaft and fight keeping the shaft in mount and the heavy lifting of past years.
    Since QHMB was already on the tractor , and I already had a floor jack under the towing plate rear of tractor, (jacked up easier access greasing tractor). I cleaned the snowblower end shaft and then sprayed fluid film on shaft and both brackets. While on one knee, slid the shaft through the back bracket then while turning shaft slowly and putting pressure to push it through the second bracket . Took left hand and held the bearing just enough to allow the blower shaft be pushed through the 2nd bracket (bearing) enough to allow the driveshaft be connected to the rear PTO. After making sure the shaft is latched to the PTO , pulling back on shaft a few times, lower the tractor back on all 4 wheels. Took maybe 2 minutes, compared to other years of maybe 30 mins. wrestling with the QHMB.
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    Gene

    Have fun and be safe !!!
    USAR 8yr 8 mo SSG 99th ARCOM
    JD 1025R, H120 FEL 54" bucket, 54" mmm Auto Conn, 54" Front blade, JD back hoe ,JD IMatch, 48" Bush Hog tiller, Middlebuster from MF dealer, used King Kutter 5' rear blade, a new 47" JD Front blower and Original Tractor cab w/heater.
    We have a Red Honda Pioneer 700-4 (4 seater) w/soft top , doors, and winch.

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    AJgrn78's Avatar
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    LOVE the hairpin on the shaft idea...I'm stealing that one!

    I also think this step by step is good enough to be a sticky, nice work.
    Last edited by AJgrn78; 12-08-2016 at 10:00 PM.

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    I never could figure out what they meant by 'sensor.' Is that the wire/connector hanging on the mounting bracket? If so, I didn't find that there was any worry about damaging it.

    I just sprayed WD-40 on the front spline of the long driveshaft as well as the 'female' corresponding holes on the mounting bracket.... then aligned and shoved the driveshaft spline through both holes....then, shoved the front spline of the long driveshaft through the two corresponding femaile spline holes of the QCMounting Bracket.... and then shoved the entire assembly between the front wheels and lifted/attached the Quick Hitch Mounting Bracket to the front of the tractor.... then lifted the back of the long driveshaft and connected to the mid-PTO. Then, I attached the snowblower, and snapped the front drive shaft onto the long driveshaft spline...connected the wired connectors and was done. It worked out pretty easy.

    Can you explain again what the 'hitch pin' on the driveshaft does for you? I'm all for making things easier, but I guess I didn't have a problem as far as I know....and this was my first time installing the blower.

    Thanks.
    Last edited by JoeFriday1979; 12-08-2016 at 10:38 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeFriday1979 View Post
    I never could figure out what they meant by 'sensor.' Is that the wire/connector hanging on the mounting bracket? If so, I didn't find that there was any worry about damaging it.

    I just sprayed WD-40 on the front spline of the long driveshaft as well as the 'female' corresponding holes on the mounting bracket.... then aligned and shoved the driveshaft spline through both holes....then, shoved the front spline of the long driveshaft through the two corresponding femaile spline holes of the QCMounting Bracket.... and then shoved the entire assembly between the front wheels and lifted/attached the Quick Hitch Mounting Bracket to the front of the tractor.... then lifted the back of the long driveshaft and connected to the mid-PTO. Then, I attached the snowblower, and snapped the front drive shaft onto the long driveshaft spline...connected the wired connectors and was done. It worked out pretty easy.

    Can you explain again what the 'hitch pin' on the driveshaft does for you? I'm all for making things easier, but I guess I didn't have a problem as far as I know....and this was my first time installing the blower.

    Thanks.
    The sensor is shown in the attached picture, viewed from underneath the tractor. (My head wont fit under the front quick hitch bracket, but my phone did.) The wiring that you connect back to the tractor is connected to this sensor. The sensor detects motion in the drive shaft. It's part of the safety interlock system. If you try to leave your seat with the snowblower active, the engine will shut down. I assume this is to keep the operator from trying to clear a blockage with the snowblower running. [Please see correction in Post #6.]

    You were probably fortunate enough to have your dealer set up your snow blower. Mine was supposed to, but showed up without all the parts. When the parts finally were pulled together, there was no tech available, so I just did it myself. During the initial set up, after the hex shaft is inserted and the bearings tightened down, the sensor is mechanically adjusted with a feeler gauge to be roughly 1.8 mm from the hex shaft. (You probably can't see this gap in the picture.) Based on the warning labels on the bracket and the statements in the manual, I am speculating that JD is concerned that if you remove the hex shaft and then put it back in, it is possible to hit and damage the sensor. It is normally very close, and if you insert the hex shaft through the first bearing assembly at a slight angle, you might hit the sensor. You can't see the sensor when underneath the tractor. This is why my method does the insertion out in the open where it's easier to see the sensor and control positioning of the hex shaft. The sensor is not cheap ($70). And I know that installing it was not easy for me.

    The hairpin clip is used to make sure the hex shaft doesn't slide back out while the dollies move the drive shaft underneath the tractor or while the other end is being connected to the PTO. It would be unnecessary if you install the quick hitch bracket first and then insert the hex shaft from underneath the tractor.

    Keane
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails sbshaft7.jpg
    Last edited by keane; 12-09-2016 at 01:46 AM. Reason: correction
    etcallhome, Levi, BigJim55 and 2 others like this.
    1025R SCUT
    H120 FEL
    260 Backhoe
    54D MMM
    54 Snow Blower
    54 Front Blade
    JD I-match
    10P Dump Cart
    Heavy Hitch: Receiver hitch w/rack, 2" receiver 8-Weight Rack, 2" front & rear receivers, synthetic blade
    Ken's BOGH: Grab Hooks/ Clevis Mounts, Oblong Ring Slings, Differential Pedal, backhoe step, etc.
    Everything Attachments: Pine Needle Rake, Aerator
    Bxpanded: Ripper Claw, Trenching Bucket, Quick Change for 260 BH
    Artillian: 3K fork frame & 36" tines
    Miller Tire: R4 tire chains

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    The sensor is part of the RIO system that will allow you to drive in reverse with the PTO on. Without the sensor, you would have to pull up on the PTO switch every time you touch the reverse pedal (just like mowing).

    If you have bypassed your PTO switch for mowing, the snowblower sensor isn't needed. I didn't install mine.
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    Well, if you want to make it easy...


    Seriously, good detailed write-up. Even though I don't have a snowblower, it's things like this that help me think through solutions to other problems that come up.
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    Corndog Hater ColonyPark's Avatar
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    keane. Thanks a lot, great write up with pics. I usually keep the shaft and front bracket together as one unit and place it in a corner of the barn in the off season. I do really like the hairpin idea though and hate wresting with the shaft if it and the bracket separate.
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    etcallhome's Avatar
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    Forgot to mention I don't have the RIO sensor. I told my dealer I didn't need to know the speed the driveshaft was turning.


    From what you showed I'm GLAD.
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    Gene

    Have fun and be safe !!!
    USAR 8yr 8 mo SSG 99th ARCOM
    JD 1025R, H120 FEL 54" bucket, 54" mmm Auto Conn, 54" Front blade, JD back hoe ,JD IMatch, 48" Bush Hog tiller, Middlebuster from MF dealer, used King Kutter 5' rear blade, a new 47" JD Front blower and Original Tractor cab w/heater.
    We have a Red Honda Pioneer 700-4 (4 seater) w/soft top , doors, and winch.

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    For the guys without the sensor, can they still see the PTO RPM readout on the dash?
    2015 1025R w/ H120 Loader, 60D MMM AutoConnect, 54" QH Snowblower & Titan Pallet Forks

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