54" Snow Thrower gear case. Rebuild or replace?
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Thread: 54" Snow Thrower gear case. Rebuild or replace?

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    54" Snow Thrower gear case. Rebuild or replace?

    Hi, Guys. I've searched all over the forum and haven't found any posts (yet) regarding rebuilding or replacing the gear case on the 54" front mount snowblower attachment for my 1023E.

    Here's the issue. Toward the end of last winter I was clearing heavy wet snow out of the impeller area and off the augers when I noticed that the taper bearing and seal at the rear of the auger gear case were both sitting on the rear shaft between the gear case housing and the impeller shaft coupling. Not good. I managed to reseat them, but couldn't see or find the retainer clip that I suspect was supposed to be there.

    Long story short, they stayed in place for a couple of storms, surprisingly, and then I noticed that the seal was gone and only the shell of the tapered bearing was left dangling from the shaft. The rollers were scattered to the winds. Since the snowblower was still working OK I had no choice but to finish the rest of the season (a couple of small snowfalls) with it that way and it worked fine; though I don't know what damage I may have done to the ring and pinion gears, or whatever is within the gear case. Everything still seems to turn smoothly...

    So, the question is, has anyone ever rebuilt the gear case PN AM137218 (probably what's in my 6 year old unit) now replaced by AM142009? Specifically have you replaced the rear tapered roller bearing and seal, and if so do you have any helpful part numbers that I could use, or other advice on doing this job. John Deere only sells the complete unit and doesn't even appear to have an IPB or parts list for the gear case.

    The alternative is to replace the entire gear case, and I already know that part will cost me about $600. If anyone has done that, I'd also like to hear from you as to whether this is something that I should tackle myself or if it's a road fraught with problems. As a frame of reference, I consider myself a pretty good backyard mechanic and taking this on doesn't seem like a big job even though I know I have to tear down all the moving parts of the snow thrower unit, front and rear. It's probably time for me to inspect all the bearings and replace them as needed anyway.

    Thanks for any input or guidance.
    Stew
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    jgayman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NH5acrefield View Post
    So, the question is, has anyone ever rebuilt the gear case PN AM137218 (probably what's in my 6 year old unit) now replaced by AM142009? Specifically have you replaced the rear tapered roller bearing and seal, and if so do you have any helpful part numbers that I could use, or other advice on doing this job. John Deere only sells the complete unit and doesn't even appear to have an IPB or parts list for the gear case.

    The alternative is to replace the entire gear case, and I already know that part will cost me about $600. If anyone has done that, I'd also like to hear from you as to whether this is something that I should tackle myself or if it's a road fraught with problems. As a frame of reference, I consider myself a pretty good backyard mechanic and taking this on doesn't seem like a big job even though I know I have to tear down all the moving parts of the snow thrower unit, front and rear. It's probably time for me to inspect all the bearings and replace them as needed anyway.
    I still find it absurd that JD does not provide individual parts or even a parts breakdown for the gear drive on these snow blowers. On the plus side, the gear drive assy used to cost $900 and a couple years ago they revised the P/N and now it *only* costs $600. I see a note in the IPB that says you also need to order a bracket and some new bolts and nuts. The bracket is $65 and there's probably no way to know for sure if you need it until you buy it and see what it looks like.

    As for replacing the entire assy, that shouldn't be too much trouble. When I swapped my poly impeller for a steel one I had to pull the gear box assy. It was pretty straight forward. After removing the bolts for the auger bearings and loosening the sprocket and locking collars on the back the whole thing just slides forward and out. It's easier if you have two people as it makes supporting the auger easier but one person could probably do it.

    Every time I use my blower I just imagine something happening to the gear box. Quite frankly, had I known it was unrepairable back when I purchased it I probably would have gone another route. I just dislike stuff for which there are no replacement parts. I used to have an old MTD walk-behind blower that striped out a gear in the auger drive and it was a pretty easy (and inexpensive) fix to replace the gear. Meanwhile, this $3500 JD blower has no replacement parts. Ugh.
    Last edited by jgayman; 10-21-2018 at 03:34 PM.
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    kylew's Avatar
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    No guarantees but check post # 8 here. At least it shows a break-down. This is from 2014 when (apparently) JD used to show the internals.

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    kylew's Avatar
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    Years ago, I had to replace a bearing in my bass drum foot pedal. At the time there was a local bearing supply store, Detroit Ball Bearing if I recall. I took the inner and outer races in and they were able to find a bearing using the dimensions. Might be worth a try to pursue a similar avenue.
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    jgayman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kylew View Post
    No guarantees but check post # 8 here. At least it shows a break-down. This is from 2014 when (apparently) JD used to show the internals.

    https://www.greentractortalk.com/for...eshooting.html
    I don't think that is the same gear case. The one shown in the exploded view looks like a different design.
    2012 2720 -- 200CX Loader -- 54" Quick Attach Snow Blower -- Frontier LR5060 Rake -- Land Pride RB1660 Blade (Hydraulic Angle) -- Artillian 42" Forks -- Ken's Bolt on Grab Hooks -- Fit Rite Hydraulic top-link -- 2013 X500 for mowing duties

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    Sorry. Just trying to offer some assistance. Won't happen again.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jgayman View Post
    I don't think that is the same gear case. The one shown in the exploded view looks like a different design.
    There have been a few different 47 / 54 SB gearbox designs over the years. Since the introduction of the 54 I believe that there have been two versions.

    Quote Originally Posted by kylew View Post
    Sorry. Just trying to offer some assistance. Won't happen again.
    All assistance is appreciated! In the end we're all just trying to offer guidance.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Superglidesport View Post
    There have been a few different 47 / 54 SB gearbox designs over the years. Since the introduction of the 54 I believe that there have been two versions.
    Looking through the parts illustrations for the 47" and 54" blowers I see that they both now use the same flat front gear drive (AM142009). The odd thing is, they show internal parts in the 47" parts list but only show the whole unit on the 54" parts list. It is not clear whether the internal parts applies to both gear housings or only to the older rounded housing.

    You can also see where the housing has changed. The thread that kylew had referenced showed the old gear case where both parts lists now show the newer gear case. You can also see how the newer gear case uses a different bracket design. Also notice the 47" illustration shows the steel impeller while the 54" diagram shows the poly impeller even though both blowers have been shipping with poly impellers for a while.

    Perhaps the OP can confirm which gear case style his blower has.


    47" Blower


    54" Blower
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 47_AM142009.jpg   54_AM142009.jpg  
    Last edited by jgayman; 10-21-2018 at 11:11 PM.
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    jgayman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kylew View Post
    Sorry. Just trying to offer some assistance. Won't happen again.
    Please don't interpret any comments to mean we don't appreciate your assistance. All assistance is welcome. It's a shame JD made a complex issue out of simply trying to find replacement parts for their snow blowers.
    2012 2720 -- 200CX Loader -- 54" Quick Attach Snow Blower -- Frontier LR5060 Rake -- Land Pride RB1660 Blade (Hydraulic Angle) -- Artillian 42" Forks -- Ken's Bolt on Grab Hooks -- Fit Rite Hydraulic top-link -- 2013 X500 for mowing duties

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    Style of gear box

    JGayman wondered which style of gear case I have. The answer is that it looks like the ones in his IPBs with a flat front with several bolt heads on that front cover.

    JGayman, you don't happen to have any parts list for those IPBs do you? I might find something there that would be helpful.

    Others mentioned the new support bracket listed with the latest incarnation of the gear case. It's curious that they require a new support, but until I see the old and new side by side (something I'd still like to avoid), there's no way of knowing why. Makes me wonder if the original support was somehow inadequate or if the new gear case is a significantly different design.

    Thank you to everyone who's taken the time to give me your inputs. I'm still open for any other thoughts or suggestions.

    Stew
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