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.