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On the sheer pins..
The 47 Blower has been around for at least a decade.. Its a well designed, and wow ,the applications it has been used for is a long list.
The sheer pin design is "perfect" for those who really have a lot of time with a blower. Having pins on the counterbalance weight is IDEAL, and makes the whole greasing shaft issue , and frozen pins, or rusting in the shaft a thing of the past. I wouldn't trade the sheer pin set up for any other ( have owned a few Big Ariens, and loved them) . I do prefer to stay dry and currently use a Loader as I don't need the "snow manicured" look either hehe
You'll end up loving that set up for what you do. Cabs are expensive 4200 for one with all the toys and heat...
The 47" has been around at least since 1994, I wore out the original on my 445 after 16 years of blowing Gravel from my driveway onto my lawn.
The only major problem I had was the Fan being to delicate for my driveway, I kept bending the blades back and then they would hit the blower case in front. On my original blower I had a welder reinforce the fan and had no more problems. My new 47" is only 2 years old and already the fan blades are bent and hitting. This spring when I put it away for the season, I will remove the new blower fan and install my old fan. Another area to keep an eye on is the drive chain. I have broken a few of them and found that the genuine JD chain lasts the longest, though it is a pain to change. I do keep a spare chain on the peg board in the barn. I tried the master link types and they would always part at the master link. Keeping the chain well lubricated helps a lot.
I would highly recommend the chute deflection kit, expensive but well worth it. I see some one here has used an electric linear actuator to operate the deflection option. It looks cheaper than buying the mechanical cable from JD. They do break after a few years and have to be replaced. I do not know how long the electric would last but I will consider it the next time my cable needs replacing.
 
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Shear Pins

My original 47" came with 1/4"x20x1-1/2" Grade 5 Bolts with Ny-lock Nuts. That is all I have ever used. My JD walk behind came with some fancy pins. When I went to the dealer, he handed me 1/4" grade 5 Bolts to replace the pins as he was out of the pins. At JD even the bolts were over priced. I now go to a farm store and buy my bolts in bulk by the pound. Still have to buy the Nuts in a box of 100 to get the best price. I will probably have enough nuts and bolts to make it through this winter and probably next. I go through a dozen or so a year. Some years more & some less.
I just sheared the right auger today while blowing some very wet heavy snow. The Gas Tank is low so I quit. Kid can fill it up tomorrow and finish the drive be fore he goes to work in the afternoon. I just bought a new chain from JD and I believe it was around $14 + change. The master link chain I had to purchase a box of it, I believe 10 or 20 feet. Get a dozen or so master links as you will go through them if you use it a lot.
 
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