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A clean chain in a constant gear oil bath should last 10X longer than an exposed (dirty) chain that periodically gets a shot of some kind of lube. Keep in mind that even folks who give it a regular shot of lube probably aren't doing it correctly. It's tough to get lube where it needs to be to actually do some good (inside the rollers) and JD didn't make accessing the open chain very easy. And then there are those who have the chain too tight due to the eccentric sprockets.

For maximum life of the gear case, it might not be a bad idea to run it for a while and then drain and refill with oil. That should flush out any contaminants from the manufacturing and assembly process.
I do like the idea of running it for a while and then draining the gearcase and putting in fresh 80-90. I'll probably do that as well. My question isn't so much about whether or not the chain will wear out so much as I'm wondering how things will change as the chain stretches a bit. We know the old sprocket system had a (bad) way of adding some tension to the chain as it stretched, I can't see (from the outside) how a tensioner might have been included inside the case.

I doubt we will get to much snow now until the real spring here??? I hope we do get some so I can use this and yes I was going to drain the gearcase before it gets put to bed regardless. It has been run for about 30 minutes.. I went for a ride and had the blower on but no real way to "push" it.. There was some oil in the case when I opened the fill so who knows what that was. Like I stated, it didn't take much oil at all. Have a good one,, I ordered the spare 2 days ago and it's at the UPS stable ready to be loaded on the truck 25 miles from me. Fast, free shipping. Like I said great company to deal with and if you have a question you get an answer in minutes. You can't beat that. Not knocking our vendors by any stretch just my experience with this new gearcase. Jeff
I live just north of Fargo, ND and while our 10 day forecast is pretty warm and sunny (highs in the 20s and 30s!) there is good opportunity for heavy wet snow in March around here. If that doesn't work I've got a minimum of 12" of snow on the ground with drifts up to 5' in some areas, I can take a little time to give this thing a workout if need be.
 

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I do like the idea of running it for a while and then draining the gearcase and putting in fresh 80-90. I'll probably do that as well. My question isn't so much about whether or not the chain will wear out so much as I'm wondering how things will change as the chain stretches a bit. We know the old sprocket system had a (bad) way of adding some tension to the chain as it stretched, I can't see (from the outside) how a tensioner might have been included inside the case.



I live just north of Fargo, ND and while our 10 day forecast is pretty warm and sunny (highs in the 20s and 30s!) there is good opportunity for heavy wet snow in March around here. If that doesn't work I've got a minimum of 12" of snow on the ground with drifts up to 5' in some areas, I can take a little time to give this thing a workout if need be.
I don't think that #50 chain will stretch that much compare to the old set up where the chain was tight then loose because of the wobble sprockets, I plan on running mine the rest of this winter then changing out the oil with 80/90, I have been running these 47/54 blowers for 25 years now and never broke a chain, but I replace them every year, I got 7 years on this 54, the last 2 years it is just used for sidewalks and a backup, it used to do 50 to 60 driveways up here in central Wi. Would have been nice if John Deere would have came with this update a few years ago, so nice not having to adjust a chain and putting up with that oily mess, I ran chain saw bar oil so you can imagine the mess.
 

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I have a question for you guys; Seeing how when I slid the new chaincase on the driveshaft the bolt holes at the large gear side were perfect on my blower housing and the small gear side were about a half a hole off towards the rear and did not line up told me the drive shaft to the auger gear box was out of line and the front gear box had to go to the left to bring the bolt holes in line with the blower housing.. What side is your auger gearbox housing support bracket bolted on? Right side of Left, again looking at the front of the blower? Mine is on the left side of the gearbox housing and that would make sense that the bracket may be on the wrong side of the gearbox thus not allowing the shaft to run true to the new enclosed chain case?? Am I nuts? It came from the factory like this. The sprockets had a little play of course but the new chaincase has no allowable play at all. This may be my noise issue and the excessive side to side movement. I don't want to ruin a new chaincase prematurely or the auger gearcase either.. There's no room for error with this setup. If the support is on the wrong side that would explain a lot of the issues I had from day one! That would also tell me the entire auger set up has to be redone.. Thanks Jeff
 

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I have a question for you guys; Seeing how when I slid the new chaincase on the driveshaft the bolt holes at the large gear side were perfect on my blower housing and the small gear side were about a half a hole off towards the rear and did not line up told me the drive shaft to the auger gear box was out of line and the front gear box had to go to the left to bring the bolt holes in line with the blower housing.. What side is your auger gearbox housing support bracket bolted on? Right side of Left, again looking at the front of the blower? Mine is on the left side of the gearbox housing and that would make sense that the bracket may be on the wrong side of the gearbox thus not allowing the shaft to run true to the new enclosed chain case?? Am I nuts? It came from the factory like this. The sprockets had a little play of course but the new chaincase has no allowable play at all. This may be my noise issue and the excessive side to side movement. I don't want to ruin a new chaincase prematurely or the auger gearcase either.. There's no room for error with this setup. If the support is on the wrong side that would explain a lot of the issues I had from day one! That would also tell me the entire auger set up has to be redone.. Thanks Jeff
Looking at the front of the blower the support bracket is on the left side, when I slide my new gearbox in I had everything loose, even had the support bracket off, the new gearbox bolted right up, ran the bolts in with my fingers, I have no side to side, just a very slight rocking, I do have a slight rattle, I think maybe a carrier bearing starting to go, but with the cab the sound is more noticeable inside until about 2500 and then the noise goes away, and I have this noise with the pto driveshaft off, just a slight rattle in the pto gearbox at low rpms, I have heard other 1025r owners talk about this, still under warranty till 2023 so not goin worry about it, but would like to know what it is, just sounds worse in the cab, the sound really amplifies in the cab, I have seen some runout on the auger gearbox shaft on my older 47's and they would shake side to side, but I never replaced the shaft, that's back when you could rebuild them, used to pull them apart and shim up the gearbox to take out the play in the ring and pinion, did that a few times, these blowers seen a lot of abuse, this 54 has a easy life now compared to them 47's
 

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Looking at the front of the blower the support bracket is on the left side, when I slide my new gearbox in I had everything loose, even had the support bracket off, the new gearbox bolted right up, ran the bolts in with my fingers, I have no side to side, just a very slight rocking, I do have a slight rattle, I think maybe a carrier bearing starting to go, but with the cab the sound is more noticeable inside until about 2500 and then the noise goes away, and I have this noise with the pto driveshaft off, just a slight rattle in the pto gearbox at low rpms, I have heard other 1025r owners talk about this, still under warranty till 2023 so not goin worry about it, but would like to know what it is, just sounds worse in the cab, the sound really amplifies in the cab, I have seen some runout on the auger gearbox shaft on my older 47's and they would shake side to side, but I never replaced the shaft, that's back when you could rebuild them, used to pull them apart and shim up the gearbox to take out the play in the ring and pinion, did that a few times, these blowers seen a lot of abuse, this 54 has a easy life now compared to them 47's

Thanks for looking, I did not take my support off of the auger gearbox and that may have been that issue, are those adjustable up top? I did push my augers to the left to get the enclosed chaincase to line up but it may have come back before I tightened them back up? I have no idea now... There's not much to these things but a little off and it is off.. I may loosen all the front auger parts and see what happens including the locking collars, by rights it should spring into position if indeed the shafts are not lined up.. in other words; slide side to side easily. I am keeping my fingers crossed. Back up on the lift it goes! This time I will just drive the tractor on the lift instead of taking the blower off again!
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tractor and blower on lift.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #146
What side is your auger gearbox housing support bracket bolted on? Right side of Left, again looking at the front of the blower? Mine is on the left side of the gearbox housing and that would make sense that the bracket may be on the wrong side of the gearbox thus not allowing the shaft to run true to the new enclosed chain case?? Am I nuts?
Looking at the front of the blower, my bracket is on the left side of the auger gear case.

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Wow not sure how I missed this thread but I just read through it all. This is great news! That exposed chain set up was garbage design and garbage execution.

As my sprockets are eccentric I had intended to have new sprockets made and at the same time go up or down in size to speed up the blower impeller and hopefully blow the snow farther away.

Long story but I ended up trading out my complete 47 assembly for a near new 54 assembly. Blower, shafts, quick hitch etc. The “new” 54 blower sprockets are out of whack but not as bad as the last one.

I think I will forgo the “speed up” kit and just swap to the new chain case route.

I will upgrade to the metal impeller while I have it all apart. That will blow the snow farther. More expensive than making sprokets but a better upgrade in the long run.

I will also hard face the skid shoes, do the pulley mod to make the spout turn more than 180 degrees, and extend the height of the blower bucket. So anoying having to back up to suck up the snow that slides over the top. These are what 18-20” tall? My last tractor had a 36” tall bucket and I added tall and forward leaning drift cutters. With the blower lifted all the way up I could cut snow banks along my street 5’ tall. Hope to do simmilar to my JD unit.

For the money these units cost all these mods Im doing should have been factory. At least JD is going back to an enclosed case design. More or less admitting the current setup is unacceptable. Now start working on the other fixes Big Green!!
 

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Discussion Starter #149
Wow not sure how I missed this thread but I just read through it all. This is great news! That exposed chain set up was garbage design and garbage execution.

I will also hard face the skid shoes, do the pulley mod to make the spout turn more than 180 degrees, and extend the height of the blower bucket.
Have you considered going with a 3rd party skid shoe? I swapped out the OEM shoes on my 54-inch blower for a set from snowblowerskids.com. I bought the standard 16-inch skids but they now make an extra heavy duty version of the same skids which now have a super thick bottom plate. These longer skids work so much better than the OEM skids, are much easier to adjust - and offer much greater range of adjustment.

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Looking at the front of the blower, my bracket is on the left side of the auger gear case.

View attachment 729033
JG, I went out today to see just how bad this thing rocks, and do I want to fool with this and noticed something.. raise the throttle and man does it rock, so I grabbed the drift bar and it only took a very light touch to stop it! So after I did that, shut it down and looked at the quick tatch frame and the bolt the allows the hitch to swing/pivot has loosened up or worn and possibly may need a washer! That's what lets this thing rock.. I will get it up on the lift, check out what's going on and I would be willing to bet, no more rocking at all..
Received my spare chaincase from Bodensteiner today too. Now if GRP would ship my driveshaft I ordered the same day I would be all set. It hasn't left the building yet..ordered last Wednesday, both parts.
 

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Discussion Starter #151
JG, I went out today to see just how bad this thing rocks, and do I want to fool with this and noticed something.. raise the throttle and man does it rock, so I grabbed the drift bar and it only took a very light touch to stop it! So after I did that, shut it down and looked at the quick tatch frame and the bolt the allows the hitch to swing/pivot has loosened up or worn and possibly may need a washer! That's what lets this thing rock.. I will get it up on the lift, check out what's going on and I would be willing to bet, no more rocking at all..
I'll bet you will find that your pivot bolt is tight. That whole pivot bolt arrangement is a poor design. Even when tightened it still has a lot of slop. If you don't need the quick hitch to pivot for a plow and broom, the best, easiest, cheapest way to remove 95% of the slop is to replace the locking pin with a bolt and nut and draw it tight. You will not believe how this helps with the slop. Below is the bolt I installed in mine.

I used the same kind of locking nut as is used on the pivot bolt.

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Those extra wide skids shoes look nice! Not sure what the cost and shipping (heavy) would be tho. I wonder if those or the Deere OEM’s are just regular old A36 steel or if its a though hardened alloy?

My issue is I already have hard facing stick electrode. If I had to buy a box its probably only $20. Plus a $3 can of black spray paint. Makes for a very cheap upgrade assuming you have a welder. I used a cheap A/C only “buzz box” on this.

Only used the hard faced skids on the 47 one season so too early to tell for sure but they were holding up well. I did add an AR400 (hard alloy steel) cutting edge from I think it was heavy hitch??? as well. Toying with the idea of doing it on the new to me 54” as well. Its practicaly new so hard to justify the cost.
 
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