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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I tackled this project below last winter. This obviously is not my own idea but instead a plan comprised of others suggestions, ideas, experience and previous posts. Below is my journey installing an electric actuator for spout control (vertical movement) on a snowblower and the necessary wiring.

I apologize if this should have been posted in the attachments section and also for my previous attempt. I will try harder this time.:flag_of_truce:

First, is a list of my BOM...

Bill of Material

Linear Actuator (15 lbs, 12v, 4 inch Stroke)
Source - Firgelli Automations (www.firgelliauto.com)
PN - FA-MS-15-12-4
Cost - $75.00

Momentary Contact Rocker Switch
Source - Firgelli Automations (www.firgelliauto.com)
PN - MAN-RS2
Cost - $18.00

16 Gage Wire (2 colors for a someone like me to keep straight)
16 Gage Heat Shrink Butt Connectors and Quick Disconnectors
In Line 12v Fuse Holder
2 Wire Flat 12v Connector

Hardware
2 Stainless Steel Hex Head Bolts 1/4 x 1 1/2
4 Stainelss Steel Nylock 1/4 Nuts
Flex Tubing and Kwik Clips
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Assembly of Actuator

a) Prior to ordering the actuator I measured my upper and lower limits of my deflector which was right at 4 inches. Once the actuator arrived, I started by drilling out the holes of the actuator with a 1/4 bit to fit my fasteners.

b) There was a pre drilled hole already located on each side of the deflector. (pic 818) I assume these holes are for the mechanical Remote Spout Control from JD. I chose the right hand side of the spout for my actuator since my switch would be located on the right hand side of the dash and by using the right hand side, I was also able to the secure my wiring to the hydraulic lines with cable ties.

c) I removed the hand tightener for the deflector and fastened the actuator to the pre-drilled hole with a 1/4 x 1 1/2 bolt and 1/4 nut. I did not use a locking nut at this time as this was for reference only. I then placed the actuator in its upper limit and marked the place on the spout where the lower bolt holding the actuator would be located. (pics 811, 819, 813)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
d) I also placed the actuator at its lower limit to confirm the location of my mark. (pic 820) It was at this point I noticed I was going to have a clearance issue with the deflector hitting the housing of the actuator when in its lowest position (I will address this issue later). (pic 821)

e) After I drilled the 1/4 hole where the mark on the chute was located, I secured the lower portion of the actuator with a 1/4 x 1 1/2 SS hex head bolt, two 1/4 SS Nylock nuts and a lock washer (the lock washer was used as a spacer and not to lock a nut in place). I placed an 1 1/2 bolt through the bottom hole of the actuator, added the lock washer, and threaded a Nylock nut on to the point where the lock washer added a little tension between the nut and actuator. I then slid the remaining part of the fastener through the hole I drilled on the chute and then added a final Nylock nut. (pic 814)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
For the top fastener, I secured it to the actuator and deflector in the same manner as the lower fastener. Again, the reason I went with 1 1/2 bolts and used 2 Nylock nuts was to give me clearance between the deflector and top of the actuator housing when they were placed in the lower positions. From the pic below (deflector in raised position) you can see the clearance I gained with using 2 Nylock nuts. (pics 823 & 897)

Also note that I did add a Nylock nut on to the fastener I removed back in 'c' (pic 896). This kept the deflector from extending further as it wanted to with the hand tightener removed. It also provided the ‘channel’ when the deflector rides up and down. Again, I did not over tighten the Nylock nut to allow for free travel.

And finally, a pic of the actuator setup before electrical.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Rocker Switch Placement

a) I removed the steering column, rubber boot, throttle control (pic 826) and 4 fasteners and then started with the most trying portion for my steady hands (not), cutting a hole in the dash for the rocker switch. I heated an Exacto knife to cut through the dash and followed up with filing it down for the final cutout. I chose my location on the right hand side since my left hand always seems to be on the steering wheel and my right on the joystick control.



b) Once I had the switch in place, I also prewired the jump connections on the back of the switch as directed in the schematic below.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Wiring

a) I laid out 4 lengths of wire from the switch to the front of the tractor. 2 that would run from the battery to the switch and 2 that would run from the switch to the actuator. Ensuring I had ample length of wire, I placed them inside the plastic flex tubing and fished it up behind the dash on the right hand side. I then crimped the quick disconnectors onto the wires. I left enough slack in the wire to allow for some play when it came to placing the dash back on. (wow, was it sure dirty behind my dash.) (pics 835 & 836)

b) For the wiring from the actuator, I placed a butt connector on each wire from the actuator. As previously mentioned, I used 16 gage wire. Since the wire from the actuator was 18 or 20 gage, I stripped twice the length I normally would and at the halfway point of the exposed wire, bent the exposed wire 180 degrees before sliding the wire into the butt connector and crimping. (pics 829 & 830)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
c) I decided to make my entry under the hood near the battery at the front of the tractor. You can see in the pic below, JD fabricated a notch for the negative battery cable on the platform holding the battery. I pulled back the weather-molding and removed the rubber grommet. This seemed the most convenient place for the wires from the battery, the actuator and the switch to meet. (pic 832)


d) With the wiring from the switch and the actuator complete, I joined them underneath the battery platform and also connected with the wiring to/from the battery. As noted in the wiring schematic, I used a flat 2point connector. This connector will allow me to disconnect the wiring when the snowblower is removed. I decided to locate the flat 2 point connector onto a steel brace near the battery. With all the wiring now inside the flex tubing, I ran it next to the negative battery cable and replaced the weather-molding. (pics 862 & 864)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
e) I also completed my wiring from the battery and added a weatherproof In-Line 12v fuse holder. I placed these wires inside the flex tubing and attached to my battery using Kwik Clips. (pics 838 & 839)


f) After completing all the wiring, placing it inside the flex tubing and then securing it with Kwik Clips and cable ties
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
g) I then secured the flex tubing running from the front of the tractor to the dash along the right hand frame of the tractor. (pics 860 & 842)


h) I finished placing the wiring to the actuator inside the flex tubing and again secured it with cable ties (to the hydraulic lines) and Kwik Clips on the snowblower spout. Note: the reason for the screwdriver in the 3rd pic is to show that I left enough slack in the wiring in the event snow would build up there and place stress on the wiring and connectors. (pics 847 & 845)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
i) I finished by placing the quick connectors on the switch (behind the dash). I understand the picture below may be hard to comprehend but imagine standing on the platform to the right of the open station (looking down) and the dash is still loose and upside down (resting on the seat). Note the steering arm at the top middle of the picture and the throttle control near my wiring. (pic 837)

j) I then secured the dash back to the tractor and placed the steering wheel and throttle control.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
And finally...the end results. I would guess this was about 6-8 hour excercise for me and well worth my time and effort.

Again, I apologize for the previous thread issues and I hope this might help or be of interest to some of you. As stated in the OP of this thread, this is by no means my own idea. I gathered this information from a lot of others who were kind enough to post the experiences and ideas.

lost


ps...time for me to get outside and get a little seat time
:bye2:
 

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I'm on my feet giving you a round of applause! Fantastic project and great write up! :thumbup1gif:

And that's for the line for the actuator/web site. That's a great unit at a good price.

If we had big snow here more often....

Pete
 

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Great post LIW, thanks for sharing your project :)
 

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LIW, What is the speed on that LA? Most I have seen are real slow...
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Kenny,

If memory serves me correctly its about 3-4 seconds from fully closed to fully open. I believe they offered another model a bit faster but the load capacity drops from 15 lbs to 8 or 9. For me, when blowing by the house, I have it just above half open or up. When I get further down the drive and have no obstacles, I open it further but not fully open (shoots pretty far in the air). Probably takes less than 2 seconds. I probably only make 2-3 adjustments per cleaning depending on the type of snow.

But I hear you...if I were using it more, I might look for something faster.


lost
 

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Bravo Doug! :thumbup1gif:

That is a very well done project and most of all a very nice post. Very easy to follow.

That sure beats my manual control cable (Deere's kit). Be careful not to wear out that hinge now, I have already upgraded mine.

Oh, I agree with you and moved this to the Implements section.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
*Updated*

With some encouragement from others, I finally ventured to the world of YouTube. Below are some quick clips of my actuator once I installed it. Also included for your viewing pleasure (I know my CFO got a kick out of it) is a video of blowing snow prior to having the actuator. Granted, I had the deflector quite high (try to show off how far this snowblower can toss that snow), but it shows how the wind switches and swirls once I get from behind the trees.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n0g0OJbYAEE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-vJT3ZOpto&NR=1

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KLoIo..._order&list=UL
 
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