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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is my first year with my Ingersoll 226 with a snowcaster set up so I have nothing to compare this to...but anyways I used it for the first time as we finally got some snow here in Buffalo. It worked but didnt seem to really throw the snow very far maybe 10' at max. It was some pretty wet stuff and I had the tractor running at about 3/4 throttle but i still think it should throw it a little farther. I used my Toro walk behind and it was throwing double what my tractor was....any ideas or thoughts?
 

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burrhoes said:
I had the tractor running at about 3/4 throttle
Right off the bat, you need the engine at 3600 RPM to get the auger going at 900 RPM. The faster that spins, the further it throws. Keeping the bucket full helps also, so go at the fastest ground speed the depth/weight of the snow will safely let you. Make sure your auger is set for minimum clearance to the bucket, but how you do this depends on the model of your snowcaster. Try different chute angle settings. Make sure your clutch and belt are not slipping.
The snowcaster does not toss as far as a good 2 stage, but easily makes up for it in volume. I double blow snow in some places on my property but it makes little difference except when it's really deep, wet, and heavy.
 

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If you want your caster to toss snow really well, then you need to rebuild it totally.

- every part should be dismantled, media blasted, primed and repainted with several coats of hardened paint. Snow does not slide easily on rust. Smooth, slippery paint is important.

- the paddles should be ground smooth on both sides and the edge should be flat

- make paddle extenders out of old conveyor belting that is 1/4" thick. Drill the paddle sides to accept bolts to hold the paddles on while the auger is out of the housing.

- replace the auger bearings with new ones and install the auger so that the auger flutes barely miss the rear of the housing. You don't want to lose snow as it is heading for the paddles.

- cut the old counter shaft in half and remove it and the old bearings from the housing.

- buy a new length of cold rolled steel, two new bearings and a 19 tooth sprocket instead of the 17 tooth along with a new chain.

- press the shaft out of the stock pulley so you don't damage it.

- install the new bearings and shaft once the new sprocket has been welded onto the shaft end.

- cut the chain to length and add a half-link if necessary. The chain should not be taught but the sag should be minimal. Do not use the auger to adjust the chain. If the chain gets sloppy in a few years, then just replace it.

- Use anti-sieze paste around the auger bearings and on the pulley but locate the pulley on the new shaft first by tightening down the set screw hard enough to leave an impression on the shaft. Then remove the shaft temporarily and drill a hole 1/4" to 3/8" deep where the set screw left it's mark. The hole should be two drill sizes larger than the diameter of the set screw. Install the shaft again and install the pulley. Insert the set screw using anti-sieze paste and tighten in down really well. Then install another set screw on top of the first one and tighten it down hard.

Check the two idler pulleys to make sure the bearings are not stiff or sloppy. They should spin freely and make no noise. If the tensioning spring is distorted, replace it. If the belt is worn, replace it. Finally, rebuild your PTO clutch. Snowcasters demand a lot of HP when under extreme load. If your clutch is weak, it will slip and you may not even realize it. That clutch must lock in solidly when it is engaged. You should have to push the lever with some force to get to the fully engaged position. Keep a spare OEM belt on hand at all times.

Once the caster is back together then finish shaping the rubber extensions for the paddles. Bolt them on and then use an angle grinder to fine tune those new paddles so that they barely touch the housing as the auger rotates. Make sure your chute rotates freely and use a dry lubricant on it that won't attract dirt. Run you Onan at wide open throttle and use your ground speed to keep snow feeding into the housing until you are almost choking it.

You can spray PAM on the auger, housing and chute before you go out to blow snow to make everything nice and slippery.
 

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Hydriv,
Thank you for a very detailed fix. I spent over 1 hour trying to get the chain and auger just right, and needless to say I couldn't. I would take out the half link and it was to tight, put it back in and it's to long :oops: Looks like I have another thing on the list. But I'm sure it will be worth it, in the long run.
 

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I'm new to the Case snowcaster too. I have the same problem with not throwing snow very far and the chain issue. Not enough adjustment in the auger to get the chain tight and clearances correct at the same time. Took out a link, chain to short. Poorly engineered, imho. Should have a chain tensioner to adjust tension. I have a couple of Sears single stage blowers that throw it twice as far as the Case. Going to add paddle extensions and see if that helps. :mad:
 

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To all:

The chain is an inexpensive item. Go to TSC and purchase a box of chain for around $10.00. Make up new chains from that length. Don't bother adjusting your auger to tighten the chain. THROW the old chain away when it gets too slack and install a new one. YOU will be saving your sprockets when you do this because a worn chain will wreck good sprockets and the sprockets are WELDED on. The chain is cheap, cheap, cheap by comparison in both money and labour.

ramdesl....... IF you want top performance from your snowcaster, then just adding the paddle extensions won't get you there.
 

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Don't try to get away without using the half-link. Also, using PAM or silicone spray will help a lot.

Really heavy snow doesn't throw as far, open up the chute to a more vertical position, and don't point the chute too far to the side.

Ours tosses snow a pretty good distance, especially dry snow, but the farthest snow chucker I've seen is the BCS single stager-I have to be careful with that thing.
 

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Every year..... on every forum....... this discussion comes up and it always begins with one person who is unhappy with their snowcaster. Most often, that person is new to using a snowcaster and sometimes new to using a Case or Ingersoll tractor. OK..... I understand it and I am not chastising you for complaining. However, I want you to ask yourself these questions.


- if the snowcaster is truly a poor design (as some users have said), then how come Case and then Ingersoll NEVER changed it during the past 45 years?

- if the snowcaster is truly a poor design, then why are there customers who keep coming back to the Case or Ingersoll dealership to buy a newer tractor that uses the same snowcaster?

- if the snowcaster was only capable of tossing snow 3 to 5 feet, do you honestly believe that someone who just dropped ten grand plus a new Ingersoll with deck and blower would not be jumping up and down in anger at the dealership?

- do you honestly believe that the snowcaster and the tractor are so well-built that they never need repair or rebuilding?


One of the MOST overlooked and neglected items on these tractors is the mechanical PTO clutch. That item can be slipping slightly and none of you would even know it. WHY? Because you are sitting on the tractor and your eyes cannot see how fast or slow the auger is spinning nor can they see the clutch. The second big problem is the BELT. It too can slip and you can't see it either. So if the clutch is slipping by 20 percent and the belt is slipping by 20 percent, what do you think all that slippage does to the auger speed? 3600 RPM engine speed becomes 2880 RPM when 20 percent slippage takes place. That then becomes 2304 RPM after the belt slippage is factored in. Your auger and paddles are now spinning at 64% of their rated speed. So if your blower is working half-ass, then maybe that's because it is actually spinning a bit above half speed when it is under load and you expect it to work the hardest for you. Buying el cheapo belts is a silly move. That's like buying gasoline with an octane rating that will cut your engine's horsepower by 40 percent because it's less expensive than the right stuff. Slipping belts ruin good pulleys and then ruined pulleys wreck good belts. One leads to the other. OEM belts are 9/16" wide. You won't find that width anywhere else. Belts are gripped by the pulleys on their sides, not the bottom. Belts RELY on adequate spring tension to keep pressure on them so that they do grip the sides of the pulleys.

If the spring is stretched, then it won't give the correct amount of tension and the belt will slip. Too much tension and the belt will stretch and that will cause it to slip and then fail prematurely. Pulleys that are damaged will wreck good belts and they will also cause slippage. It is up to you, as the owner, to carefully examine your tractor and snowcaster so that you can find these problems and correct them. There's nothing worse than having a foot of fresh snow on the driveway and finding out your tractor won't remove it.

Who's fault is that?
 

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Very good comprehensive diagnosis and solution!, I may go re-do my 48" and add some of those tips.

May I add, that the steel 6" pulley drive sprocket will not transfer smooth power application to the jackshaft and auger if:
1. It is rusted in the sheave to belt contact area (typically they are, beginning of season because of poor maintenance
2. The pressed steel pulley halves may not be perfect in assembled, rotational runout either axially or radially. This may be due to mfg. tolerance not tight enough in runout. And more likely the pulley got banged or pinched. Once this occurs, vibration is amplified exponentially and the auger recognizes the speed up, slow down in a frequency you can't see.

The best solution if you want to spend the money is replace it with a cast steel sheave. I used one from McMaster Carr's catalog and my vibration dropped to almost nil with exception to any auger balance variation which is minimal if the auger is virgin. But, the smoother and easier that belt power can transmit, the better the performance.

We're all tweek nuts I think, I know I am. Just an added tip if you wish to use....

JB
 

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This may not be the problem in this application, but I will share an experience. When I bought my 448 with the first snowcaster that I had ever used, it completely SUCKED. It would not throw snow at all and I essentially used it as a bucket to push the snow from my driveway. I was very frustrated to say the least. Thinking that there must be something wrong with the caster or possibly the tractor, I dove in and eliminated the previuosly mentioned problems one by one. It still would not blow snow.

Looking deeper, I noticed that there were two sets of mounting holes where the mule drive attaches to the frame of the snowcaster. It was mounted in the rear set of holes making the bucket of the caster closest to the tractor. I changed the position to the front holes making the caster furthest away from the tractor. This greatly increased belt tension and opened my eyes to a whole new world of snow removal.

Don't give up, when you figure out whatever the problem is, you will be surprised with the results.

If this is unclear, I will post some pictures to show what I am talking about. :thumbsup:
 

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If you can't get your chain tight enough with the adjustments allowed, it's probably worn and stretched. Contact bhildret here on the forum and he'll set you up with a new chain kit for (last I heard) about $21. As Hydriv said, once it starts to stretch it can ruin your sprockets.
 

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Bill......

The problem with doing adjustments on the earlier snowcasters is that you must move the auger AWAY from the back of the caster housing to tighten the chain. You also end up moving the paddles away at the same time. To me, this is self-defeating. Why open up clearances that affect how well the blower performs? You are trying to fix a silly issue of a loose chain but in fact... the chain is most likely well past its "Best Before Date". Only the S-Model will allow you to move the counter-shaft rearward to tighten the chain but.... you still run the risk of damaging both sprockets ............for what???? A piece of chain that can be replaced for $5.00????? To me, that makes no sense at all. My son has been involved with racing motocross and Super-Moto since he was 12. That's 30 years ago. We tossed worn chains on a regular basis because worn chains can break and they can also jump off due to side wiggle. You don't win championships by cutting corners like that. Ingersoll changed the way the chain got tightened for a reason. Moving the auger was a bad design.

Rule of thumb. Belts and chains always fail when you need them the most and when no store is open.
 

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All this adds up to:

If you can't STALL your engine by overloading the blower......... Something is SLIPPING somewhere.

I can stall my 20hp/48" if I purposely try. Likewise then with the same exact blower drive arrangement on all Case tractors, it would/should be easier with any lesser horsepower rig than I have. I can also snuff my 14hp with a 38", but I'll admit, you really, REALLY have to sock it full up of wet packy stuff (which means the ultimate setup is probably a 20hp or more transplant in a 200 series with a 38" caster).

Some perception of how well it appears to work is also that exactly.... how it "appears". SNOW TYPE itself can have a huge affect on the perception of "how well it blows". Some snow types combined with minimal volume just wont look impressive coming out, especially with the factory's monster 8" opening (to which it more or less "pukes" out snow in a range of variable arcs). Compare that to a blower with a 4" diameter outlet. Given the exact same amount of snow, it will look more organized coming out because the same volume is exiting in a smaller bunch.

All that said, and I admit that I have seen single stage configurations do a little better on walk behinds. I can't put a finger on why, but I have tried larger 8" wide paddles (rubber backed with steel) with no noticeable gains or losses. Other than keeping the auger snug to the housing, I find it a major improvement to have the taller chute I installed, primarily because I do a lot of city work where you need to put snow in specific spots, not just "puked" in a general direction. I picked up another tall chute from a late model Ariens that will be going on my 38" caster, and for those who may lay claim to "never have to adjust the chute height", you either live in the country, or do not care about throwing snow on your neighbors. With that, you will never talk me out of having complete electric chute control.

I am routinely placed in a fixed trance as I watch some of the videos that show single stage blowers from the front, devouring 6-8" of snow. You see NOTHING in the auger on each end, but a definite routine pile directly in front of the paddles. There seems to be less snow piling up in front of those that have the plate on the top to force snow that misses the exit hole from flying forward, rather just forcing a faster reentry to the paddles.

What I wouldn't give to see frame by frame film footage of various single stage snowblower designs. I think one key MIGHT be in the diameter of the main auger drum. There are some European plow trucks with single stage caster that are really something to watch. They have large drums.
 

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You are now entering into the subject of "Tip Speed". For those who are not familiar with this term, it applies to the speed that the tip of the paddle spins at. It also applies to the speed that the outer tip of a mower blade spins at under a deck. This is usually measured in miles per hour, not RPM. because a short mower blade and a long mower blade have vastly different tip speeds when rotating at the exact same RPM. Therefore, the diameter of an auger also affects the tip speed of the paddles.

If you spin an auger too fast, the paddle will not have enough time to let all the snow exit from it. When that happens, part of the snow load on the paddle goes past the chute opening and gets tossed in front of the snowcaster. You now have to pick up that same snow a 2nd time and hope that it gets tossed out the chute or you will be picking it up again and again and again. Even 2 stage blowers must pay attention to tip speed for the same reasons.
 

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Looking at some of the competitive auger designs, some are larger diameter, single staged, with an internal drum which on some h.p./rpm scenarios of tractors might be good to allow a smaller hp tractor to swallow snow. Putting a Kohler behind one of those would likely meet the the capacity limits or volume of blown snow, so effectively, it probably wouldn't work unless you accept low ground speed. Then, the trade offs for having a dbl stage where the auger housing is large and the auger is a skeleton. My new 10hp Ariens walk behind eats it as fast as a Case tractor/48" but at age 58 I found the blower wrangles me around like a rag doll. I found on my last 444/H84 that wind packed snow in drifts would break up if you drove into it blower raised, back out, hit again blower lowered. Even if the drift height exceeded the blower housing height, the snow would fall down. Having the vertical side cutters also helped tremendously there in a Syracuse snow drift. I really miss my old tractor and wish my ex wife never took it, the btch. Lol.... enough on ex's.. Happy Blowing!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
oh boy what a sh*t storm I created! from tricks, tips, modifications, and even ex's!

I want to start off by thanking everyone for their responses. It certainly gives me a bunch of stuff to look for.

As far as the snowcaster itself...I bought 2 snowcasters to make 1 good one. I completely sand blasted and painted all the components of the caster giving me a fresh starting point. The auger bearings were replaced. The main pulley was replaced. The chain was replaced. The belt is the OEM belt. When I put it all together though I had a hell of a time getting the chain on. I have that sucker on there tight where there is almost no slack in it at all. Is this not a smart move on my part?

The PTO on the tractor "seems" fine at this point. It takes some effort to engage it as some of you pointed out that it should. There has also been mention of running the machine at a certain RPM (I believe it was 4200 RPM) is that full throttle? Several other people informed me that that is not necessary that you only have to run it at about 3/4 throttle.

I absolutely love my Ingy and my snowcaster set up! I just thought that it would throw the snow a little farther than it did. It was very wet and heavy snow so I am certain that was a factor. I will look into the paddle idea as well.
 
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