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I just tried to use the snowcaster on the 448 that I bought a few months ago with troubling results. It rotated apparently OK when engaged and under no load but soon stopped when it became jammed with snow. When it did run it only threw the snow just clear of the side casing. With the temperature hovering around freezing, the snow is very heavy but, is this normal?
I'm still learning my way around this machine so it might be something that I have done or not done however, I don't think so. Looking at the engagement mechanism I guess there is a clutch that is engaged when the lever is pushed forward which I can see moving into engagement, but it appears to be slipping. Is this adjustable, and if so, how?
On the plus side, the Onan runs very nicely indeed which seems to confirm the sellers statement that it had recently been rebuilt.
 

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Two quick things come to mind: There is a tension spring on the idler pulley that should be checked. And, are you using the correct belt? Could be the clutch, but I'm not familiar with the mechanical ones.
 

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yeah it sounds like that clutch just needs adjusting, but since you'll be paying a lot of attention to it, this would be the perfect time to assess it for bearing replacement and have a good look at the hub/shaft for wear.
all you need to know about the clutch can be found on this site, someone will link that for you very soon I'm sure. Good luck with it and be prepared to be blown away when your caster is working properly!!!!
 

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Take the simplest things first:

1. Is the belt to the snow blower slipping? If so, the tension spring is probably missing or not connected correctly.

2. If the belt is snug then the clutch is slipping and it most likely just needs a slight adjustment unless the clutch friction disc is worn away. If you look carefully with a light you should be able to see about 1/8" or more thickness on the friction disc.

3. Assuming the friction disc is there/OK then you need to adjust the clutch clearance when disengaged.

4. Most likely you have an EZ adjust clutch which has a large hex nut just behind the fan. To adjust it you need to remove the hood and unfasten the oil cooler so that it can be temporarily swung to the side to give you easy access to the fan and adjustment nut--you do not need to drain the oil from the hydraulic system or remove the oil cooler.

5. Loosen the 3/4" nut that holds the fan on but maintain good tension on it so that the clutch assembly stays intact. With a large wrench (not pliers) turn the large hex nut clockwise about an 1/8 of a turn at a time until you can feel a slight drag when you turn the PTO pulley by hand then back off just enough to eliminate the drag. Re tighten the 3/4" nut in front of the fan to 45 ft-lbs and you should be good to go.

If you ignore my instructions about not using pliers on the large hex nut be prepared to purchase a new one for about $15. You'll also need to figure out a way to keep the crank from turning as you do this adjustment. I use a simple tool that has two pins on a lever and the pins fit into holes in the flywheel screen. You can also remove the hose between the flywheel housing and the carb and stick a large screwdriver in the teeth of the flywheel.
 

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xfolkboat said:
It really sounds like the belt is slipping, it can sneak up on you. As stated, the spring should be under some decent tension.

Belts can be too long and too thin!
:+1: You`ll have less potential areas to trouble-shoot if you have a an OEM spring and belt, eliminate the simple, cheap and not so obvious items first.
The PTO adjustment remains a distinct possibility and intimidates many, some reading and more than minimal patience are required. However, with minor diligence even a primate such as myself can come to terms with it. JMO
 

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cumminscanuck said:
I just tried to use the snowcaster on the 448 that I bought a few months ago with troubling results.

The first thing that you need to do is to figure out whether the problem is with the snowcaster or with the tractor. If your PTO clutch is adjusted properly, then it will not engage easily. You have to push fairly hard on the lever and as the lever moves away from you, it gets harder to push it. But.....near the very end of the travel, the lever sort of snaps over into the fully engaged position. Did you have a mowing deck on this tractor and if so, were you cutting grass with it and had no problems?

It rotated apparently OK when engaged and under no load but soon stopped when it became jammed with snow.

You have it backward. The snowcaster jammed with snow because either the belt is slipping or the clutch is slipping. Have you gone into the Technical Library/Operator Manuals/Snowblowers and studied that document? In addition, the Parts Manual section of the Library will acquaint you with all the parts that make up the snowcaster.

When it did run it only threw the snow just clear of the side casing. With the temperature hovering around freezing, the snow is very heavy but, is this normal?

No. That is not normal. If the snowcaster is not spinning at full speed, then it won't throw snow.

I'm still learning my way around this machine so it might be something that I have done or not done however, I don't think so. Looking at the engagement mechanism I guess there is a clutch that is engaged when the lever is pushed forward which I can see moving into engagement, but it appears to be slipping.

You have to look very carefully at the PTO clutch to see if the pulley stops due to the clutch being out of adjustment or if the belt is slipping on the spinning pulley. If the PTO pulley comes to a stop, then you need to go to the Tech Library/Service Manuals/PTO clutch and read up on how to adjust the clutch. Clutch adjustments are a fact of life with these tractors so you may as well resign yourself to mastering the process or you will never be happy with the tractor. :thumbsup:

Is this adjustable, and if so, how?
On the plus side, the Onan runs very nicely indeed which seems to confirm the sellers statement that it had recently been rebuilt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The first thing that you need to do is to figure out whether the problem is with the snowcaster or with the tractor. If your PTO clutch is adjusted properly, then it will not engage easily. You have to push fairly hard on the lever and as the lever moves away from you, it gets harder to push it. But.....near the very end of the travel, the lever sort of snaps over into the fully engaged position. Did you have a mowing deck on this tractor and if so, were you cutting grass with it and had no problems?

This is the first time I have used the tractor "in anger" since I bought it. I've changed the oil and filter, re-upholstered the seat, fitted a new battery and that's about it. I have not had time to do more and I wanted to try out the snowcaster before I take the machine into my shop for a complete tear down, respray and refurbish. She really does need a great deal of TLC.

The lever moves VERY easily and without any "feel" or resistance to the fully forward position. It does not go "over centre" at the end of travel so it would seem that adjustment is necessary :fingerscrossed:

Thanks to ALL you guys that offered assistance and advice, it is very much appreciated. :trink: Tomorrow I will go through all the points you have raised on the tractor. :headscratcher: By the end of the day I will know the 448 much better. :thumbsup: :letitsnow:
 

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Now is the time to exhibit great patience because the PTO clutch can be exasperating the first time you tackle it.

Reading the clutch manual very carefully several times is essential. The clutch disc thickness matters or you won't get an adjustment that works for you. If you have to dismantle the clutch, then remove one piece at a time and lay it out on a bench in the exact order it was removed. Then COMPARE what was removed to what it shows in the manual. All too often, past owners screw up and put things in the wrong order or they leave out important parts. The clutch is only as good as the sum of all its parts and in the correct order.
 
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