So, my 12 year old fixed a 26″ snowblower by himself.
Well, OK, i helped re-mount the parts on the auger shaft, because they were a bit tough to get mounted, but overall, he did the tear-down and reassembly of the auger assembly, and the 2-stage portion.
My neighbor gave me a TroyBilt Storm 2620 because the auger didn’t work anymore. The engine worked fine – it actually was EASY to ull-start. It turns out he hit an ice pile, and rather than breaking the shear bolts, the drive gear got stripped.
After doing some online research, i found the drive gear-shaft and a pair of the auger gears (figured i should buy 2 in case it happens again) for 80 bucks. Those, and a youtube video, showed that it should cost me less time and money than the $400+ that they wanted to do it at the local power equipment store. Note: I also found a fully assembled gearbox for $200, if i needed to go that route.
I decided to take a day off, since my younger son had the day off, and this was to be our project. While i was working on something else, I let him tear it down in an orderly manner (With some direction, but he did the work).
Once we got the gearbox cracked open, we were greeted with a gold mess – that brass gear didn’t just strip a few teeth… it exploded.
for comparison, here’s what a GOOD gear looks like:
So we went to the auto parts store and got some grease, and swapped gear parts – the whole process would have taken only 2 hours or so if we didn’t stop halfway through.
And when we were done we had ZERO pieces left over. This is the first BIG mechanical project he’s ever undertaken, and 95% of it was simple direction, and letting him learn by doing. That’s not to say he was UNSUPERVISED, but it was a great learning experience, and now I have a big 2 stage snowthrower to use… thus ensuring it won’t snow again this year.
Throughout the process, he saw that I was learning as we went, too – so hopefully he is absorbing the fact that sometimes you just need to take a crack at something – had this been my snowblower beforehand (as opposed to a freebie) – it would have saved me quite a bit of money just to try this.