We’ve been having a brutal winter with lots of heavy snow so I figured I’d make some lemonade out of lemons by building a monstrous, 6 feet high snow tubing slope with 45 ft of runway for my kids.
Well, I was successful but at the cost of breaking my John Deere 1330 Snowthrower.
Apparently I had picked up a good sized rock during my snow gathering and the rock ended up bending one of the (fin) tabs on my high-speed impeller. Ironically, the bent fin was actually sticking straight up, rubbing against my cowl and hitting my right auger every other turn, making 1330se useless (see good fin vs bad fin). So I:
- tried to bend it back by hitting it with a hammer but I had an awkward angle so it did not work;
- tried using my propane torch, thinking I can soften up the steel enough to bend it back the propane just could not make the steel hot enough;
With another snow storm approaching, I made a quick run to Home Depot and picked up a pseudo-acetylene torch kit as a last desperate attempt at fixing the bent impeller.
After spending 15 minutes to heat up the impeller fin (it was 10 below at the time), I was finally able to (somewhat) bend it back into original shape.
Periodically stop while heating to see if you can bend the steel. The steel should be malleable when you start to see red flicks. DO NOT overheat the steel!
Although I ended up ruining the inside paint job (see the after-repair fin), I had my blower back (albeit with slight vibrations and the impeller belt jumping off, stopping the blower every 20 minutes or so).
When the snow season is over, I would like to take the 1330se apart and:
- see if I can balance the impeller to make the vibration go away. Otherwise, I may have to replace it
- make sure the impeller shaft is not bent
- replace the shaft bearing since it probably got damaged
I will post a follow up article when I get it done.