Fist snow of the year this morning and more is forecast for tomorrow so I got the snowblower on just in time. This rear mounted Kubota snowblower does a good job clearing snow but getting it installed is always a bit of a challenge, especially as it's something done just once a year so you don't get much opportunity to develop smooth installation techniques.
I stored the snowblower and 3-point hitch parts under a tarp all summer, but even with that, a lot of oil and grease evaporated and some rust set in. I live in a damp climate so that doesn't help any.
The photo above shows the snowblower fully installed, adjusted and lubricated.
Step 1: Free-up All Ball and Socket Joints
This is perhaps the most important step to make the installation as frustration-free as possible:
Take all the time necessary to free-up all ball and socket joints.
To do this I spray the joint with WD-40 and insert a bar or other tool in the ball hole to provide enough leverage to move the ball around in the socket until it is moves freely. A soft faced hammer comes in handy to help free badly frozen joints. (There are 6 ball and socket joints on the 3-point hitch that connects the snowblower to the tractor.)
Step 2: Connect the Top Link to the Snowblower and Tractor
With the Top Link already connected to the snowblower, carefully back the tractor in so that the other end of the top link can connect with the tractor. If the top link was not adjusted for some other implement it should still be very close in adjustment to where you need it now. This step helps keep distances organized for the remainder of the installation.
The first part of the video (above) shows this step.
Step 3: Installing Lower Link Pin and "D" Bushings
Before you start the installation part of this step, make sure the lower link pin and associated D bushings are free of all corrosion - thoroughly clean with fine steel wool and WD-40 if necessary. Before slipping the two lower link ball joints over the pin, it might be worth while practice fitting the pin and the 2 D bushings in the mounting holes. After the test fitting, remove the pin and bushings and slide the two lower links over the pin (best to disconnect the lower ends of the links from the snowblower first). Reinstall the two bushings and slide the pin and bushings in place as practiced previously. Next, spread the two lower links on the pin to make room for the check chain bracket.
Now install the check chain bracket assembly - once installed the bracket will insure the lower link pin and bushings will remain in position. (A helper makes this part of the installation easier as he can help manipulate and take the load of the heavy lower links.
Step 4: Hook in the Bottom End of the Lower Links and Connect the Lift Rods
The bottom ends of the left and right lower links must now be manoeuvred in place and fitted over the mating pins on the snowblower. It might be necessary to shift the snowblower a bit to get these aligned. I needed a hammer to help with the mating. I also had to use a more forceful assist to get one link driven home (see video).
The left and right lift rods are installed next. This should be fairly easy to do as most of the front to back and left to right alignment is already done. You still might need to influence the fit with the soft faced hammer though.
The two check chains can now be assembled in place. It will likely be necessary to lengthen or shorten the chains to get them to fit. Later they have to be adjusted to keep the snow blower from swaying from side to side while travelling or operating (see later step).
Step 5: Connect the Drive Line to the PTO and Hookup the Shield Chains
I covered this part of the operation pretty well in an earlier instructable (albeit in reverse order) so I won't go into details here.
You can view that instructable - "Removing Snowblower from Kubota Tractor" here:
Step 6: Adjusting and Lubricating
- With the snowblower raised off the floor a bit, adjust both check chains to prevent side to side sway of the snowblower
- Lubricate the chain, sprockets and chute with a graphite based lubricant
- Grease all grease fittings
- Remove gear box plug and check oil level
- Connect the electrical chute connector (if equipped)
That should do it - bring on the snow!