The rubber paddles on my Snow Blower are in need of replacement. Went to local distributor to purchase new paddles and was surprised to find that they were $60 each, and I need 3. Well that's not gong to happen! Contacted a local conveyor belt manufacturer and was told I could buy the materials from them to make 3 paddles for $60. Now were on to something. Actual cost to me, was time and gas to pick up material, material was left over scrap, free to me!
really sharp knife, really
pliers or mechanical pliers
scroll saw (or lots of arm strength)
Time to complete 2 hrs (your time may vary)
I am not a mechanic nor do I have any mechanical training. I have a snow blower that needs new paddles and did not want to spend the exorbitant price from a manufacturer for the same thing I could make for a fraction of the price.
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Step 1: Rag
Put a rag under the choke selector. If your machine has fuel in it, when you tip it over the fuel will come out here.
Step 2: New Conveyor Belt
Thickness of conveyor belt material, is almost the same as factory paddles, but not quite. It was as close as a match as I could get, 5/16" ish.
Step 3: Original Paddle Dimension
Step 4: Removal
You need an Allen key and wrench 7/16" (or what ever size your bolts are). Remove the bolts from the left and then the right and then the middle. Remove one (1) paddle and only 1 (trust me why it's only 1, I'll show you why later).
Step 5: Right
Remove the 2 bolts from the right.
Step 6: Back Side
View from the back.
Step 7: Middle Last and First
Remove the bolts from the middle last and install from the middle first.
Step 8: Middle Removed
Step 9: Only One at a Time
If you decide to remove more than one paddle at a time, you will find out what I found out. The centre paddle support comes apart. So, don't do what I did. Take one off and put one on. Do one at a time, unless you want to make more work for yourself! Your choice.
Step 10: Save the Inserts
There are 2 metal inserts in the old paddles, you need to save these. Remove the inserts from the paddles for re-installation.
Step 11: Original Worn Out Paddle
Step 12: Conveyor Belt
I went to the local conveyor belt manufacturer with the hopes of buying a piece of the material I needed. Well they had scraps and gave me the material I needed. So the whole installation cost me nothing but time and gas to pick up the material.
Step 13: Trace
Layout the old paddle on the new conveyor belt material. I used the factory edge of the sheet for the edge of the paddle that makes contact with the snow blower (long straight edge).
Step 14: Traced
Use, a fat marker and make sure you over size the old one. The old one was worn so if you trace it exactly, you'll get a new one that's already worn out, get the idea (over size).
Step 15: Cut Them Out
Cut them out with a sharp knife, make the cuts rough, it doesn't have to be close to the lines, you will clean it up later.
Step 16: Scroll Saw
So, how do you make the cuts close to the lines, use a scroll saw. OK, so you don't have a scroll saw, swap meets, yard sales or even a new one. A new scroll saw wont set you back more than $100, wow, you say. With the money you have saved making the paddles you're still ahead, and have a new scroll saw to boot!
OK, so I can't sell you on the scroll saw idea? This is where the arm strength comes in, use your sharp knife, take your time and they will be cut out in no time.
Step 17: All Cut Out
Scroll saw makes fast work of cutting out the paddles. NOTE: make sure you cut out the notch on the left and right of the paddles, this is more important than making sure they fit properly. Without the notch you won't get them to even come close to fitting on your machine.
Step 18: Drill
Place the old paddle over the new one and drill holes where the old ones were. Use the old hole sizes to get the hole size for the new one, easy peasy.
Step 19: Drilled
Step 20: All Drilled, Ready to Install
From taking out the old paddle to having them cut ready for installation was little better than 1 hr.
Step 21: Install Inserts
Use pliers or mechanical pliers, and with a little twist the inserts will slide into the new holes.
Step 22: Inserts Installed
Step 23: Middle First
Install the middle 2 bolts first. You can try it your way, but the middle is best.
Step 24: Top Out Bottom In
Middle right goes towards the inside and the bottom right goes behind the metal bracket. Now you know why I told you the notch was important. If you didn't make the notch big enough you will have to remove the 2 centre bolts, remove the paddle and make the notches bigger.
Step 25: Bolts Inserted
Step 26: New Paddle
The new paddle is being installed while the old one is still in place. One at a time.
Step 27: More Installation
Allen key and wrench placement.
Step 28: All Done
All three (3) paddles have been replaced. Looks as good as new.
Step 29: All Done
After installation I fired up the machine and ran it and everything worked just fine, didn't have to trim anything.
NOTE: After running your machine, check all the bolts and make sure they are still tight. If any of the bolts have loosened, make sure you tighten them right away to avoid possible damage to your machine and injury to yourself. Check the bolts often. Happy Snow Blowing.
Step 30: Mud Flap
Tried to make a paddle from a big rig mud flap, might work but didn't think the material would last long.