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Discussion Starter · #141 ·
Found a piece of heavier gauge aluminum that was almost the right size once I took a few creases out of it so it got trimmed to the correct size and cleaned up. Then the two sides got bent to form a U and I did a test fit on top of the chute. Things looked promised so I carried on like i knew what I was doing.
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Marked the hole location for the two hinges so they could mount side by side with some 10-32 machine screws and got the holes drilled and attached the hinges.
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Discussion Starter · #142 ·
Created a U bracket out of a piece of 3/4" x 1/8" flat steel at the top of the chute extension piece so I could weld the other part of the hinges to it.
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Once things had cooled and I cleaned up the welds I did a few test to see how the top piece moved and sat in relation to the lower part of the chute.
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Things looked good with no binding so I checked a few measurements open and closed and I am thinking a 4" travel actuator should work nicely so will get one of those on order since they just came on sale today at Princess Auto here in Canada.
Removed the two pieces and gave them a splash of paint.
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Discussion Starter · #143 ·
Got the lower chute section lined with a new piece of snow carpet - this should keep any wet snow from sticking to the chute.
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Then I cut a piece for the upper chute section but made a slight oops. Used the cardboard pattern and forgot that I had made the height of the upper piece about 1/2" higher so it aligned with a cut that had already been made - should still work ok as not much of the upper chute is exposed. Wasn't sure how well the snow carpet would conform to the square corners but it formed pretty well to the tight bend in my opinion. Added a few machine screw holes to hold it in place after getting the holes for the hinges drilled through the carpet. Attached the two chute sections together and did a test opening - had to bend the two sides of the upper flap out slightly so that the screw heads would clear.
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Discussion Starter · #144 · (Edited)
Took a few pictures from the fully down position to the straight up position that the flap can move through to deflect the snow and control how high in the air the exiting snow can go to be caught and swirled by the wind. There is very little of the hinge area exposed for the snow to catch on and stick to as the flap opens so think it should work nicely.
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Discussion Starter · #145 · (Edited)
Then I mounted the chute onto the duct swivel and took a few pictures. Since the lower chute section is mounted on a bit of an angle it may not be much advantage to have the upper flap come all the way down but the option is there if I need to. Will have to wait for the linear actuator to show up so I can figure out brackets to mount it to the chute - will probably mount it on one side of the chute as there is not much room between the chute and the tractor with the hood open to add fuel so mounting the actuator on the back probably would not be a good idea.
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Thinking most of the time the upper flap will be in the position that is shown in the last two pictures but there are times when working around building where being able to aim the snow straight out or downward would not allow the wind to catch it and swirl it back in my face. Might look a little goofy but if it keeps the snow off of my face and glasses will take goofy anytime. Will have to pick up some more machine nuts with the star washers and also shorten the machine screws but think if the chain was back on it would now blow snow if required - hopefully won't need it for a few months yet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #146 · (Edited)
The actuator I ordered showed up late yesterday which surprised me as I figured it would take longer to arrive. Took a bit of time this morning to take some pictures - it is a cute little gem and weighs about 2 lbs. There was a lighter poundage rated one (135 lb.) on sale but they were both the same price so I went with the 270 lb. version with a 4" stroke.
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Cut a couple of pieces of steel and tacked them together to see how it would work as a lower mounting bracket. Turned out that the L bracket part which was about an inch long before the bend was about 1/2" too long as the actuator mounting bolt would catch at the front when the chute turned.
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Discussion Starter · #147 ·
Shortened the L part and retacked it and it now cleared when the chute rotated until if got to the chute control mechanism but found that starting the two nuts was a challenge so opted for plan C.
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Plan C was to mount the L portion upward and I think it will work now - much better for starting the two nuts. The bracket lets the actuator clear things a bit more and will now be able to try and figure out how to attach the upper part to the flap part of the chute. Will leave the lower bracket just tacked for now in case I have to modify it again.
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Discussion Starter · #148 ·
The lower bracket got modified one last time as I thought it would be good to move the actuator mounting point up a little bit so if snow accumulated around the chute area there would be more room for the actuator to clear it. Moved the L part up to the top end of the piece of flat steel and this also allowed the actuator to clear the chute control now. Made an upper bracket out of a piece of 3/4" x 1/8" flat steel and added a slight step bend outwards so an inner mounting nut would clear the chute flap. Left the metal lots long so it could be clamped to the flap with a pair of vise grips so I could figure out where to allow the upper mounting pin to pivot. After trying a few different positions settled on one that suited me, cut the upper bracket off and drilled two machine screw mounting holes. I also drilled a second mounting hole for the lower bracket in the chute so it no longer wanted to try and rotate against the side of the chute.
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Discussion Starter · #149 ·
Drilled two mounting holes for the upper bracket in the upper flap (I had marked the brackets location before I unclamped the vise grips) and mounted things back up and did a test run using my old 6 amp battery charger to power the actuator. The actuator is supposed to be fused for 5 amps so shouldn't be too hard on the tractors electrical system - I think I also forgot to mention that the mounting holes are 1/4" diameter. Raised the actuator until the upper limit switch stopped its travel and then rotated the chute control and things looked good with lots of clearance.
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Started lowering the actuator and took a picture of where it will probably sit most of the time. Then I lowered it until the lower limit switch stopped its travel - I left the flap so it does not quite fully go to its full travel but should work well to direct the snow exiting the chute downward so the wind does not catch it nearly as bad. Removed the brackets, finished welding the lower bracket and then gave them both a splash of paint.
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I am thinking that adding the actuator is one of the biggest improvements that will help keep me warmer this winter as long as it stays working - will see how it pans out - for about $70.00 Canadian with the tax it may save me a bit of shivering if snow no longer lands on my face and glasses thanks to the wind blowing it back. Still have to attach a few clips to hold the wire in the center back of the chute near the base and also to the gear case cover area but thinking that things are looking up as this project nears completion. Will try and do a video of the actuator working if I ever get my other camera back - they supposedly gave it a firmware upgrade and a cleaning and have shipped it back to me so maybe next week. The actuator does not move as fast as a hydraulic cylinder would but still moves at a reasonable speed in my opinion since it will not be under a lot of load when being moved.
 

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Thanks Stew. Can’t wait for you to do a video of it working in the $&@&. Hehe.

Noel
 

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Discussion Starter · #151 ·
Thanks Stew. Can’t wait for you to do a video of it working in the $&@&. Hehe.

Noel
Be lucky if I can do a video in warm weather. Still hoping I won't have to use it this winter and that you get our share of the white stuff as I know that you just love playing with it after the wind moves it around.
 

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Be lucky if I can do a video in warm weather. Still hoping I won't have to use it this winter and that you get our share of the white stuff as I know that you just love playing with it after the wind moves it around.
Hehehe.

Noel
 

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Discussion Starter · #154 ·
I might have missed it if you did say. You obviously have a plan of where and how to mount a control switch on the tractor, yes?
Yes there is a plan to mount a momentary on / center off / momentary on DPDT switch on the tractor that will be wired up to the power wire from the ignition switch to the lights - that way it will be dead once the key switch is turned off. Going to add a separate 5 amp ATO fuse holder and fuse to the power wire going to the switch just in case and am planning on running the two wires from the actuator on the left side of the tractor under the hood and thinking about mounting the switch to the left of the steering wheel. That way I can turn the chute with one hand and raise / lower the flap at the same time with the other if I choose to. The switch will have a rubber boot and hoping to mount in a small enclosure so it has a bit of protection. I did notice when I ordered the actuator they offered a remote control receiver set up that could have been mounted on the tractor somewhere and then controlled with a remote in a pocket but figured that might be more of a hindrance than a help. Here is the link if you are interested - https://www.princessauto.com/en/12v...te-control/product/PA1000001112?skuId=8619066
 

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Discussion Starter · #155 ·
Put the brackets back on and installed the actuator again - coated the upper and lower mounting bolts lightly with a bit of grease where they go through the actuator. Now that I look at the pictures I see I have the upper bracket on wrong (180° out) - will have to correct that or the flap won't move very far. Added two clamps - one at the back of the chute and the other to the top of the gear cover to hold the wire. Seems to work ok right now as I rotate the chute but will see what happens when things get colder and snow starts accumulating around it.
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Discussion Starter · #156 ·
Took a few minutes this morning to change the upper bracket so it is now mounted correctly. Sure makes a difference on how much the upper flap opens with the pivot point moved.
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Stew, I know a fella who uses fibreglass resin on his snow blower. He coats the chute and other throwing parts. He just uses the resin, mixes the hardener, and puts it on with a brush. He does not use the fibreglass.

What do you think of that idea ?

Noel
 
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Discussion Starter · #158 ·
Stew, I know a fella who uses fibreglass resin on his snow blower. He coats the chute and other throwing parts. He just uses the resin, mixes the hardener, and puts it on with a brush. He does not use the fibreglass.

What do you think of that idea ?

Noel
If it works and wet snow doesn't stick to it why not. Fiberglass resin is tough as they used to use it years ago here to coat rusty gas tanks but would have to make sure it was well cured and stuck to the metal on the chute well - how thick does he put it on? My thoughts are the snow carpet is not very expensive, works well for me given the sometimes slushy snow we get and have to deal with and it is easy to replace on a cold winters day if required so one can get back at the task of battling old man winter.
 

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If it works and wet snow doesn't stick to it why not. Fiberglass resin is tough as they used to use it years ago here to coat rusty gas tanks but would have to make sure it was well cured and stuck to the metal on the chute well - how thick does he put it on? My thoughts are the snow carpet is not very expensive, works well for me given the sometimes slushy snow we get and have to deal with and it is easy to replace on a cold winters day if required so one can get back at the task of battling old man winter.
Not sure if he puts one or two coats on Stew. I’ve never used resin or Fiberglass. But I’m guessing the resin would be sorta thick and glossy.
I’ve tried the crazy carpet trick. Don’t seem to work for me.
I spray my throwers, plows and shovels with termclad clear gloss. Every thing slips and slides great.

Noel
 

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I coated the discharge chute and diverter flap of my first sno-caster with a product called Glyptal. It's an industrial clear varnish. My place of work used it to coat the inside of large fabricated bearing housings and gear-boxes. Applied it with a paint brush. It dried to a rather hard coating. I believe it also was used to coat electric motor armatures and transformers too, although we didn't do that type of work. I used to get leftover and, or outdated cans of it out the gate on a scrap-pass from the section manager. I also used it to coat the business side of mowing decks too. It held up pretty well, but like most anything else we tractor people have tried on projects like this, it did wear off over time. Just how it is, you have to replace, re-coat periodically. My newer sno-caster has the chute and diverter lined with plastic somewhat similar to what Stew has done to his. In fact I got the idea from him back a couple years ago. It really made a difference not having the wet slushy snow keep plugging up the discharge.
 
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