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  1. #1
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    72

    Default Conversion to Self Powered Snowblower Attachment

    Hello to all,

    Last year I bought a kubota L185DT that came with a front mount snowblower attachment. The problem is that in order to use the attachment I would need to remove the FEL and subframe, then put on the SB and it's subframe. Of course that would mean all winter with no FEL and then guessing when the snow is done...then all the fun of taking off the SB and subframe...and putting on the FEL and subframe.

    Not in my lifetime.

    My answer last year was to build a pin in electric over hydraulic angle plow, 6 1/2 feet wide. Here is a photo of that setup.



    It was fun but took almost as long as my walk behind snowblower since I wanted no snowbanks.

    This year I'm working on converting the SB to a self powered unit.

    I was able to get a deal on a 16 hp horizontal shaft engine cheap, it has a damaged output shaft...was able to cut off the damaged part and use the stub left behind just fine.

    Next I needed to see if the FEL would lift the SB and engine under worse case, far out front. I didn't know how short I could make the drive train.


    Now to chop off everything I don't need...




    Next is to build a new push frame that will hold the engine and drive train. I plan to use the original electric clutch via chain drive to the engine. I did not account for a direction change in the jackshaft and found that the engine needed it's output shaft 180 degrees turned, all the better as it now was over the fan.



    Here is the mock up for the engine over design:




    Next, as below, I'm building the over bridge for the engine and the mounts for the drivetrain. I've shortened the original shaft by removing the shaft and connecting the universal without it.



    The testing shows that the higher I can keep my bucket the less I'll scrape and have issues later. The new frame will have rails about 12" off the ground or better. It will pin into the bucket at the front edge on raised attachments to allow the blower to ride level up and down slight hills. There will be chains on each side of the engine to lift this with bucket tilt.

    I also plan high skids or wheels to clear over gravel or lawn.


  2. #2
    Elite Member Tig's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    2,552
    Location
    The County, Ontario, Canada
    Tractor
    Kubota, B7100HST-D

    Default Re: Conversion to Self Powered Snowblower Attachment

    Great project. Looks good.
    As for your skid plans. I have large skids on my blower but when we have a good thaw and the ground is soft they sink in. I am thinking about 6" wide wheels for those days.
    Steve

    The best things in life are not things.

  3. #3
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    5,244
    Location
    North of Mtl,Que,Can (Ste Adele)
    Tractor
    MT180D

    Default Re: Conversion to Self Powered Snowblower Attachment

    Interesting, as I have "been there and done that".

    My setup was a 4ft blower using a 16hp Wisconsin which proved to be a good blower/engine combo as I geared it correctly for engine vs PTO RPMS figuring the blower at 500rpm and the engine at 3000 rpm.( I used chain and sprockets)

    Drawbacks I found:
    Long on front end and hard to 'work in close'.
    Engine location allows snow ingestion as it is very close to blown snow and I had to create shrowding around the motor as I feared that I could crack the engine block due to cold wet snow on hot engine. (The engine cooling fan was literally blowing water around the block)
    A clutch is needed somewheres along the drive train as the engine would not spin fast enough to start due to all the dead weight of the blower mechanism drive train.
    Lots of weight will be needed at rear of tractor to counteract the front load otherwise you will only get front wheel traction. (figure about the same wieght as your whole front installation but if front weight is (example); 500 lbs at 48 ins then rear would need to be 1000 at 24 ins.
    One neet advantage was that I could blow away the tops of snow banks as the blower was attached to the FEL arms!
    Also I found that since my tractor was non hydrostatic (manual tranny) my foreward lowest gear selection was still too fast to operate in heavy snow falls. A creeper gear ratio would be needed (or hydroststic tranny).

    I also discovered that turning radii with frt blower was simply horrible and 'in close work' wery tricky due to viewing angles and blowing snow.

    One other precaution.
    A buddy has a 7 ft blower, front mounted on an 85hp NH.
    Due to the excessive front weights and long overhang he has twice broken off the whole front end resulting in about $7000. of damage, this on a 600 hr installation.
    True, rough roads and speed did contribute to his delima but there was no dealer assistance and he has to foot the bill.

    SO I am back to rear blower installation.

    Might add that due to poorer front viewing angles I ingested a large object that trashed the blower beyond repair, however it was a very interesting project.

    Good luck with your project, hope it works out for you in your situation.

  4. #4
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    72

    Default Re: Conversion to Self Powered Snowblower Attachment

    Quote Originally Posted by Tig View Post
    Great project. Looks good.
    As for your skid plans. I have large skids on my blower but when we have a good thaw and the ground is soft they sink in. I am thinking about 6" wide wheels for those days.

    Thanks for the tip!

  5. #5
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    72

    Default Re: Conversion to Self Powered Snowblower Attachment

    Hi PILOON,

    I remember you from last year's posts. Thanks for your replies.

    This project will finish up closer than the earlier photos since the design is now folded, engine over. It's still out there a bit but no more than the plow I used last year. As to starting, I do have the original electric clutch and it's in the drive train. I also remember your experiance with a starter going through your blower. I have some stone walls to watch for. I'll mark these with fiberglass rods and have to stay back more than I am used to. I guess it's even possible I'll get off the tractor and use a shovel near these! (even though it breaks my trademark rule, "Never get off the tractor")
    Thanks for all the help!

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