Welding my snowblower
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  1. #1

    Welding my snowblower

    I need a ruling on this:

    I am a newbie hobby welder. Yesterday, I was fixing up a 21 MTD snowblower. The left wheel was rubbing on the belt guard. Looking underneath I saw that the axle goes through the sheet metal frame where it is tack welded in place. Both tack welds were broken which caused wear on the sheet metal, elongating the hole.

    I want to sand off the paint and tack weld the axle back in place. Do I need to drain the gas tank? The welding is on the other side of the machine from the plastic fuel tank. Will "stray voltage" cause gasoline to burst into flames? What about the gasoline that is in the carburetor, does that need to be drained? I don't even know how to do that.

    I don't want to go BOOM! but this has always been a mystery to me.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Upstate NY
    Posts
    2,417

    Re: Welding my snowblower

    Step 1: Unbolt and remove the engine.

    That'll make turning the unit over to do the welding much easier.

    While it's apart, check everything else for excessive wear. Repair or replace as needed.

    Reassemble with new belt(s). Install sheer pins where they are supposed to be.
    Be wary of The Numbers: Figures don't lie,. but liars can figure.
    Welders:
    2008 Lincoln 140 GMAW&FCAW
    2012 HF 165 'toy' GTAW&SMAW
    1970's Cobbled together O/A

  3. #3

    Re: Welding my snowblower

    Thanks,

    Unbolting the engine is a lot more complicated than it seems. There are connections to the separate gas tank, the electric starter, the start switch, and the choke.

    I already have easy access to the spot I need to weld.

    I already replaced the belt and there are no sheer pins.

    Does the electricity from welding stay between the clamp and the mig gun?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Upstate NY
    Posts
    2,417

    Re: Welding my snowblower

    Sorry, too used to the POS machines with the engine as practically a separate module...

    If the fuel tank is an easy to remove module (4 or fewer bolts, 2 or fewer hoses.) then get it out of there. Drain the carb. No possible BOOM, but watch your sparks for anything than could be ignited: Belts, grease, hoses, plastic handles, etc.

    Generally, the welding current flows between the work clamp and the torch. But RFI from the arc can do strange stuff to sensitive electronics.

    Double-check for where sheer pins should be. The impeller (if 2-stage) and auger should have sheer pins or a protective clutch in the driveline, somewhere.
    Be wary of The Numbers: Figures don't lie,. but liars can figure.
    Welders:
    2008 Lincoln 140 GMAW&FCAW
    2012 HF 165 'toy' GTAW&SMAW
    1970's Cobbled together O/A

  5. #5
    Advan Guest

    Re: Welding my snowblower

    I'm going to assume its one of those little push-type single stage units. I call them "power shovels". A two-stage would definitely not have the axle welded to the frame. You don't have to drain any gas unless it's literally right next to where you need to weld. Just put your ground clamp on the axle itself or on the frame very close to where you're welding and have at 'er!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    8,311

    Re: Welding my snowblower

    If I understand this, the axle is welded to the sheetmetal so the wheel just spins on the axle. Since it's broke, maybe consider removing the axle and making up two plates with holes that the axle will slide through and bolt plates to the sheet metal.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Under a Rock
    Posts
    2,645

    Re: Welding my snowblower

    no need to remove the engine.


    just use common sense.


    I've welded many snowblowers/ lawnmowers.. etc..... never removed the engine... do whatever you need to do to get it in the air and weld it.

    and as usual,
    alway ground as close to the work as possible
    Last edited by John T; 12-28-2016 at 04:46 PM.
    Miller 211
    Hypertherm PM 45
    1961 Lincoln Idealarc 250
    HTP 221


    True Wisdom only comes from Pain.

  8. #8

    Re: Welding my snowblower

    I welded it as is. No BOOM.

    The heat of the welding deformed the plastic wheel bore hole a bit causing it to rub on the axle. I don't think I made it better. I put a little penetrating oil in the wheel hole; I am going to leave well enough alone now.

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