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McKee Snowblower Chute Operation

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trbomax
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 133 Starvation Lake, Mi
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2007-11-14          148248


I didn't know any other way to word it. I have a McKee Bros. 72" 3 pt blower that I bought used. The chute has a tab on it with 2 i/4" holes in it. Next to the chute is a shaft with a crank handle faceing forward. What am I missing here ? I assume there is a cable setup of sorts to wind the chute around,but I just cant visualize it !

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earthwrks
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3853 Home Office in Flat Rock, Michigan
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2007-11-14          148257


Does the crank have a sprially wound wire on the end by the chute that is part of the crank shaft? If yes then it acts as a worm gear. The chute chould have teeth similar to ring gear. The worm gear turns the chute.

If the crank shaft has nothing on the dn resembling a worm gear, then my guess is a cable like you said is employed. There will likely be rust forming where the cable ran around the chute, then back around onto the shaft a couple turns (like a small winch). A spring may have kept the cable taut so that it would always be under tension to keep gripping both the shaft and the chute.

If all else fails just attach a 12" long rod (or longer) of some sort to turn the chute like a handle.

Another option may to be repalce the crank with a small electric motor with a small chain (think: a bicycle wheel and sprocket), or even a small hydraulic motor. ....

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McKee Snowblower Chute Operation

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trbomax
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 133 Starvation Lake, Mi
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2007-11-14          148259


Unfortunaly , the guy I got it from blasted and primed it(which was OK),but leaves no clues!No gears,had to be done with wire rope.I bought it on the net last spring,dont even remember the guys name. ....

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McKee Snowblower Chute Operation

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Justus
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 179 Justus, Pa.
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2007-11-14          148263


Trbomax, Your description of the mechanism for the chute piqued my curiosity of how it worked so I did some web searching. This web site has several of the McKee snow blowers for sale and most have photos that can be enlarged. Even if it's not your exact model it may offer some idea as to how it was setup. Hope it's of some help, Steve. ....


Link:   

Click Here


 
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McKee Snowblower Chute Operation

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candoarms
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 1932 North Dakota
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2007-11-14          148266


Justus,

That's a new one on me. Thanks for the link.

There's a wire rope (steel cable) that wraps around the shaft. From there it goes around the chute. It then wraps around the shaft again on the other side, but wrapped in the opposite direction on the opposite end. On one end the cable is wrapped clockwise, and other, counterclockwise........much the same as the steering system on an old wood boat I once had.

When turning the crank in one direction, the wire rope is wound onto the shaft on one end, and spools off the other end. When turning the crank the opposite the direction, the rope winds up on the opposite end this time, and spools back off of the other end.

Interesting. I wonder if this system actually works? Seems simple enough.....maybe too simple?

Joel ....

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McKee Snowblower Chute Operation

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trbomax
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 133 Starvation Lake, Mi
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2007-11-14          148268


Interesting pics.It DOES work like old outboard steering.I wonder if th cable would be attached to the chute at the tab in one of the holes,wrapped 1 full turn around the chute,then around the shaft ccw,thru the hole in the shaft,then cw around the shaft,back to the chute,around 1 1/2 times to the other hole in the tab. Is this what you were thinking ? ....

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McKee Snowblower Chute Operation

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Justus
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 179 Justus, Pa.
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2007-11-14          148269


Joel gave a pretty good description there (And probably brought back memories of that old boat). I think you're going to have to get some cable and start experimenting with the configuration of the cable and what it may attach to. There shouldn't be too many options. Coated cable would be nice if it was flexible enough. Good luck, Steve ....

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McKee Snowblower Chute Operation

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trbomax
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 133 Starvation Lake, Mi
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2007-11-14          148277


Great,that is on for tomorrow !Now to the second question. It seems to me that the solid ,square piece of the shaft only slides in to the sleeve end about 4".This is the minimum measurement,it is in there about 5 1/2" at times.Is this enough,or do I need a longer solid section ? ....

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McKee Snowblower Chute Operation

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trbomax
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 133 Starvation Lake, Mi
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2007-11-14          148278


Sorry,that would be the pto driveshaft I am discussing. ....

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candoarms
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 1932 North Dakota
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2007-11-15          148285


Trbomax,

When used at full capacity (deep drifts) your 72" blower will eat up a tremendous amount of power from your tractor. I don't believe 4 or even 5 inches of contact with the drive shaft will be enough. You could easily twist the drive shaft off.

I'd replace the drive shaft.

Joel ....

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McKee Snowblower Chute Operation

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candoarms
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 1932 North Dakota
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2007-11-15          148286


Trbomax,

While you're getting the proper drive shaft, please don't forget to purchase a good number of replaceable shear pins.

I don't believe your blower has a slip clutch in the drive line.......but if it does, you won't need the shear pins.

You might be surprised how many shear pins you'll go through in one winter.

The reason for getting a longer drive shaft is that you'll often find that as you travel over snow drifts, your blower will tend to hang below the wheels of your tractor at times, especially later in the winter, when driving over packed snow.

With only 4 inches of room to play with, there's a good possibility that it could slide completely out. When a drive shaft starts flopping around at 540 RPM, it can do a lot of damage to both blower and tractor......besides being extremely dangerous.

Joel

....

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kthompson
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 5256 South Carolina
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2007-11-15          148287


Sure no PTO shaft expert. But how much HP your tractor has and the grade of PTO shaft you have should also be considered along with the need of the implement. They do have different HP rated PTO shafts. kt ....

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McKee Snowblower Chute Operation

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7214 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2007-11-15          148297


Ok, without making this a long dissertation on turning a snowblower discharge chute......

I know a little about the McKee blowers because they were made near here, they're still VERY common around here.

The system you describe uses a length of thin aircraft cable to spin the chute.

I might add here, this style is super easy to convert to hydraulic or electric rotation as well, really handy if you have a cab on your machine like I do.

However, on the factory setup, there should be a piece of aircraft cable that doubles over into a loop through one of the two holes in the tab, depending on whether the tab faces the winding mechanism or is on the other side, the cable then goes around the chute such that the cable leads AWAY from the tab. After making at least most of a pass around (depending as I said on tab location) the chute and to the crank handle where it should make about 4 or more full winds around the crank handle.

NOTE: if your blower is of the sort that has a nut & bolt type cable lock through the crank at the mid-point, or one at each end, then yours needs about 4 wraps EACH SIDE of the nut & bolt if centered, and the 4 or more at each end if so set up.

After going around the crank the cable then goes back around the chute in the opposite direction where it is double over and looped with a wire rope clip. It's not a bad idea to use a thimble if you can get one through the holes in the tab to prevent fraying the cable where it passes through the tab.

NOTE: Do NOT hook up the cable such that it does not have PLENTY of slack in it. The system needs a few inches of slack to make it work right, if it is too tight the cable will just bind up and not turn the chute properly.

Sorry for the length of the post guys, a case where a picture would have been easier for sure.

Best of luck. ....

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candoarms
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 1932 North Dakota
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2007-11-15          148298


Thanks Murf,

I was wondering how many turns it would take to rotate the chute.

You'd be a good teacher.

Joel ....

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McKee Snowblower Chute Operation

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trbomax
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 133 Starvation Lake, Mi
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2007-11-15          148299


Thats what I thought too.Tractor supply ,here I come! ....

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____________________________________________________________________________________
McKee Snowblower Chute Operation

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7214 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2007-11-15          148305


Thanks for the kind words guys.

Please note however I said in a few spots "4 or more" when describing how many winds to make with the cable.

If you want to get really fussy about it, what you need to do is center the chute pointing straight back away from the blower and mark where the tab is, then turn the chute to the max. in either direction you want it to go, 90° usually, then mark where the tab is and measure how many inches the chute has to travel to accomplish that. As a rule of thumb, a 1.5" pipe needs 5" of cable to make one pass around it without any slack, so if you need to get 24" of travel, you will need a minimum of 5 wraps of the cable to accomplish that, an extra on or two wouldn't hurt.

Best of luck. ....

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McKee Snowblower Chute Operation

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trbomax
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 133 Starvation Lake, Mi
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2007-11-15          148317


Thanks for all the info,I'll try this tomorrow and post how it goes. ....

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lineman
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 2 Québec
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2008-01-22          150595


Hi there. To help you with your McKee , here is your information. I have the same as you. In the middle of the shaft near the chute there is supposed to have a hole. That hole is your mid point for the installation of a steel cable. Put yourself on the side of your attachement. (3 point) upper of the hole make 4 turn clock wise and the opposite at the buttom half . you will have the find on the ring or at the buttom of the chute a small plate with 2 holes in it .This is for retaining the steel cable. Use a u clamp or a plate with 2 bolts . If you don't find it you will have to weld a small plate outward at the buttom of the chute . Make sure the chute is direted on the right side When you are on the 3 point side. Don't forget to pass the cable in the Hole first .If you need more info just contact me . I may be able to send you some picture if you need it . ....

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DennisCTB
Join Date: Nov 1998
Posts: 2691 NorthWest NJ
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2008-01-22          150596


Quote:
Originally Posted by lineman | view 150595
...... I may be able to send you some picture if you need it .


Lineman,

Welcome!

You can upload pictures to your Tractorpoint Album by clicking on "myProfile" and then the "Modify Photos" menu item, or click on the link below. ....


Link:   Add Photos Click here

 
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McKee Snowblower Chute Operation

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PaulChristenson
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 83 Vermont
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2008-02-03          151047


Quote:
Originally Posted by trbomax | view 148248
I didn't know any other way to word it. I have a McKee Bros. 72" 3 pt blower that I bought used. The chute has a tab on it with 2 i/4" holes in it. Next to the chute is a shaft with a crank handle faceing forward. What am I missing here ? I assume there is a cable setup of sorts to wind the chute around,but I just cant visualizeit !


You are going to want this website...they stock part for obsolete stuff, like McKee Snowblowers...:-)

http://www1.agric.gov.ab.ca/$engineering/obsolete.nsf/(ByImplement)/2A5986F42ADAD39E8725696E0062AE48?OpenDocument ....

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McKee Snowblower Chute Operation

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Jayhawker
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 2 IDAHO/CA
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2008-12-17          158624


Murf, I am loking at purchasing a used Mckee 72 in snowblower. I know nothing about this brand. Can you enlighted me? Are they still in business? How reliable is this machine? Any other info? Tks Jayhawker ....

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McKee Snowblower Chute Operation

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7214 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2008-12-17          158627


Jayhawker, the company McKee Brothers are not in business any longer, but the fact there are so many of their machines still out there should be a testament to their quality.

A blower, by virtue of what it is, is a pretty fool-proof machine, the difference is in material and workmanship. These were good machines put together by mostly Amish workmen. Top drawer stuff.

If the machine isn't beat up too badly, or rusted out, I wouldn't be too concerned, everything you might need to fix it is standard off the shelf stuff you can get anywhere.

The only things you need to watch for, on any blower, is that there is a good fit between the impeller (fan) and the housing, and that the shafts, gears, and such are not all bent up.

Best of luck. ....

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auerbach
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 2168 West of Toronto
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2008-12-17          158641


Mine was a similar brand that worked as Joel and Murf described. Plastic-covered metal clothesline won't last a season. Even proper cable doesn't last forever, so when you get it working, make a sketch for when you have to replace it. You'll likely need wire clamps so get them with the wire so they're the right size.

When I first got my blower I expected to adjust the outflow direction maybe once a session. In fact, not having a cab, I was constantly moving it, so make sure it works.

Check the chain tension, and keep the chain, zerks, and chute-collar lubricated. Our official weather service today said to prepare for "Snowmaggedon" at the end of this week. ....

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Rich1234
Join Date: Jan 2022
Posts: 1 Canada
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2022-01-30          200857


Hi I just finished blowing a 20 inch dump10 acre property 4 hrs. Old old McGee 6.6 ft. Open gearbox. Can’t kill them unless you pick up firewood….. power 95 HP Kubota I don’t use shear pins on the drive shaft but keep property very clear of stuff. Pin on cross shaft for auger is only 5/16 bolt and never broke it.

Big thing is don’t push it, once snow starts to build in front, gear down. Have hydraulic adaptation or “abomination” for Shute. If using the wire crank be sure to use more than minimum turns and leave done slack. Shute likes to wobble around to work right. Check bearings on box. Bit of slop ok but likely the retainers as are just pressed steel. ....

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Fatguys
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 14
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2022-04-14          200969


Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich1234 | view 200857
Pin on cross shaft for auger is only 5/16 bolt and never broke it.Big thing is don’t push it, once snow starts to build in front, gear down.Have hydraulic adaptation or “abomination”for Shute.If using the wire crank be sure to use more than minimum turns and leave done slack. Shute likes to wobble around to work right. Check bearings on box. Bit of slop ok but likely the retainers as are just pressed steel.


Ah I have been lazy and still have a shear pin to replace on my snowblower, like to put it away ready for next year. Never erver thought about using a rgular 5/16 bolt instead of a shear pin. I hate breaking them but too chicken to go your route. ....

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