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dcb 10-08-08 09:39 AM

Electric Snowblower conversion
(contionuation of )

I have a toro that has a belt cog similiar to the one pictured. I enjoyed my electric mower experience and wanted to get rid of my last gas driven utensil, the snowblower.

I went and ordered this on the 7th, $18 + shipping, might swap my neighbor my working blower for his busted one even. this looks too easy :) Hope the motor is strong enough.

I'll post some pics when I get started.

Higgy 10-08-08 09:56 AM

That'd be sweet.

So your gonna stick a huge rechargable battery on it and have it run that way?

dcb 10-08-08 10:01 AM

Nope, I like corded, like my mower. Lightweight, cheap, reliable.

Higgy 10-08-08 11:04 AM

And a regular plugin would be able to power something like that? I didn't think it would have enough power to blow snow very well. Although I'm not sure what the snowfall is like where you're from so I can't compare it to here.

dcb 10-08-08 11:13 AM

Well, my 10 amp electric mower outperformed a 4hp gas mower pretty easily, so I'm hopeful that this will keep up with the 3hp Tecumseh.

I didn't have a very large blower to start with, but it was plenty adequate with the right technique for this area.

SVOboy 10-08-08 12:46 PM

Sweet project, and great idea with recycling the old mower. I'm surprised that motor is only 18 bucks.

dcb 10-11-08 05:38 PM

Here's a quick status of this little project.

got the motor, powered it up to make sure it spun the right way:

old blower before too much dissassembly

cover/gastank removed

belt cover removed, oops, thats NOT a toothed belt :o

somebody call the SPCA

had to dig up my puller to get the pully off

used one existing hole and poked another hole in tube to get basic position of motor, after much contemplating and holding it in different places.

pulleys line up pretty nice

Pulley attachment, will probably just hold it in place with the bolt and fudge it true and weld it on.

Original motor and electric side by side.

poked a couple holes in for the switch

Switch in place


1. dig out arc welder and weld pulley to shaft.

2. add cross supports/triangulation to motor installation

3. find a belt that reaches

toyobug 10-12-08 05:13 AM

cool project. can't wait to hear how it works. What part of the country are you in?

Daox 10-13-08 06:17 AM

Looks great dcb. Your quick explinations make it sound so easy. I hope to hear it works great. :)

dcb 10-13-08 03:56 PM

Toyo, I'm in northern ill noise. A lot of neighbors have large blowers, and a lot just shovel.

I've been able to manage very well with the toro.

Daox, thus far it has been easy, the pully welding bit will be the only tricky part on this job.

I just ordered a 3/8" belt I hope will work (3L370). If not then I may have to figure out how to relocate the motor so the pulley is in the original position and just use a stock belt.

davidbr13 10-15-08 10:49 AM

Hey, dcb (hey those are my initials, too), that's the exact same motor/switch that I bought surplus some time ago for converting a push mower, so it should be the same power range as what you are looking for. The only difference is mine came with a yoke to attach a blade.

Be sure to weld in a cross brace behind the motor and attach supports for that third mounting hole to it. It won't hold long just attached to the handle like that. Otherwise, it's looking good!

toyobug 10-15-08 11:50 AM

did you weigh it before and now after?
Looking at the pics it looks like you lightened it up a bit.

MetroMPG 10-21-08 08:55 PM

Cool project, dcb. Subscribed!

dcb 10-21-08 11:14 PM

Minor progress, found a belt at grainger, a 3l390 , hopefully it is strong enough.
still need to weld pully together and beef up motor mounting.

Actually ran it for a tiny bit though (till the pulley unbolted itself) :)

Will need some alignment tweaks too:

dcb 11-30-08 11:48 AM

They say the snow is coming so I dusted off the welder and sorted out the pully/motor arrangements.

The pulley was two pieces so I welded it at the seam, sort of, from the inside. First welding in many years.

Then I held the pulley on the motor with a bolt and adjusted the runout and knocked it straight within a few tries and deposited much welding wire :) Tricky welding, gotta focus on the shaft since it is so thick.

It should be mostly braces and alignment from here.

dcb 11-30-08 11:38 PM

Ok, it is together enough for me to want to try it :)

This is your basic piece of threaded rod and a few angle brackets and a piece of metal strapping approach. It sounds faster than the original at top speed, starts up like an amusement ride. I'm a little nervous around it :rolleyes:, so will probably add a shield or just cobble the covers back on, but gotta try it.

dcb 12-01-08 12:56 AM

Cover Cobbled :)

That makes me feel a little safer, Now where is that snow?

Daox 12-01-08 07:59 AM

Looks all ready to go. I hope it holds together. I wonder if it'll work better with the higher speed?

dcb 12-01-08 08:03 AM

Alllrightee :D

Had a couple inches this morning, first test was quite manageable. I blew one circuit breaker and had to move to another circuit. But it is a lot quieter and smoother. It also has noticeably less torque :( , so maybe a smaller motor pulley would be in order, you have to use a fair bit of finesse to keep the rpms up, but I can live with it.

dcb 12-01-08 09:29 AM


The snow got a lot wetter towards the end. I was really overtaxing the motor, was packing snowballs on it to get it to quit smoking so much while trying to finish up. :p

This rig is overheating with 2 inches of wet snow. The blade speed is about right so it probably needs more motor. I managed to finish but had to let the motor rest a few times. plow stick would have been about as effective. Ah well, a $30 experiment :) Now I know, get more motor.

dcb 12-01-08 10:38 AM

previous engine was a tecumseh HSK635, 4700 rpm, 3.5 hp ~ 3.9 ft lbs.

I should take a torque and rpm reading on the electric motor i suppose.

dcb 12-23-08 07:07 PM

Wiring question

The 11 amp motor had a strong finish during some non wet days, throwing the snow quite far. But it finally lost most of its power and was tripping the breaker more often, and was making sparks where it wasn't supposed to :)

I took the motor mostly apart and noticed the varnish on the field windings was cooked and flaking off in chunks, and that seemed like where the fireworks was coming from by the burn marks also. I also noticed it was aluminum wire on the field (the rotor looked ok, don't have a growler handy).

More dissection revealed it was about 22 yards of 15 gauge aluminum on the field and it was shunt configuration.

So I figure 22 yards of 17 gauge copper magnet wire would be about equivalent magnetically speaking (same current and number of turns).

But I should consider going to 23 yards of 16 gauge, which would give me the same current but about 5% more turns.

Alas, I obtained a 2hp (5max, 13 amp) compressor motor in the meantime (compressor part disintegrated), series wound, should be interesting :) I also now have to figure out what to do with a 30 gallon air tank on wheels. :rolleyes:

TimJFowler 12-24-08 04:41 PM

Why not replace the 15 gauge aluminum wire with 15 gauge copper? I know that the copper has a lower resistance and greater current capacity. How else would the copper affect the motor's parameters (i.e. h.p., torque, etc.)?

I'm curious as I don't know much yet about modifying and rewinding electric motors.


dcb 12-25-08 11:54 AM

As you can probably tell, I'm learning as I go here :) But I really don't know what effect increasing the field strength will have, might run slower with more torque?

I have another candidate motor maybe, it is decades old. My grandpas old homemade table saw showed up at my sisters and this was on it. Could use some help figuring out if it will work. Just by sheer mass it looks like it should tear up the sidewalk but... :) I'm hoping the ratings were a lot more conservative a long time ago, but it could just be big and "weak".

Picture next to the compressor motor I'm putting the pully on at the moment, ran out of welding wire:

Data plate, the motor is ~14 inches long and 7 inches in diameter, Westinghouse:

dcb 12-26-08 09:25 AM

Ok, I think the big guy is a repulsion motor. It has brushes that connect to each other through the case. It is only of historical interest, LOL :)

It is pretty smooth, doesn't have the usual "Angry motor" sound, but it isn't drawing enough power to be a snowblower and weighs a ton. So gotta find another home for it.

larryrose11 12-27-08 04:19 PM

I have a Craftsman 10A snow thrower. Works great! It has a srew on the front, terminating in a paddle in the middle. Spins pretty fast.

davidbr13 12-29-08 08:23 AM

If you wind up rewinding the motor (no pun intended), then be sure to have a higher grade insulation baked on. sounds like that is what failed in the first place.

I agree you need a bigger motor, but probably not too much more. I have one of those motors, they were made for plug-in lawnmowers. They would be rated about 1-1.5 HP, as compared to the 3.5 gas engine that came out of your blower. Rewinding it probably won't gain too much power, but using copper could increase the cooling ability, which will help. Adding a dedicated cooling fan and using a higher rated insulation could also help. When motors are mass produced like that, they tend to make them as cheap as possible, and the aluminum wire may have been a concession to that.

You are correct if it is shunt wound then increasing field strength will reduce speed but give you more torque, which sounds like the right way to go in your case, since you need more oomph when you hit wet snow.

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