One of our snowblowers has replaceable rubber paddles on the auger. These get worn down from making contact with the concrete or asphalt driveway. When the rubber paddles are worn the snowblower will no longer scrape the snow off the surface of the driveway or sidewalk. After that you are basically just walking around pushing a snowblower and getting cold.
Replacing the Rubber Paddles on Your Snowblower
A couple of weeks ago R stopped by the garden center to see how much it would cost to replace the paddles. The cost was $55.00 for parts and $45.00 for labor. R hates to pay anyone to do anything mechanical because that is what we both did for a living before we retired, he as a journeyman machine repairman/hydraulic technician and me as a journeyman experimental test technician/mechanic. So he told me to order the parts and he would take care of it when he had a free moment.
That free moment arrived this afternoon at around 3:00PM.
The photo below shows the old rubber paddles still installed but the bolts have been removed.
Make sure you write down the brand and model number before sitting down to order online. This will help eliminate ordering the wrong part. Also, price compare and search for codes and/ use Ebates if the online shop is under the Ebates umbrella of online shops.
I found the replacement paddles for our snowblower online and used in store pick up to eliminate the shipping cost. The paddles also come with the replacement bolts. This is great in case the bolts you are removing are so rusted that you need to cut them off with a cut off wheel. We were lucky and our bolts just took a little elbow grease.
If you plan ahead, you can squirt the bolts with a penetrating/rust dissolving oil, a couple of days before you plan to replace the paddles. This will help loosen the rust so that you can remove the bolts.
The photo above shows an old paddle sitting on top of the snowblower. Notice the empty slot where the new paddles will be installed.
The photo below shows the new rubber paddle in the slot but the bolts have not been installed yet.
You just slide the new paddle into the slot and line up the bolt holes. Install all bolts and leave them loose until you have all the bolts installed, then go back and tighten them. This allows you some flexibility to move the paddle to align the bolt holes.
Use a ratchet with the correct size socket and an adjustable wrench or open end/close end box wrench to hold the nut while you tighten the bolt using the ratchet.
Repeat procedure for the second paddle.
Look at the wear on the old rubber paddles in the above photo and in the the below photo.
You will notice a marked improvement in your snow removal after you replace the rubber paddles.
The entire removal and replacement took 35 minutes.
Now is the time of year to ready your snow removal tools and machines. Don't wait until it snows. Been there, done that and it was no fun.
Reuse Repurpose Recycle
- Replacement snowblower rubber paddles (online)
- 3/8th ratchet (hardware store)
- Correct size socket (hardware store)
- Penetrating or rust dissolving oil (hardware store)
- Adjustable wrench (hardware store)