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Lancaster/Champion No. 40 Repair Advice Sought


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I have been a long-time lurker on this forum, and I want to start by thanking everyone for some good information and entertaining debates the past couple years. I am finally in a position to convert an old garage into a shop, and in the meantime have also been picking up tools as I come across them at a reasonable price. I have done a bit of smithing off and on over the years, and was a machinist for a number of years, so am not a total novice, though I still have quite a lot to learn.

I am repairing a blower very similar to the one in this thread: http://www.iforgeiro...__fromsearch__1
The gearbox is the same, but the blower housing has a heavy square flange cast into the end for mounting rather than the usual ear flanges.

The problem is that it won't coast, the fan blade runs into the blower housing when I let go of the handle. I have opened her up, and the gears are in excellent shape, no missing teeth or signs of wear or abuse. With the fan and blower housing removed, the gearbox runs smooth as silk, and with a good cleaning and some fresh oil, it looks to be a blower that will last a good long time once this problem is taken care of.

There is about an inch of play in the fan shaft though, and it appears that it is missing a part to control the shaft play. There is a slightly tapered threaded bolt/plug hole in the gear housing that lines up dead on with the back of the fan shaft, with the bolt missing. I am not familiar enough with the details of these blowers to know if this is just a drain plug hole, or if (as I strongly suspect at this point) the plug had an extension on it to control shaft play. The back of the shaft has a small button machined into it, which leads me to believe it may be a simple bearing surface. It would also be in a good position to be well oiled in normal use.

The fan blade assembly slides easily the whole length of the shaft, and there is a flat protrusion cast into the gear housing where the shaft comes out that could act as a bearing surface so I would also have the option of using a washer or two behind the fan to shim it or use a small flat roller bearing. Some of the pictures in the thread I referenced will give a good ilustration of what I am talking about, and are far better pictures than I can take. Lubrication could be an issue, though it would be simple enough to keep it greased.

If needed, I could easily fabricate an extended plug as a replacement, and is the way that I am leaning towards doing at this point, but I wanted to hear the advice of those with more experience in these blowers than I have before moving forward. The obvious solution isn't always right, and I could be missing an internal part that I don't know about. :)

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Grizzer, i have the same blower and the "plug hole" is the adjustment for the blade shaft. mine has a bolt with anut on it to lock it in place once its adjusted correctly. i will send you a pic if i can get it to attach

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Thanks EricS, looks like I had the right idea then. I went ahead this morning and picked up the right size bolt and a lock nut when I was out and about.
I had to clean the threads up a bit with a tap, but it was a good tight fit when I was done, and it is now running with no problems. I left about 1/32 slack in the fan shaft to keep it easy to turn, and it now coasts great and puts out some pretty decent air. It won't be hard at all to tweak it a bit if needed later on, and I might experiment with taking a bit more of the slack out. The primary goal today was to get it up and running.
I have some motor oil in it atm, but plan to switch over to ATF when I get the time to mess with it again. I think the lighter oil will help out a bit too.

I appreciate the confirmation on the bolt, it was nice to have a more solid idea of how it was set up before I went to work on it.

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