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She's a bit stiff when she turns (champion eureka #140 gearbox)


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hello! hows it been?

Today, my blower, a champion eureka #140 blower,  decided to start making alllll sorts of noises. Grinding in both clockwise and counterclockwise rotations of the handle. Now, ive owned this blower for the last 5 years and i can safely say i "usually" know how this thing runs. I can only spin the handle counterclockwise to prevent the real bad grinding/clacking that sounds when i rotate it clockwise. I can leave the handle at the 1200 position, let go, and the handle will naturally rotate one way or the other on its own for about 3/4s of a rotation before stopping. I can even tell when i forget to add oil to it and it starts to grind a bit too loudly when i operate it. I add the oil, and most of the rattle, not all of it, would go away. It was at the acceptable level rattle/grind. I had, when i first purchased this blower, took the gear box off, and flushed the entire thing with brake cleaner. went through a couple bottles of the cleaner and cleaned it all out. Then i reattached that blower to the fan shroud, added oil, adjusted the fan blades so they wouldnt grind against the shroud walls, and put it all together. ran fine. an acceptable amount of noise. (this was when i discovered the clockwise/counterclockwise noise issue and how it cannot be truly removed). 

For the last few weeks however, it's been, getting worse id say in two ways. 1) a stiffness in the rotation. If i turn it CW or CCW, it's stiff. it wont move with ease. If i take it to the 1200 position and let go, it just rotates to 11 or 1 spots and stops. i crank the handle, and when it rotates, it feels like it doesnt want to spin easily, like something is inhibiting its ability to spin. 2) noise. the grinding noise, has been increasing. I rotate the handle, and it just grinds and groans, louder and louder with each use.  i started wearing ear plugs because i couldnt stand the noise anymore.

i kept adding oil to it, and when id add a lot of oil. like a lot of oil, the noise would diminish, but the stiffness in rotation would remain. and sure enough, within an hour, it would just get louder and louder, back to its original loudness. 

so today, i tore the thing apart. took the fan housing off, removed the crankcase, took the handle off. I shot a lot of brake cleaner into the gearbox. let it sit, drained it, shot some more into it. spun the gears to work the brake cleaner around, and then drained again. i inspected the fan blades, the handle itself, the gears, heck, even the stand. Everything looks to be in proper working order. each gear even has all of its teeth. (aside from the striped paint on the legs). but, when i attach the handle and give it a crank, it sounds like a manual tranny losing a gear. it just grinds, and it is resistant to the turning action.

My first thought was to fully disassemble it, popping the gears out, but then i thought "gee, i should look at IFI and see if anyone is having the same issues." kind of...

(although, i did make the discovery of what kind of blower i have, and that it may be a bit small for the forge i have. which would explain why i keep having all these issues with heat for the last few years.)

my thinking is that maybe there is something up with the bushings. perhaps some crud got into the bushings and is inhibiting the ability to spin freely (as mr thomaspowers suggested in another posting)

so, what i am going to do now is get some kerosene and submerge the gearbox in the kero overnight.  then put it together and apply some gear oil to see how it spins.


im wondering, is there something else i should be looking at/looking for that im not aware of?


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I think you are on the right track with the  bushings/shafts.   You're describing something similar to what I experienced a few years ago.  I ended up taking mine apart, polishing the shafts, cleaning out the bushing holes well, and applying some grease.  That stopped the "grinding" noise for a while.  I think what was happening in my case is that the bushings were worn enough to allow the shaft(s) to move back and forth inside the bushing just a little, but rapidly.  I don't believe it was grinding in the sense of the teeth wearing on another surface, just slop that translated to a noise and resistance.  Your situation may be different.

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You might want to edit your post and remove the quote.  The quote feature

Without hands on looking at your blower, I'm about out of ideas. When you say you messed with the lash adjuster, did you try loosening it and turning the crank. What kind of oil are you using?

Those old blowers will take a set on the gears when in use, so only liking to be turned in one direction is normal. If you remove the cover and take some pictures inside it might help. If I remember right one of the gears is held on the shaft by a pin and sometimes the pin will shear and the gear will move on the shaft. Other than those, the bushings may be so worn that the shafts are binding.

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so i fixed it. sort of. 

i ended up soaking the whole gear box overnight in kerosene. pulled it out in the morning and the kerosene was a bit darker than before. but, the gears moved real easily. you blow on them and get a full rotation.

as i did some trouble shooting, i discovered that the spindle that connects the fan blade to the gearbox was the source of the rattle. when i would spin the crank, that little spindle would wobble just a little bit. and the faster you cranked, the more it would wobble to finally itd start loudly rattling. I messed around with the fan end screw, adjusting it in and out, and turning the crank clockwise and counter clockwise to see what happens. Turns out, it has a directional (helical? im not sure the proper word that goes here) rotation, and when engaged in a clockwise rotation, the spindle would pull itself into the gear box and the rattle would get very very loud. if i cranked it counterclockwise, the rattle would be minimized (unless i was going full tilt with the blower).  I think in the end, its the bushing that is a little bit worn out, allowing the spindle to bounce around inside the housing. 

i ended up putting the whole thing back together because i still had some projects to do. and i got a surprise! when i put the fan shroud back together, it all rotated so smoothly. i added some oil to it, spun it lots, the noise deadened a bit, and if anything, it seemed to run a bit better. 




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