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Install a New Snow Blower Belt

Snowblower belts start to wear out after 5 to 7 years, and should be replaced. You can save money by doing the job yourself. Here's an overview of the procedure.

By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine

Install a New Snow Blower Belt

Snowblower belts start to wear out after 5 to 7 years, and should be replaced. You can save money by doing the job yourself. Here's an overview of the procedure.

Changing the belt

If you haven't changed the belts on your two-stage snow blower since the day you bought it, do it now. Factory belts typically last about five to seven years, depending on how hard you work your snow blower each year. Don't even think about replacing them with V-belts from the auto parts store. Even though they’re cheaper, you'll barely get one season out of them—they're just not heavy-duty enough. Get genuine factory belts from the dealer or online. You'll need your snow blower's make and model number and the engine brand and model number.

The belt removal/replacement procedures are different for each make and model, so refer to your owner's manual. If you don't have yours, try downloading a copy from the manufacturer's Web site. With the cover off, inspect the condition of the belts. If you see cracks or cuts anywhere on the belt, shiny glazing along the sides, or fraying, it's time to replace them.

Most two-stage machines have belt retainer bars and idler/tensioner rollers that have to be loosened before you can get the belts off (Photo 1). Then empty the gas tank and tip the entire machine up so you can remove the bottom access plate. Then slide each belt out, paying attention to which belt fits on which pulley. Reverse the procedure to install the new belts.

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Required Tools for this Project

Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.

    • Socket/ratchet set
    • Adjustable wrench
    • Rags
    • Wrench set

Required Materials for this Project

Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here's a list.

    • Replacement belt

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December 20, 1:23 PM [GMT -5]

As "OldHomeNewT" state, record the belt numbers. I typically just write this info and other stuff such as how much oil the unit takes (and what kind of oil) right on the machine itself. Use a sharpie or a paint pen and write the info on a plastic shroud or on a painted surface. Do the same with your lawnmower(s) also.

February 12, 4:55 PM [GMT -5]

Take a digital photo of the belt placement for referral.

September 20, 12:28 PM [GMT -5]

This was a very timely article. I found in the magazine the week *after* my blower broke a belt (10+ years old). Mine is exactly like the blower in the pictures, and uses two belts. I replaced both of them at the same time, since I already had it apart.

One tip: Early in the life of your blower, record the part number off of the belts and put it somewhere safe. The parts store couldn't find my particular belts in the parts lists, so we had to guess on ordering the replacements because my blower shredded the old belt and the numbers were no longer readable.

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Install a New Snow Blower Belt

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