It's not like I don't have stuff going on, but when the only job on the books is installing a new shifter cable one needs to find a way to occupy his time.
Yesterday morning was chock full; placing orders, driving around doing errands, paying some bills and fixing some shifting issues for my first/only job of the day. I was back at HQ right around lunch time. Now what? I reflected back to a day while skiing with Aaron and he was telling me about replacing the belts on his snowblower. "There's belts in there?" Owning a Honda snowblower, I just figured that as long as I kept gas in the thing, it would probably outlive me by at least 20 years. So, after some lunch I rolled up my sleeves (which was really odd since I was wearing a short sleeved T-shirt) and got to work on doing some snowblower maintenance.
First thing's first: After sitting under a tarp for more than 5 months I turned the key, pushed in the clutch lever and pulled the starter rope... one time. That's all it took to turn over the engine now purring like a kitten in my driveway. I'd say this is amazing, but really it's not. After a minute or so, I shut it off and started draining the oil. While this was going on, I brushed off some spiderwebs and did a visual inspection. "Hmm, it's still red and most of the bolts are still screwed in"... seems good. Now, how about those belts?
In the front of the unit, there's a red plastic cover which I assumed housed the belts. After removing 4 bolts, my assumptions were proved correct and the belts were exposed. WOW! Man I'm glad I had a look in there. They DEFINITELY need replaced.
This is where things got interesting. There are two belts inside. One that makes the thing go back and forth and another that engages the auger. The area where the belts and pulleys live is somewhat confined. There are also miscellaneous springs, belt guards, lever arms and other Honda gadgetry in there all taking up precious space. The confines of this area took me back to a time when my Dad had a 1964 Mini Cooper with a magical way of making it IMPOSSIBLE to retrieve dropped bolts in the engine compartment... but that's another story. The odd thing going on here is that it looked like removing the belts would require the removal of some of the afore mentioned pieces. It started innocently enough. I removed a part here and a part there getting closer, but still not enough to remove the belts. Before I knew it, I had something that looked like this.....
Yea. No shit! As bummed as I was/am about the depths that I'm going through to get the belts swapped out, I'm glad (glad to at least the 5th power!) that I'm not doing this in the middle of a snow storm while missing out on a ski day. I guess it's sort of a blessing. I also found a bearing in there that was sure to fail on me this winter as well that would've caused some other sort of hand freezing, wrench loosing, loud cussing sort of scene in the middle of my driveway one winter day. Good for the blog... bad for neighbor relations.
Sooo, it's off to the snowblower shop... again. Let's see what happens this time.