Toro Powerlite Snow Thrower Blower
Is your Powerlite engine running and nothing happens? You probably broke a drive belt. You don't need to take it in for service. You can fix it yourself in about 30 minutes.
This is what mine looked like when I opened it. We had two 10"+ snow falls this year in Michigan so far. This little snow blower has to work hard to throw that much snow. In fact is was too much for it. The snow was coming over the top of the machine. I had to chop my way through the snow shoving and pulling back over and over. I'm sure the belt overheated.
I buy all my parts at Weingartz in Farmington Hills. They are a big power equipment dealer in Michigan. They always have what I need in stock. In talking to the salesman at the store, when it comes to Toro, all prices are the same. Toro costs the same wherever you buy it. I found it to be true when I bought my new snow blower Home Depot, Lowes, and anyone else who carried the model I bought charged $599. I bought it at Weingartz.
Yes, I did buy a new Toro Power Clean 221QR. These last two snow falls took hours to clear with the Powerlite. I got through it but it was real work. We decided to get a bigger model with more power. We'll keep this little one. It's half the weight of the new one so it can go up on the porch and down narrow walks the big one can't. The new Power Clean has the big advantage of a steer-able snow chute. You can turn the chute while you walk using a sliding knob. They have pictures on their web site. It works well. It can throw a lot more snow and the motor doesn't threaten to stall all the time in big drifts. Maybe I should write a review of it. I couldn't find any on the web when I was shopping for a new machine. And since I bought this new snow blower, Michigan just set a record high for Jan 7, 2008 - 63° degrees. Fine with me. I know the snow will be back before too long.
Back to the belt repair.
Very broken. Duct tape won't help you here.
To replace the belt just open the metal housing on the side of the blower. It has 4 bolts. The middle pull is a tension pulley. There is a spring on it. (Difficult to see in this picture.) I had this tension spring break once. When that happens the belt slips like mad. It would blow very light powder but nothing more. Finally I figured out the pulley was just flopping around in there. Very simple design. It has proven reliable and very easy to fix.
Overall I'm really happy with my Toro products. I have had a Toro lawn mower since 1994 which still runs great. This blower is at least 10 years old. It's hard to start. I spray automotive starting fluid or ether into the carb when it's cold (Just over the choke lever). Usually fires up pretty quickly after that. Once it runs for a while and heats up it's easy to keep going. If it's cold I can't start it without the starting fluid.
Powerlite Belt Threading Pictures
What I failed to show in the picture above was the proper way to thread the new belt on. It seems easy enough, but I threaded it incorrectly when I put my belt on and closed everything up. A gracious reader sent me pictures of his Powerlite with the belt properly threaded. He had to replaced the tension pulley spring in his unit. (His Powerlite looks much newer than mine :-) ) A thanks and photo credit go to R.S.