Vintage Sears Garden Tractors
The last couple of years have really been snowy here in New Jersey. The 1966 Suburban has been a workhorse, pushing snow off the
driveway following these storms. It's a drive around driveway that is about 450 feet in overall length. I've got two different snow blades that
I can use on the tractors: a 42" 917.251380 and a 46" 917.253360. I never realized just how much stronger the frame on the 46" blade was
until today. I broke one of the lift links off the 46" blade. Instead of just replacing the part, I figured why don't I just put the whole other
blade assembly on the tractor. An added bonus is that the 42" blade has the control rods on it that allow you to change the angle from the
driver's seat. The other blade doesn't have the control rods. In just a few minutes the plow was on and I was plowing again. The mounting
hardware seemed a lot tighter than the smaller blade and it was easier for the tractor to push. Until......BAM, I hit that root in the driveway.
The back wheels of the tractor came off the ground and I almost flew over the hood. I'd done something similar with the other plow on a few
occasions. There's no trip mechanism on either of the blades, so you go flying once in a while. Anyway, the 46" blade never sustained any
damage from these mishap, but the 42" blade did. The metal was bent and twisted on the frame. This led me to examine the mounting
system on both blades. The frame on the 46" was much stronger. Look a the pictures below so you can see the difference. I do like the 42"
blade on this tractor, so I'm going to take the best parts of both to make into one. I'll sandblast and paint the whole thing too.
On the left is the 46" blade's
pivot bracket (for lack of a
better term). On the right is the
42" version. Notice that the
bigger blade has a welded metal
reinforcement piece below the
pivot bracket. If you look
closely at the "V" shaped metal
piece in the picture on the right,
you will notice is it bent from
impact with a fixed object. This
makes the blade stay in an
angled state permanently.
Click any photo for a larger view.
Click any photo for a larger view.
Same assemblies as above from
different angles.
The "push mount" on the
bigger plow is stronger also,
being made out of a large
piece of channel. Of note
however is a crack in the
channel near the lift
mechanism. That will be
welded.
Another difference is the
lift handle. The larger plow
has a bend in the handle to
clear the clutch pedal; the
smaller one does not. It
clears the pedal OK, but
not the foot that is on the
footrest.