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Slick Snowblower Made From Swather Parts
Richard Muscha's self-propelled snow blower is painted and detailed like Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s NASCAR racer. It looks like a speedster with its lowered frame and narrow body. Muscha, his son Russel, and a neighbor, Phil Spooner, built the machine using swather components, but put it together in a way that meets their in-town needs.
"We built the frame from scratch using 2 by 4-in. box tubing," recalls Muscha. "We wanted it small enough that we could work on it inside a car garage if we had problems in the winter. It ended up about 40 in. wide with a length of about 8 ft."
While the three relied mostly on swather components, they also salvaged wheels from a Ford pickup and a differential and rear axle out of a Ford station wagon. The snowblower itself is an older Farm King. The final drives were taken from the original swather and mounted to the new frame. Muscha's son Russel, a machinist, redrilled the hubs to fit the Ford pickup wheels.
"We chopped and shortened the drive axle and attached it to the frame," explains Muscha. "Sprockets were mounted to the ends of the shortened axle to power the drives. The differential was driven by a double chain from the swather's hydrostatic drive."
The combination of sprockets and drives gives the snowblower a 15:1 gear reduction, reducing speed, but providing plenty of power.
Power is provided by the original swather engine. The original hydraulic pump and hydraulic motor were connected by a common gearbox at right angles to each other. The three men split the pump and motor to fit the new frame, made end plates for them and connected them with hoses.
A separate hydraulic pump mounted to the swather engine provides hydraulic power for the snowblower. Drive power for the blower is provided by triple V-belts from a hydraulic motor to the snowblower pto.
"We have four hydraulic valves: one that raises and lowers the blower, another that turns the spout, a third that turns the flipper on the spout, and a fourth to engage the pto," says Muscha.
The steering axle was recycled from an old Massey Ferguson combine. The wheels were donut spare tires from a Cadillac, while power steering was off an old IH combine with power from a third hydraulic pump.
"Originally we had planned to build our own snowblower, but we found the Farm King for a reasonable price. We had to shorten the mounts so they didn't stick out too far. For a lift, we mounted an old Cornhusker 3-pt. hitch on the frame. It'll let us mount tillers, blades, mowers or other 3-pt. equipment on the machine in the summer."
The snowblower cab was salvaged from the swather. The right side window was enlarged and a window was added to the rear. "We use the snowblower in town, and we need the best visibility possible," says Muscha.
Sheet metal off the swather was used to fabricate a new hood and cowlings. Recycled parts offered by relatives kept costs down. Viewing it as a hobby also let the three take their time on the project.
"We worked on it off and on for about six years," says Muscha. "We bought a couple swathers and salvaged parts, but we don't have a lot of money in it. We may have spent $600."
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Richard Muscha, 301 13th Ave. N., Casselton, N. Dak. 58012 (ph 701 347-4984).

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2009 - Volume #33, Issue #1