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building an snowblower


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Hey all, I am giving serious consideration to building a snowblower for my atv. Serious enough that I just bought a 42 inch blower. I am going to mount the motor directly to the blower. I have an 11 horse motor from a John Deere 111 that I would like to use. I plan on having to do some welding and machining. and I plan on using some type of spring and wheel to help the winch lift the blower off the ground. I just wanted to pick some brains and see if anyone has ever done this before or if anyone has any advice. I think I am starting to get an idea fro what it needs to look like, hardest thing for me to visualize is mounting the motor and then running the belt from motor to blower. There will not be a lot of room between the two pulleyes, and one is horizontal while the other is vertical. Not sure how to overcome that challenge. Any thoughts?

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you wouldnt even have to use the winch. build it with a arm you pull back to raise it up. use caster wheels that can turn 360 under the blower. that way you can manuver the 4 wheeler however you want. then mount to a snowplow mount or something similar.

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The four wheeler that I am putting it on is an arctic cat 650 vtwin. The suspension will handle it. I do think I will need some kind of 360 degree swivel wheels on it. I'd like to see if I can make them spring loaded, so they compress when I let the blower down, but will help the winch lift the blower. I am going to use the existing mounting bracket for my plow. I have a second 4 wheeler that also has a plow. It is going to be very front heavy, but hopefully, I will not have to do a lot of maneuvering with it. I have only found one other person on the web that has made one.

There are 3 things that are concerning me the most.

#1. Mounting the motor on the blower.

#2. being able to lift the blower.

#3. Being able to run a belt from the motor to the blower. It will have to twist, I don't know if I will have enough room to get the twist and not throw the belt off.

Some things that I think I am planning on doing.

#1. Keeping the electric start on the motor by hooking up the blower engine to the wheeler battery.

#2. Run a console box to the wheeler that turns on the electric clutch, runs the throttle, and leaves room for an electric motor to turn the spout. The one guy online used an electric window motor to turn the spout. Looked pretty slick.

#3. weld and bolt extensions to the existing arms to attach to the four wheeler and then use chains to keep it from swaying back and forth.

#4. Come up with some kind of rear weight that hooks into the reciever hitch on the wheeler. I will start posting pics when I start the fabrication.

Any more ideas?

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Erskine Manufacturing used to make an atv snow blower, let's just say it didn't go over very well. Too expensive. There are some other units out there do some searching and I'm sure you'll find them on the net. It will help with some ideas. Good luck on your build.

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i wouldnt worry so much about the counter weight on the back of the wheeler. make it self support itself on caster wheels in the up position. the casters will hold all the weight of the blower. and in the down positon it will be on the ground. just piviot it on your plow mounts like you said. this way there will be minimal weight on the light suspension of the 4 wheeler.


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I decided to scrap using any of the mounts that came with the snowblower. I am going to fabricate new arms and the motor mount. The motor is an 11.5 horse briggs and straton. I had to dig it out of my shed, It looks to be in really good condition. I bought the 111 a couple of years ago as a backup mower but it was too small for my yard, so it just got parked in the corner of the shed, I had stuff leaning up against it and some old cardboard on top of it. A couple of the snowblowers I have seen that are made for atv's have wheels that come out like wings. They must use some kind of torsion spring and they all look to swivel 360 degrees.

the cheapest new one that I could find for any atv was $3500. That is way to spendy for me. I'm hoping to have this done for well under $500. So far, I only have $80 and some time invested.

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I would think the same concept of a plow mount would be the way to go.

That takes care of mounting, removing, and lift.

Weight will be an issue so you'll have to lock the fount suspension.

I would think using the rod to move the shoot be the way to go but you might have to extend it and make a carrier mount on your front rack. That is as simple a making an L out of1 1/4" flat bar and drill a hole in it to slip the shoot rod in. IMO a motorized shoot is going to give you trouble when the shoot binds a little and it will.

A horizontal shaft engine would be a lot easier. To do what you want you need to make a carrier with two pulleys. That same carrier will be your tensioner.

Here is the deal breaker for me and why I wouldn't do it.

Speed, just like a snowthrower whether that be a walk behind of lawn tractor you'll have to keep the speed down low at least with any depth of snow. With an ATV you'll be fussing with the throttle to keep it a it a crawl. I think an 11 HP engine will get a workout on a 42" thrower.

Even with a plow that floats on an ATV, if your on irregular ground and because of the distance from tires to thrower those bumps and dips become bigger and bigger.

Lastly, the first prototype is always and expensive one.

Having said all that my snow removal list consists of.

A plow on my ATV.

36" thrower on Lawn Tractor,

A back up 30" walk behind snow thrower.

When all else fails the Shovel. smile

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I seen one on an auction site a while back that consisted of two 42" blowers side by side with an arctic cat 440 snowmobile engine for power. The mount hinged around the middle of the machine and the engine was mounted on the rear of the machine, on the "undercarriage" to counter the weight of the blower assembly up front. A winch was used for the lift and no casters were used. There was also a sort of jack shaft that went from the rear to the front, a belt from the motor to the shaft and directly into the blower assembly. I will look for pics in the archive auctions and see if i can transfer them here for you to look at.

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regards to width, I have looked at that. Wheel base is roughly 44 inches. I am going to try it without any modification. If it isn't wide enough, I will have to weld on wings to each side of the blower. I don't want to have to do that.

I really have no idea if this will work, I have heard of some doing this, and found one person that did it online. I'm not terribly concerned about horsepower. I think the motor will be enough, but I could be wrong. The motor won't be driving a transmission or anything, just the snowblower. There are reasons why I am looking at a snowblower instead of using the blades. The blades work OK as long as there isn't drifting snow. My driveway is getting moved due to some road construction. It will be longer and in an area of my yard that often has drifts. As I said, this is all prototype stuff. Might be a huge wast of time, might work like a charm. I know that there will be a lot of trial and error. I am going to draw up some plans this week if I get the motor pulled from the lawn mower.

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I no longer have the photos on my phone, but the bet set up I have seen was with the blower mounted with extra wheels on the front, and a beam from the front all the way back to the receiver hitch, with a motor mounted on the rear of the machine... this way the motor was the counter weight, and the extra beam tot he rear helped absorb the "push" from the blower...

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I googled ATV snowthower and you should too. Wheels behind the thrower carry all the weight and when you lift it tilts the front of the thrower up and pivots the weight on those wheels.

Looks like your biggest hurdle is the horizontal shaft.

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Yeah, this has been done many times and can work. Can also fail horribly. A couple years ago I thought about building some various snow removal machines. Interesting stuff to tinker with.

Go on Youtube and look up some examples. DIY ATV Snowblower is what I searched. lots of stuff.

I'm pretty sure every one that I've ever seen had casters on it. A snowblower with an engine is just too much for the front suspension of an ATV.

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After a little more brainstorming, I think this project needs to be split into 2 separate entities, along with things to consider (partial so far)

1. a mounting platform for the ATV.

- something to take the weight off the atv

- be able to turn without binding

- be able to move up and down separate from the body of the atv (to account for the atv having suspension)

- always stay in line with the atv (no left to right movt)

2. the snowblower with motor, belts and pullies.

- not too much here, just need to get everything aligned. lots will depend on the setup of the blower you have. (have any pics)?

This is what comes to mind for me, given what I've seen in the past. (but a very rough idea, and possibly not all the way thought out)


There are even a few things I switched in this design. Intially I had the casters further back, but when the blower is raised, it would push down on the front, therefore pushing up in the back, which could hinder traction on the back wheels. By moving the casters forward, it will put most of the weight on those and leave the main beam relatively balanced.

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LBG, your diagram is awesome, I have been thinking about running a long steal tube all the way under the wheeler and hooking it up to the reciever hitch. It would be much easier to hook up that way.

I did give some initial thought to mounting the motor on the back and then running v-belts to the blower. solves two problems, but sounds like a major PITA for hook and unhook. The blower itself has a pretty good pully system where the belt from the mower attached, and was probably 3 feet away from the blower. I removed that assembly. the pully that drives the blower has its own spring loaded tensioner on it. Most of the ones that i have seen online have the caster wheels on wings and they come out to the width of the blower. I was thinking more on the lines of what you had in your diagram, only connecting it to the existing snow plow mounts, I am liking the idea of the reciever hitch more and more.

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LB I like that diagram as well I would add a hook and use a electric winch to lift up and down .

There are a ways to build a reciver mount for the front of a wheeler I was planning on doing some of the same things with a blower but I sold my 4 wheeler so it is on hold for now.

Another thing to look at is converting a plow rack into a snowblower mount or at least use that idea of the pivot points and fulcrum ideas to make it work.

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I am finally getting around to working on this project. Made some progress today. I removed the motor, motor mounting plate, and the front axle off the 111 lawn mower. The motor mounting plate actually lines up nicely on the arms of the snowblower. I have enough rear support and should only need to weld on support at the front of the motor. I have decided that I am going to use the axles from the mower and they mount nicely on the motor mount plate and will put them right under the motor. If you can picture it, take the front of the mower, cut in half, and put the front end facing the wheeler. I will need to get some new castor wheels to replace the front wheels on the mower, but that should not be too difficult. I don't think it will be too long and I will be able to have the motor mounted and the blower running. All I will need to do is come up with the mounting brackets for the atv and the lift mechanism. I think I am going to do a pivot lifting system where the wheels will always be on the ground and will us the winch to lift the front of the blower and pivot it on the castor wheels. I have some pics and will try and get them on here soon.

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I am making good progress on this project, but as with all design, it changed again. I originally had the mower axle behind the engine and blower.


After giving it some thought, I realized it would work much better if the axle was between the engine and the blower. This would give some counterweight to help lift the blower, which won't really be lifted, it will really just get tipped up.




basically, I mounted the engine with it facing the blower, just like it would have on the lawn mower, only the motor is mounted right on the blower instead of the mower. I'm liking this motor for two reasons. first is that it is electric start, and secondly, it has an electric clutch.

I am working on the mounting bracket right now. I am using another part of the old bracket and then having a much better welder than I, add to it. It will work on the snow plow bracket. I debated on weather or not I should just use the plow the brackets, but decided not to. This way will be much better and look cleaner.

I think that I am going to use cable to attach to the front of the blower so the winch can tip the front of the blower up and down, while it pivots on the caster wheels. I think I am going to use the same axles for the castor wheels and just find new wheels with the right diameter bearings.


I am also working on getting the wiring straightened out. I want it running next week. I should be able to get it done by then, hopefully it works, but I imagine that it will take some tweaking.

So far my investment in this project is $80 for the blower and about 20 hours into it.

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Don't forget shrouds around the belts, or snow will build up and you'll throw belts constantly. Also yank the air filter and have a simple shroud that won't clog for easier starting.

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Well, I finally got it running. Still doing a lot of thinking about how I am going to lift it. Hardest part is trying to find the right caster wheels. it is really weighted nice so I shouldn't take much to lift once I find the right castors. I need stem castors that have 3/4 inch diameter shafts to fit in the axle. I've been trying to find some used casters from a zero turn lawn mower or even an old cultivator, so far I have been striking out. If anyone has any good ideas, let me know.

Just an update on what I did, I had to figure out a way to mount a gas tank. It has to be gravity fed. I actually used the old mount from the mower and bolted it to the engine shroud which bolts to the engine block. I got the wiring straightened out to where I have a switch that sends power to the solenoid, and a push button start. I put some gas in and the thing fired right up and actually ran very well. I was very surprised at how well the motor ran. I had to then figure out how to wire the electric clutch. That was actually pretty easy and I now have a switch for that. I had the mount made by a local welder and it looks good and solid. I'm also ready to mount it to the wheeler. I am going to mount brackets on the blower housing and run a cable around the back of the motor and hook it up with the winch, this should give me the most leverage to lift up the front of the blower and pivot it on the castor wheels. It should not take much to lift the front end as the axle sits between the motor and the blower. I am hoping for enough clearance to get around the motor with the cable. So far, I have invested another $35 dollars for the welding of the wheeler mount, and probably another $20 in miscelaneous hardware.

As it sits now, it blows like a mother. Everything I have used has come from spare parts that came off the blower, or the mower.

I have named this the frankenblower.

More pics coming soon!

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