I see a ton of worn-out snowblower bins, all because the shoes were never adjusted. I don’t blame folks; many don’t know they need to. I am already impressed; you are well ahead of most, and I can tell you love your kit. I’m a mechanic, and very shortly, you’ll be a shoe adjusting pro.
Adjusting snowblower shoes is a six-step process; they are:
- Park on level ground
- Check tire pressures
- Place shim under scraper bar
- Loosen skid shoe fasteners
- Push shoes to ground
- Tighten shoes fasteners
In this post, you’ll learn why it’s important to adjust your snowblower shoes; You’ll learn how to adjust them and the best heights for different types of yard surfaces.
These shoes need adjusting; the scraper bar should not make contact with the surface.
Let’s get those shoes adjusted!
Adjusting the Shoes
Adjusting the shoes is an easy job and requires little in the way of tools. The whole job won’t take you more than thirty minutes tops. Adjusting should be done every year at the start of the season.
Adjusting, as you know, improves overall snowblower performance but also reduces wear and tear. More surface contact equals increased friction and vibration, both increasing fatigue in machines and operators.
Tools – You’ll need a timber shim, ratchet & socket, or wrench, usually a 13 mm or 1/2 in.
1 Park on level ground
We’ll need a hard-level surface to work on, indoors or outdoors. An uneven working surface will result in an uneven scraper bar.
2 Check tire pressures
We’ll need to check and adjust the tire pressures if needed. Uneven tire pressures will result in an uneven scraper bar.
3 Place shim under scraper bar
We’ll need an appropriate wooden shim to rest the bin on. The shim should run with the width of the scraper bar, and the height will depend on your surface. See chart below for sim guide.
|Surface Type||Shim Height|
|Loose stone or pebble||1 inch|
|Timber deck||1/2 inch|
Lay your timber shim on the ground and park the snowblower so the scraper bar rests on the shim.
4 Loosen skid shoe fasteners
Spray some WD40 on your skid shoe fasteners (2 on each side), then go ahead and loosen them.
5 Push shoes to the ground
Make sure the shoes rest on the ground. If your shoes won’t sit right because they are worn, remove the fasteners and flip the shoes upside down, they are double-sided.
If you have already worn both sides, best to invest in a replacement set.
Metal shoes are the most common, but nylon or wheeled shoes are available too and are kinder to your yard surface and quieter too.
6 Tighten shoe fasteners
Add some copper grease to the fasters (prevents corrosion) and tighten them.
You are a pro!
Replacing the Scraper Bar
The scraper bar is a replaceable strip of metal fitted to the leading edge of your snowblowers bin.
Its function is to protect the bin from wear, the kind of wear that comes from maladjusted or worn-out shoes.
It happens; not everyone realizes they need to adjust shoes; anyhow, a scraper bar isn’t expensive or difficult to replace; that said, if your fasteners are corroded, you’ll need to cut them off and replace them.
The fitting process is as follows:
Place the snowblower on its bin
Locate and spray fasteners with WD40
Use a box wrench and ratchet, and socket to loosen the fasteners
Remove the scraper bar
Refit new scraper bar
Apply copper grease to fasteners and fit
Level scraperbar and tighten fasteners
- Check and adjust shoes as per above
Adjusting snowblower shoes is an easy job that can be accomplished with minimal tools in under thirty minutes. Adjusting is important; it will prevent auger and bin damage and improves overall snowblower performance.
The main steps include – Adjusting tire pressures, choosing the appropriate shim height, and loosening and adjusting the shoes.
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- About the Author
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John Cunningham is an Automotive Technician and writer at Lawnmowerfixed.com.
He’s been a mechanic for over twenty-five years and shares his know-how and hands-on experience in our DIY repair guides.
Johns’s fluff-free How-to guides help homeowners fix lawnmowers, tractor mowers, chainsaws, leaf blowers, power washers, generators, snow blowers, and more.