Steve: I ALSO thought I wanted/needed a 2-stage for my 318. I checked on the 47 and it IS a monster as far as size and weight. I bought a 49 (single stage) and am very happy with it. How far do you need to throw the snow would be the determining factor in my opinion. I can throw it 15-20 feet easily, depending on moisture content of the snow.
I have an older 47 2-stage on my 318 and love it!!! Yes, it is heavy (350 lbs), you need the proper counterweight plus good chains on the back of the tractor to compensate for the increased weight in the front. Be careful in shopping for these. There is a mount and drive for the 318 and one for the 420. They are different drives and mounts.
A common complaint of the older 47 is its poor performance in throwing snow. When I first used my 47 I was not happy. There was over ¼” gap between the outer impeller blade edge and the impeller ring. I installed a $30.00 impeller kit which is readily available on the internet for 2-stage snow blowers, plus another simple mod to further improve performance. I can now throw wet heavy snow over 40’, dry fluffy snow over 60’.
I think the 318 handles the 47 just fine properly balanced. And it is a true heavy duty commercial grade unit which will last a lifetime.
The Bercomac is an excellent blower also, but it is lighter weight which may not hold up as well over the course of time.
With anything, it is really how it is used and maintained that determines the actual lifespan.
I put in the 5” kit and have been very pleased with the performance improvement. You can also check out the following thread: http://www.wfmachines.com/discus/messages/335/423881.html, which will show pictures of this kit installed along with the other mod I did. Simply this was to angle out the three impeller lips to increase the bite in snow from approximately 3” to 4”.
I also need to clean my 47 up and repaint it, as it did not do this last winter. You are right; winter will be here before we know it. Check out my gallery photos on my 318, you will see a photo of the counter-weight set-up I am running with my 47 blower.
Check up towards the middle of the rear housing, there is a shaft for the diff lock with 2 cam arms that activate it when you push brake or diff lock. There is a seal that gets hard and leaks making it loo like the housing leaks.
You need to seperate the axle from frame and jack the frame to get good access.
Only takes about an hour to make repair, and the seal is 10 bucks from Deere
I pulled the hub from the rear axle.
I can see the shaft and seal now.
Did not know if that was a dust seal or tranny fluid seal.
Started to unbolt the complete axle from the transmission, fluid started to pour out.
I guess the axle is full of fluid also?
Now need to figure out how to remove the seal from the end of the axle. Not sure if the axle will come out easily?
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