Difference between revisions of "Group 11 - Dual Stage Snow Thrower (Gasoline Powered) - Gate 1"

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|Position || Member || Responsibilities || Phone Number || Email
|Position || Member || Responsibilities || Phone Number || Email
|Project Manager || Kristin Cameron || Directing the work of other members of the project.<br />Final authority/approval of each step || (716) 982-3823 || kcameron@buffalo.edu
|Project Manager || Kristin Cameron || Directing the work of other members of the project.<br />Final authority/approval of each step || **removed after semester ended** || **removed after semester ended**
|Communications Liaison || Minh Dao || Maintaining/editing the article pages<br />Organizing the research and contributions of other members || (716) 479-1485 || minhdao@buffalo.edu
|Communications Liaison || Minh Dao || Maintaining/editing the article pages<br />Organizing the research and contributions of other members || (716) 479-1485 || minhdao@buffalo.edu

Latest revision as of 20:59, 3 January 2013



This is the planning stage where we conduct a preliminary examination of the machine and come up with the steps for disassembly.

Work Proposal


We will disassemble a Toro CCR2000 Single-Stage Snow Thrower and examine the parts for various ways to improve upon it. (Note: Due to a mistake on the initial project proposal, the Snow Thrower was labeled as a Dual-Stage. It is a Single-Stage.)


Tentative Plan:

1) We will empty the machine of all fluid using a pump type siphon. As the engine does not have a cooling system, the fluid will only be the gasoline and oil mixture.

2) We will disconnect the drive line from the handle, and remove the key from the machine to ensure that it cannot ignite.

3) We will remove the hood and discharge chute. This will require a socket wrench set, pliers, and possibly lubricating oil, and will expose the engine and chassis. All parts removed in this and future steps will be labeled and cataloged against the manufacturer's parts list by part number prior to removal. See here: Media:assembly_manual.pdf

4) We will disconnect and remove the spark plug, and then carefully swab off any fluid residue from the engine block assembly, fuel tank and lines, and the rest of the chassis.

5) We will remove the pulley system connecting the engine to the impeller, followed by the impeller itself.

6) We will remove the engine and fuel tank, according to the procedure in the Service Manual for the snow thrower. See here: Media:Service_manual.pdf

7) We will break down the rest of the chassis and set it aside. This will require power tools such as drills with screwdriver bits and liberal application of lubricating oil due to the age of the machine and rust-fusing of the parts.

8) We will carefully disassemble the engine, and clean out the cylinders and piston assembly. This will require hex and Torx bits as well as the previous tools. We may need a vise for some steps.

9) We will examine all the parts, and determine which parts can be or have been improved since the model's introduction.

10) We will carefully reassemble the entire machine, beginning with the chassis and testing the engine once it is completed to ensure functionality. This will require a few additional tools: a multimeter, a torque wrench (recommended), and blue Loctite or new lock nuts.

11) We will submit our report on the snow thrower.

Disassembly is expected to take a total of eight hours.


Complexity is inherent in the size of the snow thrower, as it is comprised of many parts. After 20+ years of use, heat expansion cycles, and lack of movement for many screws and washers, the main problem will be getting powerful enough tools to remove everything effectively. At the same time, caution must be taken to avoid stripping the threads off the screws, which are going to be partially fused to the rest of the machine with rust.

Member Strengths Weaknesses
Kristin Cameron Leadership
Technical communication
Public speaking
Disassembly and assembly
Limited wiki experience
Often arrive slightly late
Minh Dao Good with computers
Excellent English skills
Deep knowledge of the product (owner)
Something of a procrastinator
Musthaq Mohamed Disassembling and assembling machines
Using different types of tools
No wiki experience
Technical writing
Suman Muthurayan Team player and intelligent hard worker Get carried over sometimes
Yet to improve my communication skills
Hengtian Yao Has experience working with AutoCAD
Quick learner
Poor English skills
Something of a procrastinator

Management Profile

We will meet after every class, and on the weekends in the Furnas Hall Dissection Laboratory. Group communication will take place using our project Facebook group: MAE 277 Product Dissection

Position Member Responsibilities Phone Number Email
Project Manager Kristin Cameron Directing the work of other members of the project.
Final authority/approval of each step
**removed after semester ended** **removed after semester ended**
Communications Liaison Minh Dao Maintaining/editing the article pages
Organizing the research and contributions of other members
(716) 479-1485 minhdao@buffalo.edu
Technical Expert Musthaq Mohamed In charge of assembly/disassembly
Team leader during dissection
(716) 533-8219 mm422@buffalo.edu
Second Technical Expert Suman Muthurayan In charge of cataloging parts
Second in charge during dissection
(716) 541-7036 sumanmut@buffalo.edu
Chief Researcher Hengtian Yao Examining parts
Documenting possible/current improvements
(716) 400-3865 hengtian@buffalo.edu

Outside of listed responsibilities, each member will work on other contributions for research. The Chief Researcher will collate and condense it all into one package for approval by the Project Manager. The Communications Liaison will then be responsible for the presentation of the information on this website and in class.

In the event of a conflict, group members will attempt to reach consensus by seeking to fully understand the conflicting positions and treating one another with respect, taking care not to speak over each other. If common ground cannot be found, the group will abide by majority rule.

Product Archaeology

Development Profile

In the late 1800s, a few years after the industrial revolution, the absence of a snow blower badly affected those people who lived thousands of miles away from the equator. As a result, a few designers started working on this new invention, though it did not yet succeed. However, in 1894, a Canadian inventor called Arthur Sicard, who was inspired by a grain thresher, began working on his first snow blower and was able to unveil his machine in Montreal in 1925. In 1952, a company named Toro came up with the first human-powered snow blower. Toro built our product, the CCR-2000 snow thrower, in the late 1980s to early 1990s.

One major global concern during the time of development was milder winter seasons. Snow was a relative scarcity during the winters of 1980 and 1981 and, consequently, so were snow blower sales. The business suffered devastating losses during this period. Another key concern at the time of development was the economy. Economic recessions reduced the demand for snow throwers, which also caused large losses of profit at times. However, single stage snow blowers are light, efficient, easy to use, and inexpensive when compared to two stage snow blowers or plows. This machine is intended to be sold in regions that experience cold winter seasons which get heavy snow during winter. This excludes most of the Asian countries and other areas close to the equator. So, mainly sales take place in Northern European countries, Northern United States, Canada, and some areas in Japan and China. This product was intended to make consumers lives easier by allowing them to remove snow more quickly and alleviating the physical strain associated with shoveling snow, which was the only alternative at the time. Additionally, the introduction of the snow thrower allowed anyone physically unable to shovel snow to clear paths themselves, thereby providing the opportunity to leave the house safely after heavy snow without relying on neighbors.

Usage Profile

The intended use of the Toro snow thrower is to remove snow from unwanted locations such as sidewalks, driveways, or other areas of traffic. This single stage snow thrower is not adequate for dealing with heavy snow fall. It is a single stage snow blower because only the impeller moves the snow. There is no auger to break up the incoming flow into manageable pieces. The impeller spins at a high speed, scraping up snow and throwing it out a discharge chute.

This particular product is both for home and professional use. The ultimate purpose of this machine is to avoid any inconvenience caused by the snow in order to save time and energy. In a professional context, many business in areas with snowfall have to keep their driveways and parking lots clear of snow in order to avoid any inconvenience to the customers. In addition, homeowners utilize this product to clean their sidewalks and driveways. Even though the Toro snow thrower is very easy to handle, there are a few safety concerns that should be addressed. Always keep children and pets away from the area of operation, and wear adequate winter clothing and footwear that will improve footing on slippery surfaces. Always turn off the blower and remove the key before attempting to clean the auger.

Energy Profile

Energy Source Usage
Chemical Energy
Gasoline-Oil mixture, Air (Oxygen) The chemical mixture is ignited within the cylinder, forcing it to expand.
A piston drive converts that forced movement into shaft rotational energy within the engine.
External connections or pulley systems transfer that energy to the impeller.
Electrical Energy
Permanent magnet in Recoil Starter Assembly. After “enabling” the starter with the key, pulling the Starter Cord spins the magnet inside a coil of wire, inducing a current.
This current is enough to allow the spark plugs in the engine to fire, igniting the gas mixture in the cylinder.
Essentially, this system converts electrical energy into heat energy in the form of sparks.
Mechanical Energy
Recoil Starter and User Interaction. The Recoil Starter requires the user to pull on the flywheel, creating rotational energy and spinning a magnet.
This mechanical energy is then converted into electrical energy to power the spark plug circuits.

Complexity Profile

Quantity of Components

Housing 59 different components
Discharge Chute 25 different components
Rotor 10 different components
Engine and Main Frame 29 different components
Control Panel and Shrouding 28 different components
Handle 28 different components
Short Block 19 different components
Flywheel and Magneto 12 different components
Carburetor 29 different components
Governor 13 different components
Muffler 5 different components
Recoil Starter 17 different components
Total 274 different components

Complexity of individual components

More than half the components used in the snow thrower are standardized components and parts, like bearings and screws. These parts, easily obtained from hardware stores like “Home Depot,” are mass-produced items, cheap and simple.

Components like the cover, plastic plate and scraper, however, are designed and produced specifically for this type of snow blower. They are semi-complex. They are in simple shape and easily assembled, but not convenient to produce and purchase for replacement.

Components like gear kits and shot block parts are specially designed and manufactured for the snow thrower. They are in need of high production technology and precision. We can classify these as complex parts. They are hard to get from the general market. Additionally, when assembling them together, the engineer should be aware of the range of the degree of the adaptability. They are crucial components for the production and assembly of the machine.


There are 12 main modules of the snow thrower. More than 10 parts are assembled to make each subsystem. The parts belonging to each module guarantee the module is stable and work appropriate. The housing is the upper cover of the snow thrower, connected to the discharge chute. Its primary purpose is to protect the engine. The discharge chute is used to collect snow and redirect it to a more desirable location. While the snow blower is pushed forward, snow is collected and propelled out of the chute. The chute can be redirected to control which direction the snow is launched away from the machine, allowing adaptability and ensuring that the working area will remain clear.

The engine and chassis are used to provide energy and generate the torque required for the impeller to chip the snow and propel the blower forward. The chassis also keeps the engine working in the proper position. The other subsystems are simply used to transfer and convert energy for the machine. With a microscopic and static view, when the blower is dissected into small subsystems, they are simply interacting to stabilize parts or transmit power. On the macroscopic and dynamic view, they are complex.

Material Profile

Visible Components: Many of the external components, including the housing, are made of firm plastic. As expected, the plastic appears to vary in composition depending on the application; that is, there are material differences among the plastics that comprise the housing, the wheels, the fuel cap, and so on. The tires are made of firm rubber. The handle, screws, nuts, and bolts are made of metal.

Non-visible Components: Materials in the visible components – hard plastic, firm rubber, and metal -- will all be found in non-visible components as well. In addition, the drive belt is probably made of rubber or a more flexible plastic. While not quite visible, the starter has a flexible cord, likely a synthetic product made of yet another variety of plastic. O-rings and washers are probably made of a more ductile rubber.

User Interaction Profile

First, the user is required to mix and load the fuel, which requires a particular ratio of gas and oil. The fuel tank is clearly visible on top of the snow thrower. To begin operating the equipment, the user must turn the ignition to the “on” position and then pull the starter. During normal operation, the user must push the snow thrower around the area to be cleared of snow. Prior to storage at the end of the season, the fuel mixture must be drained from the system to ensure nothing coalesces. The interfaces for everyday usage are very clear. All components are visibly obvious (such as the handle) or well marked (such as the ignition switch). Properly mixing the fuel when needed and thoroughly draining the fuel at the end of the season may not be intuitive for casual users; however, the owner’s manual clearly outlines these processes. Generally, maintenance is not required. The snow thrower is reasonably easy to use. It requires only forward or turning movement and does not require substantial effort to push, nor does it obstruct the user's view of the path to be cleared.

Product Alternatives Profile

Alternatives Advantages Disadvantages
Wheeled Snow Shovel ($120-$150)
Wheel Shovel.jpeg
• Easy to handle
• Low cost and maintenance
• Less risk factor
• Wheel – easily movable
• Convenient storage
• Environmentally friendly
• Good exercise for youngsters
• Easy to assemble
• Wheel can be detached
• Much manpower needed
• Too much time needed to shovel
• Not suitable for elderly people
• Less useful for heavy snowfall
Traditional Snow Shovel ($5-$20)
Snow shovel.jpeg
• Very low cost compared to alternatives
• Portable
• Easy to store
• Extendable handle
• Easy to handle and secure
• No maintenance
• Environmentally friendly
• It elevates pain for people with backaches
• Quite heavy with loaded snow
• Difficult to lift and clean the snow
• Metal shovel gets rusty
Liquid Snow Remover (Low Grade: $10-$70.
Professional grade: as much as $1000)
• Friendlier with ecosystem
• It works efficiently
• Low cost and no maintenance
• Less storage space is needed
• Inexpensive application equipment (sprayer and pump)
• Safe and harmless
• Easy to use (just spray)
• A lot to apply to remove snow on a sidewalk and driveway
• The solution process takes time
• Not suitable for heavy snow
• It has to be applied more number of times
Electric Snow Thrower ($130-$1500)
• Quieter operation than gas snow thrower
• There is no gasoline requirement
• Light weight and easy to use
• The chute helps to rotate in any direction
• Eco-friendly
• Easy to maintain
• Need minimal storage place
• Electric start rather than recoil start
• Can only handle limited feet of snow
• Limited length of cord
• Not suitable for wet and paved surfaces
• Expensive
Snow blower truck ($1000-$1500)
Big one.jpeg
• High RPM fan helps to throw the snow far out
• Controlled from the driver seat
• Chute can be adjusted and manipulated to any direction
• Reliable and fast performance
• Can handle any amount of snow
• It considerably decreases the amount of time to shovel
• Efficient shoveling
• Limited visibility due to snow and fog
• Expensive and high maintenance cost
• It has to be maintained at frequent intervals
• Occupy more space
• High level emission
• Specific skill set for operation is required
• Cannot be easily handled
• Consumes more fuel
Vertex Rolling Snow Shovel ($40-$60)
• It can clear light snow
• Easy to handle
• Ergonomically designed
• Reduces back strain
• No maintenance and low cost
• Easily storable
• Very hard to assemble
• It can handle up to 7 inches of snow
• Less durable
• Small wheels
• Less rigid
Snow Plow Truck ($900-$4,000)
Snow Truck.jpeg
• Quick and easy to remove snow in wide areas
• Hydraulic angling facilitates turning the chute
• Multipurpose
• Can be used during snow storms
• Increased safety for both operator and the motorists
• Reduces the need for alternatives
• Very expensive
• Requires knowledge to operate
• Regular maintenance
• Environment pollution
• Hydraulic system has to be maintain frequent at subzero condition
• Need license, insurance and registration to operate
• Noise pollution