You’re halfway finished snow blowing your driveway and clunk… you hit a rock.
Your snow blower engine is still running at full speed, but the auger is jammed.
Here's the good news: Your machine was designed to handle this situation.
Here's the bad news: You’re going to need to replace a shear bolt or two.
What Is A Shear Bolt?
Typically, two shear bolts (or shear pins) connect the auger to the auger shaft.
They feature specially designed grooves, allowing them to snap if there’s too much torque. This prevents damage to the gear case and auger shaft.
If two-stage snow blowers weren’t built with shear pins, a snow-covered newspaper or a curb could cause hundreds of dollars in damage instead of a few bucks.
How to Replace a Shear Pin
Replacing a shear pin (or shear bolt) is very easy. To locate them, look for the two bolts inserted through the auger shaft.
1. Use wrenches that fit the size of the shear pin. Hold the nut in place on one side while using another wrench to turn the bolt counter-clockwise until it's loose enough that you can turn it with your fingers.
2. Continue loosening the nut from the bolt until it comes off. Then pull the shear pin free from the auger.
3. If the shear pin is broken completely through, you should be able to skip most of this and just pull from both sides to remove it.
4. Make sure the holes are aligned, and insert your new shear bolt. Tighten the nut on the other side with a wrench until it's snug.
For more help, view the video above.
Select The Right Size
Now that you know how to replace a shear pin, you have to make sure you pick the right size for your snow blower.
There are three basic sizes of shear bolts.
1. The brass ¼” shear bolts are the most common and used on the smaller entry-level snow blowers.
2. The black 5/16” shear bolts are used on larger mid-grade snow blowers.
3. The silver 5/16” shear bolts are used on professional-grade snow blowers.
It’s a good idea to have a few spare shear bolts on hand. Otherwise,
prepare to finish the job with a shovel.