Platinum 24 - Will not track straight! - Snowblower Forum : Snow Blower Forums
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post #1 of 25 Old 01-02-2014, 04:28 PM Thread Starter
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Platinum 24 - Will not track straight!

Conditions:

Machine setup by my local dealer
First use, machine started right up
8 inches fluffy powder
100% flat, clean smooth pavement beneath
No issue throwing the light stuff, or the heavier pack at the end of the driveway

Issues:

Machine insists on tracking to the LEFT, or to the RIGHT.
I feel I am WRESTLING the thing to keep a straight track
Turning seems to take MUCH more effort than my old solid axle Toro this machine replaces
I am EXTREMELY concerned as I approach the 3 vehicles parked in the driveway
BOTH wheels seem to remain engaged as I attempt a tight/U-Turn

Questions:

I found that PULLING the outside handle (vs pushing the inside handle) seemed to help align the track, but this is taking much more effort that the YouTubes demos I have seen

This feels like an adjustment issue - but what should I be looking for? Any suggestions to get me going??

I don't have a garage


I so much wanted to LOVE this machine! Not there yet...

Last edited by markp99; 01-02-2014 at 04:45 PM.
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post #2 of 25 Old 01-02-2014, 05:13 PM
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mark! check the tires and make sure both are filled with the same air pressure. check to make sure the gap on the center scraper blade is equal on both ends. check the skids on each end of the auger housing to make sure they are aligned and touching the surface the same way. if the surface is level and traction for both wheels is the same it should track even and straight spec calls for 1/8" gap for hard surfaces, mine I set to 3/16". does it have the new auto trac or does it have the wheel pins? here's a good resource on ariens what to look for if you have problems. http://movingsnow.com/2013/problems-...-snow-blowers/
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post #3 of 25 Old 01-02-2014, 05:26 PM
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Seems to be a recurring problem...

Take a look at my last post on this page for some insight on getting things adjusted properl...
https://www.snowblowerforum.com/forum...o-turn-13.html

-----------------------------------------
2013 Ariens P24
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post #4 of 25 Old 01-03-2014, 10:53 AM Thread Starter
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Round 2 - another 6-8 inches of fluff this morning.

Seemed a bit more behaved today. Maybe due to the fact the pavement was "slicker" with yesterdays hardpack, the skids not dragging on the pavement, initiating an unwanted turn. Dunno.

Still seems to favor leftward tracking. Might be a simple adjustment once I get a warmer day..

Heated handles VERY MUCH appreciated today @3deg w/15deg windchill!

Cranked thru the snowbank NO PROBLEM, tossed into my neighbors yard
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post #5 of 25 Old 01-05-2014, 02:45 PM
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Definitely check the tire pressure. My driveway is rough and uneven. If I get a low tire my snow blower will wander left and right pretty bad depending on the bumps and cracks. When the tires have even pressure it almost feels like my driveway is smoother than it is.
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post #6 of 25 Old 01-05-2014, 03:03 PM
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My first thought was tire pressure too. I get a simar tracking problem on my 36" walk behind mower if the air pressure doesn't match. Skids were also my next thought, as mentioned above.
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post #7 of 25 Old 01-05-2014, 04:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markp99 View Post
Conditions:

Machine setup by my local dealer
First use, machine started right up
8 inches fluffy powder
100% flat, clean smooth pavement beneath
No issue throwing the light stuff, or the heavier pack at the end of the driveway

Issues:

Machine insists on tracking to the LEFT, or to the RIGHT.
I feel I am WRESTLING the thing to keep a straight track
Turning seems to take MUCH more effort than my old solid axle Toro this machine replaces
I am EXTREMELY concerned as I approach the 3 vehicles parked in the driveway
BOTH wheels seem to remain engaged as I attempt a tight/U-Turn

Questions:

I found that PULLING the outside handle (vs pushing the inside handle) seemed to help align the track, but this is taking much more effort that the YouTubes demos I have seen

This feels like an adjustment issue - but what should I be looking for? Any suggestions to get me going??

I don't have a garage


I so much wanted to LOVE this machine! Not there yet...
It might be defective because there are many others not having any problems at all. I would call the dealer and have him look at it.

Ken

Last edited by ken53; 01-06-2014 at 10:04 AM.
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post #8 of 25 Old 01-05-2014, 04:51 PM
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Hi Mark, welcome to the forum. Sorry to hear about your troubles. You are apparently not alone. Some of us lucky ones have had no issues, while others like you, are pulling their hair out. Here's a link to an extensive thread talking about the auto-turn:
https://www.snowblowerforum.com/forum...auto-turn.html
Look towards the end of the thread, there are some responses there that may answer some of your questions. I kind of wonder if it's a quality control issue with the company that actually makes the differentials. I can't imagine why some of us have no issues and some of us can't make the machine track straight at all. In the thread that I mentioned, there are responses from Snowmann. He works for Ariens.


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Larry
Snow Removal Equipment:
2014 Ariens Platinum 24
A collection of shovels that I try to avoid using
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post #9 of 25 Old 01-06-2014, 08:10 AM Thread Starter
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OK, cracked 30 degs today.

Dragged the Ariens Platinum 24 to the driveway and sat it on a flat spot.

While there does appear to be a consistent ~1/8"+ gap across the blade, the LEFT shoe appears to be protruding (from bottom edge of the sidepanels) more than the right shoe by more than 1/8".

This might account for the leftward tracking. But just not sure how to explain this height difference, especially considering the gap appears consistent. Maybe the housing is RACKED?

Freezing rain right now, but next chance I get I'll back off the left shoe just a tad, attempting to maintain the gap.


Note: Another observation - I notice scores on the driveway from the skids (~white line segments), but they appear to be from only ONE side, not both (maybe from the LEFT shoe). Though, both skids appear to be wearing (as expected, painted surface worn off). My first snow was a very dry powder (-5deg F), so driveway was dry - not slippery - causing more drag on the shoes than might be typical.
.

Last edited by markp99; 01-06-2014 at 08:13 AM.
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post #10 of 25 Old 01-06-2014, 08:21 AM
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A racked housing was found to be the issue for a couple people. It was Snowmann who works for Ariens that first suggested that. In one case the housing was actually bent and someone traded his machine for a different one. In another case it was improper assembly at the plant. The fix for that is to loosen the bolts holding the front scoop to the drive unit and listen for it to click down into the notches it sets in and then re-tighten the bolts after everything is square.

If you find yours is crooked then after you fix it you will need to readjust the scraper and skid shoes.
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