Drive binding - Snowblower Forum : Snow Blower Forums
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post #1 of 12 Old 01-20-2019, 12:26 PM Thread Starter
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Drive binding

Hello All from the snowy State of Maine,
New to this site and I can usually figure this stuff out myself, but I have a quite old model 724 Ariens snowblower. I bought this is 1982 and it had blown motor, motor was replaced and I've been running this ever since. Actually I did have to replace the motor again in 1997, as this original did throw a connecting rod. Not sure of the year, but it's a # 10954. Anywho, lately the drive has been binding up, when I say binding, if you run up against any kind of a stop like ice or something, the handle won't release. You have to squeeze it with both hands to get it to let go. On this machine you squeeze the handle, then shift the speed handle, then release the handle to engage the rubber friction disc and go. I have a feeling that it's the drive chain on the sprockets. I think what it is, the chain is stretched out to the point where it is kind of overlapping the sprocket and causing the bind, but I'm not 100% sure. Has anyone here ever dealt with this kind of an issue on this model machine? Could it be that the rubber wheel is too tight against the aluminum plate? If it is the chain, does anyone know what size chain this is? It appears to be a size #41 from what I read.



With this storm today, I'll definitely need this working, even with this issue...



Thanks in advance
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post #2 of 12 Old 01-20-2019, 03:07 PM
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to SBF maineflake

Can you post the model number off the ID plate ?? It should be a #41 chain.
Have you tried to adjust it yet ??


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post #3 of 12 Old 01-31-2019, 07:46 PM Thread Starter
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Hi Kiss4aFrog,
yes this is a model ST 724 and the also I can see that it's a # 10954, if that helps. I did find that this is a # 41 chain. I have replaced the chain, but it didn't seem to help much, it is still binding. I can't really see any way to adjust this chain. It is between the frame box and another plate and space is very limited.



I'm thinking now that the sprockets are worn out, but I'm not sure. I priced out new sprockets, around $ 130.00 for the 2 of them. I'm thinking about using a 10 tooth sprocket on the shaft where the 9 tooth one is now, that may tighten the chain enough to keep it from binding. But I'm unsure if this will work either.



As far as the new chain goes, I tried to take a whole link and then a 1/2 link out, but I couldn't seem to get the chain back together, so I went back the original length of chain, but I still have the doubled over binding issue. I did use it on this storm that we had yesterday, it didn't bother too much, but a few times it did bind up on me.


It almost acts like the chain is out of time, if you will. If I could just gain 1 tooth, it seems like it might work, but I can't seem to make that adjustment.
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post #4 of 12 Old 01-31-2019, 07:53 PM
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Can you post some photos of the gears ??

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post #5 of 12 Old 02-03-2019, 02:04 PM Thread Starter
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I'll try and post a photo of the chain over the 2 sprockets. Not a lot of space here, but you can see how much chain is drooping down. When you really come on to this, it will kind of catch the next tooth and cause a bind.


Let me know if this comes through OK.
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post #6 of 12 Old 02-03-2019, 02:47 PM
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So, when you pull on the clutch handle to either stop or shift, it refuses to extend back downward with tension on it...correct? Does it do this in all gears forward or reverse, or just when shifting into neutral only?

Or can you use your left hand with your fingers and "jingle" the lever up and down when this occurs...there will be no tension on it. You then have to pull with both hands hard to get it to then shift, then release.

Correct?

When you shift INTO neutral, it's working correct when it indeed "hangs up". Meaning, the disc frame bracket is being held in place away from the drive plate by the neutral catch. You'll be able to push the tractor around without having to pull on the clutch lever. The clutch lever itself will have a loose feel to it...meaning you can grip it and "jingle" the lever up and down a bit with your fingers. Then when you shift into any gear and release the lever - the clutch lever will have tension on it and extend down all the way (and the tractor will begin moving).

1974 Ariens 922008/922003 "Frankenstein", my dad's 1st new snowblower
1971 Ariens 922002/922003 "The Badger", recent addition, ready for snow
1971 Ariens 922002/922003 "Juneau", finally ready for snow
1971 Ariens 910962/910995 "Bill", SOLD 3/7/2019
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post #7 of 12 Old 02-03-2019, 05:23 PM Thread Starter
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Hello tlshawks, thanks for replying

When this binds, you cannot pull up the clutch handle at all, it usually takes 2 hands on the left side handle and give it quick yank to get it out of drive. Once that chain binds, it just pulls tighter and tighter, until you get it to release. It's due to that rubber friction disc being engaged and the chain not turning, the machine just does what it's meant to do, keep driving.



Well yes, the handle will "jiggle"because it's just hanging there, but it's when you try to release it is when the trouble begins. The drive wheel is also locked up, as you might expect. You really have to pull on this to get it out of drive.


It's not a problem when it's in neutral or reverse for that matter, it's only when it's in a forward drive mode, especially when you come up against an object because that's when the most torque is being applied to the drive chain through the friction disc. With that chain being bound up, it gets really tight.
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post #8 of 12 Old 02-03-2019, 09:18 PM
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Here's how I look at this.

If you cannot pull up on the clutch lever, that means that yes, some sort of binding is occurring. But my thinking is the chain is a by-product of whatever is binding. The result, possibly not the cause.

I'd make sure your bracket pin is connected thru the mounting bracket on the left side and frame on the right. I'd make sure the fork shaft is connected thru both ends of the frame (hair pin holds it in on the right side just inside the housing if my memory is good). I'd make sure the hex shaft bearings and flanges are intact, as well as the thrust bearing within the fork. I'd make sure the tension spring for the disc bracket is attached correct at both ends. I'd also make sure the throwout lever "tab" that sticks up thru the top of the tractor frame is still sticking through there.

Heck, once I seem to recall over-tightening the clutch lever nut and bolt too tight and the lever hung up on me and would lock up. It's also possible to over-tight the ball joint where the clutch rod connects to the throwout lever...that can bind the clutch lever up.

1974 Ariens 922008/922003 "Frankenstein", my dad's 1st new snowblower
1971 Ariens 922002/922003 "The Badger", recent addition, ready for snow
1971 Ariens 922002/922003 "Juneau", finally ready for snow
1971 Ariens 910962/910995 "Bill", SOLD 3/7/2019
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post #9 of 12 Old 03-24-2019, 01:27 PM Thread Starter
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Hi All,
just wanted to wrap this up. With all due respect to the people that responded to this issue, what worked for me in this case was to replace the 9 tooth drive sprocket with a 10 tooth one. It seemed to me that the slightly larger sprocket helped to take a little of the chain slackness up and it seemed like it was just enough to keep the chain from doubling over and getting stuck. I tried in vain to install a chain tensioner, but there just isn't enough room in that area to do this.

I can't say that this is the answer to anyone else that develops this problem, but it did help in this case. Of course it helps that I work in a maintenance environment and I was able to acquire a Martin sprocket through one of our usual vendors and I bored and broached this myself. This method may not be readily available to all readers here.

In the end, I think it was just plain wear and tear. All of the drive train is just so worn that it created too much slack in this chain. I will be on the hunt for a new model unit and I'm quite sure that it will be another Ariens snowblower, but I doubt that the new ones would last 40 years as this one did.

Maineflake
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post #10 of 12 Old 03-24-2019, 03:27 PM
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Whatever it takes to keep it going.


Never know on the new ones. With some good maintenance .......

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