Platinum 24 - Stuck in gear, no reverse, shift fork disengaged (Solved) - Snowblower Forum : Snow Blower Forums
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post #1 of 36 Old 02-05-2014, 08:54 AM Thread Starter
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Platinum 24 - Stuck in gear, no reverse, shift fork disengaged (Solved)

I made a thread a couple months ago regarding multiple issues with my first Platinum 24 (shredded belt, misaligned pulley assemblies, bent housing, etc) I had that machine replaced with a new P24.

Fast forward to the new P24's second use, and here I am with a machine that is stuck in the highest speed setting. Everything was working fine for about 30min. Then, in order to clear up some leftover rows of snow, I shifted into the 2nd highest speed setting and the rest was history. Won't shift into an other speed, won't shift into reverse.

I disconnected the hairpin at the end of the shift rod...the speed selector lever (L-shaped rod going into the housing) moves freely, no resistance at all. Any ideas what the problem could be?


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Just wanted to update the thread for the next person that comes along with this problem. Apparently, if the shift rod is not properly adjusted, there is a greater chance of completely disengaging the shift fork from the friction wheel carrier inside the housing. When this happens, you will find the two washers (as described later in the thread) sitting in the bottom of the housing.

Here is a general outline of the steps to fix this:
1) tip the unit up into the service position so it it resting on the front of the auger housing
2) remove the six bolts holding the lower face-plate of the housing
3) find the shift fork that is gold in color that is attached to the L-shaped shift rod on the outside of the housing #3
4) find the friction disc (smaller of the 2 discs inside the housing) that is attached to a carrier which slides left and right on a hex shaft #1
5) find the two loose washers; one will be a typical round washer #60, the other will be a square washer with a lip and small tab #46
6) the washers need to be placed on the posts coming off of each end of the friction wheel carrier #1 (follow the diagram very carefully to get the orientation correct)
7) slide the carrier back into the shift fork with the washers installed between the carrier posts and the shift fork (this was the tricky part)
8) Finally, to help prevent this from happening again, check the travel of the shift fork when moving the speed selector control from reverse to the highest speed setting. If the adjustment is off, the shift fork will lose the carrier and the unit will be stuck in one speed again. The travel can be adjusted by removing the hair pin #13 (second image) on the shift rod #9 (second image) and spinning the pivot #4 (second image) on the bottom of the shift rod either up or down.
9) Test everything to make sure reverse and the slowest forward speed work properly.

Note: To adjust the shift rod travel, the manual says to remove the hair pin and disconnect the rod from the shift lever, and then push the shift lever all the way down until it won't go an further (this puts the rod at the highest speed setting). Then, spin the bottom of the rod until it is aligned with the opening of the shift lever.....I didn't like how things were set up when following that procedure.

It looks like the only way you can disengage the fork and lose the washers is if it shifts too far into the highest speed setting. What's worse is that there is actually a notch BEYOND the highest speed setting on the control that is very easy to accidently shift into, same thing goes for the reverse. There is an additionally notch beyond the reverse speed. Not sure why Ariens did that. So I followed the recommended procedure, but then backed off a few millimeters before setting the shift rod into place. Looking at the mechanism inside the housing, things look much more stable and and don't see home the washers could fall off, even if I do "overshift" into those pesky notches at the high speed and reverse settings.

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Another update 2/12/14-
I think I discovered the real problem causing the issue...

It happened twice more today in a 45min period. F-bombs were plentiful.

I started to re-think the cause and noticed that my shift fork looked ever so slightly bent. At first I couldn't see how this could make such a drastic difference considering it was actually quite difficult to disengage the fork/washers once things were put back together. Then I realized there was actually quite a bit of travel in the shift rod going into the housing...it was moving in/out of the housing by about 5-7mm. I didn't notice this at first because in the service position, gravity keeps the shift lever/rod hanging into the housing (towards the front of the machine). When I lifted (pulled) the rod out and away from the housing, the fork moved the 5-7mm and nearly lifted completely off the top of the square washer #46. This was the ONLY way I could get the washers to fall out and disengage without physically pulling them out.

So, after squeezing/bending the fork together a bit, there is nearly no travel when trying to pull the shift lever/rod out of the housing, thus keep the fork securely seated on the washers. Moral of the story, if your sift fork keeps disengaging, check to see that your fork isn't bent and resulting in a loose fit.
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2013 Ariens P24

Last edited by TheHolyCannoli; 02-13-2014 at 07:50 PM.
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post #2 of 36 Old 02-05-2014, 09:16 AM
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With luck something is frozen and normal operation will only require a thaw, either natural or artificial.
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post #3 of 36 Old 02-05-2014, 09:20 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scipper77 View Post
With luck something is frozen and normal operation will only require a thaw, either natural or artificial.

I have no such thing.

I really don't think anything is frozen. It feels as though the shift lever has nothing connected to it on the inside of the housing.

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2013 Ariens P24
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post #4 of 36 Old 02-05-2014, 09:47 AM
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Have you tried redoing the speed selector adjustment?
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post #5 of 36 Old 02-05-2014, 09:50 AM
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Did you change speed while the drive was engaged?
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post #6 of 36 Old 02-05-2014, 10:50 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scipper77 View Post
Did you change speed while the drive was engaged?
I did change the speed with drive engaged. I believe it states somewhere in the manual that this is acceptable, but shifting from forward drive to reverse with stopping is not recommended.

I just opened up the bottom of the housing and found that the shift fork has become disengaged from the friction wheel carrier. On the bottom I found a round washer (#60), and a square shaped washer with a notch (#46), as seen in the parts diagram here: http://apache.ariens.com/manuals/04585200.PDF

I can't seem to figure out how these stay in place. There is nothing on the ends to prevent them from falling off. Are they just supposed to sit between the friction wheel carrier and the shift fork??? And which wash goes on top, which on bottom? From the image, it looks like the two ends are horizontal, but in real-life, there is a top and bottom rod on the friction wheel carrier.

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post #7 of 36 Old 02-05-2014, 03:21 PM Thread Starter
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Fixed and updated...ready for more snow.

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2013 Ariens P24
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post #8 of 36 Old 02-05-2014, 03:26 PM
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I have the notch on top for speed. I use it and the machine really moves fast. I thought it was like a transport warp speed.
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post #9 of 36 Old 02-05-2014, 03:38 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by docfletcher View Post
I have the notch on top for speed. I use it and the machine really moves fast. I thought it was like a transport warp speed.
I tested the speed to see if it was actually faster in the "fast" notch vs the "warp speed" notch...no difference for me. I might try and find a way to block off that highest notch (as well as the notch below reverse) because I don't want that fork coming loose ever again. After watching me essentially running up and down the driveway with the machine stuck in warp speed, I came inside to my wife recording a video and laughing hysterically. I'm sure at least one of my neighbors were doing the same.

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2013 Ariens P24
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post #10 of 36 Old 02-05-2014, 03:55 PM
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I just looked at the pro 28 and the highest notch is actually 6th gear. No other notch above that. There is no notch below the 2 notch's used for reverse. So maybe my dash is laid out a little different than yours?
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