Changing old gear lubricant - Snowblower Forum : Snow Blower Forums
 
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post #1 of 10 Old 10-17-2019, 04:10 PM Thread Starter
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Changing old gear lubricant

It's no secret that grease and oil will eventually oxidize, break down, mix with water vapor from the air, get dirty and lose its lubrication properties. Got to wondering about the gear oil & grease used in the auger gearbox. As it sits there year after year, what's stopping it from oxidation and breaking down? Admittedly the gear box is somewhat sealed, (at least to the degree of the integrity of the seals).

I talked to Ariens and their official opinion was that the L3 oil does not need to be changed. Ever.

As it leaks out, just replace it. If a large replacement is needed, check every 25 hours as well as annually.

What is your opinion of changing this oil (or grease)? In years?

2014 Ariens 24" Platinum
2010 Yard Machines 600 Series, 24" w/179cc MTD engine
Toro CCR 3650 GTS
Troy Bilt 521OR w/Tecu HSSK50 engine
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post #2 of 10 Old 10-17-2019, 04:16 PM
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I figure I'll suck the fluid out of my gearbox and put fresh stuff in once I've got somewhere around 25 hours on the machine. Won't hurt to get some of the break-in particles out. Beyond that, every once in a blue moon (maybe every 100 - 200 hours of runtime?) should be often enough, as the gearbox doesn't get very warm and it's pretty well sealed, so the fluid shouldn't degrade very quickly.
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post #3 of 10 Old 10-17-2019, 04:25 PM
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When I bought my 1971 Ariens 10 years ago, it was 40 years old and I had no idea if the gear oil had *ever* been changed, so I changed it!
The story is here:


https://scotlawrence.github.io/arien...html#question9

Since then, I have used it for 10 winters..
haven't thought about changing the gear oil again..
but it might be a good idea once a decade, at least.

but im not too concerned about it!

I dont think i have ever seen a recommended change interval for the 10,000 series.

Scot


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post #4 of 10 Old 10-17-2019, 04:33 PM
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I bought a used Ariens. It is 10 years old, so I thought I should change its gear oil. The oil came out of it wasn't too bad and still usable. Unlike the engine crankcase, the gear case is completely sealed and there is no blowby gas. In additional to that, the new L3 is supposed to be synthetic, so it should last a very long time. People don't change differential oil in their cars that often either. Maybe once in a life time of a car.

I changed mine mostly to check its condition and level. Also to check the condition of the gears in there. I bought it used so I wasn't sure.

Last edited by dman2; 10-17-2019 at 04:37 PM.
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post #5 of 10 Old 10-17-2019, 05:11 PM
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My machine developed a gearbox leak at the impeller shaft seal within the first 2 years. It had the red L3 lubricant so added red L3 to level until I could get the dealer to repair it. My dealer changed all 3 seals and the front cover plate and used L3 oil that is clear. After 2 more years the impeller seal leaked again so I changed it. The clear oil was quite dirty looking on the dipstick and when drained. I flushed out the old oil and replaced it with Motorcraft 75W-140 synthetic differential oil. L3 appears much thinner than 75W-140 synthetic differential oil and the Ariens gears are steel. It has seen a year of use in my snowblower and oil is still clear and staying at correct level, just as I expected.

I would expect the 75W-140 synthetic differential oil to last for ever in my snowblower but will likely be changed in another 5 years, barring further seal leaking problems.

2015 Ariens Platinum 30 SHO - model 921040
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post #6 of 10 Old 10-17-2019, 06:10 PM
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I am also using the 75w-140 oil in the cast gear boxes, I use the "00" grease in the clam-shell design.
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post #7 of 10 Old 10-17-2019, 09:20 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dman2 View Post
People don't change differential oil in their cars that often either. Maybe once in a life time of a car.

I changed mine mostly to check its condition and level. Also to check the condition of the gears in there. I bought it used so I wasn't sure.
Lot of people dont know they are vented and the lubricant must be changed any time you drive through deep water.

Had mine changed (Ford garage pumps it out) and fella at the desk told me they couldn't remember anyone coming in asking for this before. Also had them change the PTU fluid as well. Service manager told me that he wish more would do it. "Change the fluids and the drive train will last forever."

Well, maybe not forever, but it certainly is a good idea. Also changed the brake fluid at the same time.

2014 Ariens 24" Platinum
2010 Yard Machines 600 Series, 24" w/179cc MTD engine
Toro CCR 3650 GTS
Troy Bilt 521OR w/Tecu HSSK50 engine
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post #8 of 10 Old 10-17-2019, 09:24 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Town View Post
My machine developed a gearbox leak at the impeller shaft seal within the first 2 years. It had the red L3 lubricant so added red L3 to level until I could get the dealer to repair it.
Mine is a 2014 model and I had to add some L3. First time I actually checked it so I assume like anything mechanical, so fluid will leak out over time. Didnt see any wet spots on th he seals, so I assumed it leaked when running.

2014 Ariens 24" Platinum
2010 Yard Machines 600 Series, 24" w/179cc MTD engine
Toro CCR 3650 GTS
Troy Bilt 521OR w/Tecu HSSK50 engine
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post #9 of 10 Old 10-17-2019, 09:27 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sscotsman View Post
Since then, I have used it for 10 winters..
haven't thought about changing the gear oil again..
but it might be a good idea once a decade, at least.
Scot
I tend to agree. 10 years on any lubricant should be more than enough.

2014 Ariens 24" Platinum
2010 Yard Machines 600 Series, 24" w/179cc MTD engine
Toro CCR 3650 GTS
Troy Bilt 521OR w/Tecu HSSK50 engine
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post #10 of 10 Old 10-18-2019, 10:18 AM
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Most of my trucks have gone at least 200,000 mi without a differential fluid change. That’s right, factory lube since new. I’m not saying never changing the fluid is a great idea, but without the byproducts of combustion, like in an engine, your only enemies are condensation (water) and metal filings in the case from gear wear. As for your blower, might be a good idea to change the fluid after the first years use, then just keep it checked/ topped off going forward.

I used an Ariens from 1970 commercially for 6 years and my Dad used it for home for 30+ yrs and never changed the differential lube. No issues!
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