Safety Mods for Early Sno-Thros? - Snowblower Forum : Snow Blower Forums
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post #1 of 25 Old 03-25-2015, 11:09 AM Thread Starter
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Safety Mods for Early Sno-Thros?

Has anyone modified the old single belt Sno-Thros for safety?

Specifically, the traction drive clutch is the reverse of modern machines. You press the handle to stop the tractor from moving. If the ball joint breaks, as they tend to do on older machines, it just keeps on going! Or if you slip, it does the same.

I talked to another Ariens owner and he said he slipped and the blower kept going backwards until it nearly ran him over!

I have though of two solutions, but I don't know if anyone has tried either one:

1) Install a handle on the right handlebar connected to a machine clutch via a cable. Like the 1960 Sno-Thros had, here's a picture from Scot's site:



2) Remove the spring from the drive clutch in the tractor and change the left handle so that it pushes instead of pulls the drive clutch. This one might be a bit tougher to pull off.

Anyone done either, or something else?
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post #2 of 25 Old 03-25-2015, 01:13 PM
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The Beauty of these Machines is the Simplicity of them Before the Safety Nazis got involved. Careful Operation is Your Best Safety Feature.
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post #3 of 25 Old 03-25-2015, 01:19 PM
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its also in what you are use to using. if you are use to having the hand levers its kind of odd using a machine without them. i feel more comfortable using the 521's or the 824 than the 826

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post #4 of 25 Old 03-25-2015, 01:30 PM
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I have entertained flipping the left handle if I ever get around to re-powering an old 910962 that I have. I don't think it will be too difficult, just a few retrofits to reverse the movement of the handle and rod. That being said, I have not looked at it at all to really see what may be involved.
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post #5 of 25 Old 03-25-2015, 01:40 PM
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Never let go of your machine! Grab the handlebars and go for a ride. You could attach a safety harness form you waist to the throttle lever.

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post #6 of 25 Old 03-25-2015, 09:00 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jackmels View Post
The Beauty of these Machines is the Simplicity of them Before the Safety Nazis got involved. Careful Operation is Your Best Safety Feature.
The biggest problem is when the ball joint comes apart. I had one customer's do it and since his throttle was on the engine he couldn't reach it and try to control the machine. He ran it into a fence to stop it.

I had another pop apart as I was testing functions before I powered it up.

I'm strong enough that's it's not an issue for me, I can just lift the wheels. Not everyone is however, that's why I brought it up.

The new ball joints are stiff, if yours is floppy I'd replace it to be safe. They're around $28 or so locally, less on the web. I bought three and cleaned my dealers stock out. Luckily there are a few part numbers that are the same basic part. I had to list them for the dealer so he could check all his bins. The "parts guy" didn't realize they were the same part.
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post #7 of 25 Old 03-25-2015, 09:44 PM
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Would it be possible to connect a lanyard safety to shut the engine off if the machine got out of control? Like is used on personal watercraft. This sort of thing here:

Boat Engine Safety Cut Out Ignition Kill Switch Lanyard | eBay

I'm pretty much retired from the forum thing, but I check in every now and then.
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post #8 of 25 Old 03-25-2015, 09:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jackmels View Post
The Beauty of these Machines is the Simplicity of them Before the Safety Nazis got involved. Careful Operation is Your Best Safety Feature.
Could not have said it better.

Maybe they should have back up beepers, Onstar, GPS, heated mirrors, blue tooth connection to have the wifey poo warm up some hot chocolate, self cancelling turn signals too.

Geez.

Keep it simple, that's all.
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post #9 of 25 Old 03-25-2015, 10:06 PM
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You know stanz....I want to thank you for this post. The ball joint on mine is pretty loose and after reading this I'm going to replace mine. It's something I never thought about because like you said too, if something went wrong I'm strong enough to tip it up or reach around to flip the lever, but I've been letting my 14 yr old use it and I'm sure if it broke while he was using it it would be bye bye garage door, or car door, or mailbox, lol. Love this forum!
Just and fyi also on mine...when I drop the engine speed to its lowest it kills the engine. Maybe you could adjust your throttle to do the same?

Ray
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1975 MTD Snowflite 4/22

Last edited by Ray 1962 10ML60; 03-25-2015 at 10:21 PM.
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post #10 of 25 Old 03-25-2015, 10:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bwdbrn1 View Post
Would it be possible to connect a lanyard safety to shut the engine off if the machine got out of control? Like is used on personal watercraft. This sort of thing here:

Boat Engine Safety Cut Out Ignition Kill Switch Lanyard | eBay
I don't see why that wouldn't work. My old Ariens has a wire that kills the ignition. You could just run it to that kill switch instead.

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