Picked up my first Ariens - an ST504 - Snowblower Forum : Snow Blower Forums
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post #1 of 18 Old 04-03-2015, 01:30 AM Thread Starter
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Picked up my first Ariens - an ST504

I've been on the hunt for a vintage full size machine for a while, but I came across a ST504 for $40 that I said "what the heck why not" to. I'm taking a small gamble, as the starter cord was snapped and needs a new one, hence I couldn't hear the engine start.

Here's the main tractor without the bucket:



And here's the bucket itself with auger:





Not the prettiest, with a little rust here and there. My only concern is the following rust, which has cause a small separation along a seam in the bucket:



Thoughts on the severity of this crack?

You may also notice the box around the carb is missing. Any ideas on where to pick one up (or how to fabricate one)? I'm also missing the base that the gear shifter "notches" into.

I picked up a new recoil handle and rope and just realized that I'm missing the starter dog (part # 590148). Any ideas on local places that stock this part before I order one on ebay?

Overall, it's not the prettiest, but I'm hoping $40 wasn't too bad of a gamble for this. I'm anxious to see if she fires right up when I get the recoil starter fixed.
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post #2 of 18 Old 04-03-2015, 01:39 AM
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The cord is nothing to replace. I use para cord or 550 cord, to make that repair bullet proof.

The bucket is whole other question, how salvageable is it? With the added welds, and extent of deep rust that has rooted into it. It might be more cost effective to fame out and have the bucket sandblasted. This hopefully would clean out the pits, and allow you the actually see the weld quality.

But for $40, you haven't lost anything. There is always someone looking for a two pulley motor, and they easily go for more than $40.

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Honda HS622 TA-B - acquired at an auction- nice machine for it's size.
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post #3 of 18 Old 04-03-2015, 02:30 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by db9938 View Post
The cord is nothing to replace. I use para cord or 550 cord, to make that repair bullet proof.

The bucket is whole other question, how salvageable is it? With the added welds, and extent of deep rust that has rooted into it. It might be more cost effective to fame out and have the bucket sandblasted. This hopefully would clean out the pits, and allow you the actually see the weld quality.

But for $40, you haven't lost anything. There is always someone looking for a two pulley motor, and they easily go for more than $40.
The biggest issue I see with the bucket is the 3" tear that's illustrated in the last picture in my original post. Everything else seems to be in decent shape.

I've read the thread on these boards on the recent all-out refurb job on a 504 and that was neat, but I'd almost rather put that effort into a full-sized machine. For less than $10 in parts if I can get this machine running it would be a nice $50 (total) tool. Does the crack look like it would have a huge negative impact on performance?

I just recoiled the starter - super simple you're right. Now I just need the starter dog.

Any ideas on where to get the box that covers the carb area?
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post #4 of 18 Old 04-03-2015, 04:25 AM
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That bucket wouldn't be hard to repair at all for someone that has a few tools and a welder and knows how to use it.

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post #5 of 18 Old 04-03-2015, 06:30 AM
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Those carb covers come up on ebay all the time.

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Make sure the windows are up before the snow plow goes by !!

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post #6 of 18 Old 04-03-2015, 06:11 PM
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-Any ideas on where to get the box that covers the carb area?-
504 parts should be some of the cheapest Ariens parts on ebay. The only thing that is hard to find is that optional summer air cleaner for the tiller attachment.

Last edited by HillnGullyRider; 04-03-2015 at 06:13 PM.
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post #7 of 18 Old 04-03-2015, 07:13 PM
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That cover is likely not an Ariens part. You can sure look for one off a 504 but you should be able to grab one from any make snow blower that fits the engine.

You are looking for a 5 horse Tecumseh part not an Ariens snow blower part.

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post #8 of 18 Old 04-05-2015, 01:17 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks again for all the suggestions. How necessary is the carb cover? Does not having it interfere with operation? Can anything under it not get wet?
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post #9 of 18 Old 04-05-2015, 02:49 AM
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the linkages can freeze up and the engine can over rev, then its bye bye connecting rod and engine block and you will have a hard time finding a used engine to fit it. so yes, the heater box is important
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post #10 of 18 Old 04-05-2015, 07:43 AM
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Getting things wet and having them freeze are the main concern. It's wet in there, you shut you're blower off and stick it someplace unheated and everything freezes solid in the off position and you are not able to move the throttle from off to get it started. Or like above you get into some heavy snow and the governor pulls the throttle open and it sticks open. Or it sticks at it's normal position and won't move to increase when you get into heavy snow and doesn't have the power you need.

So ya, it's a really good idea to have one or make something to protect the linkage.

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