Help! Cast iron gearbox cap - Snowblower Forum : Snow Blower Forums
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post #1 of 18 Old 09-14-2015, 07:59 PM Thread Starter
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Help! Cast iron gearbox cap

So... I'm the fortunate owner of a nice Ariens 924 series machine that I purchased last spring as a basket case and have been slowly fixing up.

Well just now, "slow" changed to "stop". I've hit a big snag on that wonderful cast-iron auger gearbox:

I can't figure out how to install that nice new end cap!

I've done more than a few things before like trailer wheel bearings that have caps like this, but this one is more stubborn than anything I've encountered. No matter how or where or how carefully I try to tap it in, I can't get it to go in straight.

Does anyone have any clever tricks for this? Do I need some kind of special tool or something? Or is there a standard sized wheel bearing cap I could buy that would be easier to install?

The cap *should* be the right part... Ariens 00403700.

~1994 Ariens 924084 (ST1032) "papa bear": restored, re-engined, real nice!
1991 Ariens 924050 (ST824) "mama bear"
Toro PowerCurve 1800 "baby bear"

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Last edited by ELaw; 09-14-2015 at 08:03 PM.
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post #2 of 18 Old 09-14-2015, 08:21 PM
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I'm just curious to see what answers you get. I can see where it would be a challenge.

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post #3 of 18 Old 09-14-2015, 08:29 PM Thread Starter
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Indeed!

Most of the ones used on trailers and cars have a lip around the edge so you can use a piece of pipe or something to drive them on straight. This one doesn't have that and seems to be a very tight fit.

~1994 Ariens 924084 (ST1032) "papa bear": restored, re-engined, real nice!
1991 Ariens 924050 (ST824) "mama bear"
Toro PowerCurve 1800 "baby bear"

Be alert! America needs more lerts.
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post #4 of 18 Old 09-14-2015, 08:38 PM
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Uhmmm. Tough one!

Maybe make an installer carved out of wood, hole saw halfway into a block and knock out the hole to the depth of the cut? And slightly chamfer the leading edge of the cap. Some lock-tite to keep it in place won't hurt either.
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post #5 of 18 Old 09-14-2015, 08:41 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah I already tried the chamfer thing with no luck. The housing already has a slight chamfer on it.

I measured the ID of the bore where it goes and it's 1.775 inches which is darn close to 1.78" which appears to be a standard size of trailer bearing cap. So I might order one of those in the hope it'll be easier to install.

Good idea on the loctite too... thanks! Not only don't I want it to fall out, but it would be a bummer if it leaked after all the work I've put into this darn thing.

~1994 Ariens 924084 (ST1032) "papa bear": restored, re-engined, real nice!
1991 Ariens 924050 (ST824) "mama bear"
Toro PowerCurve 1800 "baby bear"

Be alert! America needs more lerts.
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post #6 of 18 Old 09-14-2015, 08:51 PM
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I read posts where people were freezing front wheel bearings overnight before trying to press them onto the steering knuckles, you might get the metal to contract ever so slightly.


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post #7 of 18 Old 09-14-2015, 08:56 PM
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That's a great idea !!
I remember a company I worked at we used liquid nitrogen to shrink bearings and drop them into the bore and they'd seize in place when they warmed up. It was so much easier on the bearing and the bore compared to trying to press them in. Never damaged one.

Putting it in the freezer overnight and immediately trying to drive it home might work.

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Last edited by Kiss4aFrog; 09-15-2015 at 09:48 AM.
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post #8 of 18 Old 09-14-2015, 09:01 PM Thread Starter
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Well I just ordered two (in case I damage one) of these: 001517 - Fulton Grease Cap, 1.786 #001517 - RedTrailers.com


$10 total with shipping... we'll see how they work out!

The geometry of the one above is a little different from the Ariens part in a way I think will help. You can see from the diagram the one above is domed at the top, but where it goes into the housing it's pretty much cylindrical. The Ariens part curves over its entire height which I think makes it harder to install.

~1994 Ariens 924084 (ST1032) "papa bear": restored, re-engined, real nice!
1991 Ariens 924050 (ST824) "mama bear"
Toro PowerCurve 1800 "baby bear"

Be alert! America needs more lerts.
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post #9 of 18 Old 09-14-2015, 09:05 PM
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The freezing trick should work.
About 17 years ago I worked at an automotive machine shop, they had to replace valve seats on cylinder heads (they have a tight fit), they use to freeze them and when frozen they would drop right in (with a bit of play actually.....!).
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post #10 of 18 Old 09-16-2015, 04:49 PM
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I've had good luck with a slightly smaller diameter piece of PVC pipe I ran sand paper to bevel. Double sided tape in the PVC bevel and try to align the cap even. Grease the case a little and tap it home. Little late to the party, but for future reference
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