Compact 24 Headlight Annoyance - Snowblower Forum : Snow Blower Forums
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post #1 of 29 Old 10-26-2011, 03:16 PM Thread Starter
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Compact 24 Headlight Annoyance

Just bought my first Ariens snowblower, the 2011 Compact 24 fit my needs very well and I think I'll be happy with the machine for years to come, except for one thing, the headlight. By the time I finished getting used to the controls (ie: playing with it) last night it was dark enough that the headlight really came into play, and it was very annoying. The design of the lamp holder allows too much light to be reflected back towards the operators eyes, in fact by leaning forward just slightly one can look directly at the halogen bulb (not a good idea ). Has anyone else had issues with the headlamp in the compact series?
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post #2 of 29 Old 10-26-2011, 04:25 PM
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I assume you actually have a 2012 Compact 24.
(new machines in the stores right now are considered 2012 models)
Ariens changed the headlight design this year..does it look like this?

http://www.snowblowersdirect.com/ima...t_4871_500.jpg

Thats a new style of light for Ariens..just came out on the new 2012 models this fall..you are the first to notice this problem! (on the forums anyway)

Last year, 2011 models, Ariens had this light design on the Compact machines:
http://scotlawrence.smugmug.com/Snow...25_TCe8q-O.jpg
some kind of bolted on light..wasnt "built in" to the dash..
that style was only used one year..last year.
that was also the first year the "compact" machines had lights at all..

and two years ago, 2010 models (and several years before that) it was this oval design:
http://scotlawrence.smugmug.com/Snow...30_Bp9Kk-L.jpg (on all machines except the compact series, which did not have lights at all until last year)

So Ariens has been experimenting with light styles lately..3 different styles the past three years..looks like it still needs some tweaking!

Looks like some kind of light shield is needed on top of the light..I dont know if Ariens is aware of the problem and is working on it..(you should send them an email about it! see what they have to say) meanwhile, if it was me, I would just rig some kind of baffle..I know you shouldnt have to modify a new machine! but these things happen..

Scot


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post #3 of 29 Old 10-26-2011, 06:14 PM Thread Starter
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Scot thanks for the reply, and your right, its a 2012. I did see noted in a few user reviews or forum posts that the headlamp design had been changed for this model year, partly in response to user complaints of the "bolt on" unit. I assumed the "in dash" would be fine based on what I saw being used on the previous deluxe and platinum models. Already sent a message to Ariens, I'll let you know what they have to say, in the mean time I'll try and come up with an elegant fix. I'm thinking just a strip of aluminum tape would do the trick, but that may look a little tacky right now. In a few years that may suffice, but its to new for a cheap fix, I haven't even scratched the paint yet.... Oh, and I think I may add an on/off to the light while I'm working on it

MSC

Last edited by MaKettle; 10-26-2011 at 06:16 PM.
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post #4 of 29 Old 10-26-2011, 08:23 PM
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I would make a piece to go over the light, basically extending the dash out a bit. Maybe a nice piece of aluminum and then paint it to match? Will be interesting to see what Ariens says about it. Good company, so i do expect a reply at least!
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post #5 of 29 Old 10-27-2011, 10:39 AM Thread Starter
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Ariens responded within about 6 hours, that made me happy. Don't get me wrong, I am very happy with the decision to buy Ariens and I believe they are a very good "American" company, its just nice to be reassured sometime. Back to the lamp, in summary they felt I was standing too close to the unit during operation and that the lamp was fine, if I need to stand closer then I could put black electrical tape over the clear lens to block the reflected light back to my eyes. I've already removed the lamp from the blower, as kb0nly mentioned, I may build a cover for the lamp, but I'm leaning on replacing the whole unit. I powered this housing after removing it, it does a terrible job of directing any light in any direction, A nice portable automotive flood lamp ( the kind that plugs into a cigarette lighter) might look nice up there, leave the cord on so when you drop your keys you can pop the lamp off its holder and use it as a very bright flashlight. Anyway, I've got a few weeks/months until the first snowfall, I'll get something put together, in the mean time I responded to Ariens (politely), I'll let you know if anything comes from it.
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post #6 of 29 Old 10-28-2011, 09:54 AM
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Light issues

Sounds like you're on the right path, here's a couple of ideas for inspiration. Watch some of the WWII movies, they covered the vehicle headlight (or painted them, not sure) so there was only a small portion in the middle for illumination. The other thing was back in the 50's, many cars had what was called eyebrows on the headlights. Aftermarket piece of metal that fit under the headlight ring and were a small shield on the top of the headlights. Not sure if they worked or not, but may be something like you're trying to make.

Let us know how your solution works out.
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post #7 of 29 Old 10-28-2011, 08:43 PM
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post #8 of 29 Old 10-29-2011, 07:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaKettle View Post
...in summary they felt I was standing too close to the unit during operation and that the lamp was fine...
I wonder what they would tell owners of the deluxe version where the crank handle for chute rotation is located over the engine and you have to bend over the light in order to use the crank.

The eyebrow is basically a good idea but it should not extend down to the sides of the light or it would make cleaning the light difficult. Putting just a wide lip of rubber on top of the "dashboard" over the light could be an easy and convenient solution.
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post #9 of 29 Old 10-30-2011, 09:47 AM
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Wow this is a odd light style.

http://www.snowblowersdirect.com/ima...t_4871_500.jpg

No wonder its shining on your eyes. And I dont buy the "your standing too close.." Thats a copout IMHO. I would make a small plastic, or rubber deflector over the top of it myself. Just something simple like a small bit of rubber baseboard would do.


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post #10 of 29 Old 10-31-2011, 06:24 PM Thread Starter
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Ingersoll444, odd is good way to describe the design, my conclusion is that the "make it look pretty" marketing staff somehow won a bet with the "lets make sure it works" engineering staff at Ariens and this is what they decided to ship. I do have to agree it sure does look sexy on the showroom floor. The picture you linked to doesnít do the lamp justice though, here are some better shots (The end-on shot is to show the angle the housing is mounted). As an update, I did not hear from Ariens in regard to my 2nd reply, in their defense I did not ask a specific question, I simply stated I believed they were wrong about my standing too close to the snowblower and felt the design was flawed (I said it politely), and they chose not to respond. This post is getting lengthy, but I have one more thing, as I started looking for an aftermarket lamp to mount I noticed that nearly all are 55W (the Ariens lamp is only24W), so I checked all the B&S literature for specs on the electrical limits, none to be found so I sent them an Email on their web site. The response today was that the alternator is spec'd at 55W and that I should be fine, they suggested adding a fuse if not already in place. Anyway, havenít figured out what I want to do yet, thought I had a little time before the first snowfall, man I wished I still lived in PA, I'd be out using the blower instead of posting.....


MSC
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