ST1032 restoration - Snowblower Forum : Snow Blower Forums
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post #1 of 211 Old 11-18-2015, 07:53 PM Thread Starter
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ST1032 restoration

So someone PMed me about ST1032s and I talked myself into creating this "build thread" so you all can laugh at me while I do this...

The machine in question is a 1994-ish model 924084. To give you an idea how much time I've spent researching/ordering parts, I just typed that number from memory rather than looking at the machine or my notes!

I've got a driveway that's about 275' long that ends in an area in front of the garage that's large enough to park about 10 cars. So I've got a lot of area to clear... at least compared to what I'm used to. And while northeast MA doesn't get as much snow as some locations represented here, it gets its share. Especially last year!

When we moved here I had a late 1980's ST824 I inherited from my father that's in great shape, but I wanted something that could move the snow faster. So I got an old 10,000 series 32" unit and fixed it up a bit (including an upgrade from 7 HP to 10) but its performance was disappointing.

So with my very lightweight wallet in hand, I went looking for another machine and found this monster "commercial" model for $400.

I've owned 4 or 5 Ariens machines prior to this one, and have done a few engine swaps on them but otherwise they generally didn't require much to be put back in shape. A couple of axle and auger shaft bearings here, a friction disk there, and they ran happily. And were pretty much free of rust.

This one... was another story. It was an absolute basket case! It had rust everywhere, and *many* mechanical parts had problems. Usually when a ball bearing is bad, you replace the bearing and you're good, right? Not on this machine, the shafts (axle and impeller) were actually worn down so they didn't fit tightly in the new bearings. Some parts were so rusty they were almost unrecognizable. One rake and the auger shaft were bent. The auger gearbox was full of water and the worm gear and bearings were rusted... and so on and so on.

So I'm taking the thing completely apart, replacing a large number of mechanical parts mostly with new ones but a few used, and much of the sheet metal. In my current position in life I have a little extra money but scarce time and patience, so I'm actually replacing much of the rusty sheet metal with new rather than repairing it - specifically the bucket, augers, and tractor frame.

I've probably got $1500 into parts for this machine so far which I know is nuts, but I'm confident it'll be a heck of a nice unit when it's done! I don't think it's as much of a "tank" as the older ones (although apparently it weighs over 300 lbs). But when I was in the hardware store today I looked at some of the new Ariens machines they had and I must say this one seems much more solid.

Beyond the repairs, it's going to be getting some upgrades. I've got a set of almost-new sno-hog tires to go on it, and an 11 HP Tecumseh motor.

The biggest part of the upgrades, which may or may not happen this year, is the electrics. I've already installed a higher-output alternator on the motor. I've got a rectifier and filter cap and a regulator and a box to house them. I want to install a battery and convert it to 12V electric start. I also have LED lights, motors for the chute rotation and deflector, and a joystick and relays to control them. The LED lights will almost certainly happen this year, but I'm not sure about the rest.

I'll be posting more pictures when I get time but here are a couple to begin with:
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~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 #2 of 211 Old 11-18-2015, 08:07 PM
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Very nice find indeed for $400!...albeit just slightly insane with the overall investment to date , I honestly believe you you definitely have one heck of blower when the dust settles and the reclamation project is completed!

2001 Ariens 824(932101)
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post #3 of 211 Old 11-18-2015, 08:08 PM
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Don't feel so guilty about spending dough on it.It's a hobby.If you enjoy working and it puts a smile on your face. You can't put a price on that. Some fix these machines for profit, some do it for joy. You could be doing worst things with your loot. I know I wont laugh at your project. Happy Resto Mod. Blow on man.
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post #4 of 211 Old 11-18-2015, 08:18 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah, the way I figure it I'll end up having about $2K into it and get a machine that's in many ways as good as, and in a few ways better than, a brand-new $3K machine.

At least that's what I keep telling myself...

~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.

Last edited by ELaw; 11-18-2015 at 08:22 PM.
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post #5 of 211 Old 11-18-2015, 09:10 PM Thread Starter
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So first things first: I have to give a shout out to Ariens customer service!

When I went to order the bucket, it had been superseded to a new number. That didn't worry me at the time but later I googled the number and found a few images from internet sellers, of a bucket that looked a LOT different from mine. I started getting worried about whether the new bucket could be installed without 50 other new parts.

So I contacted Ariens customer service via their web form. They got back to me in hardly over half an hour. Not only did they reassure me the new bucket will replace the old one with no additional parts or work, but they recognized the order and even told me when they expected it to ship (which incidentally is much later than Jack's is claiming).

Nice job, Ariens!

~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 211 Old 11-18-2015, 09:17 PM Thread Starter
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And now begins the "parade o' photos"!

First, some "before" pix...
Bucket with the part that holds the scraper bar almost rusted away:


And it looks like someone took a torch to the back of the bucket for some reason I can't understand:


Shift adjustment... DENIED:


Both handles had broken near the tractor housing and had been welded... really badly:


Tractor housing after I cut the handles off - quite the mess:


Machine was obviously run with the belt cover off - a lot. Plenty of rust inside, wheel clutch mechanism completely seized:

~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 #7 of 211 Old 11-18-2015, 09:23 PM Thread Starter
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And while it isn't nearly done, I do have some "after" photos:




I mentioned earlier about shafts being worn where they go through bearings... I found a great fix for that.

I have a machinist buddy who works at a shop where they specialize in fixing old equipment. They have a special technique for building up worn-out metal pieces... he told me what it was and I'm about 75% sure it's flame-spraying but I could be remembering wrong. Anyhow, he was able to build up the worn and damaged areas of the axle and impeller shaft, then machine them back down to exactly the right dimensions. The best thing was I got the work done for free, in exchange for some other stuff I'd helped him with.

~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.

Last edited by ELaw; 12-09-2015 at 09:41 AM.
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post #8 of 211 Old 11-18-2015, 09:25 PM
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Interesting. I just put my many year old ST1032 out to pasture last week. I'm now wishing that I hadn't quite honestly. I did a pretty complete restoration on mine nearly 15+ years ago and turned it from a rusty mess to a good looking and functioning snow beast. That is a simple, easy to work on (for the most part), reliable and very well built machine. Mine was running at half a pull. Every year. I had some drive issues last year and in evaluating things before the upcoming season it seemed like the right time to move up since I found a ST1336 Pro at a decent price. Time will tell if I made a wise choice.

Great job and good luck. Enjoy it and have no regrets. I think your logic is sound because the newer machines are just not as well made. That cast iron auger gear case tells the story.

Last edited by nervous; 11-18-2015 at 09:29 PM.
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post #9 of 211 Old 11-18-2015, 09:49 PM
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I have run a number of ST1032s and each one was a monster. Great machine, just little things here and there, which is to be expected. The one I use from time to time has a very noisy chute that vibrates and makes quite a bit of racket, on top of the already loud 10Hp motor.
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post #10 of 211 Old 11-18-2015, 10:05 PM
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Subscribed! For your forensic analysis and photographs of your 924084!

Our new to us:
Ariens snowblower
Model Name: ST1032 Sno-Thro
Model No.: 924084
Serial No: 000892
Tires: 16/6.50x8 Pneumatic Snow Hog
Tire Size / 16 x 6.50-8 Wheel Diameter / 8 in.
Tire Chains: 16x6.50x8
TireChain.com Snow Hog 2-link, v-bar for 16x6.50x8

I am sure you are way a head of me, but I downloaded the

924 OWNER-OPERATOR MANUAL
924 PARTS MANUAL
924 SERVICE MANUAL

all from the Ariens website in pdf form. I can attach them to a pm or email if you need them.
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