Converting from Track to Wheels help? - Snowblower Forum : Snow Blower Forums
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post #1 of 36 Old 02-24-2016, 05:24 PM Thread Starter
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Converting from Track to Wheels help?

My first post here hoping for some help.

Has anyone attempted this??

Recently picked up a Pro 28 track model (Friction disc drive)with VERY little time on it for a killer deal.

Now I know why LOL. So maybe NOT so killer

Making turns with this thing or trying to just plain move it is going to take a couple cans of Spinach if you know what I mean....


I did find a thread somewhere where someone else was attempting to do the same thing on their Ariens track machine, but for the life of me can't figure out where I saw the thread.....

Also can anyone explain how exactly the differential lock/unlock knob works to activate the differential on this model so I don't have to take it apart to learn?
Wondering if I can engineer another way of accomplishing this because then I think I can just pull the track assemblies off and mount the appropriate sized tired adn wels.

Sure appreciate any insight.
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post #2 of 36 Old 02-24-2016, 05:59 PM
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to the forum sodbuster


Before you commit to tearing off the tracks you might want to see if just cleaning and lubricating the mechanisms might help.

It might not be so much the track system as a poorly maintained track system.

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post #3 of 36 Old 02-24-2016, 06:03 PM
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Well I have a Hydro pro track 28 and wouldn't go back to tires. Like I posted before my wife at 125 lbs can use it no problem. It does take some getting use to but once I figured it out it works great. If you try to do a large turn it doesn't work well I found you have to turn smaller radius and turn like you mean it. Kinda hard to explain with words but I showed my wife and she never had a problem after that. Not sure if that's any help.
If you want to convert it to wheel it shouldn't be to hard. I believe all you need is the pro wheels and the lock pin. Your track drive is just mounted on the same setup as the wheel model.
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post #4 of 36 Old 02-24-2016, 08:00 PM Thread Starter
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Lubrication isn't the problem.When I got the machine home I tore apart the friction disc assy as the rubber was completely burned off one side and found the cause.A frozen disc shaft bearing.
Replaced both, lubed all the drive related bearings and made sure everything is free.
Everything I've read about track machines since buying it confirms the fact that track machines are a BEAR to roll manually.No question.Most people regret buying one over a wheeled machine.
Reason why is the machine is 400lbs and on flat tracks.Pavement contact/rolling friction is much greater due to that.The machine needs to be driven to move it around.Otherwise it takes almost as much force as pushing a medium sized car.Nothing Will make it better other than wheels.

Lillbear,if only it were that simple.Axle shafts on the 2 machines are different along with the differential along with a number of bushings.Plus I can't tell from Any of the drawings how they engage/disengage the differential on the wheeled machine.No parts are shown indicating this.
That's why I'm hoping someone can tell me how the differential engagement works on the track machine.
Cost of buying all the factory parts to do the job it's over$250 before buying the wheels.
Hardly worth it.
But if I can engineer a simple way of engaging/disengaging the existing differential,I can always MAKE a pair of wheels work.
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post #5 of 36 Old 02-24-2016, 08:29 PM
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First off, sodbuster, welcome! And congrats on what should be a great machine. Even better when you can get a great price!

I'm a bit unclear on how your machine is equipped. Does it have Auto Turn? Or an open differential? Or something else? I get the impression that maybe lilbear's machine has Auto Turn, but I don't know.

But Ariens has used several different systems to make turning easier. If you can post what system your machine uses, that would probably help people better understand your setup. Posting the model # might help.

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post #6 of 36 Old 02-24-2016, 08:42 PM Thread Starter
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Hi RedOct,
Thanks for the welcome.
You have a point about the different drive designs..
Model# is 926042
It's not Autoturn.
It has the differential you engage/disengage with the turn of a knob located on the outside of the right track at the drive axle.
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post #7 of 36 Old 02-24-2016, 08:57 PM
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OK, thanks. I can actually help a bit, then.

I've had 2 Ariens machines (friction-disk) with the manually-lockable open differential, like you're describing. With the knob on one side. Mine have wheels, though, no tracks.

This system uses an open differential. You unlock the differential by pulling the spring-loaded pin out (at the wheel with the pin), and rotating the pin until it locks in the pulled-out position. This pulls the pin out of the axle holes that serve to lock the two axles together.

One axle shaft is hollow. The shaft from the other side of the machine extends through the hollow shaft. So both shafts extend to where this pin is located. When you let the pin spring forward, towards the wheel (or the center of the machine), then pivot the machine a little, the pin slips back into the axle hole.

Since the pin assembly is mounted to one shaft ("wheel A"), and the axle hole is mounted to the second shaft ("wheel B"), when you drop the pin into the axle hole, you lock the differential together. Locking the axles together, for more traction, but making the machine much harder to turn.

Pull the pin and keep it retracted (pull then pin then rotate it so it stays pulled back), and you unlock the axles. On my wheeled machines, and the axles unlocked, I can easily pivot the blower in-place with one hand.

With the machine in the service position, and the axles unlocked (differential open), you should be able to rotate one axle forward, while the other would spin in the other direction. At least with wheels, I don't know about spinning the tracks.

But note that one axle spins inside of the other when the differential is open, and you turn the machine. If the axles rusted together, or are otherwise stuck to each other, then even if you pull the pin, the axle would effectively still be locked. Mine has a grease fitting on the axle, you could try lubing that, if the axles seem stuck.

Sorry, trying to explain the pin-pulling & differential is a bit awkward in just words. But in practice, the system is very simple, on my machines.

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post #8 of 36 Old 02-24-2016, 09:31 PM
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I'm the guy that wanted to change my tracks for wheels. After the last very heavy snow I've decided to fight the damned thing in the small snows just so I'd have the tracks when I need tracks. I needed the tracks last time.

That said I believe it is a very easy swap. The chassis is the same so it appears all you need is the axle, diff, wheels and a few bearings. I didn't pursue it to much as I wasn't going to do anything until after the season but now...

It's very simple to get the part numbers needed using the parts explosions on Ariens website.

Tracks are a royal pain... until you need them as I did during the last big one. There has to be a better way.

Good luck!
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post #9 of 36 Old 02-24-2016, 09:42 PM
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Normally people who buy a tracked machine buy it for the tracks because they need them not for the price since usually they are more expensive.

Since it's so late in the season maybe you can post it on craigslist for a comparable trade. You get a wheeled version and someone needing a tracked machine gets yours ??

I looked around but can't find any other Ariens articles on converting from tracks to wheels.

A lot of the guys here have built or bought dolly's for their machines to move them around when not using them in the snow.
Coby7 spent some time and effort making his but you can also pick up a furniture dolly at harbor freight or anything with wheels you can make work.



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post #10 of 36 Old 02-24-2016, 10:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sodbuster View Post
Lubrication isn't the problem.When I got the machine home I tore apart the friction disc assy as the rubber was completely burned off one side and found the cause.A frozen disc shaft bearing.
Replaced both, lubed all the drive related bearings and made sure everything is free.
Everything I've read about track machines since buying it confirms the fact that track machines are a BEAR to roll manually.No question.Most people regret buying one over a wheeled machine.
Reason why is the machine is 400lbs and on flat tracks.Pavement contact/rolling friction is much greater due to that.The machine needs to be driven to move it around.Otherwise it takes almost as much force as pushing a medium sized car.Nothing Will make it better other than wheels.

Lillbear,if only it were that simple.Axle shafts on the 2 machines are different along with the differential along with a number of bushings.Plus I can't tell from Any of the drawings how they engage/disengage the differential on the wheeled machine.No parts are shown indicating this.
That's why I'm hoping someone can tell me how the differential engagement works on the track machine.
Cost of buying all the factory parts to do the job it's over$250 before buying the wheels.
Hardly worth it.
But if I can engineer a simple way of engaging/disengaging the existing differential,I can always MAKE a pair of wheels work.
Hmm I knew the track conversion kit was about 600$ and that they claimed you just had to take the wheels.Now you got me curious I'll have to check it out since my father as a pro wheel and my brother one like yours I'll have to go take the cover off . If you go on snowblower direct they sell a direct fit track kit for the Pro 28 wheel. Other then the track frame there no differential or anything that would indicate that you would have to replace the diff.. Maybe the axle. Worth checking it out since it has the same unlocking system if you look on the site let me know what you think
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Last edited by lillbear; 02-24-2016 at 11:38 PM. Reason: none
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