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Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
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Platinum 30 SHO
Canadian model, which is probably identical to US models
Purchased at the beginning of January 2015 as a new 2015 model. Snow throwing performance was disappointing since engine rpm was 3,450 instead of 3,600 +/- 100 rpm. Increasing engine rpm to stock spec made a world of difference. The LCT engine is spec'd to run at up to 3,900 rpm in stock condition.
Used plastic skids from new so AutoTurn performed perfectly. The originals are still on my machine, but new ones are ready to install. Tried steel skid shoes and performance of AutoTurn degraded noticeably. Tried long plastic skid shoes and liked performance for short time until they wore out quickly.
Heavy bucket weight suited me better than the Pro which I found too light. Pro had 28 or 32 bucket which did not suit me as well as 30" bucket.
Machine controls are very quick and precise.
I use the machine to clear 8 driveways of about 50 ft each with 1 to 3 car widths for neighbours, some of whom are infirm, so shovel all walkways and ramps too. EOD are paired for better visibility and space to get into the driveway. About 240 ft of EOD and all the sidewalks connecting houses to community mail box down the street and the bus stop. The Ariens has enough throughput to handle the workload but more throughput is better.
Impeller upgraded to 6 blade Ariens (926501) model for use at start of 5th season (2018/19).
The impeller pulley on engine crank was increased from a dual pulley 2.75" stock to a 3.25" Browning that was Shore machine shop modified to fit the AX 414cc crank for 6th season (2019/20). Actual impeller speed increased from 1,181 rpm to 1,447 rpm at engine 3,925 rpm.
To allow stock belts to operate with 3.25 pulley I lengthened the tension pulley slot on the impeller clutch arm toward the slack side. Gives more clearance for belt so it does not drive the impeller pulley when engine idles or full throttle. The brake release roller was increased from 3/4" diameter to just over 1" so brake is released when clutch arm movement is reduced.
Replaced the 3 liter AX fuel tank with the B&S 6 liter fuel tank and cap.
Loosened the wheel drive clutch tension to see if this will reduce friction wheel rubber wear. In 5 years I have used 2 friction discs. My 3rd is new for 2019/20 season. Slackened the cable to allow handle to reach half way to handle before clutch applies.
Under the Hood
Under the Hood Images
LCT 414cc engine spec'd by Ariens as AX engine. High oil fill with 120 Volt electric starter and manual recoil starter. Engine is stock. Governor adjusted from 3,450rpm when new to 3,700 rpm in first year, then 3,925 later in 5th year.
Engine rpm increases resulted in substantial performance improvement.
No suspension; steering is through AutoTurn with plastic Ariens skid shoes
Wheel and Tire
Stock wheels and tires (XTrac type); 15x4.8 with directional snow tread tires. No chains since relatively flat area.
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