Broken bolt on triangle flange - Snowblower Forum : Snow Blower Forums
 
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post #1 of 6 Old 01-05-2017, 11:50 PM Thread Starter
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Broken bolt on triangle flange

I bought my Sno-tek 24 8 days ago from a local Home Depot and given the number of winter storms in Utah recently, I've used it about 5 times so far (maybe 3-4 hours total).

When I finished using it tonight, I found the head of a hex bolt that seemed to match those used on my Sno-tek 24.

After searching over the machine, I found where it had come from. I took off the left (from behind) tire to get a better picture. It's one of the 3 bolts that is securing the triangle bearing flange.

I was able to find a part breakdown and it looks like it's a self tapping screw, so the bolt end is probably still in there (and probably nearly impossible to get out).

Obviously, not only am I within my warranty period, I'm within my return period.

Here's my questions:
1. What caused it? I've been pretty gentle on the machine - perhaps bolt failure or it was tightened too tight at factory?
2. Is this something I could fix? (I'm somewhat handy - but this is my first snowblower and I while I used to do maintenance on my cars, I prefer to take them in now)
3. Should I just take it back and get a new one? Perhaps an Ariens Compact 24 would be worth the extra money? Or the Cub-Cadet 24?

Thanks for feedback/comments/opinions in advance.

-Brandon

Last edited by bdub; 01-06-2017 at 12:10 AM.
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post #2 of 6 Old 01-05-2017, 11:51 PM Thread Starter
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Hmmm. I can't post images or links yet. That's annoying.
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post #3 of 6 Old 01-06-2017, 12:07 AM Thread Starter
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If someone sends me a message, I can reply with the embed URL's for the images (hosted from OneDrive).
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post #4 of 6 Old 01-06-2017, 06:03 AM
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If you have extractors, I'm reasonably certain you could get it out, but yeah, why should you have to do this yourself on a new machine? I suppose if you intend to keep that model it really comes down to how much hassle that is vs. packing the machine up and bringing it in, I don't know if that's an easy thing for you to accomplish. I don't like the idea of bolts that break without much provocation though, so I have to wonder about what kind of gorilla assembled that machine and what other damage might be lurking. I think I'd be tempted to look for an exchange, even or otherwise, just on that basis alone.

As to whether an upgrade is worth it, I guess that's a value judgment. Are you happy with the Sno-Tek otherwise? Do you get occasional really crazy snowfall that might call for a beefier machine?
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post #5 of 6 Old 01-06-2017, 03:53 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah, this could just be a bad bolt, but you have to wonder what caused it to finally give out. With just the 2 bolts, is it still usable until I get a permanent fix (one way or another)?

The machine itself has been great and seems to meet my needs. The only reason I would consider another make/model if this is indicative of a larger quality issue and another machine would be more reliable. Hauling it back to Home Depot is doable - just not ideal. I also run the risk that whatever I get will have more problems than just a broken bolt.
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post #6 of 6 Old 01-07-2017, 01:00 AM
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This is a common problem with Ariens machines, both black and orange. They use junk hardware, no nice way to put it. They also break off the auger/rake flange at the front as well. If you have access to a good selection of fasteners get grade 5 or grade 8 and you'll be fine. Head is 3/8", thread is 1/4-20. 1/2" or 3/4" long, either will work however I believe the factory bolts are 1/2" thread length. Drill out the old one. My recommendation is to change out all of the garbage 3/8 bolts at the wheels and rake flanges before more snap. In fact its not uncommon to have them twist off anyway just from trying to remove them. Junk!


Yes you can still use it in the mean time.

Last edited by SnoThro; 01-07-2017 at 01:06 AM.
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