Idler Arm repair suggestions - Ariens 924000 series - Snowblower Forum : Snow Blower Forums
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post #1 of 13 Old 12-27-2018, 10:42 PM Thread Starter
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Idler Arm repair suggestions - Ariens 924000 series

I'm working on my 1979 924038 Ariens and found an issue with the idler arm and mounting bracket. Over time the pin on the arm has been gouged and the hole in the bracket elongated.

I have a few thoughts on how to fix this but was wondering what suggestions other folks might have.

A new idler arm is around $30.

Thanks
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Last edited by rodster500; 12-28-2018 at 12:00 AM.
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post #2 of 13 Old 12-27-2018, 11:17 PM
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GEvening 500,

Here is a recent thread about the subject. I responded on the repairs that I do to those chassis. I use the origianl idler arm, but replace the pivot pi. I ream out the frame, install bronze flanged bushings and reassemble. I can try to locate pix tomorrow if you have any questions.


https://www.snowblowerforum.com/foru...er-pulley.html

GLuck, Jay
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post #3 of 13 Old 12-27-2018, 11:58 PM Thread Starter
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Before I posted I searched but didn't find that recent thread. Exact same issue!

Thanks for the info and the link to the thread.

I'm guessing you used flanged bushings? The arm would hold the front bushing in place (assuming the flange is between the arm and the chassis bracket), but what holds the rear bushing in place?

I follow your method except how you are retaining the pin in the tractor chassis if the bushing is 1" long? The distance from the front hole to the back hole looks to be not much more than 1".

Did you use the wave washer with your mod?

If you find the pix that might answer all my questions.

My pivot pin was held in with a cotter pin so someone might have been in there before me?

I included your detailed description below for future reference. The issue seems like a bit of poor engineering. Your fix should last MUCH longer!



That seems to be a fairly common problem on the older 924 series units. I personally own 3 that had that issue. I have also have successfully repaired 3 customer machines showing that wear. What I have found, is that the bracket with the tensioner pulley, actually uses a welded in pin that pivots in the tractor chassis. The holes in the tractor chassis will actually become ovalled out, as well as wearing grooves in the pivot pin. The proper repair is fairly involved, but will outlast the original design and easily repaired in the future.
To start, split the machine and remove the drive pulley and belt. From under the tractor, remove the pan and in the upper right hand corner (standing behind the unit), there will be a small hairpin clip that holds the shaft and tensioner in place (I recommend D/L the parts and service manuals from Ariens to help locate the parts). Once hairpin clip is removed, the tensioner will slide out towards the front and the damage will be evident.
First I grind out the original 3/8" pin and weld in (MUST be Square to bracket) a 1" longer universal clevis pin (the pin will have many holes along the shaft, making it universal).
Next up, I ream out the original 3/8" holes in the tractor (there are 2) to 1/2". This can be done from the front and rear of tractor. Then I install bronze bushings (1/2" os x 3/8" is x 1" long) in the oversize holes. One from the front and one from the rear. Once this is complete, lube and re-install the tensioner bracket and secure with the original hairpin clip. If everything was squared up (Drilling and welding) the tensioner will be in its original configuration and able to do it's job, without shredding the belt.
The first unit took me several hours to diagnose, design and trial and error. The subsequent machines have taken considerably less time. But I am a purist at heart and feel it well worth the effort. The customers opting to have it done obviously feel the same way. I don't think I'll live long enough to see these units fail again, but perhaps my grandchildren will appreciate the effort I put in if they opt to keep these sturdy pieces of Iron.
I do have pix of the finished product, but it's tough to see the mods after it's together. I will document the next unit I do, so it will be much easier to see when it's apart.

Last edited by rodster500; 12-28-2018 at 12:08 AM.
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post #4 of 13 Old 12-28-2018, 06:55 AM
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GMorning 500,

First off, I grind out the original pin from idler arm. I weld in a 2" (?) long universal clevis pin that has multiple holes along the shaft. Also, I ream out BOTH sides of the the chassis, using 2 flanged bronze bushings, so the new longer clevis pin will be supported in both spots. By using a longer clevis pin, it will go thru both flange bushings. And because its a universal pin, it has multiple holes, I use a small hitch pin to secure the pin from behind the second (rear) mount. I ream both hole out to 1/2" and use ]1/2" x 3/8" x 1/2" long bushings. Although the bushings may be 1"m long and cut down to 1/2".
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post #5 of 13 Old 12-28-2018, 07:04 AM
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And as far as the search feature goes..... I can never find anything either. IDK if it's because of my browser or plugins... Or maybe my kids are rite. I'm the old guy that fumbles with technology. But if I just Google the problem, most of the leads come back to the problem listed under SnowBlower Forum. That's how I found this great resource a few years ago. Once I saw all the dedicated SnowBlower owners/repairs on here, I became a paid member. One of my better investments

GLuck, Jay
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post #6 of 13 Old 12-28-2018, 12:02 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JayzAuto1 View Post
GMorning 500,

First off, I grind out the original pin from idler arm. I weld in a 2" (?) long universal clevis pin that has multiple holes along the shaft. Also, I ream out BOTH sides of the the chassis, using 2 flanged bronze bushings, so the new longer clevis pin will be supported in both spots. By using a longer clevis pin, it will go thru both flange bushings. And because its a universal pin, it has multiple holes, I use a small hitch pin to secure the pin from behind the second (rear) mount. I ream both hole out to 1/2" and use ]1/2" x 3/8" x 1/2" long bushings. Although the bushings may be 1"m long and cut down to 1/2".
Ahh, there you go! Good idea. Answers my question on how the arm was being retained.

I guess you used the wave washer too? I'm planning on using it.

Pictures are worth 1000 words, thanks for sharing!



Quote:
Originally Posted by JayzAuto1 View Post
And as far as the search feature goes..... I can never find anything either. IDK if it's because of my browser or plugins... Or maybe my kids are rite. I'm the old guy that fumbles with technology. But if I just Google the problem, most of the leads come back to the problem listed under SnowBlower Forum. That's how I found this great resource a few years ago. Once I saw all the dedicated SnowBlower owners/repairs on here, I became a paid member. One of my better investments

GLuck, Jay
Sometimes it's knowing what words to use when searching. I modified my thread title to include the SB name and model to hopefully help someone else in the future.
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post #7 of 13 Old 12-28-2018, 12:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JayzAuto1 View Post
GEvening 500,

Here is a recent thread about the subject. I responded on the repairs that I do to those chassis. I use the origianl idler arm, but replace the pivot pi. I ream out the frame, install bronze flanged bushings and reassemble. I can try to locate pix tomorrow if you have any questions.


https://www.snowblowerforum.com/foru...er-pulley.html

GLuck, Jay
Thanks for that one Jay.....good fix....
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post #8 of 13 Old 12-28-2018, 12:48 PM Thread Starter
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Adding bushings was one of my solutions but I had a bit of a different idea. Let me pass it by you for your opinion since you are obviously smart when it comes to this stuff.

It's very similar to your solution but doesn't require replacing the arm pivot pin, just drilling a new hole for the hitch pin.

I was thinking about placing a spacer over the OD of the front bushing that would be just slightly longer than the bushing. Then used the original method of retaining with a washer and hitch pin.

Depending how close the spacer is the the rear bushing, that may be the retainer for the rear bushing. Not sure if that bushing could walk out or not but probably best to make sure it stays in place somehow.

Here is a drawing of my idea but it's just an idea until it works!

My other thought was to just weld material onto the hole and pivot pin and reshape to original but that doesn't solve the design shortcoming.

Thanks for your help,
Rod
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post #9 of 13 Old 12-28-2018, 07:03 PM
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I had tried both of those ideas before I came up with the system I use now. Not that they wouldn't work. But I did the first one about 3 years ago, on a customers 924050. It had sentimental value, as his father had bought it new just before the blizzard of '78. It was always kept in the basement, and waxed between seasons.... Very well taken care of. Worthy of Moderator Scotts website, but he has soooo many fine examples. Who knew how timely THAT purchase was. So I spent about a weeks time, on & off trying different ideas. I used parts I had here, and I had the welder plus the Reamers. There may be better, easier or longer lasting methods, but I can do these in about 2,5 hours now. I still service all the machines I have done and they are holding up very well...... No more shredded belts or pulleys with Razor sharp Flanges. I'll look to see if I can find any more pix. I use the pix to explain to the customers whats happening and the fix I use. The reason I use the universal Clevis pin, is they are available in longer sizes. Plus they are very hard to drill a new hole. By using bushings in front and rear, is that the new pin will have TWO support & pivot points. And I find it easier to use a hitch pin clip behind the second bushing, inside the tractor, keeping the arm in the original position. It does not look hacked up, even to a purist like myself. You would really have to look for it to know what was done.

GLuck. Jay

Last edited by JayzAuto1; 12-28-2018 at 07:08 PM. Reason: forgot to add an idea
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post #10 of 13 Old 12-29-2018, 12:46 AM Thread Starter
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The bushing idea is great, not sure if there is a longer lasting idea.

My thought with the spacer was it would avoid welding if someone doesn't have access to a welder or someone who can weld.

Just a different idea on the same path.

You mention reamers, could you share your process for reaming the holes and the tools you use? It's pretty tight in that area and my first thought was just use a 1/2" drill bit but I'm sure you are much more experienced.

Thanks for sharing your info, glad I can save this machine and learn at the same time!
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