Impeller speed - Snowblower Forum : Snow Blower Forums
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post #1 of 42 Old 02-06-2016, 03:55 PM Thread Starter
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Impeller speed

I have a Ariens 1032 I repowered with a 13hp Honda GX390 few years ago. It did not throw snow as far as I was hoping for. I bought a Ariens ST824 this year to use instead. The 824 throws the snow pretty well. I am happy how it performed.

I had some free time today so I took a look the 1032. First thing I did was to compare the rpm of the impellers. I used a cheap laser rpm meter from Amazon. Put a strip of the reflection tape in the impeller and measured both machines. The 824 measured 580 rpm and the 1032 measured 850 rpm. This is the first time I use the meter. I had a hard time get a consistent reading initially until I used a bigger strip of the reflection tape.

Does anyone know how fast the impeller suppose to spin?

I also measured the rpm of the Honda crankshaft using the aluminum duct tape instead of the reflection tape. It got a stable reading of 3200 rpm. The duct tape is much cheaper than the reflection tape.

I think the problem is the tension of the belt. It is kind of loose. The impeller rpm must be much slower under load. Does anyone know a good way to test the snowblower without snow?
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post #2 of 42 Old 02-06-2016, 04:35 PM
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Originally Posted by bcjm View Post
I have a Ariens 1032 I repowered with a 13hp Honda GX390 few years ago. It did not throw snow as far as I was hoping for. I bought a Ariens ST824 this year to use instead. The 824 throws the snow pretty well. I am happy how it performed.

I had some free time today so I took a look the 1032. First thing I did was to compare the rpm of the impellers. I used a cheap laser rpm meter from Amazon. Put a strip of the reflection tape in the impeller and measured both machines. The 824 measured 580 rpm and the 1032 measured 850 rpm. This is the first time I use the meter. I had a hard time get a consistent reading initially until I used a bigger strip of the reflection tape.

Does anyone know how fast the impeller suppose to spin?
For the 1032, using some googling and some assuming, it looks like the auger pulley comes in at ~9.5" diameter and the crank pulley (for the auger shaft) at around 2.75" (assuming the re-power preserved the original crank pulley size.) Assuming the pitch diameter for both pulleys tracks, the drive ratio is 3.45:1. With a 3200RPM crank speed you'd see ~926 RPM at the impeller. Lots of assumptions, guess and variables here though.

How's the belt? You think it's kind of loose. Did you keep the original pulley on the crank or did you go down a size (e.g. 2.5")? A smaller pulley would account for the reduced auger RPM from expected (850 vs 926) and it would also account for the looser pulley if you stayed with the OE belt.

850 is pretty good impeller speed. If it's not throwing well and it's also not eating belts (as may happen to a too-loose belt) you might look into the gap between the impeller and the housing which can be 1/2" or more. Impeller kits can do wonders to close that gap and improve the performance of the impeller.
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post #3 of 42 Old 02-06-2016, 05:07 PM Thread Starter
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I used the original pulley on the crank so the impeller should maintain the original speed. The gap between the impeller and the housing is about the same as the 824. I say bigger than 1/4 and less than 1/2. If everything else are the same and The impeller spins faster than the 824, I assume it should throw the snow further.

I had to change the belt length since the crank is higher. I might have to get a belt just a bit shorter since it is out of the adjustment.
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post #4 of 42 Old 02-06-2016, 05:30 PM
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are both impellers the same diameter ? ( impeller tip speed )

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post #5 of 42 Old 02-06-2016, 05:37 PM
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Looking at the Ariens service manual I had for my ST824, the specs listing include the ST1032. I'm looking at model 924084.

It lists an engine RPM of 3600, impeller RPM of 1100, and auger RPM of 110. All the machines in the specs section list these same impeller/auger speeds, including the ST824.

Given your engine RPM of 3200 instead of 3600, that should scale down to an impeller RPM of 980 RPM. So something doesn't sound right, especially on the ST824. Maybe the tach is reading incorrectly? If the belt was actually slipping that much, with no load on it, it would have to be REALLY loose, and I'd expect you might hear it.

With the engine off (!) and the auger engaged, can you turn the impeller by hand without the crankshaft turning? That would give a sense of how much torque the belt is transferring.

To be honest, if the engine RPMs are known, and the pulleys are stock, then I'd assume any grossly-unexpected impeller RPM readings are more likely to be measurement errors, vs things truly turning at maybe half of the expected RPM. Especially if you were having trouble getting steady readings. And in particular if the belt is transferring decent torque, given that you currently don't have a load on the impeller, so there is very little reason for it to be running slowly/slipping.

The service manual I'm looking at is 00040600. I'd look up your machine on the Ariens manuals website to get your service manual:
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(You might be able to get a cheaper source for reflective tape by cutting up an adhesive-backed reflective sticker? Like the letters/numbers stickers sold at home improvement stores for your mailbox, etc)

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Last edited by RedOctobyr; 02-06-2016 at 05:42 PM.
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post #6 of 42 Old 02-06-2016, 05:48 PM
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The current model Ariens engines are set for 3,600 rpm +/- 100 rpm and the resulting impeller speed is 1,010 rpm. The SHO has same engine speed and 1,083 rpm for impeller due to larger crank pulleys. So your engines seem to be running slow and the impellers seem very slow at 540 and 850 rpm.

My engine is running at 3,500 rpm and the impeller at 1040 rpm. When I get a chance I will increase the engine speed.

Good luck.

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post #7 of 42 Old 02-06-2016, 05:53 PM
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If the impeller/auger ratio is 10 to 1, it would be much easier to take the speed of the augers and multiply it x 10 to get the most accurate impeller speed.

Are the impeller shear pins still there, as they may be broken and the impeller might be tight enough to spin "normally" without a load, but it may be "slipping" under load.

Just a thought..
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post #8 of 42 Old 02-06-2016, 05:56 PM
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The GX390 engine should be running at 3500rpm, at least that applies to the GX390 engines installed on the HS1332 and HSS1332 (if I am not mistaken )
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post #9 of 42 Old 02-06-2016, 06:00 PM Thread Starter
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My ST824 is model 924082. My 1032 is model 924029.
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post #10 of 42 Old 02-10-2016, 10:08 PM
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The estimates of the impeller speed seem about right on paper, but there are just too many variables when comparing two different machines. Consider the impeller's gap, diameter, and fan area, and even how much snow it is trying to move.

I had a Troybilt 7524 that would throw more snow when it was loaded up (like across the road into the neighbors driveway). If there was only a few inches, it would barely toss it a few feet.
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