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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone,

Over the summer I decided that it was time to start looking for something to replace my mid 90's Craftsman 10/29 with something newer and more capable. I bought an Ariens 11528LE that I found locally on Facebook marketplace. At the time I thought I was getting a smoking deal as the blower was in pretty good shape cosmetically and everything ran well. The only issue I could see was that the previous owner has the remote wheel unlock trigger taped up and when I asked him about it he said not to mess with it as it would screw transmission up. I did the standard drivetrain test and put the snowblower in forward and then held it in place to see how hard it would pull and if the wheels would still try and spin which they did. I figured I would go through the machine and figure out why he thought the remote unlock would screw things up and get it in working order. Well unfortunately winter snuck up on me quicker than expected and I had to use the machine the other day and within a few minutes the left wheel unlocked and was freewheeling and making it difficult to go through the wet heavy snow.

I took the bottom cover off and checked the operation of the wheel lock mechanism and everything appears to be working correctly although it was dry and a bit rusty. I greased the splines of the wheel lock mechanism and that still didn't get the left wheel engaged. I decided to take the left wheel and axle off and I think I found the issue. It appears that the splines on the left wheel axle stub are stripped out and no longer engaging with the drive axle.
Cosmetics Gas Cylinder Auto part Metal

My question to those that are knowledgeable with these blowers is what would cause this happen? How can I prevent it in the future? To repair this correctly I'm assuming I'll need a new axle tube for the left side wheel but is there a low budget way I could permanently lock the axles together? I'm not worried about the blower being easy to maneuver, I'm strong enough to handle the blower with ease with both wheels locked.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Got striped from hitting, rolling over something. Or just not assembled right. Doubt you could make it posi traction out of it. Just get a new part and never worry about it again. ALOHA!!!!! View attachment 203227
I'm not looking for posi traction, I would be happy with it being a fully locked differential full time. Also, I'm confused on how hitting or rolling over something would strip the splines like that? Seems like whatever caused this was long term thing and not caused by a one time accident can you elaborate on why you think that?

I'm all for fixing things the right way but it seems that from my research that this particular system is problematic and if there's a way to disable it and make it more reliable I'm all for it. If not, I'll bite the bullet and buy the parts to restore it back to original working condition. I just want to make sure that before I spend the money on parts that I'm address the cause of the issue as I don't want to chew up another axle shaft.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I would surmise that the stripped splines were not done overnight, but through many miles of no lubrication and poor maintenance, i.e., improper operation and/or adjustment, thus causing repetitive slop chunking

I do not have an 11528, so I don't know what the entire drive setup looks like in that particular machine, but I am sure there is a way to solidify that into a direct drive axel by either tack welding it or drilling and pinning, notching and keying, etc. .... albeit it would be great to pick up a donor machine ... keep your eye on Marketplace ... many cheap broken units all the time show up.
It's a 3 piece design with ratcheting style locking differential. I ordered a new axle and dog clutch hopefully that will get me back in business.
 
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