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Discussion Starter #1
I got my old Ariens back together and was testing it out on some snow today, when after about 20 minutes of running, it stopped moving forward. I pulled it into the garage, took the belt guard off and saw that the 2 drive belts were shredded!
I'm kind of at a loss as to what caused brand new belts to be destroyed that quickly! The only thing I can think of is that the idler pulley doesn't spin very freely, and that caused them to break? It will turn, but stops spinning as soon as I stop turning it. Is it supposed to turn freely and keep spinning?
Any suggestion?
 

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Usually when that happens the belt is running on the wrong side of a guide or the brake arm for the auger pulley.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Usually when that happens the belt is running on the wrong side of a guide or the brake arm for the auger pulley.
I'm pretty sure I routed the belts correctly, and it was working fine, just for 20 minutes though. It went forward in all gears and reverse worked.
Could a belt have slipped off the idler pulley?
 

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The idler should spin for a while on it's own. When you hold the center and then rotate the outside it shouldn't have any resistance and it should feel silky smooth. If you feel resistance or any grinding the idler is shot.

That may be the problem but I'm also curious if the belt's alignment was off or if the auger housing was tight to the transmission body? Also check to see if any welds might be broken in the mounting area allowing some flexing under stress which would cause belt misalignment and promote excessive belt wear/failure.
 

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I'm pretty sure I routed the belts correctly, and it was working fine, just for 20 minutes though. It went forward in all gears and reverse worked.
I've seen them work for about that long before when routed incorrectly, it's not always instant death.

Could a belt have slipped off the idler pulley?
Possibly, but the only way you'll know is to look.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I pulled the tensioner arm off and the pulley bearing does make some noise when spinning. I'm not sure if that's the problem, but I'm sure it's not helping!
Has anyone replaced the bearing in one of these before? The parts online that I saw looked really expensive! There's gotta be a cheaper way to fix it!
 

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Rust on the belt-contacting surfaces of those pulleys is most likely what shredded the belts, especially if belt or pulley rotation was stopped. The rust eats right through the covers.

So, you need to fix whatever caused the belt or pulley to stop, and you need to remove the rust (at least make the surfaces smooth).

Hope this helps.

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Rust on the belt-contacting surfaces of those pulleys is most likely what shredded the belts, especially if belt or pulley rotation was stopped. The rust eats right through the covers.

So, you need to fix whatever caused the belt or pulley to stop, and you need to remove the rust (at least make the surfaces smooth).

Hope this helps.

Mike
The rust wasn't sharp, so I didn't think it would hurt. I'll polish it up before I put new belts on.

I'm not sure if the pulley stopped, or is just dragging a lot.

I took the pulley apart and inspected it. The grease in it was very grainy and black. I'm not sure if this part is a maintenance item, but I'd be difficult to perform maintenance on it since you have to cut the rivet off to get the pulley apart.
As you can see in the pics, the grease that accumulated dirt or just gummed up, put some scratches and left deposits on the moving pieces.

Can this whole pulley be replaced by one with a ball bearing? The parts to replace the sleeve bushing, idler shaft and the rivet from Ariens would be $72! :eek:









 

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A replacement pulley on ebay is $11.50, check the size to make sure it matches yours.


I shredded belts on a Bolens tractor when the drive pulley came loose and moved a bit. Make sure your drive pulley is secure.
 

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just my opinion, i think rust on the pulleys is no big deal. It will wear off very quickly and will not hurt anything. A growling pulley wont hurt too much but its not ideal. You got a chunk of something stuck in there and although it was turning it wasnt turning at the same speed as the motor. I shredded many snowmobile belts and it was always from riding in water or a mile down the tar or doing something un-natural for the snow machine. The pulley will howl and let you know when it needs to be replaced. As long as it turns at the same speed as the belts its doing its job. Finally it will just either seize or come apart, done. Something else is happening. Pushing it through heavy wet snow and not letting the machine do its work will do that everytime.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
A replacement pulley on ebay is $11.50, check the size to make sure it matches yours.

Ariens John Deere Snow Blower Idler Pulley 01213200 M124285 | eBay

I shredded belts on a Bolens tractor when the drive pulley came loose and moved a bit. Make sure your drive pulley is secure.
That one is the idler pulley for the attachment. I haven't been able to find one for the traction idler pulley.
The drive pulley on the camshaft is on there tight.
 

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That one is the idler pulley for the attachment. I haven't been able to find one for the traction idler pulley.
The drive pulley on the camshaft is on there tight.
Could it be just wrong type belt? the snow blower belts are made with Kevlar as opposed to regular belts with regular cords. It makes a big difference. Just saying.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Could it be just wrong type belt? the snow blower belts are made with Kevlar as opposed to regular belts with regular cords. It makes a big difference. Just saying.
Make sense. I used Oregon brand belt as a replacement, which says it is a replacement for Ariens belts. It looked the same as what I took off of it.
 

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There's definitely more rust on that idler pulley than I'd like to see. It isn't hard to remove the rust and eliminate it as a possibility.

I had a tractor-mount unit that shredded belts every time I used it. I found one rusty pulley (after losing about $100 in belts before learning about this problem), replaced it, and never shredded another one.

You may have other problems, but rust definitely eats belts, and is easy (and free) to fix. Not a bad place to start...

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #19
There's definitely more rust on that idler pulley than I'd like to see. It isn't hard to remove the rust and eliminate it as a possibility.

I had a tractor-mount unit that shredded belts every time I used it. I found one rusty pulley (after losing about $100 in belts before learning about this problem), replaced it, and never shredded another one.

You may have other problems, but rust definitely eats belts, and is easy (and free) to fix. Not a bad place to start...

Mike
I will clean up the pulley before I re-install it!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I took the idler pulley to a bearing supply store locally, to see if I could get a replacement sleeve bearing or a completely new bearing and pulley assembly. They didn't have anything to replace it with, but did confirm that the bronze sleeve is worn out.
He suggested I get a replacement at a hardware store, so I did. I fixed it for $2.40. Once my new belts arrive, I'll see how well it all works!

Here's the new sleeve in the pulley:

 
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