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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Howdy all. I'll get right to the point- warning, I tend to be long winded, but I like giving the best info I can to start off to make sure recipients understand what I've done and what the exact nature of the issues are.

I own what I believe is a 1971-72 910962 with a 910995 attachment. I say "believe" because I know it has an H70 engine, 910995 attachment, the clutch lever on the handlebars is on the underside, throttle is also on the left. Unfortunately the ID stamp behind the left wheel is surface rusted exactly on the spot where the model and serial should be, and the sticker forward of this, no model/serial are printed. However, using Scot's website pics and searching around the internet, I believe this is what I own.

Anyway, this was my step-grandfather's machine until he passed, where my father inherited it in the late 80's. My brother for the following 20 or so years did all my dad's snow work at his house and used the 920003 he had cause this machine was always troublesome - and unfortunately my father (a maintenance electrician) was no small power equipment genius - therefore neither was my brother.

This unit is very rusty, but for the most part completely intact, I have most issues figured out. I just rebuilt the carb and it runs mostly great. The electric starter screws were very loose (one was just laying on the housing all these years of use, wonder it worked at all). I have a few questions on the rest of it's issues though, and am looking for any help/advise I can get.


1) shift linkage - the best way I can describe this is yesterday I removed the bottom cover plate, and cleaned the hex shaft with carb cleaner, then used some lithium grease spray on it - and for awhile the friction wheel shifted freely (I covered the wheel and plate when I sprayed), albeit with some effort to move from 1-4 to N-R. It's as if there's a linkage "safety" somewhere that is out of alignment/adjustment I'm not thinking of. When the grease was "wet", it moved from 1-4 nicely, and with a little clutch lever finagling, N to R freely. It plainly does not like to go from a forward gear to a non-forward gear. I tried to find shift lever pivot points on the linkage arms, but maybe I missed something there. I noticed a few hours later, it did not like shifting from 1-4 nearly as well (the shift arm will actually bend under the pressure I place on the shift lever).

I also will state...my clutch lever, I have to "find the sweet spot" in shifting, meaning different squeeze pressures tend to work best and I have to do it by "feel". I have a heckuva time getting the axle to free-wheel (finding neutral). It can be done, it's just very hard to get it there.

So...for one, is there a grease I should be using that works best when it's down below say 15F degrees? Rust isn't an issue, the hex shaft is shiny. I've also noticed that when it's warmer, it tends to shift much easier overall, again except for going from forward to non-forward and obviously the opposite.

That's gotta be some sort of adjustment in either the clutch lever assembly or the shifter assembly (both of these under the hood, not externally with the levers themselves). I did some similar work to my 920003 yesterday, and that thing now shifts like a champ.

2) Choke lever fully off. The choke works, once it warms up, obviously I turn the choke off. However, I noticed, the lever "bounces", and the engine stammers while bouncing. Say I move the machine to plow snow, choke fully off, the lever will move horizontally and the engine tends to stammer as it moves to the right/rear. It's "free from being held in fully off position", and I noticed the pivot "lock" on the carb choke...it has indentations to hold the choke in say quarter choke, half choke, 3/4, and full...but NOT for fully off. SO, it bounces between fully off and quarter choke "locked in place".

Is this how it's supposed to work? Or is that little vertical coiled spring that allows the choke to be held supposed to always be in contact with the pivot, therefore holding the choke fully off?

3) simply put, I think my gas tank is rusting on the inside. When my father owned it, it had to go into the shop darn near annually for a carb kit overhaul, and material that looked like rust was inside the float bowl. When I rebuilt the carb a couple days ago, didn't look like there was any dirt in the bowl, but considering the carb was indeed clogged somewhere, I believe going to a plastic tank might resolve this (even though the tank itself on the inside looks shiny and rust free from what I can see).

So...what would be the proper plastic tank to buy nowadays, and anybody know which is the best (least expensive) place online to order it?

4) there's no fuel filter...would a fuel filter be feasible, and if so, any particular one work best? Since the fuel line is mostly horizontal, I take it I don't want to use a "diaphragm spinning top" looking filter and want one more of an "inline" filter.


Sorry for War and Peace here...but I figured this is the right place to ask. I found a lot of answers for these thru the years on my Ariens for simpler stuff, just couldn't find any for these in particular except for the grease (varying opinions there).
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Just ran the 910962 for a half hour, first time actually blowing snow around sans the first real attempt at fixing it's ills since I inherited it 3 years ago.

For the most part, ran good enough to do the job. The choke "bouncing" only happens on low throttle...curious if this is being caused by improper idle needle adjustment (more or less 1 full turn from full in was the best it'd idle for me post-rebuild). Wide open throttle, ran pretty good although it doesn't hold the position (idles down a bit maybe to half power on it's own after about 15 to 30 seconds - it's always done this).

Never stalled though, and started after maybe tops a half second of cranking. It's nice I figured out the starter screws weren't tight...luckily, since this never ran consistently, it didn't get started very often...hope I didn't permanently damage teeth anywhere. "Popped right off quietly".

The shifting issues continued. Again, it's feeling for the right lever position on the shifter clutch handle to get it to go from non-forward to forward and back. I apply handle pressure, "feel" for the correct spot, then it shifts. After I get past that, shifts 1 thru 4 very nicely now (got better as it got warmed up). I was able to find a true neutral free spin without the auger engaged once (being able to let go the machine without it being in either 1 or R). It did have a tendency to try to move in reverse when the shifter handle was in N...curious if this is an alignment issue with the disc.

Back to reading the manuals...
 

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The choke lever on most I've seen has a small spring that sticks up and holds the choke in place. When you move the choke the spring bends out of the way and lets the lever move to the next notch.

You could remove the tank and dump the gas into something clean to see if you have rust or scale in there. Just going plastic is still a better idea unless you're interested in restoring it to original. Then using one of the chemical tank linings would be the way to go but it's really not worth the money for something you're using.

Fuel filter and a shut off would be a very good idea. Something clear for a filter so you can see if you have water or rust scale.

Post a couple photos, we love show and tell :wink2:
 

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Sorry didn't read it all. Lithium isn't a good choice due to temps. Using an oil or a VERY light coating of synthetic wheel bearing grease if you have it works well for me. If it's not a sealed bearing I try to grease or oil everything that moves.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
The choke lever on most I've seen has a small spring that sticks up and holds the choke in place. When you move the choke the spring bends out of the way and lets the lever move to the next notch.

You could remove the tank and dump the gas into something clean to see if you have rust or scale in there. Just going plastic is still a better idea unless you're interested in restoring it to original. Then using one of the chemical tank linings would be the way to go but it's really not worth the money for something you're using.

Fuel filter and a shut off would be a very good idea. Something clear for a filter so you can see if you have water or rust scale.

Post a couple photos, we love show and tell :wink2:
Yeah, that spring, I will bet it got slightly bent away to where it no longer holds contact once past the "quarter choke notch". I can check that tomorrow morning. It holds the notches nicely, so it must not be bent away very far...just enough to lose contact.

The lithium grease actually helped out a lot (I think). It could very well be that cleaning the hex shaft might have actually done more for this...dunno really. They weren't rusty at all, just sticky.

On both machines, it seemed to me it had been greased with your average ordinary grease gun grease I'll call it, and the hex shafts were "sticky" to the touch. Cleaned them off with carb cleaner, wiped them down, used a paper towel soaked with lithium grease, voila...much better travel. The '003 shifts like new (but I admit, it might have been the linkage levers' pivot points all along), the '962 shifts great from 1 to 4...still hangs up on neutral.

It merely won't go into neutral, and doesn't shift easily from a forward gear to reverse...it hangs up at neutral and won't actually go into neutral except by dumb luck even though the lever itself is locked into neutral! It'll slip forward or reverse depending on what gears I came from - like it doesn't want to pass over into neutral itself and the wheel hangs up on either side of the disc just a shade outside "true neutral".

I know there's a part called a "neutral catch" that I wish I had searched for when I had the cover off yesterday, and paid more attention to placement of the entire mechanism. I look at the exploded view parts list page, and I'm having trouble figuring out where exactly it is in relation to the overall assembly as I look at it put together to know what to look for as to how it works in all this. No clue other than it's name what it actually does.

Sounds like I need to get some pics...I was under the impression new users couldn't post pics.

I also noticed, the shifter rod/lower shifter rod shafts, where there's a threaded piece on the end with a nut to lock it into place length-wise...that nut and threaded end is surface rusted pretty badly. I soaked it all with rust penetrating spray to hopefully loosen it up to where I can adjust it - but I gotta feeling it won't. I also appear to be getting "full throw" on the throwout lever.

I noticed buzzybee's rebuild pics, and that he had a terrible time "robbing peter for paul" in adjusting this stuff. I believe mine is hanging up more than out of adjustment as far as the clutch lever and linkage adjustment...something's merely hung up somewhere that I haven't found yet or gotten lubricant to.


Pics coming tomorrow. The '962 ain't the prettiest gal at the dance, but aside from the bottom cover plate's screws, looks 100% original. Otherwise, thanks for the help here (and future)!
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
"These are the days that try men's souls..."

That's my phrase of the day. Woke up to another 4" of snow. 3rd straight day now, 4th in 7 days. It's been a decade since we had a week like this. Oh well, at least I got two good blowers to use - or so I thought.

I had wanted to use my '003 today cause it had a near full tank with gas that's a bit old. Popped right off on first pull like it always does. After a half a row of plowing, the attachment belt gave way. Grrrrr...

That, and my X5's driver's outside front door handle appears to be "not functioning", hoping it's merely frozen up...double grrr...I musta made the winter gawdz angry this week ;) Older BMW's in winter outside just seem to hate me this year, both of mine have given me fits.

Anyway, the good news is the '962 I knew was working, so I finished everything off with that. 4" is kinda overkill for it, but what the heck, it hadn't been used this much in over a decade, so I went to town.

Second bit of luck, I had the belt for the '003. Of course, hadn't changed a belt on it in over decade, back when my dad owned it. So, it was a re-learning process. And of course, trial and error involved with that - I forgot to put the belt inside the idler pully...so I got is back together, tried it out, didn't blow...rinse and repeat.

I got her fixed up in 10 minutes, and aside from needing to most likely adjust the idler pulley location (it wants to movce the auger and blades ever so slightly), it's plowing now like the mini-gorilla it is.

I'm done for the day though, not gonna work on the '962 linkages today. I'm cold, tired, back's sore. We might actually get one last round of snow tonight yet, so who knows. The NWS predicted over the 4 days this week about 12" total and they got each night incorrect, but the total spot on. They think maybe 1-2", so we'll probably get nothing or 6 ;)

Anyway, pics of my oldies...and I'll pick this up with the '962 in a day or two.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Ahhh, the two steps forward, one step back progressions one makes when learning this stuff. If I only had a proper workspace to work.

I popped the cover on the '962 just now, still stumped why shifting was still a tad sticky, and trying to figure out why it doesn't like finding neutral. I'm looking at everything upside down and don't have buzzybee's outstanding pics of his work on his late in 2017. Note - if it wasn't for his pics, I'd not be making any real progress. Serious kudos to his attention to picture detail!

I did find some space to improve the throwout level pull, and I suspect the lever itself it actually mis-aligned, for it seems to be leaning to the right side of the oval housing port it feeds through. My lever is probably missing a half inch of throw cause when I pull on the lever, it hits the side of the port where the oval top cutout begins, like the whole lever assembly is too far right - I assume it should travel right down the middle. The lever travels vertically fine...just misaligned. Anyway, it still improved by about 1/8th of an inch more throw.

I was also able to free up the lower shift rod and lock nut to where I could adjust overall shift rod length.

But the biggest gain was made by actually seeing the fork shaft and components attached to it. It like the hex shaft was very sticky...some grease, and everything shifts remarkably better when taking in the two lever adjustments with this. I can now run through the gears freely!

The still troubling thing is, I still cannot really "find neutral", and there's a lot of slop in the shifts back and forth from a forward gear to reverse - then either way getting the wheel to actually sit on neutral when the shifter is locked in neutral. I aligned the wheel with "shift quadrant neutral", adjusted the shift rod to where it fits into the shift lever correct - tighten everything back up, then shift - yet it seems to have a mind of it's own as to the wheel returning to neutral every time.

This "slop", I have to figure out. I suspect it might have something to do with parts 128 and 129, "connecting rod" and "ball joint".

Again, I'm looking at everything upside down, and not to the point where I'm gonna take everything apart yet (most likely this spring), just gonna have to leave it be for now. I don't want to tip the entire rig upside down with oil and gas in it obviously, and would like to do this once snow season is over.

I still have not figured out part reference 78 in the parts manual, page 10, "neutral catch". For whatever reason, I cannot figure out where this actually is.

More and more, I believe the misaligned throwout lever, "overall lever assembly sloppiness", and the neutral catch...are my need to figure out pieces left, cause everything else seems to be working as it should and has gotten lubrication (as far as I know). It runs fine in every gear, shifts easily...just no neutral to where I can push the machine around without pulling the clutch lever.

Frustrating...but at least I know more than I did yesterday.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Once again, the little things I learn...

First, fixed the '003, the blades and auger creeping along in neutral. The idler wheel needed to be adjusted out, for when the lever's not engaged, it was still "leaning slightly" on the drive belt. That is the LAST issue with this machine, woo hoo!

The '962...apparently, this machine isn't supposed to be movable in neutral unless the tractor clutch is engaged.

I had the wrong manual ('008, not '962). According to the correct manual, page 3 section 2.c...

"The tractor may be used to move the unit with the Sno-Throw Attachment stopped by engaging the tractor clutch and leaving the Sno-Throw clutch in the OUT position."

If I'm understanding correct, it ain't supposed to "free wheel" when the tractor is in neutral and not pulling the tractor clutch lever. I thought it should.

Frustrating, a lot of wasted time.

Crazy...

So, considering the friction disc assembly doesn't always return to neutral position when shifting back and forth from a forward speed or reverse to neutral, that "slop" is my project for the off-season. There appears to be a tad bit of overall play in everything, but upon inspection the shifter linkages inside the case are tight, but the sliding fork, fork shaft, and bearing flange/thrust bearing etc all have some minute "play" overall (not really broken so much as worn).

I'd guess those all need replacing/refurbishing. Spring project....
 

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I don't think you want any grease on the hex shaped shaft. I would clean it up completely and try a silicone spray lube instead.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Yeah, I needed to get it freed up in zero degree weather - I have to shed store them...not heated. The manual states to use Ariens Moly Lithium Grease, and all I had that I could spray was Liquid Wrench White Lithium Grease I had on hand (or WD40). I chose the Liquid Wrench.

It worked perfectly. Both machines shift better than they ever have since my father got them in the 70's. They appeared to have what I would term is "whatever they were when they were brand new". I'm betting these were NEVER touched by my dad or brother. Their idea of maintenance was filling the gas tank (never draining at end of season) and calling me when something broke (like belts or shear pins).

It's a wonder both run at all, let alone plow snow.

The fork and hex shafts were ridiculously sticky to the touch and weren't allowing the friction discs to slide (so much so, the shift rod would bend under pressure), so I cleaned them both with carb cleaner best I could, and used the lithium spray enough to get them going again.

When I do a proper maintenance cleanup on both these come spring (probably the first time ever they've had one), I'll get them squared away properly. But otherwise, it got down to -7F Monday morning. Both shifted excellent.
 

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Ive been using white lithium grease, (and only white lithium grease) on the internals of my '71 Ariens for 10 years..never had a problem.

I have also heard the stories that its not supposed to be good in "extreme" cold..I would call that 10F (minus 12 C) or colder..never had any problem though, works fine for me even in those temps..im going to keep using it..

Scot
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Seems to be working for me pretty well - for the first time, these two machines shift like they're supposed to.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Cracks me up...

Today, I had many different projects to complete, which I did. After my February journey with the most frequent snows in years here (and both blowers giving me fits) - I had been wanting to create a spreadsheet with both my oldster Ariens' pertinent data. Serial numbers, model numbers, parts numbers for carb kits/belts, etc.

It's OCD, but when you have two homes, 4 lawn mowers, a boat, two vehicles, 2 snowblowers etc with none of them being what I'd call brand new - it helps to have everything on computer in case I need to do research and repairs.

The '962, that was my granddad's and my dad didn't get his hands on it until the 90's, and for the most part everything looks stone stock cause he and my brother never used it since it never worked right. But it matches the manuals/engine data perfect and the attachment is indeed a 910995 - so I assume it really is a stock '962.

The 5 hp...let's just call that Frankenstein. Pen and paper in hand, I turned to it to get the info. The tractor is a 922003 per the case stamps. The attachment however is a 922008 per the decal. Then I turned to the Tecumseh Snow King engine - that appears (after an hour's internet searching) to be a HSSK50 from I suspect the 90's. Controls on the engine itself, primer bulb, key, throttle, choke - handlebars have no engine controls at all. All black engine looking nothing like '003/'008 pics of the era, yet rusty/dirty enough to the casual observer to be stock.

I remember when my dad bought that machine...evidently he at some point after I moved out had "issues" with it - assuming that's the same one he bought when I was a kid of course. I assume it is...my parents never threw anything away.

Runs great now...all it needed was a little love.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
A weekend of plodding along, started the cleanup of the '962. About the best thing so far is I do actually have a 910962. I took my Dremel and wheeled the housing stamp area and found the model and serial numbers still barely visible.

Took off the gas tank, brackets, engine housing pieces etc...unbelievably rusty. Took a wire wheel to the worst parts and I'll be able to remove most if not all rust. Soaking all the nuts and bolts etc in rust remover and they're coming clean nicely. The handle bars are too far gone as far as the chrome is concerned, probably going to wind up painting them. Paint will have to wait, too cold to do it now. Looking for a cheap parts machine too...found one with a bad engine, but it's 250 miles one way away - which is too bad cause it has a lot of the parts I want to clean up that are in much better shape than mine.

Not going to do a full resto so much as make it look better as inexpensively as possible. I want a nice "10 footer". Scot's page 12 resto's (and this site of course) have lots of great info on how to proceed.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
welp...got some work done this week.

Took the grinder to everything removeable on the engine pieces except the gas tank (next week), got all the outside rust off. Man, some of the metal is dimpled from rust. But for the most part, they're ready for primer/paint - just wish the weather was too. The hardest part was figuring out ways to clamp down the pieces to safely take the wheel to them more than anything else.

I don't think the recoil starter is salvageable, probably going to buy a new one. Gonna have to start figuring out how to clean the gunk off the rest of the engine housing. I really don't want to paint it cause it has very little rust and the paint is almost all intact. I just wish I could find a reasonable "Ariens white" rattle can match so I could steel wool the minor rust, then touch it up - while painting the rest of the engine without it looking "two-tone". I'll paint it all if I have to, just don't want to have to is all.

It ain't going to the Mecum Snowblower Auction any time soon ;) Just want to rid as much rust as possible and make it "presentable".

I doubt I'll be painting anything else other than the handlebars. The attachment needs a thorough cleaning more than anything else. 45+ years of stuff getting spilled on it and it never once getting a good cleaning more than anything else. Not really rusty at all except the auger blades are a bit beat up paint-wise. Those'll be cleaned up down the road.

Slow progress...
 

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welp...got some work done this week.

I don't think the recoil starter is salvageable, probably going to buy a new one. Gonna have to start figuring out how to clean the gunk off the rest of the engine housing...
WD40 actually works as a degreaser.

my '71 910965 from my signature:
 

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Discussion Starter #17
That does look clean, thx!
 

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I only use white Lithium grease on the blowers......am I messing up?
No you are not. I like Mobil1 synthetic grease over lithium because I believe it's slicker at lower temps. It's just a personal preference. Lith, oil ... whatever works for you as long as it feels it's shifting properly. Same with bearings, bushings, chains or any contact points.
 
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