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What is the actual capacity of the gearcase? Looking to swap out the lube every (other?) year or so, but don't see an actual capacity anywhere to do so? (need to suck the oil out obviously). Have bottle of Ariens L3 on hand, its 8oz.

Manual shows below for the level. Am I reading this correctly that if I stick a clean screwdriver in, that the top 2.5" of it should be dry/clean of lube and that is the correct level?

(I assume one should warm up/engage the augers first to warm up the lube and stir any sediment that may have settled prior to sucking lube out?)
177574


A secondary question (and I hesitate as I do not want this to become an oil thread) is - do all folks just use the Ariens L3 lube? I have no issue using OEM for the gearcase, but its not really easy to find locally, and its ridiculously expensive so wondered if there were alternatives. I think the little bottle was like $15?? to me thats high.

(please no comments on 'engine oil' in this thread. Asking specifically about the gearcase. Thanks.)
 

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Also, image below, manual states to grease this rod. Are you using white lithium grease for this? or the same grease you put into the augers and in the zerk on the side of the machine? (seen different lubes in multiple videos)

177575

Wheels, I pull wheels and put antiseize on the axle, but are folks removing this piece and putting antiseize underneath of that as well? (need to pull clip on end of axle to remove).

177576
 

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The gear lube does not need to be replaced every year or 2, just check the level once or twice a season. I would consider changing the lube with L3 every 10 years or so, however the gear box does not see much heat and the lube should last a long time. I believe Ariens says for the life of the machine.

I made up a "dip stick" from an old bolt to easily check the fluid (yes 2.5" from top). The bolt head is large enough to prevent it from falling into the case.

gear case measure tool.jpg


You can use white lithium or a low temp grease on the hex shaft and gear mating surfaces, just use it sparingly and don't get it on the friction disc or plate.

You should also grease or use anti seize on the inner axle shaft by removing the C clip to access the inner shaft.
 

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The gear lube does not need to be replaced every year or 2, just check the level once or twice a season. I would consider changing the lube with L3 every 10 years or so, however the gear box does not see much heat and the lube should last a long time. I believe Ariens says for the life of the machine.

I made up a "dip stick" from an old bolt to easily check the fluid (yes 2.5" from top). The bolt head is large enough to prevent it from falling into the case.

You can use white lithium or a low temp grease on the hex shaft and gear mating surfaces, just use it sparingly and don't get it on the friction disc or plate.

You should also grease or use anti seize on the inner axle shaft by removing the C clip to access the inner shaft.
Good idea on a long bolt, I have many. Life of machine...interesting. One would think (?) a break in change after one season would at least be in order? to remove metal shavings and the like? Maybe not though. Not a ton of usage this year so not too worried about it, but its a "while I'm at it" kind of thing as I want to put the machine away for summer to focus on other things.

+1 on white lithium, manual does not differentiate. It just has a grease gun symbol which implies the same grease used on other parts of machine.

Good to know on inner axle shaft. Thanks. Do I need to pull the entire shaft out and do this on each side? (I don't think the other side removes like the right side does- tho have not tried yet). Also pulling entire shaft would release the gear inside the machine, don't really want to do this if I do hot have to.

Thanks again. Want to wrap this up today (or shortly).
 

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Only the one side has this configuration. The shaft reinstalls easily, just remember to reinstall the C clip when done.
 
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remove and meassure the old oil.. add that ammouint of new oil?? i mean.. if your gonna use a syringe or something to suck it out.. you might not get every last drop.. and the speced ammount would probably be if you can drain it all... hence the distance to top spec instead.. as a top up only kinda meassure.. i think your going in a great direction.. even if changed every other year.. its already more that the run of the mill does maintenance wise.. soo ;)
 
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@WIHD I agree with @Ziggy65.
The problem with L3 is that it is so thin it leaks past the gearbox seals, particularly the one on the impeller shaft. Dealer replaced one under warranty and I replaced one or more. So I changed to a Synthetic differential oil (GL5) 75W-140 (flushed out the old L3 first). It is thicker than L3 and does not leak through the seals. As @Ziggy65 says the gearbox oil does not get hot enough to cause problems with yellow metal (Ariens uses steel gears).

I grease the short axle shaft every year at the time I grease the wheel axles (water proof grease). When putting the short axle shaft back into the differential, the big washer between the differential and the axle bushing always drops down and prevents the short axle shaft from engaging the differential splines. So I always have to lift up that washer to allow the shaft to pass through.
 
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I changed to a Synthetic differential oil (GL5) 75W-140 (flushed out the old L3 first). It is thicker than L3 and does not leak through the seals.
Gear oil is easy to find at the autoparts store so wondered....also far cheaper there then Ariens brand. Whole quart for $10, would last several years. Well, will use L3 for now....maybe down the road will swap out. Thanks.
 

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177854



Is this clicking sound normal? (video below)

So....pulled this off (above), the entire thing came off the axle. Upon reinstall I hear this clicking when rotating the machine on the ground. I haven't turned the machine in awhile (been sitting) so honestly do not recall if I should be hearing this noise?


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Here is rotating the wheel in the service position, Same clicking. Is this normal?

 

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The clicking noise sounds normal to me, similar to my Ariens.
 

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The clicking is likely a shortage of grease in the Auto-Turn differential. I took it apart and little grease but hard. Cleaned it out and filled with new grease. No clicking after that, but there are several grease seals that cannot be replaced with factory parts, so it is my spare. New Auto-Turn must have lots of grease because that does not click either. The functionality is the same on the 2014/2015 unit as on the 2019/2020 unit.
 
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