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This is not a straight axle. This would be an Auto Locking differential. Built for Ariens by Hillard.

Have you ever pulled the system apart and lube it?
 

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I have the same auto-locking diff/axle on my Ariens 28" Deluxe (250cc B&S Motor). When I squeeze the handle to unlock the wheels in a tight spot, it often will not re-lock when the handle is released. With only one wheel turning my machine is hard to control on rough pavement and practically helpless on even gentle inclines.

Machine was bought in 2011 but has only 20 hours on it. I bought it after the winter of 2010-11 and we haven't had a challenging winter since. (Albany, NY area)

I am prepared to get into/under the machine and see if I can't lube things up ... but this thing is practically brand new and I wouldn't think I'd have to do that ... yet.

What can I expect? Anything specific to look for? Will a spray lube be sufficient or will I need grease?
 

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Welcome to the forum Donyamaha :D:D

The "Disc_O_Matic" is just the Ariens term for the friction disc type of transmission. If one wheel is driving, the friction disc is working ok.
What Is Disc-O-Matic?

Have you pulled the bottom cover off yet to see if maybe it's iced up in there ?? Is your differential system the same as in the video - >
 

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Welcome to the forum Bror Jace :D:D

If you're following a thread because you have the same or similar issue that's no problem. However it's bad form to jump in and start asking questions about your problem. Maybe you should consider lurking on this thread or starting one of your own :confused:
 

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Kiss4aFrog, I saw this thread that seemed to be asking about a problem similar to mine ... so I posted. The thread also seem to be dying with the last post almost 4 weeks ago. Having participated in automotive forums for 15+ years, I like to see similar discussions all in the same thread ... it could become a resource for people looking for answers to similar problems.

I have rebuilt an older snowblower (My Dad's John Deere 1032 was retired with only about 30% of original parts still on it) but I haven't really dug into my Ariens yet. Buying a brand name and buying brand new, I didn't figure I'd need to once I checked that the main drive belts were on straight.

Between wigglin' the machine and flicking the actuator, I have been able to get the machine to re-lock in the past. It might have re-locked while just sitting in a semi-heated garage. It's kept in a house a mile and a half from my place so I can't check on it as often as I'd like.

Looking at that video, that appears to be the same design as my machine. I'll check the cable to see if I can adjust It ... and I'll make sure all moving pieces have some sort of lube on them, just to make sure they repel moisture, if nothing else.

Thanks for posting that vid.
 

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I was reluctant to put my machine in the service position because I just changed the oil and didn't want to drain it again ... but I broke down and did it anyway.

After watching the video, I was expecting the cable was out of adjustment ... but that did not appear to be the case. After inspecting the mechanism and fiddlin' with it, I could see it click into place. It was just not moving as freely as it should have. I sprayed it with silicone spray ... and put a few drops of 3-in-1 on it and it seems fine (That's all that Mom had in her garage for me to work with).

Thanks the input.
 

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Update: I thought I had this problem licked but during the last storm I unlocked the axle to make a tight turn and it wouldn't re-lock. Grrr. It took some severe jiggling the machine around and tapping at the lever, but it was able to re-lock so I could finish clearing.

Next time I drain the fluids and put the machine in the service position, I am going to spray brake parts cleaner on the mechanism to clean it. Then re-lube it with teflon spray and Remington Rem oil (very thin lubricant - not likely to thicken in the cold).

But seeing how new my machine is, I figured I wouldn't have to deal with something like this until I had at least a couple hundred hours on it.
 

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Did you get a chance to clean, relube and try it out last year or will this season be the test for the Teflon spray and rem oil ??
 

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By the way, has anyone who put their snow blower in the service position had ever had a leak of engine oil? Unless oil level is overfilled which is not recommended running the engine this way.
In my case I have put many different brands in the service position and never had any problems as long when put back in normal position one allows the oil to set back to its normal level.
 

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I had one leak like crazy. The dipstick didn't seal properly to the tube but it wasn't noticeable until I tiped it up to work on the drive axle and left it overnight.
Had a little lake forming around it in the morning.

I always put a drain pan under them now no matter how short or long it's going to be standing on end.
 
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