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2007 Ariens 926LE w/Honda GX390, 1988 MTD 5/24 Sno-Trac w/Tec 9hp, Kubota 2230 w/Kubota front mount
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Discussion Starter #1
Hello All,
I have gathered info from useful posts on this site for years and finally have a question that I can’t get to the bottom of.

I have a modified 2007(8?) Ariens 926LE, AKA 926001 model that I do a substantial amount of area with. We are blowing appx 350’x18’ of farm driveway and roundabout in an that has a ton of snowfall and drifting. Up here, Honda blowers are the clear favorite but we could not afford even a used one amid supply issues this winter.

Bought the 926LE used, in some desperation, after reading a post here indicating that the chassis, sheet metal, impeller diameter, controls, etc are the same as the Pro and Platnium models.

Immediately witnessed the belt slippage and need for more power, so acquired a low hour Honda GX390 ($180) and installed Ariens double belt kit (a fantastic deal for $60 shipped!). The pulley says SHO/PRO right on it, so I assume it is the same as the more powerful models.

Performance afterward was FANTASTIC, with the machine shooting snow a great deal further, and able to clear lighter snowfalls in high gear. For 6 days that is, until the auger gear case gears stripped...
The new gears are $130+ various seals and washers, and past experience inside MTD gear cases says to just buy the whole new assembly. The direct replacement aluminum is about $300 with shafts and the cast iron replacement for the Pro/Platinum is almost the same.

Can anyone tell me whether the fan/input shafts are the same between the aluminum gear case and cast iron gear case models? Ariens has not been helpful, or I haven’t gotten the right person on the phone. AFAIK they have the same impeller and auger blades so it would stand to reason that it could be a direct swap.

Or, could somebody with a newer Pro/Platinum please measure their input shaft diameter and exposed length?
Thanks for any help!

PS, the 9 horsepower Tecumseh went on a freebie 5/24 MTD tracked rig, with a 1/2” increase in impeller drive pulley diameter. Really turned the thing into a little monster. The small impeller doesn’t throw nearly as far as the Ariens but the track system has clear superiority in deep snow and, interestingly, with less operator input and fatigue.
 

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Did you open the gearcase to take a look?
It might not be the gears that stripped, but the woodruff key broke.

It is possible for the gears to be stripped, but those are harden steel gears. The same gears found in the iron gearcase.

You can buy them on ebay for $70:

You must have hit something very hard and your shear bolts didn't break.
 

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2007 Ariens 926LE w/Honda GX390, 1988 MTD 5/24 Sno-Trac w/Tec 9hp, Kubota 2230 w/Kubota front mount
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Discussion Starter #6
What broke the unit was a piece of geofabric (black heavy tarplike material), it wound it around the auger in a deep snow drift. I have not pulled the gear case apart yet. I suspected stripped teeth because the auger has about 180 degrees of “lash”. Will thaw it out and disassemble once we finish a wood stove project and post the results.

The GX motor belonged to a pressure washer that had the pump go bad. The owners spec’d the pump at around $400 and decided to just sell it. 1” straight shaft; it took the same pulley as the Tec but not the belt finger or mounting pattern.

It was a rare deal around here, otherwise I was prepared to use the $299 Harbor Freight Predator 420cc Honda clone motor as I have one swapped on to a 1967 Sears SS12 tractor and it has been great, as well as two of the 212cc units.
 

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Your post remind me old loves. The Honda GX390 is a great smooth motor BUT if you don't modify the air box so it could take warm air to the carb, you will experiment carb icing problems. I made two holes on the top of the air box muffler side and added a metal plate between the air box and muffler. You also plug the normal air inlet.
 

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2007 Ariens 926LE w/Honda GX390, 1988 MTD 5/24 Sno-Trac w/Tec 9hp, Kubota 2230 w/Kubota front mount
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6 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Your post remind me old loves. The Honda GX390 is a great smooth motor BUT if you don't modify the air box so it could take warm air to the carb, you will experiment carb icing problems. I made two holes on the top of the air box muffler side and added a metal plate between the air box and muffler. You also plug the normal air inlet.
I did start to experience the governor/throttle butterfly linkage sticking during powdery conditions. It caused a little surging.

Thanks for the tips for winterizing the air box. My family here has a Honda 1332 and I was planning on replicating the cowl from Honda’s winterized version in 1/8” aluminum. Maybe I can get away with something simpler, though.
 

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2007 Ariens 926LE w/Honda GX390, 1988 MTD 5/24 Sno-Trac w/Tec 9hp, Kubota 2230 w/Kubota front mount
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Discussion Starter #9
Both gears are totally wasted. Reminds me of a Bloom hydraulic worm drive winch on our boat that currently needs replacement. The oil level in the blower gear case was normal but full of metal particulate.

Before I split the machine I idled it and ran the blower, as it was still spinning normally with no load on it. The gear case was slightly, but distinctly, moving up and down 1/8” or so. indicating a bent auger shaft/“Shaft Rake”.
Does anybody else’s machine do this? The impeller bearing is capable of absorbing mild misalignment but it seems like it might wear on something in the long term.

Other than the obvious culprits of more horsepower (though only recently) and rough service, can ideas on why this occurred so dramatically and how to improve the machine? I can’t have a gear case that’s weaker than the shear pins.

Looking over the new/used/rebuild options online.
173739

173742
173743
 
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