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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi,

I have a 2015 Ariens Deluxe 28", and this year after changing the oil and putting it into the service position to lube the gearbox, I realized I was out of lubricant so I decided to leave it in the service position until I could get a new lubricant cartridge (since the gearbox was already open and the wheels were removed). Due to the holidays, I had to leave it in that position for ~2 days.

Today I discovered a puddle of clean oil underneath it, while it was still in the service position.
From what I can tell, it did not leak from the yellow oil cap (that was closed well). It seems to be leaking from where the oil stem attaches - see image, red arrow (also attached here): https://ibb.co/j5cpjwz

I checked the oil dipstick after wiping it and it was completely dry so clearly all of it leaked out.
Before changing the oil, there were no leaks all summer, and I had also checked the used oil with the dipstick and it was at the proper place (same place as always with 20oz of oil for a 254cc).

Assuming leaving it in the service position for a long time caused this, but wondering why that would happen/is that normal? The manual does not tell you to empty the oil (only the gas), and for the previous 3 years I've place it in the service position with oil without any issues -- but to be fair I've never left it that way for more than an hour or two.

By the way, just discovered and registered to the forums, so please let me know if this is not the right place to post this -- wasn't sure if "Snowblower Repairs and Maintenance Forum" would be a better place.

Thanks!


Thread Summary for anyone visiting this later on:

1.) Called Ariens and here's what they told me:

** It is fully expected and normal for the oil to leak out if it's in the service position for more than a couple of hours.
They said in fact, it sometimes happens when they ship them brand new.
I specifically asked them about the o-ring, and while they offered to send a free one, they said they are positive that this is not the problem.

** They claim the snowblowers should not be stored in the service position for longer than while you are "working on them" with oil inside, and even then they suggest having it empties at least half way (ideally fully).

** They said it will also leak out of it was overfilled - in my case this is not applicable since it calls for 20oz, and it definitely did not have more than 20oz.


2.) Also, it turns out not all of it had leaked out. When I emptied the remainder and measured it, it turned out about 8oz had leaked out. Just over time it had made a very wide puddle.

3.) I followed the advise here to unscrew the oil fill stem and re-seat the oil fill tube + the o-ring. Not sure if that helped or not. I did place it in the service position for ~15 minutes after I re-filled it and nothing leaked out, but that was the case before hand too.

In summary: empty the oil (unrelated, and gas!) before you place it in the service position (at least half way per Ariens, but they do recommend fully), and don't leave your snow blower in the service position for more than a couple of hours.

Hope others find this useful/helpful.
 

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:welcome: to SBF ventz

Most have a rubber O ring to seal it. It isn't very old being a 2015 but it might still not be sealing as it should.
You can remove the tube and take the O ring and tube to hardware, big box or auto parts store as most have an assortment of O rings. Auto parts store you just need to ask at the counter not the multi size variety pack out on the floor.

I'm sure there is a spec for it but I don't know what it is.
Repair and Maint would have been good as it's not really Ariens specific but ....
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Welcome to SBF, ventz
Honestly, I wouldn't be overly concerned if it was just a small amount and it took over 2 days.
Happy new year.
 
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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks guys.
@Kiss4aFrog - i'll give it a try. It might be worth checking the o-ring anyway just in case it has gone bad/was bad in the first place.
@micah68kj - my only concern is that it looks like all of the oil (~20oz) leaked out over the 2 days.

This really surprised me and I kind of want to re-test it by refilling it and leaving it again in the service position but this time checking it every few hours, but at the same time I don't want to waste another quart of oil and have to clean it up again.
 

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Update: removed the "high oil-fill tube/dipstick" (apparently that's the official name for the part :)) and checked the o-ring. It seems perfectly fine and it looks brand new actually.
However, it definitely was leaking from there. since it was slightly wet on both sides.

I think to @micah68kj's point -- it might have been a very small amount, but factor that over 2+ days and it added up.

I reached out to Ariens to get their thoughts too. Also, if anyone has any other info, would love to hear about it.

I'll post an update here once I hear back from Ariens.
 

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Hmm.. I didn't completely read your post and thought it read 2oz that had leaked out. However, I still would not be overly concerned. With the blower sitting in its working position, resting on the tires and skids, the engine oil doesn't reach the level of the O -ring and when the engine is running the oil is not under preessure. I really doubt there would be a noticeable leak in that area. I'm with Mark. Stick another o ring on it. Done and done.
I had an engine that seeped oil from that area. It was a Tec engine. I remember bending the arm where the retaining screw goes and it stopped seeping. Just made the fit a little bit more snug.
 

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I store blowers for sale in the service position all summer and fall as they take up much less room. All of them that have the filler tube and O ring leak....
 

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I'd try this: unscrew the tube and as much as possible, clean the oil off the threads of the tube and the engine block. Put a liberal amount of RTV on the tube threads, reinstall the tube, and don't move or use the machine long enough for the RTV to cure (~24 hours).
 

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Likely an older engine than what is being discussed here, but I have had old L head Tecs dribble oil out the breather if left in service position too long as well.
 

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I wouldn’t think all 20oz came out as that puddle would be very big. Probably just lost enough 8oz that not reading on dip stick. I wouldn’t worry about it as engine was not designed to be stored in that position. On the plus side I wonder if you can oil change thru dipstick when in service position.
 

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:moved: at OPs request.

I don't store anything in the service position as most of my machines have old engines and they leak. If you're going to store it up then I'd take the time to fix it and even order the correct O ring or as mentioned, clean it well and black RTV it in place. Don't use red RTV.

If it's only going to be up for a short period you can always just use an oil pan, cardboard or tie a rag around it to keep the floor clean. Whatever works best for you. I like the cardboard as I always have some around to use when painting.
In my mind a 3 year old engine really shouldn't be leaking.

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Discussion Starter #13
@micah68kj - Sounds good. That and it doesn't hurt to pick up and o-ring and at least eliminate that.
@cranman - Good to know, thanks. So clearly this isn't "normal" :)
@ELaw - Assuming the idea is never to remove this again once I apply RTV on it? To be fair - I probably won't need to replace the oil tube, but if I had to, would this be an issue?
@tadawson - Interesting. Where is the breather located?
 

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I don't store anything in the service position as most of my machines have old engines and they leak. If you're going to store it up then I'd take the time to fix it and even order the correct O ring or as mentioned, clean it well and black RTV it in place. Don't use red RTV.
Yea, that was my thought too -- there really shouldn't be any liquids when stored in that position.

It sounds like the next step is to clean it up, replace the o-ring, potentially seal it, and attempt this again.

Thanks for the replies/information everyone. Really appreciate it!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Update - called Ariens and here's what they told me:

* It is fully expected and normal for the oil to leak out if it's in the service position for more than a couple of hours.
They said in fact, it sometimes happens when they ship them brand new.
I specifically asked them about the o-ring, and while they offered to send a free one, they said they are positive that this is not the problem.

* They claim the snowblowers should not be stored in the service position for longer than while you are "working on them" with oil inside, and even then they suggest having it empties at least half way (ideally fully).

* They said it will also leak out of it was overfilled - in my case this is not applicable since it calls for 20oz, and it definitely did not have more than 20oz.

Hope others find this useful/helpful.
 

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@ventz On the L heads, the breather comes off the cover plate over the valve springs, more or less behind the carb. Typically an elbow off the plate, and a short tube pointing downward.
 
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