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Discussion Starter #1
Machine was purchased 12/2019 and we only had a few snowfalls here (WI) thru Spring. Has the 414 engine.

Anyway, getting around to doing a service and dropped the pan beneath the machine and found this random bolt and lock washer sitting in the pan. Its 7/8" long, 1/2 hex bolt with a fine thread (it appears)

Any idea what it is? I have not flipped the machine up yet (will do later), was just pulling the pan to eyeball the insides to finish up later. I did not expect to see something like this on a new machine. Offhand I cannot see where it goes. There is no obvious missing bolt anywhere. Yes, I laid on my back looking around inside the cavity with a light, nothing I can see yet.

Can someone point me in a direction?

I do have the PDF parts list (looking through now) and really do not want to drag it to a dealer and spend weeks trying to get 1 bolt put back in if I can avoid it.

Bolt has a little grease on it, but it could've been flopping around in here awhile so not sure thats meaningful. I did grease the auger shaft today after removing the shear bolts. Unclear how that could tie into it. Have done an oil change etc.

Input welcomed. Thanks.

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Should be able to see where it came on a careful, full inspection.

Wheel bearing bracket?, .. belt cover?, .. etc., … I suppose it also could have been left there since factory assembly, just an oversight?

As long as everything checks out, and all assembly's are properly bolted down, I would not be too concerned.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Should be able to see where it came on a careful, full inspection.

Wheel bearing bracket?, .. belt cover?, .. etc., … I suppose it also could have been left there since factory assembly, just an oversight?

As long as everything checks out, and all assembly's are properly bolted down, I would not be too concerned.
Have inspected it 5-6 times already. Seems like itd be simple to see where its from, but it is not. Also, if this is a bolt holding an item to a frame (like the engine) I am hesitant to flip the machine upward to a service position as itd have that much less support.

That is has no nut, has a lock washer etc, I thought maybe someone with further insight might be able to identify a trouble spot where this may occur on this model. Thanks.

Will look further today. Glad I opened the bottom cover.
 

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This would be a concern to me. If you have the shop manual you may be able to track it down. Had a guy call me with a Honda that found a bolt . He was upset and we found out that it had worked loose from the impeller bearing keeper bracket.

Pretty serious problem if we had let it go. Had to remove bucket and found another of the 3 bolts was getting ready to fall out. Apparently at the factory they did not use thread locker on these 3 bolts.

well , anyway with some patience you should find where it came from. I would always be concerned when finding something like this.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
This would be a concern to me. If you have the shop manual you may be able to track it down. Had a guy call me with a Honda that found a bolt . He was upset and we found out that it had worked loose from the impeller bearing keeper bracket.

Pretty serious problem if we had let it go. Had to remove bucket and found another of the 3 bolts was getting ready to fall out. Apparently at the factory they did not use thread locker on these 3 bolts.

well , anyway with some patience you should find where it came from. I would always be concerned when finding something like this.
hell yea this was a concern! lol For $2000 or so with tax, no reason in the world something like this should happen. None.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
So I put the machine in the service position and poked around more. This is what I found.

Anyone shed light on why or how this would be loose to the point of falling out? I did throw some blue loctite on it and reinstalled. I do not know the torque value, but no way I could get my torque wrench in there anyway.

167692




=> Do dealers open the bottom pan and grease the machine when they get it from Ariens? Could this have been a dealer error vs Ariens assembly line?

This is the bolt, I had to look at the auger page in the parts manual

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Discussion Starter #7
Also found this loose....and the metal arc was not seating properly. I pulled the bolt, loctited it and reinstalled, tightening it up. All seemed good after that. Not as big an issue as above, but......

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WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That's a pretty important bolt. keeps that wheel on. On a Honda the torque is pretty high so I hope you tightened it well. With blue you should be okay.

The whole machine is suspect now. I would check every single bolt and adjustment. I would be PISSED and would bring back to dealer ( but know it's a hike for you ) and have them inspect it.

This is totally unexceptable. My Dad used to tell me "if you want something done right , do it yourself." so I'd rather inspect, tighten, adjust the machine myself. And get a hold of corporate office and let them know about this.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That's a pretty important bolt. keeps that wheel on. On a Honda the torque is pretty high so I hope you tightened it well. With blue you should be okay.

The whole machine is suspect now. I would check every single bolt and adjustment. I would be PISSED and would bring back to dealer ( but know it's a hike for you ) and have them inspect it.

This is totally unexceptable. My Dad used to tell me "if you want something done right , do it yourself." so I'd rather inspect, tighten, adjust the machine myself. And get a hold of corporate office and let them know about this.
yea I didn't want to torque it so much I stripped it. It is not a grade 8 bolt. Its overly snug, and now that I've serviced the machine, I'll check again after next season.

Still wondering if Ariens dealers access this area on machines before a sale....the conspiracy side of me wonders if a dirty dealer would loosen a bolt on purpose necessitating a fix later (and work for them). My guess is most owners do not look in this cavity, and many may not service regularly enough to find an item like this (could be wrong).
Guess this isn't something I expected to find.
 

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yea I didn't want to torque it so much I stripped it. It is not a grade 8 bolt. Its overly snug, and now that I've serviced the machine, I'll check again after next season.

Still wondering if Ariens dealers access this area on machines before a sale....the conspiracy side of me wonders if a dirty dealer would loosen a bolt on purpose necessitating a fix later (and work for them). My guess is most owners do not look in this cavity, and many may not service regularly enough to find an item like this (could be wrong).
Guess this isn't something I expected to find.
no doubt if done on purpose.maybe it was built on a Monday when the crew was hung over. maybe a new guy. maybe a distracted guy. I don't know but since you found several loose bolts I'm sure you will find other small problems.

when you are finished going thru with it, you'll have confidence that it is ready to work safely.

BTW , I may be wrong about that bolts' purpose. just going by a Honda.I don't work on Ariens. . It just looks like the bolt that holds that wheel on .
 

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I knew you would find it on careful inspection.

I think now a days the quality and inspection is not what it used to be. That was certainly from the factory, and I'll guarantee that a dealer does not go over every nut and bolt on a new machine, and I doubt that most would take off the belly pan.

At least your getting a good knowledge of your internal workings of your machine, which looks like a nice unit for sure.

Just a footnote, but all my small engines get 5W30 Full Synthetic, as well as all my 5 gallon gas cans get Stabil and half the rate of SeaFoam every time I fill the cans from the station. Never had a gas issue , machines run great for all my years, lol, which is many. :)
 

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In your post #6 the impeller pulley with the missing bolt is held to the adapter with 3 bolts (where 2 visible). The adapter has a D shape that fits the D shaped end of the impeller shaft. I just tighten the bolt holding the adapter to the impeller shaft end good and tight and it has never loosened. I do not know the torque setting. Access is normally through separation of bucket from the chassis so a torque wrench would have lots of clearance. To tighten the bolt properly now you need to lock the impeller with a 2x4 or similar so the impeller will not move counter clockwise (looking from auger toward engine). All the other bolts for the bucket are reachable from the outside (4 bolts for chassis to bucket, 6 screws holding auger to bucket side panels, and 2 shear bolts, and 5 bolts holding gearbox to bucket top in alignment). Check the gearbox alignment so auger runs smoothly with no sideways or vertical movement of gearbox when engine running at speed and auger clutch engaged (a tie wrap just large enough to hold the clutch to handlebar works well and can be reused.

In your post #7, the lower curved metal band you are pointing to is the impeller pulley brake which has its pivot at the bracket with the loose bolt. Inside the pivot is a metal sleeve to allow the bolt to be tightened without binding the brake pivot (did you grease the sleeve?). My machine has just one mounting point for the bracket, but later machines have two brackets for improved support. You will see on the right side of your pic the brake pad material riveted to the brake band, and just above a small wheel that the auger clutch lever moves into contact with the impeller pulley brake band to release the brake pad away from the pulley before the belts are engaged. There is a return spring (out of camera view) attached to brake band and chassis to pull the brake back into contact with the pulley when auger clutch released.
 

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Just tighten that bolt using as little leverage as you can, and then give it another quarter of a turn. Maybe half a turn to be sure. I didn't use loctile. I used anti-seized instead. They tend to get rust over time. It had a lock washer, so no loctile was needed. Since, it came out on you. Loctite was needed and a good idea.

It is a small bolt so you don't want to over tighten it. My dad used to over-tighten everything and broke so many wheel studs doing that. They didn't break right away, but when they got stressed.

The only reason why it came out, because they didn't tight it enough. Probably figure tighten only. Be careful with damaged threads and stretch bolt hole. If that happened, the bolt will just come out again, when the engine is running and creating vibrations. Vibration is like micro impact wrench on bolts.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Just tighten that bolt using as little leverage as you can, and then give it another quarter of a turn. Maybe half a turn to be sure. I didn't use loctile. I used anti-seized instead. They tend to get rust over time. It had a lock washer, so no loctile was needed. Since, it came out on you. Loctite was needed and a good idea.

It is a small bolt so you don't want to over tighten it. My dad used to over-tighten everything and broke so many wheel studs doing that. They didn't break right away, but when they got stressed.

The only reason why it came out, because they didn't tight it enough. Probably figure tighten only. Be careful with damaged threads and stretch bolt hole. If that happened, the bolt will just come out again, when the engine is running and creating vibrations. Vibration is like micro impact wrench on bolts.
yea that it had a lock washer but still came out? had to go the loctite route. And I hear you on overtightening, its a good way to damage something - like an oil drain bolt (frequently read about that, maybe b/c many change oil on their vehicles etc)

Will see how it holds this winter.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I do have an Ariens account and created a 'case' online last week- posted the issue, uploaded the photos from post #1. Do others ever do that as well?

I did get a reply yesterday AM. Not sure this process is of any real use (?) but if a machine ends up damaged in the long run due to something faulty, at least its documented beforehand?

Technical Service Response

Sat, Jun 27 at 9:57 AM

thank you for writing into us today. It appears from the pictures you found where the missing bolt came from. As per the set up instructions this is not an area a dealer would normally look unless they hear something during the pre delivery inspection process. I will be sure to get this information over to our quality team to make sure they are aware of the issue and to mistake proof this for the future.

Thank you for being an Ariens Customer.

Travis

Technical Support
 

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Very interesting- I had that exact same screw come loose on my Deluxe 28, which I had bought new last fall.

I did not make a case with Ariens. I just blue Loctited the threads and tightened the screw.
 

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I do have an Ariens account and created a 'case' online last week- posted the issue, uploaded the photos from post #1. Do others ever do that as well?

I did get a reply yesterday AM. Not sure this process is of any real use (?) but if a machine ends up damaged in the long run due to something faulty, at least its documented beforehand?

Technical Service Response

Sat, Jun 27 at 9:57 AM

thank you for writing into us today. It appears from the pictures you found where the missing bolt came from. As per the set up instructions this is not an area a dealer would normally look unless they hear something during the pre delivery inspection process. I will be sure to get this information over to our quality team to make sure they are aware of the issue and to mistake proof this for the future.

Thank you for being an Ariens Customer.

Travis

Technical Support
typical response. not taking any responsibility and just hoping you'll be satisfied that they will make this mistake proof ( sure). They should have given you some kind of credit in the future.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
typical response. not taking any responsibility and just hoping you'll be satisfied that they will make this mistake proof ( sure). They should have given you some kind of credit in the future.
I created the case earlier in the week (Wed?). There were several days for them to 'respond' to it. The response came on Saturday AM? My first thought was, a delayed response hoping I was out for the day/weekend and the email would get buried by Monday AM in my inbox? The Saturday AM reply just seemed a bit strange. You cannot call Ariens on a weekend to my knowledge, so unclear why a reply would come on a Sat or Sun. Dunno. But for a $2000 machine......this should not have happened.
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
Very interesting- I had that exact same screw come loose on my Deluxe 28, which I had bought new last fall.

I did not make a case with Ariens. I just blue Loctited the threads and tightened the screw.
Hmmm...that is pretty interesting. You should drop Ariens a note about it. You can create an account on their site, its a little hokey to poke around there, but under Product Support you can create a 'case'.
 

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I have had people offer to pay me to inspect a brand new machine from the dealer. It would blow you away on what I find sometimes. It's sometimes bad coming from the dealer but the big box stores?????
forgetaboutit. youse r taking your life in your hands.
 
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