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I have an Ariens Deluxe 28 (921022) that i purchased new in 2011. Barely used it since i have an ATV with a plow and now a truck with a plow. Mostly for my sidewalks. This season i took it out of storage went to use it for the 1st time and i cannot get the wheels to lock at all. I have tried many different ways and still no dice. Pulled the bottom cover off and tried to adjust the cable but that seems to be engaging just fine. Can anyone shed some light on this?? The blower is worthless without both wheels locked!
 

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From service manual,

NOTE: The wheel lock will not release when under load.
Do not unlock the wheel while turning. If the wheel lock will not release, turn the unit slightly left or right to relieve
axle load and release the axle lock.
 

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Thanks, ill take another look at it. Still not 100% as to how it is supposed to lock correctly. I watched the videos (thanks) but I'm not sure he shows exactly how it locks. My cable is working it seems, but for some reason the left wheel isn't locking no matter what i do.
 

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The axle is split in two, one side is partially hollow, the other side inserts into the hollow hole and normally just rides in there not rotating. Where these two axles meet there are spline sets butted together...Normally these splines are LOCKED together (thus a locked axle). when the mechanism is pushed to one side, it releases a set of splines and the hollow axle rotates around the inserted axle allowing one wheel to turn freely while the other wheel is under power. If the splines do not align and the mechanism can't slide return under spring pressure to the locked position (locking of both spline sets), then you will not have a locked axle until this is corrected.
 

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Yes , your ratchet is not working, you need to check all the springs. Make sure the arm is moving in both directions, and if that all checks out you may have to disassemble, clean, lubricate, and reassemble. All of that needs to be working freely like in the video i posted.
 

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xjjeepman, I had (have) the same problem with mine. I squeeze the handle, unlock the wheels to make a really tight turn, then the axle remains unlocked and the machine is virtually unusable ... especially going up even the slightest incline.

I emptied my fluids then put my machine in the service position (on its face/nose) and pulled the plate. I didn't find anything definitive. It just seemed to be "sticking" a bit. I was limited to what I had on hand so i gave it a spray of silicone and put a few drops of 3-in-1 oil on the mechanism. I got it to work, so I put the cover back on and re-filled the gas and motor oil.

However, the very next snow storm, I got brave and unlocked the axle mid-way through clearing the neighborhood and it again refused to re-lock. I jiggled the heck out of the machine, worked the lever a few times and it re-locked so I could finish clearing.

I haven't touched it since. Next time I have it in the service position, I am going to hit the mechanism with brake parts cleaner to get rid of anything in the mechanism (old lubes, dirt, etc ... ) than I will re-lube with teflon spray and Remington's thin Rem Oil.

I'm hoping that will do it. My machine is 4 years old but only has about 25 hours on it. I don't think I should have to deal with something like this.
 

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xjjeepman, I don't think I should have to deal with something like this.
Apparently a lot of folks felt like this, that's why they went to auto-turn so you could have a whole new set of headaches to deal with.
There is an AT retrofit kit available for your machine. it's about $150.

Be known though, nothing tracks straighter than that setup you have (aside from a solid straight axle). So if you can live with muscling it around the 180 turns without unlocking (this is what i do), then you are good to go.
 

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"So if you can live with muscling it around the 180 turns without unlocking (this is what I do), then you are good to go."

I'll probably do this the rest of the season. With snow-covered surfaces, it usually isn't too bad ... even if the machine weighs 100lbs more than I do. :)
 

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There is a technique I use, works much better when there is about an 1" of hardpack coating the concrete or blacktop, But I can actually zero turn a full sized locked axle blower with ONE hand.

You have to put the machine in 2nd or third gear, stand astride the machine facing left to right. Place your hip up against the OUTside of the left handle, then use your left hand to actuate the drive clutch with enough downforce to slightly elevate the bucket while using your left hip to rotate the machine around the left wheel. Works great and with very low effort even for a lighter person. There is also a technique I use to do a reverse 90 using my hip on the INSIDE of the left handle while the machine is in reverse. Try it for yourself.
 

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I have the opposite problem with my Ariens wheel lock mechanism. I have a ST30LE Deluxe- 3 years old. The issue is that the wheel lock gear jumps out of engagement and the left wheel won't drive. I took off the bottom plate. I adjusted the wheel lock cable until it was very loose...no tension whatsoever. The two mechanism springs were both intact. The gear drive would go back in just fine, but would disengage as soon as it had any load on it. I fiddled for some time. I engaged the gears and tightened a hose clamp around the axle tight against the gear plate so that it couldn't kick out. I can now use the machine, but this is only a temporary fix....any suggestions or ideas why the gears disengaged under load?
 

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HillnGullyRider, yes, I have tried turning the machine while the wheels are turning ... and it requires less effort. If you time it right, it spins/snaps around quickly like you say. I'm a bit reluctant to do this in the tightest spaces, however, as I don't want to end up replacing sections of house siding. ;)

stonehouse, how is the spring that holds these pieces together? Some of the on-line vids suggest this thing is kinda weak to start with and wears out fast. If I can't get mine to behave itself with a thorough cleaning and re-lube, I will probably replace the spring.
 

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The spring still has a lot of thrust. I considered replacing it, but it looked like a royal pain to dismantle enough of the mechanism to get the spring out. I'm considering a visit to my local welding shop next summer and have them spot weld the gears together. I realize this would disable the whole option of disengaging the left wheel drive, but I never used that procedure anyway.
 

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I just had the same problem. Cable appeared to be stretched and the big spring at the end of the cable got really bent somehow. I replaced the whole cable which comes with the trigger, all the way down to the included spring. I also cleaned up the gears and gave a good spray with wd40 lubricant. Working perfectly again. The cable was $40 at my local ariens dealer. Also, note that the machine MUST be rolling in a straight line when engaging/disengaging the lock according to an email response I got from ariens.
 

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Yes, the cable correction kit comes complete with trigger and spring...This is definitely where I'd start first before taking apart the whole axle mechanism, but if the mechanism looks black and gummy, I would prepare to take it all apart and clean.
 

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Had the same problem and followed the directions posted here to tighten the spring. Very simple fix with the belly pan removed to verify proper function.
Thanks to all for the info.
 
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