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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I bought a used Compact 24 (mint) and the engine has no compression so I did a swap. Today I was curious why this mint 9.5 lbs. tq. engine bit the dust. Now I know. I pulled it apart and the rod was broke clean off and the crank is damaged a little but the oil was clean as a whistle. Did the rod just fatigue? everything inside this engine looks like brand new, the block had a small hole that easily fixed but dang is a rod and crank expensive so it looks like a parts engine for my kids 24. This Ariens had only been used 6 times and the guy said it just shut off and he had not used it in a few years. I think it's time these engines have steel rods and bearing inserts to get rid of the breakage problem. I know my buddies that race who used aluminum rods said they are just a cycle life away from blowing up.
 

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I bought a used Compact 24 (mint) and the engine has no compression so I did a swap. Today I was curious why this mint 9.5 lbs. tq. engine bit the dust. Now I know. I pulled it apart and the rod was broke clean off and the crank is damaged a little but the oil was clean as a whistle. Did the rod just fatigue? everything inside this engine looks like brand new, the block had a small hole that easily fixed but dang is a rod and crank expensive so it looks like a parts engine for my kids 24. This Ariens had only been used 6 times and the guy said it just shut off and he had not used it in a few years. I think it's time these engines have steel rods and bearing inserts to get rid of the breakage problem. I know my buddies that race who used aluminum rods said they are just a cycle life away from blowing up.
Is it possible the previous owner had an impeller jam? I could see the rod snapping if it had a nice new belt under tension. You may want to scout that bucket for signs of an obstacle jam.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Is it possible the previous owner had an impeller jam? I could see the rod snapping if it had a nice new belt under tension. You may want to scout that bucket for signs of an obstacle jam.
This thing is so clean and it looks like it came off the show floor, no signs of damage or obstructions at all. Good news after the 3.5hr. break in on the HF engine the 24 runs great and plows snow as good as the one I gave my Son.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
A picture might help... maybe it was just a bad rod. Or...

Is it possible it ran out of the 'starter' break-in oil and the guy re-filled it after the fact hoping for the best?
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Here is a picture, there was a small hole at the top of the block. Except for the broken rod and bad crank journal everything else was mint on this engine, it's too bad new parts make it too expensive to fix so I'll part this engine out.
 

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View attachment 190461

Here is a picture, there was a small hole at the top of the block. Except for the broken rod and bad crank journal everything else was mint on this engine, it's too bad new parts make it too expensive to fix so I'll part this engine out.


The Ariens Storm Force engine uses a plastic cam?
 

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1979 (or so) Toro 724 (38050) and 2018 Ariens Platinum 24
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Bad crank journal, or just aluminum contaminated, and in need of cleaning? Aluminum rods really don't have the hardness to damage a crank . . . You could probably repair that with just a rod for reasonable cost.

In any case, if the crank has residue from a galled rod, that kinda screams "lube failure" or defective part.
 

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Here is a complete teardown of the Harbor Freight engine I used in my engine swap.


It uses some plastic gears in it. I would think that the plastic gears would be much softer than metal, so if one did break, it shouldn't damage anything, right ?
 

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Here is a complete teardown of the Harbor Freight engine I used in my engine swap.


It uses some plastic gears in it. I would think that the plastic gears would be much softer than metal, so if one did break, it shouldn't damage anything, right ?

I'm not sure where the plastic gears you're talking about are as I skipped through real quick but I'm going to guess governor and oil pumps?

That's not the same as driving the cam in my opinion. Not even close.
Nylon gears can be incredibly strong and they work in many applications including automotive.
But I still prefer metal for a cam and it's drive components.

I'm pretty sure my Honda GCV uses a plastic single lobe cam and I've never been exactly thrilled about it.
 

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Yes, I did mean the governor and oil pump. I know it's not the same as a cam being driven by a plastic gear but they are plastic gears non the less and can break & end up in places nobody wants. Not sure if they could cause catastrophic damage or not. Hope not. I looked into a Briggs & Stratton of the same 13 hp & up to 16 hp, they were $1300 - $1900 & the person laughed & said good luck finding one in stock. That video is what sold me on the "Harbor Freight tune up". He does that stuff every day & he was impressed. I caught it on sale for $429.99 & got the 2 yr replacement warranty for $100. I could buy 2-4 of the HF engines for the price of 1 Briggs. We are on a fixed income now, so prices matter a lot for us.
 

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Yes, I did mean the governor and oil pump. I know it's not the same as a cam being driven by a plastic gear but they are plastic gears non the less and can break & end up in places nobody wants. Not sure if they could cause catastrophic damage or not. Hope not. I looked into a Briggs & Stratton of the same 13 hp & up to 16 hp, they were $1300 - $1900 & the person laughed & said good luck finding one in stock. That video is what sold me on the "Harbor Freight tune up". He does that stuff every day & he was impressed. I caught it on sale for $429.99 & got the 2 yr replacement warranty for $100. I could buy 2-4 of the HF engines for the price of 1 Briggs. We are on a fixed income now, so prices matter a lot for us.
I bought the predator 420 after using several Honda GX engines followed by using a clone and being amazed how well it ran.
 
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