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Discussion Starter #1
Ariens repositioned the wheel shaft since 2016 I think. Models with grey metallic wheels have repositioned wheel shaft to reduce weight on the bucket. It was done because many complained about the Auto turn reaction. Do someone tried old models and newer ones with repositioned shaft and tell me if there's a big difference with Auto turn reaction ? My brother has an older SHO Platinum 30 and moved my newer SHO 30 model. He felt the bucket was light. As I had it in late spring, I couldn't tell him if it was problem with hard packed snow.
 

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Ariens repositioned the wheel shaft since 2016 I think. Models with grey metallic wheels have repositioned wheel shaft to reduce weight on the bucket. It was done because many complained about the Auto turn reaction. Do someone tried old models and newer ones with repositioned shaft and tell me if there's a big difference with Auto turn reaction ? My brother has an older SHO Platinum 30 and moved my newer SHO 30 model. He felt the bucket was light. As I had it in late spring, I couldn't tell him if it was problem with hard packed snow.
The drive axle was repositioned forward for the model year 2017, so machines built in the fall of 2016. @sscotsman has a page in his website that describes the changes in Ariens models by model year. Here is what he says in part for the 2017 model year:

"Update on the Auto-Turn situation:
Ariens first introduced Auto-Turn for the 2014 model year. For the first three model years there were issues with it's performance, then Ariens moved the axle position, which fixed the problem. From a snowblowerforum.com thread:

Generally it wasnt very good on the first-year models with Auto-Turn, which was 2014. People did have a lot of issues with it, with the machine being skittish and trying to turn when it shouldn't..it could be improved with different skids..then Ariens did move the axle to fix the problem.

Year 1 of Auto-Turn: 2014 model year, machines sold Autumn 2013 - original axle position.
Year 2 of Auto-Turn: 2015 model year, machines sold Autumn 2014 - original axle position.
Year 3 of Auto-Turn: 2016 model year, machines sold Autumn 2015 - original axle position.
Year 4 of Auto-Turn: 2017 model year, machines sold Autumn 2016 - new, corrected axle position.
Year 5 of Auto-Turn: 2018 model year, machines sold Autumn 2017 - new, corrected axle position."

People have commented that this change is a big success, especially with steel skid shoes.

You can find this information in a link titled "Page 9 modern Ariens snowblowers 2005 to today" in this site: https://scotlawrence.github.io/ariens/index.html

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
As always, great informations. I went to see the 2013 pro 28. The B&S 420CC amaze me because it is really Smooooooth. No vibration at all at full throttle.
The 414 LCT is not a champion about vibration and noise. My motor has some vibration at full throttle and my brother's snowblower with an AX414 is doing the same thing. I read that B&S 420CC are smooth and they are really. I would say even more than a Honda GX390.
 

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I have the original location glad I do
my driveway isn't great
poly skids
tire pressure set
adjust scrapper
its laser straight right down the side of the cars or house
turns on a dime
28 inch 414 motor
love the downforce
my 414 is smooth and quiet 3800 rpm plus
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
The 414 can be considered smooth. The GX390 smoother but the 420 is ultra smooth. You must try both to feel the difference. My 414 is also adjusted near 3800 RPM. Anyway, I would also like the 414 with better muffler. I remember my B&S 305 CC had a little add on end pipe going down. This made a good difference about noise with or without it. I 'll do a fitting like this to try if it do the job on the 414.
 

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The B&S 420 is fairly smooth for a big single cylinder, but it's not insanely smooth or anything. And at high RPM, especially under load, it's pretty loud. It does make great power though.
 

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my 414cc is quiter then both my 10 hp and 8 hp tech flatties also the oh358cc 13 hp
sounds like splitting hairs to me
 

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No vibration through the handlebars on my engine at 3,925 rpm or any lower speed. No vibration when the 6 blade impeller is engaged driving at 1,447 rpm. I like the Ariens and the LCT engine. Tecumseh 8 hp and 11 hp are not as smooth. My only experience with Honda engines is a 4 hp OHC, a GC something, a long time ago. It was a terrible engine with no power compared to the 3.5 hp side valve B&S that it replaced. Never looked at Honda since. Someone posted a review of GC versus GX here a short time ago and the differences are negligible.
 

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Yes, Ariens moved the wheels forward to help the auto turn. Doing so made the machine too light in the front causing it to climb forcing Ariens to find another fix and indeed they did. They sell a weight kit that bolts onto the front of the thing.......new machines even have pre-drilled holes to accommodate the added weight.

I bought a 25# SS bar on Ebay which a I mounted onto the front of my 28 Pro. Seems to make things better. Nothing in my humble opinion can compare to true differential, one designed with seals to keep the melted snow out of it along with zerk fittings for lubrication
 

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I second foggysail above regarding a differential. Yes, nothing compares to a true differential, and certainly not what ariens dares to call an "automatic differential", which is actually a bi-directional Sprag clutch. Autoturn is also just another kind of clutch. A differential is always smooth with no sudden engagement or disengagement, torque is transmitted continuously, in fact you don't feel it working. Must be the reason all cars & trucks in the world use them...


I wish there was an aftermarket company that offered a replacement "True Differential" that we could retrofit to our machines.


As foggysail wrote, it should be sealed. Additionally, I would want it to be filled with highly viscous grease, so that it has some limited-slip characteristic.
 

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The 924 series had more of a true differential but the reason they put a lock is when one tire is in snow and the other is on ice the one tire just spins and you go nowhere until you reach down and lock it. The autoturn was there attempt at keeping the diff but more of a limited slip variant Or semi locked so you won’t slip one tire but still able to turn it without having to reach down to lock or unlock the diff.
 

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An open differential on a snowblower is totally useless as @Dauntae suggests when real differences in snow conditions exist as in the real world. My 1974 Canadiana 8/26 had an open differential that was only open for a short time before I locked it out with the control feature because it had no drive in most real world situations. Chains helped with the turf tires but not adequate and a very lumpy ride that I hated for 30 years. It was better to have a locked drive and struggle with turning. My 2004 Craftsman with triggers was also useless fumbling to use the triggers with mitts is no fun at all but modern tires helped a lot with traction so no chains. I found it better to just muscle the machine around.

Whatever the technical description of the Ariens AutoTurn differential it is actually a true operational differential. Both wheels drive equally at the same time regardless of the snow/ice conditions and load on the bucket. The upgraded snow tires help a lot too. When you want to turn the machine turns very easily right or left or a complete 360 degrees with no effort at all. There may be some clicking during a turn but who cares compared to a fully locked differential that is almost impossible to turn at all. Differentials used in autos cannot be compared to snowblowers since the operating conditions are completely different.

The Ariens with AutoTurn and their plastic skid shoes had no problems at all with AutoTurn but those with steel skid shoes did exhibit a squirrely straight line drive under some conditions (I tried them briefly to confirm). The obvious solution was for Ariens to make the plastic skid shoes stock and the steel ones optional. Instead Ariens chose the more complex solution of re-engineering the weight balance like the Pro machines that had no problems with a squirrely drive or riding up on snow. The weight kit has been available for a long time before 2017 models for those interested in a heavier feel to the bucket. Ariens AutoTurn customers are very happy with the Ariens re-balancing and have commented on this forum in numbers. So you can fit steel skid shoes or plastic skid shoes to your 2017 and up model and be delighted with the best differential system on the market. Much better than triggers which I have used too, much better than manually locking differentials that demand constant attention in most conditions where turning and real world snow conditions are prevalent.
 

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The weight kit has been available for a long time before 2017 models for those interested in a heavier feel to the bucket.
I've got a 921028. It's a 24" Deluxe Platinum with Auto Turn. Have the composition skids that help considerably.

Wondering if adding a10# weight bar is worth the money in better control?
 

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I've got a 921028. It's a 24" Deluxe Platinum with Auto Turn. Have the composition skids that help considerably.

Wondering if adding a10# weight bar is worth the money in better control?
I have not tried adding extra weight to the bucket. From the reports of others a 10 lbs kit is not usually enough and 20 lbs is more likely to keep the bucket down.

I like a heavier bucket feel that helps keep the bucket down under some conditions and my machine seems to have enough weight for me. An alternative to adding extra weight is to lift the handles a little under the conditions causing the front end to lift a little. The problem with extra weight on the bucket is lifting the bucket can get tiring when blowing for a long time, depending on age and related muscle function.

Since the Ariens 10 lbs weight bar kit is expensive in Canada and you may need 2 kits for a noticeable improvement, I would try adding some cheap weight lifting circular weights of 5 lbs or 10 lbs to each side of the top of the bucket where the Ariens weight bar kit holes are located. If that works for you then you can get a custom kit made for less.

Just my opinion.
 

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Any tire on ice never produces great traction, so the problem with an open differential comes down to lack of traction from the tires.
The standard solution to this is of course is chains, or ice screws (studs).
However, if the differential is viscous-damped the wheel that is not on ice will still have some torque and will be able to make the machine move, at a slower speed until the other wheel regains traction.
 
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