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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am original owner of a 1972 Ariens 724 Sno-Thro machine. I recently got some valuable help from a couple forum members regarding replacement of auger shaft bushings. Now I'd like to pass along a tip that might help owners of just about any type snowblower. For that matter, just about any small engine. Older machines such as mine often have many fasteners which have a Philips head or slotted head. Better fastener heads have come into use in the ensuing years such as Allen head and Torx head.

I have needed to remove the muffler on the Tecumseh engine of my Ariens more than a few times for various reasons.
The heads of the original Philips bolts were getting buggered up and I decided to upgrade to Allen head cap screws.
I found some at Lowe's that worked perfectly. The original bolts are 5/16" x 18. The long one is 2" and the short one is
3/4". I bought a package with two 2" bolts and cut one down with a hacksaw. When I do this I always run a nut further onto the bolt so after it's been cut, the nut can be backed off and it cleans up the threads disrupted by the hacksaw. I finish up the job with a hand file to get rid of sharp edges.

The latest reason to remove the muffler was to replace the gasket. It had developed a crack which allowed leaking exhaust gas to make loud noises. Given that the factory gasket failed, I decided to upgrade the material. I found Mr. Gasket Ultra Seal wire mesh reinforced exhaust gasket material at Advance Auto. It is also available on Amazon and Autozone. It comes in a 10" x 10" sheet so there's plenty left over to make other gaskets for anything else you might need it for. I made a template from cereal box cardboard and cut the gasket with tin snips. I drilled a large hole for the exhaust port with a hole saw and finished to exact dimension with a large round file while the gasket was clamped in a vise. I drilled the holes for the bolts on the drill press. Drilling works best when the gasket is backed up with a block of scrap wood underneath. I coat the gasket with a thin application of Nevr-Seez to ensure it will seal well and come off without sticking should disassembly be required. This gasket material is very tough stuff and requires patience to work with it.

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Left to right, original 5/16" x 18 x 2" Philips machine bolt, same with Allen head, self made exhaust gasket (yeah, it's not perfect but it seals ok) , 5/16" x 18 x 3/4" Allen head bolt and same thing w/ Philips.

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Muffler attached with new Allen cap screws. The head of the shorter one is just visible below the governor
spring upper right corner of muffler. Much easier to install, tighten and remove than the original Philips head
bolts.
 

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I have been doing that for a while now, as most people round of the Phillips head using the wrong size screwdriver. Hex head bolts (cap head screws) have been around awhile now. I have also used the smaller Torx bolts (cap head screws), especially for the heater box, where those 2 little carb bracket screws are always missing or damaged.

I forget what it was I dismantled and discarded, but I saved all the different size cap screws from it before tossing.

FWIW, that machine will work a lot better if you replace those lawn tires and put on some snow XTrac style.

I still have my father's blower, A Yardman 7101, with a 7HP Tecumseh, with the manual primer like that ...... rarely see them anymore.
 

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I am original owner of a 1972 Ariens 724 Sno-Thro machine. I recently got some valuable help from a couple forum members regarding replacement of auger shaft bushings. Now I'd like to pass along a tip that might help owners of just about any type snowblower. For that matter, just about any small engine. Older machines such as mine often have many fasteners which have a Philips head or slotted head. Better fastener heads have come into use in the ensuing years such as Allen head and Torx head.

I have needed to remove the muffler on the Tecumseh engine of my Ariens more than a few times for various reasons.
The heads of the original Philips bolts were getting buggered up and I decided to upgrade to Allen head cap screws.
I found some at Lowe's that worked perfectly. The original bolts are 5/16" x 18. The long one is 2" and the short one is
3/4". I bought a package with two 2" bolts and cut one down with a hacksaw. When I do this I always run a nut further onto the bolt so after it's been cut, the nut can be backed off and it cleans up the threads disrupted by the hacksaw. I finish up the job with a hand file to get rid of sharp edges.

The latest reason to remove the muffler was to replace the gasket. It had developed a crack which allowed leaking exhaust gas to make loud noises. Given that the factory gasket failed, I decided to upgrade the material. I found Mr. Gasket Ultra Seal wire mesh reinforced exhaust gasket material at Advance Auto. It is also available on Amazon and Autozone. It comes in a 10" x 10" sheet so there's plenty left over to make other gaskets for anything else you might need it for. I made a template from cereal box cardboard and cut the gasket with tin snips. I drilled a large hole for the exhaust port with a hole saw and finished to exact dimension with a large round file while the gasket was clamped in a vise. I drilled the holes for the bolts on the drill press. Drilling works best when the gasket is backed up with a block of scrap wood underneath. I coat the gasket with a thin application of Nevr-Seez to ensure it will seal well and come off without sticking should disassembly be required. This gasket material is very tough stuff and requires patience to work with it.

View attachment 196456

Left to right, original 5/16" x 18 x 2" Philips machine bolt, same with Allen head, self made exhaust gasket (yeah, it's not perfect but it seals ok) , 5/16" x 18 x 3/4" Allen head bolt and same thing w/ Philips.

View attachment 196457

Muffler attached with new Allen cap screws. The head of the shorter one is just visible below the governor
spring upper right corner of muffler. Much easier to install, tighten and remove than the original Philips head
bolts.
congrats on being an original owner of a classic Ariens and keeping it in great shape.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
If you use stainless steel cap screws, you won't get rust on the fastener. Heat tends to oxidize normal steel over time. Possibly because it burns off any protective oils.
I use stainless fasteners everywhere I can mostly on car exhaust systems. For my Ariens 724 Sno-Thro muffler I've found
that using Nevr-Seez on the threads of these steel bolts keeps them lubed enough to remove easily. I think stainless cap bolts like these muffler bolts are hard to find but more power to you if you found some.
 
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