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Discussion Starter #1
I bought an Ariens 921030 28" Deluxe 254cc blower a few years ago and the previous winter when the machine was under a decent load from wet heavy snow at the end of the street, it was blowing oil out from somewhere. I could not locate the leak as it only happens while I'm moving and under load from what I can tell, and can't really replicate the situation at the moment because of lack of snow. It kind of happened at the end of the last storm of the season at night so I put her away until I got a nice day to really look at it, anddddd here I am 8 months later haha. It almost seemed like it was coming from below the engine inside the housing where the gearcase is and such. Again, I couldn't really tell though at the time, I just saw a trail of engine oil whenever I put it under a decent load and seemed like it was leaking from somewhere onto the inside of the housing and just dripping out wherever it could. I popped open that access cover or whatever at the back/under of the machine to look inside real quick and saw nothing obvious that would point to where the leak would be coming from. Has anyone ever heard of this issue on these specific machines or can offer any insight as to what to check out? Thanks!
 

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If the fluid is red it is from the gearcase usually a bad gasket. As you mention sounds like an oil leak, I would warm it up for about 15 minutes put a piece of white paper or a piece of cardboard under it with a good LED light try to see if you can find the source. The oil is probably leaking from somewhere else onto the undershield/belly pan. I assume the oil drain plug and tube are tight. Have you switched from conventional oil to synthetic recently? Someone with more mechanical experience should be weighing in soon enough. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
If the fluid is red it is from the gearcase usually a bad gasket. As you mention sounds like an oil leak, I would warm it up for about 15 minutes put a piece of white paper or a piece of cardboard under it with a good LED light try to see if you can find the source. The oil is probably leaking from somewhere else onto the undershield/belly pan. I assume the oil drain plug and tube are tight. Have you switched from conventional oil to synthetic recently? Someone with more mechanical experience should be weighing in soon enough. Good luck.
It occurred at night so I was not able to see so PERFECTLY, but I'm 99% sure it was engine oil as it was the standard dark brown I was seeing in the snow, as opposed to a red-ish that you would see from some gear oil. Machine can't have more than 30 hours on it so the gear fluid would still be fairly new looking I assume and would be distinguishable from engine oil. It sucks because when it's under load it would leak, but when I just sat there idling nothing would happen and I would see maybe a drop or two of residual oil in the snow afterwards if anything, and nothing more and was just stumped. so I feel like I'm going to have a heck of a time trying to find the issue because it seems like it only happens when it is under load. I'll have to take a look at it again as I only tried checking it out after it initially happened basically in the dark, and my first thought was that I blew the gearbox up like you mentioned until looked at it with a light and realized that it was engine oil all over the place. Figured I would pop in here and see if I can get some preliminary tips/ideas before I dive into it further tomorrow to give me a head start.

Oh and I'm pretty sure I am running synthetic in it but I'll double check what I use, I know I use Mobil and pretty sure I went synthetic from the beginning from the first oil change after break-in.
 

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I’d suggest to try tightening the oil drain tube. Many times this gets loosened during an oil change. To do this, clamp a pair of Vice Grip pliers onto the tube and rotate clockwise to see if it will tighten. If that solves the problem, then the next time you change the oil put the Vice Grips on the tube to hold it securely before attempting to loosen the nut on the oil drain.

The tube could be ever so slightly loose that it doesn’t leak when parked but leaks under load. Also check the oil level to be sure not overfilled.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I’d suggest to try tightening the oil drain tube. Many times this gets loosened during an oil change. To do this, clamp a pair of Vice Grip pliers onto the tube and rotate clockwise to see if it will tighten. If that solves the problem, then the next time you change the oil put the Vice Grips on the tube to hold it securely before attempting to loosen the nut on the oil drain.

The tube could be ever so slightly loose that it doesn’t leak when parked but leaks under load. Also check the oil level to be sure not overfilled.
Ill check but I always hold back on that tube with a wrench to stop it from spinning and make sure it stayed tight after I am done, and that is more externally located and there was no oil on the top of the housing, it was more from inside it. Also I did the oil change at the beginning of last season and ran it through a couple of storms with no issue, just kind of popped up out of nowhere towards the end of my last run with it last season. Idk if there is some kind of a breather on the crankcase that it was blowing out of maybe? But then if that was the case I would think the breather would have to be plugged up or frozen to build up crank pressure in which case oil wouldn't be able to come out of it. This may come down to a fix I may have to do on the fly when the first storm comes through here unless I can find something obvious with it just running at idle tomorrow when I inspect it :icon-shrug:
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Have you resolved this issue? My neighbor had this exact problem last winter and also let it sit until now lol.
The only thing I was able to find was on the right side of the engine there is an oil fill/level check black plastic plug which was loose about a turn and a half. I assume there is some sort of oring on it to seal it, so I’m hoping that when the blower is under heavy load the pressure build up in the case was pushing oil passed the seal on it because it was loose. I’m not going to be able to test it until it snows though and can put it under load but I went over the whole machine and that was the only thing that even remotely made sense, so I’m hoping it will resolve it.
(I’ve never touched this plug before as I drain the oil from the plug at the rear of the machine and fill through the dipstick, which is why I never even noticed this plug until I looked over everything)
 

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I had exactly the same problem last winter, a stream of oil on the ground when blowing snow. I put the snow blower away last winter without finding the source of the leak. I started the blower today, ran it up and down the driveway until it was fully warmed up, in different gears, with and without the auger turning. The blower must have healed itself because I don't have any leaks now. The only difference now is that I don't have a load on the auger but there is no residual oil around the auger shaft.
 
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