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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,
I'm interested in an ST1032, 924073 for sale in my area. It's a bit of a haul to go and look at, so I'm hoping someone here can explain the differential that is on this beast.

I'd like the machine to be usable by my, not very large, wife if possible so being able to turn easily is a significant plus.

So, do they have a "car type" differential that can be locked for extra traction? Do they have an arrangement that simply disconnects one wheel? Can it be controlled while the machine is operating?

Any other comments about this machine?

Thanks,
Doug
 

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Check the manual for the machine to see if that model # has a differential.

Ariens Order Owners Manuals

I had an ST824, my particular model did have a differential. It was great. Yes, like a car. Unlock it, and you could easily swivel the machine in place. It's still 2-wheel drive, just that it's an open differential. (much better than the systems that either lock both wheels together, or disengage the transmission entirely from 1 wheel, turning it into 1-wheel drive)

Lock it for more traction, and you had to skid a tire to drag it around during a turn.

The differential makes these much easier to handle. However, you must stop it and spin a knob on the left wheel to engage/lock the differential. You cannot do it on-the-fly while blowing.

With that said, a 1032 is going to be something of a beast, even with a differential. That's a big machine.
 

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Yea, the old ones had the locking up on the left wheel. It was basically just a pin on a spring that pushed through and locked the 2 piece axle together. When unlocked it was an open differential just like a car. Can turn them super easy with one hand, but if you are on ice or maybe have 1 wheel in grass and 1 wheel on the driveway you will find that the wheel with little traction will just spin while the other remains stationary.

The other issue would be with really frozen and icy snow. If you are trying to take a half a bucket width you might find that the ice keeps dragging that side of the bucket over.

That said, they are simple and the 2 I have work great.

Newer models (maybe 10 years ago or so) moved the lockout to a switch on the handle bars. The newest models (last 4 years or so) have moved on to an automatic system.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the info. I did look at the manual, but I wasn't 100% clear what it meant by a "differential". I know what I mean by the word, but I've also heard it used to describe one-wheel drive...

I'm not convinced, even with the diff, that this machine isn't just going to be a bit more size/mass than I want to wrestle around. I think the snowblower is more than twice my weight! (I'm 145#)

Doug
 

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Thanks for the info. I did look at the manual, but I wasn't 100% clear what it meant by a "differential". I know what I mean by the word, but I've also heard it used to describe one-wheel drive...

I'm not convinced, even with the diff, that this machine isn't just going to be a bit more size/mass than I want to wrestle around. I think the snowblower is more than twice my weight! (I'm 145#)

Doug
I have one and out of the 3 I have, the 2 others being an old 5/23 noma and a noma 10/29, the ariens 10/32 with the diff handles the easiest. but I'm 185 ... The little 5/23 bucks around a lot because it's narrow, the 10/29 is flimsy and gets caught up on edge ice easily, the ariens 10/32 does both of these the least, so you may have to grunt less over the whole task with the 10/32 IMHO
 

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Discussion Starter #6
How practical would it be to modify an earlier model to have the diff lockout control on the handlebars? Is that axle/diff very similar and a few parts would have to be purchased, or are there significant changes to the basic design.
Doug
 

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For the style where the differential being open/locked is controlled by a pin on the left-hand wheel, I think it would be quite difficult to control this from the handlebars.

That pin is on the outside face of the wheel, facing away from the machine. You need to drop a pin into a hole, or pull it out. But to actually lock the two wheels together, you drop the pin into a hole, then pivot the machine until this pin lines up with, and drops into, a second hole.

So even if you could pull/release the pin from the bars (very difficult, give when it's located), you still need to turn the machine somewhat to finish locking up the differential.

Maybe you could make some extra holes, to provide more places for the pin to engage. But pulling/releasing it would be quite a challenge, unless you could move that interaction to somewhere else on the machine, someplace where you could mount a cable, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Ok, it sounds like there's some sort of inner and outer shaft arrangement. I should probably stare at an exploded drawing for a bit...

thanks
Doug
 

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Originally from here:
http://www.abbysguide.com/ope/discussions/59860-0-1.html







Here is the lock:




The short shaft slides over the long shaft. The gear with the differential gears inside of it is splined to both shafts. The lockout hub is pinned to the long axle and sticks out past the short axle. When you engage the lock a pin sticks out of the lockout and engages a hole in the short shaft hub. When that happens you essentially have both axles pinned together as one.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Nice set of pictures. Thanks. That explains the way the diff lock on the wheel works, and also explains why a modification to cable controlled isn't trivial!

Doug
 
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