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Hoping to tap the collective knowledge here. This winter I picked up a 1973/74 Ariens 8/24 that needs a little TLC and a tune up. I bought a carb kit for it, starter and plan to dig into it once the winter is over. There is one issue that does keep cropping up every time I take it out to clear my driveway: Moving along in any of the forward gears, if the machine loses momentum because the scraper blade momentarily hangs up on the apron of my driveway, or if the scoop catches on the frozen snow or curb, the drive wheels lock up. I have to quickly flip the clutch lever open or the engine will stall. When the drive wheels lock, the left-hand drive handle pulls itself against the grip and only releases when I flip the clutch lever. I am assuming, but not 100% sure, that the auger also seizes. Once I disengage the clutch, the drive lever on the handle pops back up and I can once again engage the clutch and continue on my way. This seems to happen more often in the higher gears. If I have the drive in 4th and am just motoring back up my (steep) driveway, the slightest bump, divot, etc. can easily cause the drive to lock in this method. If I'm not fast enough to disengage the clutch lever, the engine will stall - which restarts easily, but it's just a nuisance. Any thoughts on this?

A big hardy THANK YOU!
 

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Hmm... I've never seen that specific problem but can think of a few things that could cause it.

Most likely I'm thinking is a worn wheel axle and/or bearings causing problems with the drive gears.

Try lifting up on the handles with the machine stationary and the wheels sitting on the ground and try to get an idea how much "slop" there is in the axle - ie how much can you lift up the machine while the wheels remain in contact with the ground.

If it's a lot (like 1/8" or more) the axle bushings and/or the axle itself may be worn.

Otherwise if you're a bit mechanically inclined, tip the machine up (make sure the gas tank is empty or nearly so), take the cover off the bottom where the wheel drive is, and look for any rotating components that seem to have a lot of play in them, or anything else that's badly worn.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hmm... I've never seen that specific problem but can think of a few things that could cause it.

Most likely I'm thinking is a worn wheel axle and/or bearings causing problems with the drive gears.

Try lifting up on the handles with the machine stationary and the wheels sitting on the ground and try to get an idea how much "slop" there is in the axle - ie how much can you lift up the machine while the wheels remain in contact with the ground.

If it's a lot (like 1/8" or more) the axle bushings and/or the axle itself may be worn.

Otherwise if you're a bit mechanically inclined, tip the machine up (make sure the gas tank is empty or nearly so), take the cover off the bottom where the wheel drive is, and look for any rotating components that seem to have a lot of play in them, or anything else that's badly worn.
Thanks ELAW. I do plan on dedicating some time this spring to going through the machine and addressing what needs fixed. I'll check out the axle play first. Thanks for the tips.
 
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