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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
i have two early Ariens (as some of you may know). the first has a push/pull differential lock knob. i don't know what it does. looking at the broken down chassis, it just seems like the knob goes into one of three holes. what does that do? the wheels are bolted to the hub, so i don't see the point.

the second machine has the optional ratchet wheel kit (8-10M). i think tis has more to do with the tractor being used wirth other asttachments. i don't see how beneficial it really is to snowplowing. i don't even know how it works. apparently it makes it easier to turn in tight corners.

since i have one broken spring in the kit, and the parts for the kit are expensive and probably worth a decent amount on Ebay, is it recommended to remove the differential set-up and apply it to the other machine, and sell the ratchet parts?

i have a 2006 724 Ariens, and it has the wheel pin set-up, where you can allow one wheel to free spin to make turns easier. it's worked fine, don't see the need for the ratchet or differential.

would the swap be relatively painless?
 

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The one with the lock should have a differential, and an inner/outer axle arrangement such that the wheels are on different axles. On the lock side, both the inner and outer axles are present, and the lock locks them together, effectively locking the diff for more traction, but not much steering.

Can't help you on the rachet on, since I have never owned os seen one of those.
 

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Tadawson explained the one type with the hub lock pin for the differential on one side ..... The other type has a type of automatic differential on the inside of each hub, like my 10ML60D, called a ratchet wheel hub. These units when working , as mine is, are flawless traction and spins on a dime.
 

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Not in my opinion ... those spring units are of a certain tinsel strength, specific size, etc.....

You have searched on-line for a replacement with no luck? I would surmise they would be out there somewhere for purchase.

BTW, that friction disc does not look to good, might consider replacing it before use, and I would also do some cleaning up of all the parts, and give it a good lube before reassembly.
 

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You can do a search for .....

" Ariens 10M-L60 won't move "

Its like from 2015, but explains that setup pretty good .....
 

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A quick look brought up this place for that spring at $1.71 ... at that price, they could be getting after market, as that is about what the material is worth, as it is the crucial bends making it worth anything ... I would give them a call, worth looking into ....

 

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Discussion Starter #10
Not in my opinion ... those spring units are of a certain tinsel strength, specific size, etc.....

You have searched on-line for a replacement with no luck? I would surmise they would be out there somewhere for purchase.

BTW, that friction disc does not look to good, might consider replacing it before use, and I would also do some cleaning up of all the parts, and give it a good lube before reassembly.
seen a couple of used springs in the $40-60 range. haven't found a source for new ones yet. i see your note below. i'll call them; no picture, not sure it is the same.

friction disc: you mean the item with 4 notches? probably could use a scraping.
 

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The friction disc is the circular metal with the rubber bonded to it ... the drive plate is what the friction disc comes in contact with to initiate the drive sequence.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
The friction disc is the circular metal with the rubber bonded to it ... the drive plate is what the friction disc comes in contact with to initiate the drive sequence.
Sorry, too many terms! I thought we were still talking about the ratchet wheels.
 

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" friction disc: you mean the item with 4 notches? probably could use a scraping. "

I was responding to your posted question.

I'll refrain from trying to assist in explaining things to you.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
help away! i was just concentrating on the spring, and
" friction disc: you mean the item with 4 notches? probably could use a scraping. "

I was responding to your posted question.

I'll refrain from trying to assist in explaining things to you.
help away! i was focused on friction spring. when you mentioned friction wheel, i thought you were referring to something with the ratchet wheel kit. you jumped from the wheels to the transmission.
 

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rw,

Let me know how you make out on that spring, I may order a couple if its the right one, just to have on hand in case I need in the future.

Inquire on the shipping as well, as I really doubt they will charge you over 4x the price to ship that little item. There must be an exception.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
ok, i've made an executive decision. i will swap the differential axle into the current ratchet set up. having a moment undoing the diff. axle. i roved the roll pin on the non-diff. side. removed the diff. lock knob pin. did not pry the knob off. should the axle separate at the diff. gear? i can rotate the two axle side in opposition. not coming apart yet.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
rw,

Let me know how you make out on that spring, I may order a couple if its the right one, just to have on hand in case I need in the future.

Inquire on the shipping as well, as I really doubt they will charge you over 4x the price to ship that little item. There must be an exception.
haven't found any. NLA.
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
ok, opened up both ratchet sides. one had nothing in it except for the woodruff key (as expected, PO gave me the other parts). opened the good side. took pics. full of grease. saw how things go. measured axle diameter between the two machines. ratchet was wider than differential axle. thinking twice about the swap. would rather locate a few springs and keep the more robust set up. was also successful in pulling apart the other axle, so now know how to do that.
 

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The Ratcheting wheel was the earliest form of todays autoturn. It had problems and failed very often so they did away with it and added a locking hub for the differential instead. My buddy had one of those in nice shape that worked, it was cool and innovative, its too bad it had problems and didn't come back for another 50 years. That next locking hub style for the differential was around 40+ years before they finally came out with autoturn that they have now. Those are for all the ones that have a differential inside on the axle. Early on if you wanted to use an attachment like the rotary mower, you would have needed to have that two piece axle with the differential and locking hub, without it, if you tried to turn you would tear up your lawn. Its also used on the snowblower for one and two wheel drive, when thats locked you have both wheels turning, giving you maximum traction in snow to plow forward, when its unlocked you have one wheel drive and can turn and maneuver the machine easily. Normally in winter while removing snow, I have that thing locked at all times. I only unlock it when I have the engine off and am rolling the machine around making it easy for transport. Its also unlocked when I have my rotary mower attachment hooked up.
They also made Sno-Thro's with a single one piece axle back than, it had no differential or locking hub, it rolled in two wheel drive at all times and thats it. Those were fine if you were only using the machine as a snowblower and didn't want the ease of turning when needed.
 

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I would have been better off with the solid 1 piece axle machines. Here are the many ways those differential locking hubs have failed on me with a Predator 212 and tire chains under commercial use. This is happening with a 212 mind you and people talk of putting 301's and 420's on their machines. Good luck with that, my machines are taking a beating just with a 212 and have more than enough power, its always the same things that break over and over, the lever engagement spring, the differential lock roll pin holding it on, after that the belt and skid shoes. Now I use those thick cast Iron commercial skid shoes, I have spare belts, springs and shear bolts, my friction disks probably have one more winter on them before they need changing again, everything else, at the core of these machines are fine, they were built well, aside from me bending up my impellers and one of my handles finally snapping after 50 years, all which I just finished replacing, these machines hold up well out their, tough, well built solid machines, they put other blowers in their place when their around. But I wonder how much worse that would get with a 301 or 420, engines far too heavy and powerful to ever be intended to be dropped onto these machines. The most common issue is the roll pin that holds that lock to the hub snaps like a tooth pick. It happens so often I picked up a box of solid clevis pins at harbor freight. They still break on a constant basis. I am always prepared with my tire Iron, roll pin punch and mallet. With the solid one piece axle I wouldn't have to worry about the locking hub breaking or breaking off like it does. I use the machines in snow locked all the time anyway, I don't use that rotary mower attachment anymore and If I did I would keep a unit with a differential around for it and the only time I do unlock them is for transport. I could have just turned the engines on for transport, the benefit of the manuevarabilty that thing gives for me isn't needed, they break too often and cause me too much trouble. The little bit that I roll these units around, I could have just muscled them to where they need to go and avoid the troubles of that differential hub breaking all the time. I wonder if you can swap the one piece axles in on these, you probably could, I would actually benefit from the one piece axle, less down time putting that hub back on. Something to think about. If your using these machines heavily with a repowered engine like a 212 and tire chains, your better off with the solid 1 piece axle, trust me from my experience with them.
 

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