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Does anyone know why after 40-50 years Ariens began putting in supports like the one shown in the photo? Is there any benefit to update an older machine by adding a similar bracket?
 

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Gearcase support

I can't say I know the reason but I suspect I know the possibles. On some older machines like Ropers the had an auger axel shaft that does not go full width in the auger housing. The shaft only went down about half way down the rake and the end of the rake was secured to the auger housing by a bearing with a stub that fit in the end of the auger rake.

The brace appeared to stabilize the gearcase so that it didn't rise or lower in the auger housing when in use against heavy snow. It's possible Ariens is doing it for the same reason.

Here's a shot of a Dynamark that has the same type brace and I'd guess it's from back in the 70's or so.
 

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