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This ratchet lever has nothing to do with cable or tension. All it does is lock your auger handle down when you are driving machine and want to adjust chute when the machine is moving.

if you have no tension on either handle the problem is down below in the tensioner. Remove belt cover and inspect the cable ends down there and where the tensioner springs connect to eyelets of the cable.

A common problem is the spring fell off or the spring end broke.
 

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Thank you for the reply ... The clutch lever works just fine, but the drive lever has very little tension and does not open up again when let go. The the drive pulley does move when the drive lever is pressed, but very ... very little movement. The spring at the end of the cable is connected fine.

As far as the ratchet lever ... I can see that is locks in place, but for the life of me I can't get how it releases when the drive lever is let go. I've had this snowblower only 3+ years now and I never knew it had that functionality so I don't know if it worked before.
Each cable has 2 springs on the tensioner.
 
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