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Discussion Starter #1
I have an late 70's Ariens 32" blower, it was working fine until a couple days ago when blowing a heavy pile of slushy snow, the impeller stopped spinning and began melting the belt and then shut off.

I have since taken off the snow-thro unit and first found that the engine sheave will not spin, inspecting the inside of the unit, the rakes are spinning normally and the shear pins in the rakes appear to fine but I can not spin the impeller fan in the back of the unit. Using a breaker bar through the chute and a hammer, I was able to whack one of the fan blades and move it an inch or two but that didn't loosen it up at all.

I have little experience with these things and I am learning as I am going through youtube videos etc. At this point I can't figure out what it could be outside of a problem in the gearbox unless I am missing something.

Thanks in advance.

Bill
 

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The rakes should not spin at all unless the impeller is spinning. They are driven by a worm gear. The worm gear is driven by the impeller shaft.

You have a gearbox problem. Likely one of the gears is damaged/fractured.

The shear pins didn't break in time.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you, good to know, I'll stop racking my brain and trying to figure it out and bring it somewhere to be repaired.

It just so happens that I am looking out at 2' of snow right now and its still going, timing on this could not be any worse.

Carburetor needs a rebuild, it is pissing gas all over the place, I had intended to do that myself but i'll just have them take care of that while they are at it.
 

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Just a heads up, it may be an expensive fix if it is the gearbox but, there are lots of parts out there.

The carb repair shouldn't be too bad.

What I'm saying is don't give up on the snowblower. They really don't build them like they used to.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
I was gifted the machine by a friend who moved to a warmer climate and I'm pretty sure it was made in 78 which is the year I was born so I have every intention of keeping it.

A quick Google search leads me to believe that a new comparable replacement would be $1k or more, further incentive to make this one work.

I will update this thread with my progress.
 

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Sometimes Ice can form behind the Impeller and freezes it to the housing. This happens when there is consecutive storms and not enough time is given for thaw. Your augers should not be spinning though. If those pins aren't broken that spells trouble, if the rakes don't spin on the shaft with the pins removed, even bigger trouble.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Sometimes Ice can form behind the Impeller and freezes it to the housing. This happens when there is consecutive storms and not enough time is given for thaw. Your augers should not be spinning though. If those pins aren't broken that spells trouble, if the rakes don't spin on the shaft with the pins removed, even bigger trouble.
I left a space heater pointing at the mouth of the unit for an hour or two which melted all the snow and ice and got the metal pretty warm so I am confident it is not a matter of the fan being frozen.

I have not removed the pins, but the rates do spin together with some effort despite the impeller fan / shaft being locked into place.

I am trying to find someone to look at it now, if anyone knows of a good shop in RI/SE.MA i'm all ears.
 

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Bill,

Please entertain me while I ask a few questions....

1. The tractor side of the machine works? Can you start the engine put in gear and run that half around? I'm trying to ascertain if the big (sheave) pulley on the tractor side spins, or is that frozen as well?

2. Does the jaw clutch on the Sno-thro spin freely?

Getting the impeller assembly out of the housing can be a real bear, especially if it is not rotating. I know you are inclined to take it to a shop, but if the issue is only with the sno-thro side then you may want to search your local ads like craig's list or here in the forums (Jackmels is a good place to start) and look for a similar vintage machine that has the same size bucket in non running condition. Most of the same era machines share similar parts and attachments. If you find one (best case with a blown engine on the cheap) and it mates up with your tractor you will have saved some serious cash. How much to pay for a none working blower of the same age? Depends on how badly you need it. I've picked them up off the curb saving them from the scrap yard and I've paid $100 for one that was an exact match for the year and model I was working on.

Best of Luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Bill,

Please entertain me while I ask a few questions....

1. The tractor side of the machine works? Can you start the engine put in gear and run that half around? I'm trying to ascertain if the big (sheave) pulley on the tractor side spins, or is that frozen as well?

2. Does the jaw clutch on the Sno-thro spin freely?

Getting the impeller assembly out of the housing can be a real bear, especially if it is not rotating. I know you are inclined to take it to a shop, but if the issue is only with the sno-thro side then you may want to search your local ads like craig's list or here in the forums (Jackmels is a good place to start) and look for a similar vintage machine that has the same size bucket in non running condition. Most of the same era machines share similar parts and attachments. If you find one (best case with a blown engine on the cheap) and it mates up with your tractor you will have saved some serious cash. How much to pay for a none working blower of the same age? Depends on how badly you need it. I've picked them up off the curb saving them from the scrap yard and I've paid $100 for one that was an exact match for the year and model I was working on.

Best of Luck!
Interesting, I like the way you think.

Tractor side works just fine, carb is leaking, but I can fix that. Big sheave on the tractor side is working, sheave on the sno-thro side is not.

I'm sorry but, I don't know which piece the jaw clutch you are referring to is.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
You could also pop open the auger gearbox. It may just be the gear fractured.
I may try that, what is involved with that.

I assume removing the bolts on the side of the bucket holding the rakes in place and removing the shear pins, what else?
 

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Bill,

Here are some pics to help define some parts. This is not your machine but it should be similar.

Were is the fuel leaking from the carb?

I don't know how adept you are with working on small engines, carbs can be tricky. Especially in the cold. Rebuild kits are 10 to 15 dollars. If you decide to go that way submerge it in carb cleaner for a day or so. Before you remove it take lots of really good/CLEAR pics of the governor and all the springs/levers and most of the disassembly steps so you remember how to put it back together. New ones ready to bolt on range from 20 dollar knock offs to around 100 beans for new OEM from a reputable supplier.

With out more details, I would try to find a sno-thro attachment that will mate up to your tractor.

Go Forth And Conquer! the snow that is...:D
 

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here you go

If you decide to pull the bucket apart to replace the impeller, shaft and or the worm gear in the gear box get all new bushings and seals. Take as many pics as possible and maybe some notes as well. You won't regret it....
 

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There are two style of gearbox. One has an aluminum housing and the other is cast iron. Disassembly varies. Post your model # and we can narrow it down.

It's not hard to disassemble, usually. The augers may be difficult to remove if they haven't been greased due to rust.

Like Harry says, take lots of pictures.
 

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You can't spin the impeller by hand, but you can spin the rakes (with shear pins intact)...The nature of a worm gear is that power can only be transferred in one direction: The impeller spins first and moves the rakes, not the other way around. In a working snowblower, with shear pins installed, you should not be able to spin the rakes by hand. Sounds to me like your gearbox is definitely damaged.

Your bucket should come apart like most. The pulley is connected to the impeller shaft via one or two allen bolts. If the puley doesn't come off you'll need a puller. Then you need to remove the woodruff key to which the pulley fits. These can be two tricky tasks depending on the condition of your machine...My key was fused and wouldn't budge. Instead of grinding it down immediately I took apart the bearing plate, stripping the threads in the process, necessitating a new plate. It all worked out in the end because you want to replace the bearing while you're in there anyway, so the bearing plate has to come off one way or another. If you grind down the woodruff key you then must replace the impeller shaft, but sound like you'll have to anyway.


Once those obstacles are free you can remove the rake axle bushings on the sides of the bucket and pull the entire assembly out the front.

I replaced the auger shaft and worm gear on my aluminum gearbox as a pair (they recommend you replace both parts together and judging by your damage you may not have a choice), the parts came out to roughly $150US all in, including a new auger shaft bearing support plate, gearbox lube, woodruff key etc...

One more thing - even if you do get the auger/rake out of the bucket there is still a lot of work involved in removing the impeller for transplant to the new shaft, and also removing the rakes if they're fused to their shaft...

While all these repairs are available on youtube (I did just fine with their instruction having never done this type of work before) keep in mind it is not easy work if you don't have the right tools and workspace. If you can get another bucket for around ~$100 you probably would save yourself a lot of time and aggravation. If you still want to go ahead, get it all apart first before ordering parts.
 

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If you can get another bucket for around ~$100 you probably would save yourself a lot of time and aggravation. If you still want to go ahead, get it all apart first before ordering parts.
And this is why used parts blowers are worth $100 minimum even if the motor is blown. That bucket, if it has good gears, and everything is spinning free, is worth hours of aggravation, and hard work, and tooling costs, and dealership costs, avoided.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Still not up and running but i've made some progress in the diagnosis.

Gear is in good shape but the flange bushing at the top of the shaft is chewed up. The thrust collar has some wear on it and is floating on the shaft, i'm not entirely sure how this is supposed to be secured, from the diagram it looks like there should be a pin holding it in. Also on the diagram I see a 'key, woodriff' in the worm shaft which i think may also be missing.

 

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Discussion Starter #19
Still not up and running but i've made some progress in the diagnosis.

Gear is in good shape but the flange bushing at the top of the shaft is chewed up. The thrust collar has some wear on it and is floating on the shaft, i'm not entirely sure how this is supposed to be secured, from the diagram it looks like there should be a pin holding it in. Also on the diagram I see a 'key, woodriff' in the worm shaft which i think may also be missing.
Update the key is in the worm shaft but it is mangled with only a little nub sticking out, not sure how easy it would be to remove it or if I even need to at this point.
 
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