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I was able to find a nice 10000 series Ariens in January. Up here in New England, once I purchased this, we had no snow. Figures.

I was able to also find the leaf vacuum with the bag and pole. Does anyone have any experience with these units? I was provided a carburetor but do I really need to run it with this?

My plan was to change the oil, do my leaves, then change the oil again, put the blower on, and be ready for some snow (if it comes).
 

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That's pretty cool! Any pictures of the leaf vacuum?

Snowblowers typically run without air filters, since there's no dust in the air when it's snowing. But for summer use, in a dusty environment (like for leaves), you definitely need an air filter.

So if that other carb includes an air filter, you might swap that filter to the current carb, or swap out the carbs entirely, if necessary. You might need to re-tune a carb slightly, between cold-weather, and summer, use. That could be one reason for just swapping carbs, I suppose. But carbs that old should be adjustable, so I'd rather just keep the same one installed, if that was possible, if it were me.
 

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I was able to also find the leaf vacuum with the bag and pole. Does anyone have any experience with these units? I was provided a carburetor but do I really need to run it with this?

My plan was to change the oil, do my leaves, then change the oil again, put the blower on, and be ready for some snow (if it comes).
The lawn vacs work great as long as your bag is good, I have two of them and try to pick up any orphans I can find because the transmission section is worth $100 alone IMO. The bags are NLA and quite pricey if you can find a good substitute, Never let leaves sit in the bag, empty it immediately, and let the bag dry out thoroughly, unfolded. Leaf Dust and moisture will rot the bag in short order. Store it away from your shed or anywhere moths or bugs may get at it.
I believe these were made by Giant Vac for Ariens and the GV bags also work but they too are discontinued after Skag bought them out. There used to be a dust control liner bag offered by GV. If there is no bag, these Vacs probably could be used as a debris blower
The transmissions are good to have because the tractor PTO is at least 2:1 ratio at the dog clutch. The transmission uses a compounding pulley section to bring the VAC PTO back up to 3400 rpms (1:2) after compound multiplication...therefore the transmissions could be useful for other things like a pressure pump, pump, generator etc. (anything that may require full speed and soft delivery of belt drive)

PS: I've run the Vac with as little as a 4hp Tecumseh large block 10m4 (Ariens recommends at least 5hp) I believe the manual link is on Scot's site.
 

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Ariens Vac Operational Tips and limitations:

The Ariens Vac works well for leaf and debris removal, however, it's has it's roots in the late 1950's. In my opinion the system is a bit overkill for anything but a large suburban yard, and it's probably a bit under kill for larger more rural lots where modern tow behind systems may serve better.
The idea is to keep wet leaves out of your lawn mower bag. Modern big box walkie leaf vacs have small bags for small yards. The Ariens has a larger bag but it's still not all that large, leaves take up a lot of volume. It's best not to let the bag fill up all the way, it gets heavy quickly and will tend to stress the loops or try to pull the bag off the bar. Try to keep under 3/4ths full for best operation and unloading. The zipper can get jammed with a full bag, and always try to keep a clear zipper path before closing the zipper.
The vac does not do well in large piles and there is no auxiliary hose for pile suction. It works best suctioning a light dusting that sits up on top of the grass blades and has not yet decomposed down into the thatch, so hit the leaves early and often as opposed until waiting for the trees to completely drop.
The Vac likes a level grade and flat and dry. The sharp corners can tend to dig if you try to maneuver like a push mower so make long passes and minimize your turns (it can dig most on rapid or careless turns), heavy tree roots and raised berms around trees can also cause digging and catching.
Keep the front casters well maintained. make sure they are well greased with boat trailer wheel bearing grease and make sure the wheels spin freely on the axles. You will have steering issues if you don't. An open differential is highly recommended for the lawn vac.
Last but not least, engage the clutches slowly and gently (as you should with any attachment).
More maintenance: Check for noisy bearings and squealing belts, renew before they cause overheating. Always operate with covers in place, use the air filter kit, SAE30 non detergent oil, adjust for summer/fall jetting, and switch to turf tires.
 

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Well I got around to getting out to the shed a few minutes ago. Nothing helps cool you off in 90 degree heat like the thought of snowblowers and leaf pickup.

Here is my blower (model 910975). I thought originally I would build a stand for the blower to sit above the snowblower. However, this thing is solid steel. I do not think I will be lifting this by myself!

I got a chance to look at the carb/air filter (thanks RedOctobyr, forgot to mention that). The filter was in terrible shape so I ordered a new one. I also ordered a new carb in case the one I have is junk.
167906


I was fortunate that the bag and pole are in excellent shape with only one patch applied. When I fired this thing up in January the bag truly forms into a balloon. Even sand on a driveway will be picked up.

My goal over the next month or so will be repair/replace the carb/airfilter, swap the snow-thro for the blower, change the oil and the fuel filter. I will post some pictures and hopefully some video when I get to this.
 

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Here is my blower (model 910975). .I was fortunate that the bag and pole are in excellent shape
The whole thing looks to be in excellent shape. Looks like it was stored indoors, which isn't always the case because they take up so much floor space. 910000 series attachment, must be an early 70's model. You may want to fashion a hoist if you have the space to store it on a shelf above the snow blower. The GV version of these sold for gobs of money and parts are even more expensive. The only other thing I'd add (again) is to lube those casters.
 

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They don't make those attachments for newer snowblowers anymore. Maybe, people don't do their yards by themselves anymore and those attachments take too much spaces. I saw an Ariens powered brush that used a snowblower frame. It costed more than $2000.

 

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Troy-Bilt, I think, had a line of attachments for a base engine in the least few years, I think at Lowes. I believe they were discontinued last year.

Personally, that sort of situation is exactly what would make me nervous, investing in an ecosystem that might go away. In addition to requiring compromises for the way the system needs to work.
 

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Well I got around to getting out to the shed a few minutes ago. Nothing helps cool you off in 90 degree heat like the thought of snowblowers and leaf pickup.

Here is my blower (model 910975). I thought originally I would build a stand for the blower to sit above the snowblower. However, this thing is solid steel. I do not think I will be lifting this by myself!

I got a chance to look at the carb/air filter (thanks RedOctobyr, forgot to mention that). The filter was in terrible shape so I ordered a new one. I also ordered a new carb in case the one I have is junk. View attachment 167906

I was fortunate that the bag and pole are in excellent shape with only one patch applied. When I fired this thing up in January the bag truly forms into a balloon. Even sand on a driveway will be picked up.

My goal over the next month or so will be repair/replace the carb/airfilter, swap the snow-thro for the blower, change the oil and the fuel filter. I will post some pictures and hopefully some video when I get to this.
What a great find in excellent condition!
 

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@dman2,

The broom attachment is the one attachment I wish I could find ... I could get get use out of that ... I even found a place that makes replacement bristles.
 

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@dman2,

The broom attachment is the one attachment I wish I could find ... I could get get use out of that ... I even found a place that makes replacement bristles.
I think the early brooms were Sweepster. (IMO the rotary mower is the most useful attachment, but parts from the others could be used to make other things if you're handy, cool concept though). Keep in mind when they were marketing and selling these attachments originally , there wasn't ubiquitous consumer options to do it cheaper, lighter, and smaller like there is nowaday. Portable power became cheap, Just about every mower now has big power and can mulch and bag leaves and the market is oversaturated with a huge selection of low cost purpose built task machines that often end up on the second hand market, no need for attachments and there is hardly any need for a walkie tractor (like a Gravely) anymore, because I could go buy a 20 year old garden tractor for like 50 bucks that would do it faster and better and likely cheaper.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I think the attachment concept is a great idea overall but I struggle to think of what I would use some of them for. What are the best uses for the sweeper (leaves? driveway snow removal?)? Also, not really sure why there were two mowers (reel and rotary)? Was one more a brush hog-type and the other the finish mower? Why two options for the shredder? Finally, I cannot imagine that using the sulky would be enjoyable or add any real benefit. If you have a decent size/large/massive property I would prefer a garden tractor as a better option for the the non-snow work.

Given this I think it goes without saying that these attachments are not for everyone. You have to be willing to actually get your hands dirty, which I find many are not. Floor space also becomes an issue as most people want to store their equipment indoors (honestly, is there ever a good reason to permanently store your equipment outside?). Finally, there is a stigma that "old machines are junk" among many that I know. While this is great for us on this forum, many are fine with the junk being sold today as being "quality". Keeping running to the big-box store every three years for the newest model, sans attachments. One tool for every job.

That all being said, I am glad I purchased the leaf vac. It is an absolute beast and appears to be way overbuilt. I hope to be able to give a full report in the coming months about its performance as well as some video.

HillnGullyRider, I wish I was in an area that a 20 year old garden tractor was cheap. Here in the the Northeast a decent machine seems to be running around $700-$900 or so on CL/FB.
 

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I think the attachment concept is a great idea overall but I struggle to think of what I would use some of them for. What are the best uses for the sweeper (leaves? driveway snow removal?)? Also, not really sure why there were two mowers (reel and rotary)? Was one more a brush hog-type and the other the finish mower? Why two options for the shredder? Finally, I cannot imagine that using the sulky would be enjoyable or add any real benefit. If you have a decent size/large/massive property I would prefer a garden tractor as a better option for the the non-snow work.

Given this I think it goes without saying that these attachments are not for everyone. You have to be willing to actually get your hands dirty, which I find many are not. Floor space also becomes an issue as most people want to store their equipment indoors (honestly, is there ever a good reason to permanently store your equipment outside?). Finally, there is a stigma that "old machines are junk" among many that I know. While this is great for us on this forum, many are fine with the junk being sold today as being "quality". Keeping running to the big-box store every three years for the newest model, sans attachments. One tool for every job.

That all being said, I am glad I purchased the leaf vac. It is an absolute beast and appears to be way overbuilt. I hope to be able to give a full report in the coming months about its performance as well as some video.

HillnGullyRider, I wish I was in an area that a 20 year old garden tractor was cheap. Here in the the Northeast a decent machine seems to be running around $700-$900 or so on CL/FB.
Shoot I've passed on so many deals, Just last April I was offered a running Ariens 17hp intek tractor for $50, but I have no use for it other than towing my trailer from the front yard to the back yard and I know it would just sit. I figured they'll find someone who needs it more. People have big yards in Ohio (lots of green grass, three seasons, white, leaves, and green) and they use them up till the decks start rotting or spindles start squealing. and then buy new ones. They are at end of life for cutting acreage, but still useful for someone that may want to till under that garden or plow the drive.
 

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Heh, $50, that's pretty nice offer! Yeah, here in MA, it gets tricky to find a GT for much under $700 or so. I have seen a few Craftsman for around $500, but some were the older models where they just said GT, not GT 5000, etc, so I was unsure of exactly how robust they might be.

For something like GT 3000 vs GT 5000, I have a better sense, but when it's just GT, it's tough for me to tell without the exact model #. And even if you had the 9xx.yyyyyy type number (it's rare to see that in an ad) it's so specific that they can be tough to find discussions about the machine.

Availability and pricing does seem to vary significantly around the country.
 

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To be fair the $50 one wasn't advertised and was in the middle of a lockdown, I just happened to see it sitting there when I went to go pick up something else I bought...Had I had the trailer with me I probably wouldn't have left it and found some use for (or just go through it the best possible and resell it.). If someone is really in the market for a used up tractor, or ZT, the best place not to look is on CL or FB, but just go down to big L&G equipment establishment on the outskirts of the cities. They usually have a back lot full of abandoned ones or trade ins that customers lost interest in and don't want to pay the repair bills...If you're willing to pay 200-300 you can probably pick up a non runner homeowner machine with minor issues that they are more than happy to just get it out of their outdoor storage yard. Remember these guys are in biz to sell new things like parts and machines, not spend valuable time repairing weathered orphans.They are usually pretty honest and will tell you exactly what's wrong with it too.
 

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That's an interesting idea, which had never occurred to me. It's a good approach to keep in mind.
 
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