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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

I may be taking a look at a 1971" 24" Ariens which I believe to be a 910954 model. It had the 7hp motor, but the crank and connecting rod blew so the owner is selling the whole unit as-is for $100. Since I can't see it run, what should I look for when I see it?

As far as I can tell, it's relatively rust free (exception: scraper bar) and pretty clean. Tires are brand new and new (but uninstalled) auger bushings are included. Owner just installed new skid shoes. Owner says transmission was fine before the engine blew.

Anything I should look more closely at and/or test? I'm thinking a predator repower might make this old beast worth it, but I assume the blown Tecumseh is included. I'm on the fence about the repower idea, but admittedly haven't priced out a rebuild of the tecumseh.

Thanks in advance for advice. I love these old machines.
 

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You should look for a much lower price unless it's just spotless. With a blown engine is usually $50 or less in this area and I picked up a 32" with a hole in the block for free !!

Something that old will likely need all the bushings replaced unless it's been well maintained. The ones at the end of the augers get worn and then the auger shaft eats up the aluminum housing that holds the bushing. Those housings are getting harder to find.

 

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Discussion Starter #3
You should look for a much lower price unless it's just spotless. With a blown engine is usually $50 or less in this area and I picked up a 32" with a hole in the block for free !!

Something that old will likely need all the bushings replaced unless it's been well maintained. The ones at the end of the augers get worn and then the auger shaft eats up the aluminum housing that holds the bushing. Those housings are getting harder to find.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wFOVWb_QP5k
Hmm maybe I'll try to get him down on price. He does include new bushings (just not installed) for the end of the augers. It looks like he has two new triangle-shaped things - are those the housings you're talking about?
 

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I agree, $100 is too much for an engine that can't be repaired. The bronze bushings themselves are only about $3 each. The triangle holders are a bit more ($10 each?), but normally not needed. Brand new tires would be around $20 each and tubes possibly $5 each if those were also changed. Skid shoes could be around $10 each.

Front auger box is probably the thing to check the best. Make sure everything turns correctly and there is no slipping in the gears as you manually rotate the impeller and attempt to hold the augers back.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I agree, $100 is too much for an engine that can't be repaired. The bronze bushings themselves are only about $3 each. The triangle holders are a bit more ($10 each?), but normally not needed. Brand new tires would be around $20 each and tubes possibly $5 each if those were also changed. Skid shoes could be around $10 each.

Front auger box is probably the thing to check the best. Make sure everything turns correctly and there is no slipping in the gears as you manually rotate the impeller and attempt to hold the augers back.
Thanks for your input. What do you think would be a max price I should go for?

Also, what do you mean by manually rotating the impeller while holding the augers back? Don't they spin in tandem? I assume you mean hold the augers while reaching into the chute and trying to turn the impeller? Should this be done while in 1st gear?
 

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Make sure augers are not frozen to shafts, there should be some almost slop in them, check the bushings for tractor, although there cheap. See if he will let u look Under its belly to see the fiction disk. I'd pay 50$ if it was really clean.
 

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Also, what do you mean by manually rotating the impeller while holding the augers back? Don't they spin in tandem? I assume you mean hold the augers while reaching into the chute and trying to turn the impeller? Should this be done while in 1st gear?
Gear doesn't matter. Disengage the clutch for the auger though. Basically turn the impeller, but attempt to hold the augers still. You want to add some resistance to them as they turn to check for play in the gearbox. If you feel any grinding or one or the other slips then the gearbox probably has issues.

Also, like was said check and make sure the augers are not seized on the shaft. Usually you can take one and push it up or down until it locks against the gearbox and then see if the other side can be wiggled slightly to spin on the auger shaft. You could remove the shear pins if you want a better test, but if both sides have a little rocking back and forth give in them you should be fine there.

I also wouldn't pay more than $50 for a broken one. On the other hand, you are going to be the one using it and something else to consider is what it is worth to you. $100 for flipping it would be no simply because you are now at 100 for the machine plus 100 for the engine and the most you could probably get for it was around 250. Plus you never know what else is broken.

So in the end theoretically $100 could be worth it, but you can most likely find a much better deal if you are patient. You also have to factor in the new parts and I did try to add them up and estimate them for you earlier. Are the tires actual snow tires or some lawn turf tires? If it has some nice X-Tracks or Snow Hogs on it it might be worth it.

Remember, these old ones don't throw as far as new ones. Don't expect 50 foot throwing distance. Maybe more like 15 - 35 feet at best.
 

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Yes, the triangle thing is likely the housing I spoke of and if he has spares with the bushings he likely knows the ones on the machine are damaged.
I'm not sure what position auger bushings wear most. Axle bushings usually wear out at the top from the weight of the machine.

What it's worth also is determined on how bad YOU want it and if you're willing to keep looking. Sometimes buying and selling can be a pain and you just get tired and want to get it over with. You might pay more than you want or let it go for less then it's worth just to be done. Mentioning the bushings is just a way for me to get you to consider that the parts needed to repair and or maintain it might very well shadow the original purchase price. I often joke that "free" is sometimes the most expensive because of all the work and parts some of those items need to get them back into reliable shape.

 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Thanks again, everyone, for the solid advice. Everyone really knows what they're talking about around here.

The region is eastern PA, which might explain higher prices (lower inventory on the used market than snow belt areas?).

The new tires look like the original tires, but they're not those snow hog type tires.

I'm reconsidering it right now. My goal is not to flip it. Rather, I'm a big fan of machines of this vintage and how well-made they are and would want to keep it for myself and run it for a long time. In an ideal world, I would buy a 1978/1979 924000 series - old color scheme, thick metal, newer bucket style and newer safety features (dead man's clutch, etc.). I want one with a differential, and of course at a reasonable price to make a restoration worth it. I've been looking since March and I haven't been able to find it. The one I made this thread about has been the closest, but maybe it's worth holding off until I find my 924000 series.

I don't know. I'm quite indecisive...
 

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The region is eastern PA, which might explain higher prices (lower inventory on the used market than snow belt areas?).
Thanks stang,
not necessarily lower inventory, (although it could be slightly lower, but there are also more people! a more densly populated region, so the snowblower numbers probably even out..)
The main factor, as we have found out over the years in this forum, is that there is generally a $100 premium on used snowblowers for the greater Boston, NY city, Philly, and DC metro areas, compared to Western NY, Great Lakes and Upper midwest, just because *everything* is more expensive in those east coast city regions..a $250 used Ariens in Buffalo is a $350 used Ariens in Boston, etc..So yeah, if you are in the orbit of NY city or Philly, you fall in that zone..

Which means that what is a $50 non-running snowblower for most of us really could have a going rate of $100 in your area..you do need to factor that in..

Scot
 

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It's always easier to start off with what you want than to settle for something less and try to make it what you want :blush:
As long as you have time you can keep looking or you can pick that one up and get it in shape for now and then sell it when you find the 924000 of your dreams.

Those bearings are a piece of cake. Three bolts each, a little wheel bearing grease and you have new bushings.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks again, everyone, for the fantastic advice. I ended up using it and negotiating for a different machine. $40 later and I came home with a 91009. I made another thread about it
 
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