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Hello again. I am back, but under a different name, as I had forgotten my log in details. It's been a long time since I posted on this forum.
I had my ST 824, Model 924050, Series 020608, repaired by a local "small engine repair" guy, and to my delight, it worked very well. Unfortunately, after a couple of snow falls, the auger gear was worn out and no longer turning the auger. Searched all the parts suppliers, only to find out that that part was no longer available. Only option was to buy the whole gear box assembly with both the auger and the impeller shafts, to the tune of about $300 shipped.
I wasn't very happy about that and very disappointed in Ariens for not stocking a "wear part". However, I kept searching on the Internet, and I found the gear on Amazon for $40 shipped. I don't know if this is common knowledge, but I thought I'd share it here anyway. Took the gear to my repair guy yesterday and looking forward to getting my snowblower back in running order.
 

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Found a ST8524 with the same issue real cheap, SO I am rebuilding it as the engine runs great and also have a gear that was $40 shipped from ebay, Also ordered new seals since I have it apart anyway.
 
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