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Discussion Starter #1
I've been on the hunt for a vintage full size machine for a while, but I came across a ST504 for $40 that I said "what the heck why not" to. I'm taking a small gamble, as the starter cord was snapped and needs a new one, hence I couldn't hear the engine start.

Here's the main tractor without the bucket:



And here's the bucket itself with auger:





Not the prettiest, with a little rust here and there. My only concern is the following rust, which has cause a small separation along a seam in the bucket:



Thoughts on the severity of this crack?

You may also notice the box around the carb is missing. Any ideas on where to pick one up (or how to fabricate one)? I'm also missing the base that the gear shifter "notches" into.

I picked up a new recoil handle and rope and just realized that I'm missing the starter dog (part # 590148). Any ideas on local places that stock this part before I order one on ebay?

Overall, it's not the prettiest, but I'm hoping $40 wasn't too bad of a gamble for this. I'm anxious to see if she fires right up when I get the recoil starter fixed.
 

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The cord is nothing to replace. I use para cord or 550 cord, to make that repair bullet proof.

The bucket is whole other question, how salvageable is it? With the added welds, and extent of deep rust that has rooted into it. It might be more cost effective to fame out and have the bucket sandblasted. This hopefully would clean out the pits, and allow you the actually see the weld quality.

But for $40, you haven't lost anything. There is always someone looking for a two pulley motor, and they easily go for more than $40.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The cord is nothing to replace. I use para cord or 550 cord, to make that repair bullet proof.

The bucket is whole other question, how salvageable is it? With the added welds, and extent of deep rust that has rooted into it. It might be more cost effective to fame out and have the bucket sandblasted. This hopefully would clean out the pits, and allow you the actually see the weld quality.

But for $40, you haven't lost anything. There is always someone looking for a two pulley motor, and they easily go for more than $40.
The biggest issue I see with the bucket is the 3" tear that's illustrated in the last picture in my original post. Everything else seems to be in decent shape.

I've read the thread on these boards on the recent all-out refurb job on a 504 and that was neat, but I'd almost rather put that effort into a full-sized machine. For less than $10 in parts if I can get this machine running it would be a nice $50 (total) tool. Does the crack look like it would have a huge negative impact on performance?

I just recoiled the starter - super simple you're right. Now I just need the starter dog.

Any ideas on where to get the box that covers the carb area?
 

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That bucket wouldn't be hard to repair at all for someone that has a few tools and a welder and knows how to use it. ;)
 

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-Any ideas on where to get the box that covers the carb area?-
504 parts should be some of the cheapest Ariens parts on ebay. The only thing that is hard to find is that optional summer air cleaner for the tiller attachment.
 

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That cover is likely not an Ariens part. You can sure look for one off a 504 but you should be able to grab one from any make snow blower that fits the engine.

You are looking for a 5 horse Tecumseh part not an Ariens snow blower part.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks again for all the suggestions. How necessary is the carb cover? Does not having it interfere with operation? Can anything under it not get wet?
 

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the linkages can freeze up and the engine can over rev, then its bye bye connecting rod and engine block and you will have a hard time finding a used engine to fit it. so yes, the heater box is important
 

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Getting things wet and having them freeze are the main concern. It's wet in there, you shut you're blower off and stick it someplace unheated and everything freezes solid in the off position and you are not able to move the throttle from off to get it started. Or like above you get into some heavy snow and the governor pulls the throttle open and it sticks open. Or it sticks at it's normal position and won't move to increase when you get into heavy snow and doesn't have the power you need.

So ya, it's a really good idea to have one or make something to protect the linkage.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for the info. I will try to find an inexpensive replacement. On eBay they seem to run about $20 shipped. I'll see if I can get it cheaper.

Another thing I'm looking for is a handle. Oneida them is missing and the last owner inexplicably put a rubber bicycle handle on it that only fits halfway. Are these handles generic/universal?

Thanks!
 

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They are somewhat generic. You need to make sure it's the correct ID. Different models have different diameter handles.

If you use a hair drier to soften it up first and heat the bar some a little liquid soap for lube and they slip on pretty easy.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks again for the great info. Do you have any suggestions on where to get generic handles cheap?

Silly question, but bear with me since this is my first two-stage: are the wheels always locked together? Or is this a model where I can pull out a pin or something and have the wheels spin independently (and assist with turning, which is difficult on dry pavement).

Thanks again!
 

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I don't know specifically on your 504. Some have manual pins you need to pull at the out side of the wheel and move the wheel in and reinsert the pin and there are some that have a solid axle and the wheels are bolted on. My Troy's are bolted on.
You need to look to see if you have an easily removeable click pin or a bolt.


For the handles, A bicycle shop or even walmart. BUT you need to know the OD of the handle it's going on.
https://www.google.com/#q=bicycle+handlebar+grips
 

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Thanks again for the great info. Do you have any suggestions on where to get generic handles cheap?

Silly question, but bear with me since this is my first two-stage: are the wheels always locked together? Or is this a model where I can pull out a pin or something and have the wheels spin independently (and assist with turning, which is difficult on dry pavement).

Thanks again!
932000 are all locked afaict, the larger compact models use a steel spur gear, but most are nylon...they are easy to turn since they have a narrow wheel base, usually narrow buckets, and tiny tires.

Do you need handle grips or handlebars?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I have noticed that the ST504 is light enough that turning won't be too much of an issue. My wife was worried, but takes solace in the fact that turning on dry pavement is much harder than on a snow-covered driveway.

Thanks for the handle suggestions. I'm looking for the actual plastic/rubber covers that go on the handles, so I believe grips is the right work. The original one reads 7/8, so I assume that's the diameter. I'll have to check out bicycle handles and see what I can rig up.

Hopefully my new starter dog arrives in the mail soon. I've already replaced/rewound the recoil rope. I'm anxious to see if this engine fires up!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
My starter dog came in the mail yesterday and I finally put the starter back on. Before anything, I drained the old gas and put in some fresh ethanol-free gas. She started on the first pull and idles perfectly. No stuttering at full throttle, either.

Auger, impeller, and transmission all seem to operate normally (although I guess I'll have to wait to see how it performs under load). I'm missing the shifter housing (that holds the shift lever in place in notches), so it falls into 4th gear when moving forward. I don't think this will be too much of a problem.

All in all, it was a good $40 gamble. Now to find a nice late 70's 924000 series. The addiction has begun.
 

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I was able to obtain a st504 from a gentleman who purchase a new snowblower and asked me to haul away his old one. I gladly did. However the bucket was severely rusted and when he was using it he hit a crack in the sidewalk and it caused the scraper to brake loose come up and caused damage to the left auger the first thing I did was to remove auger and bend the bent pieces back to their original shape. I then cut away all the rusted metal and then welded new metal in place. Forming the metal was kinda a trick but with the help of my fathers old press I was able to curve the metal so to fit. Purchased a new scraper blade and now in the process of making square holes to mount it on to the bucket. Once this is accomplished and with a new coat of paint I’ll have a nice st504 that operates great. My rust was much worse than yours but now my bucket looks like new. It’s been quite a labor intense job but with hardly any cost for a nice snowblower
 
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