thx for your contributions. you seem to be knowledgeable. regarding the impeller, you must be referring to a few shine bare metal spots on the backside. the impeller metal all looks straight though, don't see any damage. certainly possible an accident is what caused breakage in the gear case, thus rendering it unusable. the machine looks lightly used/well maintained. the oil and gas seem rather fresh. it doesn't seem like a stale machine, but a lightly used one, stored inside. it is about 20 years old.You can tell the impeller was bent up pretty bad by the missing paint on the back side of it where it hit the housing.
That is a common problem when it takes in rocks that hit the impeller before being thrown out the shoot. It bends them downward and that bends the impeller disc/drum back into the housing by the missing paint on the black disc/drum.
That happens when the round sheet/plate part is made from thinner metal.
That is the older model 'Twin Shaft' engine that is becoming rare to find parts for.
A problem with that is it used a counter rotating shaft for one of the drives, so if you replace the engine with a single shaft, something is going to operate backwards, usually when you put it in gear to go forward, it will go in reverse instead. So you would have to put a 'Twin Shaft' engine on it or else do a lot of extra modifications to it to straighten out that problem.
I'm sure it would be a good parts machine for someone who has an older model like it just for some of the hard to find replacement parts.
you mention the twin shaft. is that an unusual configuration for ariens?
it would be nice to find a cheap donor model to get the engine running for a while. then scavenge all the missing hardware pieces great and small and have one nice machine (assuming the 2001 824 was a good machine).
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