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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi. Just trying to cover my bases. I was given (I believe it's) a '93 Ariens to try out before I buy it. My 10 year old TroyBilt with a 305cc B&S went bang and I think I've given up on buying $1000 snowblowers for a while.

Q1
The Tec motor appears to have a DOM of 3344D. Based on the pic of the blower I'm assuming it's a '93.

Q2
What kind of grease/gear oil goes in this gearbox?

Q3
Differential lock. I've pulled, pushed and twisted this thing. Doesn't move. It's also -6C (21F) so I don't want to break anything.

Q4
Does anyone have an idea what model this is? I hear people talking of "924***" .
There's not a legible sticker anywhere on this thing...

JW
 

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1) '93 sounds reasonable, I had one of those, it was a '94.
2) I used Ariens L3 synthetic gearbox lube. I'm sure there are other options too:
https://www.amazon.com/Ariens-Synthetic-Blower-Thrower-00068800/dp/B00P80BVP0
3) That knob should be able to pull out a bit, a way from the wheel. Is the differential currently set to both wheels locked together, or if the differential active, so the machine can pivot in-place? You pull the pin, and rotate it, to either keep it pulled-out, or let it slide in again. Putting the pin in the pulled-out position unlocks the differential, so it can pivot. Or you rotate the pin until the spring pulls it towards the wheel. Then as you pivot the machine, the pin should drop into one of the notches in the axle, and that locks both wheels together.

Roll the machine straight for a foot or so first, just to help make sure there isn't already tension against the side of that pin, if the wheels are locked together currently. The pin could be rusty, and unwilling to slide. The nut and bolt that hold that assembly to the axle (visible in your pic, aiming left/right) can be removed, then you can pull that assembly off, to inspect/grease it.

For any machine, check the augers, and make sure they can move a little bit on the auger shaft. I rotate one auger forward, to take up the play in the gearbox, then wiggle the other one front/back. Then check the other auger the same way. If they're rusted to the shaft, the shear bolts won't be able to do their job, and you can blow the gearbox if you hit something solid.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
@RedOctobyr/Toromike
Thx for the quick response. I'm still leery of paying 1/3 of the price of a new machine for something that was manufactured back when I was in college. But evverrybody says the "older" machines are bulletproof relative to the new tin boxes made now.

Lunch followed by checking the diff...
 

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Discussion Starter #6
$400 CDN.

Bit of a caveat though. I work with the owner. His father-in-law (retired) had it for a few years but bought a fancier and lighter one. So it sat for a year. He gave it back to co-worker. Current owner originally bought it from "another" ex co-worker who apparently waxed it annually. All rust is supposedly from last 5 years.
So at least I know who owned it.

JW
 

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The weak point on that model is the gearbox auger....not bad, but make sure you keep the impeller shaft greased and the shearpins aren't grade five bolts.
 

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$400 CAD looks to be about $300 USD. That doesn't seem like a bad price, given that we're mid-season, and assuming the machine is in good shape (the pics look good to me). Around here (Boston area), I'm seeing ST824 listings averaging about $350 USD.

I'd prefer that machine for $300 over a new $1000 blower.


If you haven't seen this video about things to check on a used blower, it's worth a look:

 

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Discussion Starter #10
1/4" or so play on the impeller front-to-back, if I hold the impeller through the chute the augers have about 3/4"- 1" of play, auger shaft wiggles back and forth horizontally a bit.

The drive train appears to have a "real" differential. Whatever wheel that has the least traction spins. The differential lock is frozen c**k stiff...

The 8hp Tec cycles up and down the rpm spectrum if not under load. Even under load it stalled once in my driveway. Think it might be a venting issue since after I took the gas cap off to look for fuel it ran great.

JW
 

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I just picked up the same snowblower this year and am working on restoring it. Take the wheel off on the side that has the differential lock and look behind to see where the pin that is locking the differential lock to the hub is in the hole, and put some lubricant on that and try giving it a love tap with a punch from behind. It's probably just rusted in place.
 

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put it up in the air and pull off the belly pan. partially engage the auger control about 1/4 of the way and grab the impeller pulley and check for play, there should be none. next grab each wheel and check for slop in the axle bearings, in this case a little play is normal but you dont want to be seeing insane play
 
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