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OK, so what routine maintenance do you do on a snowblower? With my old blower, now defunct, I ran it dry to winterize it and changed the oil each spring. I'll be buying a new Ariens, but what preventative maintenance do you users who have your new....10...20....30....40 year old snowblowers do to keep them running year after year? Lubrication? Waxing? Belt replacement?
 

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Use Stabil fuel treatment.....you can't beat it.....prevents the needle valves from sticking during the time your not using the engine. Fill the tank to the top to prevent moisture from forming inside of the fuel tank,,also when your not using it.

Be Happy !!
 

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Spray fogging oil into the combustion chamber prior to storage
Give it the once-over with the power washer
Keep the wire disconnected from the spark plug
Drain and fill the oil
Maintain tire pressure
Use fresh and treated fuel
Grease the augers
Replace rusted hardware
Keep the internals greased up
Check/replace the bushings for the axle and auger
Treat any rust
Start the motor every now and then during its storage
Install a fuel filter and shut off valve
 

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change the oil to a synthetic in the engine, fresh oil in the gearbox, run the carb dry of gas, shut the petcock off, and preferably drain the tank too.
the best rust prevention is spray the machine with a light coat of oil, or wipe it down with an oily rag

if you put synthetic in the engine you don't have to change the oil every year. more like every 5 years or more.
 

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Or you can just kind of clean it off a little and push it to the back of the shed and glance at it from time to time during the summer months. Another route to take is to push it under your deck and cover it with a plastic tarp and forget about it till the first snow of the next season.

Of course this is couched in sarcasm but lots of people do these things then ask why in the dickens won't it start or operate properly?
Then sometimes you can do all the right things, fogging, dry storage, empty carb, etc.... And you get it out well before the first snow only to find it won't run etc. But at least you know you did the right thing and diagnosis will be easier.
If you're a little savvy wbout how things operate common sense will get you a long way.
 

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I have a '71 Ariens, this will be my 7th winter with it.
I always use seafoam in the gas, every time I use it.
In the spring I drain the gas from the tank, and remove the carb bowl to make sure the carb is also free of gas..I leave it disassembled for a few days to let any remaining gas evaporate away, then put the bowl back on. I *dont* change the oil in the Spring, although there is nothing wrong with doing it that way.

In late October or early November I prep it for the upcoming season.

1. Drain out the old oil. I wire a funnel to the drain tube, into an empty milk jug, and let the oil drip out for 24 hours or so, just to make sure as much as possible is out.

2. Put a tag on the handlebars that says "NO OIL!" ;) I dont always do this, but I should..there are known stories of guys doing their spring (or fall) snowblower prep, getting everything done, *forgetting* they haven't added new oil yet! and starting up the machine..

3. Tip her up into "service position", (I leave the engine oil out for this step, and no gas in the tank, so it wont drip out anywhere.)



remove the bottom cover, and lube anything that moves with white lithium grease.
cover the friction disk with a rag to prevent grease from getting on the disk.
bolt the cover back on, and tip her back on the wheels.

4. remove the shear pins from the augers, use a grease gun to push grease into the auger grease zerks, spin the augers to distribute the grease, put the shear bolts back.

5. Check the oil level in the gear case. (mine never loses oil, its always full..IMO this is not something that needs to be replaced *every* year, maybe every 2nd or 3rd year..that one is a judgement call.)

6. Check the tire pressure, add air if necesary.

7. Lube the handlebar cables with light oil. I also lube the other end of the throttle cable at the carb, and put a drop of oil on the various moving bits of the carb linkages, move the throttle lever back and forth to see what moves. I bought an antique oil can on ebay! the kind you press on the bottom to make the oil come out..I think it was 5 bucks..I fill it with the same engine oil I use in the snowblower.



8. Add new engine oil, check for the correct level with the dipstick...add or remove oil as necessary..(I have over-filled before and have to remove some!)

9. Add fresh gas, turn on the gas shut-off valve if you have one.

10. Start her up! check all systems. If all is good, put her back in the garage and she is ready for the first snow.

I have a more detailed list here that I made a few years ago, for doing maintenance in the spring..it lists the major steps, although I dont follow this exact procedure anymore:

The Ariens 1960's and 1970's Sno-Thro info site.

Here is a good video, and there are several more on youtube:


donyboy73 is THE man on youtube, his channel is awesome:
https://www.youtube.com/user/donyboy73

Scot
 

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I've'always said take care of your equipment and it will take care of you. I know that's not original but it's true.
 

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I have a toro 824 model 38080 with a honda gx 200 clone. I drain the fuel before off season storage, check the belts, grease the augers and the shift linkage in the tractor assembly. in late fall i change the oil, add gas, and pull the cord once and smile as the engine starts on the first pull. then I test all of the functions like the augers and transmission. i then turn the fuel cutoff to the off position and allow it to burn off the fuel in the carb. i then store it and park it until i need it.
 

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It's been pretty much covered. It's just a matter of keeping an eye on it. Literally looking it over every so often and lubing anything you can and keeping it clean and wax when you can.
I'm a fan of Stabil Marine (Marine because it handles moisture better) and I add it to every batch of gas just in case I do forget to drain something. I prefer to empty the fuel tank and run the carb dry if I remember.
 

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1). Use Trufuel and only Trufuel and fill tank all the way.
Note: This is an ethanol free gas and is 92 octane.

2). Apply Dielectric grease where needed.
Note: A common use of dielectric grease is in high-voltage connections associated with gasoline engine spark plugs. The grease is applied to the rubber boot of the plug wire. This helps the rubber boot slide onto the ceramic insulator of the plug. The grease also acts to seal the rubber boot, while at the same time preventing the rubber from becoming stuck to the ceramic.

3). Spray Marvel Mystery Oil directly into the combustion chamber.

4). Wax all painted surfaces.
 

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Trufuel might work for you but at around 23 bucks a gallon I go through too much of it to be worth it's benefit.
I can get straight 100% gas and even if I'm using the 10% ethanol stuff I just end up running it dry come spring and haven't had carb problems on my stuff. I do mix some stabil in with each fill of the fuel can.

TruFuel 4-Cycle Ethanol-Free Fuel (6-Pack)-6527238 at The Home Depot
 

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After some research about Trufuel, I did find that you can order from Home Depot two cases of twelve quart cans for $ 70.00 dollars total which includes free shipping direct to your home. This makes each quart about $ 5.83 which is better than full price.
 

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I use Seafoam like Franks Hot Sauce. I put that [email protected]#$ in everything. Being an owner of a dozen (give or take)small engines at any given time it a pain to fog,winterize,or store machinery. When Im positive I wont be using it for a while I use Strar Tron.
A couple questions I have for you wise ones. A couple people mentioned checking air pressure. How much air pressure should i have in a 16x6.5-8 tires. It on a heavy 10000 serious Ariens 32 inch bucket. Im running it at 6lbs now. Is that to low will the bead come off at that psi during heavy use? I have yet to blow with these wheels. Im looking for maximum traction due to an incline in my driveway.
Aslo one had mentioned pulling wire off of plug. What is the purpose of that. Ive never heard of anyone doing that.
 

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The side wall will give you the max air pressure. I dont want to run max, but minimal air pressure for best traction with no adverse effect. Like bead bonding issues.
 

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Aslo one had mentioned pulling wire off of plug. What is the purpose of that. Ive never heard of anyone doing that.
I'm assuming you're referring to me on this one...
It's just something that I have always done when putting my machines into storage. I guess it's more of a safety aspect. I have a ten year old living in this same house, so I know that if he decides to fool around with the machinery while no one is looking it won't start. It give me peace of mind.
In addition to that, there may be a time when I go to work on the machine and forget to actually disconnect the wire; this is my insurance when I become forgetful.
 

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would there be any benefit of adding Sta-Bil or sea foam to the fuel while using the snow blower during the winter i intend to run the machine till it's empty at winters end so won't be needing to add a product to fuel at seasons end but would it be ok to add to fuel during the season temperatures up here can go as low as minus 40 for a few days or a week normally in the minus 20-25 area
 

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would there be any benefit of adding Sta-Bil or sea foam to the fuel while using the snow blower during the winter i intend to run the machine till it's empty at winters end so won't be needing to add a product to fuel at seasons end but would it be ok to add to fuel during the season temperatures up here can go as low as minus 40 for a few days or a week normally in the minus 20-25 area
Stabil is junk. And yes, running some Sefoam and or Starton would be a good ide. I use PriG stabilizer and Marvel Mystery Oil mixed in my gas.
 
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