Ariens Snowblower moving slow
I have a 7HP Ariens (ST 724) - probably about 12 years old - not much use - runs great (had a full tune-up last year after a gear box issue.)
While the engine and unit is running great, I have noticed that the unit itself seems to be moving more slowly than previous years. I can't say if I noticed this immediately after the tune-up last year, but this year it definitely seems to be moving only about 2/3s the speed it did previously. I recall walking at a very good clip when the transmission was in the fastest gear - now it's much slower.
Reverse also seems to be slower, but it's hard to say for sure given reverse being slower anyway.
I realize that snowblowers aren't made to be operated like racecars, but there are times I would like to operate at the fastest speed when the snow is little and/or powdery, etc.
So my questions are:
1) is there a "standard" pace against which I could measure my unit? How fast (assume feet per minute or something) should this guy be moving?
2) How can I adjust this? I know very little, but willing to learn and tinker. I assume there might be a belt or two within the transmission that affects the speed. I'm wondering if there is a tension adjustment used for speed adjustment.
PS - I don't believe there was any change to the rod that connects the hand-lever to the transmission housing.
Many thanks for any insight -