Ariens Snowblower moving slow

grasswhispererJanuary 27, 2009

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 -

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canguy(British Columbia)

The friction wheel may be worn causing it to slip. Tip the machine forward and block it securely, easier if it has drift cutters, and remove the bottom cover. The friction wheel is a metal disc with a rubber ring. It is not difficult or expensive to replace.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2009 at 10:07PM
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Many thanks. From the description, it sounds straightforward and I plan to investigate.

Before I do - can anyone recommend where I might be able to get an Ariens ST724 parts diagram online?

I was able to Google a Husqvarna ST724 owners manual, which actually looks very similar. Was the "ST724" a design made and/or sold by multiple manufacturers?

See link to Husqvarna OM. On page 31 of the pdf (p. 32 of the document itself) under "Drive Component Repair Parts", there is a part #246 labeled "WHEEL, ASSY FRICTION DISC".

If not exactly the same, I assume something like this is what you are referring to, canguy?

Many thanks!

Here is a link that might be useful: Link to Husqvarna ST724 owners manual

    Bookmark   January 28, 2009 at 9:26PM
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canguy(British Columbia)

The Husqvarna was made by AYP but the layout is very similar to your Ariens.That is the friction wheel I referred to.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2009 at 9:42PM
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Many thanks canguy.

One more, just so I know when I open up and take a look:

Is there a definitive way to tell if the wheel is worn? I know this may sound like an obvious question for someone who knows what they are looking at - but given that the wheel is labeled as "friction", etc. - I assume there is supposed to be SOME slip for proper function - but maybe not...

Any tips on how I can tell if it's worn and not functioning as designed? In general, do you know that a worn friction wheel is almost always the culprit in a slow-moving unit? Are there other, likely possibilities - perhaps a belt or chain is slipping because it needs to be adjusted? Or is a worn friction wheel almost always the culprit...?

Thanks for your patience and helping a layman.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2009 at 11:55AM
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Hi folks - I know I started this post well over a year ago - but haven't had a chance to tackle the possibility of changing my friction disc.

I pulled off the cover and took a look. There is some oil gunk at the bottom of the cover - I'm told this is a sign of a wearing disc - but it does not seem extreme. The disc itself seemes to have plenty of rubber with much integrity.

Before I go to replace the disc - are there other possibilities that could be causing a slow-moving unit? The disc seems to be properly aligned on the opposing wheel (i.e., right near the edge for fastest speed). The belt is only 2 years old and the unit ran "fast" (normal) when it was newly replaced. It would seem odd that the belt is the culprit after only 1 year of very light use (especially since the belt prior to that lasted for much much longer)

Is it possible that the pull cord needs to be tightened?

I am normally a fan of the "try and see" approach, but changing the friction disc doesn't seem as straightforward as I thought. I do have a manual with instructions, so I'm still willing to try - just thought I'd tap into years of collective experience to see if there might be other likely causes.

Local mechanic says it's a few hours to change the disc on this particular model ("it's the smaller disc", he says... "re-installing the washers alone are a big headache...") - he means the washers at the end of the hex rod...?

Anyway - any insight greatly appreciated.

Thanks much -
Brad in MA

    Bookmark   September 1, 2010 at 11:13AM
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Grass: The Rubber debris and oil residue from the chain drive or bearing seepage are normally wear and tear issues. The slippage as CG indicated is a byproduct of this wear and tear process. You may only require to clean (degrease) and scuff up the friction disc (metal disc) that the wheel drives onto. If the Rubber is not crack or weathered . You may have a few more yrs of life after you clean to inspect further.
I replaced my Friction Wheel Assembly last Fall approx 2 hrs & just under $20.00 later in my Garage. Unfortunately my Rubber had cracked. On some models both the Main Drive Axle wheel assembly must be removed to enable removal (Clearance) of the Hex Shaft and Friction Wheel . Not a overwhelming job , just takes patience and pre planning (sketch) of all components and their orientation . If not a Exploded View of the Parts List from the dealer can normally be obtained for reference for removal and reassembly , should you feel its warranted . The most tedious part of the job is securing the self aligning bearings onto the shaft and then securing the pillow block simultaneously . Talk about needing 4-hands. On some units there is quite a bit of clearance and other brands your rather confined. A Sky Hook or a well placed nylon sling and a chain-fall or chain ratchet elevated the blower effectively for the Inspection and Repair. I have made a Repair Stand at Waist Level c/w ramp to save a little on the lower back . Same with numerous Lawnmower Repairs , anyhow let us know how it goes Bro ! :)

Note: Take note of the position of the friction wheel and gear position prior to removal to enable correct reinstalltion , to ensure proper gear selection upon completion . Also ensure to adjust the cable and spring tension . I like mine to be a little tighter to reduce the slippage upon engagement . You can validate this prior to buttoning up the Belly Pan .

    Bookmark   September 1, 2010 at 3:13PM
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Would anyone know where I can get a wheel assembly for a ariens 932027 Don't know if this is the correct place to ask this question if not I sorry havent use the site ln quite awhile. thanks for any info

This post was edited by guysr1 on Thu, Dec 19, 13 at 18:18

    Bookmark   December 17, 2013 at 10:34PM
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