Please help with my snow blower

MasamuneJanuary 25, 2011

Hi all, new here... I bought my first snowblower recently, an Ariens ST824 from the 80s. I bought it for pretty cheap (though having seen prices that some people have paid, maybe not cheap enough) needing a carb rebuild. I did that, following instructions, and it leaked tons of gas. I said screw it and bought a carb from Ebay and now it runs reasonably okay, I guess. I actually bought the wrong carburetor model - I just went by HM80 but I got a newer one. I got it to fit by moving the throttle control upwards a little bit. The throttle seems to be backwards now but I don't really care. This carburetor was much cheaper than the correct one, anyway.

It does have some other problems. First, the thing will move without me touching the drive clutch. If I put it in reverse, however, it generally stays still, merely sort of giving me an assist if I pull it backwards myself.

Second is that I can't figure out how to push it forward with the machine off. I can pull it backwards but not push it forwards. One of the wheels has the differential lock sticker and a plastic piece that does pull outwards 1-2cm. Pulling it out does make the machine much easier to turn so I suppose it is working? But it doesn't make a difference in trying to push the machine forward with it off. It does not matter what gear I have the machine in.

Third is that on the wheel opposite the differential lock wheel, there is a plastic cap that I can remove and there is what looks like some sort of retaining washer thing that is just hanging around loosely in there. It looks like it might fit on the hub (or whatever the rod inside there is) with some pressure but I do not know if that is right, and what orientation, etc.

I am a car mechanic (by hobby, not trade) but this is my first time dealing with a snow blower, so I would very much appreciate it if anyone could point me in the right direction. I did download the service and parts manuals for the machine but they are really hard for me to follow with the million different diagrams and million different pieces in each diagram.


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I think your going to have to remove the cover on the bottom and see whats going on. It sounds like your drive system is not releasing or is incorrectly adjusted which would explain why it is hard to push forward. The diff lock would not hinder you pushing it forward. Its basically a pin that locks the wheel so both wheels power the blower. If you pull the black knob out and turn it so it does not seat back in, only one wheel with spin and it will be much much easier to turn. If you want both wheels to drive the blower which makes it much harder to turn, turn the knob until it falls back in.

It seems like you'll need to adjsut the drive system. Your friction wheel could also be worn and the system was adjusted to compensate for that.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2011 at 8:59AM
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Okay, I'll check that out, thanks.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2011 at 11:57AM
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Old old ariens needed the drive lever squeezed to roll. They were the ones w/ the clutch lever in the front if I'm correct.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2011 at 12:10PM
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Tom, if you mean that I should press the clutch when the machine is off then it makes no difference whether I do or not. I can't push it forward when it's off no matter what gear, no matter whether I press the clutch or not, and no matter what the differential is set at.

I hope to find the time tonight or tomorrow to take a gander inside of the machine to see what's going on.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2011 at 2:17PM
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I got the machine mostly working today. I replaced the belts and adjusted the friction disk. I had actually bought a new friction disk but I couldn't get the machine to adjust enough to accept it.

I still need to get reverse working, and there's another problem I noticed... The belt pulley for the wheel drive is quite wobbly... It's tight, but the pulley itself isn't true. I should replace this ASAP, right? What other issues do I need to check for because of this?

P.S. this engine is loud and annoying and seems to require me to constantly adjust the throttle... I think I'll be repowering it with the Harbor Freight 6.5hp, making sure to get a warranty on it...

    Bookmark   February 1, 2011 at 5:48PM
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I wear headphone style sound muffs when using our Ariens snowblower, also with a Tecumseh engine. I agree, they could use a better muffler. But I never have to fiddle around with the throttle. It should settle down and run evenly, under load, when you get the carburetor and governor mechanism all sorted out.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2011 at 11:00PM
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