Ariens Tiller Gearbox Sludge

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  #1  
Old 11-17-07, 08:25 PM
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Ariens Tiller Gearbox Sludge

I just came across an old Ariens Rocket V rototiller and am trying to get it running. I got the engine running today. When I put it in gear everything appeared to work pretty well. I checked the gearbox dipstick and was appalled to see that the gearbox is filled with what looks like a light brown, sludgey mess. I expected the gearbox to take something like 90 weight gear lube or similar but it almost looks like it is composed partially of axle grease or something else thick like that. Is there any effective way to clean out the gearbox of this sludge without cracking it open? I wouldn't even be opposed to pouring in some 90 weight or thinner oil, running it for a while, then draining it several times if I can avoid having to disassemble the gearbox from the tiller. Any thoughts on either cleaning out the sludge or what is the proper oil weight for the box?
 
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Old 11-18-07, 05:06 AM
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Generally, a cast iron gearbox will require oil and an aluminum gearbox requires grease. Post back with your model and serial numbers off of the chassis of the tiller if you would please. I'd rather not advise you until I can have a look at what you have specifically.
 
  #3  
Old 11-18-07, 06:11 AM
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Thanks for the response. The model number is 901007 and the serial number is 004272. If this is a cast iron gearbox and should have oil instead of grease, is there any way to clean out the sludge other than opening it up?
 
  #4  
Old 11-21-07, 08:20 AM
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I use a 150 watt light bulb with an aluminum reflector with a squeze clamp thing on it and point it close by the housing to get 'er warm. That allows the gunk to liquify better and drain out the bottom. I don't really like the idea of running anything with bad lube in it, even when good lube is added to it in an effort to clean out the innards of a machine with the idea of draining it and changing it, but sometimes that's the best way to go.

Would it be possible to fill the housing with a solvent, vigoriously shake it for a couple of minutes and then drain it? Repeating as necessary until the solvent came out clean? That would avoid running the gears with crap lube, but you have to be sure you get ALL the solvent out before adding the new lube.
 
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