1968 Ariens 4.5HP Snowblower w/Tecumseh (sp) engine


Old 01-03-01, 01:42 PM
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So, being a new homeowner with limited $$ for such "luxurys" as a snowblower hahaha , I picked up the above listed machine for real cheap this past summer at an estate sale. Looks like it has been used maybe 5 times in the past 30 years, and they even had the original manual and warranty card!
Located in NY, we got socked this weekend with some "real-snow". The machine ran great on Saturday but.... on Sunday the belt that drives the "transmission" snapped. So far I've had no luck locating a replacement, the strange thing is that the belt is only 1/4" wide, and everybody looks at me like I'm nuts when I show them this.
I also read one of the other posts regarding the engine not running unless the choke was closed. I had this same problem Sunday, and the last time it stalled, it would not turn over again. So now it sits DOA in my shed.
What do you think the chances of finding parts are for this relic? And if they are, is it worth re-building? I'd like to think that it is, but if its not.....oh well :-)


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Old 01-03-01, 09:25 PM
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All is not lost yet. That machine can still provide several years of good service for you with a little care, a few bucks for parts and possibly some labor costs.

Check with the local small engine repair shop in your area. The carb kit to rebuild the carb is still available. It will need a cleaning and a new rebuild kit to run like new. Most likely the carb is gummed up from old stale fuel left in the fuel system.

The belt is another matter. But check with the repair shop on that part also. If that exact belt isn't available, there might be enough room to increase the belts width using a wider pulleys but the same diameter size pulleys.

While your at the shop, also replace the fuel filter, if there is one, the spark plug and the air filter. Might want to also change the oil, if not already done.
Old 01-04-01, 07:21 AM
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A very easy solution to the belt:

Contact the Gates or Dayco Rubber companies with the model# and any information off the old belt. They will reply and both were extremely helpful folks.

http://www.markivauto.com (for Dayco)
http://www.gates.com (Gates).

Ariens likely sourced the original belts from these guys anyhow.

I recently "recycled" a Little Wonder Lawn Edger (that is, my landscaping neighbor threw it out and I grabbed it...lol) and I e mailed Dayco and Gates and both were able to find a replacement in a snap by furnishing the model # of the machine.

I even called Little Wonder and they were kind enough to SEND me the original owner's manual. I got it running, but it leaks oil (have to investigate that in the spring). I've got 10 bucks into the whole thing so far (it does work, it just leaks oil).

Even better, I brought the old belts and Dayco/Gates numbers given to me by Gates and Dayco to the True Value store near me and walah, the fellow whipped out two replacement belts for me, 8 bucks for the two of them. They are out there, as Tom points out.

Also contact Ariens Corporation directly. The URL is likely http://www.ariens.com. My commuting partner recently bought a machine from them and they were very helpful in getting the info. he needed.

My sister moved to NJ in 1994 and was given an old (I mean from the 50's or 60's old) snowblower that was a MONSTER. She wound up giving it up at a garage sale for 25 bucks before I could grab it. . It probably needed a little TLC.

Small engines run for a very, very long time with a little TLC. To give you an idea: My neighbor (different guy) threw out a Craftsman lawn mower, similar to what I own. I figured I would grab it for parts. Took it and realized the bag was different. So, I decided to see if I could figure out why it was a goner. Pulled the starter cord...jammed....Took the plug wire off (SAFETY FIRST!!) and noticed a lot of debris underneath....cleaned it out, spun the shaft..heard compresssion.....turned it right side up, checked for gas and oil, cleaned the spark plug....AND.

Fired up on the first try and ran like a champ . Wohoo!! Been using it on my grandfather's property for two years now. I just service it every year (oil changes, spark plugs, etc). Runs absolutely like new.

Bottom line, this oldie but goodie can be saved with a little TLC. I believe this is your case here. Snowblowers last for a very long time if properly cared for.

Good luck and post your results.
Old 01-04-01, 07:30 AM
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Also, yes Tecumseh. The good old Indian head engine . (I have Pontiac automobiles too, so I'm partial to these Indians. ). They are an engine manufacturer in Grafton, WI. They are still there. I have always liked their engines and found them to be well made.

The feature I tend to like most on Tecumseh engines is the presence of a primer bulb for easier starting. The Little Wonder has a Briggs and Stratton engine, which lacks a primer bulb. I will state that the Briggs folks also run a SUPERB web site with a lot of information as well.
Old 01-04-01, 08:05 AM
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Thanks guys! I'm going to see what I can track down over the next couple of days and bring it back to life. I was hoping I'd be able to, I'm partial to "old" things......we I mean they just seem to work better! haha
I'll keep you informed on how everything goes.
Thanks Again


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