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Why I hate Arien's Snowthrowers


Norm201's Avatar
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01-03-15, 10:53 AM   #1  
Why I hate Arien's Snowthrowers

I have not had one single season since the day I took delivery where I have not had to repair this piece of S**T. The Drive transmission has been rebuilt three times over the years.
Here is a typical example of why I get so frustrated with what is suppose to be the premier snowthower.
New Years Eve after I manged to at least complete the job of clearing the driveway the unit stopped moving. As expected for this junk.
Today's inspection shows why. I've had this problem before and cannot think of a quick permanent fix. As the pictures show I had to replace the cotter pin (seriously, that's the best they could come up with to fasten the shaft?) that came loose and dropped out.



I was thinking of using a shaft collar. That would limit the side to side movement but how could I prevent the play in the up/down plane?




 
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01-03-15, 11:09 AM   #2  
That's a fixed....non spinning shaft..... held in with a simple cotter pin ?


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01-03-15, 11:15 AM   #3  
Would it be possible to use 2 shaft collars, welding one to the housing where the cotter pin is and the second one being on the shaft to use for side to did adjustment? The welded one would control the up and down movement. Just a shot in the dark since the housing may not take a weld very good.

 
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01-03-15, 11:17 AM   #4  
That's how it was built! Damn stupid design. I can point out many items on this crap machine that are similar. The gear that rotates the shoot is up high on a long shaft. Gear is made of plastic. Stripes easily. ($28 to replace)

Told the wife that maybe at season's end we buy a new one and then decide to go cheap and expect 3 to 5 years on any machine or go expensive and get a Cub Cadet and have no worries for the next 10 years hopefully.

 
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01-03-15, 11:28 AM   #5  
Ron,

I've thought of that. And I don't think a weld job is good because of what you said. Besides the up/down movement is on the extreme left hand/gear side. A collar will prevent the horizontal movement and up/down on the right side but not the left. Right now the engagement is just enough to make it go. But those gears are a sloppy fit and will eventually just wear out by shear banging against each other.

This is typical design of most common show thowers. That's why I'm thinking of a Cub Cadet. I think their better designed. My son bought one and I'll see how his fairs.

 
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01-03-15, 01:39 PM   #6  
I'm a little surprised at this thread. The only snow blower I've ever owned was an Ariens that I bought used in the late 60's. I worked it hard for several yrs [clearing drives/walks for pay] and never had any issues with it. It was still working great when I got rid of it. But I guess nothing is built like it used to be


retired painter/contractor avid DIYer

 
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01-03-15, 02:14 PM   #7  
marksr,

Of course you have an Arien's when they were built to last. They are still riding on that reputation. I also have a unit from the late 70's. Still works. Starts even when stored outside, no cover, buried in snow. Build like iron with heavy gage steel. Brackets used to secure parts and better steel. Today's units do not come close to comparing. There was a time when I swore by an Arien'e piece of equipment. But now I would not give you a wooden nickel for one.

 
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01-03-15, 05:07 PM   #8  
Could you sleeve a nice ball bearing over that shaft, and secure the outside of the ball-bearing in a housing screwed, or bolted, to the housing wall ?

 
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01-03-15, 06:02 PM   #9  
I was thinking to put a 1/16 in flat plate to anchor it down. Similar to this.


 
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01-03-15, 07:08 PM   #10  
I would anchor it with a bracket welded from the shaft to the frame. Nothing wrong with welding it, it all appears to be mild steel. That would stop the lateral and up/down movement.


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01-03-15, 08:00 PM   #11  
Welding would resolve a lot of design problems on this beast. But because equipment age and my not having welding skills not to mention equipment, I'm not about to spend any money on this other than what I can do myself. Besides it's the quick fix in the middle of a cold winter that bugs me. I shouldn't have to experience this every single season. I went through the machine with a fine tooth comb back in September and it all looked good. And damn if it's one thing after another that didn't give me any early warning signs.

Literally, the very first time I ran this machine (brand new, mind you) on a very stormy and snowy Christmas Day, it broke and nearly smashed into my brand new car. I had no recourse but to fix it myself instead of demanding a dealer repair or replacement. I sent a long letter with pictures and description to the Ariens factory explaining the safety risk in the design flaw that almost wiped out my car or could've caused injury. Their reply was non-existent. I still have the letter and pics if you care to see it.

That's why I hate Arien's!

 
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01-04-15, 05:45 AM   #12  
Could you put a steel bar across the bottom of the frame then run several large hose clamps around the bar and axle? The tension of the hose clamps would hold the steel bar in place and pull all the free play out of the axle mounting and it would be easily removable for servicing.

 
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01-04-15, 10:15 AM   #13  
My son who had the same machine in fact did that same thing not he used zip ties as a temp solution

 
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01-15-15, 07:14 PM   #14  
You could use flanged shaft supports at each end if you ground the current mounting lip. This would give you a flat surface to mount with axial and lateral control.

 
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01-16-15, 03:37 AM   #15  
That's pretty much what the shaft collars will do for me. Again the left side has no room for adding a collar. So far the current fix is holding. Once the weather gets warm I'll take a closer look at this and report back as to what I do ti fix it.

 
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01-16-15, 10:05 AM   #16  
Unless I'm missing something, the shaft collars won't control the radial (lateral) movement, since they won't be fastened to the frame. They will only control the axial ( horizontal) movement. What about attaching the flanged collar from the outside of the frame for extra room? Probably would need to cut out a larger hole with this method.

Hard to believe that Ariens would design the shaft supports like this. Are their current designs like this?

 
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01-16-15, 02:10 PM   #17  
I'm don't want to redesign the unit. Your correct the shaft collar will stabilize the axial movement but not the radial motion. I think the easiest thing to do is the bracket I sketched in my earlier post. I can easily drill holes in the shaft and frame, but I can't easily weld or cut on the frame.

To be honest I don't know if later models are designed the same or not. But I've seen and heard about other failures on other parts. It's not just Arien's but any of the cheap to mid-priced ranged units are built cheesy. The basic units are all the same. Arein's has a branded name knock off that is sold at Lowes. My son-in-law bought one. It works well. But, during the first outing the design was such that when he went to pull start the unit, the rope slip out of his hands and busted the fuel valve shut off. Poor design. On any machine with a pull start you should be able to let go and the recoil should not damage any portion of machine. The worst part was that it was special and had to be ordered. A simple shut off or no shut-off fuel line would've sufficed. Hell my old 1970's vintage Arien's unit is basic and works no matter how I abuse it. That poor puppy was hit by a car, left out in sub-zero temps, covered in snow and still starts every time. We had minor repairs but nothing that a typical hardware store can't supply parts for. The new units have thin steel sides, cheap steel or plastic parts. The price goes up for bells and whistles. And now they have this 3 stage unit. Just another component that will break. Truth be told I don't need to thrown my snow 20 to 30 feet. I need to remove it from my drive way maybe 10 to 15 feet.

Some people said to get a Toro or a John Deer. I've looked at them and they don't seem to be built any better. They can't and still be competitive. Like I said my son bought a Cub Cadet and paid a high price for it. It seems to be built of better quality and design. We'll see.

 
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