Ariens Snowblower Now Without A True Wheel Differential Lock Quest. ?

Hi,
Have an old Ariens snowblower that came with a wheel differential, and a wheel differential on/off differential lock. You could either use it with the differntial engaged, or without (the wheels would be "locked").
Always kept it in that true differential mode, and very rarely would I find the need to "lock" both wheels together.
Anyway, my son just bought a new Ariens 7524 Compact model, and it looks like they did away with the differential. You can either have both wheels always locked (sems like the "default" position) or unlock either wheel which would allow the wheel tofree-spin on the axle. No True differential, though.
What do most folks use for typical snowblowing with cheapened new models like this ? Just keep the 2 wheels locked all the time ?
A little confused, as both wheels locked seems like it would be hard to use as the tires would have to skid for any turns, but unlocking one wheel doesn't seem to great either.
Any opinions would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks, Bob
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I can not for the life of me understand why snow blower manufacturers put differentials in them anyway! I have an old Bolens that I finally removed the differential, it was just another part to break any way. Many manufacturers never put differentials on their blowers, just a few did.
I have a '02 Toro 1028 Power Shift that does not have a differential either, so I don't know about cheap. The Toro listed out at over $2000 at the time! I was glad to see it did not have a differential. You really do not need a diff on a snow blower as it is very easy to skid the one tire for the turn anyway. So to answer your question, keep both wheels locked in use. Do yourself a favor though, and remove the wheels and lube the hub and axle shaft with grease. Over time rust will form and the wheels will never come off!
The older Ariens blowers were not designed for use just as a snow blower. You could buy different attachments for them. Mower deck, and a sweeper for example. I am sure that is why the early models have the diff lock. Mowing or sweeping you would not want tire skidding on turns.
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Robert11 wrote:

My 1965 Ariens has wierd bidirectional overunning clutches in each wheel hub which let the wheel turn faster than the axle when it needs to, in both directions. Parts for them aren't available and I've had to make a couple of pieces over the last 15 years or so to keep them working. There's no "lock" for them. And, I know that a lot of guys have just drilled a hole through the clutch parts and stuck a bolt and nut through to secure the hubs to the axles when their wheel clutches have gone south.
Anyway, the overunning clutches work when turning by letting the outside wheel roll faster than the axle is turning, so there's no driving force from the outside wheel on turns. Unlike a true differential, if one wheel is on something very slippery the other wheel will push fine if it has traction. And, those crazy clutches work the same while makeing turns in reverse.
That said, I really don't think there's much need for differentials on snow blowers anyway, at least not while you are blowing snow. There's enough tire slip on wet pavement to take care of things, even with chains on the wheels. The unlocking of one wheel from its axle just lets you make turns on dry pavement or inside your garage a little easier, whether the blower is being mooved by it's engine or you're just strongarming it around with muscle power.
HTH,
Jeff
--
Jeffry Wisnia

(W1BSV + Brass Rat \'57 EE)
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wheels
find
the
use
either.
I don't think any manufacturers use TRUE differentials anymore. (too many problems)
But a few of the larger Toro's and honda have clutches on each wheel to disengage if you need to. they use little triggers for each wheel.
I just bought the toro model without them, as I just couldn't see paying for something more to break. And never any real problem turning the machine without them.
of course my machine doesn't have a headlight either, and somehow I manage to blow snow in the dark using only the driveway lighting or street lights.
But I agree with others that there is always enough snow to provide slippage to turn any blower with just bit of a push while the machine is moving
If someone is really that unable to turn the machine, offer a neighbor a few bucks to do it for you, or pick up a riding tractor with a snow attachment.
AMUN
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