Raising snowblower handles?

So we finally got some snow so I could play with my 'new' [7 yr old] snowblower.
I like it better [mostly] than the 30yr old one it replaced--- but the handles are about 3-4 inches too low.
I'm no giant, I'm 6'2", so I'm sure someone has gone this way before. Seems like I should be able to add an 'extension handle' somehow that will tie into the existing linkages.
I found something online for a Honda- but I've got an Ariens.
thanks, Jim
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Jim Elbrecht wrote:

Are they really too low? They should be right at about hip level, that way you can turn by shifting your hip and weight into it rather than straining with your arms. This is particularly important if you have it in diff lock/solid axle mode where it wants to go straight.
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-snip-
-snip-
Yeah, they're too low. I have to bend over just a bit to operate it.
When I bought it it had a weight on the front like you put on to offset a cab. I took it off-- but I'm going to put it back because the front is too light. I can spin it around effortlessly with one hand. I have a steep driveway and was doubtful about running those big knobby tires without chains-- but if the 2 snowfalls we've gotten this winter are any indication, I won't need chains *or* to lock the differential.
My 30yr old Bolens had to be horsed around, and the differential had to be locked so the chained tires could climb the hill, but the handles were higher.
Jim
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wrote:

You're just too tall for that snowblower. I've had a couple cheap ones and my son broke the handle on one horsing it in deep snow. Tube steel just snapped. That handle was attached to the body and no way to adjust. Your best bet is to fabricate brackets where the handles attach to lift them up. Heavy duty brackets.
--Vic
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-snip-
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Yeah- but it was just right for my pocketbook.<g> $200 & I don't think it has 100 hours on it.

Yup-- That's the plan. I was just hoping somebody else had made some mistakes so I don't have to.
Jim
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Post your question (along with the model number) in this forum. These guys are really good and some have modified their snow blowers in some pretty incredible ways.
http://www.opeonthenet.com/phpBB2/viewforum.php?f=1
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-snip-

Damn you-- I was avoiding them because they are a giant time-sucking vortex of fascinating BS.<g>
I spent an hour going through the 'mods' thread--- did you get those platform shoes?<g>
I might post over there after I talk to my neighbor about my current 'brilliant idea'.
Jim
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Yeah, that's a pretty cool site. Really easy to waste a lot of time there. You'll also find that they're a lot more civil over there compared to certain newsgroups, if you know what I mean. When they disagree on something, they discuss it calmly or agree to disagree.
It was actually someone from a.h.r that pointed me in their direction when I was trying to compare different SB models.
Once I posted my question there, they suggested I look at the new Ariens Sno-Tek line - same price as the Craftsman/TroyBilt/MTD (which are all the same machine) but much better built.
No, I never bought the platform shoes. I simply stand on a couple of telephone books when I'm blowing snow.
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Have you called Ariens and see if they carry an extension kit?
920-756-4688 or submit a question here:
http://ariens.custhelp.com/app/ask /
As I'm sure you know, if you raised the handles, you'd also have to extend all of the cables.
If your Ariens is anything like my Ariens, you've got the drive and auger levers on top of the handles, so those would have to be retrofitted to reach the higher handles.
Assuming the console with the gear shift and chute controls would also be raised, all of those cables and connections would have to be extended also.
Of course, if you raised the console (at least on mine) the bar to the chute-direction gearbox would be at a different angle and might not work right. (I'm not looking at mine blower right now, so I can't say for sure that that would be a problem)
For once I'm glad I'm not so tall. :-)
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-snip-

-snip-
Not yet-- My neighbor is a mechanic who has been working on machines [he likes honda's better-- but his employer sells a lot more Ariens] for decades. He's finally got some work to do so I'll talk to him next week or so & see if he's seen anything.

Sounds like it- mines a ST824. Here's the handlebar- http://preview.tinyurl.com/st824handlebar
My current thoughts are to just mount a couple of 'U' pieces to the existing handlebar and mount the squeezed handles on top of them with linkages to the existing handles. In the process I might try to get some leverage on those springs as my arthritic hands also end up hurting after a couple hours of blowing.
I don't think it will interfere with the shifter, but I don't do a lot of shifting with this thing anyway. It rolls so easy it is easier to just hit the clutch and pull it back. The key is no problem.
The crank for the chute might benefit from an extension, too-- or I could electrify it for giggles.
I wouldn't do this mod on my old 300 lb. Bolens- but this Ariens takes a very light touch.
-snip-

I won't sacrifice my ability to get the stuff on the top shelf for a few cracks in my skull from low ceilings.<g>
When you think about it, it is amazing with all the ergonomic shovels out there the snowblower folks don't make adjusting handle-height just part of the set-up routine.
Jim
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...
I have this model, barely a year old...
http://www.sno-tek.net/products/sno-tek-24.html
...

...
I don't get the bumps on the head and I have people like you to help me get stuff on the top shelf. ;-)
I've never been shy about asking a fellow shopper to get something for me if I can't reach it. In most cases, I'm sure I made them feel better since they were able to help someone else, which usually feels pretty good.
...

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wrote:

Are you married? How tall is your wife? Problem solved with no welding.
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Hehe-- I got her an electric. Nice and quiet, and light besides.
The big noisy ones are 'man-toys'
Jim
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