Snowblower Problem ?

Hi,
My son has a 6 yr old typical Ariens 2-stage snowblower.
He doesn't live in my area, but I am hoping to help him out diagnosing a problem that has developed.
Starts right up, and engine runs normally. Auger turns as it should.
But, as soon as he moves it any amount, the chute just clogs right up. He clears the chute, moves it again, and again an immediate clog..
Snow has been reasonably dry, so not what you would expect, e.g., with really wet snow.
Almost sounds to me that the "high-speed" Impeller is not turning as it normally should, due to perhaps becoming disconnected from the shaft that turns it (and apparently the auger, via the front gearbox), and the auger is just pushing the snow into the chute where it is not being pushed out by the Impeller, and clogs right up.
What do you think ? Other possibilities ?
Is this something that is a common problem in 6 yr old machines ? Easy to fix ?
Thanks, and Happy New Years', Bob
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That would be my first suspicion as well. I've never had that second stage stop. Don't know if they typically have a seperate shear pin? I've only replaced the ones on the auger. I'd go find a parts diagram either from the manual or online that shows how it's all connected.
Has he looked at the blower stage with it just running and not trying to blow snow? That would be my first step. Could also be some blockage in the path too.
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Needs more diagnostic. Maybe second person to watch, while he holds the machine some where, engage the drive, and see if the auger and impeller both spin.
Can also coat the surfaces with silicone lube spray, to help keep snow from sticking.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
Hi,
My son has a 6 yr old typical Ariens 2-stage snowblower.
He doesn't live in my area, but I am hoping to help him out diagnosing a problem that has developed.
Starts right up, and engine runs normally. Auger turns as it should.
But, as soon as he moves it any amount, the chute just clogs right up. He clears the chute, moves it again, and again an immediate clog..
Snow has been reasonably dry, so not what you would expect, e.g., with really wet snow.
Almost sounds to me that the "high-speed" Impeller is not turning as it normally should, due to perhaps becoming disconnected from the shaft that turns it (and apparently the auger, via the front gearbox), and the auger is just pushing the snow into the chute where it is not being pushed out by the Impeller, and clogs right up.
What do you think ? Other possibilities ?
Is this something that is a common problem in 6 yr old machines ? Easy to fix ?
Thanks, and Happy New Years', Bob
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With everything shut down - not running - he should try to turn the impeller. The compression of the engine should keep it from turning over, and so the impeller should not move if the shear pin is not broken off.
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On 12/31/2012 11:35 AM, hr(bob) snipped-for-privacy@att.net wrote:

Mine has a shear pin. But I had a different problem.
Usually small stones get pinched by the auger and that shears the auger pin. I brought out the snowblower last week and when I engaged the thrower the engine stalled. The traction worked fine. I could feel some play in the augers but not the impeller. I was the last one to use it last winter and it worked fine.. I positioned a piece of wood against an impeller blade and rapped it a few times and heard something fall out. A tiny stone was lodged behind the impeller.
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wrote:

Just speculating here...
Your suggestion may only tell half the story.
If the impeller doesn't move with the engine off, it doesn't mean that it will turn when the engine is on.
Yes, it will tell you that something is broken if it spins freely, but it won't tell you much if it doesn't spin freely. It could be engine compression or it could be a jammed impeller.
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On Mon, 31 Dec 2012 10:53:24 -0800 (PST), DerbyDad03

is broken.
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Bob:
I expect you're probably correct that the impeller isn't turning, probably because of having become disconnected from the shaft.
Most two stage snowblowers are made much the same nowadays. The engine turns two belts; one belt turns a pulley that drives the wheels and the other turns a pully that drives both the auger and the impeller. I really don't know how the impeller is connected to the shaft turning it, but if the impeller isn't turning, that's the problem right there.
Does your son keep his snowblower in a warm garage when not in use? What I'm thinking is that there's not much room under that impeller inside the housing it sits in. If heat from a warm car engine melts the snow inside that auger housing, it may melt and refreeze at the bottom of the impeller housing thereby locking one of the impeller fins in place.
I'd check with your son to find out if the impeller is turning. Since it's the same shaft that turns both the impeller and auger (through the worm gear), then if the auger is turning, there's gotta be something wrong at the impeller/shaft connection if the impeller isn't turning.
Hopefully, it's just a matter of tightening a set screw to get the impeller turning again.
Maybe tell your son to buy a cheap propane torch to melt any ice out of the impeller housing that might be preventing the impeller from turning. Either that or store the snow blower on it's scoop so that any snow melt drips out of the snowblower an not into the impeller housing.
--
nestork


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continue to turn, there is a good chance the roll pin holding the impeller to the drive shaft is sheared. Not common - but will happen if something jams the impeller and the belt does not slip.
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My 'new one' [an 8hp- 24"] is likely a '94-- I can't believe how well that thing moves snow. [my old one was a 1970s version] I have been unable to clog it- even taking full bites of 12" of wet slushy stuff at the end of the driveway.
Are the RPMs of the impeller fast enough? Engine RPMs high- belt not slipping- impeller turning? *both* sides of the auger working right?
Is the impeller damaged? I managed to catch a nice rock on my old Bolens that bent two impeller blades right over without shearing anything. It doesn't throw snow worth a darn unless all the impeller blades are spinning close to the housing.
Jim

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A lot people in the snowblower forums love these Clarence kits. Some of those folks build or seriously modify their machines, so I trust their judgment.
http://smllengns.tripod.com /
I haven't tried it because my Ariens Sno-Tek has a plastic chute and they are not recommended for that type of machine.
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-snip-

-snip-
I can vouch for how much difference they make. I made a set from a worn out 'paddle' from an old single stage. That old Bolens had a 3/8" gap around the impeller. [which gives me another thought on the OP's problem-- did someone replace the impeller with a too small one?]
That 'Clarence kit' had it tossing snow and slush like the big boys. [I also epoxied the inside of the chute which couldn't have hurt anything.
The 'new' one doesn't need any help. So far I'm pretty impressed with it-- only 1/2 dozen snowfalls so far and nothing super deep or super heavy.
Jim
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I see where is says plastic impeller, but nothing about a plastic chute.
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