I have owned a single-stage snowblower for ten years, and it has been great.
For some reason, it easily goes downhill, but driving it back uphill is
too much for me. It does a great job of throwing snow.
Can anyone tell me what to look for? It appears that the fan belt is
OK. I will probably have to take it into a shop, but I am hoping it is
a quick and easy fix.
On Wed, 12 Jan 2011 21:48:24 -0500, "Stormin Mormon"
Is this a multi-speed unit?
Most MTD multispeed blowers use a friction wheel that moves across a
spinning disc. If the rubber gets hard/glazed - and then gets wet with
snow, no drive. I just replaced the rubber friction wheel on my blower
- part cost here in Canada was roughly $18 and it took me about half
an hour to replace it. Mine is not an MTD, but I've done it on MTD
blowers too (my last blower was an MTD, and I've done several for
friends and neighbours)
On Thu, 13 Jan 2011 08:58:05 -0500, "Stormin Mormon"
It APPEARS this is a "snow thrower" or "power shovel" type machine,
not a "wheel drive" machine.(which is what I was referring to with the
friction wheel Stormy is also referring to)
If it still throws snow well, it is NOT a drive belt issue.
One of the advantages of these machines is they scour right down to
pavement, cleaning the sidewalk extremely well, using what is
basically sections of conveyor belting on the "flutes" of the spinning
auger. The spinning rubber flutes provide traction to drag the blower
across the surface. This wears the flutes down. When they get worn
sufficiently they still throw snow, but to not drag the thrower across
the ground any more.
I would say the chances are better than 99.9% that this is the
situation with the OP's blower.
At 13 years of age, the likelihood is still pretty good that new auger
flute rubbers will be available from MTD or the aftermarket for that
On 1/13/2011 6:13 PM, email@example.com wrote:
I called the snowblower co. this AM. You have hit on something here.
They said if the machine throws snow, then it is not a belt.
But, it could be the auger or paddles.
Right now, our streets are like ice skating rinks, but when the weather
improves, I will take it into a dealer near me that the guy said works
on this model of snowblower.
Thanks everyone, and I will let you know the outcome.
On 1/12/2011 8:01 PM, hr(bob) firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
This machine has been great. With light snow, I could push the unit up
the hill with one hand. Not now - I can't even push it up the hill.
I will check out the paddle wheel grippers too.
Great group with good ideas.
That's what I thought made it single stage. If that is the case with
Kate's, then the only two things it can be are;
1. worn pads on the paddle
2. she needs to raise the handle a bit when going uphill.
Since the only "drive" with a single stage is the rubber "paddles" on
the auger contacting the ground, it's possible that the paddles are
worn and that the slight backwards lean of the unit as you go uphill
is separating the paddles from the ground enough to lose traction.
Try lifting up on the handle, forcing the front end down towards the
ground. If the traction improves, the paddles may be worn.
P.S. I got to use my new 2 stage machine yesterday in some decent
snow. 7 inches on the ground, over a foot at EOD. It was sweet!
I finished my driveway and then went and did 2 more just for fun! I
was like a snowblowing ninja - in and out before the neighbors got
home from work. I'm sure they (both single ladies) were surprised and
What did you buy? I sometimes want mine to die so I can justify getting a
bigger model. The little single stage was a gift about 10 years ago and it
is all I need most of the time, but the EOD can be a bear at if it is deep
I bought a big Cub Cadet at work and it is great there, but far too much for
me at home.
I bought this unit (link below) in the late fall when Ariens had it on
sale for $599. It was available at Home Depot as well as a few
independent Outdoor Power Equipment dealers. Since Ariens sets the
price, it's the same everywhere, so I went to an independent dealer.
I had more trust in them setting up the machine than a HD employee,
plus they told me that they are the authorized service dealer for
machines sold at HD. As a customer of theirs, I would be ahead of an
HD customer if warranty repair work was needed.
I'm glad I went that route because when I went to pick up the machine
a tech showed me how to operate it (I'm a newbie to 2-stage
snowblowers). As he engaged the auger, he didn't like the sound of it
and took it back inside for a slight adjustment. I wouldn't have known
it wasn't right and I doubt HD would have even spent the time teaching
me or - more importantly - noticing the minor problem.
The Ariens Sno Tek line is Ariens' endeavor to offer some entry level
machines to compete with Sears, MTD, etc., which are basically all the
same (MTD) machines. When on sale for $599, the quality of the Ariens
machine blows the others $599 machines away. Metal where they have
plastic , stronger welds, overall better quality. Some of the other
models have plastic impellers. Plastic *impellers*. Are you kidding
The Sno Tek line doesn't have any features like hand warmers,
differential steering, headlights, etc. but as I said, it's an entry
level machine and all that I need.
It comes in a 24" and 28" width. I believe there is a Sno Tek single
stage model also.
The dealer told me that Ariens usually puts their machines on sale in
mid to late November and then again in late February to early March.
If you want information on snowblowers as well as other outdoor power
equipment, I recommend this site, which pointed me in the Sno Tek
direction. These guys live and breathe that stuff:
On Thu, 13 Jan 2011 09:00:21 -0500, "Stormin Mormon"
Which is a 3L width (or format) belt 41 inches long.
And Stormy is right - they VERY seldom stretch any appreciable
ammount. They wear narrower, so the original 3L belt becomes a 2L belt
(or close to it) which might measure as a 2Ll415 or 2L420 (41.5 or 42
inch) (which "appears" to have stretched)
Automotive belts start with either 4L (12.5mm wide) or 3L (9.5mm). The
number following it is the outside length of the belt in tenths of
inches. The inside length of the belt is typically 2" less for a 4L
belt, and 1-1/2" less for a 3L belt. An example would be 4L460, which
would be 46" long outside, 44" inside.
"Classic" or "fractional horsepower" v-belt numbers start with a
letter identifying the cross section, A through E - A series belts
are the most common. The number following it is the inside length in
inches. The outside length is typically 2 inches more. An example
would be A44, 44" long on the inside, 46" outside; the equivalent of
the 4L460 above.
A 3V is 3/8", a 5V is 5.8", and a 8V is 1" wide.
A is 1/2" wide, B is 21/32, C is 7/8, D is 1 1/4
It is important to use the right series belt, particularly not using a
V series in place of a 3L or 4L, or letter sized belt because the V
series are a 30 degree included angle while the rest are 40 degree
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