Well, it all started as a result of my carelessness. During one of the last storms the left tire chain decided to come off and wrap itself around the axle between the tire and the tractor. I looked down when I heard the snap. The part is NLA but luckily I spotted an ad on CraigsList and met up with a guy that has quite a few older parts around for all kinds of older Ariens stuff. He asked me to take the inspection cover off and take some good pics of the drivetrain and when I got there he was just finishing up taking the motor off the tractor he sold me ... and it was MINT.... so since my Dad bought the thing brand new, and it runs like Grant marching thru Richmond, I figured I owed the old gal and gave her a day of beauty. The entire motor was bead-blasted, primed and repainted using the Ariens spraypaint. I must say it seems to be a very good lacquer, so far. I hope it will be as durable.
NOW IF I COULD ONLY FIND NOS or REPRO DECALS!!!
(note the handy sheet-metal work my Dad did to the chute)