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Realmacaw


Joined: Dec 5, 2010
Points: 5

Best grease for Ariens Snow Blower?
Original Message   Dec 5, 2010 10:24 am
I just bought a new 2009 Ariens 20" 2-stage snow blower, model 920007.  It is the smallest 2-stage snow blower I could find and it is now discontinued.  Its gear case comes with Ariens L2 oil.  I've read there is a new Ariens L3 synthetic gear case oil that is superior.  It says to use Ariens grease, part number 00036800.  This is Sten Mix Hi-Temp grease.  Does anyone know if this grease is synthetic?  Is this the best grease to use?  It is a black grease that looks like lithium moly grease.  It does not look or feel like waxy red high temp grease.
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borat


Joined: Nov 10, 2007
Points: 2692

Re: Best grease for Ariens Snow Blower?
Reply #4   Dec 6, 2010 9:59 am
If you can get it in your area, snowmobile grease is good for a snow thrower as well.  It has the properties of marine grease but is easier to use and more effective in cold climates.
Realmacaw


Joined: Dec 5, 2010
Points: 5

Re: Best grease for Ariens Snow Blower?
Reply #5   Dec 6, 2010 12:40 pm
Thank you for your replies to my question.  These are all good comments.  The reason I asked about which grease is best for my new machine is it is a year old and has areas on it that came with very little grease where I feel there should be more.  I would just go with the what the machine calls for, Ariens 00036800 (Sten Mix Hi-Temp Grease), but it is expensive and unavailable in my area.  Unless a local dealer will order it for me, I will have to order it mail order and it only comes in packs of 3 small 3 ounce tubes.  I realize it is not good to mix different kinds of grease.  I would prefer a grease that is readily available and comes in a regular full size tube.  But when I feel this black grease that might have graphite in it I have to admit it has a very nice consistency.  It is not thick and waxy like other High Temp grease including Mobile One Synthetic grease.  It probably isn't Synthetic or it would say so.  But it is an unusual grease and nice.  I will try to get some.  From what I have read this is a common problem across the US.  The grease is almost impossible to find locally, you have to order it mail order.  The closest grease I can compare it to in looks and feel is black lithium grease that has Moly in it that Wal-mart sells.

As for the gear oil, I have read Ariens L-2 which it calls for is obsolete and has been replaced with Ariens L-3 Synthetic severe duty gear lube.

It comes with 5W-30 engine oil but it is not synthetic.  When I change the oil for the first time I will replace it with Mobile 1 sythetic oil.  I think I will use 0W-30 which claims to be better in the cold and protect as well as 5W-30 and get better mileage in vehicles.  I am using that same oil in my car so it will be nice to use the same oil.

I also read a comment from someone elsewhere saying it is a good idea to wax a snow blower to protect it.

Snowmann


Joined: Dec 3, 2003
Points: 494

Re: Best grease for Ariens Snow Blower?
Reply #6   Dec 6, 2010 1:32 pm
Ariens L3 for the gear case, Mobil Ronex MP NLGI2 for the pinion shaft grease zerk (this is the factory fill), lithium based Marine grease in the augers for service (Amsoil water resistant lithium grease is very good). If you maintain your unit to a decent extent the Ronex would be fine in the augers too (it's the factory fill as well), but the marine grease is purpose-engineered to keep from being washed out. The Amsoil I recommended is particularly good for this.

The Sten mix is OK, but the Ronex is noticeably better for the pinion shaft (it performed better than a Mobil synthetic that was evaluated, as hard to believe as that is). The L3 should be used in place of L2 (it's -really- great stuff).

PK

New_Yorker


Preach the Gospel always, use words when necessary

Location: Long Island, NY
Joined: Nov 26, 2010
Points: 219

Re: Best grease for Ariens Snow Blower?
Reply #7   Dec 6, 2010 7:29 pm
The ability to resist washing off from water exposure is important on a snowblower, as is the ability to lubricate at low temperature.  www.amsoil.com  they make a multipurpose grease in a spray can and they make the heavier version wich comes in tube for greae guns or a small resealable can. You can read up on them on the website, and they can always be ordered on line.
trouts2




Location: Marlboro MA
Joined: Dec 8, 2007
Points: 1289

Re: Best grease for Ariens Snow Blower?
Reply #8   Dec 6, 2010 7:49 pm
starwarrior wrote:
Naturally you should try to use what the manufacturers suggests and I have to disagree with some of the comments on this discussion, grease is not just grease

Since I was the only poster I guess you were refereing to my comments possibly, "If you lub with any ok grease you'll be fine." 

Given what I've seen over the years that's an ok statement and it did not negate what I said above it.

If one were to shoot for the better greases how would you know?  When I look at greases the ingrediants are vague, generally never listing more than lithium, lithium sterate, lithium 12-hydroxysterate or other things I can't remember but the vast majority are lihium-something. 

The last time I look into greases it seemed that lithium was not the main lubricant but the carrier of lubricant.  It keeps the lubricant in place (the same I believe for Moly i.e. it's a carrier not a lub).  For examplem the things (addititaves) that get a grease EP and wear ratings are additives carried by lithium.   What are those additives?  Who knows.  I never see a list on the tubes of grease saying what's in there.  When I ask at the counter and the guys get out their catalogues they can't find anything.  (If I'm wrong on the carrier point please let me know but that's my understanding).

Another thing is temps.  Most but not all usually give a high temp rating.  Most but not all don't have a low temp rating.  When I aske about those I get the same response, the lit available does not say. 

Just how different are the greases that claim to be "marine" greases?  I can never find anything on the packaging to indicate.  How much difference is there between the best and worse of marine greases for snowblower auger and hub axles?  I don't think there would be any meaningful difference for the general line you see in most stores.

How different are the EP rated greases?  I've never seen any contents listing to indicate a grease was EP other than saying it was EP.  How much difference in wear in the snowblower tractor area would it make to use the best or worse of EP rated greases say over 30 years.  Most of the machines I see never got grease by the owner and the gears are fine.  I've never seen a worn gear unless it was from a bad bearing causing misalignment.

Sometimes there are mil-specs but on looking one up the test methods and termonology were beyond a laymans understanding. Even if someone understood a Timkin rating would a 46 be ok for an auger gearbox?  Most people do not have any idea what forces are in a gearbox.

If you were concerned about a grease not being appropriate of various types of metal gears how would you know by the contents what to stay away from?   Even it the contents were listed how would you know which item in the listing would be bad for copper or steel or incompatible with other greases?

Some greases were mentioned in prior posts.  None of them are available around where I live.  A number of times there have been greases mentioned that are not available around here.   Given the confusion and what is available for people locally it seems that for snowblowers using a liquid or past EP is ok for auger gearboxes, any marine for axles, augers, hubs and general purpose for moving parts but why not use marine there also.

I am using up the last of my L2 and have bought L3.  Why?  Because Snowmann said it was better.  There is nothing on the packaging to indicate what's in there.  Do I think it will make any difference in the life of a gearbox over 20 years?  No.  30-40 year old gearboxes have lasted until now using worse grease.  L2 and L3 may be an improvement over the older pastes and measureable but the utility of the spread is probably very little.

This message was modified Dec 7, 2010 by trouts2
Realmacaw


Joined: Dec 5, 2010
Points: 5

Re: Best grease for Ariens Snow Blower?
Reply #9   Dec 8, 2010 3:39 am
I ordered Ariens grease, part number 00036800 (Stens Mix High Temp Grease) from an Ariens Master Service Dealer.  It will take 3 weeks to arrive.  I bought it because it is recommended by Ariens and I know different types of grease should not be mixed.  You are supposed to clean all previous traces of grease with solvent before installing a different type grease.  It cost $13.80 for 3 x 3 ounce tubes.  I would prefer it came in a regular size 14 ounce grease tube but it doesn't.  The dealer made fun of me for buying it and tried to convince me not to buy it, saying I am wasting money.  The dealer told me to go to any auto parts store and buy any Lithium grease.  I think it is supposed to be for high temp and/or high pressure.

Later I went to Pep Boys and opened up every type of their grease in regular size 14 ounce tubes and looked at it.  The grease that looks like what comes on the Ariens snow blower is Lithium Moly.  It is high pressure.  It also said it was high temp, 500 F.  I've read Stens Mix High Temp Grease is not made by Stens, they just repackage it with their name on it.  It appears to me it is Lithium Moly grease, which can be bought at any auto parts store for about $4 for a 14 ounce tube.

If I wasn't trying to match grease, I would think Lithium Marine grease would be the best choice.  I was surprised it said it is rated for 500 F, which is what high temp grease is rated at.  The Marine grease I looked at was blue and thick but very similar looking to regular yellow colored lithium grease.  Lithium Moly is different from these other types of Lithium grease.  It is black and not as sticky, an unusual consistency like it has graphite in it.

I looked at Mobile 1 synthetic grease and Castrol synthetic grease.  I'm not sold on synthetic grease!  Both of them were unlike the other gooey greases.  They are much drier like paste.  In both of them the grease was separating from the walls of the tube.  In other words, the grease seems to stick to itself but not to other things around it.  I did not see this in any of the other types of non-synthetic grease.  From reading online, I've read complaints of Mobile 1 synthetic grease hardening up and bleeding.  I wondered how can this be true since Mobile 1 has a reputation for making a high quality synthetic oil.  But after looking in the new tubes of synthetic grease and seeing that it was separating from the walls of the tube, I believe the online complaints about synthetic grease and am going to avoid it.  I'm using Mobile 1 0w-30 synthetic oil in my car.  I'll probably use that in the Ariens snow blower too.  But I am not going to use synthetic grease in any application.

The Ariens non-synthetic grease costs $1.53 an ounce versus about 28 cents an ounce for other types of non-synthetic lithium grease.  I highly doubt Ariens grease is worth 5.5 times as much.  I think it is just Lithium Moly grease repackaged.

borat


Joined: Nov 10, 2007
Points: 2692

Re: Best grease for Ariens Snow Blower?
Reply #10   Dec 8, 2010 9:32 am
Any product with a manufacturers brand name on it will be an instant gouge.   Go to a Toro dealership and buy a 3/8" nylock nut.   It will be over $5.00.  Same nut at a hardware store will be less than fifteen cents. 
Realmacaw


Joined: Dec 5, 2010
Points: 5

Re: Best grease for Ariens Snow Blower?
Reply #11   Dec 8, 2010 10:55 pm
Snowmann wrote:
Ariens L3 for the gear case, Mobil Ronex MP NLGI2 for the pinion shaft grease zerk (this is the factory fill), lithium based Marine grease in the augers for service (Amsoil water resistant lithium grease is very good). If you maintain your unit to a decent extent the Ronex would be fine in the augers too (it's the factory fill as well), but the marine grease is purpose-engineered to keep from being washed out. The Amsoil I recommended is particularly good for this.

The Sten mix is OK, but the Ronex is noticeably better for the pinion shaft (it performed better than a Mobil synthetic that was evaluated, as hard to believe as that is). The L3 should be used in place of L2 (it's -really- great stuff).

PK

Snowmann,

That's great information to know.  Thanks!  If the factory fill is Mobile Ronex MP, why doesn't Ariens just say that.  Instead, Ariens says to use Ariens grease, part number 00036800, which I believe is Sten Mix Hi-Temp grease.  I will try to locate a tube of Mobile Ronex MP and compare it to the factory fill to see if i'ts the same thing.  I've read Mobile Ronex MP is green.  The factory fill is black with a slight green tint to it and looks like and has the consistency of Lithium Moly.

I bought an 8 ounce bottle of L3 and will replace the L2 with L3.

Realmacaw


Joined: Dec 5, 2010
Points: 5

Re: Best grease for Ariens Snow Blower?
Reply #12   Dec 16, 2010 3:04 am
The Ariens Grease (Part 00036800, which is Sten Mix Hi-Temp Grease) arrived after I special ordered it.  Even though the Ariens' Owner/Operator Manual says this is the grease to use, it does not match the factory fill.  You would expect it to match the factory fill, but it does not.  The factory fill is black/green and looks like it is lithium moly grease.  This grease Ariens said to use looks like any other red lithium hi-temp grease.  I doubt there is anything special about it.  It says it performs well under a temperature range from 0 to 500 F.  I think Mobile 1 synthetic grease is said to perform well at a much lower temperature.

Snowmann was correct, this grease that Ariens says to use is not the factory fill.  This is disappointing.  Unfortunately he hadn't replied until after I had placed my order for this grease that Ariens said to use.  I'm thinking it would be best to follow Snowmann's recommendations on grease, that there is nothing special about the grease Ariens says to use, that other types of grease might be better including marine grease.

borat


Joined: Nov 10, 2007
Points: 2692

Re: Best grease for Ariens Snow Blower?
Reply #13   Dec 16, 2010 10:20 am
I find these discussion about lubricants to be humourous.  

We talk about lubricants for snow throwers like we need the same lubricating parameters as the landing gear on the space shuttle.   Why people become so fixated on over-analyzing lubricants for a snow thrower is beyond me.   It's not at all hard.  On  most quality machines, you don't need to replace the gearbox lube if it's not leaking out.  So, that pretty much rules out 95% of the machines out there needing gear box lube.  If it does leak, there are plenty of suitable lubes out there and I'm sure there's one that will meet the requirements of every gearbox for a reasonable cost.  Axles, auger shafts and all other external/exposed lube requirements are easily met with any decent off the shelf Skidoo or marine grease.  

So why the necessity to use over priced OEM branded products?  Because they say so?   Which in turn causes the consumer to shell out multiples of money for a product not anywhere near the value of the price. 

Not this guy, nor anyone else who rolls up their sleeves once in a while and actually works on these things. 
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