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RedOctobyr


Location: Lowell area, MA
Joined: Nov 5, 2011
Points: 273

New-to-me Ariens 1024 Professional - engine smoking & weeping oil
Original Message   Mar 24, 2013 9:03 pm
I've been keeping an eye on Craigslist for a good 2-stage machine, to possibly replace the ST824 I bought last year. Just in case something really appealing came along.

The other day an Ariens 1024 Professional was posted. $250, seller said it needs a head gasket. The engine started and ran fine for me, he said it will intermittently start puffing smoke, etc. The rest of the machine seemed pretty good, so it came home with me :)

It has a 10hp OHV Tecumseh engine, differential, 24" cut, cast-iron gearbox, serrated augers, heated grips, etc. It has the long, tall chute. It has a cab, though I don't see myself using that. I actually prefer the idea of the narrower cut, with a lot of power. It should do better in deep/heavy stuff, vs the same amount of power with a 28" cut, or similar.

The paint's not great around the edges, but I can deal with that later if needed. I think it's spent some time outdoors, based on the rust on some of the engine shrouds. The transmission pulls hard in 1st gear forward, but slips quite easily in both reverse gears. My ST824 is the same way, which I found interesting.

Blower model number is 924120. The engine is Model OHSK100 221608B.

I'd appreciate any insight into the oil/smoking problem. The symptoms (at least what I've checked so far):

- It will start visibly weeping oil from the side of the engine, after it's been running for a minute or two (maybe less?). It will start running down the side of the engine, from a few places, especially when it really gets going (like when I had it churn through some heavy, wet stuff). The oil, coming from up high (from somewhere around the valve cover) will start dripping on the exhaust, and smoking. See pics showing a few oily areas while it was running.

- Compression, by hand, seems low, at ~35 psi. But with the electric starter, I got 150-170 psi.

- The plug looks good. Dry and gray, not oily at all.

- Dipstick level is good, halfway between low and full. The oil does not smell like gas.

- The previous owner said he thinks the smoking started all at once.

Does this sound like a failed head gasket? The fact that it seems to come from several areas makes me kind of unsure. It seems kind of like it might be pressurizing the crankcase or something? This could still be consistent with a head gasket though, I'm guessing. Could it be related to some sort of crankcase vent problem? My only experience with a failed head gasket was a Briggs OHV tractor engine, blown between the combustion chamber and valves, it just smoked a lot, no oil down the outside of the engine or anything.

The rusted fasteners on the engine are going to give me trouble. I've already twisted off two screws, despite PB Blaster. One is the little sheetmetal screw that holds the oil tube in-place. I don't know if I'll be able to get the remnant out of the engine, I doubt it. Will probably have to secure it some other way. I hope no really important ones are rusted in-place.

Thank you for any help!

This message was modified Mar 24, 2013 by RedOctobyr
Replies: 1 - 9 of 9View as Outline
Bill_H


Location: Maine
Joined: Jan 12, 2008
Points: 354

Re: New-to-me Ariens 1024 Professional - engine smoking & weeping oil
Reply #1   Mar 24, 2013 11:09 pm
Not the same 10HP Tecumseh I'm used to but ... Check the oil level, overfilled? Symptoms match. Then check the breather. Perhaps the dipstick is not the correct one? You're going to end up draining the oil anyway, so drain it and measure what you get out.

As far as the rusted screws go, there's no rush so keep hitting them daily with PBlaster or get a can of Kroil. Take a week or two if you have to. Try rapping them HARD with a punch before attempting removal. Also try tightening them (just a little bit!) before attempting removal. The idea behind this is to break the corrosion bond between the screws/bolts and the block. Another thought is to heat the fastener with a torch then touch it with a block of paraffin wax. I haven't tried this myself but some guys who restore antique tractors swear it's the best.
This message was modified Mar 24, 2013 by Bill_H


Who the hell let all the morning people run things?
RedOctobyr


Location: Lowell area, MA
Joined: Nov 5, 2011
Points: 273

Re: New-to-me Ariens 1024 Professional - engine smoking & weeping oil
Reply #2   Mar 25, 2013 10:22 am
Good point on the oil. I have no reason to suspect it's the wrong dipstick, but I need to change the oil anyhow. Measuring the drained oil should not be too hard, and I can certainly make sure I add the correct amount.

Thanks for the tips on removing the fasteners. I hadn't heard of the wax trick. People also seem to suggest kind of "working" the fastener out. Loosen some, then tighten again, etc, to try and give the rust a chance to move out of the way. Maybe also hit it again with the penetrating oil while loosening, to try and flush some rust out of the threads.

Unfortunately, I thought both of the items were starting to move, so I just kept loosening them, then they twisted off. I did not go back and forth between loosening/tightening, to try and "ease" them out. Now I know.
This message was modified Mar 25, 2013 by RedOctobyr
mkd55


Location: wisconsin
Joined: Dec 16, 2005
Points: 148

Re: New-to-me Ariens 1024 Professional - engine smoking & weeping oil
Reply #3   Mar 25, 2013 11:25 am
i am 62 yrs old and all thru the years have never tried liquid wrench till last year. couldn't beleave how well it worked! i got the stuff that came in the squirt can. made a beleaver out of me. guys at work swear by the pb blaster too . but i've never tried it. the head  on my 1986 8 hp tecumseh 2 yrs ago was loose. i had the shroud off replacing the primer rubber tubing and decided to check the tq on the head bolts as long as they were exposed. all of them were loose and been that way for some time but didn't have oil leaking like your pics show. let us know what you find out!
carlb


Joined: Nov 16, 2010
Points: 269

Re: New-to-me Ariens 1024 Professional - engine smoking & weeping oil
Reply #4   Mar 25, 2013 12:39 pm
best penetrating oil i ever used is a mix of 50% acetone and 50% Automatic Transmission Fluid.  Just watch it is extremly flamable

carl
RedOctobyr


Location: Lowell area, MA
Joined: Nov 5, 2011
Points: 273

Re: New-to-me Ariens 1024 Professional - engine smoking & weeping oil
Reply #5   Mar 25, 2013 9:41 pm
Thanks for the replies, I appreciate it. Checked some more things:

- Crankcase breather valve seems OK to me, from what I can figure out. Took it off, I can blow through it from the engine side, and I cannot suck air through it, from the engine side. That's what I'd expect, if its purpose is to vent the crankcase pressure, and draw a slight vacuum. Not sure what else, if anything, to check on it.

- Cleaned that out, and fired it up. It started smoking immediately, consistently, so I think that was all the PB Blaster burning off :) Today I didn't really see oil just running down the side of the engine. Made a pass through heavy snow, and it started smoking more, including intermittent bigger puffs of smoke. These are also visible by where the muffler attaches (vs the opening at the other end of the muffler), so I'm guessing there may be an exhaust leak.

- Drained the oil, it was just about the proper amount. Refilled it with Mobil 1 10W30.

Thanks for the tip on the ATF/acetone. I have some of that around, so brushed it on all the bolts I could reach (more shrouds need to come off to reach the other cylinder head bolts).

RedOctobyr


Location: Lowell area, MA
Joined: Nov 5, 2011
Points: 273

Re: New-to-me Ariens 1024 Professional - engine smoking & weeping oil
Reply #6   Apr 16, 2013 9:31 pm
I just wanted to post an update. This turned into a bit of a saga :)

I suspected a possible blown head gasket. So went to remove the head, to check that. Well, despite PB Blaster, and other tips I read online, I broke off a valve cover bolt, and one that holds the main shroud to the engine. Also broke off the bolt that holds the oil-fill tube to the block. Finally got the head off, and the gasket looked fine, though the valve clearances were off a bit.

Tried welding washers & nuts onto the broken bolts, to twist them out. That didn't work, so I finally drilled out the two bolts in the cylinder head (had access to a milling machine). I tried drilling out the oil-fill tube bolt by hand, and broke off the drill bit in the hole. Finally resolved that one by welding a screw to the inside of the engine shroud for that area, so it sticks out like a stud. Put a nut onto the new stud, and secured the oil-fill tube bracket that way.

Finally got the engine back together this weekend, and it still smoked & wept oil Someone had suggested doing a water manometer test, to check for postive vs negative crankcase pressure. I suspected I had positive crankcase pressure, and the tests last night confirmed that. Even with just cranking using the electric starter, with the spark plug removed, so no compressed air would try to blow past the piston rings, I still had positive crankcase pressure.

So tonight I swapped the crankcase breather valve from my good 8hp flathead Tecumseh. The water manometer test suddenly showed crankcase vacuum! Fired it up, ran it for maybe 15 minutes total, mostly at full-throttle. No weeping oil, and no smoking (other than burning off penetrating oil)!!

So I need to order a new crankcase breather valve for it. I don't know why it seemed to pass my blow air/suck air test, when I removed it the first time, yet still wasn't actually working right. But that's fine. I think I've solved the problem, so I'm very happy  Now I can start going over the rest of the machine.

trouts2




Location: Marlboro MA
Joined: Dec 8, 2007
Points: 1273

Re: New-to-me Ariens 1024 Professional - engine smoking & weeping oil
Reply #7   Apr 18, 2013 9:51 am
Hi Red, Interesting on the manometer test. Tough going with the snapped bolts. Those are about the biggest irritation for me when working on equipment. The 1024 Pro is a great machine. For $250 with a few bugs is a nice snag.
RedOctobyr


Location: Lowell area, MA
Joined: Nov 5, 2011
Points: 273

Re: New-to-me Ariens 1024 Professional - engine smoking & weeping oil
Reply #8   Apr 18, 2013 12:55 pm
Thanks. I have to see what other stuff is worn, or needs attention.

Something squeaks when I roll it, so I'll have to see what that is. Perhaps the axle bearings are in trouble, I'll find out. I haven't started on the rest of it yet, it's just been engine work so far. At a minimum, it will get everything reviewed, adjusted, greased, etc.

But I'm hoping it can be a solid, reliable machine that will last me for a long time. The price was right, and it should easily handle homeowner use.
RedOctobyr


Location: Lowell area, MA
Joined: Nov 5, 2011
Points: 273

Re: New-to-me Ariens 1024 Professional - engine smoking & weeping oil
Reply #9   Feb 9, 2014 11:43 am
I wanted to post an update on this.

I figured out the weeping oil problem. The problem was embarrassingly simple, but maybe sharing it will help someone here. I replaced the breather valve and gaskets, but it still failed the water manometer test, and kept weeping oil. But when I'd previously swapped in a breather from another Tecumseh, it had run fine. This had me scratching my head, then I finally figured it out.

The answer is in the last picture of my original post. When I worked on it, I dutifully re-assembled it the same way I took it apart, except for when I tried it with the borrowed breather. Well, the rubber tube from the breather valve was going a fitting on the carb, I assumed so that any oil drips were burned, rather than running down the side of the machine. Sort of like an EGR valve. Well, I finally took a closer look and found that this fitting on the carb isn't actually drilled through, it's just a blind hole. So the outlet vent tube for the breather valve was being run to a plugged hole Sigh. Pulled the tube off the carb, left the end of it out in space, and it ran fine.

Lesson: don't assume that things on a used machine are assembled properly.

The machine had a seized axle bearing, I replaced both. I reviewed and replaced some other worn items on it. It had a broken weld on the bucket, so I re-welded that, and welded some plates onto the bottoms of the worn skid shoes.

I got to use it recently in a foot of fluffy snow, it did well, and seemed to throw further than my ST824 (I assume in part due to having the taller chute style). I found that the augers handle interlock must be worn, and wasn't actually locking (it would pop loose when you'd release the auger handle, even if still holding the traction handle). I worked on the locking pawl a bit with a file, to try and sharpen up a rounded corner, and it's better now, though I still had to add some preload to its spring.
Replies: 1 - 9 of 9View as Outline
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