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Abby’s Guide > Outdoor Power Equipment (Lawn Mowers, Snow Blowers, Chain Saws and more) > Discussions > My NEW Ariens 926LE w/ Tecumseh LH318SA Dies When Throttled. Read Why and What Was Found!

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Joined: Feb 23, 2006
Points: 3

My NEW Ariens 926LE w/ Tecumseh LH318SA Dies When Throttled. Read Why and What Was Found!
Original Message   Feb 24, 2006 10:36 pm
I posted the following account in response to two of the members inquiries. I thought that what I experienced deserved a separate discussion point in the hopes that it can help others with similer problems with their new Ariens 926LE equipped with the Tecumseh LH318SA engine:

The following is an experience that I had with my new Home Depot purchased Ariens 926LE / Tecumseh LS318SA and thought that it may be of interest to those who have purchased the same machine. I hope that it helps. FYI, I spoke with Ariens today and they are processing an engineering change. Explanation as follows:

I purchased a new Ariens 926LE at the end of January. This unit has the Tecumseh LH318SA Snow King engine. After having assembled it according to the instructions, I started it up and ran it through a typical post-assembly test run. I ran the engine for about ten minutes and It ran beautifully - idle, top speed, it didn't matter. All was well. Now, I would eagerly await a good snow storm to put my new toy to the test. Last week, my wish came true. We had about 14 inches of dry powder here in Northeast Massachusetts. I fired the unit up and within 10 minutes and having barely finished the driveway, it starded to intermittantly sputter and than shut down. I restarted and again, after throttling up, it inexplicably shut down. I was not able to get it to run long enough to make it back to the garage. The next day, being somewhat engine savy, I decided to try a few things before any consideration would be given to loading the beast into my truck to bring it in for warranty work. Something I dreaded since I do not have ramps nor the time. The first thing I did was to confirm that I had fuel - I did. I than disconnected the fuel lines and checked for proper flow. A-OK. Next, I dropped the float bowl and confirmed that I did not have a perforated float. Inspecting it through the clear glass of a drinking cup full of gasoline, the float functioned properly. I next unscrewed the carburator jet and everything looked great. I had considered the fact that I might just find some foreign substance that may have been overlooked or lodged during the manufacturing process. Everything looked clear & clean. After all of this diagnostic meandering, I put the parts back together and started her up. It ran like a charm. After confirming proper function and feeling quite relieved, I reinstalled the engine shield and rolled it back into the garage. I proudly declared to my brother that "I had fixed the new snowblower and that we would not have to bring it in". (Although I didn't have a clue how I did it.) Three days later while working in the yard, I decided to start our new snow blower just to kind of play-around with my new toy.  One pull of the handle and the unit started up. Sounded a little rough though. I allowed it to warm up and than began to increase the throttle and, oh rats, it died. I started it again and it died, I tried increasing the throttle slowly and no luck. Quickly - the same. It would continue to run at low idle but very roughly. Our brand-new Ariens 926LE all of a sudden didn't work again.

The next morning, I decided to put in a call into Ariens Customer Service before rallying some of my neighbors for the hernia-inducing effort of loading it into the back of my truck. After discussing the situation with "Linda", she asked me to take a look at the area where the Chute Deflector Cable (#06900018) is attached to the engine with the Cushioned Clamp (#06908200). She did not go into details but just suggested that I look there to make sure that the cable was not somehow interfering with something or other. I told her that I would do that and If I didn't see anything interesting that I would call her back for a list of local dealers who would be willing to do warranty work on a Home Depot purchased unit.

Upon first observing the cable and cushioned clamp, I was a bit stumped as to why Linda would have considered any opportunity for this particular area to be of any concern. Things looked quite simple and the cable, in no way could have physically interfered with the carburation or throttle linkage. Ummmm,  I thought. Upon closer inspection however, I noticed that the Chute Deflector Cable had some chafing on it just around where it meets the Cushioned Clamp. Looking very closely and with a flash light, I could see a bit of the steel inner winding of the cable that had been exposed from the chafing. I than noted that the chafing had been caused by the cable rubbing against the electrical  spade connector which runs from the key assembly to the primary electrical connection. The green wire from the key assembly is simply pigtail-plugged into a male spade connector extension. This allows one to unplug the connection when removing the sheet steel cover. It is a very primitive connection method as there is no insulation, no rubber or plastic connector housing, no protection for the poor Chute Deflector Cable sheath!!!  The edge of the female spade connector is also very sharp! I pulled the cable back toward the rear of the unit thus clearing the bend away from the exposed electrical connector and eureka -  IT WORKED! The exposed electrical connecter had worn away the plastic sheath of the cable just enough to expose the steel core of the cable thus grounding out the engine! (This is exactly how the push-in key works to prevent someone from starting the unit when the key is not in it. Removal of the key grounds the engine electrically.) So the chafed cable did a very efficient job of preventing the engine from running. Except that with the vibration from the engine, the cable core would only make contact with the electrical connector intermittantly which made it appear like a fuel and/or carburation type issue. And since vibration increases with throttle, the cable-core to spade connector contact would increase as the vibration increased. Thus, the problem had the appearance of a carburation or fuel issue.

I promptly called Ariens customer service back and enlightened them to my findings. After some prodding, the gentleman confirmed that the company has received a few reports of this having happened on other units. I believe that this issue is probably occuring on many of the units! I asked if he might suggest some Ariens approved fix for the situation and he pretty much stated that I should just come up with some method to prevent the cable from rubbing up against the exposed starter key electrical connector. He confirmed also, that he would bring the issue up within the company.

That is where my original posting ended. Please read on....

Upon reinspection and with the goal of using some additional ties to stop the cable from making contact with the sharp-edged connector, I noticed that the Cushioned Clamp (with the Chute Diverter Cable running loosely through it) was mounted to the engine with the cushioned portion above the attachment bolt. I removed the bolt and removed the cushioned clamp from the cable. I than simply inverted the clamp 180 degrees, pushed the cable back into the cushioned guide and mounted it so that the cushioned part is now beneath the mounting bolt. Now the cable was guided at a lower point which prevents the Chute Diverter Cable from ever having any opportunity to rub against the electrical connector no matter where it drifts. No additional wire ties were needed!!

Ironically, this morning, I received a call back from my original Ariens customer service rep, Linda, who was concerned enough that she made a point to follow-up. She confirmed that Ariens had or would be processing an engineering or assembly revision that would specify that the cushioned clamp be mounted to the engine with the cushioned opening beneath the mounting bolt. I visited Home Depot today and inspected a 926LE and could see that the cushioned clamp was mounted in the same incorrect manner that mine was. So people, check your machines and save yourself a very big potential headache. Remember, it only took about 20 minutes of run time for the connector to abrade its way through to the cable core.

I'd like to finish up here by passing on a very much deserved compliment to the Ariens Company and especially to Customer Service Representative, Linda. I've rarely worked with a company and personnel who have been so pleasent and attentive to a service issue. Linda finished off our conversation by reminding me that they would be shiipping off to me a new Chute Deflector Cable. [And, oh yes, I almost forgot, a Chute Lock Cable (#06900019). My chute lock cable was burned through due to contact with the exhaust muffler. To avoid this, she confirmed that the black double loop tie should be pulled tight (with needle nosed pliers) around both the Chute Lock Cable and the Chute Rod].  I now believe that I have a very nice and reliable Ariens Snow Blower. Good luck! 

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He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep
to gain what he cannot lose....

Location: Batavia, N.Y.
Joined: Jan 20, 2004
Points: 1067

Re: My NEW Ariens 926LE w/ Tecumseh LH318SA Dies When Throttled. Read Why and What Was Found!
Reply #2   Mar 9, 2006 9:57 pm
Dear Mr Workwood,
I PM'ed you awhile ago.
I shared this with others I know and many thanked you and appreciated it.

Frank D.

Ariens 1332DLE Pro, Exmark 52" HP ZTR, Gardian Generac generator, Shindiawa T230  Excell/Honda PW, Craftsman rototiller, Favorite IPE- My Mac + Ipod- No Windoze for me!

Joined: Mar 5, 2004
Points: 751

Re: My NEW Ariens 926LE w/ Tecumseh LH318SA Dies When Throttled. Read Why and What Was Found!
Reply #3   Mar 10, 2006 11:03 am
I went to the local OPE store, they hadn't heard about it yet either and their machines were setup according to the book so they would have had the problme as well.
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