Ariens ST27LE Missing Auger Zerk Fittings Original Message Dec 12, 2009 12:15 am
I bought an Ariens ST27LE Model 921010 in December of 2008. While doing maintenance I noticed that the auger did not have grease Zerk fittings. I noticed that this year’s model (921012) now has auger grease Zerk fittings. I downloaded from Ariens website the parts manual for models 921010 and 921012. The auger assembly on the model 921012 showed 3 extra parts: 2 Zerk fittings (part #07061300) and 1 plug (part #03905800). The remaining parts were all the same.
I asked the dealer about this discrepancy between the two models and he was at a loss to give a reason. It appears that this year all the Ariens Sno-Thro models have auger Zerk fittings. I am worried that this was an oversight by Ariens on my model which was remedied on this year’s model. Can someone with more knowledge reassure me that this was design intent and there is no reason to worry about the auger getting rusted to the rake shaft?
Can't say why that particular year doesn't have zerks. Personally, I've never seen a machine without them. I'm with JohnnyBoy. Drill & tap a couple holes and install a couple if it can be done. Wouldn't say it's a ten minute job though. In order to drill and tap the holes, the augers must be removed unless there's a way to use the shear bolt holes in the auger drive shaft to drill through the auger tube. Though, I don't like the idea of having the zerks so close to the shear pin holes. On second thought, I guess there'd be no harm done if the drill penetrates the drive shaft a bit.
I called Ariens today and talked to an engineer there. He stated that our models have a "short shaft" setup where the two shear bolts are close to the gearcase on both augers. He stated that the shaft only goes part way into the auger so there is no need to grease the shaft. I asked about the strength of this design since the shaft is not going all the way through the auger and he stated that they have had no issues with this setup and that this setup will eventually be on more snowblowers due to "maintence free" design. I have to say that their customer service is top notch all the way. The guy too his time to check the info and explain the design. The other version of this snowblower with the smaller 249cc engine does have axles shafts that go all the way through the auger so that is why you have seen those models with the zerks.
Re: Ariens ST27LE Missing Auger Zerk Fittings Reply #5 Dec 19, 2009 12:54 am
njbenz79 thank you for following up with Ariens; however, there appears to be a discrepancy between what you were told by the Ariens engineer and the parts manual. From this year’s Deluxe 27 parts manual (available at: http://apache.ariens.com/manuals/03882800A.pdf), the gear case assembly still shows the use of a short rake shaft just like in our model. However, the cute and auger assembly now shows a zerk fitting beside the shear bolts.
While at the Ariens dealer I also had a look at this year’s Deluxe 30 model which has the 305cc engine and a short rake shaft, yet it too has the zerk fittings beside the shear bolts. For some reason this year Ariens saw the need to put back the zerk fitting on all models with the short rake shaft.
Even if the parts manual is incorrect and this year’s Deluxe 27 now has the long rake shaft, why would Ariens forgo their previous “maintenance free” design on this year's model? More curious is why Ariens has decided to reduce the engine on the Deluxe 27 from 305cc to 249cc?
Perhaps I’m making too much of a deal about the missing zerks, but judging from what I can see, it appears to be on oversight on our model which has now been remedied on this year’s model.
Location: New Brunswick Canada
Joined: Dec 30, 2007
Re: Ariens ST27LE Missing Auger Zerk Fittings Reply #6 Dec 19, 2009 5:02 am
If it was my machine, I'd put them in. The dealer is in business to make money, not friends. I am not saying that your machine is going to fail just as your warranty expires, but this is a simple task that can save a lot of hassle in a few years.
You should have gone about your question to the dealer another way. I would have asked them if they could install the fittings and if it was a good idea. Of course they'd say yes, and go on and on about the benefits of lubrication and maintenance just as we are now.
Re: Ariens ST27LE Missing Auger Zerk Fittings Reply #7 Dec 19, 2009 10:20 am
Is it possible that Ariens may have experimented with the zerk free model. They put one year of production on the market to see how well the new short shaft system holds up and whether it would seize to the auger. It doesn't take a genius to figure out that six inches of steel shaft inside another steel tube without lubrication can seize up just as readily as a full shaft! Not slamming Ariens but anyone who thought that would fly, is pretty naive. It's possible that they discovered it wasn't such a good idea and that's why would they put zerks in their next year's model? Seems like they might have been using the market for testing purposes.
Here is a reply I got when I was comparing the Simplicity 1428 to the Deluxe 27 and the 27LE on another forum
One thing I did forget, last year's Deluxe models didn't have grease zerks on the augers. They are protected from seizure by yellow zinc plating and teflon anti-seize. They were added again, after one customer broke a shear bolt but then didn't replace it for the whole season (didn't notice it). This galled the auger shaft.
It's easy to add grease zerks though if you feel the need. Drill the appropriate size hole in the rake tube about about 4 or more inches from the gear case and install a zerk. I would recommend a threaded screw in style for this unit. The production models have a plug that blocks off a cavity for the grease (to prevent from having to fill the whole rake tube with grease, this unit only has a stub rake shaft). It would be easier for you to forgo the plug and simply fill the whole rake tube.
so why would you add a zerk anyways if the shaft does not go all the way through the auger assembly? From how I understand it, the shaft does not go all the way through the auger assembly so what would be the purpose of the zerk? I guess if you wanted to grease the little amount of section that protrudes into the auger, but I don't see the need. I'm gonna chance it, I have never broke a sheer bolt anyways..knock on wood. If you are still in question, I would call Ariens directly like I did. See if they tell you the same thing as they told me. If would be interested to see if someone says something else. My dealer is great, but to answer questions like these, I would contact the mfger.
Re: Ariens ST27LE Missing Auger Zerk Fittings Reply #10 Jan 28, 2016 11:21 am
My Ariens Deluxe 30 also stopped using Zerk fittings after a certain serial number. I called customer service and he said they are now using a plastic sleeve so there is no metal to metal contact or need for lube. Personally I don't think it is a great idea, as I have seen rusted metal embed itself in plastic. The sleeve could end up as a coupling between a rusty shaft and a rusty auger. but if the sleeve is in there there is no point in trying to install zerk fittings, as the grease has no place to go.
Dosen"t Honda use a similar system of less than full length shafts? I am aware they still use shear bolts (pins) but I seem to remember their shafts are not full length. Guys who didn't remove the pins periodically and grease and spin them wound up seizing the rakes to the shafts. Honda used anti seize from the factory as well but the bottom line if memory serves was it didn't last forever. Some guys reported taking the trouble to remove the rakes on the Hondas when new in order to install zerks. That is one hell of a job to have to do on any machine. Irresponsible of the manufacturer of any blower Honda or Ariens or anyone to leave off zerks!! marc