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nipper


Joined: Jan 22, 2012
Points: 8

Ariens ST724 won't drive
Original Message   Jan 22, 2012 5:40 pm
Hi-

I have an Ariens ST724 (model 924075), which has stopped powering forward when I press the drive clutch lever. I took off the bottom cover to see if it was something fairly easy to repair/replace, like a belt, and I found a broken spring lying in the cover.  I'm guessing this is the root of my problem! I can't really afford to bring it to a shop, so I was hoping to be able to fix it myself.  Here are a couple of details:

  • The auger seems to keep moving now, even when I release the clutch lever.
  • For a while after it stopped powering forward, it DID work in reverse, but no longer does.

Here is a picture of the broken spring and the drive plate, etc.:







Any help would be much appreciated!

Thanks,

Nipper

Replies: 1 - 10 of 16NextNext page of topicsAllView as Outline
jrtrebor


Location: Michigan - 3 hours north of Chicago on the lake
Joined: Feb 10, 2010
Points: 539

Re: Ariens ST724 won't drive
Reply #1   Jan 22, 2012 7:12 pm
nipper wrote:
Hi-

I have an Ariens ST724 (model 924075), which has stopped powering forward when I press the drive clutch lever. I took off the bottom cover to see if it was something fairly easy to repair/replace, like a belt, and I found a broken spring lying in the cover.  I'm guessing this is the root of my problem! I can't really afford to bring it to a shop, so I was hoping to be able to fix it myself.  Here are a couple of details:
  • The auger seems to keep moving now, even when I release the clutch lever.
  • For a while after it stopped powering forward, it DID work in reverse, but no longer does.

So you have two problems?
One is that the Impeller and augers don't stop spinning when you release the handle?
And the other is that the blower will not drive forward or backwards?

I believe that spring (in the photo) is usually connected to the arm that the drive belt tension pulley is mounted on.  The other end goes through a hole in the side of the housing and hooks there.
 If I'm correct that would explain why the blower won't move.  If you remove the belt cover you will see the pulley and arm.  It's the one closet to the engine.  It should be tight against the belt, but I would bet it's not. 
Ariens part # 08309400  $5.37

The augers not stopping completely could be caused by something hanging up in the linkage or another broken spring.  Not allowing the tension pulley and arm to fully release / pull back from the belt.  Just the opposite problem
from your drive problem.  With the belt cover off.  Operate the blower engage handle and watch the pulley (right side furthest from the engine)  It should lean into the belt when the handle is depressed.
And pull back when the handle is released.  If it doesn't pull back when you release the handle.  Pull it back yourself and see how it feels.    It should move freely but there is a spring involved that should
be helping to pull it back away from the belt.  So there will be some tension felt if you try and push it toward the belt.

By the way, good job posting the Model # and the photo of the spring. Makes things much easier.
This message was modified Jan 22, 2012 by jrtrebor
nipper


Joined: Jan 22, 2012
Points: 8

Re: Ariens ST724 won't drive
Reply #2   Jan 22, 2012 8:39 pm
Thanks, jrtrebor.

I thought the two might be somehow related.  I will take a look at both sometime this week, and post my findings.  Much appreciated!

-Nipper
nipper


Joined: Jan 22, 2012
Points: 8

Re: Ariens ST724 won't drive
Reply #3   Feb 5, 2012 3:33 pm
carlb


Joined: Nov 16, 2010
Points: 279

Re: Ariens ST724 won't drive
Reply #4   Feb 5, 2012 3:41 pm
Sounds like you may have a bind in drive portion of the snow blower after the friction disk.  It could be a bad bushing causing bad gear alignment or a rusted or frozen bearing.  with the machine in the service position and the transmission in neutral try turning the tires and see what happens.  Look for signs of binding and motion.  You should be able to determine what is binding by careful examination. 
nipper


Joined: Jan 22, 2012
Points: 8

Re: Ariens ST724 won't drive
Reply #5   Feb 5, 2012 4:01 pm
Thanks, carlb.  I have a dumb question - how do you put it in Neutral?  There is no neutral on the gear lever.  Do you mean to just not engage the clutch?

The weird part is that it engages the drive wheels and it moves about a foot, then stop turning.
RedOctobyr


Location: Lowell area, MA
Joined: Nov 5, 2011
Points: 282

Re: Ariens ST724 won't drive
Reply #6   Feb 5, 2012 4:51 pm
I think he means just do not engage the clutch handle, yes. There really cannot be a Neutral lever position on a machine like this, due to the way the transmission works.

You're saying the silver plate stops spinning shortly after you engage the clutch handle? I believe that the silver disk should *always* be spinning when the engine is running. It is driven by the transmission belt, the belt closer to the engine. That belt should always have tension on it. Squeezing the clutch handle does not do anything to the belt, it simply moves the rubber friction disk into contact with the silver plate. (edit- as jrtrebor correctly pointed out, this was sloppy wording on my part. The silver plate is actually moved when squeezing the handle, and the rubber friction disk stays in its location. The rubber disk can only slide left-right. The silver plate swings front/back)

If that silver plate stops spinning after you engage the drive, then I'd say you may have an issue with the transmission belt, or the tensioner on it. Typically, if anything is going to slip, and stop moving, at that interface it is the rubber friction disk. The silver plate would keep spinning, and the friction disk would stop turning. If yours is the other way around, that sounds a bit unusual.

As carlb said, with the machine tilted forward, and the bottom cover removed, rotate the axle for the wheels and watch the different shafts. With the clutch handle disengaged (not being squeezed), the axle should turn freely, nothing should bind, etc.
This message was modified Feb 5, 2012 by RedOctobyr
jrtrebor


Location: Michigan - 3 hours north of Chicago on the lake
Joined: Feb 10, 2010
Points: 539

Re: Ariens ST724 won't drive
Reply #7   Feb 5, 2012 5:54 pm
As was mentioned, the friction drive plate should never stop spinning.  Also it is the friction drive plate assembly that moves into contact with the friction drive wheel.  The rubber friction drive wheel does not
move forward or backward.  It only spins and moves left and right.

Assuming there is good tension on the tension pulley and belt.
There are only a few things that could cause the friction drive plate to stop spinning. I would first check this.  Engage the drive handle and observe that the friction drive plate has stopped.
Now check to see if the belt and large pulley are still spinning.  Be careful doing this.  I would keep the engine at a low speed use first gear.  And put the front of the blower housing up against an
un-moveable object.  A wall, fence post, car tire.  Or better yet have someone else look at the belt and pulley while your at the controls.
Either way.  If the drive is engaged and the friction drive plate has stopped but the belt and pulley are still spinning.  That will narrow down where the problem is.
nipper


Joined: Jan 22, 2012
Points: 8

Re: Ariens ST724 won't drive
Reply #8   Feb 11, 2012 1:40 pm
First, let me say that the people on this forum are incredibly knowledgeable and helpful - awesome!

I tried some of the suggestions that have been posted.  Here's what I've found:

First, when I tipped the machine forward, the wheels were able to turn freely when in neutral.  When I then put the wheels back on the ground, I got the same result.  Turned about a 1/4 revolution, then stopped. It just doesn't have the power to turn the drive wheels.

After taking off the belt cover, I noticed that when I engaged the drive clutch the Attachment Drive Idler Pulley wasn't engaging (see pic below - the pulley on the bottom-most left).  I believe that pulled is supped to press on the belt to create tension and turn the plate. It seems that some sort of linkage to this pulley is either broken or stuck or something.


nipper


Joined: Jan 22, 2012
Points: 8

Re: Ariens ST724 won't drive
Reply #9   Feb 11, 2012 2:03 pm
Update:

I went back and looked at the pulley again, a little more closely (it's a little tough to see).  It looks like there is an arm attached to the arm that the pulley is attached to, and that arm has a hole in it where it looks like a spring should go.  Could this be where my broken spring is from?  If so, what does that spring attach to?
carlb


Joined: Nov 16, 2010
Points: 279

Re: Ariens ST724 won't drive
Reply #10   Feb 11, 2012 2:46 pm
The spring needs to attach to the arm on the drive pulley (left hand side in your photo and closest to the engine)and attach to the right hand side of the snow blower when viewed from the front.  There should be a hole or slot where the spring can attach to the snow blower frame. You should be able to find a replacement spring at any hardware or big box store. 

That is certainly the problem with you snow blower drive.
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