I've got a 3 year old Ariens 8524 that's been used a whopping 4 or 5 times, maybe 2 hours total machine time. Needless to say, we haven't had much snow in the past couple years!
It starts and runs great. Auger works great. But it wouldn't go forward. I removed the plastic belt cover, and sure enough the belt had slipped off. I managed to get it back on, and it will run in reverse but not in forward. After tipping the machine forward and removing the bottom cover, I found the problem. The pulley that the drive belt attaches to is loose and wobbles. Looks like it's going to be a big pain in the arse to remove everything to get it out of there.
I'm guessing a bad bushing. Anyone have any advice or ideas? Anyone had similar problems with their Ariens snowblower?