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Rob
02-24-2009, 08:30 PM
HELP!!! Has anyone had problems with the drive belts on Ariens snowblowers? We have had around two dozen snowblowers that the drive belt just comes off the pulleys. It doesn't break, it just jumps off. They're pretty much all the "pro" or "dle" units within about two or three years old. We've had one do it 5 times so far this winter. We've been replacing the belts even though there doesn't seem to be anything wrong with it. The only thing we think may be working is putting a piece of rubber fuel line on the bolt the keeps the drive plate from swinging back too far. This keeps the pulleys lined up better. We've seen a few Toro's do it too. Maybe Toro had a fix that would fix the Ariens. I don't know. Very frustrating.

GWB2006
02-24-2009, 09:59 PM
What did Ariens or your Ariens dealer rep tell you when you called them?

Rob
02-25-2009, 08:14 PM
Our sales rep told us that other dealers in his territory have been having the same problem. And we've talked to other dealers and they have said they've had a bunch. But we've contacted Ariens several times, not to mention submitting warranty claims for each unit, and they continue to say "We don't have a problem." But the thing is, another dealer we work with closely called Ariens one day and we called later the same day and talked to the same guy, yet they continue to say, "We haven't heard of any other complaints." Bull! If they would work with the dealers, the dealers would work with Ariens to find a solution. Better yet, maybe Home Depot will find a fix. I'm sure if they put up a stink, then Ariens would fix it.

GWB2006
02-25-2009, 10:27 PM
Better yet, maybe Home Depot will find a fix. I'm sure if they put up a stink, then Ariens would fix it.

Home Depot units when returned go to AltaQuip. If AltaQuip is willing to take people that know nothing and put them at a bench repairing equipment, do you really think they are going to want to find a solution to something that is bringing in warranty/repair related money when all they do is repairs and no sales, so that repairing what HD sends them is their life blood?

And why would Home Depot care to find a fix? After they sell it, they don't see it again (unless it's a return, and then it just gets pushed to the side of the store to wait for the AltaQuip guy to pick it up). Do ya really think Gerald with his orange apron on that says "You can do it, we can help" really gives a crap about the guy that brings a snowblower back and then comes looking for him? That one guy isn't solely responsible for generating the money that goes into his paycheck... the guy buying something over in Lighting, or Lumber or renting a trencher from the tool rental section is the one contributing to HIS paycheck. Gerald just "helps" somebody part with their hard earned money on something that 90% of the time wasn't set up properly or tested in any way before it left the store... and you can tell this because the tape is still intact on the box..

Puhleaze... "You can do it, we can help" .... sure.. until the answer isn't actually printed on the product already...

Rob
02-26-2009, 06:34 PM
My point is, Ariens cares about keeping Home Depot happy more than they care about pleasing its independent dealers and the people who buy their equipment.

GWB2006
02-26-2009, 10:17 PM
My point is, Ariens cares about keeping Home Depot happy more than they care about pleasing its independent dealers and the people who buy their equipment.

I think you missed my point. Ariens will likely never hear about this from Home Depot, because Home Depot likely will never have a clue that it is causing a problem somewhere. If the people that are having it happen to them are bringing it to you, that means they are not taking it back to the store (as the store likely would have sent it off to AltaQuip). So, if the store isn't seeing the stuff come back then how would they recognize there is a problem? And if the store IS seeing these come back, there's probably more than one person taking the equipment back in (ya know, it depends on whos shift it is when the people come back, or who is working that station that day, or who just got hired to replace a person that quit or got fired), so 15 people may have returned their machines already with the same problem, but if those 15 people were "helped" by 5 different store associates, an average of 3 complaints per associate probably isn't going to raise enough of a flag for each employee to bring it up to their boss (whoever it may be that day).

It's not like your shop where you probably have 1 service writer writing up all these different people on this same problem and catching on that there is probably an issue that needs to be resolved.

Rob
02-28-2009, 08:47 PM
Anyhow, I'd still like to know if any one else has had drive belt problems and, if so, how did you fix it. Keep in mind, these belts are not breaking, they are just jumping off the pulleys, repeatedly.

tb8100
02-28-2009, 09:58 PM
Anyhow, I'd still like to know if any one else has had drive belt problems and, if so, how did you fix it. Keep in mind, these belts are not breaking, they are just jumping off the pulleys, repeatedly.

I wonder what would happen if you squirted some silicone on them. Is it a bad run of belts that are a little too long?

Snowmann
03-02-2009, 11:53 PM
1.) Make sure the units are equipped with Ariens' OEM clutch cover belts. Some of the 926,XXX units built in July 2005 or thereabouts have raw edge belts. There is a service letter that speaks to this that indicates the need for an upgrade kit if problems are encountered (it would occur with brand new belts only). Raw edge belts or rubberized covered belts are too aggressive and are not to be used for a 926,XXX traction drive.

2.) Make sure the engine is in the correct mounting holes. While the belts are intentionally misaligned in the de-clutched position, if a Tecumseh 8-11.5hp engine is installed to the 13hp location (rearward about .220") the resulting increased belt entry/departure angle will cause the belt to jump (this doesn't affect any Briggs powered models). That is, engage the clutch and check to make sure the belt alignment is fairly close. If the engine is in the wrong position, it'll be plainly clear at this point.

3.)More likely than the above, the traction drive pulley could have a substandard quality groove. These are split steel pulleys. Flat round blanks are spun and split at the edge with blades and rollers to create the groove. The grooves need to have generous radii at the each edge to retain the belts. Sometimes there is slight asymmetry in this process and the edge towards the rear of the machine gets more of a knife edge (and sometimes gets a ding or burr during handling or assembly). This poor edge can cause the belts to jump. The 921,XXX Deluxe and 920,XXX Compact models are not sensitive to this because the drive plates swing at the top (entry and departure angles for the belts never get too far out of alignment). 926,XXX pivots at the bottom which can cause belt misalignment up to around 3-4 degrees. The solution for problem units is typically to have the drive plate assembly replaced (the latest parts should have a much more deliberate radii on these edges). I've also heard of some folks that simply spin the drive plate to break and smooth these edges with a file or sanding block to solve the problem in more immediate terms. If you attempt this, be sure to catch both edges. If or when the friction disks gets very worn down the misalignment will be in the other direction (engaged this time) so the opposing edge could also cause the belts to jump.

Also, be careful not to remove the pulley from "mounting plate" i.e. loosen the bearing flanges. This pulley is 100% checked for excessive "wobble" with laser inspection equipment at the factory. It would be hard to realign this pulley or re-inspect it without such instrumentation.

I hope this helps...

RedAllis
03-03-2009, 04:43 PM
HELP!!! Has anyone had problems with the drive belts on Ariens snowblowers? We have had around two dozen snowblowers that the drive belt just comes off the pulleys. It doesn't break, it just jumps off. They're pretty much all the "pro" or "dle" units within about two or three years old. We've had one do it 5 times so far this winter. We've been replacing the belts even though there doesn't seem to be anything wrong with it. The only thing we think may be working is putting a piece of rubber fuel line on the bolt the keeps the drive plate from swinging back too far. This keeps the pulleys lined up better. We've seen a few Toro's do it too. Maybe Toro had a fix that would fix the Ariens. I don't know. Very frustrating.

We had the same problem and called Ariens. They told us to use one of 2 kits. Part # 72600700 for 926's with Tecumseh engines less than 13hp.. Kit # 72600800 for 926's with Tecumseh engines of 13 or more hp. Has worked well for me.

Rob
03-03-2009, 08:07 PM
First, Snowmann, I'd like to know how Ariens checks for wobble in their swing plates because just about every one I've seen wobbles. Originals, replacements, all of them. Apparently they have a low standard to meet with their test.

Second, RedAllis, the problem is with the drive belt for the wheels. Those kits were for the dual belt to fix the auger belt situation. Which, by the way, helped tremendously. Maybe they should come out with a dual drive belt kit.

RedAllis
03-03-2009, 09:39 PM
First, Snowmann, I'd like to know how Ariens checks for wobble in their swing plates because just about every one I've seen wobbles. Originals, replacements, all of them. Apparently they have a low standard to meet with their test.

Second, RedAllis, the problem is with the drive belt for the wheels. Those kits were for the dual belt to fix the auger belt situation. Which, by the way, helped tremendously. Maybe they should come out with a dual drive belt kit.

Rob,
Sorry I should have read through you entire thread. I admit I was was trying to do two things at once when I responded.