Ariens 1960's and 1970's
FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
Maintenance, Repairs, Parts and other Research.
Questions & Answers.
This page will be a "FAQ" type page, with answers to some
is in my opinion an excellent forum. very friendly, very active,
http://www.abbysguide.com/ope/discussions/ is another good snowblower forum.
the "Toolshed forum" on gardenweb, it
There are also several yahoo forums for specific brands, Ariens, Toro, Snowbird, etc.
In addition to listing those forums, I thought it would be a good idea to gather some of those questions and answers together on one page.
Question 1 - Serial Number Zero.
Question 2 - Throttle control lever.
Question 3 - Ariens has made snowblowers for Cub Cadet, Bolens and John Deere.
Question 4 - Carb leaking gas!
Question 5 - Shear Bolts for 10,000 series.
Question 6 - Snowblower "Model years"
Question 7 - White vs. Black nameplate.
Question 8 - Spring Maintenance.
Question 9 - Gear Box lube for 10,000 series.
Question 10 - Where to find parts.
(click the text links above to go straight to the section)
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December 2009 (Updated January 2011)
Snow Blower "Model Years"
While building this "1960's and 1970's" snowblower archive, the topic of "model year" is very relevant..
*every* snowblower on this webpage is designated with a "model year".
My snowblower is a 1971 model.
People have shared photos of their 1963 models, 1962 models, 1974, 1978 models etc etc..
We like to know the "model year" of our machines..(and its important information to know, when it comes to parts and repairs.)
Its like model years with automobiles..there are big differences between a 1965 Ford Mustang and a 1969 Ford Mustang! not the same car at all..So "Model Year" is an important topic, and very relevant to the snowblower "hobby"..
When I bought my 1971 Ariens a year ago, I just naturally assumed that a new snowblower "model year" would be the same as the year they go on sale..
For example..as I type this, it is December of 2009. New snowblowers went on sale a few months ago, in the Autumn of 2009..I assumed those new snowblowers are "2009 model year" machines..they were built during the Spring and Summer of 2009, they "hit the stores" in the Autumn of 2009..they are for sale right now, and will remain on sale through early 2010..then next spring and summer (2010) they will disappear from the stores, and the new 2010 models will appear in the autumn of 2010.
I dont why I thought model years would work this way..no one told me this..it just seemed logical!
but is that correct??
The automobile industry does not do their "model years" that way!
starting in the summer and autumn of 2009, the 2010 models went on sale!
Right now (December 2009) you cant find a new 2009 model car to purchase..they are long gone..
if you are buying a new car in late 2009 you are looking at 2010 models!
So we have two conflicting theorys..lets call them "Snow Blower Model Year Theory #1" and Theory #2.
SBMY #1 and SBMY #2. The Red Dot represents right now, December 2009.
With theory #1, above, the 2009 models were made earlier in 2009, and are for sale right now.
We wont see 2010 models until the Autumn of 2010, next year.
I assumed theory #1 is the correct theory..that 2009 model year snowblowers go on sale in late 2009.
With Theory #2, it would be 2010 model year snowblowers that are in the stores right now! in late 2009..
The "current" (if this theory is true) 2010 models were built earlier in 2009, and hit the stores in the autumn of 2009..The automobile industry matches SBMY #2:
The question arises in the first place, because winter spans two Calendar years every winter!
This winter, one winter season, will span both 2009 and 2010..this happens every year.
(In the northern hemisphere anyway..I wonder how they handle snowblower model years in South America and Australia?? hmmm..)
I had a person email me to discuss his 1963 Ariens snowblower..He always assumed it was a 1963 model, because his parents bought it brand-new in January of 1963..(he still has the reciept! :)
But after looking at the photos, its clearly a 1962 model! there are clear visable external differences between a 1962 and a 1963 Ariens. It would appear his 1962 machine was built during the summer of 1962, went on sale in the autumn of 1962, and his parents bought it new in January of 1963...but even though it was purchased in early 1963, its still a 1962 model! (this matches SBMY theory #1)
This is how this whole question began for me! ;)
So which theory is correct?
I thought it would be easy to determine..everyone must know right?
the snowblower industry is half a century old! should be "common knowledge"..
I myself dont happen to know yet, only because I have been involved in this hobby for only a year.
(yeah..its kind of weird calling it a "hobby" ..but if you are reading this, you are probably a "snowblower hobbiest"! some people simply "own a car"..their car isnt a hobby..other people have classic cars!
they restore them and seek them out, they buy books and magazines about them, they join internet discussion forums about them...that crosses over into the land of a hobby!..my 1971 snowblower in one sense is just a tool..but its also a hobby! in the same way that a 1965 Mustang can be both..)
(anyway..getting back to the model year question, and "everyone must know right?")
surprisingly..its not well known at all!
I hit the internet..
there are some references to "The new 2009-2010 snowblower models" referring to one winter season..
this is not helpful..doesnt answer the question.
I did find a few references to "the new 2010 models"..referring to current snowblowers, but oddly, only from
Canadian dealers! it seems some are using SBMY theory #2 in Canada..but I dont know why.
I posted this question on a few forums..
no one knows!
the threads are old now, and have died off without solving the mystery.
So then I thought..what do the actual snowblower manufacturers themselves say?
I checked out the Ariens, Craftsman, Deere, Simplicity, and Honda snowblower pages..
they all make NO mention of a model year! not a peep..
But if you think about it..this makes sense..
because new snowblower sales can be "weather dependant"..if its a snowy winter, machines might sell out.
but if its an unusually mild winter, there might be surplus come spring, and un-sold machines will have to wait for the following winter to be sold! in that case, brand new, over one year old, machines might be sold the following winter! This is fine..the machines are still new, they just spent an extra summer in a warehouse somewhere. (I saw some new Husqvarna machines at an Ace hardware store a few weeks ago..with Tecumseh engines! ;) clearly "last years models"! )
Im sure the manufacturers do this on purpose..they dont mention model years at all..because it could be a sales disadvantage if there is a mild winter and models have to wait another year to be sold.
thats fine..its just a smart business practice. (same thing with lawn mowers..no one really cares about the model year of a lawn mower..until you start getting into old 1960's, 70's or 80's machines..(especially riding mowers) then the model year becomes relevant.)
But it still doesnt help us with this question! ;) because even though the manufacturers probably *assign* model years..they down-play the use of model years, and they dont advertise them at all.
the new machines have a model year..we just arent told exactly what it is! ;)
So now what?
Well..I think have found some "proof" of which way it is!
The data comes from 1960's Ariens manuals and advertisements.
First up is the 10,000 series model list, printed by Ariens in 1974:
(the full document can be found here)
this document lists model years, designated by Ariens, and the model numbers associated with a specific year.
but this document, by itself, does not solve the mystery..because it doesnt tell us *when* a model was built!
for example, a model number 910006, from "model year 1973"..was it built in the summer of 1973? (SBMY #1)
or the summer of 1972? (SBMY #2)..we cant tell.
We need something else..I found something else!
Two of my vintage advertisements (full collection on page 11)
have very specific dates..first is this one:
dated July 7, 1966.
that very specific date is very helpful..
because these models were being advertised in the Summer of 1966, they must be the models
that are coming up for sale very soon..in the Autumn of 1966. They are the current models for the
autumn of 1966, and the winter of 1966-1967.
What do we know?
We know the 5hp model is "new for 1966", (the ad says so) and we know that 4hp, 5hp, 6hp and 6hp Deluxe
models are available in 1966 and 1967.
Going back to the model chart above, do we have those model years listed for 1966?
yes..we do! but because Ariens has them listed as 66-67, this "proves" both theory #1 and #2!
but it does prove theory #1.
Thats pretty good, but we still need something better..
we have it:
I dont have the date on the scan, because I cropped it out of the larger page.
but the original magazine page that advertisement is from says:
"Popular Gardening & Living Outdoors - November-December 1963"
again, that very specific date, November-December 1963, is very usefull..
because we know the models being advertised must be current models for sale
in the Autumn of 1963, and the winter of 1963-1964.
the models in the ad match everything we know about 1963 sno-thros.
and they do *not* match everything we know about 1964 models!
they clearly say "Gard-N-Yard"..which is a 1963 feature.
This confirms theory #1, and clearly contradicts theory #2.
If theory #2 were correct, these machines in a November 1963 ad would have to be
"1964 model year" machines..which would mean 10,000 series and "Track-Team"..not Gard-N-Yard.
but because the November-December advertisent very clearly is *not* 10,000 series and Trac-Team,
but is instead Gard-N-Yard..this proves 1963 "Model Year" machines were in the stores in the Autumn
of 1963, and were being sold through the winter of 1963-1964. The 1964 10,000 series models must
have come out in the Autumn of 1964..thats a win for SBMY Theory #1!
So we have three pieces of evidence that support Theory #1. the two advertisements above,
and an existing 1962 model, known for a fact purchased in January of 1963, which is very clearly a 1962 model.
All those support theory #1.
I have no actual paperwork or data to support theory #2.
I have seen a few on-line dealer advertisements where they are talking about "The new 2010 snow blowers"
in December of 2009..but I noticed something interesting..
Snowmobiles use method #2! same as automobiles.
New 2010 model year Snowmobiles are in the stores in December of 2009.
Many dealers sell both snowmobiles and snowblowers..
Perhaps these dealers assume snow blowers must use the same model year convention as the snowmobiles?
it would seem they do..but perhaps they are wrong..
(if anyone has anything to dispute my conclusions, please let me know!
I have no problem with being proven wrong! but im pretty sure im right in this case..)
Status - probably answered correctly.
Snow Blower Model Year Theory #1 is probably the correct theory.
Ok then..interesting new data has come to light!
I found even more data that absolutely proves Theory #1 for the 1960's..no question.
check this out:
In December of 1967, Ariens themselves said "Get a lift out of life with a new 1967 Sno-Thro"
So that proves that in the winter of 1967-1968, Ariens considered them 1967 Model Year machines..
pretty much case-closed for Theory #1.
But then something interesting happened!
Fast-Forward to September of 1979:
hmmm..Its September of 1979..If Theory #1 was still in effect, we would expect that 1979 model year
machines would be on sale in September of 1979..but! Thats clearly a 1980 machine in the advertisement!
We know its a 1980 machine because of the Black nameplate..(see next section below)
(Im basing these conclusions on actual Ariens model year designations! Ariens says Black nameplate = 1980)
So it appears we have switched from Theory #1 to Theory #2??
When did this happen?
I think I know when..
check out the 924000 model list:
Notice that all the model numbers have one associated model year, except for two models
that are listed as 1977-78. Could that have been the switchover year? could be..
It makes sense..
I theorize that the snowblower manufacturers started out with Theory #1, because that was just the
logical way to start..but after a few years it became clear that it might be better to switch to
theory #2, since thats how the automobile manufacturers did it.
Plus it sounds much better, in November of 1979, to say "Check out the new 1980 Line of snowblowers at your
dealer today!" rather than calling them 1979 models, which would be percieved as "older"..So I think an industry change-over happened in the 70's, and today we are using Theory #2, same as the Auto industry and the Snowmobile industry. Which means that right now, The winter of 2009-2010, there are actually 2010 model Snow Blowers on sale..
I still havent proved it 100%! but im getting closer..
I suspect it might look like this:
It still seems very difficult to find out what model years the current manufacturers themselves are using!
they simply dont say..(for reasons discussed above)
So there is very little data from the past few decades.
the data exists to match a model with its model year, but finding out exactly when that model went on sale is the
Although.. here is some strong evidence for Theory #2 being currently in effect.
We know for a fact that the new Ariens Sno-Tek line came out in the Autumn of 2009, this was the first
time these machines went on sale..So are they considered 2009 models or 2010 models?
there is some strong evidence that they are referred to as 2010 models:
Those are Sno-Tek dealer ads from January 2010, and are obviously the first year Sno-Tek models,
because we know for a fact that the Sno-Tek line first went on sale in the Autumn of 2009.
I cant tell for certain if the Ariens company itself says "these are 2010 models"..or if dealers just assume it.
but still, thats pretty good evidence that Theory #2 is currently in effect..
I found no references to Sno-Tek models being referred to as 2009 models, even though they were introduced in
the autumn of 2009..they are all called 2010 models.
And here is the clincher for "theory #2" being currently in effect..
I picked up the new Ariens snowblower brochure at an Ariens dealer in November of 2010, the start of a new winter season..This is the "50 years of Sno-Thro Excellence" brochure! (Autumn 2010 is the 50th Anniversary of Ariens Sno-Thros!) you can see an abbreviated version here:
http://www.ariens.com/SiteCollectionDocuments/Ariens 2011 Sno Spec Sheet.pdf
(that on-line version only shows the model list, the actual paper version has more pages, with a lot more detail
and photos of specific models...its very much like a "new car brochure" you would get a car dealership.)
On the back, it says "copyright 2010"..because it was published in 2010. Even though the brochure itself never once
says "2010 models" or "2011 models", there is one small clue that indicates Ariens refers to these as 2011 models!
The actual file name of the brochure on their website! notice that it is the "2011 Sno Spec Sheet!"
So Ariens is calling the machines on sale in the Winter of 2010-2011 "2011 models"..
status - I believe it is 99% proven! ;) and I think my conclusions are very valid, based on a lot of good evidence.
Theory #1 was in effect originally, 1960's, at some point in the 70's there was a switchover, and today Theory #2 is
This whole model year question isnt even an issue with Lawn mowers..
because a "mower season" happens all in one calendar year, while a "snow blower season" spans two calendar years..
In the Spring of 1971, no one needed to question that the new 1971 models were arriving in the stores! ;)
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Concerning the "White nameplate" vs. "Black nameplate" question.
When I started this webpage in January 2009, I noticed that some 924000 series had the older style "white nameplate" across the handlebars, and others had a more modern Black nameplate.
I started collecting photos of machines to try to determine what year this transition happened.
I have now determined that the transition year was in fact 1980!
Here is a photo of a 1979 model 924038, notice the White
and one year later, we have a 1980 model 924050:
Thanks to Brandon R, who restored the 1980 machine seen above.
This educational, non-profit
site is not affiliated with the Ariens Company.
It is simply the "hobby webpage" of one satisfied 1971 Ariens Sno-Thro owner.
All logos, names and
trademarks are property of their respective
Official Ariens webpage is here:
Site started January 2009,
Page 11 last updated January 1, 2015.
For information about Ariens parts, see here.
For other general snowblower questions,
take a look here:
I am a member on that forum, and its a very friendly and helpful place!
The best place for snowblower discussion on the internet.
If you have questions, you can find the answers there..