Ariens model 10962
This is a 1969 Ariens 10,000 series,
model 10962, 7hp, 24" bucket. This machine was restored by Paul X10 of
Spencerport NY. Paul has done classic car restorations! He has all
the equipment and skill to do excellent work on snowblowers! which is a
new hobby he got into a few years ago..Paul restored this machine for
his friend's father in 2014. Here is Paul to tell us the story of this
7/24 Model #10962; Serial #011668
on this machine for my good friend Eric's father, Tom, who
needed a second machine to have at his lake house. He already has a
2012 Ariens Premium with heated hand grips at his home. He just needed
something to have on hand for when they have to get in there to work
on, and check on the place over the winter season.
has an Ariens background, as he started working at
a hardware store called Country Gentlemen when he was 12,
back in the mid 1960s, and they sold and serviced new Ariens
Snow Blowers. He worked on setting up brand new Ariens
Snow Blowers, and eventually learning how, and doing the service
work on them for many years; a true, hardcore, devoted Ariens owner
with many wonderful stories to tell! So, for me to 'fix-up' an old
Ariens for a man with those 'credentials', pretty much put me in a
perspective and need to do this one a bit extra special.
Eric if he'd want a newer model, or 'old school', and he didn't
hesitate with saying 'dad would definitely want old school'. Since
I had quite a few to choose from, I pointed out an old, rusty 1969 7/24
with a great engine, and he said.....okay, that will do the job. I told
him I'll go through it and change the oil, belt and rebuild the carb,
and anything else it needs to be reliable.
to do only what I said I'd do, but me being me, and the new owner
having such a 'history' with Ariens machines, I had to try and
make it look a little better....it was just so rusty. I had been
working at it a little at a time, and it was basically apart, and
being November, the weather here in upstate NY was wet and chilly. Then
the weather report said we'd be in the upper 60ºs and
sunny for a few days, and that made my decision to just go for
it, because if I'm going to paint everything, I really need to do
it outside due to the mess the Rust-Oleum overspray makes, as it's very
slow drying, and sticks to everything.
the restoration on a 1979 8/24 for my brother over the
summer, I had a system down pretty good, and knew how to expedite
things a bit better, as a 'weather window' isn't going to last. I
finished dismantling everything, and got busy sandblasting, power
sanding, wire wheeling, and cleaning. I just wanted to get all the
paint work done, so the parts could be drying for a few days while I
worked on the engine and other components.
couple items I had to swap out from other year machines due to
condition and better function. The auger assembly is from a late serial
number 1974, as that is when Ariens redesigned the discharge
impeller/fan to the 'less is more' blade design. These have a scoop at
the 4 ends only, instead of the full sized 'V' scoops used from the
beginning in 1960. I wanted that for the efficiency/improvement, as
those evacuate the snow better and throw it farther, as this
machine's purpose was to be used.
used a set of decent chrome handlebars from a 1971
model, which are different because they did away with the clutch
handle lock button around then. I thought about drilling it, but the
original process was a punched hole, and the depressed area from the
punch process was actually needed for the button to work correctly.
the extended dipstick as they are simply so much easier to use,
and 'inspire' checking the oil! The red plastic gas cap is a
replacement snowblower item, as it's designed to keep snow/water/ice
from plugging the vent hole. The original is painted metal with a
crossed cover welded on over the vent hole to prevent ice from plugging
it. I found out just how important the cover is, as the cross fell off
my father's old machine, and as I was using it, ice formed on the hole,
and it vapor locked and died!
nobody will notice is, I used the worm gear for the discharge
chute rotation from the late 1974 model, because Ariens changed it
from a 4 tooth to a 6 tooth design, which rotates the chute
further with less revolutions of the crank handle.....small thing, but
there is a difference in how much faster it is!
wrote about restoration techniques and materials I used for the 1979
Ariens 8/24 in another article in this section, so refer to that for
more about what I used and how I did certain things.
on this machine was done using Krylon Gloss Ivory (#51504)
over a red oxide primer. With it not being an 'engine enamel', some
discoloring occurred around the muffler area, but it's well hidden by
the carb heater box. After painting the whole engine, I thought about
the gas tank, and any spills will likely affect the paint. One thing
I've learned is to 'heat cure' paint, and it's durability and
resistance to chemicals improves dramatically. Knowing that gas tank
was absolutely gas free, I spent some time heating it up with a heat
gun a half dozen times to the point it felt hot; my estimate around
200º. I did find out it worked, as gas was spilled on it, and
didn't affect the paint.
aspect to deal with of this era machine are the handlebar
panels with the Ariens embossed logo. Finding a nice one isn't
easy, if not impossible, as they are thin aluminum, and are usually
bent, cracked, faded and corroded. Restoring one really isn't an option
with the raised decaled embossing and thin material. They are a
discontinued item, but Ariens has a 'replacement', and they're
about $100. They are not like the original, as it's a panel they used
on a rototiller, and they 'fit', but are made and look totally
different. The one on this '69 is the best I could find, and with
a little straightening, epoxying two small cracks, and a touch-up of
the off white along the top and bottom edges, it was 'just
presentable'. The old part number is 002033000, and is superseded with
Ariens #50203400, which is an Ariens rototiller part.
bought a new 10M6 Ariens on January 24, 1966, for $259.95,
(and went back 3 days latter for a set of tire chains for
$8.50), just a couple weeks before the 'famous blizzard' hit the
Northeast; I was 10 years old. That machine was used every year, a lot, until
2013 when it was time to retire it even though it still ran with
its original engine, never rebuilt.
my father did the first year was to remove the panel from the
handlebars, as it 'got in his way trying to pull start the engine'. It
ended up in his tool room at the old farm house, only for me to
rediscover it in 2012, in excellent condition. It was
different, as the '65/'66 model year had the mounting holes
(slots) only a quarter of the way down from the top edge, with
later versions having the holes on center. Also, it was an almond
color, and the paint was very nice. I matched the color to Rust-Oleum
Almond (#7770), and this panel is now on a partially restored
1971 7/32, now in the possession of Scot. I looked up the part number,
and Ariens Parts Radar shows the same number as the later panels that I
mentioned in the previous paragraph, which means this earlier design is
not available, either. That's one rare panel on Scot's Ariens!
'tough aspect' of this era are the chromed handlebars. The decent
ones I used were cleaned up to look as good as I could get them, but
they're far from perfect. I talked to my Ariens dealer if they're
still available, and they are, but the right hand lower now
only comes painted black. They're quite expensive,
too. Re-chroming is also very costly, and having a set that's not
rusty & pitted to start with is important, as the work to get the
tubes smooth and pit-free is an extra plating cost. Some machines
from the late '60s came with the almond or off-white painted bars that
I've found are on machines that came without the factory
differential option. Having decent used painted bars make it a bit
easier to do a repaint, as the chromed bars would have to be sent to a
plating shop to have the old chrome removed if you wanted to just paint
I had taken more pictures of it 'in progress', but didn't know it
was going to end up getting so much attention. With all I did,
documenting this would have resulted in having almost 100
pictures. The engine was in very good condition, but I did dismantle it
for the basic rebuild and cleaning, lapped the valves, new gaskets,
rings, connecting rod, and such, because I had them on hand already. It
got a new belt, bushings, bearings and rubber drive wheel, so this is
as close to 'new' as I could get it.
few decals I saved by masking them off during sandblasting or
sanding. The best part was putting the big Ariens SNO-THRO decal on the
corner of the bucket over that new paint!
feel calling this Ariens 'restored' is fine, but the real
meaning of that word is "to return something to it's original
state". In my decades of classic car work, I've done
restorations in preparation for judged events. It's very
hard and tedious work, and expensive. I basically had more
fun on the ones that didn't have to be 'factory correct', as it's a bit
more relaxed, and creative. There's a word that I use, and it's not in
the dictionary, but I wish it was, as it's used by some to help
categorize something that's done to bring a car back close to it's
original condition, but with a few creative touches, and the word is
'restified'. It means "to return something close to its original state".
was fun, as they didn't know I went this far. I had it in my
shop covered up with old blankets in a lineup with 5 other old
Ariens machines, just to be able to say 'which one do you want'. Eric
was suspicious, as he's known me for years with all the classic and
muscle car work I've done (including his own big block Chevelle
SS), so when I took the cover off, Tom saw it, and he said 'I
think I want that one', and was thrilled. Many discussions,
stories and 'silly name calling' erupted from that point, as this
machine had been on the Snow Blower Forum and our Ariens Dealer's home
page for almost 4 weeks at this point, and I could finally tell them!
It got put to use two days later with our first real snow
storm, and it did what an Ariens does....and did it very well!
to say here, that a good part of my inspiration in doing these,
and taking this on as a hobby, is knowing there's others out there
that do appreciate these older Ariens (and other machines), and thanks
to this web site and the Snow Blower Forum, this 'hobby' will likely
continue to grow, and many more of these great machines of
yesteryear will be saved, preserved, used and appreciated.
Beautiful job, thanks Paul!