Installing Armorskids and Spacers
I’ve had a lot of questions related to the installation of Armorskids, so I thought I’d post some pictures that may help answer some of the questions. This installation will be on an Ariens 24″ Platinum machine model 921017, with Auto-Turn.
Installation of Armorskids:
Step 1: Remove spark plug wire, AND REMOVE the SPARK PLUG! I’m saying this from personal experience. A snowblower can be shut off, and still have enough compression to spin an impeller and break or sever fingers/hands,etc. REMOVE THE SPARK PLUG!
Step 2: Clean and wipe down machine before starting work on it.
Step 3: Lift up front of snowblower a bit and set it on something firm enough to hold it, such as a couple 2x4s. Something that won’t collapse and will provide sturdy support to a very heavy machine. In this case I used a very thick corrugated box that I knew was strong enough to hold the weight.
Step 4: Remove existing skid.
Undo bolts and remove existing skid. Sometimes this can be a really challenging task when you are fighting with a rusty old bolt. Mine came off easily because I’ve had them off so many times, but if you have really rusted bolts, consider tightening them instead. If the bolts are rusty they will freqeuently just snap. I always use cheap bolts, and avoid stainless for that very reason. They snap easily when needed. Stainless bolts are stronger, but they do rust as well, and can be a real pain to take off down the road. If you do use stainless bolts, use anti-sieze on them.
Once off, I like to wipe down the mounting surface of any dirt or grit. This is also a great time to sand down and touch up any rust marks on the leading edge of the auger housing.
In looking at the mounting surface where the new skid will mount, you can see that the front leading edge of the housing has a ridge built into it. This gives a lot of strength to the housing and is a really good feature. It also causes issues with the installation of Armorskids, and will need spacers to compensate.
Step 5: Install spacers
Shown in the 2nd photo are two 1/8” spacers sitting on the bolts.
In this photo I’ve added two spacers. This will be enough to compensate for the ridge at the front of the auger housing. Note that the bolts are completely loose right now, it took a bit to get them to stay long enough to take the photo.
Step 6: Set the new Armorskid on the bolts, put on a washer, and then the nut.
Right now just let it hang. Tighten the bolts until they are almost snug, but you can still spin each washer.
Step 7: Do steps 4 – 6 for the other side.
Step 8: Set desired height of scraper bar. Once both new skids are on and hanging loose, lift the front of the snowblower and remove what you had it set on. Place something underneath the scraper bar to help you set whatever desired height you want, and set the front of the machine down carefully. In this case I’m using a thick piece of cardboard. You can use paint sticks, cardboard, plywood, whatever. Just ensure that whatever height you are at, it’s the same for both the left and the right side of the scraper bar.
This is also a good time to look at the scraper bar and decide if you need a new one. People are normally amazed at the wear and the number of nicks and gouges in their scraper bar. If you’ve noticed scratches on your driveway in the past, take a look at the scraper bar closely for nicks and gouges.
Step 9: Tighten bolts. Once You’ve got the scraper bar level to the ground, and spaced off the ground at your desired height, press down on each Armorskid to ensure they are sitting flat on the pavement.
Before tightening, check to make sure each carriage bolt is set fully into the square hole. Carefully tighten each bolt, and make sure the armor skid is still flat to the ground when you have both bolts tightened. Then go tighten the other side. When done, you shouldn’t be able to easily slip a piece of paper under each end of the Armorskid. Lift front of the snowblower and remove cardboard or whatever you were using.
Do one final check that bolts are tight. As you can see in this photo I have the narrow side forward because I will be using this machine on a concrete driveway and sidewalk. Look on the inside and make sure that the carriage bolts are fully set into the square hole.
Step 10: Final step: Re-install the spark plug and attach the spark plug wire. You are done.
Ongoing: From this point on, whenever you start your snowblower, check first to see that the skid is sitting flush with the pavement.