I bought an Ariens 1128(model #924121) in 2003. The aluminum gearcase that turns the augers has broken 3 times.
After the last failure a couple of days ago, I see that the company now requires that a complte cast iron gearcase be used as a replacement. It's obvious that the original aluminum case was either of poor design or of inadequate strength to ensure any reasonable amout of reliability. The original case is so weak that it failed before the shear pins, so why bother having shear pins? The company's official line is that they didn't want to produce the old gear case any longer...yeah, right.
It will now have cost me more than the purchase price of the machine to have it repaired 3 times for the same failure. The company's customer service rep denied having any widespread problem with the old gear case and yet the dealer who ordered the new gear case said that Ariens doesn't have any currently in stock because they can't keep up with the demand.
So much for the official company line.
Monetary Loss: $1100.