How to Assemble and Setup an Ariens Two-Stage Compact Snowblower Main Image

Congratulations on your new Ariens compact series snowblower purchase! Here's a quick and easy guide to assembling and setting up your new Ariens Sno-Thro. This guide applies to model numbers 920013 & 920014. It's important to read the Ariens Owner's Manual and Briggs & Stratton Owner's Manual shipped with your snowblower for all safety precautions and procedures before using your machine.

Watch the Video

To watch the assembly video, click below to play. Click here to view the high-quality version on YouTube.

Here's a quick recap of the video:

Setup Tools

Tools Needed to Assemble the Snowblower

You'll need to the proper tools to assemble the snow blower. Here is what you will need:

  • Knife or Box Cutter
  • Hammer
  • Flat Punch
  • Small flat-blade screw driver
  • Socket wrench
  • 7/16" deep-well socket
  • 1/2" deep-well socket
  • 9/16" deep-well socket

Opening and Unpacking the Snow Blower Box

Tear Down and Unpack the Box
  • Use your knife/box cutter to cut around the top edge of the box. Then, remove the lid and set this aside. We do recommend re-using the lid by setting the rod and chute on top of this. This will keep them from getting lost or scratched.
  • After you've removed the lid, take out the chute and chute control rod. Hold the chute by the black metal rod attached to the chute. Once finished, remove and recycle the cardboard inserts.
  • Use your knife/box cutter to slice each corner of the box. After you've sliced all four sides, you'll have easy access to the snow blower. We do recommend keeping the sides of the box to stand on because it allows for a cleaner work environment while we're assembling the snowblower.

Take Off the Snowblower Info Packet

Remove Packet
  • On the back of the snowblower, remove the plastic packet containing the owner's manuals for the snow blower and engine. Keep this in a safe place.

Set Up the Snow Blower Handle

Undo the Handle Screws
  • Remove the plastic packing material surrounding the handle. Then, remove the pads on the lower handle and upper parts of the handle levers.
  • Use your wrench and 1/2" socket to remove the bolts on the top of the handle.
  • While slowly lifting up on the handle, make sure that the linkage lock stage inside of the bolts. See the video for more information.
  • Once the handle is upright and locked into position, push the bolt through the hole that we just removed it from. This will keep the handle in its upright position. Once the bolt is through and locked in place, push the curved side of the plastic bushing into the bolt, then the washer and the lock washer. Hand-tighten the nut onto the bolt and repeat for the other side of the handle.
  • Secure Linkage
  • After the nuts have been hand-tightened onto both bolts, tighten all four of the handle bolts using your wrench and 1/2" socket. Make sure you do not over tighten these bolts! Over-tightening can cause the plastic bushings to crack.
  • After you're finished with the handle, use your wrench and 7/16" socket to tighten the two bolts on the linkage that we locked into place when we lifted up the handle. Do not over-tighten these as well, but make sure they're snug.

Attach the Snowblower Chute

Attach the Snowblower Chute
  • Remove the plastic packaging from the chute (there should be a hole on the bottom of the bag so you can easily pull it off). Hold the chute by the black metal bar. The easiest way to attach the chute is to stand on the left side of the snowblower. Place the chute on top of the chute hole on the snowblower. Remove the two bolts from the back of the chute mounting area. If you cannot remove them by hand, use your wrench and 9/16" socket. Once they're removed, swing the black bar across and bolt in the black bar into the same spot where you removed the two bolts. Tighten them down using your wrench and 9/16" socket. Be careful not to over-tighten because you can bend the black metal rod.

Install the Chute Control Rod

Install Chute Control Rod
  • Using your small flat blade screwdriver, take out the lock pin from the top of the chute fitting. Please see the video for the location of the pin and the proper technique to remove. Once you have removed it, set it in a safe place and do not lose it.
  • From behind the snowblower, push the long end of the chute control rod through the rear support loop on the handle of the snowblower and all of the way through so the holes in the chute fitting and chute control rod match up. You may have to wiggle these back and forth to get them into place. Push in the lock pin removed in the previous step and tap it all of the way in using your flat punch and hammer.
  • Test the chute's side-to-side motion using the chute control rod you just installed!
Install the Chute Control Cable Install Chute Control Cable
  • Attached to the handle on the back of the snowblower, just above where the chute rod support loop is located, is a small pin and spacer. Carefully remove the pin and spacer and set those aside.
  • Attached to the chute is a cable. Grab the end that has a small metal loop on it, feed it through the handle of the snowblower and loop it onto the spot where we just removed the pin and spacer.
  • Once the cable is attached, re-install the spacer and then the pin.
  • Next, you'll want to lock in the cable. Standing on the left side of the snowblower handle, push the plastic lock into the metal loop built into the handle as shown in the video. This will allow the cable to move back and forth to adjust the chute's up-and-down motion.
  • Loop the hook attached to the chute cable to the chute control rod and even out the slack in the cable
  • Test the up-and-down motion of the chute by using the proper lever on the snowblower handle.

Check the Oil

Check and Add Oil To the Engine
  • Before checking the oil, remove the plastic packaging on the front of the snowblower as well as the ads on the choke control and the snowblower gas cap.
  • Using a clean rag, remove the dipstick from the engine. Make sure that the dipstick reads full. If it does not, check with your Briggs & Stratton owner's manual for the proper oil weight to add to your engine. The weight will depend on the outside temperature of your local area.
  • Once you've added oil, screw the dipstick back into the engine. Allow the oil to settle into the engine. Remove the dipstick again and check the oil. Add more oil if needed and repeat until the dipstick reads full. Replace the dipstick when finished. Note: Do not over-fill or under-fill, this can cause permanent damage to internal engine parts and this is not covered by warranty!

Add Fuel & Insert the Key

Add Fuel To The Engine
  • Remove the fuel cap from the engine. Add the proper fuel to your engine. Check your owner's manual for more information on proper fuel usage and maintenance. Never let fuel sit in your engine for very long without use as current fuel only has a shelf life of thirty days. Use a fuel stabilizer if you know the fuel will be sitting longer than that. If you spill when adding fuel, wipe it up quickly using a rag. We recommend using 89-octane fuel in all 4-cycle power equipment. Once you're finished fueling, screw the gas cap back on and lock it into place.
  • Using your knife or box cutter, carefully remove the key from the handle of the snowblower. Insert the key into the ignition switch on the engine.

Proper Pull/Recoil Starting Technique

Proper Starting Technique
  • When you're ready to start the snowblower, turn up the throttle to full. Turn the ignition to the "on" position and then set the choke to full. Prime the engine about twice and then pull the recoil. Once the engine has started and is warm, turn the choke off.

Proper Electric Starting Technique

  • Snowblowers do not have fuel injected engines so we need to make sure we follow the same steps when using the electric start as we do when we use the pull/recoil start. Plug in your Ariens power cord or extension cord into the electric start unit. When you're ready to start the snowblower, turn up the throttle to full. Turn the ignition to the "on" position and then set the choke to full. Prime the engine about twice and then press the electric start button. Do not hold this down for long periods of time (longer than 5 seconds), but instead, press it for about 5-6 seconds and release, then try again. Once the engine has started, remove the cord from the electric start unit. When the engine is warm, turn the choke off.

Testing the Snowblower

  • Once the machine is running, test the auger using the handle lever on the right side of the snowblower (if you were standing behind it). Both side of the auger should spin freely. Inside of the auger, you should see the impeller spinning as well. If there is an issue, never place your hands or other body parts into the auger, impeller or chute.
  • After you've tested the auger, test the drive mechanism. Test each gear to see how the snowblower responds under the load. Remember that the snowblower engine will throttle up and be governed down while there is no load on the engine.

Proper Engine Shutoff Technique

  • When you're finished using the snowblower, make sure that the drive and auger are both disengaged. Slowly lower the throttle all of the way down and turn off the ignition.

Write Down Your Snowblower and Engine Model Information

Write Down the Model and Serial Numbers
  • You can find the model and serial number on the identification tag on the rear of your snowblower. Write this information down in your Ariens owner's manual so you can use it for future reference when ordering Ariens snowblower parts or accessories.
  • You can also find the Briggs & Stratton model, type and code information on the front side of the engine. Be sure to record this information in your Ariens owner's manual as well as your Briggs & Stratton Owner's Manual. It's a good idea to also write your date of purchase into both manuals.