1970's Ariens Tiller Gearbox Oil

hydrian

New User
I inherited an Ariens 4HP Tiller from my father that he purchased in the 1970's. I got the manual from the tiller and it says to use Ariens LC-2 oil for the spline gearbox. Arien's LC-2 is no longer available. Officially, the current Arien's LC-3 is supposed to be the replacement but I've heard two different issues with it:
  • The LC-3 is too thin
  • LC-3 is not safe to use on non-ferrous (yellow-metal) parts because it is synthetic.
I'm at a loss for what gearbox oil I should be getting for it. Most of the topics about the LC-2 oil I've searched online are about snowblowers, not tillers. I'm not sure if that makes a difference.
 
I inherited an Ariens 4HP Tiller from my father that he purchased in the 1970's. I got the manual from the tiller and it says to use Ariens LC-2 oil for the spline gearbox. Arien's LC-2 is no longer available. Officially, the current Arien's LC-3 is supposed to be the replacement but I've heard two different issues with it:
  • The LC-3 is too thin
  • LC-3 is not safe to use on non-ferrous (yellow-metal) parts because it is synthetic.
I'm at a loss for what gearbox oil I should be getting for it. Most of the topics about the LC-2 oil I've searched online are about snowblowers, not tillers. I'm not sure if that makes a difference.
Gear oil containing sulfur is said to be harmful to brass parts (the "worm wheel" in your gearbox), I'm not seeing the connection between the new oil being synthetic and containing sulfur.

Looks like Ariens may still offer another option...

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Personally, I'd simply use 90-weight GL1 gear oil from an auto parts store or even Wallaby World in that older tiller gearbox.
 
Summer warm weather us if no leaks, use a SAE 80-90 gear lubricate from a quart container. Ok for the gears and bearings or bushings.
 
I inherited an Ariens 4HP Tiller from my father that he purchased in the 1970's. I got the manual from the tiller and it says to use Ariens LC-2 oil for the spline gearbox. Arien's LC-2 is no longer available. Officially, the current Arien's LC-3 is supposed to be the replacement but I've heard two different issues with it:
  • The LC-3 is too thin
  • LC-3 is not safe to use on non-ferrous (yellow-metal) parts because it is synthetic.
I'm at a loss for what gearbox oil I should be getting for it. Most of the topics about the LC-2 oil I've searched online are about snowblowers, not tillers. I'm not sure if that makes a difference.
Synthetic oils are not intrinsically damaging to bronze/brass. I have had worm gear failure one in gear oil, the other in dried up grease that would not flow into the teeth. Thin is not bad, as it keeps moving in use. Rumors are difficult to parse. I would use it. If it leaks, I would add corn head grease O grade or OO grade As needed till it stopped leaking or was manageable. Jim
 

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