Yard-Man 31AE993J401 User Manual



45” Snow Thrower

Model 31AE993J401


Warning: This unit is equipped with an internal combustion engine and should not be used on or near any unimproved forestcovered, brush-covered or grass-covered land unless the engine’s exhaust system is equipped with a spark arrester meeting applicable local or state laws (if any). If a spark arrester is used, it should be maintained in effective working order by the operator. In the State of California the above is required by law (Section 4442 of the California Public Resources Code). Other states may have similar laws. Federal laws apply on federal lands. A spark arrester for the muffler is available through your nearest engine authorized service dealer or contact the service department, P.O. Box 368022 Cleveland, Ohio 44136-9722.



FORM NO. 770-10541.fm







Important Safe Operation Practices...................................................................


Assembling Your Snow Thrower .......................................................................


Knowing Your Snow Thrower ............................................................................


Operating Your Snow Thrower ..........................................................................


Making Adjustments ..........................................................................................


Maintaining Your Snow Thrower........................................................................


Servicing Your Snow Thrower ...........................................................................


Trouble Shooting Guide.....................................................................................


Parts List............................................................................................................



This Operator’s Manual is an important part of your new snow thrower. It will help you assemble, prepare and maintain the unit for best performance. Please read and understand what it says.

Before you start to prepare your snow thrower for its first use, please locate the model plate and copy the information from it in this Operator’s Manual. The information on the model plate is very important if you need help from your dealer or the Customer Support Department.

You can locate the model number by looking at the lower frame cover on the rear of your snow thrower. A sample model plate is explained below. For future reference, please copy the model number and the serial number of the equipment in the space below.

(Model Number)

(Serial Number)

Copy the model number here:

Copy the serial number here:




If you have difficulty assembling this product or have any questions regarding the controls, operation or maintenance of this unit, please call the Customer Support Department.

Call 1- (330) 220-4MTD (4683) or 1- (800)-800-7310 to reach a Customer Support representative. Please have your unit’s model number and serial number ready when you call. See previous section to locate this information. You will be asked to enter the serial number in order to process your call.

For more details about your unit, visit our website at www.yardman.com



This symbol points out important safety instructions which, if not followed, could endanger the personal safety and/or property of yourself and others. Read and follow all instructions in this manual before attempting to operate this machine. Failure to comply with these instructions may result in personal injury. When you see this symbol— heed its warning.

WARNING: Engine Exhaust, some of its constituents, and certain vehicle components contain or emit chemicals known to State of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm.

DANGER: This machine was built to be operated according to the rules for safe operation in this manual. As with any type of power equipment, carelessness or error on the part of the operator can result in serious injury. This machine is capable of amputating hands and feet and throwing objects. Failure to observe the following safety instructions could result in serious injury or death.


1.Read, understand, and follow all instructions on the machine and in the manual(s) before attempting to assemble and operate. Keep this manual in a safe place for future and regular reference and for ordering replacement parts.

2.Be familiar with all controls and their proper operation. Know how to stop the machine and disengage them quickly.

3.Never allow children under 14 years old to operate this machine. Children 14 years old and over should read and understand the operation instructions and safety rules in this manual and should be trained and supervised by a parent.

4.Never allow adults to operate this machine without proper instruction.

5.Thrown objects can cause serious personal injury. Plan your snow throwing pattern to avoid discharge of material toward roads, bystanders and the like.

6.Keep bystanders, helpers, pets and children at least 75 feet from the machine while it is in operation. Stop machine if anyone enters the area.

7.Exercise caution to avoid slipping or falling, especially when operating in reverse.


1.Thoroughly inspect the area where the equipment is to be used. Remove all door mats, newspapers, sleds, boards, wires and other foreign objects which could be tripped over or thrown by the auger/impeller.

2.Always wear safety glasses or eye shields during operation and while performing an adjustment or repair to protect your eyes. Thrown objects which ricochet can cause serious injury to the eyes.

3.Do not operate without wearing adequate winter outer garments. Do not wear jewelry, long scarves or other loose clothing which could become entangled in moving parts. Wear footwear which will improve footing on slippery surfaces.

4.Use a grounded three wire extension cord and receptacle for all units with electric start engines.

5.Adjust collector housing height to clear gravel or crushed rock surfaces.

6.Disengage all clutch levers before starting the engine.

7.Never attempt to make any adjustments while engine is running, except where specifically recommended in the operator’s manual.

8.Let engine and machine adjust to outdoor temperature before starting to clear snow.

9.To avoid personal injury or property damage use extreme care in handling gasoline. Gasoline is extremely flammable and the vapors are explosive. Serious personal injury can occur when gasoline is spilled on yourself or your clothes which can ignite. Wash your skin and change clothes immediately.

a.Use only an approved gasoline container.

b.Extinguish all cigarettes, cigars, pipes and other sources of ignition.

c.Never fuel machine indoors.

d.Never remove gas cap or add fuel while the engine is hot or running.

e.Allow engine to cool at least two minutes before refueling.

f.Never over fill fuel tank. Fill tank to no more than ½ inch below bottom of filler neck to provide space for fuel expansion.

g.Replace gasoline cap and tighten securely.

h.If gasoline is spilled, wipe it off the engine and equipment. Move machine to another area. Wait 5 minutes before starting the engine.

i.Never store the machine or fuel container inside where there is an open flame, spark or pilot light (e.g. furnace, water heater, space heater, clothes dryer etc.).

j.Allow machine to cool 5 minutes before storing.


1.Do not put hands or feet near rotating parts, in the auger/ impeller housing or discharge chute. Contact with the rotating parts can amputate hands and feet.

2.The auger/impeller clutch lever is a safety device. Never bypass its operation. Doing so, makes the machine unsafe and may cause personal injury.

3.The clutch levers must operate easily in both directions and automatically return to the disengaged position when released.

4.Never operate with a missing or damaged discharge chute. Keep all safety devices in place and working.


5.Never run an engine indoors or in a poorly ventilated area. Engine exhaust contains carbon monoxide, an odorless and deadly gas.

6.Do not operate machine while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

7.Muffler and engine become hot and can cause a burn. Do not touch.

8.Exercise extreme caution when operating on or crossing gravel surfaces. Stay alert for hidden hazards or traffic.

9.Exercise caution when changing direction and while operating on slopes.

10.Plan your snow throwing pattern to avoid discharge towards windows, walls, cars etc. To avoid property damage or personal injury caused by a ricochet.

11.Never direct discharge at children, bystanders and pets or allow anyone in front of the machine.

12.Do not overload machine capacity by attempting to clear snow at too fast of a rate.

13.Never operate this machine without good visibility or light. Always be sure of your footing and keep a firm hold on the handles. Walk, never run.

14.Disengage power to the auger/impeller when transporting or not in use.

15.Never operate machine at high transport speeds on slippery surfaces. Look down and behind and use care when in reverse.

16.If the machine should start to vibrate abnormally, stop the engine, disconnect the spark plug and ground it against the engine. Inspect thoroughly for damage. Repair any damage before starting and operating.

17.Disengage all clutch levers and stop engine before you leave the operating position (behind the handles). Wait until the auger/impeller comes to a complete stop before unclogging the discharge chute, making any adjustments, or inspections.

18.Never put your hand in the discharge or collector openings. Always use a clearing tool to unclog the discharge opening.

19.Use only attachments and accessories approved by the manufacturer (e.g. wheel weights, tire chains, cabs etc.).

20.If situations occur which are not covered in this manual, use care and good judgment. Contact your dealer or telephone 1-800-528-1009 for assistance and the name of your nearest servicing dealer.

Maintenance And Storage

1.Never tamper with safety devices. Check their proper operation regularly.

2.Disengage all clutch levers and stop engine. Wait until the auger/impeller come to a complete stop. Disconnect the spark plug wire and ground against the engine to prevent unintended starting before cleaning, repairing, or inspecting.

3.Check bolts, and screws for proper tightness at frequent intervals to keep the machine in safe working condition. Also, visually inspect machine for any damage.

4.Do not change the engine governor setting or over-speed the engine. The governor controls the maximum safe operating speed of the engine.

5.Snow thrower shave plates and skid shoes are subject to wear and damage. For your safety protection, frequently check all components and replace with original equipment manufacturer’s (O.E.M.) parts only. Use of parts which do not meet the original equipment specifications may lead to improper performance and compromise safety.

6.Check clutch controls periodically to verify they engage and disengage properly and adjust, if necessary. Refer to the adjustment section in this operator’s manual for instructions.

7.Maintain or replace safety and instruction labels, as necessary.

8.Observe proper disposal laws and regulations for gas, oil, etc. to protect the environment.

9.Prior to storing, run machine a few minutes to clear snow from machine and prevent freeze up of auger/impeller.

10.Never store the machine or fuel container inside where there is an open flame, spark or pilot light such as a water heater, furnace ,clothes dryer etc.

11.Always refer to the operator’s manual for proper instructions on off-season storage.

WARNING: Restrict the use of this power machine to persons who read, understand and follow the warnings and instructions in this manual and on the machine.


Yard-Man 31AE993J401 User Manual


NOTE: Any reference in this manual to the left or right side of the snow thrower is observed from the operator’s position.


Remove staples from the top, sides, and ends of the shipping crate.

Set panels aside to avoid tire punctures or personal injury.

Remove and discard plastic bag that covers unit.

Roll the unit out of the crate.

Check the crate thoroughly for loose parts before discarding.

Loose Parts

The augers are secured to the auger shaft with two shear bolts and hex lock nuts. If you hit a foreign object or ice jam, the snow thrower is designed so that the bolts may shear. Two replacement shear bolts and nuts are provided for your convenience. Store in a safe place until needed. See Figure 1.

Shear Bolts


Hex Lock






Figure 1

IMPORTANT: NEVER replace the auger shear bolts with standard hex bolts. Any damage to the auger gearbox or other components from standard hex bolts will not be covered by your snow thrower’s warranty.

Assembling Handle

WARNING: Disconnect the spark plug wire and ground it against the engine to prevent unintended starting.

IMPORTANT: Make any final adjustments, as instructed later on in this section, before operating your snow thrower. Failure to follow these instructions may cause damage to the snow thrower.

Remove the lower plastic wing nut, cupped washer and carriage bolt from each side of the lower handle. See Figure 2.

Upper Handle

Steering Cable

Tighten these

Wing Nuts

Lower Handle

Cable Tie

Upper Shift Rod

Clutch Rod


Carriage Bolt

Cupped Washer

Wing Nut

Upper Shift Rod

(Support Tubes Omitted for Clarity)

Figure 2

Raise the upper handle assembly until it locks over the lower handle. See Figure 3.

Look at the lower rear of the snow thrower frame to be sure all the cables are aligned with the cable roller guides.

Handle Panel

Wing Nuts

Upper Handle

Lower Handle

Support Tube

Figure 3

Secure the upper handle and lower handle with the two plastic wing nuts, cupped washers and carriage bolts previously removed. Attach these hardware on the lower hole in the handles.


Tighten the two wing nuts already in place on the upper holes and secure the handles firmly.Slide the shift rod connector down over the end of the lower shift rod. Tap the connector until it locks over the lower shift rod. See Figure 2.

NOTE: If the connector is not properly assembled, the shift rod will pivot and you will not be able to change speeds or change directions.

Remove the hairpin clip from the upper chute crank and slide the upper chute crank through the upper chute crank bracket and into the lower chute crank. Align the two holes on both chute cranks and insert the hairpin clip removed earlier, through these holes. See Figure 4.

Upper Chute Crank

Upper Chute

Crank Bracket

Hairpin Clip

Lower Chute Crank

Figure 4

If not already attached, slip the cables that run from the handle panel to the discharge chute into the cable guide located on top of the engine.

See Figure 5.

Discharge Chute

Cable Guide

Figure 5

Unwrap the headlight wire which is attached to the headlight, beneath the handle panel. Wind the headlight wire around the lower right handle until excess slack is removed. See Figure 6.

Plug the wire from the headlight into the alternator lead coming from the right side of the engine underneath the fuel tank.


Alternator Lead





Lamp Wire

(Wheels left out for clarity)


Figure 6

Final Adjustments

NOTE: It is helpful to read Section 3, Knowing Your Snow Thrower, to help identify certain areas of the snow thrower before performing adjustments.

Traction Control and Shift Lever

To check the adjustment of the traction control and shift lever, proceed as follows:

Move the shift lever into sixth (6) position.

With the traction control released, push the snow thrower forward, then pull it back. The machine should move freely.

Engage the traction control and attempt to move the machine both forward and back, resistance should be felt.

Move the shift lever into the fast reverse (R2) position and repeat the previous two steps.

If you experienced resistance rolling the unit, either when repositioning the shift lever from 6 to R2 or when attempting to move the machine with the traction control released, adjust the traction control immediately. To adjust, proceed as follows:

Loosen the jam nut on the traction control cable and UNTHREAD the cable one full turn.

Recheck adjustment.

Retighten the jam nut to secure the cable when correct adjustment is reached.

NOTE: For more details, refer to Traction Control Adjustment

Auger Control

Check the adjustment of the auger control as follows:

Push down on the auger control until the small rubber bumper contacts the upper handle. There should be a small amount of slack in the auger control cable.

Release the auger control. The cable should be straight. Make certain you can depress the auger control against the left handle completely.

If adjustment is necessary, proceed as follows:

Loosen the jam nut and thread the cable in (for less slack) or out (for more slack) as necessary.

See Figure 7.


Recheck adjustment; readjust as necessary and tighten the jam nut.

“Z” End

Jam Nut

Auger Control


Figure 7

Skid Shoes

The space between the shave plate and the ground can be adjusted by repositioning the skid shoes. For close snow removal, as when using on a smooth concrete or asphalt driveway, place the skid shoes in the low position. Use the middle or high position when the area to be cleared is uneven. When operating on gravel, always put skid shoes in the high position.

See Figure 8.

Adjust skid shoes as follows:

Loosen, but do not remove, the three hex nuts which fasten the skid shoe to the auger housing.

Raise or lower the skid shoe to desired position.

Retighten the hex nuts loosened earlier.

Repeat on the other side of the snow thrower.

Shave Plate



Carriage Bolts








Hex Nuts


Figure 8

NOTE: Make certain the entire bottom surface of skid shoe is against the ground to avoid uneven wear on the skid shoes.

Tire Pressure (Pneumatic Tires)

The tires are overinflated for shipping purposes.

Check tire pressure. Maintain pressure between 10 and 14 psi.

NOTE: If the tire pressure is not equal in all tires, the unit may pull to one side or the other.

WARNING: Maximum tire pressure under any circumstance is 30 psi. Equal tire pressure should be maintained at all times. Excessive pressure (over 30 psi) when seating beads may cause tire/rim assembly to burst with force sufficient to cause serious injury.


WARNING: Read, understand, and follow all instructions and warnings on the machine and in this manual before operating.

control must also be released).

IMPORTANT: Always release the traction control before changing speeds.

Traction Control / Auger Control Lock

The traction control is located on the right handle. Squeeze the traction control to engage the wheel drive. Release to stop. See Figure 9.

This same lever also locks the auger control so you can operate the chute crank without interrupting the snow throwing process. If the auger control is engaged simultaneously with the traction control, the operator can release the auger control (on the left handle) and the augers will remain engaged. Release the traction control to stop the augers and wheel drive (the auger

Auger Control

The auger control is located on the left handle. Squeeze the auger control to engage the augers. Release to stop the snow throwing action. The traction control must also be released in order to stop the auger.

Shift Lever

The shift lever is located in the center of the handle panel and is used to determine ground speed and direction of travel. It can be moved into any of eight positions. See Figure 9.


IMPORTANT: Always release traction the control before changing speeds.


Your snow thrower has six forward (F) speeds. Position number one (1) is the slowest and position number six

(6) is the fastest.


Your snow thrower has two reverse (R) speeds. R1 is the slower, while R2 is the faster of the two.

Chute Crank

The chute crank is located on the left hand side of the snow thrower. To change the direction in which snow is thrown, turn the chute crank as follows:

Turn clockwise to discharge to the left;

Turn counterclockwise to discharge to the right.

Chute Tilt Control

The distance snow is thrown can be changed by adjusting the angle of the chute assembly. Move the chute tilt control forward to decrease the distance, toward the rear to increase. See Figure 9.

Discharge Chute

The angle of the discharge chute controls the distance that the snow is thrown. Tilt the discharge chute up for greater distance; tilt down for less distance.

Skid Shoe

The position of the skid shoe is determined by the condition of the ground from where snow has to be removed.

Wheel Steering Controls

The left and right wheel steering controls are located on the underside of the handles and are used to assist in steering the snow thrower. See Figure 9.

Squeeze the right wheel steering control when turning right; squeeze the left control when turning left.

Operate the snow thrower in open areas until becoming familiar with these controls.


The headlight is on whenever the engine is running.

Throttle Control

The throttle control is located on the engine. It regulates the speed of the engine.

Safety Ignition Key

The safety ignition key must be fully inserted in the switch before the unit will start. Remove key when snow thrower is not in use. Do not attempt to turn the key.

Traction Control /

Shift Lever


Auger Control Lock



Auger Drive Control


Fuel Tank


Chute Tilt











Chute Crank



Wheel Steering

























Ignition Key


Skid Shoe






Figure 9



Before Starting

WARNING: Read, understand, and follow all instructions and warnings on the machine and in this manual before operating.

Gas And Oil Fill-up

Service the engine with gasoline and oil as instructed in the separate engine manual packed with your snow thrower. Read instructions carefully.

WARNING: Use extreme care when handling gasoline. Gasoline is extremely flammable and the vapors are explosive. Never fuel machine indoors or while the engine is hot or running. Extinguish cigarettes, cigars, pipes an other sources of ignition.

A plastic cap is provided inside the fuel fill opening on the fuel tank. Remove and discard this cap before filling up the tank. Use the separate fuel tank cap to close after fill-up.

To Start Engine

NOTE: If unit shows any sign of motion (drive or augers) with the clutch grips disengaged, shut engine off immediately. Readjust as instructed in the Final Adjustments in the Assembly Section.

Attach spark plug wire to spark plug. Make certain the metal loop on end of the spark plug wire (inside the boot) is fastened securely over the metal tip on the spark plug.

Make certain the auger and drive clutch levers are in the disengaged (released) position.

Move throttle control up to FAST position. Insert ignition key into slot. See . Be certain it snaps into place. Do not turn key.

NOTE: Engine will not start unless ignition key is inserted into ignition slot in carburetor cover.

Electric Starter

Determine that your house wiring is a three-wire grounded system. Ask a licensed electrician if you are not certain.

WARNING: The electric starter is equipped with a grounded three-wire power cord and plug and is designed to operate on 120 volt AC household current. It must be used with a properly grounded three-prong receptacle at all times to avoid the possibility of electric shock. Follow all instructions carefully prior to operating the electric starter.

If your house wiring system is not a three-wire grounded system, do not use this electric starter under any conditions.

If your home electrical system is grounded, but a three-hole receptacle is not available, one should be installed by a licensed electrician before using the electric starter.

If you have a grounded three-prong receptacle, proceed as follows:

Rotate choke knob to OFF position and do not prime engine.

Connect power cord to switch box on engine. Plug the other end of power cord into a three-hole, grounded 120 volt AC receptacle.

Push starter button on top of the engine to crank engine. As you crank the engine, move choke knob to FULL choke position.

When engine starts, release starter button, and move choke gradually to OFF. If engine falters, move choke immediately to FULL and then gradually to OFF.

When disconnecting the power cord, always unplug from the three-prong receptacle first and then from the snow thrower.

Recoil Starter

Rotate choke knob to FULL choke position (cold engine start). If engine is warm, place choke in OFF position instead of FULL.

Push primer button two or three times. If engine is warm, push primer button once only.

NOTE: Always cover vent hole in primer button when pushing. Additional priming may be necessary for first start if temperature is below 15°F.

Grasp starter handle and pull rope out slowly, until it pulls slightly harder. Let rope rewind slowly.

Pull starter handle rapidly. Do not allow handle to snap back. Allow it to rewind slowly while keeping a firm hold on the starter handle.

Repeat the previous steps until engine starts.


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