In the continuing attempt to make a $100 snowblower less terrible, I find myself back in the garage with a grinder in my hand.
I ran a wire wheel or brush over the rust, trying to knock off the loose stuff, then gave the whole bucket & auger assemble a coat of Masterseries anti-rust paint.
I just slathered it on, as pretty is not among my goals here, just stopping the progression of rust so I can eek out as many years from this thing as possible.
During dis-assembly I did discover why it listed to one side. The skids were adjusted wrong, leading to some uneven scraper bar wear. Fortunately the other side is fine, so I can just flip it over and it'll be good to go.
I also discovered that the dry-rotted tires wouldn't hold air for more than a few hours. Not being able to find cheap tires locally, I stuffed some tubes in the old ones, which seems to have worked.
The next day the bucket got a coat of the finest in leftover Tractor Supply black enamel. I had to touchup some missed spots with the silver Masterseries, so the back of the bucket is still to be done.
At this point we were threatened with a Thanksgiving snowstorm, so I put the scraper bar & skids back on, only to end up getting monsoon rains for 6 hours instead.
Yesterday I changed the oil, which was thin enough I suspect it was 50% water. I think I'll change it again after the first storm where I run the engine for more than a minute.