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Snowblowers

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I prefer the  1970s Ariens. Cast iron gear box instead of aluminum. Heavier gauge steel. And I don't need hand warmers or headlights....

Look on CL. Definitely want electric start, minimum 8 HP,  chains, and all controls up on handles. (Some old machines you had to engage the auger on lower right side, no good) Take it to a machine shop and have it serviced if not done before you buy.

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93 Octane gas with "Marine Formula" Stabil mixed has been key to me having no problems with my outdoor power equipment. That tip was given to me by the mechanic who I went to the year I blew up a couple of machines. He explained that low octane gas makes engines run hotter and work harder than premium gas and that the Marine Stabil  (the blue stuff not the red stuff) has much more of the ingredients you need to keep your gas fresh and combat the bad effects of ethanol. 

Just so you know, one of my snow throwers is a cheap Craftsman single stage machine. I bought it for next to nothing when the Sears I was in was closing them out. I normally would stay away from a China made machine but it was so inexpensive that I bought it. Anyway, I ran it for a couple of hours and then changed the oil. I was stunned at the amount of metal I saw in the used oil. It was pretty disturbing that It actually looked like there was glitter in the used oil. Put in fresh oil and ran it for another couple of hours. Changed the oil again. Still some metal but not nearly as bad as the first oil change. Another few hours of use and a third oil change and this time no metal glitter that I could see. Now I need to point out that I used the machine hard and it never hiccuped a single time. Even when I saw all the metal in the oil and thought the motor was disintigrating inside, it ran strong. I mean it ran as good as any snow thrower I ever used and I have used plenty of expensive name brand machines. My point is that the cheap China made machines can actually be pretty good if you break them in right and maintain them properly.

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4 mins ago, valentine said:

93 Octane gas with "Marine Formula" Stabil mixed has been key to me having no problems with my outdoor power equipment. That tip was given to me by the mechanic who I went to the year I blew up a couple of machines. He explained that low octane gas makes engines run hotter and work harder than premium gas and that the Marine Stabil  (the blue stuff not the red stuff) has much more of the ingredients you need to keep your gas fresh and combat the bad effects of ethanol. 

Just so you know, one of my snow throwers is a cheap Craftsman single stage machine. I bought it for next to nothing when the Sears I was in was closing them out. I normally would stay away from a China made machine but it was so inexpensive that I bought it. Anyway, I ran it for a couple of hours and then changed the oil. I was stunned at the amount of metal I saw in the used oil. It was pretty disturbing that It actually looked like there was glitter in the used oil. Put in fresh oil and ran it for another couple of hours. Changed the oil again. Still some metal but not nearly as bad as the first oil change. Another few hours of use and a third oil change and this time no metal glitter that I could see. Now I need to point out that I used the machine hard and it never hiccuped a single time. Even when I saw all the metal in the oil and thought the motor was disintigrating inside, it ran strong. I mean it ran as good as any snow thrower I ever used and I have used plenty of expensive name brand machines. My point is that the cheap China made machines can actually be pretty good if you break them in right and maintain them properly.

Yeah, you got to run them into tolerance, makes you wonder why they just couldn’t grind the casting down at the factory 

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47 mins ago, nightfighter said:

I prefer the  1970s Ariens. Cast iron gear box instead of aluminum. Heavier gauge steel. And I don't need hand warmers or headlights....

Look on CL. Definitely want electric start, minimum 8 HP,  chains, and all controls up on handles. (Some old machines you had to engage the auger on lower right side, no good) Take it to a machine shop and have it serviced if not done before you buy.

I came here to say exactly this, you saved me some typing.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

My friend bought the new Honda, big bucks, and he's not impressed. If the snow is wet, it plugs up easily.

 I had the Ariens commercial 28. It was a monster, slow, but would go thru anything.

 

It was a heavy machine and too much for me to handle. Use to take me a hour to and hour and a half to do my driveway.

 

Bought a Ariens SHO 24, A 24" machine with a LARGE engine. Its an absolute beast!!! Cut my time in half or better and it dosen't plug up.

 

After owning at least a half dozen machine's, this one out performs every other one by a large margin. I'm not saying I'm an Areins fan by any means, but what's important is how the equipment works!

 

My only disappointment is I didn't buy one sooner. I can manuver this thing with one hand and it throw's snow like no tomorrow.

Almost forgot, its about a grand cheaper than the Honda, and although the Honda might be quieter, it wont do nearly as good as the SHO.

Try one at your dealers and it will be easy to make a decision.

 

Good luck,  ..  Lou

Edited by CodFather2

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Bought a Honda HS724 pull start only few years ago and engine start in one or two pulls every season so far.

Since my driveway is small, I've been using TruFuel since new and for summerized all I do is drain the carb bowl by hand loosen a bolt.

 

They are pricey but  worth every penny. You can probably find one used couple hundred $ more than the cheapo ones from box stores.

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, dc1874 said:

Look for a  used well taken care of snowblower with the Tecumseh Snow King engine..Indestructible!! 

Is there a specific brand using it?

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I gotta say that I've had no issues with a Toro-  it's ~ 25 years old-  got it from my Dad when he upgraded to a two-stage- mine's a 2 cycle  single stage paddle type. It's worked like a champ with almost no issues. I change the plug once every 4-5 years and am faithful about adding Star Brite Star-tron fuel treatment.  Multiple small engine guys have independently recommended it to me and others in my family.  Critical with the ethanol that's added to most gas - at least in my neck of the woods.  I'll need to try the high octane recommendation.

My Dad's much bigger 2 stage Tor had some starting issues last year ( was getting it going for my Mom).  Added fresh gas, poured in some of that "mechanic in a bottle", let it sit and it start dup.  Ran rough for a while then it smoothed out.  So many small engine isseus are due to the crappy fuel these days.  Hate to be too cynical, but I don't think it would take much for small engine manufacturers to upgrade some material to better deal with today's fuel-  egbetter gasket materials

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I have a Honda going on 20 seasons , their big model 1378 I believe , no issues gets plenty of use , I live in the Poconos ! Stabil,  change oil every season new plugs & run once every couple  of months . Mines electric start 

Got tractor treads not wheels goes thru  couple feet n problem self propelled !

 

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4 mins ago, rathrbefishn said:

I gotta say that I've had no issues with a Toro-  it's ~ 25 years old-  got it from my Dad when he upgraded to a two-stage- mine's a 2 cycle  single stage paddle type. It's worked like a champ with almost no issues. I change the plug once every 4-5 years and am faithful about adding Star Brite Star-tron fuel treatment.  Multiple small engine guys have independently recommended it to me and others in my family.  Critical with the ethanol that's added to most gas - at least in my neck of the woods.  I'll need to try the high octane recommendation.

My Dad's much bigger 2 stage Tor had some starting issues last year ( was getting it going for my Mom).  Added fresh gas, poured in some of that "mechanic in a bottle", let it sit and it start dup.  Ran rough for a while then it smoothed out.  So many small engine isseus are due to the crappy fuel these days.  Hate to be too cynical, but I don't think it would take much for small engine manufacturers to upgrade some material to better deal with today's fuel-  egbetter gasket materials

The fuel eats gaskets, maybe better gaskets?

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