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Old 02-09-2013, 01:48 PM   #1
Greatwhitewing
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Default Most reliable snow blower?

My POS Home Despot blower let me down again finding Nemo. I just had it serviced and wouldn't even sputter when I needed it most.

Looking for the best brand for reliability starting. Ariens seems to be pretty well reviewed.

Nothing better than going to the tool geeks though... I mean that in the best possible way..
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Old 02-09-2013, 02:06 PM   #2
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Default Re: Most reliable snow blower?

Well honestly the best snow thrower is you. They will all have issues from time to time. Now I realize that was not your intended answer. But let's see if can help you get it going. First thing I would check is does the one you have now have spark when you turn it over? If it doesn't then I would remedy that problem. Could be a shorted shutdown switch or a little critter decided to build a nest up along the coil pickup. If it has spark I will bet the gas either has water in it and has frozen up the carb/fuel line. Some fresh gas as long as the carb is fine should get it going. If the carb is iced your gonna have to get some heat into it to thraw it. That's kinda a dicey deal but if your snowed in your safe and quick options are limited if you can't heat your garage.

If your dead set on a new unit there are plenty of good units out there. The MTD brands are ok. You also have Arines which are good. Mostly what it boils down to though is the electric start models are easier to get going though.

Last edited by kossuth; 02-09-2013 at 02:09 PM.
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Old 02-09-2013, 02:07 PM   #3
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Default Re: Most reliable snow blower?

I have an Ariens that has been reliable with minimal maintenance. Really just use it 3-4 times per winter though. Electric start is sweet.
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Old 02-09-2013, 02:09 PM   #4
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Default Re: Most reliable snow blower?

Toro
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Old 02-09-2013, 02:09 PM   #5
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Default Re: Most reliable snow blower?

Has spark so the safety switch isn't hindering. I am sure it's the carb, always is.

Yes, I use stabilized fuel. It even started a few days ago. yes I checked for fouled plug.
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Old 02-09-2013, 02:11 PM   #6
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Default

I have a 20 yr old Honda hs828 track drive and starts up with one pull every time.
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Old 02-09-2013, 02:12 PM   #7
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Default Re: Most reliable snow blower?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greatwhitewing View Post
Has spark so the safety switch isn't hindering. I am sure it's the carb, always is.

Yes, I use stabilized fuel. It even started a few days ago. yes I checked for fouled plug.
Carb is probiably iced up. Probiably no way to to get heat in the garage or safely heat the carb? That issue will happen regardless of brand though. That's more of a product of the shitty gas they sell anymore which pulls water into by its nature.
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Old 02-09-2013, 02:14 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kossuth View Post
Carb is probiably iced up. Probiably no way to to get heat in the garage or safely heat the carb? That issue will happen regardless of brand though. That's more of a product of the shitty gas they sell anymore which pulls water into by its nature.
all the other snow blowers were working today...

Had dry gas from still from the recent service.
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Old 02-09-2013, 02:20 PM   #9
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Default Re: Most reliable snow blower?

assuming you don't want to spend 2+ grand for a new snowblower you're left with just 2 engine choices. Chinese Honda clones which suck and Briggs and Stratton which suck less.

for a decent 2 stage that really only leaves you with Ariens and Simplicity. Everything else either uses sub par materials and or a Chinese engine. If it doesn't say Briggs on it, its Chinese. I say this as most everyone, including Toro and Ariens (depending on the model) is slapping their name on said Chinese engines as a house brand.

Last edited by Skin; 02-09-2013 at 02:24 PM.
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Old 02-09-2013, 02:32 PM   #10
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Default Re: Most reliable snow blower?

I have had my Ariens ST8-24 for 22 years, and the Ariens before that for 20 years before I gave it to my brother and he used it for another 10 years.

Rock solid reliability for 42 years. Guess what brand I am buying next? An Ariens with a B&S engine.
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Old 02-09-2013, 03:01 PM   #11
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Default Re: Most reliable snow blower?

Used to be that Tecumseh Sno King engines ruled in the snowblower market with good price / performance ratio. However, I'd look for something OTHER THAN MTD with a Honda GX engine--probably a Honda snowblower with a GX series engine.
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Old 02-09-2013, 03:04 PM   #12
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Default Re: Most reliable snow blower?

http://gold.mylargescale.com/scottychaos/ariens/
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Old 02-09-2013, 03:14 PM   #13
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Default Re: Most reliable snow blower?

Is it a 2 cycle or 4 cycle powered blower? What engine is on it?

98% of the time the problem with the 2 cycle engines is that the fuel passages get plugged up. A quick dissemble of the carb and blow out with an air compressor will solve the problem. Careful not to blow out the needle seat. Most of the 2 stroke blowers I have seen use float type carbs, so not many critical gaskets to fail unlike the smaller chainsaws and weedeaters.

I have been very happy with our small Toro 5hp 2stroke Tecumseh powered blower. It works great for the ~5" and under snow we get here in southern Ohio. Granted it is going on 10 years old so not sure what the new quality is.

As for electric start.... If you blower won't pull start within 4 pulls you have an engine problem. I personally think the electric starts are just a pain, add weight and expense to the units. Then again I am a younger guy.
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Old 02-09-2013, 03:14 PM   #14
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Default Re: Most reliable snow blower?

ARIENS ARIENS ARIENS ARIENS!!!!! They are the best of the best!! We bought the 11528 3 years ago and had a 26" storm after we bought it and it was fantastic! We do the neighbors and everyone else just for fun too. We also have an Ariens 722 single stage that we use on <10" storms. The lifetime warranty paddles are nice but too bad they don't sell that blower anymore. We bought both of ours from a dealer and the dealer is great because he was very helpful. We had a Craftsman and it was good for one year and then we blew the head gasket. Once you buy an Ariens you will not look back. I like that they are pretty much all metal and both of ours are MADE IN USA!!! Below is a video of our Ariens 11528 Deluxe in action with 25" of snow (My dad is the one using it). Sorry the quality is bad. The camera got a little wet. I also have two other videos of us starting them after sitting all summer. Hope this helps!!!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17WgR23KfLg
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Old 02-09-2013, 03:19 PM   #15
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Default Re: Most reliable snow blower?

My dad has a Honda HS55, must be 25 years old. Starts on the first pull every time.
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Old 02-09-2013, 03:43 PM   #16
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Default Re: Most reliable snow blower?

Honda. The best.
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Old 02-09-2013, 04:00 PM   #17
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Default Re: Most reliable snow blower?

Old Gravely walk behind with a snowthrower... incredibly overbuilt, and overkill.

My uncle has a 10hp Pro IIRC, with a 34" snowthrower that I had rebuilt for him last year. It had been sitting for years, but amazingly fired right up for me. The downside is you'll get almost as much of a workout as you would shoveling, but it's the fun kinda workout. I weigh about 185, and with that snowblower on it, it takes my full weight on the bars to lift the front off the ground.
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Old 02-09-2013, 04:06 PM   #18
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Default Re: Most reliable snow blower?

My Wife!
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Old 02-09-2013, 04:08 PM   #19
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Default Re: Most reliable snow blower?

My Simplicity blower with the 8 hp Briggs engine has been reliable and easy to start for 11 years. Essentially all the current major players (Simplicity, Ariens and Toro) use Briggs and Stratton engines and Honda snowblowers use, well Honda. I think larger 2 stage snowblowers with easier to service 6+Hp 4 stroke engines are better than the smaller blowers with smaller 2 or 4 stroke motors for long term ease of starting. Living near Buffalo, I never once drained the blower, but did run it once-twice each summer. I think I changed the oil once and still on the original plug.
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Old 02-09-2013, 04:08 PM   #20
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Default Re: Most reliable snow blower?

My shovel starts every time, needs very little maintenance and keeps running until I am ready to quit.

If you need a blower - the brand really doesn't matter one wit..... you have to maintain it. The most frequent problem is the carb. I would always run some seafoam or similar in the gas to keep the fuel system clean.
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Old 02-09-2013, 04:09 PM   #21
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Default Re: Most reliable snow blower?

I had a John Derre 10 hp 32" wide it never failed me for a good 10 years. Then in November my neighbor burned my garage to almost the ground. And the big green machine was toast.
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Old 02-09-2013, 04:11 PM   #22
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Default Re: Most reliable snow blower?

got the craftsman yearrrrrs back i think in 2001...9 hp 29" with electric start... two stage... its still hanging in there like an ox.

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Old 02-09-2013, 04:21 PM   #23
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Default Re: Most reliable snow blower?

4 cycle


Quote:
Originally Posted by zkling View Post
Is it a 2 cycle or 4 cycle powered blower? What engine is on it?

98% of the time the problem with the 2 cycle engines is that the fuel passages get plugged up. A quick dissemble of the carb and blow out with an air compressor will solve the problem. Careful not to blow out the needle seat. Most of the 2 stroke blowers I have seen use float type carbs, so not many critical gaskets to fail unlike the smaller chainsaws and weedeaters.

I have been very happy with our small Toro 5hp 2stroke Tecumseh powered blower. It works great for the ~5" and under snow we get here in southern Ohio. Granted it is going on 10 years old so not sure what the new quality is.

As for electric start.... If you blower won't pull start within 4 pulls you have an engine problem. I personally think the electric starts are just a pain, add weight and expense to the units. Then again I am a younger guy.
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Old 02-09-2013, 04:24 PM   #24
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Default Re: Most reliable snow blower?

Quote:
Originally Posted by b1ghwx View Post
My shovel starts every time, needs very little maintenance and keeps running until I am ready to quit.

If you need a blower - the brand really doesn't matter one wit..... you have to maintain it. The most frequent problem is the carb. I would always run some seafoam or similar in the gas to keep the fuel system clean.
This was 25 inches of heavy wet snow for a large driveway. NOW WAY with a shovel..
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Old 02-09-2013, 04:51 PM   #25
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Default Re: Most reliable snow blower?

Bought a 1970 Toro SnowHound 20" from the School District in 1986. Replaced the belt and both tires about 10 years ago, starts first or second pull.
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Old 02-09-2013, 04:57 PM   #26
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Default Re: Most reliable snow blower?

Quote:
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4 cycle
What model or style of engine? Have you cleaned out the carb thoroughly? And replaced the diaphragm?
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Old 02-09-2013, 05:03 PM   #27
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Default Re: Most reliable snow blower?

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What model or style of engine? Have you cleaned out the carb thoroughly? And replaced the diaphragm?
It was recently serviced professionally because it wouldn't start and started when done. Had the POS serviced3 times now..
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Old 02-09-2013, 05:04 PM   #28
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Default Re: Most reliable snow blower?

I have found that Hondas to be the absolute best, nothing else ever came close for me. I have bought numerous Honda's kept them got a slightly better and now use on of their HS1132 Tracked model, just worked great for our Mass blizzard.

I have also bought every one of them used, always get them off season and if you get the right person who wants to sell you can save more than 60% and many times find one like new.

I love them but don't think I could pay full retail.

It should be noted that this message is courtesy of me running on a Honda generator since we have had no power for almost 2 days now, the Honda small engines are phenomenal.
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Old 02-09-2013, 05:06 PM   #29
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Default Re: Most reliable snow blower?

Honda makes THE BEST snowblowers, but the insane price of them keeps them from being popular

I would go with an older Ariens, theyre pretty bulletproof and hold their value well
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Old 02-09-2013, 05:15 PM   #30
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Quote:
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It was recently serviced professionally because it wouldn't start and started when done. Had the POS serviced3 times now..
Wow I would definitely be talking to those "professional" service shops. Something is not right here. What is the make and model of engine on it?

I just hate to see you give up on a unit that may need a minor adjustment.
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Old 02-09-2013, 06:23 PM   #31
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I have to go look, don't remember..
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Old 02-09-2013, 06:39 PM   #32
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Default Re: Most reliable snow blower?

In Oct. 2011 we bought a toro with a B&S engine on it. Its a 26 cut. I was told by the dealer that this was the last year Toro was using B&S engines. They now will have a chinese engine built to Toro specs just like the honda uses.
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Old 02-09-2013, 06:59 PM   #33
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Default Re: Most reliable snow blower?

I've heard good things about Ariens but I bought what was available with a big storm bearing down on me two years ago. I bought the last one they had, a mid-sized two-stage 27-inch Snapper (with reverse).

Since then I haven't had the chance to find out about all the bells and whistles it has (no snow) but recently had a difficult time getting it started using the pull start.

HOWEVER, I noticed an extension cord in the package. It was an AC plugin for using the electric start. That dude cranked over fast and started right up using the electric cord.

Even though I take good care to maintain it, start it up from time to time, I'll never buy another without an electric start.

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Old 02-09-2013, 07:14 PM   #34
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Default Re: Most reliable snow blower?

Honda without a doubt. I have had ariens cub cadet, Jd

And they have all failed me. My Honda bought three years ago starts up every time, throws heavy crap the others would bog down on.

I only wish the one I bought had the joystick for the chute rather than cranking it
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Old 02-09-2013, 07:31 PM   #35
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Default Re: Most reliable snow blower?

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Old 02-09-2013, 07:31 PM   #36
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Default Re: Most reliable snow blower?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greatwhitewing View Post
My POS Home Despot blower let me down again finding Nemo. I just had it serviced and wouldn't even sputter when I needed it most.

Looking for the best brand for reliability starting. Ariens seems to be pretty well reviewed.

Nothing better than going to the tool geeks though... I mean that in the best possible way..
If it was just serviced call whoever serviced it and get your money back. I work on the side as a mechanic and I would want to know if I failed or could help. Edit: I have a two stroke Toro I got for free because it wouldnt run. Used it the last two years.

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Old 02-09-2013, 07:41 PM   #37
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Default Re: Most reliable snow blower?

My 21 year old MTD with B&S engine is still going strong. It struggled today with 24in of wet snow but it got the job done. When this one dies I would like to get a used Honda. I would not be without my Honda generator, it never let me down yet.
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Old 02-09-2013, 07:54 PM   #38
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Default Re: Most reliable snow blower?

Whatever one that you use fuel stabilizer in and run it out of gas if it'll be sitting more than a couple days. Seriously. I have an Ariens and would recommend that, a Toro or a higher end Simplicity.

My shovel is 100% reliable but it gets annual tune ups too (sharpen with flap wheel, wax, tighten any loose rivets or replace with stainless steel bolts & nyloc nuts...)
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Old 02-09-2013, 08:12 PM   #39
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Default Re: Most reliable snow blower?

Honda's are built like tanks but are WAY overpriced for what they are. Literally double the price of the higher end competition. Electric starts aren't standard across the model ranges like most other brands and infact aren't even offered on 2 stages until you hit $2800.00 price range, and they dont have other newer options like a differential or the ability to unlock an axle to pivot steer. For 1400-1600 you can get a really nice Ariens Platinum, electric start is standard and its got an automatic differential built into the axle so just a little turning pressure disengages one axle allowing turning on the spot. Simplicity is priced higher with the nice units starting around $1800 but they're easily built as well as a Honda with higher end Briggs engines and they pivot steer by a simple trigger system.

Quality wise of the chassis if Honda and Simplicity are a 10, Ariens are a solid 8, still leagues better than the common Craftsman, MTD and Murray units sold today.

I like Toro too but as stated their larger PowerMax models are all equipped with Chinese engines now.

Last edited by Skin; 02-09-2013 at 08:21 PM.
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Old 02-09-2013, 08:37 PM   #40
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Default Re: Most reliable snow blower?

I have had a Snapper with a Techumse engine for ten years, but every spring it gets full service and fuel drained out them fogged before storage. Only parts have been some shear pins in the augers which is normal to shear on ice blocks.
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Old 02-09-2013, 08:44 PM   #41
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Default Re: Most reliable snow blower?

Any well maintained one.
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Old 02-10-2013, 12:15 AM   #42
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Default Re: Most reliable snow blower?

I dont know about todays Snowblowers...But,
I am still using my Father-in-Law's 1967 Toro.
Pulled it in my garage the other day...Filled it with Gas, checked the oil, and 3 pulls later...she was running and throwing Snow.
I cant even imagine that in 2058, someone may be writing...Hey I am using my Dad's old 2013 snowblower.
(because too many parts are being molded out of Plastic)
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Old 02-10-2013, 03:48 AM   #43
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Default Re: Most reliable snow blower?

Mine has electric start except the POS starter pinion closer resembles a pulley. Starter spins real good but motor just sits there and snickers at me..


Quote:
Originally Posted by kc-steve View Post
I've heard good things about Ariens but I bought what was available with a big storm bearing down on me two years ago. I bought the last one they had, a mid-sized two-stage 27-inch Snapper (with reverse).

Since then I haven't had the chance to find out about all the bells and whistles it has (no snow) but recently had a difficult time getting it started using the pull start.

HOWEVER, I noticed an extension cord in the package. It was an AC plugin for using the electric start. That dude cranked over fast and started right up using the electric cord.

Even though I take good care to maintain it, start it up from time to time, I'll never buy another without an electric start.

Steve
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Old 02-10-2013, 06:44 AM   #44
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Default Re: Most reliable snow blower?

I bought a Husky 24" 2-stage electric start from TSC a few years ago and have had no trouble with it. Starts right up evey winter...even with me neglecting to drain the gas or add sta-bil each spring. I've only had to run it really hard in just a few storms, however.
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Old 02-10-2013, 07:20 AM   #45
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Default Re: Most reliable snow blower?

I bought my Ariens 6 years ago in August as Home Depot still had it....and it was marked way down. It has the Tecumseh Snow King engine with the plug in electric start. I run it dry at the end of every season.
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Old 02-10-2013, 07:33 AM   #46
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Honda. See other posts.
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Old 02-10-2013, 08:26 AM   #47
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Okay, so looked at the 3-4 brands mentioned. I really like Honda stuff but paying roughly 2x the price of the others is a tough pill to swallow. I am 55 now and hope to retire to a place where snow in only on the news. I assume the Honda would also have the highest resale value??
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Old 02-10-2013, 08:31 AM   #48
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The most important thing is make sure it does not have an off shore generic engine.

I sent my father to Home Depot a few years ago with $2000, I told him to get me two of the biggest snow blowers they have for my shop and one for a small apartment complex I bought. He came back with two real nice Yard Machine snow blowers, 179cc machines. Man they really throw some snow, never stalled, and never got clogged up.

Long story short we had a very warm winter last year, almost no snow. So neither machine got used. I went to start the one at the shop this year and it was getting no gas. I took off the carb. bowl & float, the needle valve was corroded to its bore! We soaked it, tried removing, and it broke. MTD could not get me the needle valve for my particular off shore, chinese, no name brand engine model. They had to sell me an upgraded version of the carb. Its running now, but that $850 snow blower needed a $75 carb instead of a $5 needle valve.
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Old 02-10-2013, 08:44 AM   #49
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I bought a mint used Honda 624 (track drive) snow blower, 15-20 years ago for $1100.
- it was garage kepy and only used 7 times (Canadian retail was ~$1800 back then)
Last year rebuild the skid plate - bottom steel wear plate worn out from scraping the paved driveways.

Still starts and runs like new and will throw snow 40 feet...strongest 6hp I have seen in a walk behind.
I also prefer the 24" wide models, easier to man handle and fits in tight places (like along sidewalks)
- never a starting issue, in almost 2 decades (I run premium gas with SeaFoam added & synthetic oil)

Option #2 would be an old Ariens 24" wide / they will take a 5.5hp Honda motor (or clone) very nicely.
Option #3 would be an old 8hp Toro.
I would never buy the likes of a new MTD brand...waste of good $$, even if its the gold series.

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Old 02-10-2013, 09:15 AM   #50
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Okay, so looked at the 3-4 brands mentioned. I really like Honda stuff but paying roughly 2x the price of the others is a tough pill to swallow. I am 55 now and hope to retire to a place where snow in only on the news. I assume the Honda would also have the highest resale value??
If I ever sold my Honda 624 snow blower, around here I could still get $800 to $1000 range.
- very low depreciation, isn't bad...but I started out buying excellent used
- has never been taken into a shop, for costly repairs ($$)..never needed
(unit will be handed down to our adult son, one day...no sense in selling top quality)

The true Honda overall design & manufacturing quality reminds me of the mini bikes in the early 1970's.
- there was many crap mini bikes being made & the Honda CT70 was over engineered and build to last
(and I have a mid 1980's Honda 2 wheeler now - and a commercial 13hp liquid cooled Honda generator)
I like to buy, only once.

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Old 02-10-2013, 09:17 AM   #51
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Honda, track drive makes it a snow eating machine. Have had mine for over twenty years. Starts on first or second pull. Cost is high at first but over the years it's ended up only pennies per day and you the best every time you use it. I live in a lake effect area on Lake Huron. Threw out toro's. Honda as other have stated.
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Old 02-10-2013, 09:26 AM   #52
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... However, I'd look for something OTHER THAN MTD...
I'll second this. I have a MTD. It was free and I still can't wait to replace it. Cheap junk that doesn't handle much beyond what is easily done with a shovel.
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Old 02-10-2013, 09:36 AM   #53
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Ariens, hands down.
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Old 02-10-2013, 09:39 AM   #54
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Honda makes THE BEST snowblowers, but the insane price of them keeps them from being popular

I would go with an older Ariens, theyre pretty bulletproof and hold their value well
screw Honduh, older Ariens (they still make a model comparable but not thru big box stores and not cheap) or older Toro are the way to go
On the JD blowers; the "TRS" series are made by either Murray or MTD; the heavier ones are Ariens machines painted green instead of orange. Watch for cast iron gear cases on the impellers and axle locks where you can lock both drive wheels together; if your Deere has these it is definitely an Ariens.
There are Ariens, Toro and older Sears machines still throwing snow, 30-40 years old!

Tecumseh engimes have taken a bad rap among the most recent ones but the Snow king engines never seemed to get the "bad engine" message;
IF you but a newer 9within last 3 years or so) at least get one with a Briggs, many of the newest don't even have a brand ID on them; some are "powermore" who the He11 makes them? They all need maint now and then you want something you can get parts for and even though tecumseh is gone, parts are still pleintiful especially "common parts" and now that the aftermarket is picking up on small engines like it did 40+ years ago on cars
parts wont be an issue on tehse.
The best 2 things you can do for them; 1) put Stabil in the gas for the off season I start mine up and warm up the engine 3-4 times over spring summer and Fall just to keep things lubed up
and 2) check under the shroud for a "mouse house" built while the machine was stored.

MOST box store brands sold today are made by MTD with different colors of paint, being the only differentiation. Troy bilt Cub Cadet Sears Bolens MTD 'themselves" are all built by the same company now a days but again beware of the engines currently being installed on them!
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Old 02-10-2013, 09:40 AM   #55
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I'll second this. I have a MTD. It was free and I still can't wait to replace it. Cheap junk that doesn't handle much beyond what is easily done with a shovel.
depends on how old it is. older=better if they have had any semblance of maintenance.
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Old 02-10-2013, 09:54 AM   #56
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I have an electric start Ariens. I've had no problems, and starts so easily I don't even use the starter. Always starts on the first pull.
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Old 02-10-2013, 01:01 PM   #57
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I can't really comment on the long-term durability of my 1978 Simplicity with the 8hp Briggs & Stratton, but so far, so good.

jack vines
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Old 02-10-2013, 01:07 PM   #58
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There is no "best" snowblower. The best one would be one that lasts forever, but forever is too long for a snowblower to last.

That being said, the older snowblowers had better engines than the new ones today. (we all know why).
I'd look into getting someone's old used one in good condition.
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Old 02-10-2013, 01:37 PM   #59
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You cant just buy an old machine and call it good. Generally speaking 20-40 years is very hard on a snow blower so expect many of the bushings and bearings to be shot and the gear case could probably use a rebuild. Frankly speaking just from what I've seen, be prepared to pay someone who knows what they're doing another $400-$500 in parts and labor to restore an old machine to perfect working order.

The only older machine I would buy would be Ariens branded. They're the only company who still fully supports their machines with replaceable parts dating all the way back to the 60s. MTD and Murray have gone through numerous revisions/ownership changes so generally speaking parts for something 20-30 years ago can be non-existent beyond the common things like belts. Toro is a bit better but still, go back to the 70s-80s and you'll see a lot of components discontinued.

Quote:
Long story short we had a very warm winter last year, almost no snow. So neither machine got used. I went to start the one at the shop this year and it was getting no gas. I took off the carb. bowl & float, the needle valve was corroded to its bore! We soaked it, tried removing, and it broke. MTD could not get me the needle valve for my particular off shore, chinese, no name brand engine model. They had to sell me an upgraded version of the carb. Its running now, but that $850 snow blower needed a $75 carb instead of a $5 needle valve.
Not everyone sells only carb assemblies, Toro is pushing those Chinese engines hard and does offer individual parts for them. That said they still suck. One huge problem with them was the Chinese fuel line they were installing that deteriorated and gummed up the carb or froze the needle like you experienced so make sure its a good fuel line like Greenbar. That still wont save you from the crap metal they use on the carb bowls which will rust after a few years no matter what, never mind the rest of the fuel tank which is likewise powder coated mild steel and also likes to rust.

I was joking with someone the other day that I like working on those machines because the fuel system becomes trashed so quickly while the rest of the machine is basically new. Makes for few other issues and quick turn around .

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Old 02-10-2013, 01:52 PM   #60
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We have tons of older used snowblowers around here.
http://www.bismanonline.com/content/...e&q=snowblower

Anybody who wants one can easily find one in good condition.
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Old 02-10-2013, 02:30 PM   #61
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Best solution is to relocate. You'll save in the long run.

Moved in '77 and left all this behind for the next guy:

Snow blower, snow board, snow boots, snow bunnies, snow chains, snow drifts, snow plow, snow men, snow mobile, snow sleds, snow tires, snow shovel and the overall cost of snow removal with all its other associated costs/disadvantages like salt, rust, frost lines, etc.

You couldn't get my ass back up there even if you aimed me in that direction and put a lit stick of dynamite up my butt.
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Old 02-10-2013, 03:31 PM   #62
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I'll echo the Honda vote. I'm on my third blower. First was a single stage HS520A. unbelievably efficient and easy to start. I still have this one. Second was a track drive HS724. A child could start it on first pull every December. It had a lot of torque, but the engine was a bit small for what I put it through and I wanted a wider bucket. I convinced myself I could get something newer and better for the price of a used Honda. Last year I got an Ariens Pro 28", but it sat for the unseasonable mild winter. Last Dec I pulled it out of the shed, changed to oil, burned off the old gas and put in some fresh stabilized fuel. Yesterday, about 15 mins into the job, the motor sputtered out. The job was completed by the single stage Honda! I found some mild corrosion in the bowl! To say I'm pissed is an understatement. With proper maintenance, neither of my Honda's have given me any grief over the years. The ariens has already begun on its first pass in the snow.

Do look for a nice condition used Honda. The new prices are hard to justify. Used you can get them for 50% give to take. If you sell it in a few years, you'll get your money back. I made $100 on my HS724, without trying. Bought it within a week of looking and sold it within a week of placing the ad.
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Old 02-10-2013, 03:57 PM   #63
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I've heard good things about Ariens but I bought what was available with a big storm bearing down on me two years ago. I bought the last one they had, a mid-sized two-stage 27-inch Snapper (with reverse).

Since then I haven't had the chance to find out about all the bells and whistles it has (no snow) but recently had a difficult time getting it started using the pull start.

HOWEVER, I noticed an extension cord in the package. It was an AC plugin for using the electric start. That dude cranked over fast and started right up using the electric cord.

Even though I take good care to maintain it, start it up from time to time, I'll never buy another without an electric start.

Steve
This thread got my curiosity up about starting my Snapper. Back when I had trouble it was 10-degrees outside after a snow. Today, it is 55-degrees outside. It started with one pull, no electrics.

And that makes sense because in very cold weather there can be many things besides the engine (B&S 250 cc) that would prevent an easy start. My guess is that I may have purchased a 5-gallon container of gas when the local blend was still a summer blend. I use a gas stabilizer, but the EPA has forced many communities to change the "blend" every 6 months, hence, gas shortages, high prices, and snowblowers that won't start with one pull of a pull cord.

I'm getting up in years, So like I said, I will never buy another without an electric start.

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Old 02-10-2013, 08:46 PM   #64
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I paid extra for electric start when I got my Honda HS 828 track drive and only use it once to try it out, that was 20 years ago. It's a awesome feature but I haven't needed it yet.
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Old 02-11-2013, 04:46 AM   #65
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We have tons of older used snowblowers around here.
http://www.bismanonline.com/content/...e&q=snowblower

Anybody who wants one can easily find one in good condition.
Absolutley nothing within 50 miles, not even another POS like mine...
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Old 02-11-2013, 10:26 AM   #66
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I have wondered quite a bit lately, why aren't there any diesel engine snow blowers available? My two tractors and generator are diesel powered and they always start without the issues gasoline can present.
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Old 02-11-2013, 10:28 AM   #67
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Carb is probiably iced up. Probiably no way to to get heat in the garage or safely heat the carb? That issue will happen regardless of brand though. That's more of a product of the shitty gas they sell anymore which pulls water into by its nature.
Exactly.
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Old 02-11-2013, 11:12 AM   #68
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1970's Yardman 7040-1 SnowBird. Purchased for $50 at a yardsale. Carb is messed up but still runs! Fires on first pull.
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Old 02-11-2013, 11:25 AM   #69
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We have a 1953 Simplicity that starts everytime we need it. 3 pulls and it purrs like a kitten. Not sure if Simplicity's are still built that way or not. But they were certainly good units 60 years ago.
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Old 02-11-2013, 12:26 PM   #70
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Simplicity is the way to go. My small 22" 5 hp simplicity kicks the crap out of my neighbors 36" 10 hp warehouse store model. Had it for 10 years and never even hiccuped once! The neightbor is amazed how my "little" blower can just hammer through 12"+ without even slowing down. It's the small details that make the simplicity outlast and out perform the competition. Stronger gearboxes, better materials, HD component's as well as just thoughtful design makes them the best. I wouldn't get anything but a Simplicity. Pricey but like I said 10 years without a single failure is worth $$$ when you need it to start.
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Old 02-11-2013, 02:25 PM   #71
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Default Re: Most reliable snow blower?

While it's fun to try to pull out the superman card and say "I've got a good shovel for any amount of snow", I finally figured being hunched over in pain for the next week is less fun.

I searched for a snowblower two years ago and ended up buying a used 2003 simplicity with a 305cc B+S motor (off ebay, from Agawam, MA). It's nice, channel type arms and a solid feel, and good features like a lever to unlock one wheel so you can turn it around very easily. And the electric start is a big plus if the briggs feels lazy.
Cyclonegrey is right, there's a number of small details that make Simplicity a good machine. Also like the 2 reverse gears.

The front is only about 20 inches high so I was having to make two passes on most of the driveway. I suppose I could have attached a board over the drift bars, but my driveway isn't THAT big. It never did bog down and I had to make sure I wasn't throwing the snow too high and filling in my neighbors driveway. It says 10hp on it, but the same 305cc displacement was also used on the 11 and 12 hp models.....hmmm.

Of course now I need to start up the chainsaw after the rain stops because of a few downed trees.

BTW If you need aviation fuel, AirNav.com will get you a listing of places by zip code (even in Massachusetts).

And always have a few extra shear pins for your machine, that end of driveway slop from the town plow is always full of ice and debris.
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Old 02-11-2013, 02:32 PM   #72
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My Wife!
+ 1 + shovel.
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Old 02-13-2013, 05:10 PM   #73
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I stopped by a dealer and he loves the Toro even over the Ariens. Said the 2013 models are Toro motors made by Toro in the USA. I am going to try to check on that info. I sure liked the features and layout of the powermax?


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Honda's are built like tanks but are WAY overpriced for what they are. Literally double the price of the higher end competition. Electric starts aren't standard across the model ranges like most other brands and infact aren't even offered on 2 stages until you hit $2800.00 price range, and they dont have other newer options like a differential or the ability to unlock an axle to pivot steer. For 1400-1600 you can get a really nice Ariens Platinum, electric start is standard and its got an automatic differential built into the axle so just a little turning pressure disengages one axle allowing turning on the spot. Simplicity is priced higher with the nice units starting around $1800 but they're easily built as well as a Honda with higher end Briggs engines and they pivot steer by a simple trigger system.

Quality wise of the chassis if Honda and Simplicity are a 10, Ariens are a solid 8, still leagues better than the common Craftsman, MTD and Murray units sold today.

I like Toro too but as stated their larger PowerMax models are all equipped with Chinese engines now.
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Old 02-13-2013, 05:58 PM   #74
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Gas goes stale real quick, more of an issue on small engines. The rule of thumb I have is: never use gas more than 30 days old and buy it from a station that has high turnover. I learned this again the hard way in the fall. I always store my blower with no gas in it. When I went to check the blower I put gas in that was left from the last cut of the fall grass about two months old. the blower would not start. Checked everything: spark good, compression good, opened the carb everything spotless no debris. Put it back together put fresh gas in it and started straight away.
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Old 02-13-2013, 06:38 PM   #75
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Garden tractor (old heavy one) with a plow is cheaper than a snowblower if you have a place to store it. My cub cadet with a plow was $215. Needs a rebuild cause it smokes a lot but it runs and I used it all winter. Gonna put about $400 into it this spring rebuilding and repainting and it will be good for another 40 years. Starts every time i turn the key.
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Old 02-13-2013, 07:30 PM   #76
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If you don't want your carb/needle/bowl corroded, quit buying the cheapest octane gas with ethanol in it. The 91 octane around here is still real gas. Buy 2 gallons fresh in December and it'll make it to March, no problem.

Dad's: 1986 Simplicity w/B&S 8 hp
Mine: 1995 Murray Estate with 7 hp Snow King

Dad's cost twice as much and is almost twice as nice. The Snow King was/is a great motor though, no issues with it at all.

I pity the fools who buy the HD/Lowes crap with china motors.
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Old 02-13-2013, 07:54 PM   #77
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I stopped by a dealer and he loves the Toro even over the Ariens. Said the 2013 models are Toro motors made by Toro in the USA. I am going to try to check on that info. I sure liked the features and layout of the powermax?
If that was the knowledgeable people at a true small dealership that told you that inform them they need to update their information. They're Chinese engines 100%. You can call Toro's customer service and ask them for yourself (Toro has really great customer service). All Toro branded engines, without exception, are 100% made in China.

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Old 02-13-2013, 08:08 PM   #78
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I have wondered quite a bit lately, why aren't there any diesel engine snow blowers available? My two tractors and generator are diesel powered and they always start without the issues gasoline can present.
My case 85xt snow shovel is diesel!
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Old 02-14-2013, 04:47 AM   #79
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If that was the knowledgeable people at a true small dealership that told you that inform them they need to update their information. They're Chinese engines 100%. You can call Toro's customer service and ask them for yourself (Toro has really great customer service). All Toro branded engines, without exception, are 100% made in China.
Very interesting. He told me the NEW engines were made in USA with a straight face. Either he is woefully uninformed, a shiester, or there is new information you don't know or were told wrong by Toro? Someone is mistaken

I'll perhaps do as you suggested and call Toro.

The good news is my old POS blower did start yesterday so my primary issue is likely ethynal related and fixable with the right fuel and additive choices. A good carb rebuild might be in order as well.

Now to start working on the elctric start issue. Spinning starter motor. Hopefully that issue is only the starter pinion????
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Old 02-14-2013, 06:48 AM   #80
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Honda - GX engine - track drive...
Say no more.



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Old 02-14-2013, 03:30 PM   #81
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In my humble opinion most sales people do not know their products very well. I have seen this so many times it scares me. Check the facts yourself or toss a post up here and someone will be able to help with the reality, just like in this case.

Do you know what the difference is between a product Made in USA vs. one made in China? ..... A job for an American worker.


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If that was the knowledgeable people at a true small dealership that told you that inform them they need to update their information. They're Chinese engines 100%. You can call Toro's customer service and ask them for yourself (Toro has really great customer service). All Toro branded engines, without exception, are 100% made in China.
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Old 02-14-2013, 04:04 PM   #82
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I have quite a few snow accounts and i run Ariens 2 stage machines(with the tec snow king) and toro single stage machines.

I would buy a toro powermax if it had the briggs or tecumseh on it. Those are nice machines as well.
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Old 02-14-2013, 04:13 PM   #83
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I have an Ariens 824,works fine for me.
If I had the money and more snowfall during the winter I would buy a Honda Track model.
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Old 02-14-2013, 07:59 PM   #84
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Well for my money you can't go wrong with these
Either one eats it no matter what is in front of it
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Old 02-26-2013, 12:12 PM   #85
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Default Re: Most reliable snow blower?

So, my dad is 72 and mom is 68, they live in Enid, OK which got 10+ inches of snow last night. Just got off the phone with them and they're just finishing up an hour and a half of shoveling snow in their driveway. I'm guessing maybe 2400 sq/ft of driveway. Problem is, my sister & I live 1.5 hours away. We don't often get a lot of snow, usually sleet or ice, but I've been kicking around getting them a snow blower for a couple years. Not sure what to get, looking for suggestions, electric or gas?. They still get around great (they just shoveled 2000 cu/ft of wet snow, duh!!) but I'd like to make it easier on them. We would really like for them to move down to Edmond near us, but they're friends and such are all up there, as is my father's work.

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Old 02-26-2013, 12:34 PM   #86
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Default Re: Most reliable snow blower?

It'll probably melt in Enid OK before ya get a chance to buy one. Here. that's another story, but my Snapper is doing the job. Starting easily now that I have fresh gasoline.

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Old 02-26-2013, 01:11 PM   #87
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So, my dad is 72 and mom is 68, they live in Enid, OK which got 10+ inches of snow last night. Just got off the phone with them and they're just finishing up an hour and a half of shoveling snow in their driveway. I'm guessing maybe 2400 sq/ft of driveway.
Something no bigger than a 24. The bigger machines eat more snow faster, but unless you spend a ton of money they are more difficult to hustle around. A good 24 (a GOOD one) will do the job in no time and be a pleasure to use.
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Old 02-26-2013, 10:55 PM   #88
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Default Re: Most reliable snow blower?

I'm guessing that's 24" wide? I'm a little uninformed about snowblowers as they don't really sell them down here......... or basements.

I'm likely going to have to order one or bring one from down north. When is the best time to buy? late spring?

What would be cool would be a convertible machine, snow blower in winter, rototiller in the summer. I need to call DR or get on that invention show with those two goofballs.
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Old 01-28-2015, 05:31 PM   #89
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Default Re: Most reliable snow blower?

Really? A two year old snow blower thread?

My Ariens crapped out due to ethanol fuel jelly. I've learned ALOT in the past three days. DO NOT replace the Tecumseh carb with an Oregon POS China replacement. I did, and it sucks. I bought a rebuild kit for the original and now it starts on the first pull. I bought the Oregon carb locally because we had a storm approaching. After extremely hard starts, I was able to clear the snow from the storm, but the price was a worn out pinion on the electric starter. Oregon carb? What a POS. Storm has passed, and now that I've rebuilt the original... All is well.

Local small engine repair guy says Honda provides the best reliability. He has a Simplicity... and hates it!
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Old 01-28-2015, 05:43 PM   #90
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My ariens is now 8 years old. I've never once had to clean the carb. I store it in the off season after running through a mixture of trufuel, seafoam, marvel mystery oil and marine stabil.

Thing still starts on the first pull even after everything it's been through here in southwestern ct
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Old 01-28-2015, 06:58 PM   #91
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Default Re: Most reliable snow blower?

absolute, without question, the two best snow throwers (i REFUSE to call them blowers cause its so dumb) are honda and yamaha (if you can find one). i had an older craftman that worked good, but every season without fail, nuts and bolts would vibrate off the thing and leave me stranded.. after a few years, i sold it, bought a brand new Troy Bilt from lowes, used it once - is was horrible - sold it.. i bought a 25 + year old tracked Yamaha YS624. at 6hp - it will throw light snow as high as my second story roof.. no electric start needed - starts every year
when it come to anything that needs to be reliable, or actaully do what it says it will - you cannot do any better than honda or yamaha. generators, snow blowers - anything with an engine - yes - they are expenisive, but its usually a life - long machine..

http://youtu.be/Q1noho1NpNo

http://youtu.be/3cLt7nRl6zY

if you live, or have a connection in Canada you can get the new Yamaha's (only recently), but the old ones at 20+ years old are better then all the crap that sells at the home centers.. the wheeled throwers are just as good...

i used the brand new troy bilt on wet snow, - it wouldnt even make the heavy stuff clear the chute.. hallf what it tried to expell just fell all over the machine. might be good for light fluffy stuff - but anything with a little weight, your lucky with 4' ...

just for entertainment value - check out the new yamaha's - AWESOME

http://youtu.be/0lfFMW6TfrU

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Old 01-28-2015, 07:09 PM   #92
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Default Re: Most reliable snow blower?

FOR ANYONE USING WHEELED SNOW BLOWERS WITH SKID SHOES--

i had these on a previous machine.. these are an absolute must have IMO.. makes life so much easier, and keep the front chute of the machine from getting bent and rusting from uneven sidewalks, driveway aprons...

http://youtu.be/dtYR0xbFSsk


AND another usefull mod for any snow thrower -

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=EMAgb3QNEE8

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Old 02-03-2015, 07:42 AM   #93
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The problem with Honda is that they are sometimes twice as expensive. I can buy cub cadet run it for 10 years then throw it away and buy another brand new one for the price of a Honda. There Honda is not that much better then cub cadet or anything else. Not to mention consumer reports says Hondas throw for shit but again probably not a huge difference from best thrower.
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Old 02-03-2015, 08:57 AM   #94
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Off season MAINTENANCE !

  • Replace (upgrade) shoes/skids
  • Remove wheels and grease the shaft before the wheel "rust welds" to the shaft.
  • Remove the auger. Clean and grease the shaft.
  • Replace all rusty nuts and bolts with stainless steel.
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Old 02-03-2015, 09:08 AM   #95
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Default Re: Most reliable snow blower?

I have an older Ariens w/Tecumseh Sno King engine... great machine.
Never had a breakdown(knock on wood)...
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Old 02-03-2015, 09:19 AM   #96
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I bought an 8 hp TroyBilt in the early 90s and gave it to my son in law a few years ago, its still running. The newer MTD models may not be as good though.

Bought a Honda 828 Tracked machine in 07, fantastic machine, its like a little bulldozer and chews through anything. Has hydrostatic drive which can go from a slow crawl to very fast and anywhere in-between. Much better than the friction disk that most other machines use. Was 12 below yesterday and it started right up with the pull cord. Has electric start but I don't recall ever using it. Also, the honda will chuck snow 60 ft or so. It was around 3k when I bought it. A friend bought a used one this winter for $800.

Also have a Kubota BX2660 with heated cab and 50" front mount blower, bought in 09. A bit of overkill but comfortable and fast. Tractor also has plenty of other uses with loader and other implements.
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Old 02-03-2015, 09:42 AM   #97
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Have an 20 year old MTD, 5hp/24". Wish I had opted for the 8hp/28" model at the time but oh well. It clears things pretty well, doesnt like thick wet snow or harder packed snow all too much and will bog down. About 10 years ago I sucked up the paper and ruined the crank to the engine since it bent, replaced it with a tecumseh 5hp again and all has been well. The electric start is the only thing that doesnt work, but 2 pulls and ti fires right up.

Everything I own will fire right up no problem because I winterize everything and it then doesnt gum up the carbs.
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Old 02-03-2015, 09:50 AM   #98
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Ive started using TruFuel in my winterization process. Drain out whatever remains at the end of the season, add a few splashes of TruFuel mixed with Marine Stabil (the blue stuff), Seafoam and a little MMO for good measure. Run the engine for a few minutes, then turn off the fuel valve and let the engine run until it dies.

Next winter when I start up I get lots of smoke coming out (smoke = good in this case). The carb has never once been gummed up for the 9 years Ive owned my Ariens 926LE. After this season I might treat it to a new friction disk, or at least have a spare on hand just in case (still on the original with no signs of stopping)
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Old 02-03-2015, 09:53 AM   #99
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I recently bought a used craftsman 9hp 29" snow blower. I think is from the 80's. It has a Tecumseh engine. It starts on the first pull, even at 0 degrees F. When I purchased it the owner was not sure if the electric start worked, because it was never used.
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Old 02-03-2015, 09:55 AM   #100
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The problem with Honda is that they are sometimes twice as expensive. I can buy cub cadet run it for 10 years then throw it away and buy another brand new one for the price of a Honda. There Honda is not that much better then cub cadet or anything else.
Actually they are. You'll be sending your second or third machine to the landfill and the Honda will still be trucking along. Its not a brand without faults but their build quality is second to none.
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Old 02-03-2015, 09:56 AM   #101
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I recently bought a used craftsman 9hp 29" snow blower. I think is from the 80's. It has a Tecumseh engine. It starts on the first pull, even at 0 degrees F. When I purchased it the owner was not sure if the electric start worked, because it was never used.
Yeah the Tec Snow King engines seem to be bulletproof. Guzzle gas and make noise like no tomorrow, but as long as you keep the oil level correct I dont think you can ever kill one.

Problem is its hard to find replacements so you either end up rebuilding what you have, repowering with something more modern (not necessarily an easy job) or buying a whole new blower.
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Old 02-03-2015, 10:00 AM   #102
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I live northwest of Boston and we just got hit with 30" last week followed by 15" yesterday. I just finished cleaning two big driveways and about 100' feet of walk with my 24 year old Ariens ST8/24. I bought my first Ariens in November 1971, ran it till 1991 then bought my present one. I gave the old one to my brother who ran it for another 10 years.

That's a combined 54 years using Ariens snow blowers up here in New England and not a single failure or disappointment in all those years.

Guess what brand my next slow blower will be?
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Old 02-03-2015, 10:07 AM   #103
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Hondas look mean and well built
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Old 02-03-2015, 10:07 AM   #104
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Agree on the Ariens with the Sno-King engine. Thought it was expensive 12 years ago when I bought it. Other than a few shear pins in the impeller and oil and spark plugs it hasn't needed any repairs.
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Old 02-03-2015, 10:07 AM   #105
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Especially track driven ones
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Old 02-03-2015, 10:37 AM   #106
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In my humble opinion most sales people do not know their products very well. I have seen this so many times it scares me. Check the facts yourself or toss a post up here and someone will be able to help with the reality, just like in this case.

Do you know what the difference is between a product Made in USA vs. one made in China? ..... A job for an American worker.
in my humble opinion, if people wanted the jobs, they would still be here. not to steal the thread, but there are hundreds of thousands of jobs available that nobody wants, cause it doesn't involve singing, dancing, or making youtube videos.
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Old 02-03-2015, 11:23 AM   #107
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I bought my Honda HS622 in 2002 on a huge sale. It has been trouble free this whole time. If you set the choke and throttle it starts on the first pull. I have been quite lax in maintenance on it, and it still runs perfect.

We got our biggest snowfall since '74 the other day, and it handled it perfect. I have zero regrets.
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Old 02-03-2015, 12:32 PM   #108
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I got an old Montgomery ward 24" 5hp. Got me through 21 inches in Chicago that just fell. Many winters before that. I was just finishing up and I did throw a drive belt. So I will replace that this weekend. No PLASTIC on this thing what so ever.
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Old 02-03-2015, 03:50 PM   #109
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I have had 2 Toro blowers and they have performed awesome(I live in Colorado).
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Old 02-03-2015, 04:29 PM   #110
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Old 2-cycle Simplicity I bought used from a landscaping guy going out of business. Every spring I run it out of fuel and empty any remaining from the tank with an old turkey baster. In the late fall I get a fresh Premium gas & oil mix ready. Starts right up in the dead of winter. I may have replaced the plug when I bought it several years ago.. I can't remember, but the guy did throw in some new wheels and a base scraper that I installed.
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Old 02-03-2015, 06:29 PM   #111
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I bought my Ariens 6 years ago in August as Home Depot still had it....and it was marked way down. It has the Tecumseh Snow King engine with the plug in electric start. I run it dry at the end of every season.
anyone know if the newer home depot Ariens snowblowers are any good, or are they just box-store quality with a premium price?

$1000 Ariens:
http://www.homedepot.com/p/Ariens-De...z0wwdxZ1z0uxk9
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Old 02-03-2015, 07:02 PM   #112
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anyone know if the newer home depot Ariens snowblowers are any good, or are they just box-store quality with a premium price?

$1000 Ariens:
http://www.homedepot.com/p/Ariens-De...z0wwdxZ1z0uxk9

Post # 134 in the link below talks about the dozens of models and the different "grades" in the Ariens lines. Big box blowers may not be the same machine as the power equipment dealers. ????????

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showt...=540295&page=9

The snowblower debates are similar to the best pickup truck discussions. The link is 13 pages and 185 posts.
I just donated my 30 year old HS50 Honda blower to my son after his 15 year old Ariens became a maintenance nightmare. I purchased a used Honda 7 hp HS724 with hydrostatic trans with wheels
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Old 02-03-2015, 07:06 PM   #113
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anyone know if the newer home depot Ariens snowblowers are any good, or are they just box-store quality with a premium price?

$1000 Ariens:
http://www.homedepot.com/p/Ariens-De...z0wwdxZ1z0uxk9
That model is identical to what you would buy at a small dealer. When you buy online they (Ariens) even pull them from the same warehouses and have independent dealers assemble and deliver them. The only Ariens I know of to be made to "box store" quality are the Sno-Teks.

If you can though support your local dealer. You aren't saving a dime going through Home-Depot and you wont get any favors from the dealers if you have out of the box troubles.

As far as the quality of the units, the engines are all Chinese from the Sno-Tek line all the way to the Professional series. I kind of hate them and many are suffering debris issues in the carbs. The unit itself is a great buy for a grand, but its a far cry from a Honda (two to three times the price) or your fathers/grandfathers snowblowers. Ariens has basically countered inflation by cheapening the units year after year. Go check the price tag for a machine in 1990 and I bet a comparable unit today is roughly the same price. That doesn't happen without some form of component cheapening. Great for people who are budget minded but less so for people expecting the quality of 20 years ago.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Motorhead Extraordinaire View Post
I live northwest of Boston and we just got hit with 30" last week followed by 15" yesterday. I just finished cleaning two big driveways and about 100' feet of walk with my 24 year old Ariens ST8/24. I bought my first Ariens in November 1971, ran it till 1991 then bought my present one. I gave the old one to my brother who ran it for another 10 years.

That's a combined 54 years using Ariens snow blowers up here in New England and not a single failure or disappointment in all those years.

Guess what brand my next slow blower will be?
If yours is this type, refurbish it, don't buy new, you will be disappointed. The drive system on this model is essentially bullet proof and they've even replaced (superseded) the split aluminum gearcase with a nice cast iron model.


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Old 02-03-2015, 09:02 PM   #114
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Sorry I'm a big Honda guy, owned 2 Acuras. But if you told me I could have a 10 year old Honda Accord or a brand new Taurus I'll take the Taurus.
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Old 02-03-2015, 10:54 PM   #115
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Sorry I'm a big Honda guy, owned 2 Acuras. But if you told me I could have a 10 year old Honda Accord or a brand new Taurus I'll take the Taurus.
the only problem with that scenerio is that cars have gotten better in the last 20 years, while most places that make snow throwers have figured out how to make the cheapest thing they can manufacture that can still be considered a snow thrower.. think to yourself if anyone is going to be bragging about owning a throw away troy bilt somone bought from Lowes 25 years from now.

my 6hp 25 yr old yamaha will throw light snow to the second floor of my house.. your lucky if a 7hp model today will throw anything mre than 5 feet.

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Old 02-03-2015, 11:09 PM   #116
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The problem with Honda is that they are sometimes twice as expensive. I can buy cub cadet run it for 10 years then throw it away and buy another brand new one for the price of a Honda. There Honda is not that much better then cub cadet or anything else. Not to mention consumer reports says Hondas throw for shit but again probably not a huge difference from best thrower.
im not saying cheaper models don't have their place - but you simply cannot compare the quality vs performance aspect.. its like comparing snap on and craftsman - except you can expect alot more maintenance over the course of owning a chinese knock off engine and a few snow storms where it wont start at all when you need it. (enter every cheap generator even made). many honda / yamaha items dont even have an electric start simply because its not needed.
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Old 02-03-2015, 11:17 PM   #117
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I got an old Montgomery ward 24" 5hp. Got me through 21 inches in Chicago that just fell. Many winters before that. I was just finishing up and I did throw a drive belt. So I will replace that this weekend. No PLASTIC on this thing what so ever.
I am still repairing some of those old Montgomery Wards (Gilson) snow blowers. Solid,heavy metal on those old beasts. Some are from the early 70's and still going.
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Old 02-04-2015, 06:38 AM   #118
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I'm going to say Honda but I don't think I could ever pay new price for one. I picked this HS828 up for $100 a couple years ago in perfect working order.



Already had a Yard Man 24" w/a Tecumseh Snow King 5hp motor. Never had a bit of trouble with it but I just couldn't pass up this Honda. This Honda throws snow further than anything I've ever seen.

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Old 02-04-2015, 06:43 AM   #119
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I have a ariens 2 stage from the 80s, with electric start, pull start is broke, headgasket just blew, but it still throws snow its build like a tank and weighs alot, look like shit its loud. even with a blown headgasket it still throws snow further than the neighbors new blower
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Old 02-04-2015, 06:56 AM   #120
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I'm going to say Honda but I don't think I could ever pay new price for one. I picked this HS828 up for $100 a couple years ago in perfect working order.
Lookin good.
You suck.

Someone I know just bought a new Ariens.
Has a very tiny gas tank on it.
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Old 02-04-2015, 08:35 AM   #121
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Unquestionably, the pre-1990 Ariens, Craftsman, Toro were better built. Most of those had "real" transmissions and heavier gauge steel in the housings. About the only thing missing on some of those older units is electronic ignition.
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Old 02-04-2015, 08:52 AM   #122
woody 73
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Default Re: Most reliable snow blower?

I bought the following from sears new in 2005:

http://columbus.craigslist.org/for/4786847970.html

It has never let me down even for one second, starts every time never had the tank empty, changed the oil a few times and it runs like a champ. Not sure if that helps you out?
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Old 02-04-2015, 11:42 AM   #123
lars
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Default Re: Most reliable snow blower?

Gravely Snow Cannon. It has that name for a reason.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PZBfvdzH-pI

That coupled with a Gravely with a Kohler K series engine is nearly indestructible.
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Old 02-04-2015, 12:55 PM   #124
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Originally Posted by steed andersen View Post
I am still repairing some of those old Montgomery Wards (Gilson) snow blowers. Solid,heavy metal on those old beasts. Some are from the early 70's and still going.
All kinds of videos of these old beasts on youtube tossing snow like its nothing. My neighbor buys a new snow blower every 2 years it seems. If it doesn't start he runs to get a new one. Pencil pusher. Lol
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Old 02-04-2015, 01:03 PM   #125
mazdarules
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Default Re: Most reliable snow blower?

I love my yamaha YS1028J, its a beast.
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Old 02-04-2015, 04:31 PM   #126
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Default Re: Most reliable snow blower?

I have a 1975 ariens 5 hp it works great we just had a storm that left about 14-16" it sure saved my back.
Doug
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Old 02-04-2015, 05:03 PM   #127
Jlbc212
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Default Re: Most reliable snow blower?

Honda! Love my HS928!
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Old 02-04-2015, 05:18 PM   #128
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Default Re: Most reliable snow blower?

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Originally Posted by mazdarules View Post
I love my yamaha YS1028J, its a beast.
That big blue meanie looks cool.
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Old 02-04-2015, 06:48 PM   #129
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Originally Posted by Gary S View Post
We have tons of older used snowblowers around here.
http://www.bismanonline.com/content/...e&q=snowblower

Anybody who wants one can easily find one in good condition.
I know a guy around here that has many nice older ones he has repaired. He doesn't advertise on bisman.
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Old 02-04-2015, 07:03 PM   #130
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I had to buy one a few years ago, while I think the Hondas are the best of the newer machines, I was not able to pay that much so I had to compromise. I went with a JD 928 e. It has a 14 inch impeller and most of that size have a 12. (In the consumer grade lines) my JD is the same as a simplicity. It will throw really far, but shear pins always break if you get into frozen snow. I am only slightly happy with it, but neighbors got craftsman, and mtd........they break all the time. If I could go back, I would rather had something else, but I was strapped for cash and could not buy a Honda at the time. Now I will use it as long as I can.
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Old 02-04-2015, 07:17 PM   #131
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Default Re: Most reliable snow blower?

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Originally Posted by boosteddsm92 View Post
I'm going to say Honda but I don't think I could ever pay new price for one. I picked this HS828 up for $100 a couple years ago in perfect working order.



Already had a Yard Man 24" w/a Tecumseh Snow King 5hp motor. Never had a bit of trouble with it but I just couldn't pass up this Honda. This Honda throws snow further than anything I've ever seen.
thats probably the best deal on a Honda in that condition ive ever heard of.. you could probably get about $1500 for that.. some guy was selling a track model that size for $350 - i emailed him at midnight and said consider it sold it you still have it.. (of course it was already gone)

i paid $800 for my tracked yamaha ys624 from the original yamaha dealer that ordered it new... telling people i paid that much for something thats probably from the 80's doesnt come without its looks - but clearing the snow in front of my house using one hand gets its share of looks too..
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Old 02-04-2015, 08:45 PM   #132
Beaumont67
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Default Re: Most reliable snow blower?

Living out in the country, my dedicated 1992 John Deere 318 with hydraulic 1 stage blower (48" wide) gets the job done.
Had some 2-3 foot snow banks here, this week and does a fair job, scraping snow close to the pavement.

Few weeks ago, changed the oil from Mobile1 to AMSOIL (10w30, 4 stroke synthetic) and installed a NAPA Gold WIX filter.
(hour meter at low 502.4 run time, on the 18HP Onan, original paint garden tractor)
- few weeks ago, installed a Canadian Tire blue top AMG truck battery and bought one new 4 ply front right tire
- nothing stopping JD this winter

Last edited by Beaumont67; 02-04-2015 at 08:56 PM.
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Old 02-04-2015, 08:51 PM   #133
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Default Re: Most reliable snow blower?

I have an Ariens that is about 4 years old and like it a lot but, it doesn't take abuse like the older units.
I replaced the drive disc last year, not sure what engineer thought that thin rubber vulcanized on a metal disc would be a good drive system but, other than that I haven't been able to break anything else....yet.
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Old 02-04-2015, 09:09 PM   #134
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Default Re: Most reliable snow blower?

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Originally Posted by fanatic View Post
I have an Ariens that is about 4 years old and like it a lot but, it doesn't take abuse like the older units.
I replaced the drive disc last year, not sure what engineer thought that thin rubber vulcanized on a metal disc would be a good drive system but, other than that I haven't been able to break anything else....yet.
Friction disc drive setup has been around for a LONG time. My Ariens is now 9 years old and I havent replaced the disc even once. Im buying a spare to have around but its still going strong on the original.

There is a procedure in the manual for checking the tension on the engagement cable/spring....you might want to check on that. Maybe its engaging too much or not enough and causing premature wear on yours.
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