Need to Replace Snow Thrower

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Jun 6, 2013
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I'm not as good with small engines as I would like and believe my 13+ year old 26" 5hp Yard Machine has cleared its last driveway I clear 5 driveways including my own each snow fall. Each of them 3 or 4 cars and hilly. Also, despite my ridiculous tax dollars, I find I'm clearing a fair amount of the street as the snow plows refuse to clear more than a 1.5 car width So I use the machine a lot and clear a combo of fresh powder, hard pack and far too much ice/slush left behind by the town. I also have to wiggle between cars much of the time Been eyeballing the 3 stage Cub Cadet at Home Depot but the $1,300 +\- is a pile of cash. I always swore that I would never buy a new unit given the costs, but I was lot younger 13 years ago and really don't have the desire to find a problem come next week, January, March ... Find that the unit isn't working when I need it most I have a Lowes, Home Depot and Sears within a few miles of me and a couple Indy shops Thoughts on what mfg and model would be a good choice? The 5hp was always borderline adequate.. Could be the age of the unit? Would love to have this unit last forever, too smile Thanks in advance for any recs
 
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Myself, I would shy away from big box stores. Would try to get a commercial grade Ariens at a lawn and garden place that deals with contractors.
 
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Finz

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Ronbo - why do you say that? Any particular reason or bad experience? subLGT... I'll check that out. Are you in the market yourself?
 
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Stay away from Cub Cadet, modern MTD junk IMHO Like another poster said an Ariens sounds like the best balance for your budget and expectations... Buy from independent dealer, not big box store. The whole experience will be much better especially if you were to have an issue...
 
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TORO makes excellent Snow Launchers. Excellent quality; I've had mine 9 years, use it A LOT and it works like brand new. thumbsup
 
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Originally Posted By: Finz
……...subLGT... I'll check that out. Are you in the market yourself?
I was last year. My final choice came down to the single stage Ariens Path-Pro and the 2 stage Sno-Tek, both around $630. I bought the Sno-Tek. I did not like the Troy-Bilt at Lowes because the engine has an aluminum bore. If my budget was $1200, I would be looking at an Ariens with power steering.
 
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I just pulled the trigger and bought the Ariens 38 Deluxe after much research. I liked the 3 stage Cub Cadet as well but mostly decided that the MTD aluminum tranny would not hold up as well as the steel gears in the Ariens. Also the reviews say the 3 stage throws small amounts of snow onto cleared areas by design. I did like the joystick chute control very much but not enough to give up the tranny integrity for the blower. The Snappers did have an electric chute which I thought was great but again question the durability of that.
 
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My 30 year oil Honda still runs like new. Only repair came this year was a $5 bearing for the second stage. Snow blowers are incredibly simple machines, You never said what yours is not doing right, but I would bet its a simple fix.
 
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To be specific, my Dad got an Ariens (11528 Deluxe) from a Home Depot about 8 years ago. After a few test runs, it started performing poorly. A careful Inspection shoed that the pulleys on the main shaft were aligned properly and the belts were somewhat twisted and already showing premature wear. While not difficult to fix, this should not have happened and I wonder if the assembly were performed by a dealer, would the same mistake have been made? Having said that, I bought an 11528 about 3 years ago and I chose Home Depot. I gave my machine a careful inspection before throwing the first snowflake and it seemed to be put together properly. I have about 20 hours on mine after three years of doing my Mother's driveway as well as a few of her neighbors.
 
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There is a difference in quality when you buy a snowblower at Home Depot vs. a reputable equipment dealer. I have a Simplicity and find it to be well built, made in the USA, and if I ever need service (I have not), my local dealer has qualified mechanics on staff to make repairs. As a comparison, I had a Toro 624 that served me well for over 15 years, but decided to upgrade to the Simplicity model after the safety system interlock switches started shorting out. Like you, I get me fair share of use out of my snowblower and haven't had a problem in years. The new Simplicity models offer heated hand grips, lights for better visibility (for you and to be seen by those driving by at night when you are out by the street), and electric chute directional control - no more bending over to crank the chute to another direction. You will find that the better overall value through time can be had by buying from the local dealer instead of a big box retailer. Just my .02... From Minnesota where we have already had 12+" this year, 757guy
 
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If you want a new machine go with a Toro or Ariens from a dealer. All the ones at Home Depot are JUNK. Flimsy metal, weak gearboxes, horrible customer service. You will be glad you paid the extra money for the dealer machine. I know many people who wish they had.
 
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2 years on my simplicity H1730E love it heavy and fairly well built better than anything in a big box store if I was to recommend one it would be the H1528E for the size you're looking for I doubt you'll find a better blowing machine other than a Honda.
 
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The Ariens 28 Deluxe I purchased from the local dealer. It happens to be the same model as ones that are sold by Home Depot. I still chose to support the local dealer. Price was the same and they told me they were identical. Home Depot had them in stock but I waited until the dealer got them in. HD did not build them very well and left parts off. Dealer told me the same guy builds theirs one day then goes to HD to build theirs the next day every week. They were quite honest and my purchase from them or Home Depot was not going to make or break them. They sell big Kubota tractors that cost way more than my snow blower.
 

Finz

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Originally Posted By: Bluestream
You never said what yours is not doing right, but I would bet its a simple fix.
It's stupid really: I took the machine apart to sand and repaint the rust. I was not able to get the roll pins out of the impeller despite loads of pb blaster and a punch pin. Before I realized how these should be removed, I dremeled the protruding portions of each pin so now there is very little of these stubborn pins holding the impeller in place. Took the assembly to a shop and they told me it would be 6 weeks plus before they could get to it. I left the shop with the unit but am under the impression it would cost me upwards of $100 dollars I also messed up the wiring for the ignition key (posted about that the other day). Here, too, an easy fix but I'm superstitious and feel this is the beginning of the end for this unit The 5 hp is also light... Marginally adequate at best, Plus, I'm just tired of working on things... Would love to have a piece of eqpt that is trouble free and I can trust away from home without fear of not having my tools handy.... That's probably the biggest reason.
 
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Stop! The Cub Cadet, Craftsman, and Troy-Bilt are the same machine; all Chinese junk made by MTD. I've got the 30" Troy-Bilt. The engine seems decent, but the junky plastic chute and other cheap bits are all falling apart after three years of just my driveway. Get a Husqvarna, Ariens, or Toro with a metal chute. Avoid anything gimmicky like the electric chute adjustment.
 
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i have a 1966 allis charmers commercial snow thrower 4 hp briggs that has never let us down my Parents got it when i was a baby and had it in both very large houses it still runs good (smokes a little) but runs circles around all of my neighbors machines. We only used strait 30 pennzoil all of its life. One summer i tried to start it and found out the points turned to dust and i converted it to electronic ignition. That was the only time it would not start and it was in the summer when i was about to servive it. Yours is only 15 years old so im sure there is life left in it somewhere. I am also in North Jersey
 

Finz

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I'm sure this could be brought up to speed and I'll mess with it more next weekend. Problem is, I know have the bug to get a nice, shiny new one
 
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Originally Posted By: Bandito440
Stop! The Cub Cadet, Craftsman, and Troy-Bilt are the same machine; all Chinese junk made by MTD. I've got the 30" Troy-Bilt. The engine seems decent, but the junky plastic chute and other cheap bits are all falling apart after three years of just my driveway. Get a Husqvarna, Ariens, or Toro with a metal chute. Avoid anything gimmicky like the electric chute adjustment.
Thanks for the heads up buddy. I've been reading a lot of negative reviews of MTD stuff.
 
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Originally Posted By: BISCUT
Originally Posted By: Bandito440
Stop! The Cub Cadet, Craftsman, and Troy-Bilt are the same machine; all Chinese junk made by MTD. I've got the 30" Troy-Bilt. The engine seems decent, but the junky plastic chute and other cheap bits are all falling apart after three years of just my driveway. Get a Husqvarna, Ariens, or Toro with a metal chute. Avoid anything gimmicky like the electric chute adjustment.
Thanks for the heads up buddy. I've been reading a lot of negative reviews of MTD stuff.
Sure thing. Mine will still remove snow, but the chute no longer locks in place, the electric starter was replaced twice under warranty, the headlight bulb lasted exactly three seconds... I'm sure the Troy-Bilt brand was still good 15 years ago when they were built in Troy, but it's just another MTD clone now since they went under and MTD bought the name. If you keep an eye out, you can find the exact same 30" 357cc snowblower at Lowes (Troy-Bilt), Tractor Supply (Cub Cadet), Sears (Craftsman), and Wal-Mart (Yard Machines). They're just painted different colors. I had issues with some 2-stroke stuff of theirs too, and their customer service was awful when I tried to get it fixed under warranty. Avoid MTD at all costs.
 
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