Snowblower Megathread

mikelawtown

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Sea foam attracts water when stored I was told at a small engine place. I have no clue if it does as I always used Startron in my gas cans but for years now I just buy a gallon of Trufuel and put a quart of gas in all equipment. Expensive but a gallon lasts me a couple years
 
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Garys

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The way you put it away is how it will run when you take it out. That applies to all power equipment.

Here is what I do, based on what the selling dealer advised.

Run the machine for 10 minutes or so to get the oil hot.
Change the oil. A friend of mine uses synthetic, but I think that's overkill. Use the manufacturer recommended viscosity.
Run the tank dry.
Lubricate to manufacturers recommendation. On my Airens, that includes tipping the machine up and removing the bottom plate. Lubricate the stuff inside.
Remove the wheels and lubricate the axle shafts. Reassemble. A neighbor had a problem that required removing a tire to access a repair and the wheel was frozen on the axle.
Check tire pressures.
Lubricate auger drive shaft and shear pins. You want the shear pins to be easy to drive out if they shear.
Check and adjust auger and drive controls.
Every 3 or so years, change the spark plug. Cheap insurance.
Every couple of years check auger and drive belts, replace if needed.

I use 50:1 two stroke fuel. No need to fill the tank more than a quarter full. The machine will run on this and the oil will lubricate the seals.

Once a month, start the machine and run it for ten minutes.

I don't know anything that sucks more than having a foot of snow in your driveway and a snow blower that won't start. I usually do my annual maintenance in May or June.



How do people prepare the snowblower for off season storage? In the past, I just add some stabil, keeping the fuel tank at 3/4 full and put it in the shed. Anything else I should do/avoid?
 

LuvDog

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Sea foam attracts water when stored I was told at a small engine place. I have no clue if it does as I always used Startron in my gas cans but for years now I just buy a gallon of Trufuel and put a quart of gas in all equipment. Expensive but a gallon lasts me a couple years
Hmmm... I hadn’t heard that before

I forgot to add. After I add the sea foam and run the engine... I drain the tank completely and also drain the carb/bowl. I know people say an empty tank will produce condensate, but it’s plastic so I’m. It worried about rust. As for any water accumulation, I haven’t noticed any over many years of doing this. I used to leave the cap off and cover the opening to keep dust out, but I stopped doing that. I will leave the cap off for a couple of days to make sure the tank is dry.
 

Garys

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MTD makes them. Troy Bilt is just one of their brand names. Cub Cadet is in there as well. The service manuals for all of them are the same. I've heard that they make Hqusvarna too, but those seem to be better built. I've worked on two Troy Bilt and one Cub Cadet owned by friends. All have the same cheap ass parts and shoddy construction. The friend that bought the Cub Cadet after I told him to buy an Ariens just bought an Ariens last fall. The Cub Cadet lasted seven years, in part because he did zero maintenance and only fixed stuff when it broke.

many of the Crapsman, Tractor Supply Store, Lowes, HD, etc are all made by Troy Bilt and are just painted different colors.

If you look at them side by side you will see they are almost identical.

Plows are nice, but a snow blower does a better job. I do as much of mine as I can with the snow blower, then push the piles at the end of the driveway and the snow I toss up the driveway with the plow.

I have a 26" Crapsman that works pretty well, it is about 8 years old and I have had no problems with it ... but with all these small engines with small carbs, E10 gas is your enemy, it is vital you treat the gas and when you don't use if for any length of tome drain the carb bowl or the pilot jet will varnish up and it won't start, and if it does it will not idle and be down on power.
 

76Too

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Figured this might even be a better spot than the yard sale thread for this. Mods please delete if i’m out of line here.

Any interest in a Toro 826LE with a Tecumseh engine? Serviced annually and just put in a new spark plug and cleaned the carburetor at the beginning of last season. I’m leaving the state this summer and don’t want to lug it around. $200 or firearms/gunsmithing/ammo/reloading/hunting/ related trades considered.

She’s ugly but runs like mother and starts first pull.

D529F520-DFD9-4FD7-8475-1EF950C78837.jpeg 3C247936-D379-4366-AFE0-70E7DD3CC5C9.jpeg 33588AA6-2EA1-42CD-B608-8C2BBD7313BC.jpeg DFC10239-E178-490E-80CE-DC2870CCA552.jpeg 7F6AEF8D-7E3A-4A38-BAB1-025C10EEEB7F.jpeg EC6CF6BB-2669-4C24-98AA-138291EFA4CA.jpeg 71127AF5-30CE-4163-81DB-DE5DA3ACBEF3.jpeg C2F1A235-FE9A-4DAE-8D9B-323EEC95059E.jpeg
 

Asaltweapon

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A dry tank is a happy tank. Run out of treated or non ethanol fuel and don’t forget to pull the choke when it starts to sputter and die. It pulls the gas out of the choke circuit. Change oil, grease, plug after some fogging oil.
If you are real anal a light spray of oil on the black engine parts keeps it looking new.
 

Radtekk

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Best snowblower to buy is mine. It's listed here:
WTS - Or trade, Ariens snowblower

It's an Ariens, has chains, been starting first/second pull for years. Lives in the garage when it's cold, under a tarp under the deck when it's warm. Runs like a champ, throws snow far. I have a "small engine guy" that maintains it and my lawn tractor. Replaced the belts last season and changed the oil. Needs a plug. I'd trade it for a Henry Lever 22.
 

drgrant

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A dry tank is a happy tank.
Waste of time, IMHO. I've left gas in my machine every year since 2003? and never had a problem with it. It's always been stabilized gas, though.

If one is really paranoid run the last tank on truegas or that VP racing ethanol free stuff.

Running the machine dry every year is the same category of neurotic behavior as cleaning the people who clean every gun every time they use it.

-Mike
 
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Figured this might even be a better spot than the yard sale thread for this. Mods please delete if i’m out of line here.

Any interest in a Toro 826LE with a Tecumseh engine? Serviced annually and just put in a new spark plug and cleaned the carburetor at the beginning of last season. I’m leaving the state this summer and don’t want to lug it around. $200 or firearms/gunsmithing/ammo/reloading/hunting/ related trades considered.

She’s ugly but runs like mother and starts first pull.

View attachment 276862 View attachment 276863 View attachment 276865 View attachment 276864 View attachment 276866 View attachment 276867 View attachment 276868 View attachment 276869
Free Candy LOL
 

LuvDog

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Waste of time, IMHO. I've left gas in my machine every year since 2003? and never had a problem with it. It's always been stabilized gas, though.

If one is really paranoid run the last tank on truegas or that VP racing ethanol free stuff.

Running the machine dry every year is the same category of neurotic behavior as cleaning the people who clean every gun every time they use it.

-Mike
I siphon most of it out, and then let it run for the few minutes to warm up the oil so I can drain it.
 

garandman

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Most Ariens have a spring loaded screw to drain the float bowl. Hondas have a bolt, can’t remember if it’s 8 or 10mm.

Some people have had problems with ethanol fuel attacking the fuel lines, YMMV.
 

Radtekk

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Sorry, guys. I just drained all the old gas out of my snow blower to put it away 'til next Winter. It usually snows when I do this.
I'm sitting in Detroit waiting to leave for Knoxville. Snow on the ground, plane needs to be de-iced, so maybe it snowed here I stead and you're off the hook:)

I never drain, treat, or otherwise do anything to gas in my snowblower, generator, lawn tractor, leaf blower or motorcycle. None of them are fuel injected, the leaf blower is 2-stroke. Give em a prime, they all start up with maybe one or two extra pulls, the Harley takes a couple of minutes of coaxing but it's also 15 years old with a larger carb than stock. Never killed the battery first start of the season so must be ok. I think all that "winter storage" crap is just that, crap. Bike, generator and leaf blower live year round in the garage, snow blower amd lawn tractor swap garage and under the deck based on season.
 
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Dredging this old thread up again thinking about time for a new snowblower.

Tractor Supply has the Cub Cadet s (MTD) and Lowes has Ariens.

There's a lot of talk bout the Home Depot poor assembly on the Ariens.

Tractor supply sells the Cub Cadet lawn tractors shipped on crates from the factory - just install the steering wheel. So what about the snow blowers? I can't fathom these require much assembly from the factory.

So the Lowes Ariens good to go?
A Deluxe 24" gonna do it for 10 years?

Tempted to grab the Cub Cadet on sale.
 

drgrant

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Ariens commercial grade. Although if it was me I'd ping Garandman, he had an 11/24 he was prepping.... those things were beasts...

-Mike
 

richc

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Ariens...

Had one for 20+ years. Got a new Ariens a few years ago. It kicks ass...

Starts on first or second pull every time. Even though it has an electric start it's just simple to start manually.
 

LuvDog

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My neighbor has a fairly new Deluxe 24 or 28. I think its a couple of years old. I cleared their drive with it when they were out of town... and compared to my nearly 20 year old 824... it sucked. If I ever clear their driveway again... I’ll walk my blower the 1/2 mile up the road to do it

If you’re going Ariens, stick with the Professional Series.
 

Taipan01

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Dredging this old thread up again thinking about time for a new snowblower.

Tractor Supply has the Cub Cadet s (MTD) and Lowes has Ariens.

There's a lot of talk bout the Home Depot poor assembly on the Ariens.

Tractor supply sells the Cub Cadet lawn tractors shipped on crates from the factory - just install the steering wheel. So what about the snow blowers? I can't fathom these require much assembly from the factory.

So the Lowes Ariens good to go?
A Deluxe 24" gonna do it for 10 years?

Tempted to grab the Cub Cadet on sale.
I went with going to an authorized Ariens dealer as opposed to a big box seller. Their prices and Lowes/Home depot were the same on models offered by the latter but there are more models available to the dealer. Delivery to my house, assembled was included in that price. Also, it's the dealers main line of business, it's what they do as opposed to just some guy assembling them plus there is servicing and all that.

I too was looking at the deluxe 24 but went ahead with the platinum model 24. The platinum already had the hand warmers which I was going to buy and install (another $100.00) so that knocked the price difference down to $150.00. I also remembered winters like this:

Winter.JPG

and thought, maybe having the bigger engine would be a wiser pick. I'd rather have the extra power then not when I may need it. Last year that came in handy as every storm here ended in rain making things heavy as hell but threw that stuff no problem.

I only used the pull start once when I ran out of gas at my neighbors, else I plug-in started it in the garage before heading out. Sparks right up.

I did switch out the standard metal shoes out to polymers. Makes the turning even easier.

I've already prepped mine for this year last week with an oil change, greasing and re-leveling.
 
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so my 12 year old craftsman snowblower is getting kinda tired, body starting to rust due for a tune up too, so I thought I'd shop for something new to last another 10-15 years

looking for something 30" or bigger. Online reviews are less than helpful (5 star rating on a blower the guy used once... it friggen better be awesome the 1st time you use it)

I've been shopping for a jeep and thought I'd put a plow just for my driveway, but the asphalt is new and I repaired all the Belgium block edging . would hate to damage the edging and driveway again from plow damage.

so who has what in larger snowblowers and what do you recommend?
Go local no need to go to box stores. If you want it put together correctly go to your nearest ARIENS dealer.
 
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OK, Here's a question to you Ariens experts.

Just curious why Ariens doesn't currently offer their RapidTrak AND EFI on any of their snowblowers?

You can get one or the other, but not both. Oddly, I found a reference to on older model that is tracked with EFI, but that was before their new "RapidTrak" technology. See model 926337 in the right-most column of the tables at:
https://www.ariens.com/downloads/Ariens-Professional-SellSheet-CE.pdf
https://www.ariens.com/downloads/Ariens-Brochure-EFI-CE.pdf

It seems odd that they would go from offering tracks and/or EFI to only offering one or the other.
 

grey

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OK, Here's a question to you Ariens experts.

Just curious why Ariens doesn't currently offer their RapidTrak AND EFI on any of their snowblowers?

You can get one or the other, but not both. Oddly, I found a reference to on older model that is tracked with EFI, but that was before their new "RapidTrak" technology. See model 926337 in the right-most column of the tables at:
https://www.ariens.com/downloads/Ariens-Professional-SellSheet-CE.pdf
https://www.ariens.com/downloads/Ariens-Brochure-EFI-CE.pdf

It seems odd that they would go from offering tracks and/or EFI to only offering one or the other.
Home depot told them to cut out the quality shit. And they did.

You wont find Honda at HD
 
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