Snowblower Megathread

Spanz

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Here's a question for the brain trust: I have an old Craftsman snowblower that my BIL gave me - runs pretty decent, when it runs. What seems to happen in colder weather is it starts right up, then will either fail after 30 seconds, or run until I put it under load - either taking it out of neutral, or engaging the auger. I've tried cleaning the carb, replacing the fuel, etc etc.
Yesterday, instead of raking leaves, I planned to fix it once or for all. I brought out my socket set, screwdrivers, rags, carb cleaner, fresh gas can, Sta-Bil, sledge hammer, zippo lighter and the blood of a virgin Afghan goat (you don't want to know how difficult THAT was to get). One way or another, this would be done.

The f**ker started on the first pull and stayed running. I snow blowed about 20' of leaves on my deck (makes a decent mulcher, who knew?) and ran for 5 minutes before I shut it off. Tried it again a couple minutes later, and it took two pulls, but ran fine.

WTF? Is there some weird issue where my snowblower will only run if it is dry and / or warm(ish)? Because that's kind of against all implied conditions of running a SNOW blower, isn't it?

Anyone have an idea? Because I know come the first snowfall, I'll be out of goat blood and resorting to hand jamming the driveway.
sounds like fuel starvation. Clean out the gas tank from crud, soak the carb in cleaner, maybe replace the rubber hose.

I had a carb once where the float was waterlogged, and did not float well, so the engine got too much gas...and it WAS a craftsman. just sayin
 
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After reading this thread and the many ones in the past, finally bought a new one to replace my single stage honda. Boston Lawnmower in Westborough had the Ariens 24" Platinum Sho on sale for $1299 for last years model. I figure I just put a nice downpayment on it not snowing much at all this winter for everyone. You're all welcome [grin]
I will be buying from the same company on Black Friday hoping for some deal but if not will buy any ways. I was looking at the difference between the 2016 and 2017 models and Ariens has made changes to the auto turn feature moving the wheels closer to middle. the decal sticker is grey so if you want to know if its a 2016 or 2017 that is the easy way to tell right away.

Good luck hope we have a light winter.
 

PistolShooter

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I will be buying from the same company on Black Friday hoping for some deal but if not will buy any ways. I was looking at the difference between the 2016 and 2017 models and Ariens has made changes to the auto turn feature moving the wheels closer to middle. the decal sticker is grey so if you want to know if its a 2016 or 2017 that is the easy way to tell right away.

Good luck hope we have a light winter.
When I was there they had the 2016 and 2017 models side by side so you can feel the difference in axle position. Basically they moved the rear axle forward so that there was more weight behind it and this the machine is easier to tip up and maneuver around. To me this is counterproductive since you want the weight forward, especially when doing the end of the driveway.
 

pthomas65

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Do you guys mix your gas stabilizer with your your carb treatment for your snowblowers and small engines? I have been mixing Sea Foam with Sta-Bil 360. The ethanol in the gas can cause all kinds of problems in our seasonal toys.
 

pthomas65

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I saved the following from earlier in the year. I dont remember which forum this came from

View attachment 212122
Great that is pretty much what I do with my seasonal machines. Only difference is when I put them up for their useful season, I drain all the fuel as noted above and then add a can of VP#6208 ethanol free fuel(4 cycle machines only), start the machine and let them run for a minute shut them down and leave the remainder of the VP in the machines.
 
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To each their own, however i would not recommend the 50:1 trick.

1 winter my line trimmer leaked gas out via the fuel tank cap. The fuel that could evaporate, did so. What was left was a sticky mess. It did clean off easy, but i would not want that crap in the orifices of a carburetor.
 
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Do you guys mix your gas stabilizer with your your carb treatment for your snowblowers and small engines? I have been mixing Sea Foam with Sta-Bil 360. The ethanol in the gas can cause all kinds of problems in our seasonal toys.
this stuff rocks https://www.lowes.com/pd/TRUFUEL-32...MI7vb2yuq81wIVDp7ACh35EgkMEAQYAyABEgI6o_D_BwE

At the end of season run your tank dry and put this in do not mix with gas full strength only to work and run for 5 minutes top off and forget about your snow blower till Nov. Last two years starts on first pull. Usually buy 2 cans then switch to fresh gas for the remainder of the winter and repeat process again. Too expensive for me to use all winter long.
 

pthomas65

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To each their own, however i would not recommend the 50:1 trick.

1 winter my line trimmer leaked gas out via the fuel tank cap. The fuel that could evaporate, did so. What was left was a sticky mess. It did clean off easy, but i would not want that crap in the orifices of a carburetor.
I believe the 50:1 is the VP 6238, I use the 6208 which is 92 octane gas(if my memory is correct) with zero ethanol. At the beginning of the season I fire it up and then add gas with the blue Sta Bil 360. It would be nice to run the VP all season but not at $6 a can
 

garandman

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Going to look at the Ariens Pro 28 Hydro RapidTrak this week. Street price seems to be just under $3,000.

The RapidTrak system is interesting. It’s a track setup with one large roller and one small one, the objective being to combine the traction of a track machine with the maneuverability of a wheel machine.

[video=youtube_share;TeUIp1mpX3k]http://youtu.be/TeUIp1mpX3k[/video]
 
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garandman

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We upgraded our wheeled ST1124 with a (10 lb) weight kit in front of the bucket, and new X Trac tires. That helps a lot in the EOD pile.

Been looking at specs. The new Honda’s have the same housing height as ours: 20”. Gotta see if there is a US source for the add-on available in Europe.
 
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Gator9329

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I have the new Honda hss 928. It's the tracked model. It's very helpful doing paths in the yard for the dog and oil man.
I drive it right up my deck stairs (18) and blow off the 25x16 deck. I used to have to shovel that. It sucks.
Shit if I built a decent ramp I'd use it to snow blow the roof.
 

garandman

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I have the new Honda hss 928. //
Shit if I built a decent ramp I'd use it to snow blow the roof.
They have a lifting eye - what about a crane arm?

Next time you are on the Zakiim bridge, look around and you can see a lot of the warehouses little sheds on a lot of the roofs for snow throwers.
 
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garandman

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Upgrade. Sorry to you snow lovers, this guarantees a dry winter.....
I watched the video in your earlier post. If traction is your goal, it seems like only when weight is on both sets of rollers in the tracks do you do better than a wheeled machine. I don't understand how when the weight is only on the smaller back roller, you get enough traction to "push through the heavy wet snow." It seems to me that all that does is put more weight on the front of the bucket while reducing the contact patch for traction because of the smaller rollers - similar to a wheeled machine with small wheels. Let us know how it performs...
 

Gator9329

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Auto turn was unusable in my situation. I do not just clear a driveway but also do sidewalks and yard. I used the new ariens with auto turn and it wandered more than a Kennedy during a sobriety test. It kept thinking I wanted to turn and constantly disengaged the differential . I found it more frustrating then last call.
 

Wickedcoolname

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I have to imagine that fuel injection will be SOP in another year or two. That should solve 90 percent of small engine problems. I fix my fair share of machines and if someone tells me their machine won't start or runs like shiit you can bet your 3rd nut it's the carb. It's always the carb. When EFI becomes standard across the brands there will be a bunch of shade tree mechanics looking for a hobby.
 
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