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Willys

Snow Blowers...what do you know...?

27 posts in this topic

OK, as the title suggests I'm in the market for a new addition to the fleet.   I have two old snow blowers here now, one has a siezed con rod thanks to a buddy who forgot to add oil, his not mine. Then my own old faithful buddy who blows snow every winter for the past 20 plus years. It's very tired now and in need of many new bits and pieces to bring it back up to snuff.  Possibly $500 worth or more..., just wear and tear stuff.
So while shopping for a kitchen sink I slowed down at the snow blower display at Home Depot..lol...mentioned should I dump money into an old machine or ...????   The wife instantly says she'd sooner put that money against a brand spanking new machine. Hmmmm......?   Didn't take me long to set the hook deep into that suggestion..!!!!!!
So the issue now is, what brand, size and such....different Home Depots sell different brands I find.  Toro, Cub Cadet, Till something?, MTD....   I'm looking at the $1,500 range before Turdo gets his sticky fingers in the pot.  So that gets me into the 24-28 inch range with most brands and somewhere in the 250 ish cc range.  
I'm leaning heavily towards the TORO Power Max 826 OXE model..it's also on sale down from $1,800 to $1,400...Then, simply because of it's construction. It isn't the typical round second stage section glued to the first stage section. Like two cylinders joining in opposite directions, with no obvious strengthening braces etc etc as they usually are.  This machine has square box sections welded solidly to each stage section showing me how well it is built. I like over kill as it's how I normally design  or make things. You make them once, to last and not fall apart.   But after saying this, I have never owned a snow blower which snapped at this badly designed joint...Hmmm...?  But they flex plenty.

So here's the question, what do you guys know about snow blowers and defend your choice....lol.  Anyone own such a machine...?

 

I've never had any Toro equipment, so this would be a first.

 

https://www.homedepot.ca/product/toro-power-max-826-oxe-26-inch-252-cc-two-stage-electric-start-gas-snowblower/1001127838

 

Thanks for all and any help deciding.....

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Also I will add I have a driveway that probably holds 10-12 vehicles......and we are 1000 yards off Lake Simcoe, so we get snow.

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toro is notorious for their impeller design

 

it is very good...and rarely ever clogs 

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Posted (edited) · Report post

personally i prefer older ones than what i see for sale lately...

 

my favourites are the red mastercraft ones from 1989-1990 made by mtd with 16 inch impellers..they are hard to find in good shape though,,,people that still have them kept them for a reason

 

second choice would be a good ariens from around 2000.2005 ...or a john deere from same era with a D in the model which is basically a green branded ariens (has to have the D at the end of model...the other ones are crap made by mtd and murray/briggs)

 

i gave up getting cold wet and sweaty though ...quite a while back i bought a western snowplow for truck

 

 

Edited by LooseLugNuts

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Toro makes good two and three stage blowers.  I was actually looking a them last spring to replace my two oldies.  I have an 18 year old MTD two-stage which starts and runs great.  I take it for walks around the village in the winter to help clear several neighbours' driveways as well as my own, of course.  The only time it let me down is when I ran over a snow-covered brick.  My second blower is a one stage Kohler which I inherited from my dad.  He bought it used in 1956.  It still starts with one pull and runs great. (Heavy S.O.B. though)  My dad used to use it to clear heavy drifts from a driveway that separated two houses.  He only had one arm, but this old thing never failed to start for him.

 

I also just bought an electric start two stage blower from a neighbour which I may or may not keep it, depending on it's performance.

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I used to have an old Jeep I used with a plow, yes you stayed warm and dry but in the spring the repair work to your grass etc wasn't worth the ease  in the end. So I went back to a large snow blower. Then paved the driveway. I also have too much nice stonework that I'm sure I would nick trying to get that last little bit using a plow...augh.   So until I pay someone to do the work or sell, I'm sticking with the cold and sweaty option I'm afraid.

Yes I also agree with older is usually better made as we used to have the standards where if you looked after a well built machine it should last you a lifetime. That is no longer the way we think. It's a throw a way world...nothing at all is made to last, nothing....we sooner buy cheap and replace it again and again until our wallets run dry.  Not me, I like good solid machines, Hmmm....why do I own a Smart Car..?....lol, I should have kept my 1947 Willys...lol.  But the canvas soft top wasn't the warmest in the winter months and I don't remember a heater that actually defrosted the windshield...lol  But I didn't require a STAR machine to keep it operational.  So I like buying better machines that should last. This last one did a good job for the past what 20 years, so no complaints. It would probably keep going but it's too heavy for my neck and back to keep humping around for hours daily when we get snow. Plus the required parts are too expensive to warrant it, sadly.

 

I think I'm sold on the Toro.....seems all talk goes towards that one......I've now spent far too long on snow blower forums reading reviews etc etc.  Maybe today will be the day...?

 

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2 hours ago, Willys said:

 I like good solid machines,

 

I think I'm sold on the Toro.....seems all talk goes towards that one......

 

 

re: Good, solid machines.  Everything I own that has wheels is at least 14 years old. The '05 and '06 smarts are the newest vehicles.  A 32 year old Honda is my "big" car.  My 46 year old Honda Gold Wing has also survived my abuse since I bought it new in the fall of 1974.  A 17 year old e-bike is also in my stables, but the oldest piece of machinery is my dads' old Kohler one stage snow-blower which was purchased used in 1956.  All work perfectly, but the 'Wing' needs attention in the electrical department.  The motor runs like new.

 

The new Toros may take a bit of getting used to with all the gadgets added to make the blowing experience more comfortable.  Assisted steering and a joy stick to adjust chute discharge direction and height.   Practice, practice, practice.  It's like driving a smart.  Not like anything else on the market, but eventually, you will get used to it.

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My $0.02 - Big Box Toro isn't the same as your local independent Toro dealer. They look the same, but they cost-cut something about it. Maybe the wheels are plastic, maybe the auger is made of cheese, but it's not the same.The model numbers are XYZ-HD sometimes, or they're sneakier.

 

So to get to my $0.02, go visit the local small equipment guys before buying something at the box stores. Toro makes a good blower. Ariens is what I've seen used a fair bit in commercial applications, but Toro is definitely growing.

 

Leadwing, i just noticed your signature. Can you perform the ritual on my car so that my wife can have A/C again?

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Posted (edited) · Report post

these are the best ive owned (and ive owned/sold hundreds of blowers)

 

this one is rough shape ...if you find one that was cared for they are gold

 

1989/1990 and maybe 1991 era....the 10/28 and 12/33 are great...the 8/26 not so much (smaller slower impeller on the 8)

 

impeller is NLA so its always good to check it but even if damaged they can be fixed and reinforced

 

they were branded as mastercraft but occasionally i come across some mtd branded and some columbia branded models...the handlebars/controls are different though..i prefer the mastercraft variation that the red ones have

 

1595700705382_2950754_lg.jpg

Edited by LooseLugNuts

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12 hours ago, cheapsmart said:

Leadwing, i just noticed your signature. Can you perform the ritual on my car so that my wife can have A/C again?

 

Ritual?  I have owned the Civic since new..  NEVER had it serviced or recharged.  It works as described in the signature.  Is your A/C issue with a Honda or the smart?
 

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Oh damn, I missed that 😂. 591k miles on a smart with original AC would be quite some feat.

16 hours ago, Leadwing said:

 

Ritual?  I have owned the Civic since new..  NEVER had it serviced or recharged.  It works as described in the signature.  Is your A/C issue with a Honda or the smart?
 

 

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6 hours ago, cheapsmart said:

Oh damn, I missed that 😂. 591k miles on a smart with original AC would be quite some feat.

 

 

I do, however, have an '06 diesel with a working A/C which has never been serviced.   It's a "summer" car, so it only has 90,000kms on it.  The secret is ( IMHO ) that the A/C's fail due to the shaking of the whole power unit while idling, causing metal fatigue in some of the metal connections.  I never engage my A/C until the engine speed is at least 2,000 RPM.  Works for me

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My snowblower. Took a while to convince my wife that I absolutely needed it due to my bad knee and back. Lol

 

IMG_20180129_184309.jpg

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@Sydney . A giant shovel!... I love it!!!  .... Yeah, I know .. The blower is on the other end, but I like the scoop as well.

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Sydney....love it...!

 

BUT...I have sat on one of those for hours on end looking backwards, my neck now wouldn't allow for that any more I'm afraid.

What I did do was install a swivel truck plow onto the front forks and use it that way.......then use the blower for the nasty bits.     I found this combo a better than using the bucket to shovel.....but a very nice set up I must say!.....one of the guys down the road has the same unit  maybe a size down but far better than walking behind a blower...lol.  I'm jealous.

 

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Well seems I must have priced my old unit too low as it has had nothing but interest since we posted it....first guy here snapped it up in a heartbeat saying, motor is worth the asking price...!    So I better get the new one before the white stuff starts flying...augh!!!!

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1 hour ago, Willys said:

I have sat on one of those for hours on end looking backwards, my neck now wouldn't allow for that any more I'm afraid.

 

That's why they make mirrors :lol:  (Old truck driver here VERY used to backing up with  mirrors)

 

That said, I would prefer the blower on the front end, but the bucket would handy for getting rid of the huge, solidly-packed mounds that the snow plows leave in my driveway

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Hmmmm....snow blowers are more a farm implement than a truck driver's usual weapon of choice I know, so using mirrors to operate one would be almost classified as a homicide waiting to happen...lol.  You should be constantly aware of what is being sent through a auger and a set of mirrors won't cut it...lol.  Now, mount a review camera on the blower deck and then we can talk ...lol.

I have bigger fish to fry it seems at the moment......my delivery was re-scheduled.......and no-one can tell me why......not even a peep of why after me sitting here waiting.......and re-arranging my week's activities.....to allow them their 12 hour window to get it here in.....and after saying it is on the truck and on it's way.....AUGH....!!!!!!

Please sit and wait for 12 hours while we figure out without google sat nav to help us plan our route timing......then after 8 hours of those 12 changing the tracking information they posted up for me to act upon.   FFS....!   Now I am waiting for a reason why and where my blower actually is.  So I can go about my week after re-arranging it for them.   Hi, my middle name is Impatient.....lol

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OK, CRISIS averted .....lol.   
I called up the store in mention, spoke to a very nice chap named Peter, happens he's the ass. store manager....I didn't even get my speech fully completed before he interjected by saying he'll give me the next size up for the same money, come and get it. No question asked....just the not so familiar saying now a days that says or used to say.."Customer is always Right"  so to speak. Sure took the air out of my sails in a hurry...lol    You can't argue with the fact they'll give you a far better machine for the same money and an apology to boot..!   

We drive up to get the machine, look her over quick and load it up after the necessary paperwork. Then I start seriously peeking at it.  This is why I like/prefer buying things unassembled in a crate when possible. It was missing obvious pieces, other bolts not tightened fully allowing other bits to be loose.   So back in we go again.....speak to my new best buddy Peter.....again, sorry, we'll swap it again.....lets find one done right.  Loaded it up after a very good inspection..Perfect!   

We are now starving, slide into the Golden Arches for a quick messy bite.........I peer at my new machine only to see the security tag still attached......FFS..!   Back we go as we're thinking Peter was so good to us, we should give them back their device and not simply chuck it after cutting it off at home..    Peter's on his break, but we get it off and job done.  They were very thankful we returned it as they said they are quite expensive to replace.   

So we now own a Power Max Heavy Duty 928 OAE........when you take off what we sold the old one for and the discount it comes to just over $1,000....I'm happy..!

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Posted (edited) · Report post

no shear pins on that model

 

seems odd..i think id prefer shear pins ..even though it says hardened gears...

 

ive pulled chunks of 2x4 out of peoples snowblowers..phone books....dog leashes.......tire chains....i cant imagine how no shear pins could handle that

Edited by LooseLugNuts

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After sheering the first set I usually replace them all with grade 5 bolts any way...lol.   I will say after inspecting it this morning a bit closer, and having to tighten up almost all after delivery nuts and bolts a full turn in some cases it looks BEEFY...!   The front gear box differential is massive compared to my old unit which never had an issue even after sucking in the weekly 4X4 frozen newspaper the second year I had it. That also bent the auger and impeller!   Took some straightening but no problem afterwards.  They seem to think they would sooner stall the engine than worry about sheer pins...?    I wonder what happens when the engine gets shut down at full RPMs due to an obstical jammed in the system?  I will say after the hour it took me to cut that frozen newspaper out of the impeller I always watch what I am blowing now a days..lol.  Lesson learned.!!!

The worst one I had was a piece of wire fencing for the wife's flower bed I didn't see....didn't slow the machine down, but wrapped wire around the auger and impeller shafts and tightened it to disturbing tightness while trying to cut it free.! All done before the days of small cut off saws....or the gas wrench.

 

This machine isn't light either, but very nimble so to speak to turn or control it due to the drive differential. I'm almost tempted to take off some pieces just to see what is actually there. Also how it is driven or are they still using the stupid rubber wheel friction plate drive system..?  But today's job, actually installing that kitchen sink we went into Home Depot to buy in the first place......lol.   A job my back and especially my neck will not like....twisted up and crumpled in to get to all the connections.

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1 hour ago, LooseLugNuts said:

id expect the key to shear off the impeller pulley if the gears dont actually break

I asked him and he said 3 years bring it back....so, Hmmm....I haven't started it yet......maybe we should do a test run....?   I just installed the kitchen sink......there's plenty of thick white stuff that it was crated in...? I wonder?    lol......then we can move onto the local newspaper.....then a 2X4......lets see....     I usually never use sheer pins and usually take them out after they break the first time in a snow storm....so this really isn't anything new, other than it's got a stated warrantee....lol

 

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You guys know ....just because I did the big outlay of fundage...it'll never snow worth starting it this season, you do realize this, right....!

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