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brian Rupnow
11-10-2009, 09:27 AM
I just had someone in to quote on snowplowing my driveway this coming winter, and his quote was $1200 for the winter. In previous years I have paid as much as $700 for the season, but this is just too damn much. I am considering buying a snowblower. We get about 24" to 30" of snow (average depth on the ground) here every winter. My driveway is two cars wide and 100 foot long. I'm 63 years old with some arthritis in my "good" right shoulder. I am thinking of buying a walk behind snowblower, probably 36" wide. I have plenty of room either side of my driveway to throw the snow. I think I will get electric start, in deference to my shoulder. I see that some have wheels, while others have treads----Any idea as to which is better? It will probably be a two stage as opposed to single stage. Anybody have recommendations?---Brian
http://i307.photobucket.com/albums/nn294/BrianRupnow/snow-2007-03-dec001.jpg

madman
11-10-2009, 09:51 AM
My Friend Up in Kirkland Lake swears by his tracked snowblower. He says it just gets right underneath the snow and chugs along. Myself i have a regular 28 inch blower ,but dont use chains on the tires. It also has a 15 horsepower motor on it.(custom installed by me) and works very well. I feel without the chains when the loading gets too great instead of shear pins or parts breaking in the snowblower it just stops and tires spin. Likewise with fuel, Use gas treatment like cleanflow fuel stabilizer in it (stay away from motomaster fuel stabilizer)and also i would install a fuel filter in the line and thats about it. Electric start and a close enough recepticle will provide you with a easy starting machine. Mine sits outside uncovered all winter and has been quite reliable. The only complaint i had was my one neighbour telling me to quit blowing snow over his 10 foot fence and filling up his backyard and deck, this is nearly 30 feer from my driveway, it sure throws the snow since the big motor upgrade. Go big as, you can 13 horsepower or so (more is always better) and it works earier and I think lasts longerr than a small engined Blower.

bob_s
11-10-2009, 10:04 AM
Anybody have recommendations?---Brian


Move to Florida or Phoenix and use the funds designated for snowblower to purchase more tools.

digger_doug
11-10-2009, 10:09 AM
Look at the main auger, ensure it is one made from a thin strip
around the outer edge. The toro units are a full auger and tend
to plug. The thin strip units allow the "excess" to swish around
inside the auger without plugging (not very technical I know)

Airens (sp) seem to be proportioned (h.p. to auger width to impeller dia.)
well, I've seen them running good when others plug (wet, heavy snow).

vincemulhollon
11-10-2009, 10:18 AM
I see that some have wheels, while others have treads----Any idea as to which is better?

I notice from the picture your driveway is approximately flat.

In my youth I lived at an apartment with underground parking... 20 feet of 45 degree ramp. The onsite manager desperately needed the tracks. Anywhere else, the tracks are a waste of $1K and make it harder to steer.

When I first moved to a house, money was very tight, bought the smallest cheapest snowblower toro sold. Huge mistake. Took around one hour to snowblow the driveway, and had to shovel out the driveway entrance by hand (oh my aching back). About a decade, and several visits to the Dr for back problems later, I bought the biggest wheeled blower money can buy, "semi-pro" and I now snowblow the driveway in about 5 minutes including the plowed in entrance, no pain, no sweat, no problem.

Figure every $1 you spend on the blower will save you about a pint of sweat, a beers worth of pain, and at least three swear words over the life of the blower, its well worth it to buy the largest blower you can handle.

"saving money" by skipping maintenance is an excellent way to lose incredible sums of money on repairs.

Buy as many shear pins as you think you need, then buy twice as many more. Do not build your own shear pins on your lathe, unless you plan to later build a new transmission...

You will need a good set of earplugs, no problem for a metalworking dude, but you need to be able to remove and reinsert with insulated gloves on. I have no good solution for that, yet.

Wire up the electrical starter outlet before it starts snowing, like right now. And put a GFCI on it, nothing more exciting than mixing melting snow, road salt, and electricity. An outlet by the garage door comes in handy for other uses anyway.

Appropriately mounted switched outdoor floodlights can literally save your life when you plow at night. Illuminate not just your path, but yourself. "Too much" on a clear night, is probably "not enough" during a blizzard.

Waterlogged
11-10-2009, 10:33 AM
Get a Honda. Let me repeat, get a Honda. Do not waste your time on lesser models. You can pick the size.

tslbogger
11-10-2009, 10:34 AM
Use synthetic oil like Castrol Syntec 0W30. My snowblower sleep outside and start at the second crank.:cool: I never use the electric start.

Have fun:D

SGW
11-10-2009, 11:27 AM
Toro or Ariens. Either are fine. I'd buy based primarily on which one has the best dealership nearby.

I had a Toro for 28 years and it was still going when I sold it with my house. Unlike a previous poster, I had no particular clogging problems with the Toro design of auger.

I have heard that Toros are easier to work on than Ariens, but I have no personal experience with Ariens. The one time I did wade into the Toro, disassembly was very straightforward.

I believe Ariens has a plug-in electric start, so there is no need for a battery, which seems like a great idea. Toro may have that too, I'm not sure.

Get one bigger than you think you need -- it won't be.

Oh--yes, synthetic oil helps.

Mcgyver
11-10-2009, 11:31 AM
Get a Honda. Let me repeat, get a Honda. Do not waste your time on lesser models. You can pick the size.

i'd agree with that, maybe the only piece of modern iron (machines, appliances cars etc) that hasn't disappointed. after 20 years still going strong (hopefully they are still made as well!)

brian Rupnow
11-10-2009, 11:41 AM
Move to Florida or Phoenix and use the funds designated for snowblower to purchase more tools.

I realy like your solution!!! Unfortunately, a move to the sunny south is not in the cards for me. I have been out to Sears and Costco this morning getting educated on snowblowers. As someone pointed out, my driveway is perfectly flat, so tank treads are not needed. All of the 27" wide blowers are 2 stage with electric start. There is a version with a "Made in China" air cooled engine, which is about $200 cheaper, but the ones with an American made Briggs and Stratton is the one I will buy. Sears and Costco are both selling Poulan snowblowers but I have had bad experiences with Poulan in both weed eaters and chainsaws. I am about to call Honda and see what they have. Sears is selling the Craftsman 27" with13.5 ft. pounds torque for $1299 and Costco is sellimg the 27" x 11.5 ft. pounds torque Poulan for $997.00.

digger_doug
11-10-2009, 11:55 AM
Sears is selling the Craftsman 27" with13.5 ft. pounds torque for $1299 and Costco is sellimg the 27" x 11.5 ft. pounds torque Poulan for $997.00.


I fear your going down that "price war" path.

Why not the local dealer ? Why not the recomended toro or airens ?

Waterlogged
11-10-2009, 11:56 AM
Look for a used Honda in good shape. They aren't cheap new, and for a reason. A used Honda in good shape will still outlast the Toro or anything from Poulan. Been there, done that. You'll pay more now for the Honda but fewer headaches and repairs in the long run.

brian Rupnow
11-10-2009, 11:57 AM
I just called Honda---They have a 28" model with no electric start and no ability to disengage one of the wheels for sharp turns, and it starts at $3000---Guess I know which snowblower I WON'T be buying!!!

brian Rupnow
11-10-2009, 12:05 PM
Just called Toro dealer---Their Powermax 8280E is a 28" x 11.5 ft. pounds torque machine with electric start, and freewheel steering (which is what I want) and the price before taxes is $1800.00.---And yes---Of course I'm going down the "price war path". Jeez man---I've worked 3 months out of this last year!!! If money wasn't an object I'd just have a friggin contractor clear my driveway. I have no burning desire to drag my arthritic old arse outside at 25 below zero to play with a damn snowblower!!!

Duffy
11-10-2009, 12:14 PM
Brian:- Unfortunately, Mcgyver is correct-Hondas are hard to beat. Unfortunately, unless you are lucky enough to get one in a summer garage sale, ($450.00 for a 624 in perfect shape!) they are expensive. The honda add yesterday in the local paper showed about 42900.00 for a 724 track model and THEN add 13% for tax. OTOH, Costco has a Poulan for about $900.00 that will do everything you need. I know, it is not North American iron, or Honda, but it is $300.00 less than your snow removal quote, they are in stock, and the warranty is hard to beat. Oh, and I am speaking from experience-25 years in the Ottawa area! Duffy

digger_doug
11-10-2009, 12:19 PM
I have no burning desire to drag my arthritic old arse outside at 25 below zero to play with a damn snowblower!!!

Well excuse me for trying to help...

What most here are trying to tell you is you get what you pay for.

ft.lbs of torque ? who care's ? does it blow snow ?
How is it built ? will it last ?

Playing with a snowblower you'll do, if you've got to work on it
all the time. The most expensive is not needed here, but there
must be a compromise. There's some real junk out there pedalled
as the greatest, at those big box stores.

Maybe a snowblower is not for you, do you have a lawn tractor
you could outfit a blade to ?

George Bulliss
11-10-2009, 12:20 PM
You might want to check out a John Deere. I have a 1995 8hp model and have been very happy with it. We have a 300 foot driveway, almost all hill, and live in an area of heavy lake-effect snow. The John Deere is much better built than the 8hp Jacobson it replaced and throws the snow about twice as far with the same horsepower.

Beware of basing your decision solely on the type of motor the blower has. They all have decent motors these days, but the wheel and auger drive is where they cut the corners. My JD has sealed bearings everywhere and is built to be rebuilt. The Jacobson (are they still around?) wore out quickly and as I tore into it to rebuild it became apparent that it wouldn’t be worth the effort and expense. It was basically a throw away design.

The JD was a lot more money than the box store brands but I have never regretted the decision. I used my 19 year old blower to clear out the neighbors last year after his HD deal died halfway through its first winter. Laying on cold concrete and wrenching on an ice-encrusted snow blower isn’t as fun as it sounds!

George

brian Rupnow
11-10-2009, 12:21 PM
Duffy---As I said before, I haven't had great luck with Poulan stuff---and I have had good luck with sears Craftsman. I will buy the one with a Briggs and Stratton probably.--Doing my little bit to keep some money here in North America.

gvasale
11-10-2009, 12:27 PM
I have an Ariens (really more than one) new in 1960. Still operable. Need new tires, but I put tubes inside. 24" cut, works well enough. Built very well, with a cast iron gearbox in the bucket. If you care to, get an old one. I got a newer one this spring, while I still had a job. Discarded on the streets of Worcester, Ma. It had a FREE sign on it. A little work cleaning the carburetor, and its practically good as new. But unlike the old one it has hand controls for forward motion and auger. I'll see how I like it this winter.

The old machine is the kind that would take various attachments: lawn vac, reel and rotary mowers, chipper shredder. I am missing only the rotary mower.

brian Rupnow
11-10-2009, 12:28 PM
Digger Doug---Sorry if I ruffled your feathers. I didn't intend my post to be any kind of personal attack, and I do appreciate your input. George---Thanks for chiming in. I would LOVE to have a snowblower that attaches to my old Craftsman riding tractor/lawn-mower but---15 years ago when I lived up in Peterborough and bought the tractor new, I bought a set of chains, wheel weights, and a plow for the front of it. The plow turned out to be useless as tits on a chicken--(Tractor just wasn't heavy enough to push much)---the killer in that was that it took almost a whole day to change over from plow to mower deck each spring, and another day to change it back each fall.

brian Rupnow
11-10-2009, 12:31 PM
And as a point of interest---Neither Sears nor Costco are divulging the horsepower of the engines anymore on new stuff. It is all being rated by foot pounds of torque!!! Stupidest thing I have ever heard of----

GrahamC
11-10-2009, 12:40 PM
Brian,

I have lived in Kapuskasing and Timmins and currently live near Ottawa. Some winters it seems I do nothing but eat, sleep, work and shovel snow.

I have an old Sears 10x30 snowblower model that has served well for going on over 15 years. I paid somewhere around $1600 for it new and was well worth what I paid for it. It has electric start which I only sometimes use. The 10 hp Tecumseh will start on the coldest winter days with one and sometimes two or three pulls - I just have the knack I guess; but with an arthitic shoulder the electric start is the one to get.

Snowblowers generally comes in three sizes. The smallest and cheapest I won't even mention. The next two size are generally differentiated by frame and tire size - the larger models have the larger wheels and are also the the larger frame size snowblower. I would never buy anything but a large frame snowblower - it will outlast the smaller frame snowblower hands down.

The only maintenace my blower has ever needed is regular oil changes, an occasional plug change and I have replaced the drive belts for both the auger (twice so far) and wheel motivation (once so far). Otherwise I have never ever broken a shear pin and I have moved a mountain of snow over the years. If you are breaking shear pins then I think you best take a long hard look over how you are treating the machine or you are using a machine too small for the task at hand.

The designation I used at the begining (10x30) is a fairly common way of describing snowblowers 10 hp 30" width. Personally I wouldn't get anything smaller if I had a driveway the size of yours. You don't need the tracks, the smaller frame snowblowers wheels are proportianally smaller and will slip much more than the larger wheels on the larger frame blowers.

In the end, you get what you pay for (Honda is a premium brand and you pay for it as you have found). Buy the biggest you can - get a large frame machine with at least 10hp and you should be happy with for many years.

I was just thinking of digging out the blower just this morning on my morning drive to work. Needs a cleaning, a new plug, a lube, and an oil change before the snow arrives to stay.

cheers, Graham in Ottawa Canada.

tdkkart
11-10-2009, 12:43 PM
I rarely see anybody quoting HP numbers anymore. It's because none of them could be honest in the past, and they all got in trouble for it.
The fact is, HP is a calculated number, you cannot measure it. Torque is directly measureable with a verifiable standard behind it.

pgmrdan
11-10-2009, 12:52 PM
Thirteen years ago we moved to a corner lot with sidewalks and a 2 lane driveway. I checked Consumer Reports for snow blower ratings. Their top rated snow blower was an MTD. I bought one at Wal-Mart.

I used it for 300' to 400' of sidewalks (our corner lot and our neighbors'), our driveway, and sometimes other people's driveways. I did this for 10 years and have never had a problem with it.

We moved to the country and now I use a 1969 Ford 3000 tractor with a blade (7'?) on a 250' driveway.

The snow blower is still in great shape. It has electric start and an 8hp Tecumseh Snow King motor. It's a 2-stage with 26" feed.

I'd check Consumer Reports and see what they're recommending this year.

CountZero
11-10-2009, 01:00 PM
I rarely see anybody quoting HP numbers anymore. It's because none of them could be honest in the past, and they all got in trouble for it.
The fact is, HP is a calculated number, you cannot measure it. Torque is directly measureable with a verifiable standard behind it.

Well, if you can measure torque you can certainly measure the power too, or at least calculate after measuring the RPM. The problem is perhaps that if you actually measure you find that you are not using all the potential power, i.e running the motor at something less than the maximum power point.

Mike Burdick
11-10-2009, 01:11 PM
... I'm 63 years old with some arthritis in my "good" right shoulder...
Brian,

I'm not trying to be disrespectful (I'm an old guy too:() but when I was young, I'd look for the "old" guys to buy stuff like that from because it was in perfect condition as it wasn't used much!:D How about renting a snow blower through-out one season and see how your body takes it? That way, you'll have time to find the 64 year old guy that will be selling his top of the line model cheap!:D

S_J_H
11-10-2009, 02:02 PM
I'm near Chicago. Avg snowfall is around 38". I used to have a toro. It worked well for many years .
I bought a Yard Machines/MTD 2 stage blower 4 years ago. These don't have as good a name as Ariens or Toro and certainly don't compare with a Honda.

But snowfall here is not excessive. The model I have is a 8hp 6spd& reverse and electric start. It uses a tecumseh engine.
It starts up instantly and works great. That's about all I can ask for when I use it.

Steve

Mcgyver
11-10-2009, 02:11 PM
Unfortunately, Mcgyver is correct

hey Duffy, a rarity perhaps, but don't make it sound like a bad thing :D

Doozer
11-10-2009, 02:55 PM
Buy a Honda if you don't want to mess around. Get the tracks too.
Don't be talked out of getting tracks, even if your driveway is flat.
Sears and Costco is consumer junk, China engines etc.
Sears goes out of their way to have strange designs. Remember all the weird Tecumseh carburetors for all those years?
Honda does not build cheap junk and they are not meant to compete with low priced consumer junk.
Some people like to save a dime now and spend a dollar later. What price is your aggravation worth when the thing breaks with 2 foot of snow in the driveway?
I have used a Toro 5hp and a Toro 8hp. Then I used a Honda with tracks.
My back quit hurting from man-handling the thing to get traction and turn it around. The tracks make for a stable base, and is surprisingly easy to make a 180 deg turn. It throws snow 20 feet at 3/4 throttle. Starts the first pull. The chute is easy to aim, and no snow blows in my face and down my back. With a Honda, clearing the driveway is MUCH LESS of a chore.
--Doozer in Buffalo, where I know you know it snows.

Circlip
11-10-2009, 03:09 PM
Surprised that no one has suggested a conversion for a small Gas Turbine engine to vaporise it. Plenty of big wheel turbo's to make your own? Mounted on the front of your lawn tractor, you wouldn't have any "Mush" problems..

Regards Ian.

JS
11-10-2009, 05:11 PM
I used to own a small craftsman 3hp it was a wonder that it even moved snow

If you have money to spare buy one of these.

http://www.bcs-america.com/

tractor and attachments sold separately

Or go shopping at the junk yard ...this is the Home Shop Machinist Forum

That is what I did.

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a131/lostinNebraska/photo2.jpg

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a131/lostinNebraska/photo1.jpg

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a131/lostinNebraska/photo4.jpg

motor off of broken riding mower , wheels from surplus center in Lincoln NE , free battery, misc hardware from ace hardware and farm supply store. made wheel adapters, motor mounts etc. charging system off of rider push button start.

I still need to clean it up a bit , but it runs fine.

total around $160 it paid for itself in one day.

andy_b
11-10-2009, 05:57 PM
I know Brian has said he doesn't want the Honda, or need the tracks, but I just want to chime in with one thing. My parents have an OLD Craftsman snow thrower (with the plug-in electric start). It has wheels is a real pain to turn around and steer. My neighbor has a Honda with tracks (I don't really know how relevant the Honda part is) and it is like driving a Cadillac. You can steer it with one hand and it is easy to maneuver. I'm kind of thinking you should get one with tracks.

I understand cash is tight, and you can certainly get the Chinese wheeled thrower at Sears or Costco or where ever, but you might find yourself very tired and discouraged after a big snowfall. Why not check the for sale ads and see what you find before buying something new? Either that or buy a 6' section of 18" plastic drainpipe, cut it in half lengthwise, and rig up a frame from 2x4s and bolt it to the front of your car to use as a plow? :)

andy b.

brian Rupnow
11-10-2009, 06:38 PM
I know Brian has said he doesn't want the Honda, or need the tracks, but I just want to chime in with one thing. My parents have an OLD Craftsman snow thrower (with the plug-in electric start). It has wheels is a real pain to turn around and steer. My neighbor has a Honda with tracks (I don't really know how relevant the Honda part is) and it is like driving a Cadillac. You can steer it with one hand and it is easy to maneuver. I'm kind of thinking you should get one with tracks.

I understand cash is tight, and you can certainly get the Chinese wheeled thrower at Sears or Costco or where ever, but you might find yourself very tired and discouraged after a big snowfall. Why not check the for sale ads and see what you find before buying something new? Either that or buy a 6' section of 18" plastic drainpipe, cut it in half lengthwise, and rig up a frame from 2x4s and bolt it to the front of your car to use as a plow? :)

andy b.

Andy---The old Craftsman snowblowers didn't have "disengageable" drive wheels. the new ones do. There is a lever for each front wheel up on the bar you steer with. By holding down the lever it disengages the drive to the wheel on that side, and the snowblower will turn itself in a 180 degree circle with no effort.

hardtail
11-10-2009, 07:30 PM
Well I bought a MTD lawn product this summer used it twice and something went through the engine.........still haven't got a call about picking it up from their local warranty dealer........I'm thinking that year now might see 3 hrs use.......needless to say not impressed.

Too bad you weren't closer, a buddy has a 7' loader model with an electric start Wisconsin (insert jokes here) driving the blower that was used for a few hours as a demo for 1K. The motors worth more than that, you could sit in cab comfort heat with a refreshing beverage..........loader not included.

motorworks
11-10-2009, 08:15 PM
Hi
First I did not read all the replies yet but here goes...
I had a service centre for Small engines form 89 to 96
Worked on all kinds of blowers
There were at the time two major mfg
MTD and Noma/murray/Canadiana
ALL BLOWERS WERE MADE BY ONE OF THE ABOVE
and lables were put on them
ie Sears,Canadian Tire,Poulan, etc
And to put it bluntly they were junk. Built by price only.


There were/are exceptions:
1) Toro made their own and they are great.
2) Honda.The best period.
During the time I serviced blowers, Honda was the best
Nothing came close.
I have a 20 year old 6/24 honda
I can blow rings around my neightor's 10-32 MTD
Belts and one plug so far.
Tractors are better and they now are steerable.
Pay now or pay later.
e2die

andy_b
11-10-2009, 08:31 PM
Andy---The old Craftsman snowblowers didn't have "disengageable" drive wheels. the new ones do. There is a lever for each front wheel up on the bar you steer with. By holding down the lever it disengages the drive to the wheel on that side, and the snowblower will turn itself in a 180 degree circle with no effort.


That would explain it. You definitely don't want one with the disengageable wheels. I'd say in that case one of the wheeled ones should work. Now for you to decide which one. :) The bad thing about looking for a used one is that now is a bad time to be buying, but a good time to be selling. But, there do appear to be a few near you...

http://barrie.en.craigslist.ca/for/1449569992.html
http://barrie.en.craigslist.ca/grd/1426905452.html
http://barrie.en.craigslist.ca/for/1436469128.html



andy b.

spkrman15
11-10-2009, 10:13 PM
Brian,
My opinon based on owning an MTD 10/32 and working 20 years in the Ski industry...yeah i used to make snow for a living.

Get chains
Get electric start
Don't get too big of an opening. (32 is fine) it might take longer but it is easier
Buy a cover if it is going to sit outside.
make sure it has 2 reverse speeds. You will only be using the first 2 forward gears.

Don't wait until the snow stops. If they are calling for 6-10 inches, clean your driveway twice. Blow the snow wider then you think you need to and by the end of the season you won't be pushing your blower into the dreaded snow bank thus busting shear pins and killing your shoulders.

Also try not to drive on the snow before you blow it out.

If you can, make your passes as long as possible and start from the middle of the driveway and work your way out.

DO NOT BLOW SNOW TOWARDS A WINDOW. The colder it is the more you should observe this rule. Murphy's law.

Let the blower idle down after use, clean it off thoroughly and keep the tank 1/2 to full. Main problem is the gear selector freezes from melted snow running down the sheet metal.

Don't get tracks. Yes they have the most traction. They are also heavier and almost impossible to move if the motor won't start or a belt breaks. Every buy a track? $$$$

I would not get a double auger. Just another thing to break. There have been single auger snowblowers for years.

These are my opinions. Snowblowing is the best way to clean your driveway. It also is not that hard. Good luck.

Rob :)

doctor demo
11-10-2009, 11:02 PM
And as a point of interest---Neither Sears nor Costco are divulging the horsepower of the engines anymore on new stuff. It is all being rated by foot pounds of torque!!! Stupidest thing I have ever heard of----
Torque is measured....horsepower is calculated ,sooooo pull out the old slide rule and give it a work out:D .

Steve

vincemulhollon
11-11-2009, 10:10 AM
but the ones with an American made Briggs and Stratton is the one I will buy.

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0FZX/is_1_71/ai_n9486183/

"Briggs & Stratton has opened a new gasoline engine manufacturing facility in Chongqing, China. Due to be fully operational this month, the 215,000 sq.ft, facility has a first phase capacity of 650,000 engines annually....."

"... Commercial engines to be produced at the new Chongqing operations include the model BLT I/C 6.5 hp (industrial/commercial) engine ..."

bob_s
11-11-2009, 10:43 AM
Brian:

I'm sure that Red Green did an episode about this very topic. Old Ford van and a lot of duct tape - a lot less than $1000, excluding the reduction in property value and increased divorce potential.

rowbare
11-11-2009, 10:47 AM
And as a point of interest---Neither Sears nor Costco are divulging the horsepower of the engines anymore on new stuff. It is all being rated by foot pounds of torque!!! Stupidest thing I have ever heard of----
From what I have seen that is pretty much universal now. The change seems to have happened in the last year or so. When I bought my little Toro 5-24 two years ago everyone was listing hp ratings but last year I noticed most were only listing displacement.

brian Rupnow
11-11-2009, 03:27 PM
Well, I went out today and continued my snowblower education. Based on what I'm hearing, both here and from others in my area is that Toro is the way to go. Honda is excellent, but just too much money for me. I checked at two Toro dealers today, and the one closest to me has a new, 28" electric start, 2-stage 8.5 HP (11.5 Torque rating) Briggs and Stratton engine with "power steering" and what looks like 14" o.d. tires on it for $2000 tax included. (in Ontario we pay 15% tax on anything new that gets purchased.) I have someone else coming to quote my driveway clearing for the season tonight, and if he is over $500 then I'm going to buy the Toro.

mototed
11-11-2009, 04:39 PM
What's this about you can't have enough HP.:D http://www.gizmag.com/go/4889/

Chester
11-11-2009, 05:45 PM
Looks like you are on the right track. Get 8HP minimum and look to see it has only one output shaft on the engine. Most of those Tecumseh Snow Kings use an extended cam shaft (PTO- half speed rotating in opposite dir.) to drive the wheels. Makes it difficult to use a Princess Auto, Honda clone on it, down the road if you want to replace/upgrade it. Agree with the previous track replacement $$$$ comment..........might as well buy another blower.

motorworks
11-11-2009, 05:56 PM
''Honda is excellent, but just too much money for me"

Watch the paper, buy n sell etc.
There are bargins out there and being on this forum tells me you are handy. Honda motors are bullet proof. The rest is just shafts,bearings,seals,keys,etc. Most, off the shelf or you can make or repair.


Toro are great, but the week link with be the motor:

Both Tecumseh and Briggs motors are still 1920's technology
When I was repairing them I found about 1:10 were junk
(engines that is)

all the best
e2die

PS: Excellent point. I have been using one of those 6 hp Princess Auto $99.00 engine for some time now and it is great.
"Most of those Tecumseh Snow Kings use an extended cam shaft (PTO- half speed rotating in opposite dir.) to drive the wheels. Makes it difficult to use a Princess Auto, Honda clone on it, down the road if you want to replace/upgrade it"