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WhatTheFlux!
12-15-2013, 03:22 PM
I have to laugh.

People buy the cheapest one they can, then attack the plow-pack at the end of the driveway... then drag it to me and expect me to fix it.


THIS MORNING:

ELEVEN shear-pins.
TWO chains.
TWO belts.
One "total loss" as he forgot to put oil in int
And three auger-rewelds.

The money I made... I can buy decent top-of-the-line tractor and snowblower. That'll learn 'em. :cool:

alanganes
12-15-2013, 03:38 PM
From your description, the expectation that you could "fix it" was not unfounded.

Don't laugh too hard, that's opportunity knocking! Sounds like you answered the door...

WhatTheFlux!
12-15-2013, 03:54 PM
These are people who buy the lowest tier item, expect it to cut through packed ice and snow, then stand there and winge my ear off when as I replace the shear-pin.

Learned last year to stock an assortment of "universal" pins and some chain/belts for the "bigbox brand" equipment. People would rather pay $275 for a pin-job or for a new belt than shovel by hand.

Hilarious part is... I shovel by hand and my driveway is twice the standard length on this block. Something called "exercise" helps me stave off pain and suffering and elude death a bit longer. Keeps me in shape so I can part the fools from their money.

lwalker
12-15-2013, 04:31 PM
I have to laugh.
The money I made... I can buy decent top-of-the-line tractor and snowblower. That'll learn 'em. :cool:

I can only dream: I just got done drooling over some of the Swiss Aebi snowclearing equipment. OTOH, when we bought this house, they sold us their 30 year-old Murray garden tractor with a Haban snowblower for $150. Eight years, a couple of new drive belts and carburetor gaskets later, and both are still doing just fine. Although, when it gets well below zero, a heated cab would be nice... or any cab at all!

sasquatch
12-15-2013, 05:37 PM
You forgot to mention the guys/women that never drain the fuel tank, just park the thing out in the weather, never change the oil, or grease the auger bearings etc.
Then get all upset when it won't start next year with rotten gas in it , and probably some water also.

Willy
12-15-2013, 05:49 PM
You forgot to mention the guys/women that never drain the fuel tank, just park the thing out in the weather, never change the oil, or grease the auger bearings etc.
Then get all upset when it won't start next year with rotten gas in it , and probably some water also.

They don't have time for that nonsense in the spring.
By that time they've got their hands full trying to drain the water out of the boat that's been parked out in the weather all winter.
They won't actually try to start that sucker until it's fallen off of the trailer at the boat launch, five feet shy of the water.:rolleyes:

WhatTheFlux!
12-15-2013, 08:50 PM
They don't have time for that nonsense in the spring.
By that time they've got their hands full trying to drain the water out of the boat that's been parked out in the weather all winter.
They won't actually try to start that sucker until it's fallen off of the trailer at the boat launch, five feet shy of the water.:rolleyes:

That's two streets over. We're technically "not rich/almost poor" in this block. Next street over things get colorful, and the street after that you don't want to walk down alone.

No boats. Lots of yard equipment though.

RussZHC
12-15-2013, 09:03 PM
Not identical work but such keeps me employed and I do whinge about it on occasion...on the plus side there is NO END in sight.
If it isn't working, what is the worst I can do? Make it work less? Sort of liberating in a way...made the lathe "tear down" much less worrisome.

And for the yearly bonus, IF I break it, I fix it (or fix it anyway)...

Doozer
12-15-2013, 11:06 PM
I always had a Toro snowblower.
I had a 5hp and an 8hp.
The 5 horse had the rubber wheel transmission
(like a Snapper) and it worked pretty well.
The 8 horse was heavier, and the real gear
transmission (Fote or Peerless, I dunno) would
slip out or in between gears. I did not like the
8 horse machine. I longed to have the 5 horse
Toro back. Simple was good.
My dad bought a new Honda that was hydrostatic.
Man was that thing awesome. Nothing better.
The key to good snow pickup is that the auger
runs close (like 1/8") to the housing. Especially
the high speed second stage. Think of it as a
snow pump. The close the vanes are to the cavity,
the less internal leakage the pump has. Cheap ass
snow blowers have like 1/2" or way more flight to
housing clearance. That is a big reason why the
suck and not blow.

--Doozer

Stern
12-16-2013, 10:31 AM
Well, got a snow blower yesterday, and yep it was a cheap one ... and electric to boot. Im too old for moving white crap so the wife bought an electric 20" one from crappy tire. Say it will move up to 12" of snow and has a 12 AMP draw. Was a little skeptical, but went out yesterday to give it a shot. Had a bout 5" on the driveway, hooked it up and plugged it in... moment of truth.
Well, considering I only own expensive tools (only buy Rigid, Milwaukee etc) I wasnt expecting much, but boy this thing ROCKS. Moved the snow with no effort, shot it 20' in the air (remember to point the outlet into the wind lol) and made life sooooo much easier. I must say for $150.00 I am really pleased, plus it has the added benefit of not weighing 300lb+ like the old gas one I had that was a bitch to start until the magneto finally crapped out and it went to the junk yard. This one fits in the front of the garage and is only about 80lb and easy to move. I like it!!!

PixMan
12-16-2013, 11:34 AM
We got hit with about 5-6" of snow on Saturday night, so I had my older son (who still lives with us) get the snowblower out and start cleaning up. Mine is a used one I bought two years ago for $500, a 2005-2006 Husqvarna SBE10530. That's a 10-1/2 HP Tecumseh powered machine with 30" cut.

As it turned out, I had to fix it before he could finish. The control lever for forward/reverse speeds fell apart! It's a simple-looking assembly, but the 1/4-20 x 1-3/4" long bolt that acts as the pivot point fell out despite having a binding nut on it. We looked around, but all I could find was the 1-1/2" x 3/4" thick black plastic bushing and the binding nut that apparently doesn't hold on anymore. Also missing was a 1/2" x 1-1/2" long compression spring. None of the parts showed up in the machine's manual, it showed only as a complete assembly.

I went to my local hardware store and got everything it needed, back in business in 30 minutes!

sasquatch
12-16-2013, 11:52 AM
Just my opinion, but to get a real GOOD HD snowblower that will last years, you gotta spend quite high. As many in my area say, why go spend that much , when for just a bit more or the same money you can buy a smaller tractor with a hydraulic blade.
AND------------- End up with a unit that holds it's re-sale value very good. Used blowers aren't worth much on re-sale. Small tractors bring good prices and are ALWAYS in demand.

WhatTheFlux!
12-16-2013, 12:50 PM
I would rather have a decent Lawn-Garden or small-serious-tractor with a hydro-PTO than a snowblower. It's an investment and a tool I can use to help other folks. I have a VERY small lawn, I can mow it in three passes with my tractor now. I can also do the rest of the lawns on my side of the street in under an hour. Nets me a couple grand every summer.

Baz
12-16-2013, 01:06 PM
Over here some shops have wide blade plastic snow shovels. Like they will actually sell any. However if things get really really bad. say a whole 2 inches, they will be in demand but nobody will be able to get to the shop which will be closed anyway because the staff can't get there as the bus stopped running when the first inch fell.

Jaakko Fagerlund
12-16-2013, 01:23 PM
Over here some shops have wide blade plastic snow shovels. Like they will actually sell any. However if things get really really bad. say a whole 2 inches, they will be in demand but nobody will be able to get to the shop which will be closed anyway because the staff can't get there as the bus stopped running when the first inch fell.
OT, but sometimes I'm left wondering how people survive in some countries as it seems to be a natonal crisis when a little snow falls down :) But have to put things in to perspective - in here that 2" would be a good start and people would probably just complain that it isn't enough.

mattthemuppet
12-16-2013, 01:40 PM
I shovelled mine 3 times on Saturday, 10 mins each time, and I was glad that I did because the 2-3in that fell overnight was heart attack snow. Got a good 20min work out before breakfast and saw our grossly overweight neighbour on the other side of the street fighting to clear his with a snow blower. For the amount of snow we get and the size of our driveway, there's just no point getting a snow blower. Much better things to spend money on and I'm sure that as I get older and have more money, I'll just be more ornery and stubborn, so I'll keep shovelling :)

Toolguy
12-16-2013, 01:45 PM
They have some cool V8 snow blowers on you tube!

Black Forest
12-16-2013, 02:02 PM
We got hit with about 5-6" of snow on Saturday night, so I had my older son (who still lives with us) get the snowblower out and start cleaning up. Mine is a used one I bought two years ago for $500, a 2005-2006 Husqvarna SBE10530. That's a 10-1/2 HP Tecumseh powered machine with 30" cut.

As it turned out, I had to fit it before he could finish. The control lever for forward/reverse speeds fell apart! It's a simple-looking assembly, but the 1/4-20 x 1-3/4" long bolt that acts as the pivot point fell out despite having a binding nut on it. We looked around, but all I could find was the 1-1/2" x 3/4" thick black plastic bushing and the binding nut that apparently doesn't hold on anymore. Also missing was a 1/2" x 1-1/2" long compression spring. None of the parts showed up in the machine's manual, it showed only as a complete assembly.

I went to my local hardware store and got everything it needed, back in business in 30 minutes!

Are you sure your son didn't sabotage the snow blower! You should have frisked him.:cool:

Norm W
12-16-2013, 06:03 PM
I don't think I have ever paid more than $50 for a snow blower. I bought an Ariens about 20 years ago, used, replaced the belts, changed all the oil, removed the mouse nest and ran it. When my son bought a house I gave it to him. That was five years ago. He's still running it. Over the years I've collected parts for snow blowers, so when I gave my son the one I was using, I just put the parts together for one for me. I also have a mower to go on it. When I change the front attachment, I change to the appropriate oil also. If I can use what others throw out, why not.

PixMan
12-16-2013, 06:51 PM
BF - My son wouldn't sabotage it, he knows I'd catch him in it.

Norm W - Good for you that you can find them that cheap and still be serviceable.

I had bought a $50 Ariens that looked OK, and it ran. After a few months of leaking oil and it's inability to start when it got cold (after I'd given it new plug, filters, carb service and oil change), I gave up and gave it to a coworker who wanted to save it. I found the Husqvarna on Craiglist for $550, in near-perfect condition when similar ones were going for $750 and up, and talked the seller into taking $500. It's needed a few things because these aren't a maintenance free product. A 10-1/2HP motor generates a fair amount of vibration, and we did have an unusually high amount of snow last year. The machine got a hard workout and this small repair hasn't soured me.

I shoveled the whole place for the first 25 years I lived here. I'm not in terrible shape, could stand to lose 20-25 pounds, but I'm just damned tired of shoveling so I bought a fairly good one.

sasquatch
12-16-2013, 06:53 PM
Norm what brand of blower had a mower attachment?

Doozer
12-16-2013, 07:51 PM
Dude, ya just gotta know the tricks of making $50 junk work.
Almost all snow blowers have Tecumseh engines.
The one little thing that goes wrong with the carbs is,
the little idle passage in the bottom high speed needle
assembly. Unscrew it from the bottom of the float bowl.
Use a small wire like from a bread twist tie to clean the
gunk out, or a torch tip cleaner wire. This little passage
will clog every year on Tecky engines. I actually re-drill
the passage for the idle feed so it no longer is fed through
the high speed needle assy. It is basic cause and effect
engineering. Tecumseh should have built them this way.
I think Honda figured out how to make a carb a long time
ago. I see many guys with Honda powered this and that,
and they all say, the equipment can sit unused for years
and it will start on the first or second pull. Ya just gotta
see the details of stuff that doesn't work and redesign it
to work. I have an 8hp Briggs (not a Briggs fan). I put a
Mikuni motorcycle (slide throttle) carb on it. It will start
first or second pull, every time. Way I see them, it is only
a small engine. It doesn't have 8 cylinders to complicate
things. How hard can it be? Either buy the best and pay
more money and (hopefully) get something well engineered
or buy something for less money and understand it will not
work as well. And maybe YOU will have to re-engineer it
to make it work right. Just because it came from a factory
does not mean it is not worthless crap. And people still shop
at Harbor Freight (fine, really) but they expect the world from
the crap they buy there (boggles the mind!). My cheap ass
neighbor wanted me to fix his $50 Homelite leaf blower (noise
maker). The rubber fuel line had returned back to it's base
elements. The entropy was expedited by him buying the cheap
ass ethenol fuel. (If any of you want to tell me that ethenol
fuel is NOT bad for engines, you are flipping nuts and in bazzarro
world). Anyhow, this "Value engineered" Homelite has a non-
adjustable carb, and was designed with NO air filter. Just a plastic
mesh to keep walnuts out of the carb. I think it also had half a
crankshaft (cantilevered). Total crap. Too bad because Homelite
used to be an industrial product. I gave it back to my neighbor
with my free diagnosis that his fuel line was rotted (into 5 separate
pieces). I don't work on crap. Best thing is, he was using it to
blow concrete dust on his job site. With no air cleaner,,,, wow
that has to be awesome for it. I used to maintain for my father's
construction business four Stihl TS350 concrete saws. They had
triple element air filters. I cleaned those filters EVERY DAY after
their use. I washed them out with soap and water, dried with
compressed air, and re-oiled the outer one. Replaced them when
they looked ratty. Maintenance is just something you need to do.
It is part of taking care of your tools. By the way, the Stihl TS350
saws were very well made. You only needed a T30 Torx to take
every bolt apart on that saw and strip it to the crankshaft. Always
buy the best you can afford. If you are on a job and your tool breaks
you are SOL fella. Time and money wasted fixing it or running and
buying a new one. And know what you are looking at. Just because
it is expensive, does not mean it is well made. (certain cars for example).
There are some good snow blower fix it videos on youtube, where people
have found weak points in their machines, and they have fixes for them.
If you are having a blower problem, try searching for your machine on
youtube for tips. Even my favorite show shovel needs a tune up once in
a while. My dad bought it about when I was born. Had it in the Buffalo
blizzard of 1977. I was still using it a few years ago. The front edge would
wear out from scraping on the ground (aluminum shovel). It has been
repaired many times using a steel strip of pallet banding material (high
carbon content) and re-attaching it with aluminum rivets. It has been
re-edged 3 times over the years. I think I fixed the wood handle once
or more. I put some linseed oil on the handle in the off season to
preserve it. I finally retired it when I got an aluminum grain scooper's
shovel from a job working at the grain elevators in Buffalo. Nice and
light, long handle, and strong. Yea, ya gotta have good equipment and
be willing to take care of it. Just don't buy crap, use it hard, put it
away wet, and then complain about it. It tells the world something
about the kind of man you are (or are not).
Stay warm.
--Doozer

Weston Bye
12-16-2013, 08:11 PM
Dozer,
Thanks for the Tecumseh hints. I've had one for 10 years and still haven't had it plug up, but forewarned is forearmed. You will save me some future frustration.

By the way, I have had good luck with the aforesaid blower, possibly attributable to a squirt of Stabil gas preservative on the last run of the season on a nearly empty tank.

I too have a grain shovel, this one steel to which I installed a long handle. As a concession to my cardiologist, it is the biggest shovel I use for cleaning up in the places where the blower misses. If I have to deal with heavy, wet snow, I drop down to an ordinary square-nosed shovel.

I also wipe The handles down with linseed oil, but use a beeswax/linseed oil mixture on the metal.