Ariens AX Engine - Snowblower Forum : Snow Blower Forums
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post #1 of 24 Old 08-29-2016, 04:10 PM Thread Starter
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Ariens AX Engine

I'm looking for a new snow blower. It appears you cannot get name brand engines anymore.

Who makes the Ariens AX Engine? Is it actually made by Ariens?

I assume it's China made?

Is it a good starting engine?

I've got to the point I buy everything with a Honda engine when it comes to power equipment but snow blowers it appears no one offers a Honda unless you buy a Honda snow blower and they are more than I'd like to spend.

Last edited by sbebenelli; 08-29-2016 at 05:32 PM.
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post #2 of 24 Old 08-29-2016, 05:15 PM
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Ariens AX are made by LCT which is just an American importer for Chinese engines. LCT likewise is in an agreement with Certified Parts Corporation who offers product/parts support. Through them you'll also see the old Lauson/Tecumseh name so parts support can be through either Ariens directly or from an existing Tecumseh dealer.

The engines themselves still have some teething issues and most of my complaint is with the pot metal components bolted around the block but the cast components themselves seem to be fine and the carburetors are all essentially coming from the same manufacturer regardless of who made the Chinese engine (despite looking similar there are 3-4 major competing manufacturers that all feed specific brands).

Briggs is the only other alternative and all of their single cylinder horizontal shafts are made in China in a joint venture as well. They use to be a bit more Briggs and less China than the alternatives but they're starting to strongly resemble the rest. Fuel tanks for example went from a Signature Briggs plastic style and are now a cheaper crimped metal like the others.

All told my personal opinion is that Toro's Loncin supplier is making the best quality (as a whole) at the moment followed closely by Briggs (under 300cc). MTD (Zongshen) and LCT would be tied for third.

All engines can be warrantied through their respective equipment manufacturers. Toro dealers can warranty Toro Engines, Ariens AX/LCT, MTD, Husqvarna etc...

Last edited by SnoThro; 08-29-2016 at 05:20 PM.
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post #3 of 24 Old 08-29-2016, 08:09 PM
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What SnoThro said, plus Loncin and Zongshen are huge long time manufacturers of scooters and small motorcycles in China. At one time Loncin partnered with BMW (motorcycles) and Zongshen partnered with Piaggio (scooters). There is always technology exchange when these companies get together. Benefits the whole company so I agree these are the best Chinese engines. I'm hoping the LCT engine will be as good.
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post #4 of 24 Old 08-29-2016, 10:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sbebenelli View Post
I'm looking for a new snow blower. It appears you cannot get name brand engines anymore.

Who makes the Ariens AX Engine? Is it actually made by Ariens?

I assume it's China made?

Is it a good starting engine?

I've got to the point I buy everything with a Honda engine when it comes to power equipment but snow blowers it appears no one offers a Honda unless you buy a Honda snow blower and they are more than I'd like to spend.
Sbebenelli

I have been using the LCT China manufactured engines for about
3 years now with no big issues so far. They start quickly usually on the first pull and employ some good features like idle speed control and a fuel shut off which really comes in handy to drain the carb when storing during the off season. The last machine I bought has the Gen 3 LCT engine. I really like the low profile design it is very easy to see over if you are under say 5'10" tall and with a large muffler runs relatively quiet. It also features a rear oil drain tube instead of a side mounted drain tube which simplifies routine maintenance along with a 3 year warranty which even the China built Honda engines don't exceed. Granted I would imagine the Honda engine is likely more durable over the long term as you would expect for the premium price. Always remember that proper maintenance goes a long way. I had a Costco bought MTD 640F I bought in '95 with a Tecumseh HMSK80 Snow King engine that served me well for nearly 20 years and still ran pretty good when I sold it.

The one peeve I have with this new Gen 3 LCT motor is the fuel tank cap is the worst I have ever used. It is difficult to put back on it is designed more like a cheap quality radiator cap that requires removing the fuel tank strainer to avoid frustration while reinstalling it. Even though it is still not always easy to get back on even after removing the strainer. It is just a poor design that I am unsure whether or not it was reengineered by LCT for this year.

I attached a good article from Paul of movingsnow.com that addresses your concerns:

Who Makes Briggs & Stratton, MTD, Craftsman, Ariens, and Husqvarna Snow Blower Engines - MovingSnow.com

Ariens Platinum 24 SHO w/369cc carbureted LCT motor


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Last edited by Cardo111; 08-29-2016 at 11:09 PM.
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post #5 of 24 Old 08-30-2016, 12:26 AM
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I was worried that "article" would get linked because then I get to say what a bunch of BS spew that is from LCT about their high quality and essentially 0% warranty. Suffice it to say that the out of box quality problems on their engines are extreme and that statement is entirely false unless we're the only dealer on the planet that's putting stuff through warranty claims. We sell roughly 60-80 Ariens units a year and last year I replaced 1 electric starter, 6 rewinds, 13 fuel shut-offs and did something like 2 dozen claims for metallic powder leaching from the fuel tanks into the carburetors all on machines less than 2 years old and a number of the fuel shut-offs as well as the rewinds and starter were all NEW machines.

It got to the point where I went to complain to the sales rep about the shoddy quality, much of which is frankly embarrassing and makes you look bad, and he literally told me he'd heard it enough, didn't want to listen to me one bit and to go yell at Ariens directly.

The fuel cap and tanks the size of 2 quarts was also a brainless design change as well as wonderful service features like having to completely remove a muffler so you can take off a convoluted piece of tin shielding just to service a carburetor. Oh and having to completely remove the same pieces of tin, followed by the carburetor, (and loosen the fuel tank if I remember right), followed by the blower housing/rewind shroud just to replace electric starters is neat. Rube Goldberg would be proud.

In Ariens' defense their warranty system has been fine and they've not questioned or fought any of it but im worried they see dollar signs and are making such a good profit savings with these engines compared to past options that they can eat the failures without issue.


Now back to Honda. GX engines are majority made in Thailand, not China, and have been for many years at a large well established Honda plant. Many of the other components come from Japan (fuel tanks, rewinds, mufflers etc..) and a few bits from China (ignition coil). The GC engine in the single stages is cast in North Carolina.

GX engine is backed by a 3yr/3yr consumer/commercial warranty. Doesn't matter how its used.

AX engine is backed by a 3yr/90day consumer/commercial warranty.

That said you shouldn't be shopping based off warranty especially for something like this. What good is it if you get a 3 feet of snow, be it 3 days or 3 years after purchase, and a manufacturing defect takes your machine out of service? Long term reliability is paramount.

Its a decent, cheap, consumer engine but unfortunately it is in no way in the same class as Honda.

Last edited by SnoThro; 09-02-2016 at 10:49 PM.
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post #6 of 24 Old 08-30-2016, 03:04 AM
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I had 1 issue with the AX engine on my 2016 model Deluxe 28SHO. It started up just fine at the dealer and then I got it home and my brother went to start it to see how nice it is, and he broke the recoil! A little tab inside broke off so it wouldn't recoil. haha. Got it replaced for free by my dealer (they mailed a new one down to me since I live 80 miles away) and mailed the damaged one back to Ariens. Gave the machine a lot of use this past season with the average/slightly above average snowfall we had here in Denver, and it ran like a champ.
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post #7 of 24 Old 09-01-2016, 03:40 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you everyone for the explanation of these engines.
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post #8 of 24 Old 09-02-2016, 08:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SnoThro View Post
GX engines are majority made in Thailand, not China, and have been for many years at a large well established Honda plant.
Honda Thai plant also makes the smaller GX120/160 horizontal shaft engines. Vertical-shaft (mostly for OEM lawn mower) GXV160 engines are made at a Honda plant in China. The same China plant makes all Honda's large V-twin engines.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SnoThro View Post
The GC engine in the single stages is cast in South Carolina.
Actually, Swepsonville, North Carolina (open since the early 80s, and building GC/GCV/GS/GSV engines since they were launched in the early 90s).

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Caveat: I work for Honda, but the preceding is my opinion alone.


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post #9 of 24 Old 09-02-2016, 07:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robert@honda View Post
Honda Thai plant also makes the smaller GX120/160 horizontal shaft engines. Vertical-shaft (mostly for OEM lawn mower) GXV160 engines are made at a Honda plant in China. The same China plant makes all Honda's large V-twin engines.



Actually, Swepsonville, North Carolina (open since the early 80s, and building GC/GCV/GS/GSV engines since they were launched in the early 90s).
Thanks for clarifying. It is always good to have accurate info posted on the web/forum.

Additionally my LCT manual's warranty statement specifies a 2 year engine warranty and does not differentiate for commercial use.

However LCT's website mentions a 1 year commercial/rental use warranty.

Neither of the manufacturer's resources specify a 90 day commercial/rental use warranty.

I attached the link below:


FAQ - Liquid Combustion Technology, LLC

Ariens Platinum 24 SHO w/369cc carbureted LCT motor


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post #10 of 24 Old 09-02-2016, 07:52 PM
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Cardo,
I knew I saw this information somewhere....and...here it is, right from Ariens..... "1 year for Professional models and 90 days for the rest of the modelas included Sno-Tek on Commercial use" (who would you go if you need warranty on your LCT AX Ariens engine after 90 days of commercial use....????)
Maybe Ariens will honor LCTs warranty on the engine regardless of "their warranty" .....???

http://www.ariens.com/en-us/Document...e_warranty.pdf
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