Keep old John Deere or buy new Power Smart? - Snowblower Forum : Snow Blower Forums
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post #1 of 23 Old 02-23-2019, 01:05 AM Thread Starter
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Keep old John Deere or buy new Power Smart?

I'm looking at buying a Power Smart 27" snow blower. I have an old John deere 726 from the 70s and it's starting to get expensive to own. It runs great when there isn't a small problem with it and I'm tired of fixing it. Currently it needs a new condenser and points. It also has an air leak in the carb. These can be fixed pretty cheaply but I usually have between 1-3 problems with it every winter. Where does one draw the line on something so old?

So my question is, how reliable is the Power Smart brand? Are they about equal to MTD or worse? What other cheap brand for 2-stage snow blowers around $600 do you recommend? Or should I continue fixing my John deere as things keep popping up?
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post #2 of 23 Old 02-23-2019, 01:46 AM Thread Starter
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I'm also looking at a briggs and stratton 24" or the sno-tek but they are more than I want to spend.
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post #3 of 23 Old 02-23-2019, 07:45 AM
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What's your location? IMHO you can get a really nice used blower for. $500 or less. I'd go that route. I'm selling a 724 Sno Tek in excellent condition for way less than that and it is in almost new condition. I just bought a Toro 724 for a song and it too is in excellent condition. It was nowhere close to $500. Donyboy73 has a vid for you to watch.

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post #4 of 23 Old 02-23-2019, 09:56 AM
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Fix the carb is easy, air leaks there are very rare.

Buy a Mega Fire replacement electronic ignition module for $15 to replace your points.

You have a very strong machine. If you want to make it better, extend the chute 12" if you have a short chute and add a rubber impeller kit.

Use the John Deere as your main machine or keep it as a backup. Nothing wrong with having two snowblowers.

As Micah suggested, buy a good used machine, save a lot of money. For less than $500 you will get a better machine than $700 will buy you new.

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post #5 of 23 Old 02-23-2019, 10:02 AM
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Baumhmaa,


Gotta go along with Micah' and JL' on this one.


I'm not sure, but I think those Powersmart machines are built in Vietnam.
Although I would never rule out the possibility that in the future we can expect to get quality machines built totally in Asia, I don't think we're there yet.


Often times too you hear about the problems of obtaining parts for some of these machines. Even if you choose not to service a machine yourself, the inability to get parts quickly or at all, is a factor worth considering.


If the engine still runs strong on the ol' J/D I know I would keep it going. Yes, there are going to be problems that crop up, but the problems you describe don't sound so bad. Do you do the service yourself, or are you paying a shop to do them? I know J/D parts tend to be pricey, as I have a lawn tractor and am constantly amazed at how much they charge for parts. I can usually track down other manufacturers of replacement parts though that are much more reasonable.


As for the ignition, I'm pretty sure you could ditch that points set up and go solid state, and never have to deal with that headache again. There are videos on YouTube showing how....


So, to sum up, I'd either keep that old beast going, or pick up a used Ariens or Toro to replace and jump a couple of decades anyway......

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post #6 of 23 Old 02-23-2019, 10:44 AM
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A new Power Smart will likely be far worse quality than your old John Deere, and a major step down.
I agree with the advice here: fix up the Deere, or look for a used Ariens or Toro.

Scot


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post #7 of 23 Old 02-23-2019, 11:19 AM
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Power smart is not a good choice, For a cheap blower I usually recommend the Ariens Sno-Tek and MTD may not be top quality but if well taken care of can also be a good blower and parts availability are good on these also if any need comes up, But for $600 you can get a really nice used Ariens in great shape.

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post #8 of 23 Old 02-23-2019, 11:22 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SayItAintSnow View Post
Baumhmaa,


Gotta go along with Micah' and JL' on this one.


I'm not sure, but I think those Powersmart machines are built in Vietnam.
Although I would never rule out the possibility that in the future we can expect to get quality machines built totally in Asia, I don't think we're there yet.


Often times too you hear about the problems of obtaining parts for some of these machines. Even if you choose not to service a machine yourself, the inability to get parts quickly or at all, is a factor worth considering.


If the engine still runs strong on the ol' J/D I know I would keep it going. Yes, there are going to be problems that crop up, but the problems you describe don't sound so bad. Do you do the service yourself, or are you paying a shop to do them? I know J/D parts tend to be pricey, as I have a lawn tractor and am constantly amazed at how much they charge for parts. I can usually track down other manufacturers of replacement parts though that are much more reasonable.


As for the ignition, I'm pretty sure you could ditch that points set up and go solid state, and never have to deal with that headache again. There are videos on YouTube showing how....


So, to sum up, I'd either keep that old beast going, or pick up a used Ariens or Toro to replace and jump a couple of decades anyway......

I repair what I can... Usually easy stuff like adjusting/cleaning the carb and normal maintenance. But anything beyond that I normally have the shop do. Maybe I'm over thinking it, but the points system looks way too difficult. I'm sure I could figure it out but when it comes to electrical and the likes, I usually stay away from. As for blowers on Craigslist, there really aren't any good ones for sale right now. Just kinda want something new. Don't even care about the warranty because I can usually fix the things that break on new machines.
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post #9 of 23 Old 02-23-2019, 11:32 AM
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My vote would be a 924 series Ariens, preferably an ST 824.....can get a good one in the $300-$400 range in Massachusetts. If most of the problems with the JD are engine related...a Predator swap would give you a new electronic ignition, overhead valve engine that has a good track record and is ultra reliable. I'd get a newer used blower either Ariens or Toro, and fix the JD and keep it. The 2nd amendment gives you the right to keep and bear a 2nd snowblower.
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post #10 of 23 Old 02-23-2019, 11:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SayItAintSnow View Post
So, to sum up, I'd either keep that old beast going, or pick up a used Ariens or Toro to replace and jump a couple of decades anyway......
That would be my preference too. Fix it, or get a solid used machine for less money. I've had better experiences with Ariens and Toro than with MTD.

A new low-end machine may work fine for the first few years, but won't be built as well. It may start having trouble, and it may be difficult to get parts, support, or documentation on it.

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