Disc-O-Matic Drive -VS- Hydrostatic Drive - Snowblower Forum : Snow Blower Forums
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post #1 of 39 Old 01-25-2016, 09:26 AM Thread Starter
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Disc-O-Matic Drive -VS- Hydrostatic Drive

Looking at the Ariens website I see their professional models have a choice of two drives.

Anyone have any experience with both and can comment their opinion the two?
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post #2 of 39 Old 01-25-2016, 09:51 AM
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If I was going new I'd get a hydro. Used I'm a little leary of them simply because of cost to repair.
The disc drive is very old technology but the reason it's still the common system is cost and ease of maintenance and repair.

Some other peoples opinions: The "Friction Wheel" versus The Hydrostatic Transmission drive debate

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Make sure the windows are up before the snow plow goes by !!

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post #3 of 39 Old 01-25-2016, 10:02 AM
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I've not had any experience with hydro units but for the extreme low cost and the proven effeciency of the disc drives I'll hang with them. In over 20 years of moving snow I've never experienced any problems with them. JMHO

Joe

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post #4 of 39 Old 01-25-2016, 10:42 AM
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The disc drive on my 1973 Ariens still pulls hard and works flawlessly! Proven technology and cheap to repair.

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Previous: Ariens 624E, Toro CCR2000
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post #5 of 39 Old 01-25-2016, 11:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caddydaddy View Post
The disc drive on my 1973 Ariens still pulls hard and works flawlessly! Proven technology and cheap to repair.
Amen Brother!

Joe

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Ariens Sno Tek 7/24 sold.
Old green plastic snow shovel... Sent.to shovel Heaven
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New.green shovel
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post #6 of 39 Old 01-25-2016, 11:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caddydaddy View Post
The disc drive on my 1973 Ariens still pulls hard and works flawlessly! Proven technology and cheap to repair.
and simple to make

current machines
1-toro2450E-38419. 1-toro3000E-38435. 1-toro 3650E-38445
2-toro 521E-38052. 1-toro xl824pt 38086
1-.............,TORO XL 624ps..............
1-............, TORO XL 824ps..............
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post #7 of 39 Old 01-25-2016, 11:39 AM
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I am one of the newest members of this forum and have only this season's (rather heavy) use of snow blowers. So take what I have to say with the understanding of my relative lack of experience. That said:

I have an Ariens ST1032 wheeled snow blower with a disc transmission. And a Honda HS1132TA tracked snow blower with hydrostatic transmission.

Initially, I hated the Ariens' disc transimssion because I didn't like how it moved or wouldn't move under its own power. Especially in reverse. (I called it "pull assist" instead of "reverse").

I then bought the Honda hydrostatic because it is tracked and tracked is much better than wheels for my particular sloped dirt driveway, recreational residence when I can't get on it the next day after snowfall, application.

The Honda hydrostatic works flawlessly, it is infinitely variable in forward speed. But realisticly I only use two forward speeds - either full speed (where I am doing laps - an electric chute rotator would be great then) or crawl (when I am obsessively compulsively scraping set up slush). (California only rarely has what Easterners call "ice.") Theoretically, the Honda is also likely infinitely variable speed in reverse, but realistically I only use full speed reverse - which is slow enough.

I then replaced the friction disc in the Ariens with one of those ~$13/free shipping Ariens OEM discs on ebay and adjusted the disc engagement/drive tension bolt. A very, very, very easy task to do. (If you watch a couple of youtube videos with coffee first.)

WOW !!! What a difference that made on the Ariens! True reverse and however many forward speeds, all working flawlessly.

Conclusion: The only practical thing that the Honda hydrostatic transmission has that is missing from the Ariens disc transmission is possibly the barely moving forward "crawl" speed. And that the Honda can be moved into a faster forward speed without stopping. The Ariens disc transmission needs the snow blower not to be moving before "shifting" into a higher forward gear. Bottom line, is that I would have no problem with either type of transmission. And replacing a disc and adjusting its drive tension is easy peasy.

It is my understanding that, at least the older, Yamaha tracked snow blowers are disc driven. Compared to the Honda tracked snow blowers which are hydrostatic.

On garden tractors I have a definite preference for hydrostatic drive and am in the process of becoming a "hydrostatic fanatic." Hopefully, I will never need to repair the Honda HS1132TA snow blower's hydrostatic transmission, but if I do I should have some knowledge about how to repair it by virtue of my now accumulating hydrostatic transmission experience with the garden tractors.

It just occurs to me that I should add this post to my Honda HS1132 vs. Ariens ST1032 comparison thread...
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post #8 of 39 Old 01-25-2016, 11:49 AM
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Very well written and concise, objective evaluation from someone who has experienced both systems. Thanks, E350.

Joe

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Toro 5/21 sold
Ariens 5/22 ss ..Sold
Ariens Sno Tek 7/24 sold.
Old green plastic snow shovel... Sent.to shovel Heaven
Old quarry shovel for ice.
New.green shovel
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post #9 of 39 Old 01-25-2016, 02:19 PM
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I've owned 2 Ariens disco's over the past 25 years. I've never had a disco related drive problem on either machine. If kept in good order by replacing the disc every so often and making sure the adjustment is proper, this is a good drive system IMO.

That and the fact I'm to cheap to spend $2500 on a snow blower!
I could buy 2 new disco's for the price of 1 new hydro. like i said, I'm cheap!

2010 Ariens Deluxe 27 (921012)
250cc B&S (1150 ft lbs)
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post #10 of 39 Old 01-25-2016, 11:28 PM
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I own a hydrostatic snowblower. I had oil leaking from the hydrostatic transmission box.
I could successfully replace the seal lips that leak, add oil and purge.
However, it was not a very easy job... I'm a handy man.
Taking out the transmission itself was a hassle especially I couldn't find any online videos or any instructions to show how to take it out.
Also the snowblower manual has no information about the transmission.
So when repairing the transmission, you have to find the manufacturer and your model number of the transmission and start searching on the internet the parts manual, and the maintenance manual and your nearest dealer to buy parts.

From what I see, friction disc is easy to repair DIY, and you buy your parts from your snowblower parts manual

Operational: Hydrostatic is better, you have infinite of speeds between zero and the max speed.
Sometimes I need a very low speed which cannot be found with the friction disc.
Also you can change speeds and change forward and reverse without disengaging

Last edited by goal80; 01-25-2016 at 11:31 PM.
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