Rebalanced?! - Snowblower Forum : Snow Blower Forums
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post #1 of 13 Old 10-18-2016, 09:09 PM Thread Starter
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Rebalanced?!

I am a bit confused by Ariens moving the wheels farther forward for some new models. This would make the front end lighter, which to me seems counter productive. Why then have optional weights for the front?'
With my old ST824, under certain snow conditions, I constantly had to walk along and pull up on the handles in order to keep it from climbing up on the snow (pretty tiring on the shoulders in the long run). So I question their move. Was it to just quiet complaints about the "Auto Turn"? I have been looking at the Platinum 24 SHO to replace a very tired ST824.
I want to primarily use the walk behind along buildings. I have a 63 inch front snow blower on my New Holland TC30 tractor to do our 300 yard driveway, however, when the prop shaft from the center PTO to the snow blower broke, I used the ST 824 to keep the driveway open. Too much drifting snow, and the rear bearing on the impeller shaft gave out.
Am I better off putting some serious money into the tried and true?
Comments welcome.
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post #2 of 13 Old 10-20-2016, 06:20 PM
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I was just looking at the local dealer stock. Did notice that the Platinum 24 SHO had the wheels little bit closer to the bucket than the 24 Deluxe that was parked right next to it.
There is a significant difference how much force it takes to tilt the machine. 24 SHO feels much lighter to tilt. I asked if that weight distribution will not cause the bucket to ride up... dealer said: if the bucket rides up, you are going too fast, just let the machine do its work and it will not go up.
I wanted to buy Deluxe 24, but on the Platinum - control for the shute, heated grips and bigger engine with the new weight distribution has me double thinking.
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post #3 of 13 Old 10-20-2016, 07:23 PM
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my friend, get the Platinum and go home smiling and knowing you have a great machine for the rest of your life.
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post #4 of 13 Old 10-20-2016, 07:55 PM
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When I read about the axle being moved, I had the same thought.

Quote:
Originally Posted by linksbox View Post
dealer said: if the bucket rides up, you are going too fast, just let the machine do its work and it will not go up.
Well, if I had a nickel for each time I've had to put upward pressure on the handles of the snowblowers I've owned (at least 5 Ariens and a couple of others) I could retire... and some of those times it was in first gear. How do you go slower than first gear?

Although I'll admit I've never owned a model with the feature, it sounds to me like auto-turn is a case of someone trying to be just a little too clever. I get the impression that auto-turn works by sensing the "drag" on each wheel, and unlocking when there's an imbalance. Those with smooth driveways or large skids don't have problems, but those with setups where the skids can get caught (at least partially) on imperfections in the drive have more problems. And they're trying to alleviate that issue by reducing the downforce on the front of the machine, and correspondingly the amount of drag from the skids. Which is fine in terms of making auto-turn work better, but is going to cause the bucket to ride up more.

My friend has a Husqvarna blower that in most ways is pretty mediocre. But it has a little "trigger" on each handle that can be used to disconnect drive from the wheel on that side when you want to turn. To me that's a 100x improvement on the "reach down and fiddle with the knob on the side of the wheel" setup on my current machines, and doesn't compromise the machine's snow-removal performance (or give you a backache from having to pull up on the handles for 2 hours straight).

~1994 Ariens 924084 (ST1032) "papa bear": restored, re-engined, real nice!
1991 Ariens 924050 (ST824) "mama bear"
Toro PowerCurve 1800 "baby bear"

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post #5 of 13 Old 11-12-2016, 08:59 PM Thread Starter
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I was seriously considering replacing my old, probably 1980-81 vintage, ST824 with a new Platinum 24 SHO. Then I read here about the new EFI version, which sounded like a good idea. However, I am a bit worried about anything new and untried. I am sure Ariens' engineers have tested the bejeebers out of it, but having worked in product engineering myself, I know that things are likely to crop up in customers' hands and after time in the field. So, I took the old ST824 to a trusted local repair guy, who had previously done an excellent job on my Ariens mower. I asked him to go through it and fix or replace anything that could threaten its reliable functionality for the next few winters. I told him that if, after digging into it, it looked like more than $500, we needed to talk.
As a side note, he told me that his opinion of the Chinese engines, now used on many Ariens blowers, was not too high, and especially the carburetors were prone to cause problems after a few seasons. Anybody out there had engine/carburetor issues?
I am hoping that the verdict on my ST824 will come back as fixable well within the cost of a new machine.
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post #6 of 13 Old 11-13-2016, 05:57 AM
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Nope, haven't heard of any issues on here with the Chinese carbs built to specifications and quality control which must meet the standards the snow blower manufacturers call for.
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post #7 of 13 Old 11-13-2016, 07:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ELaw View Post
Well, if I had a nickel for each time I've had to put upward pressure on the handles of the snowblowers I've owned (at least 5 Ariens and a couple of others) I could retire... and some of those times it was in first gear. How do you go slower than first gear?
Here is where IMHO a tracked machine has a huge advantage (at least Honda and Yamaha which I've used), they just ride along taking the snow and blowing it away. Honda has its own advantage with its hydrostatic transmission as you can go very slow if you needed to on very deep or hard packed snow.
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post #8 of 13 Old 11-13-2016, 07:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roar View Post
I was seriously considering replacing my old, probably 1980-81 vintage, ST824 with a new Platinum 24 SHO. Then I read here about the new EFI version, which sounded like a good idea.
I read here in the forum that there is a 2017 Ariens Platinum 24 SHO EFI, but also there is a 2017 Ariens Platinum 24 SHO NON-EFI, which you could consider if you don't like the EFI idea.
I'd personally would take the EFI over the Carbureted engine.
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post #9 of 13 Old 11-13-2016, 08:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roar View Post
I am a bit confused by Ariens moving the wheels farther forward for some new models. This would make the front end lighter, which to me seems counter productive. Why then have optional weights for the front?'
I was wondered the exact same thing.

Movingsnow praises the weight balance of the Toro 1028 and how little down pressure you need on the bars to lift the front end. He says this makes it better on hills than an (older) Ariens because more weight is over the drive wheels. In one comment be said an Ariens with chains would climb worse than a Toro without chains because so much of the Ariens weight is forward.

That makes sense in terms of pure climbing ability, but what about the front riding up while trying to climb that hill? This is what pushed me to tracks.

But at least this way you have a choice, right? You can always add weight to the front end but you can't remove it.

Last edited by matto; 11-13-2016 at 08:30 AM.
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post #10 of 13 Old 11-13-2016, 08:46 AM
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I think they moved the wheels to help the auto steer. On the efi topic i run two gravely mowers w/efi in my landscape co (one has over 2000 hrs on it ) with zero troubles . Both engines are kohler which was the first co to come out with efI and i believe the they are bocsh system.

Scott
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toro 926 hd oxe
78 powerking 1614/48'' haban snowblower
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