Ariens EFI - Anyone try one yet? - Snowblower Forum : Snow Blower Forums
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post #1 of 85 Old 02-03-2018, 11:44 AM Thread Starter
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Ariens EFI - Anyone try one yet?

Ariens put out a fuel injected snowblower about a year ago. They aren't cheap. They say you don't need to worry about draining fuel any more and all you need to do is turn the key and go. Has anyone here bought one of these machines, and how do they feel about it so far?
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post #2 of 85 Old 02-03-2018, 08:56 PM
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Yup, a number have purchased em. They are ok, but for long term.. still to be decided. I won't get one until they design a model that doesn't need a battery for the fuel injection system. It's just trouble waiting to happen.
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post #3 of 85 Old 02-04-2018, 09:18 PM
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I have one, an Ariens Platinum SHO 24" EFI. I bought it since we can't get non-ethanol gas around here and I'm a bit of a tech geek. Mostly because I'm a tech geek. So far it's done a good job of keeping big snows away from Chicago. I want a big snow (by Chicago standards - 12-18") so I can actually try this thing out. We haven't gotten more than 3-4" all winter. Today I was waiting around for it to stop snowing, then decided to go ahead and clear my snow since it was getting too close to game time (Superbowl). It promptly stopped snowing and the sky was blue by the time I finished.

The battery system is my only complaint about it so far. It's not that it has a battery, it's the type of battery and how it's mounted. EFI needs electricity, so I doubt the battery will ever go away. The current models use a 7.2V "Ariens" battery buried under the dash. I think it should use a standard, common battery and the battery should be easily removable. If you want to charge it, you should be able to just pop it off the blower and carry it into the house.

If I were designing it I would give it an 18V electrical system. Add a transformer for lower voltage components. It probably has one anyway for the computer. The machines would not charge the battery. You would either use disposable batteries or just take the battery into the house to charge it. They would ship with a battery holder that took a dozen common (AAA, AA, C, or D) batteries and a mail-in card (also redeemable online) for one battery adapter. You could choose DeWalt, Milwaukee, Ryobi, etc. Hopefully an 18V tool battery would allow battery start. If that worked out I would also eliminate the 120VAC starter, so you might have to pull start with disposable batteries.

Ariens Platinum 24 SHO EFI
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post #4 of 85 Old 02-04-2018, 10:03 PM
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I had a 24" Platinum EFI SHO that I used last year. No issues at all with it in my cold unheated Connecticut garage. I had my blower sit in my garage all summer and fall. I sold it this November and purchased a Hydro Pro 28" EFI as I wanted EFI and the hydro function...best of both worlds. Before selling it I turned it on, and pulled it and it started right up. I hadn't started it since mid summer when I cleaned the garage and had to move it.

I can't even imagine how much fuel the standard 420cc AX drinks compared to the EFI model...despite the fuel tank being small i'd still suggest the EFI to friends.

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post #5 of 85 Old 02-05-2018, 09:00 AM
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I wouldn't spend an extra nickel on EFI for a snowblower. There's no good reason to do it and a bunch not to.
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post #6 of 85 Old 02-05-2018, 09:53 AM
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90% of small engine problems are probably carb related - THAT is a good reason to upgrade. No one who has a modern car or a motorcycle wishes they were harder to start or less fuel efficient.
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post #7 of 85 Old 02-05-2018, 10:28 AM
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No, just cheaper and easier to fix . . . . There are more small passages in an EFI prone to issues with crud in fuel than in a carb. Oh, and I don't ever recall any carbureted car I have owned as hard to start . . . . (or any carbed small enginenfor that matter . . . at least that wasn't worn out). And somehow, I think fuel efficiency in a snowblower just wont be that different, or even relevant. Engines that run largely at one speed/power setting aren't that hard to get right with a carb . . . . It's the EPA and all the emissions overregulation that is pushing EFI on small engines, not common sense or need . . .
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post #8 of 85 Old 02-05-2018, 10:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dhazelton View Post
90% of small engine problems are probably carb related - THAT is a good reason to upgrade. No one who has a modern car or a motorcycle wishes they were harder to start or less fuel efficient.
Not a fair comparison. I've been through this. Cars operate in all kinds of conditions, snowblowers operate in defined small window. You can accurately predict and design for that.

90% is pull an number out of the air as demonstrated by the use of "probably" and is clearly an exaggeration.

Fuel efficiency? What, you going to burn 20 gallons of gas instead of 17? Big deal. That's gonna really save the planet and pay your mortgage.

I'd rather replace a carb every 10 years, which I never had to do in 18 years with my last blower, than have to baby a battery every single year as described above. Never mind the unnecessary complexity and points of failure incumbent with such a system. How much is a battery? Without being taken out, taken inside, and put on a trickle charge, or maintainer, they probably have to be replaced every 2 years, like a boat.

Pumping a primer, and setting a choke is a small price to pay for simplicity, long term reliability, and low total costs of ownership of a carb engine.

Like anything else, it has more to do with the owner and how they maintain their equipment than the minor differentiations equipment itself. Treat EFI the way you treat a carb, no stable, stale gas, etc... it's going to have problems too, more expensive and complicated problems at that.

Last edited by jsup; 02-05-2018 at 10:33 AM.
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post #9 of 85 Old 02-06-2018, 10:59 AM
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I really want to get my hands on one of these ax Efi machines. I donít know enough about it to draw accurate conclusions.

At face value, of course an efi makes things more complicated to repair, and probably more money to repair if the need arises. But, it does have its perks for average joe.

Replacing a battery is easier then replacing a carb.

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post #10 of 85 Old 02-06-2018, 02:32 PM
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Considering that you almost never need to replace a carb, I find that argument generally nonsensical . . .

And carb remove/replace (new or old) isn't much harder than the battery, for whatever that is worth . . .
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