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post #1 of 16 Old 02-07-2019, 12:15 AM Thread Starter
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Underpowered mismatch

Recently inherited a Poulan Pro model PR271. It's only a few years old, so I jumped at the chance to get it for free. It is has the biggest clearing width, 27", of my 3 snowblowers. Initially, I thought everything felt very solid and durable. I eagerly awaited a snowstorm to test it out. After waiting a few weeks I couldn't wait any longer and took it out for ~5" of snow, not heavy but not powdery. Tank was empty, so put fresh gas in and it fired up. I begin my first pass in 2nd of the 6 speeds and think "this thing sure is working hard".

I reach the end of the driveway and the pile left by the plows, and change to 1st. It gets to a depth of about 6 inches and wants to stall, so I stop and let it clear. I proceed and the same thing happens. Out of curiosity, I get out my 10 year old 24" Craftsman I repowered with a 212cc Predator. I take it to the plow pile at the end of the driveway and it is able to go through the pile without stalling. I know the width is a few inches smaller, but still, it was a night and day difference.

I start wondering what is going on and take a look at the Poulan and see it says 208cc on it. Is it just me, or does that seem like a boneheaded move to pair a 208cc engine for a blower with a 27" clearing width? I look up my model and see it is still being sold, but with a 254cc engine; what I imagine is a much better match.

Has anybody else had a similar experience with underwhelming performance or a similar mismatch? I really like the rest of the machine, so will probably do a repower in the future (stay tuned).
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post #2 of 16 Old 02-07-2019, 05:38 AM
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I had an older John Deere, 7/32... seemed like a odd power power ratio to me, did fine tho, didnít throw far


Noma 10/29
Cub cadet 5/26 conv to 8/26
Toro 8/24
Husqvarna st230p
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post #3 of 16 Old 02-07-2019, 06:11 AM
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That seems pretty small to me. That's the size that Ariens uses on their budget Classic 24". My 24" Ariens is a 318cc OHV.

Ariens 1024 Pro
Toro Power Clear 221QR
Toro Power Curve 1800
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post #4 of 16 Old 02-07-2019, 08:04 AM
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Garage
It's been discussed on here many times, bigger engines, power to width ratio.

Though yours has a OHV engine, look at my machines with the size engines to the width.

1986 Ariens ST522, 5hp, 22"
1995 Murray Craftsman 10hp, 29" w. 12" impeller
A 1983 Real John Deere 10hp, 32" w. 12" impeller, 16" auger, 20" high front, cast iron gear box, chains
Noma 9hp, 27" w. 12" impeller
Noma 5hp, 24" w. 12" impeller, 20" high front
Gravely Convertible, 12hp Kohler cast iron, 26" width, 600 lbs of cast iron & steel, 2 speed impeller, 4 ground speeds
Dynamark 8hp, 26", 12" impeller, for sale
Several other 5hp, 8hp, several 2 cycle, all for sale
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post #5 of 16 Old 02-07-2019, 08:17 AM
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'Homestead,


Well for a snowblower that size, I'd agree with you that 208cc does sound a little anemic, because under the best of circumstances, they may have been able to coax about 6hp out of it.....but more likely it's slightly less than that, so it's even worse.

In addition to the arguably poor choice of putting such a small engine on this size machine, do you have a way to do a compression test on it? Don't assume because it's only a few years old that the compression should be fine. There's any number of reasons why the compression may be low. A machine with too low compression can still be a real "barn-burner" when it comes to starting right up, but will choke when you put a significant load on it.


You mentioned that you "inherited" it. Do you mean this literally, like from a family member where you know something about the machine's past, or is this just a machine that someone offered for free? If the latter, there might be a good reason why it was free.....
Worst case is, it sounds like a solid machine, and repowering might be your best bet. In that case, you might be able to find a more suitable used engine for cheap, and then this overall still becomes a really good deal.
Good luck with it!
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If you're looking for guarantees in life, buy yourself a toaster.
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post #6 of 16 Old 02-07-2019, 09:07 AM
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I actually repowered a Sno-Tek 24” with a Husqvarna 254cc, It’s a drop on replacement as they both use a LCT made engine as yours also does I believe. Poulan pro is Husqvana budget line like Sno-Tek is the budget line for Ariens.

Sno-Tek Modded, 15"X-Track tires (Now has same X-Track tires but 13"x4" for better fit), 254cc engine LED light and hand warmers.
Snapper 6/22 sold but not forgotten. Was my first.
Ariens ST1027LE workhorse and going strong.
New 2017 Ariens Deluxe completely rebuilt after losing a fight with a forklift.

Last edited by Dauntae; 02-07-2019 at 09:54 AM.
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post #7 of 16 Old 02-07-2019, 09:17 AM
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The first thing I would do is pull the carb and clean it good or spend the $20.00 and get a new one.
You say the tank was empty, but that does not mean that the carb didnt sit with old gas in it.
If the jets are plugged the carb will not allow for the engine that comes under load to throttle compensate by the governor, it will just fall on its face.
Fresh fuel is good but you still have to make sure that it is being delivered properly in the the correct air/fuel ratio, so that the engine run correctly.
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post #8 of 16 Old 02-07-2019, 09:23 AM
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When it comes to snow blowers and power, I feel like doing my best Tim Allen impression from ToolTime (More Power!). IMO you can never have too much HP or Torque when it comes to moving snow. The Searsasaurus is a good example. Now I admit it was built using parts from multiple blowers, but it's a 10HP Tecumseh pushing a 26" auger assembly. Not home at the moment but IIRC it's got something like a 14" impeller on it. Throws snow and ice like a Banshee which is the point. I even joke it can chew up an illegally parked Toyota (Kid hates that as she drives one of them) but I have yet to come into something that's stopped it in it's tracks.


If you got it for free, watch for a suitable replacement engine and once in place, go at it.
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post #9 of 16 Old 02-07-2019, 09:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HCBPH View Post
When it comes to snow blowers and power, I feel like doing my best Tim Allen impression from ToolTime (More Power!). IMO you can never have too much HP or Torque when it comes to moving snow. The Searsasaurus is a good example. Now I admit it was built using parts from multiple blowers, but it's a 10HP Tecumseh pushing a 26" auger assembly. Not home at the moment but IIRC it's got something like a 14" impeller on it. Throws snow and ice like a Banshee which is the point. I even joke it can chew up an illegally parked Toyota (Kid hates that as she drives one of them) but I have yet to come into something that's stopped it in it's tracks.


If you got it for free, watch for a suitable replacement engine and once in place, go at it.
SO agree, Now I want to get my new to me 11526DLE going LOL thatís going to be a beast when itís done.

Sno-Tek Modded, 15"X-Track tires (Now has same X-Track tires but 13"x4" for better fit), 254cc engine LED light and hand warmers.
Snapper 6/22 sold but not forgotten. Was my first.
Ariens ST1027LE workhorse and going strong.
New 2017 Ariens Deluxe completely rebuilt after losing a fight with a forklift.
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post #10 of 16 Old 02-07-2019, 10:56 AM
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MNHomestead, you didn't mention condition of auger belt and shear pins, spark plug fresh and any large clearance issue with impeller gap?
I'd start there then re-evaluate. 5-6" of Minnesota snow should be a cake walk, EOD dump should be "work" for it but shouldn't be an issue with a little time .

I found that my 28" 13.5hp machine that had been working very well was very underwhelming this past Tuesday. It turned out that the auger belt was trashed.

Good luck and check back in - more winter is on the way today
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