To fix(again), or to replace? - Snowblower Forum : Snow Blower Forums
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post #1 of 47 Old 01-21-2020, 08:31 AM Thread Starter
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To fix(again), or to replace?

Greetings SBF community! Lots of great information here, as well as the partner sites for warmer weather yard care...my wife won't like what I have found..lol

Anyway...here's my situation. I have an older Craftsman 24" snowblower, maybe from 2005-2007 time.. It's served me well, but over the last 5 years I may have put more time and money into repairs than I spent buying the machine. I believe we only paid about $700 back then.

The issue now is, the center impeller sheer pin has sheared, again. This is at least the 5th in 3 years. Replaceable? Yes, I've done it. But it's a total pain in the posterior, and I'm just getting sick of replacing it. Other parts have been replaced over the years as well, new chute, drive cables, belts, etc...overall, the engine feels fine, but everything else just seems to want to stick it to me.

I live in New England, so I could easily sell it, even as broken and still get maybe $150 out of it...

I'm considering a few options as a replacement. It will be used on a 4 car driveway, about 24' x 30'.

Looking at Cub Cadet, but not totally sold on the 3x...seems there are 50% negative on the 3x stage stuff.. But I do like my Cub riding mower.

Also considering Red Max DST27, Toro Power Max 27, or a Simplicity or B&S model. I'm thinking about 27-28" is all I would need, a few extra passes is fine, as opposed to getting much bigger for more money.

I need to make a decision soon, and get to a dealer to order one before next storm hits next weekend...unless they have something in stock, which is unlikely this time of year.

So what say you? How long would you keep repairing something like the impeller pin, or would just say it's time, and I got my money out of it, let someone else deal with it?

To note, I am very careful with what gets pulled in...no newspapers, sticks, rocks, etc...and I always clean it well before I store it, gets run 3x during summer with fresh fuel, etc...it's been babied as much as I can.

Repair, or replace?
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post #2 of 47 Old 01-21-2020, 11:09 AM
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to SBF RS182

Have you tried to figure out what it is that's causing the pin to break ? Is it always in the same area of the drive like the EOD pile or ... ?
If you can't figure out a way to change your style I'm not sure the machines you've mentioned will eliminate the pin problem. Always nice to have new but unless you go with something commercial and well built new might not solve your problem.

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post #3 of 47 Old 01-21-2020, 11:12 AM
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toro is the better of them all, no shear pins,
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post #4 of 47 Old 01-21-2020, 11:37 AM
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I would fix it....then sell it or use it for a spare.....find a pro series Simplicity....less then $400 in NE right now....or a good used Ariens...preferably a 924 series ( my favorite, LOL)....should be less repairs on either blower, but for the unexpected, you still have the old one.
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post #5 of 47 Old 01-21-2020, 12:12 PM
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My suggestion is to replace the pin then get a new one when prices drop in 6 weeks. Feel free to show this post to you wife. Or wait to show her and let me know which model you decide on, then I'll modify my post to recommend it. I'm certain she'll be convinced.
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post #6 of 47 Old 01-21-2020, 01:10 PM
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Can you clarify the center impeller shear pin? Trying to understand what that is. Does it lock the impeller to the shaft? Or is it something in the auger gearbox? I assume you're using OEM shear pins?

Personally, I've had good luck with my Toro single stages, and the 721 is the continuation of a lineup they've had for a while. It would probably get my vote.

Actually, though, do you mean the new for this year 721, like the link below? Those are a redesign. And I've seen a few comments about issues with the 821, I think. I haven't dug into them, but if this is for the new model, it doesn't yet have a lot of time on the market. My history might still bias me to the Toro, though.

Ariens also has some single stage machines.

https://www.toro.com/en/homeowner/sn...ar-721-e-38753

PS: Tony P, with that sort of integrity, how could she NOT be convinced??

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post #7 of 47 Old 01-21-2020, 01:29 PM
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Welcome to the SBF from Gettysburg....My vote is a Toro!

Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier!!
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post #8 of 47 Old 01-21-2020, 05:28 PM
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saw some club cadets at home depot for $1000 plus tax. wasn't very impressed.

3 stage? forgetaboutit

like other have mentioned Toro or Ariens .

craftsman? forgetaboutit. fix and sell

"It Feels Like Beer O'Clock "
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post #9 of 47 Old 01-21-2020, 06:42 PM
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My next door neighbor would bring home 2 or 3 Toro's a year. Even had people drop them off at his home. I thought at the time "that's not good" They were SS though. On the good side he was always able to get them running and flip them. After seeing this I decided to avoid Toro's. He hangs on to three of them at any given time to use for parts / personal use. It takes all three to get him through a winter though. Not good.


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post #10 of 47 Old 01-21-2020, 07:18 PM
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Without knowing their age & condition, I don't know that I'd want to assume that Toros must therefore be bad. They have plenty of happy users. If people are giving away a machine, it may just be beat up and worn out. And how you choose to repair a machine will also matter. Just enough to work, or really replacing the things that are worn, to get it back in good shape.

I've been very happy with my Toro single-stages so far (electric and gas), and would welcome getting to try a 2-stage.

My MTD 2-stage always got me through the winter, by itself. Not fancy, and not built super-rugged. But I'd replaced the worn/failed items when I bought it, then maintained it, and it gave me years of good service. I'd expect the Toros are better, and should be fine for a 1-blower setup (not needing a backup for the backup).

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