Craftsman assembly quality - Snowblower Forum : Snow Blower Forums
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post #1 of 11 Old 02-16-2015, 07:21 AM Thread Starter
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Craftsman assembly quality

My neighbor got out there yesterday with his spanking new "Craftsman Quiet 208cc" as I was bundling up and started clearing his 5-car parking area.

All of a sudden he lets out an "Arrggh" and I see one of the wheels has fallen off.

It seems the highly paid implement disassemblers at our local Sears had forgotten one of the flat washers between the 5/16-18 bolt and the splined wheel hub. They got it right on the opposite side, so perhaps they were training someone as they double-teamed the assembly.

All my past and present machines have used a lynch pin to secure the wheels to the axles, and I've never had one come loose, fall off or in any other way fail.

When I got my new-to-me machine out (the Ariens Platinum 30 SHO), he looked it over and said "looks good but you paid almost twice the $900 that this one cost." I replied that it had just about twice the displacement, and I "expected to pay twice as much for more than twice the machine."

His dead machine was a Craftsman with a 10HP 30" cut, so he quickly learned the difference. His father-in-law bought him the new one, so he couldn't do much about it.

2015 Ariens Deluxe 28+ 921037, 414cc LCT (now son's)
2014 Ariens Platinum 30 921029, 414cc LCT (mine forever)
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post #2 of 11 Old 02-16-2015, 09:27 AM
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And then there is the guy with the Brand new Ariens that never even made it to the driveway. It won't move forward because someone at the factory didn't get a retainer properly placed and one of the jackshafts shifted and jammed.
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Bolt the wheel back on the Craftsman and you're good to go. It's not like a manufacturing defect it was just someone not getting a bolt tight.

With the amount of snow a lot of people have been coping with a new snow blower is a thing of beauty and as unfortunate and embarrassing as having a wheel fall off is it's not an indication of the machines quality.

I will say my Troy has bolt on wheels and I would much prefer to have the click pins too. Seems it would also be a less expensive way to manufacture (IMHO).

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

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post #3 of 11 Old 02-16-2015, 09:38 AM
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I used to work at Sears years ago,and their snowblower,barbecue grill assemblers were whoever was free in their package pickup(receiving dept.).which was a snot nosed school kid,who didn't know a wrench from a screw driver!but that was their clueless management for you! I would of love to watch a store manager try to assemble one,they wouldn't do any better!
My advice is...if you have to buy from Sears or any big box store assemble it your self!
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post #4 of 11 Old 02-16-2015, 09:52 AM
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Originally Posted by ih8thepackers View Post
I used to work at Sears years ago,and their snowblower,barbecue grill assemblers were whoever was free in their package pickup(receiving dept.).which was a snot nosed school kid,who didn't know a wrench from a screw driver!but that was their clueless management for you! I would of love to watch a store manager try to assemble one,they wouldn't do any better!
My advice is...if you have to buy from Sears or any big box store assemble it your self!
or double check the assembly if it was put together by the big box store

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 #5 of 11 Old 02-16-2015, 10:53 AM
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I suggest double checking no matter who assembled and adjusted it, even if you get it from a dealer. You likely won't find anything if a dealer did it but it never hurts to check. You never know what might get missed because of stopping and starting from a phone call, lunch or picking back up where you left off last night !

Like this guy with the shinny new Craftsman, snow on the ground, first pass, halfway down the drive isn't the time or place to find out something isn't right.

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post #6 of 11 Old 02-16-2015, 11:16 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Kiss4aFrog View Post

Bolt the wheel back on the Craftsman and you're good to go. It's not like a manufacturing defect it was just someone not getting a bolt tight.
He went and got a washer, bolted it back on and proceeded to take multiple passes to move the amount of snow my Ariens machine would have done in one swipe.

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post #7 of 11 Old 02-16-2015, 12:52 PM
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He went and got a washer, bolted it back on and proceeded to take multiple passes to move the amount of snow my Ariens machine would have done in one swipe.
i have a new neighbor that has a newer craftsman snowblower, it moved the snow but my powershift with a dirty carb blew more snow and tossed it farther

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 #8 of 11 Old 02-16-2015, 04:34 PM
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I'm just happy as a pig in mud if something starts and gets the driveway clear. Anything that keeps me from having to shovel is manna from heaven. Before I started the collection I had my rider die toward the end of the season and had to shovel the driveway twice. At almost 400 feet it just about killed me (each time). I only had the 2410 Troy and that's why I'll defend cheaper blowers. They many not be as sturdy as a '69 Ariens but they get the job done.
Just like children you'll have your favorites but it's best not to let them know.

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post #9 of 11 Old 02-16-2015, 05:17 PM
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I'm just happy as a pig in mud if something starts and gets the driveway clear. Anything that keeps me from having to shovel is manna from heaven. Before I started the collection I had my rider die toward the end of the season and had to shovel the driveway twice. At almost 400 feet it just about killed me (each time). I only had the 2410 Troy and that's why I'll defend cheaper blowers. They many not be as sturdy as a '69 Ariens but they get the job done.
Just like children you'll have your favorites but it's best not to let them know.
or " its better to have a snowblower than not to have a snowblower "

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 #10 of 11 Old 02-16-2015, 06:23 PM
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It is my bet that within the next 5 years we see Sears and K-MART go bye bye completely. Sure Craftsman may stick around and be bought out by some other thing.. they did buddy buddy up with ACE Hardware a few years back and now ACE sells Craftsman stuff, but the Sears that once sold and manufactured great items died out a LOOOOOOOOOOOng time ago.
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