Simplicity Signature Pro 32" P2132E (420CC) Snow Blower Review - Snowblower Forum : Snow Blower Forums
 
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post #1 of 8 Old 12-31-2013, 01:19 PM Thread Starter
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Simplicity Signature Pro 32" P2132E (420CC) Snow Blower Review

I purchased a signature pro model# p2132e. It has been in the shop twice in 1 year due to drive issues, 1 time for the chute deflector locking up. This unit has less than 5 hours use.

It's built with very heavy gauge steel. The engine is a beast. It seems that's where simplicity stopped putting any thought into the unit. They designed a strong frame and housing, put a huge motor in it and they were done. The design isn't functional unless it's light snow. If you have miles of flat path to clear (like on a college campus) this is you for. If you have any other conditions, its not for you.

I have a slight incline on my brand new 120' driveway and flat new sidewalks to clear. This unit weighs over 300lbs with fuel and a weight bar. I am 5'9", work out 3-4 days, weight 220 and have a strong build. I also live 20min North of Boston. When this unit has no traction, you need to manhandle it to get it to go. So the whole time you are snow blowing, you have to wrestle or hip check the thing to get it where you want it to go. If it has traction like during a light snow, you're OK. Even with the X-Chains I bought for it, if you are on top of snow, this unit is hard to operate. The X Chains also make the unit cumbersome to use, as it causes a bit of a waddling effect.

The 35lb weight bar was needed as the unit is "back heavy", so the bucket naturally rides up at the plow drift. The weight bar is needed for performance, but the added bar weight also detracts from what little maneuverability this machine has. After snow blowing for an hour or so you are worn out.

With Light snow the machine did fine. The engine did not bog down ever but the throwing distance was mediocre or average. All power equipment will have noise, and I am not trying to nip pick this, but this is a VERY LOUD engine. You will need hearing protection, even if you typically don't use it. The easy turn feature this unit and many other units has is just ok. I can't tell if it does anything or not.

The electric chute controls/ Electrical Components; are neat and convenient, however where they are placed, I have often accidentally hit the button while trying to manhandle the unit. Not a big deal, but as I live in a downtown area, its the difference between hitting a not so friendly neighbors flowers or not. I have read reviews about the buttons failing. I thought it was a possibility when i first received the unit and looked at the design of the buttons.

This unit also does not use a replaceable fuse. Instead it used some sort of single use fuse that is part of the main wiring harness. If your hand warmers, light, or electric motor draws too much current, the "Fuse" will blow, and you will have to either 1) Replace the whole wiring harness 2)Take more than a few hours to try to jury rig a new fuse in there. The factory encases the "fuse", which is more like a resistor, into a hard silicone block which I am sure is used to water proof it. Picture Hans Solo being entombed in carbonate... You won't be able to get the fuse out, I am also not sure what other electrical components are in that block.

The Hand warmers seem to be on all the time regardless of the switch. I think the options are low or high. Either way, I'm not a fan of them. I sure they are handy if you live closer to Canada.

The friction wheel housing has too many holes in it for water to drip on the friction disc. The dealer put tractor seat tape on the holes to stop that. The Tech ended up putting on an Ariens friction pate as he said the Simplicity ones are too soft.

The electric deflector also locked up for no reason during operation. not frozen, just stopped working. Lucky I was done that day.

Often times during operation, the gear shifter would often pop out of place causing the unit to suddenly jerk to a stop.

Of of these things show lack of thought by Simplicity (Briggs and Stratton) into their flagship snow blower line. The only thing I really enjoyed about this unit is the clean look it has cosmetically (compared to Ariens which has all sorts of cables and wires all over their unit), and the color. I really liked the Orange/Red paint they had. Unfortunately the color does not help with snow removal.

I traded it in fora honda hs1332 which I should get any day now. Honda seems to do more with less HP and that is due to a better design. Even though the Honda (which I test drove) maybe a little harder to turn, It will still be easier than using the Simplicity P2132E.

I am writing this review, because when I was researching the Simplicity unit in the first place, there were no reviews to help with my decision making process. I hope this helps.

Last edited by tonysak; 12-31-2013 at 01:27 PM.
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post #2 of 8 Old 12-31-2013, 02:13 PM
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I have the Pro 1524 it's the entry level in the Pro model and I love it. I find mine easy to move around but I am 5-10 300 and I was use to a big Toro 1132 Powershift that has the wheels locked. I do not like the power chute mine just quit the last storm. I looked at the large Sim Pro model and the dealer told me the drive parts are the same in the large model as the small one so how could they hold up in the big boy?? I will say I would much rather have a manual chute control.
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post #3 of 8 Old 12-31-2013, 04:00 PM
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I have owned the Simplicity 1524P for three years, and this year it will be going on four years. No problems so far. I love it. It's not as big as the 32" beast that you purchased. I can only fit a 24" thrower in my garage, but I needed something heavy duty and the Simplicity was the only one at the time that had the heft I wanted. I am 6'11/2" tall and weigh between 165 and 170lbs, so I am quite thin, albeit wiry :-). I have no trouble whatsoever moving this snow thrower around, and its easy to maneuver IMO. This is my first snow thrower however, so I cannot compare it to others. The noise level is slightly louder than my Honda lawnmowers, but much less than my Echo trimmer (I need ear protection when using the trimmer). Perhaps the 420CC engine is much louder than my 305cc engine? I have very sensitive hearing, but I do not find that I need any ear protection at all with my smaller unit. I have not had any problem with the electric chute and so far I love that gimmicky extra. Thanks to Kestral I now know where I can purchase an extra motor if needed for only about $50 should it fail in the future. I keep it in my attached garage which is about 40 to 50 degrees on average. I probably have about 20 hours or so on it. If I press the left side of the hand warmer switch it is on high heat, and if I press the right side it is on low. The middle position is off. This hand warmer switch has worked for me. It does come in handy when temperatures are below 20F. I find that it throws snow very well. Almost too good for me as my neighbors are fairly close and I have to be careful not to toss all my snow on their property. I agree that the fuse could eventually be a costly problem to fix if it goes. I love Honda products, but their 24" thrower did not seem to have enough power to move the amount of snow that I sometimes have to deal with. For example, four to five feet of wet heavy plowed snow at the end of the driveway that is pushed ten feet deep into my driveway by the city plows. The 1524p makes short work of that. If I had a larger garage and a wider longer driveway I would have considered the wider Honda or Ariens throwers. I have not noticed any of the problems with controlling the thrower that you mention. It locks in place and goes straight as an arrow until I disengage one of the wheels to turn it. I also go up a fairly decent incline when using it on my walkway. Anyhow, I am looking forward to the next snow storm. We are due to get about 6 inches of fluffy snow in a few days.
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post #4 of 8 Old 12-31-2013, 06:35 PM
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Question for tonysak: You stated that you had two drive problems. What were the problems, and how were they fixed? Its difficult for me to imagine having two drive problems with less than five hours on the snow blower unless the machine was set up improperly (cable adjustment) or it came with some manufacturing defect. That type of information might be very beneficial to current owners.

Also, I find that my thrower works best in the heaviest snow. It automatically senses the heavier snow and its "power boost" increases the torque. I cannot imagine adding weights to my machine. Its more than heavy enough, properly balanced, and has great traction without having to add any chains. I never had it ride up unless there was hard frozen ice on the ground. Perhaps its something peculiar to your 32" model? Not doubting you, but just commenting on my experience with a much smaller model that has been used in very heavy snow conditions.
Storm Nemo, for example. (36 inches).

Last edited by Surge; 12-31-2013 at 06:39 PM. Reason: Additional info
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post #5 of 8 Old 01-01-2014, 10:32 AM Thread Starter
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I think for the smaller units the design makes more sense as the smaller units weight less and are more maneuverable. This is a review on 2013/2014 p2132e with the 420cc not the smaller p1732 as there was a mid season change.

respectfully, I'm not sure why you guys are commenting on your 24" units ..Yes the are all friction drive snow blowers but they are not the same machines, maybe by general design, but the engines and weight are very different.

the first issue friction disc slipping due to snow melting and dripping thew the housing. I had to wait for the disc to dry usually about 2 min of use (friction disc slipping to burn off the water) before the wheels would start catching. again dealer said simplicity discs were too soft, replaced with an Ariens disc and added tape to the housing.

issue 2, I have no idea. II had to hold down the drive clutch and nudge it to go forward with limited torque. I didn't want to take it apart as it was under warranty . I just traded it in at that point . I have taken apart a 36" ariens before I know it's not rocket science.

The blower would cut thru anything not too compacted (with it should with that engine. if the snow was dense wet snow I would have to start pushing or wrestling the thing as the wheels would loose traction on the asphalt. Going up hill the auger would ride up in dense snow. If the plow drift was compact it would ride up. The weight bar helped. While going threw slight elevation grades like the area between the street and the driveway, the wheels would just spin on the snow until I pulled it out. The engine has more than enough power and again was never strained.

compared to the rest of the unit the front end is very light. The unit is not balanced at all.

I think the main issue is the unit is just to heavy to have no tracks and no hydrostatic transmission. The unit also has some dumb design flaws, like extra holes in the body housing. Could it keep getting repaired, yes , but for $2600 I have no confidence in it and wanted a better designed unit. The dealer spoke to Simlicity. I guess Simlicity was embarrassed at the failures and offered to extend my warranty for another 3 years. I told the dealer how I appreciated the offer and his service but I would rather pay more for a reliable machine. For the past 10 storms while I have owned this machine, I could only use the simplicity for 3 of them.

I found another guy online with similar issues on the same model.

Last edited by tonysak; 01-02-2014 at 11:11 AM.
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post #6 of 8 Old 01-01-2014, 06:50 PM
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Thanks for the reply. Sounds like it is a problem that may be associated with the larger Pro models. I know my model is much smaller, but it is the simplicity pro line so I thought it would be helpful if others knew that the smaller model/s did not act the same way. Your experience is 180 degrees different from mine. I did not mean to hijack the thread. I was also concerned that there might be some kind of drive issue that the pro models suffered from that I was not aware of, but that does not seem to be the case.

With a 32 inch machine I agree that tracks might be a better option. Good luck with whatever other model you end up choosing. I think you traded it for the Honda? Honda and Ariens are two other great choices. I probably would have purchased the Honda if they had a more powerful 24 inch model. Good to hear about the decent offer that Simplicity made to you as well. Sounds like your dealer was one of the good ones.

Last edited by Surge; 01-01-2014 at 07:05 PM.
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post #7 of 8 Old 12-08-2014, 03:36 PM
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I have the same model 32 inch signature pro model. I have had none of those issues in fact quite the opposite.
It absolutely tears up the heavy snow in my large driveway. Also I'm north of Boston and got hit pretty hard last year. My blower didn't even flinch at the plow line at the end of my driveway which is 4 car width wide easily.
I can go down the plow line the long way and I have no ride up issues at all. I can move the snow anywhere almost as this thing hurls the snow an amazing distance.
The chute controls took a bit to get used to but became intuitive after a few storms.
I honestly can't say enough good about the machine and for the price I should be happy with it. You got a bad machine or something because that review seems at odds with my experience completely.
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post #8 of 8 Old 12-08-2014, 04:02 PM Thread Starter
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I agree with you on the power. It was a beast and chewed threw everything. A friction drive is pretty simple. There is no black magic involved. If a part breaks, just fix it. So theye really isn't a such thing as a lemon. Even the 30+ years mechanic knew of 2 design flaws. For me I had all sorts of drive issues, maybe bad luck but with free pick up and delivery the dealer went out of his way to test it. I never had a problem with another snowblower. I really wanted it to work because I loved the power. The honda dosent come close in power or capacity but the tracks and hydro make snow blowing easy. Maybe my elevation was too steep for the amount if power and the friction disc. Either way I hope you have no problems!
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