MTD & Toro
So I own a 1979 MTD snowflite 5-24 (model 319-600-500 ) got it free in the winter 2014-2015. Its a very clean machine.
In 2015, I did pretty much all the tightening on all the moving components on auger and transmission, bearing, bushings, shafts, sprockets and pins. It runs smooth and engine is still strong, new oil every year, yearly rust proofing on body and always stored in heated garage. I used it for 2 winters now, flawless pull starts, even in the coldest of times.
Chassis is heavy gauge sheet metal (a mix of 1/8'' and 3/32''), a very strong built machine. Its also a simple machine using simple mechanics for transmission and auger. Fast and easy splitting the tractor and auger, can be detached and re-attached in minutes. So easy to work on because if its simplicity. More importantly, parts are dirt cheap.
I've put this machine to the test. Eating through EOD banks of about 2.5' to 3' high and as thick using just shy of half bucket without overloading and throwing it nice and far. I stop in rare occasions, only if snow is really wet and heavy, I adjust and take 1/4 bucket. Speaking of which, it handles wet snow very good, gap between impeller and auger housing is average 1/4 inch all around. As for regular snow fall in driveway, full bucket of around 15'' of semi wet snow in 2nd gear at full throttle. Can't really ask for more.
There is one feature of this MTD that has an advantage and disadvantage. It's the weight. Sure, its an overweight machine. But really good for keeping it's nose down when going through EOD bank. But on the other hand, don't run out of gas before hauling up the ramp onto the trailer, crap it's heavy!! It's weight also give you a workout when tackling some tricky snow removal.
It's a 5 hp, Tecumseh engine, still very potent, I'm lucky to be in my area, abundant heavy wet snow fall is not a regular occurrence, so a 5 hp is just fine.
Original wheel are not very effective. Being narrow and not having aggressive threads, it needs chains to accomplish some sort of traction on winter ground. But chains on this type of MTD is fatal to the drive components, changing shear pins after shear pins all winter long. So a wheel upgrade with better thread is a must for traction and reliability.
This year, I bought a 1986 Toro 8-24 (model 38080 ) for cheap, auger was not engaging properly. Needed a Belt and auger impeller bearing. Inspected the rest and it is in good working order. Pretty tight machine. I could tell that previous owner really took care of this machine. Even had the original bill of sale, $1500 CAD plus taxes in '86.
When working on it, I found it not as easy to work on. When splitting the machine to work on the impeller bearing (or whatever), you need to be carful not to bend the chassis as it need to be perfect when realigning the auger and on the 4 studs coming out of tractor. Even then it's a pain to reallign those two together. Also, if disassembling the auger assembly, there's that self-adjusting scrapper bar with springs to complicate things for the outter auger shaft bushing assemblies. Otherwise it's pretty much same as any othe blower tractor of it's generation. Simple and functional.
As for parts, readily available, but prices are twice the MTD's (this is belts, bearings and bushings).
Chassis is a nice gauge built machine (1/16'' thick all around), but still light weight. Balance is great for operator, the machine does not feel heavy. Because it's so light and well balanced on it's wheels that when I did a good size bank with it, it wanted to climb up it, not go through it. Have not tried it on a complete driveway snow job yet (I maybe will not this year), so can't really tell how well is does it's job. Being lightweight, having a more balanced weight distribution on the wheels and also shorter than the MTD, sure makes this machine very versatile.
The controls sure got me looking like a newbie operator. I'm used to the clamping down style engagement of auger and wheels on top of each handles. This machine has the operator having the to hold a safety switch on the right hand side handle, and use the left hand to engage the auger and operate the car style shifter on the console to control speed and direction of the wheels. This means operator is steering the machine with one hand during multiple short forward - backward motions. Operator needs to work his right arms a little harder. Especially when going backwards, operator needs to hold reverse lever in place when backing up and steering with right arm. When auger or wheels are engaged, letting go of the safety switch stalls the engine. I made the mistake of letting go to adjust the end angle of the shoot and stalled the engine while auger was engaged. Something to get used to, first disengage auger before letting go.
The big plus of this 24 incher, its the Tecumseh 8hp engine. With this setup, it make this machine a monster, lots of power. Runs flawlessly, electric start (never use it), starts first or second pull. Strong like bull, or like a toro.
Stock wheels are big threaded, gripping is more than sufficient to tackle all conditions.
EDIT: Just tried the Toro after this mid march snow storm. Big drifts of well packed snow and EOD of 2.5' high and wide. After about 10 mins into it, I got a hang of the controls. I must say, this machine is quite the performer. So nicely balanced, it's such a joy to work with. I got surprised when I leaned forward on it and I was actually pushing the machine through the snow while blowing it, not even having to engage the wheels, awesome!!!! And the EOD bank was fresh and the 8hp engine made the auger chew right through it. Not even wanting to climb it. So after this experience, I'm really tempted on keeping this one after all.
I really like the MTD. I'm used to it. I repaired it to make it reliable. Easy and cheap to fix. I even have a spare one (minus engine) just like it if I ever need parts, and it too is nice and tight.
But Now I have a Toro in the same condition but never tried it much besides just trying it out for the new parts installed, which were twice the price of the MTD's parts (same parts). Not sure I like the controls (definetly need to be accustomed to) and how' its built for repairs and all, a little more components than MTD's 24''. But in the end, It's a Toro.
Now, maybe this is not the section for this, but I would like your review if you were once an owner or repairman of one or both of these machines.
So knowing all that is said here, if any of you were me, and you had to keep only one of these, which one of these two would you keep? I'm sorta asking to try selling me one of these machines, being once a owner or repairman of one of these machines, if you get what I mean.
thanks for your feedback.
pics of machines in question:
"Itís not so much as to so little as to do with what everything is..."
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Last edited by snowflitesly; 03-15-2017 at 08:50 PM.