20 Year old Toro 521 - Snowblower Forum : Snow Blower Forums
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post #1 of 28 Old 02-27-2012, 12:31 PM Thread Starter
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20 Year old Toro 521

I recently purchased a house and am looking for a snow blower to help clear the driveway and walkways. The driveway isn't very long (3 to 4 car lengths) and one car wide. On craigslist I found a Toro 521 for $200 when I asked about the age the response was:

Yes I still have the snow blower and the age is 20 yrs. It's a garage machine that my mother-in-law owned,it's in really decent condition. I inspected the friction wheel and it has lots of rubber left on it, minor adjustments, oil change, new carburetor, new belts. All around it's a safe machine

The person selling it is a small engine shop, so I assume that it was well maintained. My questions is what is the expected life span for a snow blower / how much life would this machine have left in it? And is $200 a reasonable amount for this machine?

Thanks,
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post #2 of 28 Old 02-27-2012, 01:10 PM
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I had a 1985 3521 that was a good machine. I swapped the engine to a 6.5HP engine and sold it for $180. They are nice, but a little on the small side. If you have the room I would suggest looking for something like a 24". I am not sure how much snow you get, but the 521 is only like 17" tall where a bigger 24" would be closer to 20" tall. Taller would be nice for deeper snow. Wider would get you done a bit faster and probably take 1 less pass for sidewalks.

Another nice thing to look for would be one with a differential on the axle to aid in turning.

With the lack of snow everywhere this year you should be able to find one a bit cheaper and maybe even get one closer to $100 if you shop around. Or, wait until summer and get lucky when someone is moving and just wants to get rid of one quickly.
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post #3 of 28 Old 02-27-2012, 01:17 PM
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there is a 524 toro on cl not too far from me for $150. that said all my experiance with toro's have ben with single stage snowblowers, ccr2000, powerlite-e, ccr2450 ( r & E ) and ccr3650e

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..............
william
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post #4 of 28 Old 02-27-2012, 02:17 PM
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for an old snow blower, if it is fully tuned up and ready to go 200 is fine. for example the last 4 or 5 snow blowers i have sold this year all got belts, friction wheel, plug and points, carb clean out or rebuild. oil change in engine, oil change in gearbox, new shear pins and serviced the auger to ensure the auger isn't rusted to the auger shaft. i sold them for 200 to 250.

i am not sure but i would bet that machine is closer to 30 years old. i have a model 421 now that i got from the original owner. he bought it in 1978 but i dont know when they stopped or if they stopped that model.

i would say if it hasn't been completely gone over it should be closer to $100
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post #5 of 28 Old 02-27-2012, 02:35 PM
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I own a 26 year old Toro 521 https://www.snowblowerforum.com/forum...1-2-stage.html I have seen a few 521's in excellent shape going for $300-$350 on Ebay last November. This winter has been a bust for snow. I would offer him $125-$150 if it is in real nice shape if it does not need anything. Less if it does. Snow blower used prices are waaay down this year do to this snow less winter. Good luck with what you decide

Original owner of a low mileage 1986 Toro 521 2 stage
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post #6 of 28 Old 02-27-2012, 02:50 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shryp View Post
I had a 1985 3521 that was a good machine. I swapped the engine to a 6.5HP engine and sold it for $180. They are nice, but a little on the small side. If you have the room I would suggest looking for something like a 24". I am not sure how much snow you get, but the 521 is only like 17" tall where a bigger 24" would be closer to 20" tall. Taller would be nice for deeper snow. Wider would get you done a bit faster and probably take 1 less pass for sidewalks.

Another nice thing to look for would be one with a differential on the axle to aid in turning.

With the lack of snow everywhere this year you should be able to find one a bit cheaper and maybe even get one closer to $100 if you shop around. Or, wait until summer and get lucky when someone is moving and just wants to get rid of one quickly.
I'll assume that 17" doesn't mean that it can handle 17" of snow. How much snow could this machine handle comfortably? I live in Maine (Central area Lewiston/Auburn if you are familiar with the state) so we get a fair amount of snow during the winter ... except this year.
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post #7 of 28 Old 02-27-2012, 03:20 PM
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I got rid of my 3521 a couple years ago and we only had 1 snow that was deeper than the height of the blower. It was just barely over the top and did fine. Last year I was using an Ariens 24" and is closer to 20-21" tall and I liked the extra height for the couple of big snows we had.

Some of the older Ariens blowers also have a split axle that you can lock. During normal use and pushing around the garage you can have it function like a car differential and power both wheels, but still allow easy turning. If you have really deep snow and ice you can lock the axle solid and get much better traction, but have to drag it around corners.

I don't have too big of an area, but I also appreciated the extra width of the 24". It doesn't seem like a lot, but it makes a bit of a difference for sidewalks and such. The older Ariens were also built before all the safety devices so you can lock the auger on or off and free up your other hand to move the chute. Mine is a 1977 model.

The bigger full size Ariens is also quite a bit faster. It has 5 speeds vs the Toro 3. The extra speed comes in handy when there isn't a lot of snow, or for just pushing it around or back to the garage.
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post #8 of 28 Old 02-27-2012, 03:28 PM Thread Starter
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The bigger full size Ariens is also quite a bit faster. It has 5 speeds vs the Toro 3. The extra speed comes in handy when there isn't a lot of snow, or for just pushing it around or back to the garage.
When we had the home inspection Ariens came highly recommended but the cheapest one I can find is for $450 (ARIENS SNOW BLOWER EXC. COND)
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post #9 of 28 Old 02-27-2012, 04:30 PM
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When we had the home inspection Ariens came highly recommended but the cheapest one I can find is for $450 (ARIENS SNOW BLOWER EXC. COND)
They are dirt cheap all over Cleveland. More so if you are willing to buy one that needs work.
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post #10 of 28 Old 02-27-2012, 04:36 PM
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ok i just finished looking at older postings on cl and found a toro 521 for $175 . if you want that machine and think $200 is too high make them an offer

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..............
william
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