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Bought last October and used for approx. 8 hours this winter.
I serviced it 2 days ago and put it away for next year.
I took off all the covers to have a good look at the friction drive and clutch drive mechanisms.
Found quite a few things that should NOT be an issue with a brand new premium, heavy duty $ 2000.- machine.

PROs:

Lots of power even with heavy wet snow, good throwing distance
Very little if any clogging even with wet slush, still throws it a good distance
Starts by hand with the first pull every time, ditto for electric starter
Steerable (clutched) drive wheels work very well and make turning a pleasure
I have no complaints about its operation at all, it's a pleasure to run although it could use a little more weight on the front end. Easy to fix!

CONs:

Various deficiencies during my first checkup and maintenance, namely

Had considerable difficulties to pull off the drive wheels, axles were rusty and bone dry, no grease present at all. Sanded the axels and wheel bores and greased.
Augershaft right side was lubed, left side was bone dry and auger barely turned on shaft, had to make an adapter to grease with grease gun through auger bolt hole.
Drive wheel gears and drive chains and sprockets for clutch drive had no lube whatsoever. Had to apply grease.
Actual Clutch mechanism for drive wheels was bone dry so I oiled the sliding parts of the mechanism
The outside edges of the the friction drive aluminium disc were so ragged and sharp, that I cut my hand on trying to clean it. Looks like they were stamped with a very dull die.
The rubber friction disc itself has various small cracks in the rubber after only 8 hours of operation.
The hexshaft of the drive wheel transmission was dry and I had to grease it.

I thought it was disappointing to find such an obvious lack of factory preparation and/or dealer preparation of an expensive machine like this.

As per my manual the annual maint. requires just a lubrication of the transmission hexshaft, period.
I can guarantee that the other issues (ie. lack of lubrication) would've given me a lot of grief during later years when trying to do maintenance on these components.
Even though I am happy with the machine's performance I am not impressed with the quality control of their assemblies and their final inspections. For the price I paid, I expected much better that that!
 

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I agree - that is really not what you expect from the high end machines. At least you are one of the few who actually take the time to prepare/maintain your machine. 90% of the people will just shove it in the shed until next winter.
 

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I hear ya' sasquatch. New neighbors moved in 2 years ago transfer from Southern Cal.. Bought a brand new Troy from Lowes and really had no idea how it worked. Went to help them out and found nearly everything you describe. Hex shaft was completely covered in rust, one wheel required 1/2hr of man handling and a pipe wrench on the other end to remove. Not a hint of of lube inside the tractor housing and it hadn't even been run yet. Not the same quality of machine as yours obviously, but no excuse for that. Did you get yours from a dealer?
 

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I hear ya' sasquatch. New neighbors moved in 2 years ago transfer from Southern Cal.. Bought a brand new Troy from Lowes and really had no idea how it worked. Went to help them out and found nearly everything you describe. Hex shaft was completely covered in rust, one wheel required 1/2hr of man handling and a pipe wrench on the other end to remove. Not a hint of of lube inside the tractor housing and it hadn't even been run yet. Not the same quality of machine as yours obviously, but no excuse for that. Did you get yours from a dealer?
I bought it from the main dealer in my area which is even more disappointing because I expected him to rectify these things during the assembly they had to do on the factory units. It also doesn't give me a warm fuzzy feeling about the factory's quality control. Obviously they just threw them together, hoping for the best and figuring the average joe wouldn't even know about this. That's a perfect way for them to make a buck later on when things start to seize up and customers are unable to fix them. It practically guarantees repeat business from the average joe who doesn't do his/her own maintenance. :sad:
 

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Grease auger/impeller-Toro Powermax 826 OE 2013

Had considerable difficulties to pull off the drive wheels, axles were rusty and bone dry, no grease present at all. Sanded the axels and wheel bores and greased.
Augershaft right side was lubed, left side was bone dry and auger barely turned on shaft, had to make an adapter to grease with grease gun through auger bolt hole.
How did you do this ? Did you drill a hole for a zerks fitting ? Any video links that shows this ?

I have a rusting problem with the auger and impeller with my 3 year old Toro Powermax 826 OE. Spend a considerable amount of time taking the machine apart to remove the auger and impeller.

Not looking forward to be doing this every year.
 

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BrooklynD, You need to remove the augers to drill and tap spots for a zerk on their respective tubes. Technically you should be able to remove the two bolts from the impeller shaft in the far back near the impeller blades and the 4 bucket side mount bolts and the whole auger/impeller "shaft" assembly "should" come out. My experience helping a neighbor with it didn't fly that way. We had to go in the belly pan area to actually remove the impeller drive pulley and adapter and then pull the entire impeller and auger assembly (not just the augers and impeller shaft). Because of the one piece tractor frame design it's a PIA especially if rusted up a bit. The nut that's on the back side of the auger drive pulley is a kind of blocked by the interior of the belly section. If I remember correctly the nut on it was pretty small and we couldn't get an impact on it because of obstructions. I also remember the tubes for the augers were pretty thin so we had to use shallow zerk fittings. Better to do it during the summer than have a seized auger and break your gear box in the dead of winter:wavetowel2:

Sorry, read your post again, sounds like you already experienced the take down part. Also try to get any flashing out of the inside of the tube after drilling. We used a wood dowel with sand paper on a cordless after knocking out any obvious chunks. Push some grease through the tube with a dowel and piece of old t-shirt before re-assembly and then hit them with the grease gun.
 

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Thanks sasquatch.
I just bought a 2017 928 HD OHXE.
I will check out the things you mention.

Agree though it should be done for the cost. IMO it should be done on the assembly line. My 2017 came on a pallet and the dealer assembled, adjusted the shute and handle bars. Adjusted the skids, scraper bar, auger lever, drive lever, turning levers.
All the things you mention not lubed were assembled at the factory correct?
 
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