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Micah'

Thanks for posting that. It's a good heads up for anyone considering a used machine. If Donyboy thinks that transmission is trash, that's all I need to know.
There's too much stuff like this going on today in manufacturing....:icon_cussing_black:
You may buy something, that conceptually is an improved level of engineering, but due to the pursuit of maximum profit, it leads manufacturers to say:
"That's great. Now find a way to make this as cheaply as you can".

It's easy to blame the Chinese, but when it's an American manufacturing company, you can't really blame the Asian factories for doing what they are told to do.

Result: Poor quality, cheap plastic crap, that breaks or wears out prematurely-- like this disaster of a thing.

It's everywhere now, not just with power equipment. Cars, major appliances, etc. Shop only by price, and there is a better than even chance that you will be buying a replacement once the warranty expires.:sad2: And sadly, sometimes now, paying more still doesn't buy quality! I'm really sick and tired of paying hard earned money and having no choice but to buy junk...because for certain products, that's all that is out there!



(O.K......sorry.....rant over :wink2:).

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First blower I had 30 years ago was a craftsman. Back then they had pretty much the same drive gear as MTD blowers, Well they were made by MTD back then. Anyways I have had a few different blowers since that, but the craftsman was the worst I have owned. Seemed like it was always something needing attention. Couldnt blow reasonably heavy snow across a single drive... unbelievable how quality has gone down and the use of plastics. Prices havent gotten cheaper just poorer quality. But thats the story on everything now, not just blowers. Cut production costs and try to put out a competitive priced product at the cost of lower quality. No sign that this trend is going to change. There was a time when things were made to last and a pride in the craftsmanship. Sad.
 

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I think that's the "new and improved" MTD machine. I was trying to track it down but everything I punch into the SearsPartsDirect site comes up as discontinued and doesn't even show a parts diagram. That's scary on new machines that are still being sold. I was using Sears and Ace hardware numbers. I did find one, Craftsman 31AM32AD799 but it's the cheaper one without steering and it's around $150 US for it's trans. IMHO an idea that likely looked great on the drawing board and the accountants loved it, just doesn't seem to hold up in the real world. Makes it kind of a throwaway machine unless you can find another with a blown out auger gearbox or bad engine cheap and consolidate the two. Even then you don't know how long you have. That friction wheel design is pretty cheap and bulletproof in my opinion.

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https://www.amazon.com/MTD-918-04296B-Snowblower-Transmission/dp/B0017OUCYC
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yep. There are 35 yr old home A/C units out there, still chugging along year after year. People say they're inefficient but are they? The new, high tech, super efficient units may last 8 years. Same with so many household appliances. Lifespans of 5-7 years then have to buy new. Look at some good(?) brand name lawn and garden equipment that used to be bulletproof and one purchase would last you a lifetime. You couldn't pay me to buy one of them now.
 

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Yep. There are 35 yr old home A/C units out there, still chugging along year after year.

We have a 30 year old unit made by Rheem that is still running great and our electric bills are cheaper than most of our neighbors. :smile2:
 

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Discussion Starter #7
We have a 30 year old unit made by Rheem that is still running great and our electric bills are cheaper than most of our neighbors. :smile2:
If I could find a NOS unit I'd be tempted to snag it. Last me the rest of my days.:smile2:
 
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I'm probably gonna get crap for this but this is why i won't buy a new Honda.

I know a lot of people love the new HSS series but i speak to mechanics at Honda all the time. so many issues with these new machines and they have only been selling them for 3 seasons. it would burn me up if i spent 3k or more for one of these machines and I had problems with the bells and whistles that they added.

I'll just keep my old 55-80- and 828 forever. and i have the parts to keep them going forever.
 

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Looks like Briggs went back to classic friction disc drive system at least the 27" home depot ones....I just checked the manual PG.14 via home depot of both 27" models Steerable/ regular and it states to lubricate hex shaft and gears. I bet they had trouble quick with that plastic junk Donyboy pointed out!!! Honestly how could craftsman/Briggs ever allow that little plastic transmission to even be signed off on????
 

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Looks like Briggs went back to classic friction disc drive system at least the 27" home depot ones....I just checked the manual PG.14 of both 27" models Steerable/ regular and it states to lubricate hex shaft and gears. I bet they had trouble quick with that plastic junk Donyboy pointed out!!! Honestly how could craftsman/Briggs ever allow that little crap transmission to even be signed off on????
It all comes down to $$$$$
 

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Looks like Briggs went back to classic friction disc drive system at least the 27" home depot ones....I just checked the manual PG.14 via home depot of both 27" models Steerable/ regular and it states to lubricate hex shaft and gears. I bet they had trouble quick with that plastic junk Donyboy pointed out!!! Honestly how could craftsman/Briggs ever allow that little plastic transmission to even be signed off on????
quick buck artists taking the money and running knowing that the ship was sinking?
 

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So it appears that even 'Made in USA' isn't much of a guarantee of quality anymore. What to do, what to do? Well, you could buy a vintage Ariens made in the 70's for $150 on Craigslist. It is made from heavier-duty, metal components. Parts, repair and expert advice are available right here on this site. If you take care of it, it will outperform a newer anything all day long. And to top it all off for those 'have-the-whole-collection' types, a mower, broom and vac attachments were available! One machine working all year long, so never any bad gas issues. That run of years, and even older, Ariens are bulletproof. I have one, and it's the baddest snowthrower on not just my block, but the whole darn neighborhood! Ariens - King of Snow.
 

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I expect my signature mach to outlast me and maybe my kids. Mostly iron, and steel, moderinised and upgraded, quite bulletproofed, and most of the essential spare parts.
Sid
 

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It all comes down to $$$$$
I'm sure a lot of times it is money but engineers also like to create something new thinking it's better. Looks great on paper, seemed ok in prototype but fell on it's face out in the real world.
Ford came up with a carb that had an adjustable throat, a variable venturi (VV). It was a brilliant idea both for performance, emissions and fuel economy. That's a really hard combination to fit into one carb for anyone. Problem with it was in the real world folks don't change air filters when they should and this thing was crazy sensitive to dirt. AND up here in the frozen tundra when someone flooded their car or thought they did you couldn't do the standard "jam a pencil/screwdriver/... in there without totally rupturing a diaphragm causing a need for an expensive rebuild as it surely would flood now. If you didn't know what the VV was those sliding venturies seemed like choke plates.

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Ford came up with a carb that had an adjustable throat, a variable venturi (VV). It was a brilliant idea both for performance, emissions and fuel economy.

:thumbsup: The Edsel of carburetors...
 

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I can't tell you how much I appreciate Donyboy73. I would say that 95% of what I have learned about all kinds of outdoor equipment, I have learned by watching his videos. Snowblowers, small engines, chainsaws, gas leaf blowers and trimmers....Wow...this guy is great! He is so calm and sincere while explaining things....Hats Off to You Donyboy73! I can't thank you enough!:smile2:
 

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Micah'

Thanks for posting that. It's a good heads up for anyone considering a used machine. If Donyboy thinks that transmission is trash, that's all I need to know.
There's too much stuff like this going on today in manufacturing....:icon_cussing_black:
You may buy something, that conceptually is an improved level of engineering, but due to the pursuit of maximum profit, it leads manufacturers to say:
"That's great. Now find a way to make this as cheaply as you can".

It's easy to blame the Chinese, but when it's an American manufacturing company, you can't really blame the Asian factories for doing what they are told to do.

Result: Poor quality, cheap plastic crap, that breaks or wears out prematurely-- like this disaster of a thing.

It's everywhere now, not just with power equipment. Cars, major appliances, etc. Shop only by price, and there is a better than even chance that you will be buying a replacement once the warranty expires.:sad2: And sadly, sometimes now, paying more still doesn't buy quality! I'm really sick and tired of paying hard earned money and having no choice but to buy junk...because for certain products, that's all that is out there!



(O.K......sorry.....rant over :wink2:).

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Hold on to your older machines!!!
 
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Those Sears Canada snowthrowers were made by Briggs & Stratton/Simplicity. The transmissions were made by General Transmissions and have been discontinued. GT is not selling them anymore.
 

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How do you donate money to Donyboy? Does he live in Canada?
 
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