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Discussion Starter #1
Does anyone know if this information is accurate? I have contacted Ariens by phone and they say yes it is.

Model 921053 24" Platinum SHO EFI 369cc 3.2 quart fuel tank.

Model 926068 28" Hydro Pro 420cc EFI 2 quart fuel tank.

It doesn't make sense that a smaller engine would have more fuel capacity.

Sorry about the previous double post but the first one disappeared and then there it was. Thanks, SW
 

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The tiny fuel tank on the AX (LCT) engined blowers (including the EFI Pros) is what kept me from considering a Hydro when I was shopping this year. I ended up with the regular disc drive Pro 28 because the carb-ed Briggs has a 1.5 gallon fuel tank and I didn't want to be stuck worrying about needing to top off before finishing the driveway, sidewalk, etc. after one of those storms where we get 18" overnight.



FWIW, I've seen people say the 3.2 quart tanks are more like 2.5 quarts at best of usable fuel, so it's possible there's not much real difference between those 2.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The tiny fuel tank on the AX (LCT) engined blowers (including the EFI Pros) is what kept me from considering a Hydro when I was shopping this year. I ended up with the regular disc drive Pro 28 because the carb-ed Briggs has a 1.5 gallon fuel tank and I didn't want to be stuck worrying about needing to top off before finishing the driveway, sidewalk, etc. after one of those storms where we get 18" overnight.



FWIW, I've seen people say the 3.2 quart tanks are more like 2.5 quarts at best of usable fuel, so it's possible there's not much real difference between those 2.
I agree with your thinking about non EFI. My JD with an 8hp Tecumseh carbureted has never given me trouble. I am lucky to be able to purchase non-ethanol and I add Stabil to all my gas. I just thought the EFI on a snowblower sounded interesting.
 

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If the EFI didn't come with a big price bump and a much smaller fuel tank (part of what pushed me from a Platinum 30 SHO to a Pro 28 in the first place) I would have given it a serious thought. Especially because the 420cc Briggs (manual choke, manual prime, significant force to pull start) is nowhere near as nice to start as the Honda GCV190 on my mower (carbed, but thermostatic choke, no primer and will start on one half-assed low effort pull).



I have a plan to fix the starting convenience issue though. Some time in the next few weeks I'm going to convert the (worthless IMO) 120v plug in electric start on my Pro 28 to a 12v battery start setup. Cranking it with the starter should make getting the primer and choke just perfect for the current temperature a lot less sensitive.
 

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The Gen 3 low profile LCT engines that Ariens has been using in their machines with engines 306cc or larger has a fuel tank that is too small for the engine size on the 369cc and 414cc engines. Additionally the gas cap on these models can be a pain to put back on. The bayonet style cap has to be lined up with the filler neck strainer just right to reinstall it, a poor design that is more complicated than it should be. If you have a large/long driveway I would definitely consider the Hydro Pro 28. I have a Platinum 24 SHO and my driveway is about 2000 square feet. It doesn’t always do the full drive and walkway on 1 tank of gas depending on the conditions.

The Pro 28 is a significant upgrade over the Platinum for the extra dough you will get the larger engine with a proper fuel tank, the 16 inch auger rakes, heavier gauge auger side panels, braced auger, heavy duty thicker skid shoes, boron steel shave plate, a taller housing and much more substantial handle bars. Good luck and keep us posted.
 

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If you have a large/long driveway I would definitely consider the Hydro Pro 28. I have a Platinum 24 SHO and my driveway is about 2000 square feet. It doesn’t always do the full drive and walkway on 1 tank of gas depending on the conditions.

The Pro 28 is a significant upgrade over the Platinum for the extra dough you will get the larger engine with a proper fuel tank, the 16 inch auger rakes, heavier gauge auger side panels, braced auger, heavy duty thicker skid shoes, boron steel shave plate, a taller housing and much more substantial handle bars. Good luck and keep us posted.

Only problem is, for this year, you can't get the hydro trans without also getting EFI or tracks on the Pros. The 28 and 36 Hydro wheeled versions only come with the EFI 420cc LCT engine (with the tiny 1/2 gallon fuel tank). The disc drive 28 or 32 and the tracked hydro 28 or 32 come with the carb-ed 420cc Briggs (large fuel tank). Interestingly, the 36 is Hydro / EFI only, no tracks, carb or disc drive option. And you can't get tracks and EFI on the same machine in any size.
 

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Only problem is, for this year, you can't get the hydro trans without also getting EFI or tracks on the Pros. The 28 and 36 Hydro wheeled versions only come with the EFI 420cc LCT engine (with the tiny 1/2 gallon fuel tank). The disc drive 28 or 32 and the tracked hydro 28 or 32 come with the carb-ed 420cc Briggs (large fuel tank). Interestingly, the 36 is Hydro / EFI only, no tracks, carb or disc drive option. And you can't get tracks and EFI on the same machine in any size.
At this point Ariens is really pushing the EFI and Rapid Trak. I like the Rapid Trak if your needs and budget warrant such a machine. The regular disc drive Pro 28 still represents a solid value for a heavy duty machine. Surprised your Briggs requires a lot of effort to start, in fairness to the LCT with proper maintenance they have almost always given me an easy 1 pull start.
 

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The Briggs isn't a lot of effort (it'll usually start on one pull if the amount of primer and choke is right for the outside temp), but it's not a physically easy pull. And if the choke setting isn't quite right for the temperature, etc. it might take 2 or 3 pulls. It's definitely in the category of "if my girlfriend needs to use it and I'm not home, she'll need the electric start." At least the blower will live in the heated garage for winter, so cold weather starts shouldn't be too bad.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
If the EFI didn't come with a big price bump and a much smaller fuel tank (part of what pushed me from a Platinum 30 SHO to a Pro 28 in the first place) I would have given it a serious thought. Especially because the 420cc Briggs (manual choke, manual prime, significant force to pull start) is nowhere near as nice to start as the Honda GCV190 on my mower (carbed, but thermostatic choke, no primer and will start on one half-assed low effort pull).



I have a plan to fix the starting convenience issue though. Some time in the next few weeks I'm going to convert the (worthless IMO) 120v plug in electric start on my Pro 28 to a 12v battery start setup. Cranking it with the starter should make getting the primer and choke just perfect for the current temperature a lot less sensitive.
I do like the idea of key start with a battery. Seems to work well on Honda's. Will you be able to do this with part from Ariens? Is there an alternator available for the 420cc? I look forward to hearing about the process and end result. Hope it goes well.
 

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The Gen 3 low profile LCT engines that Ariens has been using in their machines with engines 306cc or larger has a fuel tank that is too small for the engine size on the 369cc and 414cc engines. Additionally the gas cap on these models can be a pain to put back on. The bayonet style cap has to be lined up with the filler neck strainer just right to reinstall it, a poor design that is more complicated than it should be. If you have a large/long driveway I would definitely consider the Hydro Pro 28. I have a Platinum 24 SHO and my driveway is about 2000 square feet. It doesn’t always do the full drive and walkway on 1 tank of gas depending on the conditions.

The Pro 28 is a significant upgrade over the Platinum for the extra dough you will get the larger engine with a proper fuel tank, the 16 inch auger rakes, heavier gauge auger side panels, braced auger, heavy duty thicker skid shoes, boron steel shave plate, a taller housing and much more substantial handle bars. Good luck and keep us posted.
I did stop by a local dealer and they had the 24 SHO next to a 28 Hydro Pro. Both very nice machines in person. I don't know if this means much but the housing on my JD is 26x16=416 sq.in. The 24 SHO is 24x20=480 sq.in. 28 Pro 28x23.5=658. So even the 24" SHO is an improvement compared to my JD and add in the larger impeller and auger, it would literally blow my JD away in a contest.
 

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I do like the idea of key start with a battery. Seems to work well on Honda's. Will you be able to do this with part from Ariens? Is there an alternator available for the 420cc? I look forward to hearing about the process and end result. Hope it goes well.
Plan is to do basically what this guy did, just with a few wiring differences and a different rectifier / regulator setup: https://www.snowblowerforum.com/forum/general-snowblower-discussion/138577-upgraded-12v-key-start-lights.html

The 420cc already has an alternator big enough to power the 20w headlight and the heated grips, it just needs to be rectified to DC and regulated to an appropriate voltage to keep the battery charged. The headlight and grips will run off the battery, so I'll need to put the headlight on a switch (so it can be turned off when the engine isn't running).

For a starter, the 420cc Briggs is used with a 12v starter in the non-snowblower version, so there's a starter available to use. Battery tray will come from one of the older key start Ariens Pros (same tray as in the thread linked above).

I figured out that the factory heated grips switch is a Contura V switch, so I ordered a pair for the headlight and engine start (momentary on) with appropriate graphics.

Headlight switch (with text changed to head light): https://www.otrattw.net/CONTURA-V-DRIVING-LIGHTS-UPPER-DEPENDENT-LED-ONLY-V1D1BX0B-PZCN5-57U.html

Start switch: https://www.otrattw.net/CONTURA-V-ENGINE-START-UPPER-DEPENDENT-LED-ONLY-V2D1BX0B-PZCSE-500.html

Once all the parts come in over the next few weeks and I get it all put together and working I'll post a thread with some more details and pictures of how it all comes together.
 

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I've had the 24" Platinum EFI SHO and the 28" Hydro Pro EFI. I definitely believe I got more run time from my 24" however I can clear more in a lesser amount of time due to the hydro being more user friendly and having a bucket that can eat 4" more each pass. I only run my machines WOT so I never see the benefits as to how much less fuel do they consume at half throttle when you don't need to throw 50' away....I just always do because why even give the machine a chance to bog, let it run WO.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I've had the 24" Platinum EFI SHO and the 28" Hydro Pro EFI. I definitely believe I got more run time from my 24" however I can clear more in a lesser amount of time due to the hydro being more user friendly and having a bucket that can eat 4" more each pass. I only run my machines WOT so I never see the benefits as to how much less fuel do they consume at half throttle when you don't need to throw 50' away....I just always do because why even give the machine a chance to bog, let it run WO.
That makes sense. Was there much difference between those two when clearing hard pack, where someone has driver or walked over? Did the extra weight of the 28" make it easier?
 

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I always tried to clear before heading into work but there were many times when my wife would beat me home and would already put her car on top of the fresh stuff and pack it down. I found that my driveway had too many bumps and cracks in it down to tree roots below the pavement. I set my scraper bar on the Hydro pro at 1/2” rather than 1/4” on the Platinum. Naturally I left stuff behind and some of that was the hardpack.

When I got to the bottom of the driveway and it was packed in due to the plows launching it while doing 40mph passes, I did find that the hydro pro floated over it less. I really should have tried to run the machine without the double weight bars in the bucket. I knew that the platinum climbed and I just didn’t want to get frustrated at my new machine. The downside to that extra weight is when you need to lean the bucket back to hop up on the curb for fire hydrants, or clear pee areas for dogs on the grass, it’s a lot of weight to counter on your wrists. More so with the weight in the bucket.

My game plan for this winter was to add the snowblower skids that are sold by a 3rd party and put the narrow side forward so it helps put through the EOD stuff.


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