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So who made the Ariens shown in #7? As noted it is nearly identical to the JD 826...

If you are referring to post #7 in this thread, that is a 1971 Ariens made by Ariens.
It's not really very similar to the 1990's John Deere machines made by Ariens.
The 1990's John Deere snowblowers made by Ariens are nearly identical to 1990's Ariens models. ;)


Scot
 

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Interesting thread but I will have to recluse myself also. No experience with any brand but Honda , especially the 34 year old HS55 and my 29 year old HS80 which are built like tanks and have never let me down.
 

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I'm fortunate to have several different brands of the snowblowers already mentioned including 10,000 Ariens, tracked Honda and a Gravely. The Gravely is a commercial 5665 with a 12 HP Kohler K301 with 26" snow cannon. I've only used it once in the snow and it's everything others have already said. The machine weighs 500 lbs and the snowblower is well over 100 lbs. It's probably 5-1/2 feet long and quite a handful to turn around but it will drill through a snow-packed bank and hurl a great volume of snow.

The tracked Honda is also a killer machine and under certain snow conditions, it can paste a tree trunk with snow way up high. The machine handles much better with the side-mounted commercial skid shoes. For a really big snowfall total 16"+, this machine has fantastic performance.

My wife's Ariens 924 series ST-824 is a good all-rounder but the 10,000 Ariens is my favorite for sentimental reasons (my father bought one new in 1969 which I now have). A 10,000 Ariens with a 7 HP can handle 90% of my needs and it doesn't take up too much space in the garage during the off season. I like working on it too.

 

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I'm fortunate to have several different brands of the snowblowers already mentioned including 10,000 Ariens, tracked Honda and a Gravely. The Gravely is a commercial 5665 with a 12 HP Kohler K301 with 26" snow cannon. I've only used it once in the snow and it's everything others have already said. The machine weighs 500 lbs and the snowblower is well over 100 lbs. It's probably 5-1/2 feet long and quite a handful to turn around but it will drill through a snow-packed bank and hurl a great volume of snow.

The tracked Honda is also a killer machine and under certain snow conditions, it can paste a tree trunk with snow way up high. The machine handles much better with the side-mounted commercial skid shoes. For a really big snowfall total 16"+, this machine has fantastic performance.

My wife's Ariens 924 series ST-824 is a good all-rounder but the 10,000 Ariens is my favorite for sentimental reasons (my father bought one new in 1969 which I now have). A 10,000 Ariens with a 7 HP can handle 90% of my needs and it doesn't take up too much space in the garage during the off season. I like working on it too.
A+ on the Gravely. Those "Old Iron" dinosaurs were just about unstoppable and would out-do just about anything out there. I have a couple of them, and some of the "L" models.
When the going get too tough for anything else, break out the Gravely.
People never ran a real snowblower till they ran one of those old Gravely's, and sometimes you had to "Man-Handle" them, they were no "Lightweight" machine.
 

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Looks like the list of the ten (?) Snowblower Hall Fame Inductees is taking shape

1. 10000 Series Ariens
2. Any of the Honda Track models
3. Gravely's with the Dog Eater or MA-210 blower attachment
4. Simplicity Large Frame models (aka Signature Pro)

I wish to nominate the following models for consideration:

5. Toro PowerClear single stage models. After a snow storm, take a ride through any dense neighborhood and you will always see a few of these out there working. And the commercial operators buy them by the dozen for apartment complexes and such.

6. Toro PowerMax HD models with the Anti Clogging System Impeller and Quick Stick chute control.
Same design since the early 2000's. They got it right.

7. A Troy-Bilt/Craftsman/CC model
. There are thousands and thousands sold every year and that says something. No idea which model stands out though. Is there a "Gem" in here?

8. Modern Ariens series with SHO, AutoTurn and Top loader cast iron gearbox.
Already on its way to glory. Models such as the 28" Deluxe SHO or 24" Platinum.

9. The Tecumseh Snow King flat head engine
. So dominant at one time and many are still in service - I think it deserves to be in here

10. Any of the Yamaha Track models.
No (legal) presence in the US due to some stupid agreement but elsewhere they compete nose to nose with (or exceed) the Honda's in terms of throwing ability and quality

.
 

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I think this really needs to be broken into the serious heavy duty type Ala commercial walk behind and the home owner class (though the two can cross depending on your house!)


Having run through the gamut, I put the Yamaha as the best.







That said, I have operated the old Deers (early 80s) Toro from the same era, Honda Tracked, MTD, Sears Arctic and the Yamaha.



For many in Valdez AK (300 inches of snow a year) , the Yamaha was the blower of choice even for commercial/city use.



My brother had the better Toro (better engine) and I liked the Toro a lot, that drum Auger worked well for sloppy snow though not as good in carving into a berm. Toro took a long time to put a chute discharge adjust on. Also for grass which I had acquired with the house (paths in the back yard) the Wheels were not good.



That said, for its time, the Yamaha was simply the best, vastly better than Honda in the same width class and beat out Toro with the Chute adjustment . Ergonomics were much better, the Honda at the time you had to reach down to turn the chute, a real pain. Ok if you did not have to rotate the chute but still a pain.



The clearing on the 24 inch was much better with a higher chute (22 inches) vs 12 or some such of the Honda.



Given in the day there was no trigger control, the Yamaha turned much better than the Honda.



The engine had a lug down factor that beat everyone else high speed need. Diesel like torque at low rpms.



So I will put the Yamaha Blowers in as the best of all time, not sure how they compare now, still good I believe but others may have caught up.
 

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I own a 1977 Gravely 566, this has a Kohler K301 12 HP engine
With both a early style dogeater pre 1960 26” blower or a later MA210 26” blower it will out throw any blower I have ever seen in use.
Across the road and into the second story windows of the house across the street.
It’s is long and heavy but remarkably nimble. All gear drive and direction may be changed from forward to reverse instantly.

It’s relatively dangerous to operate with no operator present controls but will blow though 6’ of compacted plow snow.
I sold both of my blower attachments but will pick up a 28-34” one as soon as I find a clean one.
I probably mentioned this before but I picked up a wooden handle corn broom in the dogeater. It promptly ate and discharged the whole handle and only tripped the clutch when the broom section was leaving the second stage and jammed in the chute.

Truly an animal.

When I would run it people would stop their cars to watch it operate.



Tons of fun!
Red



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YEAH, dangerous to operate. Mine had a fan mounted to blow cool air onto the engine. ****....what a contraption
 

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Put me down for an Ariens 10000 series A+ machine. I have been using them since the early 1970's. Even during the deepest snow, they have always got the job done. I currently have 2, 910962's, originally with 7HP TECs. They now have 212 Predators. I also have a 910918, originally with a 8HP TEC, also which I also changed to a 212 Predator. I use all three and they continue to " Get The Job Done"
 

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Ariens was never advertised up here, I have looked and it might be a good option.


None of the box stores carry a tracked model but the equipment MFG listed might.


I will have to drop in and look.



Yamaha may have a fatal failure and getting parts is not easy so I keep an eye out.



I do note the newer tracked Honda/Ariens weigh quite a bit more than the YS624T, so some of the comments about cheap don't seem to apply.
 

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If you add a chute from an 8/24 machine... you will change your opinion.

I wanna see what you guys think. I personally think that the ariens 10000 series blowers knock everything out of the park. The only thing I don’t like is the short chute but other than that it is a literal tank. Cast iron everything. Also I like the toro power shift because of it no shear pin feature and giant augers. What do you guys think? Here’s a pic of my new machine.
 

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Picture did not come through!
 

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I third the Ariens 10,000 series. Definitely "hall of fame" worthy!
I bought my 1971 Ariens in 2009.. a decade later its still my primary snowblower, in the lake effect snow belt of Western NY.
And its the machine that inspired my Ariens webpage.






I now have two 1971 Ariens and a '91, im basically set for life.


Scot
I wonder if I'm set for life. I just bought a 1966 8hp. Snow-Thro, have a Honda 621, and (for clean-up near my office, a small Toro single stage).
 

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I'd like to nominate the Briggs powered Simplicity (Sno-away) / Allis Chalmers (Tracker 7 or 8) from late 60's / early 70's.

I believe I'm the only active member that has ever used one but if you're an old iron aficionado, grab one of these.

It was way ahead of it's time with it's controls...engage the handlebar lever for it to move (not stop).

They're pushed with a garden-tractor based slide-gear transmission and the locking differential allows you to turn on a dime with zero effort.

The updraft carb on the Briggs flatty takes a little getting used to when rebuilding (mainly stopping it from leaking past the emulsion tube seat/seal) but it always starts on an easy pull. Migrating to electronic ignition is super simple; simply bolt-on the external coil; it's not a points-saver like on the tecs & Kohler-K electronic ignition kits.

EDIT: with the external coil, you can also add a stator and upgrade the flywheel for power generation. :cool:



^^ I have some 15" x-tracs on order for her.
 

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I'd like to nominate the Briggs powered Simplicity (Sno-away) / Allis Chalmers (Tracker 7 or 8) from late 60's / early 70's.

I believe I'm the only active member that has ever used one but if you're an old iron aficionado, grab one of these.

It was way ahead of it's time with it's controls...engage the handlebar lever for it to move (not stop).

They're pushed with a garden-tractor based slide-gear transmission and the locking differential allows you to turn on a dime with zero effort.
The Simplicity was like these?

I had a 5hp Sno-Away, it was my first snowblower. I bought it in '01, I think, it was unfortunately quite tired. It had no spark, but the owner included an electronic ignition kit, whose instructions I blindly followed, and then it ran. I added a primer gas-cap, which helped with cold starts.

The transmission was my favorite part. Geared, and with chains on the worn-smooth solid tires, it had tons of grip. I don't think mine had a differential. Unfortunately, with my 5hp engine, it wasn't very powerful. My mid-90's MTD 8hp 26", which I bought in '03, I think, was way-better in terms of power and blowing performance. Also for being able to just clear a storm without something falling off :)

My Sno-Away had wear issues with the chains and sprockets. And the rubber paddles on the impeller were cracking. The bearing the impeller rode on was kinda shot, so it wobbled.

A less-used version might have been a lot better. Personally, with my examples, the used MTD was a welcome upgrade in reliability and performance :) Then my Ariens machines were nice improvements from the MTD.
 

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The Simplicity was like these?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V6ny49Oguxg

I had a 5hp Sno-Away, it was my first snowblower. I bought it in '01, I think, it was unfortunately quite tired. It had no spark, but the owner included an electronic ignition kit, whose instructions I blindly followed, and then it ran. I added a primer gas-cap, which helped with cold starts.

The transmission was my favorite part. Geared, and with chains on the worn-smooth solid tires, it had tons of grip. I don't think mine had a differential. Unfortunately, with my 5hp engine, it wasn't very powerful. My mid-90's MTD 8hp 26", which I bought in '03, I think, was way-better in terms of power and blowing performance. Also for being able to just clear a storm without something falling off :)

My Sno-Away had wear issues with the chains and sprockets. And the rubber paddles on the impeller were cracking. The bearing the impeller rode on was kinda shot, so it wobbled.

A less-used version might have been a lot better. Personally, with my examples, the used MTD was a welcome upgrade in reliability and performance :) Then my Ariens machines were nice improvements from the MTD.
Different than the sno-away show above (EDIT: I believe that's actually a snow-buster but I could be wrong on that one); I'm referring to the conventional 2nd stage where the impeller rotates parallel to the auger shaft (not perpendicular like the old bobcats or machine shown above).



Additionally, bearings are common ball bearings...way over-built.

What I assume is the original impeller bearing was still tight as a drum; no wobble:
 
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