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Having spent over a decade out in California, I decided to move back to Minnesota, just in time for snow! Needless to say, snow will come soon and I need to be prepared - by which I need a snowblower. Since I haven't blown snow since 2001, I'm not sure what a good snowblower is. My previous experience was with a Toro PowerShift when it first came out and an Ariens 2-stage mounted on a GT-20. From what I can tell, Toro doesn't make the PowerShift any more, so I wonder if it got too costly to manufacture or if there were problems?


So, I'm looking for something used - I hate paying sticker price, but if the community feels that a new machine is by far the best option, then I will consider it. But I also know that some older machines can move snow and are built better than moderen units. Sometimes this is an advantage to buying old, other times it is a disadvantage. What are some of your guys' thoughts on a good "used" units? I've only got a driveway that is 20'x100' (concrete) and about 200' of sidewalk.


I also have a good mechanical background and wouldn't have a problem repairing an older machine as items break/wear, but I don't want to be broken down every time it snows.


Some of the units that are under consideration right now are as follows:
Ariens 1032 - $500
Craftsman Track Drive 826 - $400
Deere 826 - $400
Deere 828D - $725
Deere 924DE - $500
Deere 1032 - $500
Duetz Allis (Simplicity) 828 - $375
Snapper 1030 - $550
Snapper 826 - $380
Toro Power Max 726OE - $800
Toro Power Shift 824 - $300 ( A little beat up)


All units seem to be in good shape. Some have chains, some have drift cutters, some have lights, etc. I'm more concerned about base units as I can alway add different tires, chains, lighting, etc.
 

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hello usmcskeeter, welcome to SBF!! you only have two machines on your list that I would be looking at and that's the powershift and the 1032 ariens
 

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Thanks for the reply and welcome! Just out of curiosity, why the power shift? Why did they stop making it and why did they use a solid auger instead of a skeleton auger?
 

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I can't really answer why toro stopped making those powershifts. one day I decided I wanted one and found one and if you look on the toro website most all parts are still avalable
 

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Welcome to the forum. I wouldn't rule out any of those Deeres or Toros. The Deeres, as far as I know, were all Ariens mfd. The Deere TRS AND TRX 2 stage blowers were made by Murray.
Just to refresh your memory you may want to watch Doneyboy73 video on youtube.how to buy a used snowblower Lots of helpful tips.
 

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Welcome, and considering where you are moving there are two other makes to consider. Honda and Yamaha. I respect many of the suggestions that you have made prior.
 

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The four John Deere's*might* be Ariens-made, but its hard to tell just from the listings:

Deere 826 - $400
Deere 828D - $725
Deere 924DE - $500
Deere 1032 - $500

"826", "924", etc are just "generic" names that mean "8hp with a 26" bucket width", "9hp with a 24" bucket width", etc..those descriptors are used on 99% of snowblowers, regardless of when they were made, or made by who..Those descriptors alone are not enough to go by.

Ariens made snowblowers for John Deere from 1991 to 2001 only.
The ones with "D" and "DE" are likely Ariens, but the other two, uncertain:

http://1stclass.mylargescale.com/scottychaos/Ariens/Page11.html#question3

Scot
 

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TORO ceased the POWERSHIFT run in 04. if they were still made today they would be in the 5000-6000 dollar price range. the good news is that there are some on craigs list. and the parts are still available for the whole line. ALOHA to the forms..:cool::cool::cool::cool::cool::cool::cool::cool::cool::cool::cool:
 

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Having spent over a decade out in California, I decided to move back to Minnesota, just in time for snow! Needless to say, snow will come soon and I need to be prepared - by which I need a snowblower. Since I haven't blown snow since 2001, I'm not sure what a good snowblower is. My previous experience was with a Toro PowerShift when it first came out and an Ariens 2-stage mounted on a GT-20. From what I can tell, Toro doesn't make the PowerShift any more, so I wonder if it got too costly to manufacture or if there were problems?


So, I'm looking for something used - I hate paying sticker price, but if the community feels that a new machine is by far the best option, then I will consider it. But I also know that some older machines can move snow and are built better than moderen units. Sometimes this is an advantage to buying old, other times it is a disadvantage. What are some of your guys' thoughts on a good "used" units? I've only got a driveway that is 20'x100' (concrete) and about 200' of sidewalk.


I also have a good mechanical background and wouldn't have a problem repairing an older machine as items break/wear, but I don't want to be broken down every time it snows.


Some of the units that are under consideration right now are as follows:
Ariens 1032 - $500
Craftsman Track Drive 826 - $400
Deere 826 - $400
Deere 828D - $725
Deere 924DE - $500
Deere 1032 - $500
Duetz Allis (Simplicity) 828 - $375
Snapper 1030 - $550
Snapper 826 - $380
Toro Power Max 726OE - $800
Toro Power Shift 824 - $300 ( A little beat up)


All units seem to be in good shape. Some have chains, some have drift cutters, some have lights, etc. I'm more concerned about base units as I can alway add different tires, chains, lighting, etc.
I would look at that POWERSHIFT. MIGHT just need some TLC. I am not to fond of those uni-body toro's.
 

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for your size drive i think it keep my size to at least 26in wide of a bucket.. 28 being even better.. get over 30 and its starting to be rough on the arms and shoulders and unless your drive is VERY sloped, stick to wheels as its easier to move around.. another thing to cionsider is the impeller diameter.. bigger helps keep it from bottlenecking and ultimately jamming up..

i think chains are a must unless its got good tires on it already.. otherwise its an easy 50-80$ to add onto your price.. lights would also be a bonus.. driftcutters.. well its pretty cheap to make or add yourself so meh.. and they are only handy if you normally run into snow deeper than your housing.. if it mostly melts between storms its not that big a deal

anything that`s been warmed upbefore you go see it is a pass in my book.. check before it gets started up.. if its warm.. come back later.. seller may be hiding a tough to start engine.. and anythign that doesnt start on the 2nd pull pass immediately at the price range your looking at in my oppinion

i know i said id keep it under 30.. but that ariens 32 and Deere 32 are stout.. id include em.. also the snappers, simpicity, and teh 26 and 28in Deeres as well

just to give u an idea, i baught my machine 3 years ago for 350$ (canadian funds too :p ) its old.. but started right up on a chilly fall day.. the gy told me the belts would do one season.. but he had no idea the size drive i had than ( renting a house in the STICKS, 1200ft long and room to park 6 cars, oppenend 18-25ft wide to accomodate for snrifting snow) it handeled everything beautifully! and the guy was right.. one year and the belts were toast.. changed em and back to like when igot it.. now i have a much smaller drive.. just a bit bigger than yours actually... and the biggest storms take me around an hour and a half to clear out... and i find myself considering modding it out just to make it fly ;) lol
 

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I'm a big fan of the Toros, 38080 and 38090. I have a 1132 and moves a lot of snow very well. End of driveway plow pack is not an issue. Aso others have stated, I would also stay away from newer MTD products.

 

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Having spent over a decade out in California, I decided to move back to Minnesota, just in time for snow! Needless to say, snow will come soon and I need to be prepared - by which I need a snowblower. Since I haven't blown snow since 2001, I'm not sure what a good snowblower is. My previous experience was with a Toro PowerShift when it first came out and an Ariens 2-stage mounted on a GT-20. From what I can tell, Toro doesn't make the PowerShift any more, so I wonder if it got too costly to manufacture or if there were problems?


So, I'm looking for something used - I hate paying sticker price, but if the community feels that a new machine is by far the best option, then I will consider it. But I also know that some older machines can move snow and are built better than moderen units. Sometimes this is an advantage to buying old, other times it is a disadvantage. What are some of your guys' thoughts on a good "used" units? I've only got a driveway that is 20'x100' (concrete) and about 200' of sidewalk.


I also have a good mechanical background and wouldn't have a problem repairing an older machine as items break/wear, but I don't want to be broken down every time it snows.


Some of the units that are under consideration right now are as follows:
Ariens 1032 - $500
Craftsman Track Drive 826 - $400
Deere 826 - $400
Deere 828D - $725
Deere 924DE - $500
Deere 1032 - $500
Duetz Allis (Simplicity) 828 - $375
Snapper 1030 - $550
Snapper 826 - $380
Toro Power Max 726OE - $800
Toro Power Shift 824 - $300 ( A little beat up)


All units seem to be in good shape. Some have chains, some have drift cutters, some have lights, etc. I'm more concerned about base units as I can alway add different tires, chains, lighting, etc.
Have you bought a blower yet?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Sorry guys for the delay in responding to all of your helpful comments. I looked at a couple of the Deere's and they seemed ok, but the age of them made me wonder how much work I may have to do in the up coming years. I had seen a 1028 Power Shift for $400, but the guy sold it our from under me within a matter of hours.

This weekend I'm looking at a Toro 824 Power Shift as everyone seems to recommend them.

The guy claims it is a 1989 model? Anything that I should look for in particualr for this model/year?

I've got to hurry up though, they are talking 5" of snow by Monday! So, if this Power Shift doesn't work out, I'll need a back up...maybe one of those older Deeres (they all look to be Ariens made)?? How are the new Ariens with the aluminum gearcase like the Deluxe? I know the old cast ones were strong, but I've seen some aluminum gearcases on other snowblowers explode and turn into a repair worth more than the blower itself.
 

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I think the major issue with the aluminum gear cases is when people substitute harder bolts in pace of the shear pins or the augers get seized to the shafts. That is what normally causes the gear boxes to shatter. At that point it is either going to be the aluminum gear box or the gears inside of it.
 

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I think the major issue with the aluminum gear cases is when people substitute harder bolts in pace of the shear pins or the augers get seized to the shafts. That is what normally causes the gear boxes to shatter. At that point it is either going to be the aluminum gear box or the gears inside of it.
I stopped by the local fix-it guy today to see if he had anything cheap for my brother who's looking for a two stage. He had a cool older Bolens two stage out front, but it was a repair. He found that the gear in the gearbox had been stripped. He also said he had found harder bolts in place of the shear pins and that's what caused the gear to strip. Thank goodness the owner had found this guy, two "dealer" shops said take it to the junk yard. This Bolens will rock and roll for many years to come.
 

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Sorry guys for the delay in responding to all of your helpful comments. I looked at a couple of the Deere's and they seemed ok, but the age of them made me wonder how much work I may have to do in the up coming years. I had seen a 1028 Power Shift for $400, but the guy sold it our from under me within a matter of hours.

This weekend I'm looking at a Toro 824 Power Shift as everyone seems to recommend them.

The guy claims it is a 1989 model? Anything that I should look for in particualr for this model/year?

I've got to hurry up though, they are talking 5" of snow by Monday! So, if this Power Shift doesn't work out, I'll need a back up...maybe one of those older Deeres (they all look to be Ariens made)?? How are the new Ariens with the aluminum gearcase like the Deluxe? I know the old cast ones were strong, but I've seen some aluminum gearcases on other snowblowers explode and turn into a repair worth more than the blower itself.
forget the deeres. that 1989 has a tecumsapart engine on it. post a pic or 2 on that POWERSHIFT. then I can tell you more.
 
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