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Hi everyone.

I purchased a Bolens 179-cc 22-in Two-Stage a few months ago. We've had a pretty mild winter so far, so I haven't had much chance to use it and I'm still getting accustomed to it. This is made by MTD and sold at Lowes, but it seems the same machine is sold under several different models and brands at various retailers.

It's my first two stage; I got tired of my old Yard Machines single stage choking on deep or wet/heavy snow so I upgraded. I couldn't justify a much larger/pricier machine, and don't have much storage so I settled on this one.

I've got a few questions, I'm hoping you all can help with me.

First off, it runs really great. Easy start, smooth sound after adjusting the choke, etc. But it doesn't seem as powered as I'd expect given it's weight.

1) The self propulsion is a single stage, but it really crawls. It takes probably 20 seconds to move forward 10 feet, and I find myself hesitant to bring it out if the snowfall is less than 6 inches or so. Is this normal for this model? Can I adjust it in any way, maybe by tightening the cable?

2) It also doesn't seem to throw the snow very far, making me wonder if maybe the engine isn't putting out the expected power. With a 2-car wide driveway, I usually start in the center and work out toward the edges, but I find that even a light snow doesn't get thrown clear of the drive (maybe 8 feet). Even my smaller single-stage had no problem clearing this distance, so I'm a little confused.

3) When engaged in deeper snow, it seems to pull to the left. In shallower snow it mostly runs straight. Having to constantly fight it to the right is really tiring on my forearm since this thing is fairly heavy to muscle around. I'm going to double check the tire pressure is balanced, any other ideas?

Any thoughts on adjustments that I should make or things to check?

Thanks for the help!
-- J
 

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1) If it is a single speed then it will be set for a full depth of snow and will be slow moving.

2) Two stage blowers throw best with a full bucked and worst with very little snow.

1+2) It is possible that the engine isn't running correctly. If you have the choke on or something is up with the throttle or governor it won't be running full speed and that will slow down both functions.

3) A lot of low end models use a solid axle. With the solid axle design some of them have 2 holes for mounting the wheels. One hole goes throw the axle and the rim and locks the tires to the rim. The other hole puts the pin only in the axle and lets the wheel free spin on the axle for easier turning. You might have one wheel set for freewheel and causing your issues. Also, if you are running into something like ice one one side it will pull.
 
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