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Hi,

I've finally decided to bite the bullet and buy a snowblower (I guess that means that I actually have admitted that I moved back to the snowbelt after any decades south of I-40). I did a lot of research and have settled on the Cub Cadet 3X 26". I was thinking about the HD, and thought that Homedepot carried the HD, because the photos all showed the metal chute. However, the front opening height was only 21". So I decided that I needed to go to the store to see one first hand. Well, it looks as though they must have simply switched the standard duty to a metal chute with a crank. The machine has none of the other HD features as described in the video in the "Standard vs. Heavy Duty" thread on this forum.

So, the 1199 price doesn't seem like as good a deal as I thought.

However, while there, I noticed two 2014 3X 26" models for 859. I asked if they would take any less and the answer was, sure, how about 825. So I decided it was too good a deal to pass up. What do you think? Is the plastic chute and the 4-way handle a deal breaker? I have about 4,000 square feet to clear, is the 3X 26" going to get the job done in a reasonable time?

Thanks in advance for all your suggestions.

BTW, if you happen to be in Cleveland, they have a second 2014 model on the floor.
 

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Hi,

I've finally decided to bite the bullet and buy a snowblower (I guess that means that I actually have admitted that I moved back to the snowbelt after any decades south of I-40). I did a lot of research and have settled on the Cub Cadet 3X 26". I was thinking about the HD, and thought that Homedepot carried the HD, because the photos all showed the metal chute. However, the front opening height was only 21". So I decided that I needed to go to the store to see one first hand. Well, it looks as though they must have simply switched the standard duty to a metal chute with a crank. The machine has none of the other HD features as described in the video in the "Standard vs. Heavy Duty" thread on this forum.

So, the 1199 price doesn't seem like as good a deal as I thought.

However, while there, I noticed two 2014 3X 26" models for 859. I asked if they would take any less and the answer was, sure, how about 825. So I decided it was too good a deal to pass up. What do you think? Is the plastic chute and the 4-way handle a deal breaker? I have about 4,000 square feet to clear, is the 3X 26" going to get the job done in a reasonable time?

Thanks in advance for all your suggestions.

BTW, if you happen to be in Cleveland, they have a second 2014 model on the floor.
:white^_^arial^_^0^_

I wouldn't worry about a polymer chute, I had one on my MTD model 640F and it worked fine for 20 years before I sold it and was fine when I sold it. Hit it with silicone spray every year and the snow won't stick to it.

The 4 way chute I am not crazy about can be finicky especially if not assembled properly, kinda have to work it by moving your forearm not your hand, at least from my experience playing with them at the store.

That sounds like a really good deal and I would probably jump on it. If you were spending $1200. or so I would seriously consider the Ariens Deluxe 28 SHO, but for $825. The Cub 3X 26 is a sweet deal, full warranty I would imagine it is new.
You do have a big driveway and a 30" auger size machine would not be too big for your application. However a 26" machine will get the job done but will take more passes and therefore longer to complete. I use a 24" machine, my drive is almost 1/2 the size of yours about 2100 s.f. but always has some cars on it so I prefer the smaller auger size for maneuverability around the cars, over the 28" machines that I have owned.

All the best.
 

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:bowing:I almost bought that very same model. That sounds like a great deal! After years of friction drive snowblowers I just decided to try something different, i.e. hydrostatic drive. The plastic chute, 4 way chute control and long plastic skid shoes were all positives. I agree with Cardo, the 4 way chute control needs to be set up properly, there's actually a ring and pinion gear at the handle end as I remember it. Some of them I tried worked smooth as silk, others not so much. Probably a matter of adjustment and lubrication. Good thing is you can adjust it now in nice weather! Enjoy!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
:white^_^arial^_^0^_

I wouldn't worry about a polymer chute, I had one on my MTD model 640F and it worked fine for 20 years before I sold it and was fine when I sold it. Hit it with silicone spray every year and the snow won't stick to it.

The 4 way chute I am not crazy about can be finicky especially if not assembled properly, kinda have to work it by moving your forearm not your hand, at least from my experience playing with them at the store.

That sounds like a really good deal and I would probably jump on it. If you were spending $1200. or so I would seriously consider the Ariens Deluxe 28 SHO, but for $825. The Cub 3X 26 is a sweet deal, full warranty I would imagine it is new.
You do have a big driveway and a 30" auger size machine would not be too big for your application. However a 26" machine will get the job done but will take more passes and therefore longer to complete. I use a 24" machine, my drive is almost 1/2 the size of yours about 2100 s.f. but always has some cars on it so I prefer the smaller auger size for maneuverability around the cars, over the 28" machines that I have owned.

All the best.
Thanks Cardo. I had originally been going toward that exact Ariens model, however, with the amount of drive that I have and the very high ratings in Consumer Reports and generally positive comments on this forum about how much faster the 3X could clear, I thought the 3X technology was worth a shot. Then the heavily discounted older model at HD sealed the deal (the 2014 that I got does have a full warranty. I'm on the east side of Cleveland, so we can get some fairly hefty lake-effect snow, so I'll probably need that extra oomph from the 3X.
 

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:bowing:I almost bought that very same model. That sounds like a great deal! After years of friction drive snowblowers I just decided to try something different, i.e. hydrostatic drive. The plastic chute, 4 way chute control and long plastic skid shoes were all positives. I agree with Cardo, the 4 way chute control needs to be set up properly, there's actually a ring and pinion gear at the handle end as I remember it. Some of them I tried worked smooth as silk, others not so much. Probably a matter of adjustment and lubrication. Good thing is you can adjust it now in nice weather! Enjoy!
Thanks for your suggestion Stromr. I will try to do some adjustment to the 4-way lever before the cold sets in. This particular one wasn't too bad, but I do worry a bit that when the machine is covered in snow and ice, that it might not work as well (last winter I put a furnace in the garage though, so at least I can bring it in and melt off any excess snow buildup). It also seems like you have to get used to the motion that it takes to shift from side to side. I think they would have been better off using the forward-and-back motion to control side-to-side, rather than control the little flapper at the end of the chute. Just seems like there's more leverage. I guess only time will tell.
 

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My neighbor has a black and yellow Craftsman 3 stage that I believe is the exact same model one you bought. It has a nice big 357cc engine, although it's a Powermore brand with insanely complicated shrouding around the "need to get to" areas of the engine. I think I had to remove 15 bolts and screws to access the carb to clean it when they left fuel in it over the summer. Thing runs out nice with a clean carb and good fuel. They had some hitches in the chute rotation that we fixed with simply pulling the chute off the tube and using grease. It was assembled from Sears when they bought it and there was absolutely no grease where the chute contacted the impeller discharge. My personal dislike was the auger and drive handle controls are reversed from 90% of blowers. Auger is controlled with left hand and drive with right, but that's just a simple thing to get used to. It shudders a bit when pressed into deep snow and is lighter than my preference, but a decent blower. I noticed on theirs the center 3rd stage seems to throw excess snow to the port side of the bucket. During sloppy snows, the bucket would collect quite a bit of slag inside that edge of the bucket. For the price you paid I think you got a great deal.
 

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"...although it's a Powermore brand with insanely complicated shrouding around the "need to get to" areas of the engine. I think I had to remove 15 bolts and screws to access the carb to clean it when they left fuel in it over the summer."

Another good reason to use non-ethanol gas with stabilizer and run it dry before you put it away for summer!
 

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Stromr, You are correct, sir! The VAST majority of small engine stuff I help friends with is carb related. Simply put, it's the crap fuel we get. We do have a neighborhood gas station/convenience store that supplies rec gas. It's owned by my parents neighbor who is an avid water ski junkie. Since he put in the rec gas I would say easily 99% of the lake homes get their boat gas from him, and they are figuring out it works for the lawn tractors, quads, snowmobiles and snowblowers;). It's not uncommon to see a line at the single pump during the summer on Friday nights and Saturday mornings.
 

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I checkd out a Cub Cadet at one of the box stores, they look good. I did notice a bit of a gap between the impeller and the housing, almost pinkie size. It might need an impeller kit right away.
Sid
 

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Discussion Starter #11
My neighbor has a black and yellow Craftsman 3 stage that I believe is the exact same model one you bought. It has a nice big 357cc engine, although it's a Powermore brand with insanely complicated shrouding around the "need to get to" areas of the engine. I think I had to remove 15 bolts and screws to access the carb to clean it when they left fuel in it over the summer. Thing runs out nice with a clean carb and good fuel. They had some hitches in the chute rotation that we fixed with simply pulling the chute off the tube and using grease. It was assembled from Sears when they bought it and there was absolutely no grease where the chute contacted the impeller discharge. My personal dislike was the auger and drive handle controls are reversed from 90% of blowers. Auger is controlled with left hand and drive with right, but that's just a simple thing to get used to. It shudders a bit when pressed into deep snow and is lighter than my preference, but a decent blower. I noticed on theirs the center 3rd stage seems to throw excess snow to the port side of the bucket. During sloppy snows, the bucket would collect quite a bit of slag inside that edge of the bucket. For the price you paid I think you got a great deal.
It does sound like the same model, mine also has the 357CC engine. I just picked up the machine and have had a chance to look over the chute. This one looks as though it was assembled relatively well, so I don't think that I'm going to have to do any disassembly. Of course, when winter arrives, it may be a different story.
 

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"...although it's a Powermore brand with insanely complicated shrouding around the "need to get to" areas of the engine. I think I had to remove 15 bolts and screws to access the carb to clean it when they left fuel in it over the summer."

Another good reason to use non-ethanol gas with stabilizer and run it dry before you put it away for summer!
Any suggestions for a stabilizer. I have some for my boat, but it's for diesel not gasoline. I'm looking for non-ethanol in the Cleveland area, but so far no luck.
 

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I checkd out a Cub Cadet at one of the box stores, they look good. I did notice a bit of a gap between the impeller and the housing, almost pinkie size. It might need an impeller kit right away.
Sid
I just noticed the very same thing on my copy. It seems quite significant. Any chance that this gap is one of those things where a small gap might create a problem with freezing but a bigger gap may be OK? According to the reviews it still throws snow a distance similar to the Ariens (Consumer Reports). In fact CR claims that the 3X throws more snow the maximum distance than the others.
 

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my fuel stabilizer...

Any suggestions for a stabilizer. I have some for my boat, but it's for diesel not gasoline. I'm looking for non-ethanol in the Cleveland area, but so far no luck.
I'm lucky actually, there are a number of non-ethanol gas stations within 10 miles of me, that's the advantage of living near indian reservations I guess. At any rate I still use this stuff, kills two birds with one stone, a little pricey but you don't need much.
I've left it in my small lawn mower, 2 snowblowers and my John Deere tractor 5-6 months with never a problem.
 

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Sta-Bil fuel stabilizer.
 

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I just noticed the very same thing on my copy. It seems quite significant. Any chance that this gap is one of those things where a small gap might create a problem with freezing but a bigger gap may be OK? According to the reviews it still throws snow a distance similar to the Ariens (Consumer Reports). In fact CR claims that the 3X throws more snow the maximum distance than the others.
Some of the MTD style blowers have polymer shrouding on the port side of the impeller fan tube that creates a problem near the bucket/impeller where the directional chute mounts on. They kinda make the fan blades fit loose up until it contacts that shrouding. Some folks have had problems with bolt heads or excess shrouding causing issues with installing an impeller kit. Just FYI: http://www.snowblowerforum.com/forum/snowblower-repairs-maintenance-forum/71241-impeller-mod-troy-bilt-2410-a.html
 

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It does sound like the same model, mine also has the 357CC engine. I just picked up the machine and have had a chance to look over the chute. This one looks as though it was assembled relatively well, so I don't think that I'm going to have to do any disassembly. Of course, when winter arrives, it may be a different story.
Go over it now. Middle of winter with a driveway full of snow is not the time to find out that it was assembled incorrectly.
 
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