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Would like some opinions from you guys, especially those who've run or have several blowers. With all of this years snow, we've been comparing machines in back of the shop, both new and old. I believe that many of the blowers being sold today are somewhat under powered vs those of a few years ago. And this applies to all brands IMO.

Here in the post-Tecumseh world the narrative has moved from HP to CC's. So it's a little harder to compare things then and now. On most of the recent Tecumseh engines though, the displacement can be found on the serial number tag. Engines that were rated in the 9HP to 11HP range were generally 318cc or 358cc. And they were most often found on 26" to 30" units.

Seems like today the industry is in love with 205-208 cc engines, and many of them are on blowers that I'm thinking are a bit too big for that size motor. On a compact 24", that may be enough, but beyond that I think you need more displacement. The next size up is around 250cc, which find their way onto many full size machines. My best selling Ariens is the Deluxe 28 with the 254cc AX engine. Yeah, it works. And customers have not complained about power, even in the bigger storms. But it doesn't really compare with my 11HP/318cc Tecumseh OHV 924125. And Ariens sees fit to go with the 414cc Briggs on the Pro 28 and Platinum 30 models. The platinum 24" gets the 291cc AX. In the past, the larger blowers all got a decent sized engine, not just the pro models.

Again, this is going on with all brands. I'm just talking about Ariens as that's what I sell and am most familiar with. Husky, Toro, Simplicity/Snapper, the MTD brands, they all do it. The worst one we tested was a Troy-Bilt 24" with the 179cc MTD engine. That thing was wheezing in 5" of snow.

I've always been a believer in the old saying "there's no replacement for displacement". And I think a lot of the blowers out there today could use a little more motor. What do you guys think?
 

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My thought was that now that many OPE engines have moved to OHV from the side valves, the same amount of displacement generates a bit more hp than the same sized side valve engine. This may be why smaller displacement engines are being used on larger machines.

My experience is with older snowthrowers, and I've found that it's not always the size of the engine but the size and design of the auger and impeller that makes one machine better than another. I have a 1990 Toro 824 Powershift, and it doesn't even kick in the governor until about 6" of snow. The design of the auger with the drum really helps feed the snow into the impeller efficiently, thus it uses less power to move the snow.
 

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Spike the reason HP is not used anymore is not the new engines but because of a law suit. In the early 2000s manufacturers were inflating HP on machines for marketing purposes. They knew it sold mowers, blower etc. The fact was in real life situations the machines didn't produce the HP claimed. Briggs for example made an engine that without changes was rated as 5 to 7 HP depending what the manufacturers wanted it to be. A Federal law suit stopped that and some if not many consumers got a settlement. Looking for marketing the manufacturers changed to engine size which cannot be disputed. It is given in either cubic inches or cubic centimeters. Most of the companies have settled on cubic centimeters or CCs. I suspect because it is a bigger number. It is not a sinister plot but just a fact of life. You may as well get used to seeing CCs as the norm. Roger
 

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Engine size

I always felt that the drums would get in the way of large amounts of snow. I have a 66 sears/murray, and I feel i.e. should go a little slower in 1st gear, but the 6 HP engine never bogs down.
Sid
 

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I've got a '95 Toro 7/24 with the 7hp Tecumseh. It's been a fine machine and has handled all manner and amounts of snow over the years. I don't know what 7hp translates to in cc's, but some of the newer, bigger machines don't seem to carry a big power (hp) advantage.
 

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To a point, yes. I ran into a big commercial unit, 36 inches wide and 14.5 HP. I realized that was too big for my needs. I need to fit it in the front of my garage and get it into my shed to store in the summer.

The big units are much heavier to move around and if you have to fit between parked cars while during snow removal, a smaller unit may be more applicable.

The bigger units cost a bit more too.

Bigger is better if you have the need.
 

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it would be nice to have the engine displacement of the older briggs and tecumseh's as a reference for someone looking at a new machine which. my 521 has an engine displacement of 195cc so looking at a new snowblower i know even with an ohv motor its not going to have much more hp than my old tecumseh so whats the displacement of the 6hp, 7hp, 8hp ect engings of our older engines. most of the new machines with what i think might be an 8hp motor come with a 26" bucket. i want an 824, so what if i have to make an extra pass space in the garage is at a premium and is much more important
 

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It seems that snow blower engines are not that different from generator engines. Those who work on both may have different opinions.
A two pole generator has to run at 3600 RPM to generate 60 cycles per second alternating current, so I am guessing that snow blower engines do also.
Looking at an Ariens brochure, the 208 cc engine is rated at 9.5 foot pounds of torqe, and the 420 cc engine at 21. Using the formula: HP = Torque x RPM / 5252.
That gives about 6.5 horsepower for the 208 cc engine and 14,4 hp for the 420.
Specific output then is 31 horsepwer per liter for the smaller engine and 34 for the big one. That falls right in a typical range of 30 to 35 horsepower per liter. The old side valve engines would typically run in the 20 to 25 horsepower per liter range I believe.
For those who are stuck in the world of gallons and cubic inches, one liter is 1000 cubic centimeters.
This could be calculated more accurately if someone knows what RPM the governors are set for on snow blower engines, and likewise if the rated torque is at the running speed, or if it is a peak number at some other speed.
 

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It is actually incorrect to say older machines were more powerful than today machine. Here is a good example. Toro make a 3521 421 and 521. They were all identical except for the engine. 3.5 I would have to say was very under powered for that type of snow blower.

I do like that the machines of today will rate the torque specs though and not just CC as the amount of torque is more important.
 

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I would like to see the industry start using torque as "the" number, it is a much cleaner representation of power. As far as newer machines being under powered...I agree, all manufacturers are producing models that are under powered based on bucket size, but people keep buying them so what incentive do they have to stop. Now I'm not saying that they are all bad machines, but I would take 12.5 ft pounds of torque on a 24" bucket over the same 12.5 ft pounds on a 28" bucket. That being said I really like the size vs. power of Ariens Platinum 30 and Pro 32 with their 20 & 21 ft pounds of torque.
 

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Keith,
I am not trying to start an argument here, just shedding some light.
Torque at the shaft is, of course, important, but "torque" by itself is meaningless. It becomes meaningful when RPM enters the equation, and then it translates into horsepower. Horsepower is a measure of how much work can get done in a given amount of time. You can convert horsepower into torque through gears.
Roar
 

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Keith,
I am not trying to start an argument here, just shedding some light.
Torque at the shaft is, of course, important, but "torque" by itself is meaningless. It becomes meaningful when RPM enters the equation, and then it translates into horsepower. Horsepower is a measure of how much work can get done in a given amount of time. You can convert horsepower into torque through gears.
Roar
Roar
No argument just a discussion. I understand you can convert horsepower into torque through gear ratios (Horsepower is only a factor after the vehicle/engine has overcome the initial load, thereafter is when horsepower matters). Our augers run at one speed (single speed gearbox so to speak), IMO one would be more concerned with higher torque value at a lower HP rating than higher HP with a lower torque value.
A simple example of this is comparing a 600hp engine with 400 lb ft of torque in a sports car to a 400hp engine with 2500 lb ft of torque found in most 18 wheelers. Using each each vehicle to pull a fully loaded 53' trailer which vehicle is going to get the job done with efficiency and not self destruct?

Keith
 

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I purchase a Platinum 30 this year. I had a Craftsman 11Hp (Tecumseh) I had since it was new (16 years) and it had a 30 inch bucket. The Platinum is rated at 14 HP and the Craftsman was rated at 11 HP, but it is night and day difference in power. I cannot load this blower down and if anything I have to slow down because the augers can't keep up. The neighbor across the road has a Cub Cadet 45" with a 13 HP engine and it is night and day difference between the two snowblowers. Even if he takes half the width of the blower I can still blow alot more snow than him. I guess if you want a robust snowblower you have to do your research and buy based on need. I would have to say that our winters have gotten tamer and maybe the need for that extra horsepower is not as necessary as it used to be. Figuring all snowblowers are created equal is not just a calculation of torque or HP divided by the width of the snowblower, but it may be a ball park figure. If I was to judge the snowblowers of today with what you could buy 20 years ago I would say the opposite. When I bought my old Craftsman I bought the biggest baddest Craftsman that was available at the time and finding a 14 HP walk behind snowblower was hard to come by. You can buy powerful blowers now at a reasonable price.

Just my thoughts
 

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I hear what you're saying, I too just picked up a 2014 Platinum 30 and had a chance to use it in very heavy snow & large plow piles and the machine didn't even break a sweat.
 

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Interesting discussion.

I recently upgraded from an Ariens ST824, to an Ariens 1024 Pro. The ST824 had an 8hp flathead Tecumseh, 318cc.

The 1024 Pro has a 10hp Tecumseh OHV, also 318cc. The owner's manual spec page says my specific model # is 357cc, but it's apparently wrong (I've measured the bore of my engine).

My hope is that the 10hp truly is more powerful (not just marketing), due to the OHV vs flathead design. In some quick testing, the 10hp appeared to do a little better in deep snow, both machines have 24" buckets, but it wasn't a huge difference. Some deep wet stuff (if it had been available) might have been a better test.

If nothing else, the 1024 Pro has 16" augers and a 14" impeller, vs 15" augers and 12" impeller for the ST824. The 1024's impeller RPM is also higher. So even if the engines were the exactly the same, it has a few marks in its favor. It does also throw further than the ST824, though some of that may be due to the new-style, taller chute.

I wouldn't say no to more displacement, but I'll have to make do. Even the Harbor Freight engines that would be an upgrade are still $300.
 

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The old rule of thumb used to be 8/26, 10/28, 12/32

Any time you can get a machine that has a larger engine than the standard for the bucket size is great. IE a 10hp on a 26" machine, those are the machines that all else being equal perform especially well for that particular style of machine.

As someone else mentioned impeller design and speed can dramatically change how a machine works. two machines of the same cutting width with identical engines may perform very differently if they have a different impeller design/speed.

In relation to displacement vs HP as I said in another thread you really can't directly equate the two. An OHV engine of a specific displacement will put out more power than a flathead/L head of the same displacement (it's usually pretty large difference in HP too) The only thing you could do at one time was if you knew the displacement of a B&S engine you could figure out out the HP if you'd worked on enough of them and knew what the numbers translated into from the ones you'd worked on that had HP decals, this really only works for flatheads though. For example 13CI = 5hp. 19CI = 8hp

In relation to RPM, historically most small engines have a top no load speed of 3600RPM (some of the Tecumseh OHV engines are more like 3400RPM) and the HP was rated at that RPM.
 

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New 28 Deluxe owner and new to cc's and torque vs HP as all my old blowers where rated in HP.
I don't think a little extra power is ever a bad thing and IMHO the 254cc is ok on the 28 Deluxe but would have been better with a 291cc or even slightly larger.
The 254cc almost makes me wish I had purchased the 24 Deluxe instead.

I would tend to agree with 94EG8s rules of thumb but with ccs and torque its harder to compare and makes me wish I had done more research before my purchase.
 

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Keith, I think we are basically on the same page here.

RJames, We need to keep the terms straight. Torque is a measure of force. Horsepower is power, which is a measure of how much work gets done in a certain amount of time.
For a given amount of power, one can gear that to whatever ratio one needs in order to achieve the torque (force) to get the job done.
Since the quoted torque numbers do not come with an RPM number, one can not really know the power. Steam engines are a good example here. They have max torque at start up (= 0 speed), in other words, max torque but no horsepower, since nothing is moving yet. Remember: power = force x velocity, so it does not matter how high the torque is, if it does not come with some velocity (RPM), the power, or work done, is zero.
May be semantics, but at least it makes it more clear to me.
Roar
 
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