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First impressions: Ariens Platinum Track SHO 28

Had a light snow overnight- about 8" or so. Cleared the deck and swept off the top of the camper and on to the new Areins for the driveway.

First off, this is a new machine and I need to get used to its idiosyncrasies, but I am wondering if it is the right machine for me? I think and hope that opinion will change throughout the winter. It is a beast in many ways. It is the most powerful one I have ever owned and there will be times in a few weeks where that will be appreciated.

The auto-steer is something I am NOT liking (again, maybe need to get used to it.) Last night when I pulled the car into the garage, the tires packed down the snow underneath. It left packed raised grooves atop the driveway and the skids of the blower with the auto-steer tended to want to follow these mounds rather than over them where I wanted to go.

The ability to raise the auger independent of the chassis is a nice feature for the particulars of my driveway but I am not used to it...it is all new to me and I see myself adapting to it.

Ariens has a new track model that supposedly has quicker walking speeds. This SHO I feel is adequate going forward, but I do wish it were quicker in reverse. Areas of my driveway require me to do that back-and-forth slicing pattern type of covering a portion. The ability to pulls the blower faster going backwards would be a big benefit if it was capable.

I thought the tracks would perform bettor in one particularly small steep part of where I need to clear. It did slip a bit and required me to help it along until it gripped again. I might need to change the routine of coverage that I used with past snowblowers for figure out a better path of attack.

I have mentioned in other posts about how I was concerned about what appeared to be a "cheesy" auger rotation joystick. It seemed under engineered and I thought it would be wimpy with snow in the chute, but I am pleasantly surprised as how well it does in real-world conditions. Adjusting position with relative ease is a welcome feature.

When I got the snowblower some 4 weeks ago I was doing "dry runs" on the driveway to familiarize myself with it and noticed that there is no sense of "neutral" like a wheeled model would have when pushing or pulling it into a position- this track model would not free roll at all. I am not sure if these components needed some breaking-in because I can now somewhat move it fore and aft to position it into the garage- I want the ability to move it in and out of the garage to start/ shut off the engine so I am not inside the garage. Quite a bit of smoke upon start-up but it is a brand new engine and I hope exhaust will subside as it breaks in.

I am sure it will suit me just fine, but like a new girlfriend, I need to figure out how to work her for my benefit and best blowing ability.... uhm, you know what I mean....LOL!
 

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Well, I brought mine home 4 hours ago and was "test-driving" it in my dry driveway. I shut it off, went to restart it and it apparently didn't properly decompress when it shut down and I broke the recoil handle. It snapped right in two in my hand. Back to the dealer Monday...



 

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Discussion Starter #5
Paulie- that's a bummer on the handle! There is a lot more moving mass-parts in this engine compared to other one's I've owned and can envision how/ why you broke it. Mine took a few pulls today to try and start and I ended up using the electric motor. It was closer to a wall and I could not get the full-throw of the pull action. I think I am going to reply more on the power start feature.

It has some power this one does! I was tossing snow pretty far even with the measly amount I had. It is meant for work and I look forward to its capabilities when I get the 20" dumps that can happen more than a few times in the winter. Quite honestly I think I am perhaps overpowered and might consider looking for a used smaller 5.5 one for little quicker jobs.
 

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Mine took a few pulls today to try and start and I ended up using the electric motor.
This one did too - I won't be able to use the electric start (easily anyway) until next winter after I've gotten electric service put in the shed/garage where I store it. In a pinch, I could run an extension cord from the house out to it. I'm not sure if I want to replace the recoil handle with another from Ariens or just get a heavier duty aftermarket one and be done with it. The oversized one it came with is nice but now it's going to be difficult to trust it, especially when it gets cold out and it gets brittle. It was 50+ degrees today when it broke. Hardly "harsh" conditions.
 

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That's too bad about the pull start. I always liked the crank start lawn mowers and wonder why crank starter never took off with the snowblowers, especially with the decompression feature of today's engines.

 

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That’s sounds like one hokey handle. Material quality.

It’s a good idea to pull the engine over till it’s compression stroke and let some of that compression bleed. Then With the recoils’ dogs Engadged and the rope taught, give a good pull.
 

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That’s sounds like one hokey handle. Material quality.

It’s a good idea to pull the engine over till it’s compression stroke and let some of that compression bleed. Then With the recoils’ dogs Engadged and the rope taught, give a good pull.
think you hit the nail on the head, the motor is a lct made in china. lauson power products became tecumseh who became LCT when tech went under in late 2008, production went to china, quality went down the tubes ,it's getting better but still lacking in some areas.

paul
i'll take a look later when i'm in the garage think i may have a few old tech strong snow king handles laying around, if so i'll pm you .
 

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A minor issue that I noticed on my machine was that underneath the oil drain plug is a flat black steel plate. If I were to unscrew the drain plug, the oil would spill onto this plate.

I have a small flexible funnel tube that I'll be able to use to catch it to route the draining oil into a drain pan without spilling it - hopefully.

Not a huge deal, but not as simple as the wheeled machines either. A 6" (or so) drain extension would resolve the issue.

d3500ram: did you notice the same thing on yours?

 

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Discussion Starter #11
Yea, it is the same configuration. No big deal- like you I will 'prolly use a funnel ...or... just tilt the machine back, let it spill onto that plate and then rag it off. That auger rotation is nice for the tilt feature to drain oil better from the crankcase.
 

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Look into a form-a-funnel for a simple super useful solution.

Otherwise you can replace the existing drain pipe with a longer piece of pipe, but that might get in the way.

A drainzit hose is the best solution. I have one to install on my hss1328, once I get a couple break in hours on the new engine.
 

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Hello Paulie139,


I wonder if that drain extension is a NPT thread? I bet it is as a hex pipe cap like that would be NPT thread rather than JIC thread or BPT thread.

If it is you can plumb in a NPT coupler a second short nipple and and use a ball valve with a street ell to drain it when needed.

I would be curious to know if the cap has a magnet in it though as that would be a great help.

Are you using 10 weight or 5-W30 in the new toy err beast of burden err snow caster?
 

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Well, I brought mine home 4 hours ago and was "test-driving" it in my dry driveway. I shut it off, went to restart it and it apparently didn't properly decompress when it shut down and I broke the recoil handle. It snapped right in two in my hand. Back to the dealer Monday...
Took the broken grip to Admar just now and they replaced it without question.
 

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I am glad they did not argue with you Paulie, It sounds as if they have had this issue for a while too.

I have to go back to what I was doing.
 

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...I always liked the crank start lawn mowers (1964 Montgomery Ward crank style lawn mower).
Boy, does that bring back memories for me - I was just a kid.

If you kept your engine running properly, they worked great...but if you didn't...:devil:
 
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