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Discussion Starter #1
Gilson Snow blower ST522
5 hp Briggs & Stratton Engine
22" Wide
Electric Start

Whats your thought on this particular snowblower. I am new to this forum, and this brand escapes me. I do know I prefer the Briggs over a Tecumsah engine? This looks to be a late 80's early 90's blower. How can you tell?
Do these hold their value pretty good. I was offered it for 250 or b.o.
I was going to try to get it for 200 if it ran well.
Anything to look out for when I look at this particular brand, or any brand for that matter?

Thanks

Art
 

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Hi Art,

I know the brand well.

ST522 is not the definitive model, just a decal designation. It only means Snow Thrower, 5 HP 22 inches wide which could be a number of actual models. The true identity is on the ID tag, probably 55??? See here.

In this case I'm pretty sure we are talking about a single speed, 2 stage machine. They are middleweight machines, not Gilson's best but plenty of people get good use from them especially for smaller spaces outside of the heart of the snow belt.

There are greased packed cases for the auger drive and final traction reduction that should be cleaned out and repacked by now. The auger worm is still serviceable but axle final drive gears are discontinued so there is some risk. Over all it is still probably better than all but the best of the best today.

Frankly before the snow flies I'd like to see you getting it for half the numbers you mentioned. Good old snow blowers do hold value well, sometimes selling for the original price decades latter! That kind of return is usually for the multi-speed machines of 7-8 HP +.

I hope that helps.
Pete
 

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Gilsons were very good snowblowers. I believe they've been oiut of business for a while.Forum member Spectrum has a website dedicated to Gilson blowers. You can go to his page and find a ton of info on Gilson blowers. Google www.gilsonblowers.com
Just me but I wouldn't pay that much for one that size.
Welcome to the forum.
I used to have a Gilson 826 w/a Briggs engine. It was a 1978 and was an awsome machine. It was built very well.
 

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Pete, ya got there before I could post. :D
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Thank you everyone. I live in Michigan, and we average over 100 inches of snow. All I need it for is an Average two car double drive way with a sidewalk. I have been using a 21" single stage John Deere, and for the most part, it does the job, just not ideal during the heavy snowfalls, and of course the heavy wet snow we get often.
Are you thinking this machine is worth more in the 125.00-150.00 range?
and is this machine not really going to be a workhorse for me for this type
of work.
I will try to post a photo as soon as I can.

Thanks in advance.

Art

P.S. Am I correct to like those B & S over Tecumseh engines? I have been told the carbs are much easier to work on or at the very least, more dependable.
 

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Gilsons were very good snowblowers. I believe they've been oiut of business for a while.Forum member Spectrum has a website dedicated to Gilson blowers. You can go to his page and find a ton of info on Gilson blowers. Google www.gilsonblowers.com
Just me but I wouldn't pay that much for one that size.
Welcome to the forum.
I used to have a Gilson 826 w/a Briggs engine. It was a 1978 and was an awsome machine. It was built very well.
1988 Toro bought out Lawn Boy and since Toro already had a complete line of snow blowers the Gilson brand was discontinued. The cement mixer part of the bussiness was sold off and still survives to this day. I too have an Montgomery Ward 8/26 and the body of the blower is really well made. Thick steel and nice Unitrol drive that was replaced when hand control drive releases became mandatory.
Portable Concrete Mixers - From Gilson Company
 

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Thank you everyone. I live in Michigan, and we average over 100 inches of snow. All I need it for is an Average two car double drive way with a sidewalk. I have been using a 21" single stage John Deere, and for the most part, it does the job, just not ideal during the heavy snowfalls, and of course the heavy wet snow we get often.
Are you thinking this machine is worth more in the 125.00-150.00 range?
and is this machine not really going to be a workhorse for me for this type
of work.
I will try to post a photo as soon as I can.

Thanks in advance.

Art

P.S. Am I correct to like those B & S over Tecumseh engines? I have been told the carbs are much easier to work on or at the very least, more dependable.
I haven't had much trouble with the carbs on either engine. I believe both are fairly simple to repair. I still think that price may be a little high but agakn, that's just me. Gusto guy paid $15 for his Gilson and I paid $25 for my 826. It was pretty much in this condition when I bought it. You can see in the pics that I upgraded it to pneumatic tires but other than that it looked and stayed the same. As far as I know it should get the job done but there are so many variables. Go to youtube and watch a video produced by donyboy 72 ( I think it's spelled like that) and type in Buying used snowblower. That should bring up the vid. Watch it before making a purchase.
Hope this helps.
 

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Heres a couple photos, not good ones, but hopefully that helps in determining price on this machine. Certainly doesnt look as nice as the blower above.

Thanks

Art
Look at those solid rubber tires. He's got chains on there for a reason. They're just about gone. You can always put a bunch of sheet metal screws in them for added traction but they're pretty much toast. You really ought to watch Donyboy's video before buying any snowblower.
 

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Look at those solid rubber tires. He's got chains on there for a reason. They're just about gone. You can always put a bunch of sheet metal screws in them for added traction but they're pretty much toast. You really ought to watch Donyboy's video before buying any snowblower.
Joe is right on how poorly those solid rubber tires work. I have the semi pneumatic and I am looking for a good deal on some used inflatable Snowhog wheels and tires. Also it is only 5 HP and since your average snow yearly accumulation is over 100 inches you may have some issues with this machine doing what you need it to do.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
"GILSON 8HP 27" SNOWBLOWER WITH ELECTRIC START. MOTOR RUNS WELL, AUGER WORKS GREAT, HAS SOMETHING WRONG WITH THE DRIVE MECHANISM. WILL NEED SOME REPAIR."

Heres one I found in my area on CL. They want 200.oo for it.
Whats your thought on fixing this one or having someone fix it for me and going with this instead? Any idea on cost of fixing the drive?
Any idea on model number on this one? and maybe age?

Art
 

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$200 for a problematic 30+ year old snowblower?
Your $$.
What type of "drive" problem? If you can't repair it yourself you're probably going to have double that in repair costs... Depending on what the trouble is. Ask Gusto Guy about his Briggs engine.
If you took those pics the mdl number tag can be seen on the lower left back corner. Or, you can always call the owner and ask him what those numbers are on the tag.
 

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"GILSON 8HP 27" SNOWBLOWER WITH ELECTRIC START. MOTOR RUNS WELL, AUGER WORKS GREAT, HAS SOMETHING WRONG WITH THE DRIVE MECHANISM. WILL NEED SOME REPAIR."

Heres one I found in my area on CL. They want 200.oo for it.
Whats your thought on fixing this one or having someone fix it for me and going with this instead? Any idea on cost of fixing the drive?
Any idea on model number on this one? and maybe age?

Art
It's a late model friction drive, 8 HP, 26 inch 5 speeds forward, 2 revers, friction drive. Circa Mid 1980's

IMO DIY repair is the only way not to lose your shirt and $200 is way too much for a project machine. I hope they have the beltcover because the friction drive and belts will be hosed without it.

Repair could be clean and lube, maybe a friction wheel or could get into needing a few bearings that have been discontinued. I may be making them available latter this year but no promises on that.

I'll suggest looking for a 7, 8 or 10 HP 3 speed UniTrol as pictured earlier in the thread. Reliable and still very serviceable. Of course one of the gear drive models would be dandy too. All should be easy to find in your region.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks for all of your responses.
Believe me, it helps alot. As for the 22" model, he did come down to 150.00, not sure if thats even worth it if I have to get new tires and only one speed.
As for the larger model shown. I also noticed the beltcover missing in the photo. They have not responded to my email yet, so I am still waiting to talk to them.
Based on what you have seen for both of these, is there a price that either would make you feel comfortable about on either of these, or should I just move on? I havent found any more of these Gilsons, and for some reason, I really like them. I like vintage items, cars, houses, electrical equip, so if I can get a vintage machine that is built like a rock that outperforms the new ones, I would prefer those. Any other brands to be looking at as far as that is concerned? And, is there a way to find these Gilsons beyond just CL. Again, I am in Michigan.

Thanks again

Art
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
"Works great, 8 hp, 26", throws snow over 20ft. Key on, pull start, changed oil every season. I bought it used in 1997, cash and pick up only. $225.00 or Best offer"

I found this snowblower in Ohio near my in-laws house. Whats your thought on what you see on this one.
He will send me a few more photos this evening of the auger area, and the id badge on the blower.
He said it fires right up every time, and my father in law is a mechanic, and owns a few tractors himself, so should have a pretty good idea on mechanical condition. I am going to have him swing by and look at it.
What would something like this be worth in your opinion?
He just contacted me and said he would take 180.00 for it.

Thanks

Art

P.S. Is there a key in the ignition of this machine? He says he cant find the key, but to me, the key looks like it is in there if you look close enough?
 

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Someone on here had a Gilson that had stress cracks all over the handlebar metal and had lots of patching to do. Just saying that you may want to take a close look at that metal. V bar tires aren't the best for snow but at least those are pneumatic tires. Skids don't look to be worn real bad. That's a good sign. That Unitrol is great. Make sure he wiggles the augers for play etc. Again.... Watch Doneyboy73 video if you haven't already.

Those old Gilsons are well built blowers.
 

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do you just have to have a Gilson? don't get me wrong I'm not knocking Gilson they made some very good snowblowers but there are other brands to look at so you are not out in 24" of snow with your JD blower
 

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do you just have to have a Gilson? don't get me wrong I'm not knocking Gilson they made some very good snowblowers but there are other brands to look at so you are not out in 24" of snow with your JD blower
which J.D. BLOWER??
Maybe Art is interested in something in a little larger size?
 

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Discussion Starter #19
My driveway is roughly (and its a 3 car driveway by the way) 23x60 along with 150 feet of sidewalk, and of course the neighbors driveways if there is a storm.
I have a SS JD TSR21. Worst one I have ever owned.
As for Gilson, no, I dont have to have one. I like what I have seen and read, but dont have to have one. I would like something thats built like a tank, holds its value, and is dependable, and llast but not least, be able to get parts.

Art
 

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Art, I embrace your interest in owning a Gilson. Like all companies Gilson built some awesome amchines and some that were aimed at the lower end of the market. Those lighter machines do not stand the test of time well. As I mentioned, find a UniTrol or Gear Drive and have at it.

There are plenty of quality machines from other brands that will do well too, but they won't be Gilsons. :)

Pete
 
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