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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
we got a light 3"-4" of snow last night. the kids had a 2 hour delay for school. I just didn't want to fire up the big Ariens 8/32 or AMF 3-stage for this piddly amount of snow. then an idea popped in my head, why not use the smaller Gilson Unitrol 8Hp

and what a good choice it was ! noticeably easier to shift and maneuver than the bigger machines, and quite fast in high gear forward. I adjusted the shift linkage for maximum speed in reverse, being a Unitrol is always in neutral until the clutch engagement lever is squeezed. the neutral adjustment of the friction disc position, can be skewed to the reverse side of the platter, giving it a higher reverse speed- back up speed is what some of these old machines lack. (the AMF backs up quite slowly and I may adjust it as well in this way). it worked out quite well, as it didn't sacrifice much forward speed, and it backed up much quicker.

made short work of my mom's 2 lane driveway. the Briggs 8HP started on the first pull. Briggs are generally easier starting than the Tecumseh in my case, when they are stored outside in the snow. the Unitrol worked fine with no chains on it.

I'm quite pleased with it. this is one machine I didn't clock the WOT rpm speed up on. I left it stock rpm at WOT and that's just fine. so for anyone considering a Unitrol out there, it is a good machine provided you have at least 8HP or more. I think they also made a 10HP ? I had tried a 5HP Unitrol last year and it was a dog. this 8 runs rings around it. it will drive right through the yard in the deep accumulated snow, but doesn't digest it as quickly as the AMF or Ariens, and being lighter tends to ride up on the snow with distance. but it's great for a driveway that's kept up after lighter snows.

so it looks like keeper starting lineup is working out this way, so far:

AMF Dynamark 3 stage for the really deep stuff or where the township plow raises a steep snow bank where driveway meets road.

Ariens 8/32 when a lot of area needs to be cleaned, with the wider chute.

Unitrol for the light snows, where the smaller size and easy maneuvering helps greatly.

this may change if I ever get OEM chains for the Snowbird.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
well thank you...a few months ago, I was thinking about selling the Unitrol...not anymore...

lesson learned, word to self...:eek:
never sell an old snowblower, until you try it out first in the snow
the one you think is dead wood, may be a blessing in disguise...
 

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They are nice. If you think that's slick to run round up a true 3 speed UniTrol which does not need the left hand clutch. They shift with a thumb and forefinger grip and turn on a dime. We've had a rash of powder storms and I've been favoring my UniTrols too.

I agree the 26 inch 5HP is underpowered. Early on the 5's were 22 inch but those are very rare. 7HP does OK, 10HP is an animal and I don't think there were ever any 6Hp models.

Enjoy your Gilson in disguise.

Pete
 

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Discussion Starter #5
we got a powder snow again, about 3"
the Gilson Unitrol started after sitting outside since last time, covered in snow and ice, and it was 1 degree F. this morning when I started it.
note to self- in zero degree weather, the Briggs 8HP starts a little easier than the Tecumseh 8HP, after sitting outside all winter.
did the driveway again with the Gilson. awesome.
this machine is a keeper trout...:D
 
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