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Status report after 1yr 3months 6 days - Well consider this when you go to buy a new one. Maybe none are any better but this is what I learned: 1) Electric starter went out immediately, dealer would not replace on warranty w/o $150 pickup & $150 delivery fee to bolt on a new one 2) Composite skids are a rip off, went through those fast, solid steel ones ae half price on Amazon 3) Impeller is crap, as you can see from repairs they bend easily, they use two shear pins, when only one breaks is flies into chamber and bends impeller blade, or a rock goes through and bends things w/o both pins breaking. 4) Since I had to replace impeller, I found all the bearings are junk after one year. Main bearing on shaft is completely gone, and bearings on sides feel terrible. My observations for what they are worth. Colorado Springs
 

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I've been keeping a running blog here on mine and the experiences since new for 2015 winter. Related to events you share on yours:

-- I've used the electric starter exactly twice sine the machine was new. Once to make sure it actually worked before the warranty ran out. Second when I was trying to start it and forgot to turn the stop switch back on. [re]reading the guidance on the manuals, they propose a pretty short cranking period before a pretty long starter-motor cool-down period. It's almost impossible to damage the starter motor following the guidance in the manual, but it might also be really tough getting a recalcitrant engine started, especially if it's flooded or you forget to turn something on as I did. It turns out that, so long as I religiously run the bowl out as part of the normal shutdown protocol, the engine will restart immediately or two weeks later if I follow the manual's instructions on starting. I set the choke at full minus a tad, engine speed at slowest plus a tad. Turn the switch on, verify key in place, a couple pushes on the primer bulb. Roll the engine slowly a couple times with the pull-cord. Then pull slowly a little more to bring the engine up on compression stroke. Relax than pull the starter cord sharply. If it doesn't start that way on the first pull I'm concerned. No start on the next pull and I'm worried, looking for a step or steps that I missed. Nine out of ten times it starts on that first pull, the other one of ten it starts on the second pull. It starts fast and reliably on the cord, more easily than the effort needed to connect the electric starter cord.

-- the plastic skids are a compromise. I loved them for how good they are to my textured-concrete paving-stone driveway, but lament how fast they wear especially when clearing snow on asphalt. I bought a couple pairs of spares at the same time as the machine, plus a package of extra shear bolts. I was good initially on the bolts but watched the original skids wear down pretty fast. I ended up fabricating several pairs of Delrin skid shoes, and use them instead of the factory pieces. They are good for a couple hours before they wear enough to need adjustment, at less than half the wear rate of the originals. There are more than a few options on aftermarket skid shoes if you don't have the fab capabilities. Most are really cheap. It turns out that the skid shoes and the scraper blade plus bolts are normal wearing parts. Cheap to replace, but you do have to replace them.

-- The impeller works fine normally, but struggles if I try to pack too much snow in there too fast. If I see there's snow spilling out the sides of the bucket, or hear/feel the engine working hard, drive speed and width of 'bite' into the show both get adjusted down a little.

-- The impeller shear pins are there to protect you from overloading or over-working the impeller. If the impeller is bending and the pins don't do their job, weaken the shear pins some. There's a discussion in the Maintenance forum on shear bolts that you might read. Meanwhile, this winter I managed to shear both impeller pins with no apparent cause. Might have been a rock or two but I didn't find them. If you wedge a rock in the impeller, the shear pins will save the machine if you let them. But and maintain stock on extra shear pins/bolts. Keep the replacement tools handy too: gloves, pins, 7/16" socket and ratchet, 1/2" ratcheting box wrench.

-- The carrier bearings for the auger shaft are pretty easy replacement, while the ones on the impeller shaft are a bit more work to replace. Just Do It. They are normal wearing parts. Keep spares.
 

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Hearty welcome for first post...Welcome to the SBF from Gettysburg.
 

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I've had my ST324P (254cc engine) for 3 winter seasons and have not had a starting problem yet. I do not start it from season to season either. I only use non-ethanol gas. Also, I change the oil and run the tank & carburetor dry at season end. Have only used the pull start and just one time did it not start on the first pull, that was because I did not have the switch on.

I follow the starting instructions from the Husqvarna manual which I attached below. For a cold or warm start I always have the throttle on "Fast Position" when starting as stated in the manual, but I always have the choke on full even for a warm start, that differs from the manual. I only prime the carburetor for a cold start, never a warm start just as stated in the manual.

So far, I've never had to replace a shear pin.
 

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I'll add a data point, my experience over three years of using my ST227P, that it has been quite satisfactory for me. As for starting, the following is with having ended the previous use by turning off the fuel valve and letting the engine run out the carburetor gas until it stalls. For the next time, which could be a couple of weeks or more later, I do fuel valve on, full throttle, full choke, push twice on the primer bulb, and nearly always a single pull on the cord. Following the start, I turn off the choke immediately. For the first start of the season, after three seasons of sitting in the garage, I have found that I need a number more presses on the primer bulb to get it to start.


If I have to turn off the engine, as for a refueling or even just some other reason, I have found that I need to flip the choke on before pulling the cord. While I have sometimes been able to restart with just a few pulls of the cord, now I just use the choke right away. For some reason, that engine doesn't seem to want to start without the choke on.



As for the starter motor, the second season began with a difficult start, after having pressed the primer bulb just twice. So I plugged in a cord for the starter. The motor cranked the engine just fine, but it wasn't until I primed some more that the engine started. On one other occasion, when the engine hadn't started right away, I solved that problem by turning on the Start switch (who hasn't done that at least once).


This year I also installed 1/4" thick SBR strips to close the impeller gap. There were just a few occasions to test this, but overall the modification seems to help, especially with wet snow. The rubber strips survived well even after one session with a thick crust on top of loose snow. The crunching of the auger through the crust made for a lot of vibration, but the mix of loose snow and a great many marble-sized crusty chunks was flung well up into the woods. However, last Tuesday morning I used the machine to clean up an access road after a 3" wet snowfall. The gravel part of the road had thawed considerably before the town plow went over it, and it left a row of snow mixed with a lot of sand and gravel. I charged through it for a few feet, but I stopped when I realized how much stone was in the mix. Later, upon cleaning up the machine for storage, I found that two of the three rubber strips were nearly destroyed by having to eat so much gravel. Those two will be replaced shortly.
 

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I am in agreement with the previous 3 posts on start up procedures as I have had no issues other than pressing the primer bulb one too many times (flooded carb) and then trying to start without moving the rocker switch to run. Both human errors on my part.

Just finished the 3rd season on my ST227P and from a first time user am completely satisfied with my purchase. Careful season end maintenance has made blowing a lot easier than the shovel work. No problem with the scraper bar or the skids. I haven't had any shear bolt problems. Thanks to all for sharing your information as I have learned a lot and continue to learn from this forum.

Perhaps, the moderator can move this to dr bob's Husqvarna ST227P blog dedicated to this model. A wealth of information there.
 

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i work on these engines ll the times and most of these engines basically flood the engine to prime them. it common for them to be hard to start first run of the season you can get them to start much easier buy priming them like 20 times, dont worry gas will be dripping but what your doing is pushing out all the old gas and making room for new fresh gas. also on a brand new engine if its hard starting you should pull the carb bowl off after the first run most you will find metal dust in the carburetor bowl the carbs and tanks must not be prepped very well at the factory. and if your one of those people leaving gas in every year pull your carb bowl off yearly and clean it
 
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