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I'm looking at buying a Power Smart 27" snow blower. I have an old John deere 726 from the 70s and it's starting to get expensive to own. It runs great when there isn't a small problem with it and I'm tired of fixing it. Currently it needs a new condenser and points. It also has an air leak in the carb. These can be fixed pretty cheaply but I usually have between 1-3 problems with it every winter. Where does one draw the line on something so old?

So my question is, how reliable is the Power Smart brand? Are they about equal to MTD or worse? What other cheap brand for 2-stage snow blowers around $600 do you recommend? Or should I continue fixing my John deere as things keep popping up?
 

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I'm also looking at a briggs and stratton 24" or the sno-tek but they are more than I want to spend.
 

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What's your location? IMHO you can get a really nice used blower for. $500 or less. I'd go that route. I'm selling a 724 Sno Tek in excellent condition for way less than that and it is in almost new condition. I just bought a Toro 724 for a song and it too is in excellent condition. It was nowhere close to $500. Donyboy73 has a vid for you to watch.
 
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Fix the carb is easy, air leaks there are very rare.

Buy a Mega Fire replacement electronic ignition module for $15 to replace your points.

You have a very strong machine. If you want to make it better, extend the chute 12" if you have a short chute and add a rubber impeller kit.

Use the John Deere as your main machine or keep it as a backup. Nothing wrong with having two snowblowers.

As Micah suggested, buy a good used machine, save a lot of money. For less than $500 you will get a better machine than $700 will buy you new.
 

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Baumhmaa,


Gotta go along with Micah' and JL' on this one.


I'm not sure, but I think those Powersmart machines are built in Vietnam.
Although I would never rule out the possibility that in the future we can expect to get quality machines built totally in Asia, I don't think we're there yet.


Often times too you hear about the problems of obtaining parts for some of these machines. Even if you choose not to service a machine yourself, the inability to get parts quickly or at all, is a factor worth considering.


If the engine still runs strong on the ol' J/D I know I would keep it going. Yes, there are going to be problems that crop up, but the problems you describe don't sound so bad. Do you do the service yourself, or are you paying a shop to do them? I know J/D parts tend to be pricey, as I have a lawn tractor and am constantly amazed at how much they charge for parts. I can usually track down other manufacturers of replacement parts though that are much more reasonable.


As for the ignition, I'm pretty sure you could ditch that points set up and go solid state, and never have to deal with that headache again. There are videos on YouTube showing how....


So, to sum up, I'd either keep that old beast going, or pick up a used Ariens or Toro to replace and jump a couple of decades anyway......:wink2:
 
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Power smart is not a good choice, For a cheap blower I usually recommend the Ariens Sno-Tek and MTD may not be top quality but if well taken care of can also be a good blower and parts availability are good on these also if any need comes up, But for $600 you can get a really nice used Ariens in great shape.
 

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Baumhmaa,


Gotta go along with Micah' and JL' on this one.


I'm not sure, but I think those Powersmart machines are built in Vietnam.
Although I would never rule out the possibility that in the future we can expect to get quality machines built totally in Asia, I don't think we're there yet.


Often times too you hear about the problems of obtaining parts for some of these machines. Even if you choose not to service a machine yourself, the inability to get parts quickly or at all, is a factor worth considering.


If the engine still runs strong on the ol' J/D I know I would keep it going. Yes, there are going to be problems that crop up, but the problems you describe don't sound so bad. Do you do the service yourself, or are you paying a shop to do them? I know J/D parts tend to be pricey, as I have a lawn tractor and am constantly amazed at how much they charge for parts. I can usually track down other manufacturers of replacement parts though that are much more reasonable.


As for the ignition, I'm pretty sure you could ditch that points set up and go solid state, and never have to deal with that headache again. There are videos on YouTube showing how....


So, to sum up, I'd either keep that old beast going, or pick up a used Ariens or Toro to replace and jump a couple of decades anyway......:wink2:

I repair what I can... Usually easy stuff like adjusting/cleaning the carb and normal maintenance. But anything beyond that I normally have the shop do. Maybe I'm over thinking it, but the points system looks way too difficult. I'm sure I could figure it out but when it comes to electrical and the likes, I usually stay away from. As for blowers on Craigslist, there really aren't any good ones for sale right now. Just kinda want something new. Don't even care about the warranty because I can usually fix the things that break on new machines.
 

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My vote would be a 924 series Ariens, preferably an ST 824.....can get a good one in the $300-$400 range in Massachusetts. If most of the problems with the JD are engine related...a Predator swap would give you a new electronic ignition, overhead valve engine that has a good track record and is ultra reliable. I'd get a newer used blower either Ariens or Toro, and fix the JD and keep it. The 2nd amendment gives you the right to keep and bear a 2nd snowblower.
 

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So, to sum up, I'd either keep that old beast going, or pick up a used Ariens or Toro to replace and jump a couple of decades anyway......:wink2:
That would be my preference too. Fix it, or get a solid used machine for less money. I've had better experiences with Ariens and Toro than with MTD.

A new low-end machine may work fine for the first few years, but won't be built as well. It may start having trouble, and it may be difficult to get parts, support, or documentation on it.
 

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Buy a good used snowblower then learn to fix the John Deere. As suggested by Cranman, replace the engine with a Harbor Freight Predator engine. It will be much stronger than you have.

My first choice is all Simplicity models, second are most Ariens and Toro models, and John Deere "D" models, then many MTD models which include MTD, Yardman, many Craftsman models, also Poulan snowblowers.
 

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Like I said before, there are 0 snowblowers on Craigslist in my area. Closed one that looks nice is over 100 miles away. Don't care to drive that far.

I understand sno-tek is made by ariens. Would that be a good option or is it made to cheaply?
 

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Like I said before, there are 0 snowblowers on Craigslist in my area. Closed one that looks nice is over 100 miles away. Don't care to drive that far.

I understand sno-tek is made by ariens. Would that be a good option or is it made to cheaply?
Maybe I missed it but where is your area?... And I have a very nice Sno Tek for sale.
 

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Maybe I missed it but where is your area?... And I have a very nice Sno Tek for sale.
Tri-state are between Wisconsin, Iowa, and Illinois. It's been a harsh winter here, so everyone in town is out of stock. Have to buy online for delivery in order to get a new one.
 

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Buy a good used snowblower then learn to fix the John Deere. As suggested by Cranman, replace the engine with a Harbor Freight Predator engine. It will be much stronger than you have.

My first choice is all Simplicity models, second are most Ariens and Toro models, and John Deere "D" models, then many MTD models which include MTD, Yardman, many Craftsman models, also Poulan snowblowers.

Can I just hookup the predator engine without doing any other adjustments to the engine/carb?
 

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Just say NO to Power Smart
 

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A solid state ignition is a piece of cake to install, easier than messing with points. And you won't have to worry about maintenance down the road. Anything for $600-$700, whether Powersmart, Troy-bilt, Sno-tek are all cheap machines that will not hold up and if you run into any substantial snow will not be able to handle it. I have worked on all 3 and they are all junk. By the way, I would NEVER buy a Troy-Bilt anything. ANYTHING. And I would steer away from a Husqvarna snowblower; poor engineering and belt/pulley problems galore. If you are going to get a new machine spend $1000+ and get something decent (with EZ-Steer, or whatever you want to call it). Ariens would be my choice and if you had a lot of dough I would go Simplicity or, even better, Honda. Who fixes your Deere? It shouldn't break down that much. Hang onto the Deere and have someone who knows what they are doing give it a good going over.
 

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Does anyone know how reliable briggs and stratton blowers are? I really like this one:
https://www.lowes.com/pd/Briggs-Stratton-1227MD-27-in-Two-stage-Gas-Snow-Blower-Self-propelled/1000224671

But I know a sno-tek will be reliable. Does this briggs have about the same build quality as the sno-tek 24?
As far as the lower priced blowers IMHO Sno-Tek is the best, almost the same as the Ariens compact with a few differences to make up for the price difference like smaller tires and the plastic chute but still a good machine, use one myself and it does pretty well but do have a larger blower for the big storms but finding I use the Sno-Tek 90% of the time.
 
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