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Discussion Starter #21
Usually if it's a repair I can't do, I have my local JD dealer fix it. At the moment they are installing a new points and condenser for around $70 after tax. I think that's a good price considering parts are about $25 and I don't have to mess with it. Maybe over the summer when it isn't freezing out I'll tear into the machine and do some overhauling. It would be a good learning experience.

My neighbor has a Troy Bilt snowblower from 2003 that still runs good. The tecumseh on his is far louder and shakes more than my tec from the 70's. Though mine can shoot the snow further, his works every time without a single problem. Wish I could say that. But hopefully this will be the last problem for a while.
 

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When I look at the warnings against a 'low-end' machine, such as:

It may start having trouble.
It may be difficult to get parts or documentation for it.
It may be difficult to get local support.

I have to point out that the same can be said for a used machine, and even some new 'premium' ones. :wink2:


Nothing lasts forever. If your yearly repair expenses (including transport for service/repair) over a five year period comes close to the cost of a 'low-end' replacement, then it is probably time to get a 'new' machine. You can buy a 'low-end' machine and save on initial cost, or purchase a more 'premium' machine and hope that it lasts long enough to justify the additional expense, or you can pick up a used machine and hope that there is enough life left in it to justify its price.

If you are considering the option of a used machine, I would advise you keep one thing in mind. Every used machine is being sold for a reason. That having been said, it is possible to find a good used machine at a good price... but you will need to know what to look for... and wait until a good machine is available.

Considering how much you want to spend, I would recommend keeping your current machine (as it will have little resale value now) until it has another breakdown that you cannot fix yourself, and then consider letting it go for parts/repair.

As for the PowerSmart 27"... don't. I'm not taking a crap on 'low-end' machines, or the PowerSmart brand name (I'm very happy with my PowerSmart DB7651-24). The problem for you would be that the 212cc engine produces roughly 6-6.5hp, and that means you would probably have similar or less power available to run a bigger auger than you already have with your old 726. If you want comparable performance, I would recommend you look for a smaller 24" 212cc model (like the PowerSmart DB7624E, DB72024PA, or DB7124) with as few options as possible. If you want a larger auger size then you will need the additional power to drive it (like the 254cc engine on the Ariens Deluxe 28). One thing is certain, you do not want an under-powered machine.

As for PowerSmart reliability, the machine I have is in its third season. It starts on the first pull, runs strong, and aside from one shear pin (machine came with 4 spares) that let go when I picked up a brick mistakenly left by my neighbor in her driveway (I clear 5 driveways including my own) it is 100% original. The only warning I have to offer is to check all the nuts and bolts installed during a retail assembly for proper tightness (if machine is purchased fully assembled).


In the end, what works for me or anyone else for that matter, may not work for you. Worst case, you get something that doesn't quite work for you. If that happens, sell it. Any 'loss' will probably be less than what you are currently paying each year for repairs.
 

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Give the "POwersmart" about 20 more years from now and their quality will possibly improve. Like the Hundai cars, when they were first brought here, they were junk, but 20 years later they became a better can.

If you are not going to use the snowblower at all and just want an engine to put on it while it sits in the garage, then put a Powersmart or other China made Honda knockoff engine on it, but otherwise I would repair the engine thats on it now and have much less problems with it than you would with a Cheap China Clone Knockoff motor.
 
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