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Hello, I found an Ariens ST1236 snow blower for sale. It looks to be in great shape, so I called the guy, and he said that it was only used 3-4 times. Says he it too old to use it, and has a friend plow his driveway. He said the carb needs a cleaning, because it starts, than stalls out. He is asking $350.
 

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Could be as old as 1992 (just so you're aware, but serial number and proper model number needed).

Before buying another used snowblower I would consider borrowing a compression tester to make sure it's OK. I would also unplug the spark plug and try to move the augers by hand (a full test would be to actually spin the impeller until the augers make a 360 degree rotation, stopping periodically to see if the augers move by hand). The augers should never spin freely by hand.

I ended up needing a full auger gear box rebuild before the first season's use and I overpaid drastically considering the cost of parts necessary. Now I know for next time! I got lucky that the engine worked ok, but it didn't stall out during the test drive.

For any used machine you should be prepared to change the oil, gas and spark plug and do a complete carb rebuild (lots of helpful vids on youtube). Belts should be checked for proper tension as well.
 

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Hello, I found an Ariens ST1236 snow blower for sale. It looks to be in great shape, so I called the guy, and he said that it was only used 3-4 times. Says he it too old to use it, and has a friend plow his driveway. He said the carb needs a cleaning, because it starts, than stalls out. He is asking $350.
Pardon my skepticism but did you see pics or the unit itself?
With 3 or 4 times used there should be very minimal rust on it.
This is a big snow blower meant for a big laneway which requires some manhandling, I'm just pointing out a few facts to ponder for this fine unit. Good Luck
 

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the ST1236 is indeed a beast for sure.. almost too big for residential IMO. Consider any narrow spaces or tight turns where you plan on using it. this will require manhandling for sure!
 

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I would be skeptical of the "used 3 or 4 times" claim..maybe he himself used it 3 or 4 times! ;) but its unlikely it was only used 3 or 4 times total..if its actually called a ST1236, then its 15 to 25 years old.

If its in good shape, $350 could be a decent price for such a machine however, depending on three factors:

1. How old is it, really.
2. What kind of condition is it in.
3. And most importantly, as others have said, do really need such a monster of a machine? ;)

Where do you live? What are your winters like? And how much space do you have to clear?

Scot
 

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Definitely an older model. Used more that 4 times. Look at all the paint worn off of the chute and stuff.
 

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Even if its been used more than that, $350 seems like a good price if its in decent condition. Do these snow blowers have a good reputation?
 

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Its been used at least an average amount of times..
10 times a year for 10 years = used 100 times.
10 times a year for 20 years = used 200 times.

hard to know for sure, but clearly waaaaaayyyyyy more than 4 times! ;)

Condition also looks average for its age, not great, not bad.

without some Ariens or Tecumseh tag numbers, its hard to get a fix on its age.
Ariens made several 1236 models in the 924000 series:

The Ariens 1960's and 1970's Sno-Thro info site.

Seven different 1236 models between 1988 and about 2004.

Based on the graphics and the style of the dash panel, this is probably an early to mid 1990's machine, about 20 years old..
if you could get the numbers from the tags, snowblower and engine, we could nail it down to an exact year.

One might think, when it comes to snowblowers, "the bigger it is, the more expensive/valuable it is"..but that really only applies to *new* snowblowers..Once they hit that 15 to 20 year old mark, exact age has little importance..a 40 year old Ariens can be worth the same, or even more, than a 20 year old Ariens of similar specs, depending totally on condition and previous owner care.

And, for older machines, being at the top of snowblower food chain, in terms of size and power, can be a distinct disadvantage! for many buyers and many regions, because the machine is simply far too big for their needs.. the massive size can make it *less* valuable than smaller machines of similar vintage, because demand for the monster machines is lower in all areas except those regions with greater than average snowfall amounts..

So! $350? not bad..probably a bit high, unless you live near one of the large east coast cities.
(it would be very helpful if you would tell us where you live! ;) just a city and state is fine..)
$250 is probably good if everything works..and again, only if you really need the size! ;) If you live in Virginia, you really dont want this machine..It will not do well in 2-inches of slush. this is a machine for 1, 2 and 3 foot snowfalls, and several of them every winter.

Scot
 

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Even if its been used more than that, $350 seems like a good price if its in decent condition. Do these snow blowers have a good reputation?
If you ask anyone reading this thread, this sale is off to a bad start with a much less than honest person trying his best to have a quick sale. As Sscotman mentions it would be ok with a $250.00 asking price provided it is working but it does not, starting with carb problems and there are many other variables like if you remove the shear pin from one side of the auger and if it turns unimpeded if not then another problem saying that the unit may have been run with less than optimum care. Not trying to discourage you from it but being realistic. Good Luck
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I live in southern New Jersey. Average snow fall is about 28.5 inches. I have a 125x25 driveway. The way I figured, $350 wasn't a bad price, even if we don't boat loads of snow every season. I'm mechanically inclined, and enjoy the tinkering. I just don't want to buy something that wasn't considered a decent machine, or one that has little or no parts availability.
 

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I live in southern New Jersey. Average snow fall is about 28.5 inches. I have a 125x25 driveway. The way I figured, $350 wasn't a bad price, even if we don't boat loads of snow every season. I'm mechanically inclined, and enjoy the tinkering. I just don't want to buy something that wasn't considered a decent machine, or one that has little or no parts availability.
hmmm..well thats a small amount of snow, and a fairly small driveway.
IMO a 1236 is way more machine than you need! ;)
its far too big..but! if you like it, it will do the job..it could probably do your driveway in 10 minutes! ;) which could be a plus..

If you buy it, you would definitely want to install an impeller kit, to help with the smaller slushier snowfalls.
(machines of this size actually do *worse* in slush than smaller machines..they are designed for big snowfalls,
an impeller kits helps that problem, and makes them perform better in wet slushy snows..)

as for quality or parts availablity, no problem either way..Ariens machines from the 1960's are still running, and have easy parts availability..an Ariens from the 90's will have no issues there.

So, the only questions are: the price, the condition, and do you want the monster snowblower? ;)

and since you are in southern NJ, you are in the "add $100 to the price" zone..

I live in Western NY, in a heavy snowfall belt (Great Lakes lake effect snow) For people in the Great lakes regions, or the upper mid west, where snowfalls are big, used snowblowers are VERY common, and prices are lower than on the east coast.

I have found over the years that areas around Boston, NY city, Philly, and DC have used snowblower prices that are generally $100 more than comparable machines around here..just because everything is more expensive in those regions.

So for me, this machine would be comfortably worth $250 in Rochester or Buffalo NY, I think thats a reasonable price for an Ariens of that vintage, if the condition is decent. So tack on the $100 east coast premium for your area, and you get $350..So, its probably reasonably worth $350, if everything is working properly and overall condition is decent.

Scot
 

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Thanks Scot. I appreciate the honesty. I'll try to stop there tomorrow and get pics of the plate with all the numbers on it. I will also give it a more in depth look, to get a better idea on its condition. Maybe if I'm still interested, we can work on the price. I'll keep everybody posted. Thanks. John.
 

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I just picked up an ST1236 that looks to be around the same year as what your looking at. I paid 500 but mine was truly used very little. No paint missing,no chips,scratches etc. I traveled from Buffalo to Erie,PA to get it.
 

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To me, that is a $200 machine tops. Just the way that inside of the chute looks, has me thinking on negative side. It looks like that mahince was tossing rocks through that chute. Then it makes me think of what kind of maintenance of the engine and gear box have gotten.
 

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Pardon my skepticism but did you see pics or the unit itself?
With 3 or 4 times used there should be very minimal rust on it.
This is a big snow blower meant for a big laneway which requires some manhandling, I'm just pointing out a few facts to ponder for this fine unit. Good Luck
I'll second that...unless you live in a place where there's blizzards of Biblical proportions on a regular basis, there's really no need for a monster machine. this year my smallest machines got used the most, and proved to be the most valuable. those big ones are really for clearing an 8" plus snow and a long driveway 2 lanes wide or more. an 8/24 or 8/26 is really all the average person needs.
but the big machines sure are fun to tinker with and marvel at...
 
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