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Hi Folks,

I'm new here at the wonderful world of snowblower enthusiasts, and am looking to upgrade from my ancient 825 Trac-Drive (which has broken down for the last time). I've locked on to two different Ariens models that are for sale in my area, and am hoping to get some recommendations one each before deciding if I should pull the trigger on one of them. For reference, I live in lake-effect country, and I got more than my $'s worth out of my old 8/25 Trac-Drive over the years.

The first model is a ST1028LE, which I believe to be from 2000 as it doesn't appear to have the collapsible handlebars or the heated handlebar toggle-switch. It's priced well at $275, and the owner says that the friction disc, drive bearing, recoil cord and auger belt have recently been replaced. It looks to be in great shape for it's age, stored inside, and has minimal rust.

The second model is a 926LE (mid 2000s), and I believe it has the Briggs OHV rather than the Tec L-head which was used on the earlier version of the 926LE (will be speaking to the seller to verify tomorrow). It's priced at $325 and is in impeccable condition (little to no surface-rust), appearing to have been used very infrequently and well-cared for (owner says he's a mechanic by trade).

At this point I'm really not sure which model I'd prefer. I've heard that the "tried & true" Tec L-head has an advantage over the Briggs OHV, but I'd imagine the difference is negligible? I really like the idea of the 1028 already having many of the major wear items replaced, but the overall condition of the 926 leads me to believe that it's wear items are in fine shape as well (which I'll also be asking the seller).

Also, I'm not sure if it really makes much of a difference, but the 1028 has the 'regular' aluminum gearcase, whereas the 926 has the 'XS' aluminum gearcase. Other than what I've mentioned above, are there any other major difference between these two models? Are there any pertinent questions that I should be asking each seller regarding specific issues related to each machine?

Any input regarding these machines and suggestions as to what I should be looking for (and asking about) is very much appreciated. I'll hopefully add some images in later once I reach the required post count to be able to do so.

Thanks!

-Evan
 

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" The first model is a ST1028LE, which I believe to be from 2000 as it doesn't appear to have the collapsible handlebars or the heated handlebar toggle-switch. It's priced well at $275, and the owner says that the friction disc, drive bearing, recoil cord and auger belt have recently been replaced. It looks to be in great shape for it's age, stored inside, and has minimal rust.

The second model is a 926LE (mid 2000s), and I believe it has the Briggs OHV rather than the Tec L-head which was used on the earlier version of the 926LE (will be speaking to the seller to verify tomorrow). It's priced at $325 and is in impeccable condition (little to no surface-rust), appearing to have been used very infrequently and well-cared for (owner says he's a mechanic by trade).

At this point I'm really not sure which model I'd prefer. I've heard that the "tried & true" Tec L-head has an advantage over the Briggs OHV, but I'd imagine the difference is negligible? I really like the idea of the 1028 already having many of the major wear items replaced, but the overall condition of the 926 leads me to believe that it's wear items are in fine shape as well (which I'll also be asking the seller).

Also, I'm not sure if it really makes much of a difference, but the 1028 has the 'regular' aluminum gearcase, whereas the 926 has the 'XS' aluminum gearcase. Other than what I've mentioned above, are there any other major difference between these two models? Are there any pertinent questions that I should be asking each seller regarding specific issues related to each machine? "



Without seeing them the first things I would ask and or inspect is if the wheels are not seized on the shafts, and also if the augers shafts are oiled or greased being not seized. These 2 items is a sure way to tell it has been well looked after. The price on both is very reasonable but I would be slightly wary of the cheaper one since the asking price is close to half of cost of the repairs that were done. I would tend to the 926 only for the OHV engine and the chance of it being not seized at the aforementioned items. The XS gear case is more heavy duty but it can break the same as the other if a solid object is swallowed.
So I hope this will help you and please come with your choice and how it runs.
Good Luck

Norm
 
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