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Still smiling! :):) Went up even further today to show the wife how well of an investment it is and cut thru the slushy hard wet 28" high area like butter!
This is where I started shoveling snow because the 19" was just getting to much to totally shovel the driveway. My blower did not make it in time for that but it cleaned that pile up and even opened the side of my driveway all the way up! this was easily 2 feet of packed snow from many storms and it just ate it up! The 257cc motor never bogged! I kept it in 1st for this heavy stuff though. Love the machine!

Jim
 

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Does the 3X26HD have the steel chute? Are the controls the same as the regular 3X26's? I'm looking to upgrade my blower with either one of those. Or, one of the Ariens deluxe with the autoturn. The auto turn from what I'm reading still has bugs and might not be worth the trouble. But they are built to last, sturdy as ****. From what I'm reading the Cubcadet 3X's preform well but the controls leave something to be desired. people seem to think that they wont hold up in the long run. I'm a city boy who now lives in the hudson valley, about 30 miles north of NYC. So, I'm new to all the power equipment that comes with living up here and any input will be appreciated. thanks
 

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mine is the steel chute and it does not have the joystick! I like the turning mechanism on this one. The joystick did not excite me. It starts on one pull even after sitting for a few months! Check out the cool Youtube videos of it in action!
 

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Jeez I never thought I'd be putting in so much time just choosing a snowblower! But, here I am on the fence leaning toward the Cubcadet 3X again, the other one I'm looking at is the Ariens deluxe 28. Thanks for the hands on advice guys, just a few more Q's. When you adjust the shoot, does it stay where you adjust it. Some people say it tends to turn to where it wants. How sturdy are the controls? Some think they wont hold up, they are flimsey. Finally when using the trigger controls for turning. Since my drive has a longish sweeping turn, will they do an arching turn or do they just want to do a 180* and go back the way you came? Also how tight a turn can you take? Thanks again. John
 

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Mine will stay where I point it using the hand crank. The trigger controls basically unlock the drive wheel depending on which one you pull....for instance, pulling the right trigger stops the right wheel from "driving" and the left wheel keeps going to make the turn. You can pull the trigger for a few seconds and let it slowly turn...not sure you can do a long arc other then that. I was not impressed with the Ariens turning system.....too many people are fighting the machine because any inconsistency in the drive (crack etc) caused it to want to turn. Hope this helps.....

Forgot to mention, I believe the Cub has a 5 year warranty......the gear case is aluminum and some don't like that......as long as it has a warranty I think it is fine. Besides aluminum dissipates heat faster.....if it heats up I guess? LOL
 

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Hey thanks Jim the input is great. I have my reservations about the Ariens auto turn too. My drive is almost smooth but has a few dips and bumps. I hate having to fight with my single stage, that is being put out to pasture, so I dont want to spend more money to fight a duel stage that weighs more than me. doesnt sound like fun. Thanks again John
 

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you are welcome. love these forums.....so much info. almost bought the Ariens but decided against it.....local dealer sells both and the cub sells at about 3 to 1 over the Ariens or higher......good luck.
 

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Mine will stay where I point it using the hand crank. The trigger controls basically unlock the drive wheel depending on which one you pull....for instance, pulling the right trigger stops the right wheel from "driving" and the left wheel keeps going to make the turn. You can pull the trigger for a few seconds and let it slowly turn...not sure you can do a long arc other then that. I was not impressed with the Ariens turning system.....too many people are fighting the machine because any inconsistency in the drive (crack etc) caused it to want to turn. Hope this helps.....

Forgot to mention, I believe the Cub has a 5 year warranty......the gear case is aluminum and some don't like that......as long as it has a warranty I think it is fine. Besides aluminum dissipates heat faster.....if it heats up I guess? LOL
If it makes you feel better, I think a cast iron case is ridiculous and doesn't really address any specific need. Planes all over the world fly and work with many and various stressed and loaded aluminum parts. Everyone got excited about cast iron because we think cooking on it is manly and Ariens (being the crafty and wise marketing types they are) decided that cast iron will make it stronger.

You could make the gear case out of plastic and still tear gears up. The point being that the materials used mean nothing, how they are designed means everything. Cast iron was a brilliant marketing coup for Ariens....they came up with it first, Cudos to them. But if anyone thinks the gear case is the week point in any quality machine, I assure you it's not. The gear on gear wear, metallurgical qualities of those stress/contact points is absolutely key.

The finest sports cars in the world run aluminium gear cases/diff cases. If you started pitching the performance world on cast iron, they would tell you to take your pig metal elsewhere ;)

In short. The 3X gearbox will hold up wonderfully. I have a toro 1128. Same thing. Just works.

Enjoy the toy people. The 3X is an intriguing machine!

Cheers
Mags
 

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I completely disagree with the previous post..especially:

The point being that the materials used mean nothing
Materials used mean a LOT! ;) very very much..

I bet if we could access repair records for all styles of gearboxes, you will find a MUCH higher percentage of chewed up aluminum gears versus cast iron gears.

Mag is correct that aluminum gears are not necessarily *bad*..if well cared for.
But I think its completely untrue to suggest that "all materials are equal"..That is very obviously not true. Its simply a fact that some materials are stronger than others..and some gearboxes are more robustly built than others..that cant be denied.

If you choose to buy a "less robust" machine, thats your choice..and you might have good luck with it for many years..but dont believe that all manufacturers are equal, and all gearbox types are equal..that is very obviously not true.

Scot
 

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I completely disagree with the previous post..especially:



Materials used mean a LOT! ;) very very much..

I bet if we could access repair records for all styles of gearboxes, you will find a MUCH higher percentage of chewed up aluminum gears versus cast iron gears.

Mag is correct that aluminum gears are not necessarily *bad*..if well cared for.
But I think its completely untrue to suggest that "all materials are equal"..That is very obviously not true. Its simply a fact that some materials are stronger than others..and some gearboxes are more robustly built than others..that cant be denied.

If you choose to buy a "less robust" machine, thats your choice..and you might have good luck with it for many years..but dont believe that all manufacturers are equal, and all gearbox
types are equal..that is very obviously not true.

Scot
Agreed. Well stated, Scot.
 

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But I think magnumb has a point, it is the quality of the gear vs the quality of the gear case. Would I rather have a cast gear case? Yup, but if the gear set inside is not large enough or of poor quality, case material matters not.
 

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I think the discussion here is on aluminum cases and has nothing to do with the gears inside. If the gears inside are well lubricated and of sufficient quality the case material doesn't matter too much. Yes, I have seen one aluminum MTD case cracked on youtube, but that was due to improper shear pins being used.

You are far more likely to have issues with the gears inside than you are with the case.

The case iron is heavier so it could make the machine hold down better in heavy snow though.

Your Tecumseh engines are made out of aluminum. Does that make them less desirable on your older machines? Do the aluminum cases just fail on their own or is there only an issue when something else happens like the rod breaks?
 

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I may have poorly worded the statement. I was simply suggesting that between existing materials, provided the gear cases are designed well, be it cast iron or aluminum....it really doesn't matter. Design is everything. As long as you can take torsion, flex or other deformation out of the equation, then it comes down to the gear on gear contact and the quality of those materials.

Obviously you guys are sharp and know your stuff, so I won't spend pointless time sighting examples of the places aluminum is used in high performance applications to great affect, so simply stating that a cast iron gearbox is better is disingenuous (in marketing speak)

I compliment ariens on the design of theirs. But the same design can be accomplished with a number of materials to the same effect. The fact that they made it top filling with a horizontal gasket is excellent. However and argument can't be made that one material with serve this specific purpose better than the other provided they are both designed correctly. Sure, throw a cheap cast aluminum thin walled gear case in there and it will go poorly, however, a poorly designed cast iron case will go just as poorly.

Stated another way. Boeing engineers aren't sitting around lamenting the fact that they can't use cast iron in their designs because it's superior.

So marketing of a "cast iron" gear box is a great move. But please don't tell me how it's automatically better than an equally well designed aluminum one.

That's the main thrust of my point. I hope I was a bit more clear this time around.

I think we are all on the same page actually. But to clarify, my points were more in reference to the gear cases vs the gears themselves.
 

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I think the discussion here is on aluminum cases and has nothing to do with the gears inside. If the gears inside are well lubricated and of sufficient quality the case material doesn't matter too much. Yes, I have seen one aluminum MTD case cracked on youtube, but that was due to improper shear pins being used.

You are far more likely to have issues with the gears inside than you are with the case.

The case iron is heavier so it could make the machine hold down better in heavy snow though.

Your Tecumseh engines are made out of aluminum. Does that make them less desirable on your older machines? Do the aluminum cases just fail on their own or is there only an issue when something else happens like the rod breaks?

Yes, this was also the other half of my point. Make a quality case, it's the moving parts that are likely to be the weak point. Hence why I might describe the excessive advertisement of cast iron as being marketing point vs a necessary design choice.

However, so everyone doesn't get upset with me. I like their cast iron gear cases. But unless you are buying the cheapest snow blower currently made, a quality manufacturer will produce a fine gear case. The gears on the other hand might be another story. This is why I said the material isn't as important as what's inside all things being equal.
 

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Anyhow back to the topic at hand. Compliments on your unit. I'm dying to try one of these outs :) they are at a great price point. Powerful as all get out too!

Cheers
 

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Cub Cadet and MTD

could somebody enlighten me on why Cub Cadet seems to get bad reviews on here i have just bought one, my very first to be honest to me the workmanship seems to be great very sturdy, tough not flimsy metal.
my neighbor opposite me has a Columbia snow thrower the engine is a 357cc by MTD and he's had it for 4 years now and he's not had a problem with it at all it seems to run smooth and gets through the snow on his and mine and other neighbors driveways without problems. and what the city leaves at our driveways end can be tightly packed and he just plows right through it all.
mind you he is very cautious takes his time he changes his oil every 25 hours he tells me and all is fine and dandy with his machine.
it starts firs time even in temperatures at minus 20-25 up here in saint Jerome about an hour north of Montreal in the Laurentians.
so i'd just like to know why the bad rap about Cub Cadet is it because the engines are Chinese built ? but aren't most or all manufacturers of snow blowers engine now made in China.?
i guess i will have to wait till the first major snowfall to see how my machine handles the snow. right now i'm very happy but only time will tell.
 

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The "bad rap" about Cub Cadet is based on the fact that MTD snowblowers, overall, are built to a less robust standard than other brands. It doesnt mean they are *bad*! ;) (there are many brands of snowblowers that truly are junk when new..the 100% made in China snowblowers..I would not put MTD in that catagory.)

MTD snowblowers can be reliable and fine machines for many years..but..not as long as other brands! If you look at used snowblowers on Craigslist, you will find a LOT of 20, 30, 40, and even 50 year old Ariens snowblowers for sale..still working just fine.
You dont find many MTD's that are more than 20 years old..they dont live that long.

A new Cub Cadet will probably be fine for 5 to 10 years..longer than 10 years? well, im skeptical about that..An Ariens however can easily last twice to three times as long..

Its the same with cars..You wont see many Hyundai's and Kia's make it to 200,000 miles and 20 years old..but most Hondas will do that easily. you might not notice the difference between a Kia and a Honda for the first 5 years or so..but after 10 years, you definitely will! ;) There is a real quality difference between brands..same with snowblowers.

Cub Cadet gets good reviews on Consumer Reports..problem though:
Consumer reports only rates how machines perform when they are *brand new*! ;) they do not take longevity into account at all..

So, MTD's are not *bad*..they just arent quite as good as some other brands! If you are spending $500, a MTD might be a fine choice..
If you are spending $800 or more, I would *not* get a MTD, simply because you can do much better for the same amount of money..

Scot
 

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Cub Cadet

Thanks sscotsman for your take on Cub Cadet (MTD) i guess i'll find out in a few years like i said it's my very first machine hopefully it'll last a few years if not well i guess you learn by your mistakes.
you make a very good point about reviews of snow throwers "They are only tested when new" and not after 5 years good point sir. i chose mine on reviews some great some i admit not, but even Ariens had some bad reviews.
 
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