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Up in northern with we got another foot of snow today to add to our running 30" + snow total for the last few weeks, nothing under 6 inches or so. It's been fluffy snow, but I'm just getting sick of it at this point. When I was at work today I got a text today from my wife saying "good luck getting in the driveway" which I didn't really think much of because I'm used to the foot of snow that gets pushed into the driveway off of the road once the plow goes by (who i pass on our road on my way to work after it snows, I swear the plow guy is waiting around the corner for me to leave the house) when I got home the town plow guy not only plowed the road, but he also widened it a good couple of feet. I actually had a hard time finding where the **** my driveway used to be. I parked my truck on the road and climbed over the new 3' tall snowbank where my drive was and I couldn't help but to keep myself from laughing at the new snowbank. I went to the garage and started my old airens st1236. It started fine but the carb was a little frozen and as soon as I took it off of choke it would run wfo. No big deal, I ran it on choke in the garage until something thawed enough to run normally. I then proceed to drive the blower through the 3' snowbank at the end of my driveway (without even having to lock the diff) and cleaned up the rest of my driveway.

Nothing that far out of the ordinary really, but it got me thinking a bit. What happens when we get snow and the old girl leaves me "stranded"?

I've read some posts about doing mods to throw snow further, which does not help me at all, my driveway is shaped like a tomahawk steak with two garages and a house in the shape of an L with landscaping all around so plowing is not an option, but I don't really NEED to throw snow more than 25-30 feet even though it might be fun to shoot snow right over the house into the back yard haha.

What are some things I can do to make this thing more reliable outside of regular maintenance? Are there any upgrades I can do to bulletproof my blower? Also is there an easy way to add a better light to this thing so I don't accidentally mulch the shrubbery if I want to get rid of some snow at night after a few cocktails?

Thanks for the help

Ty
 

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Also is there an easy way to add a better light to this thing so I don't accidentally mulch the shrubbery if I want to get rid of some snow at night after a few cocktails?

:white^_^arial^_^0^_ Four out of five snow blow'n experts do not recommend blowing snow after a few cocktails - regardless of how much light you have!
 

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I replace my impeller and wheel bearings at the first sign of slop. I bet it’s more often than needed but I don’t want the impeller gearcase and transmission to fail prematurely because of the instability and extra load placed on them from wiggling shafts.

Checking your engine’s compression and subsequent leak down tests if it’s low will help identify engine health.

Have you adjusted the valve lash recently. I know some of that is regular maintenance, but some only change oil and don’t grease or swap plugs.

I don’t think it’s possible to bulletproof, but a parts machine and a backup engine always helps to keep it alive for another deckade.
 

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LUYED 2 X 1700 Lumens Extremely Bright 1156 4014 102-EX Chipsets 1156 1141 1003 7506 LED Bulbs Used For Backup Reverse Lights,Xenon White(Brightest LED in market) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01H54SP6O/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_a0.yCbYVX4YBD

I installed one of these on my ST1032 with a 12hp OHV. I didn’t install a bridge rectifier or capacitors for the first year and it didn’t burn out.
 

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Welcome to the forum!

The simplest extra-lighting solution is to add a decent headlamp. No challenges with how it will work with the blower's electrical system, and you can also use it for other stuff. You can also upgrade the current light to an LED, but some homework may be required for bulb selection, figuring out whether your machine is provide AC or DC, etc. Doable, just not quite as straightforward. Some people have gone to LEDs seamlessly, other people have struggled with blowing LEDs after the upgrade.

To make the machine bulletproof? Fuel-related concerns are a biggie. Use stabilizer, close your fuel shutoff between uses, run the carb dry for the off-season, etc.

Giving the machine a check-up would be a way to help catch something before it becomes a big problem. Look for worn-out bearings with a bunch of play, make sure that both augers are free to wiggle on the auger shaft (so the shear pins can do their job), check the rubber transmission wheel (in the bottom of the blower's frame) to make sure it's not too worn-out. Lubricate everything per the manual.

Keep a spare of each belt on hand (!). This is a simple one, and not terribly expensive, that could make a big difference if you blow an auger belt during a big storm. Also have extra shear pins, of course.
 
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