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After moving from the deep South, near New Orleans, 4 years ago, I decided we needed a snow machine. For two years I traveled back to the Gulf Coast for Winter, but since Covid, and Mississippi's attitude about the vaccine, we decided to remain home, in New Hampshire. Last Winter I became acquainted with the driveway monster, and a sore back. When I bought this house, and land, I bought a lawn tractor, from the local Simplicity Dealer, in Concord. The tractor was delivered to my house, with a dump trailer, and lawn sweeper. 6 months later the deal came to my house, and serviced the tractor, free of charge. Now, I've bought a new Simplicity Signature Pro Dual-Stage Snow Blower. It will be delivered to my door Mid November, before the first snow. Simplicity has a 3 year warranty for the home owner. Plus, the Pro models have hand warmers, and pro transmissions. I looked a Troy-Built, Cub Cadet, and others, and fount the Simplicity to be built of more substantial steel, and other parts. I also looked at Honda, and think they are a bit over priced, for a machine that will be in storage for months between seasons. My machine will be stored between my two cars in the garage, during snow season. I'll store it in the basement during the rest of the year. I'll be using Av Gas 100 oct. LL in my machine, to get away from ethanol.
 

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Discussion Starter · #43 ·
It will be delivered to my door Mid November, before the first snow...
...you hope. I've only been in New England for 2 winters and we got snow before Halloween one of them. Hope you're enjoying NH!

Just a question/point on engine size relevant to OP's quest... If an older well made respected machine with a L head in good condition is a excellent choice, why must a new machine have a 400cc monster to make the cut. 250cc on a 24" inch bucket is in no way underpowered in my opinion. (Edit. I do not need nor want to throw snow 60 feet. Really, 30 feet or so real world is reasonable)
A 400cc On a 24 inch blower is all about bragging rights ....:)
Maybe. I think @Darby's question is a very good one. Folks say, on the one hand, "bigger displacement is better" but on the other hand "old(er) is better." Older blowers don't typically have bigger engines than newer ones do.

Another local dealership has 3x Platinum 24" SHO EFIs (#921053). 2019.
I was wrong about the year - whoops! The dealer lists "2019" on their website, but the blower is in fact one they ordered and Ariens shipped them this year.

They have several Platinum 24" SHOs and at least one Deluxe 28" SHO. That, I think, is what I'm deciding between.
 

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I've been using both. I forget which (or both) I used for the conversations.




Very possibly, yes.





These are potentially conflicting opinions; finding the right balance between choosing the right product and finding something that's available is always important. :unsure:

I'm also not sure I'm convinced that EFI in a snow blower is bad. There's certainly debate about that with folks arguing it's either great or terrible. Paul Sikkema said in 2018 that it's great (hi @Toolboxhero!), but I don't know if he's changed his mind since then.

I haven't yet gone to look at the EFI machine...that's later this morning. If I feel like I'm settling, I'll walk.
I can rebuild a carb in minutes. Try getting parts for an EFI, I'll say no more. Gas miles don't matter to me, reliability does.
 

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What's the scoop with Ariens concerning EFI at this point? I know for a while you could buy essentially a version with EFI or carburetor. Is the EFI system becoming more common now within their line up? I really haven't looked.
 

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What's the scoop with Ariens concerning EFI at this point?
Here's their EFI page:
While I like the concept of EFI to eliminate carburetor woes and provide more power at the higher RPMs, and it seems to work well on the Honda EU7000is generators, I'm leery of the small 7.2V battery that Ariens is using to power it up. On my HSS1332AATD with its 18Ah 12V starting battery, it would be a no-brainer.
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New user here. Fairly new to New England and snow. I moved to the Boston MetroWest area a couple of years ago and have been through two winters, both of which I'm told were quite moderate (though each year we got at least one 15" storm). When I arrived, I bought a slightly older Troy-Built Storm 2410 with the 179cc engine as a hand-me-down. It has worked decently well for two seasons, but the gear that turns the chute is plastic and has separated from the chute control. To adjust, I have to grab the chute itself and rotate. The transmission also has some issue - I can only put it in the the 2 slowest forward speeds, so turning/maneuvering requires some manhandling. It also struggles with the snow that gets piled at the end of my driveway.

So, I'm looking to upgrade to something more sturdy and capable. My driveway is about 130' long; two-thirds of it is 12' wide (single car width) but the last third expands to the width of a two-car garage + entryway. It's flat (no incline), straight, and paved (with some cracks); the walkways + area near the house are brick. My neighborhood has no sidewalks, but the street gets salted and plowed during/after each snow storm. The fill pipe for my oil tank is on the other side of the house from the driveway, so I also have to clear a path over part of the lawn to make sure that's accessible.

I've recently spent some time at Lowe's, Home Depot, and my local power equipment dealer. I've looked at Cub Cadets, Toros, Craftsmans, Ariens, and Hondas. I'm partial to the latter two manufacturers after some touching and feeling; the others all have too much plastic for my liking. The local dealer doesn't have many blowers (pandemic supply chain issues are real); he suggested I look at the following models sitting on the floor:

Deluxe 28" SHO (Ariens)
Deluxe 24" (Ariens)
HSS724AATD (Honda)

The Honda is almost twice as expensive as the 28" SHO - why? The salesman said he almost never has to work on Hondas, so apparently they're really well built? I like the hydraulic height adjuster. I own a driving lawn mower with a hydrostatic transmission, and having one on a snow blower seems cool, though I don't know how practically useful it is. I like the idea of steering with levers (though in practice I may find I think differently). I wonder if the track drive is overkill for my needs. I also wonder if the 196cc engine is too small.

Each of the Ariens seems well built, though I'm a little leary of an auto-turn mechanism that doesn't require me to actively activate it. The bigger machine has a bigger engine compared to the smaller machine, which seems to be the way it should be. One of my neighbors has an older Ariens (ST927) that he likes pretty well, but says it occasionally feels underpowered and is generally less solidly built than the Ariens he had before that.

A 24" blower fits easily in my garage. I'm confident a 28" will too; I don't want to go larger than 30".

What do you all recommend?
I personally bought an st1236, and if you are willing to wrestle that big of a blower they are amazing especially the older ones that are built heavier. I can clear a 9x140ish foot area in under an hour, it takes 3 passes in 2nd or 3rd gear with 8in of snow, and an impeller kit.
 

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03 Simlicity 860E, 78 Ariens 922022
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Here's their EFI page:
While I like the concept of EFI to eliminate carburetor woes and provide more power at the higher RPMs, and it seems to work well on the Honda EU7000is generators, I'm leery of the small 7.2V battery that Ariens is using to power it up. On my HSS1332AATD with its 18Ah 12V starting battery, it would be a no-brainer.
View attachment 181256
Always great stuff Tabora, but what am I missing when chart shows next to zero HP and torque at 3600 rpm? The sharp decline (carb) at 3380 ish surprises me too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #49 ·
Always great stuff Tabora, but what am I missing when chart shows next to zero HP and torque at 3600 rpm? The sharp decline (carb) at 3380 ish surprises me too.
I'd guess torque drops off at high RPMs (for that engine) because it can't get air and/or fuel into the cylinder quickly enough; the piston is moving so quickly that the cylinder gets starved of oxygen+fuel. That, at least, is a primary reason that any engine's power drops off as the RPMs increase.

Edit: the reason the torque drops off sooner with a carb than it does with EFI is likely because you can get fuel into a cylinder more quickly when it's pressurized (EFI) than you can when you only have gravity helping you (carb).
 

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EFI on small engines is new and is bound to have some problems and of course it's the EPA regs driving this to reduce emissions . Stihl just came out not long ago with their first EFI chainsaw but prior to that Stihl and Husqvarna both had computer operated systems to regulate the carbs on saws to reduce emissions and have had quite a few problems . I'm glad I saw the glory days from the 80's to the mid 90's , chainsaws like all OPE was simple and without frustrated owners and repair shops trying to fix things no one understands ! :eek:
I should add I saw this happen in automobiles too thru my tenure as a mechanic......was not fun.
 

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what am I missing when chart shows next to zero HP and torque at 3600 rpm? The sharp decline (carb) at 3380 ish surprises me too.
As @phendric said, the carbed unit likely can't maintain a stoichiometric air/fuel ratio as it nears the max RPM of 3600. The EFI can always keep things balanced until the ECU says whoa at 3600.
 

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03 Simlicity 860E, 78 Ariens 922022
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As @phendric said, the carbed unit likely can't maintain a stoichiometric air/fuel ratio as it nears the max RPM of 3600. The EFI can always keep things balanced until the ECU says whoa at 3600.
Yes, I understand that point, I just see that black line that shows a 420cc carbed motor making Zero torque and hp at 3600 rpm. Does it not show that intersection plainly or is it me? o_O Its just an idle comment, but that cannot be or we'd all shovel.
 

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I'm just guessing, but perhaps the drop in the graph is related to an RPM fuel cutoff in the EFI system.
IDK but I find it confusing when your look at the HP dropping to near zero around 3600 RPM. Which is where your run to do the work. It is the actual numbers that are driving the confusion for me. If that was a percent change or a Delta it would be more understandable. But the Y axis is labled Out put in Horse power. What am I missing?
 
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I'm just guessing, but perhaps the drop in the graph is related to an RPM fuel cutoff in the EFI system.
Rectangle Slope Plot Line Font
Shows zero hp and torque at 3600 rpm. Would think it would like more like this B+S vanguard making maximum power at 3600 rpm.Injected or otherwise Just sayin', and said enough.
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I've been using both. I forget which (or both) I used for the conversations.




Very possibly, yes.





These are potentially conflicting opinions; finding the right balance between choosing the right product and finding something that's available is always important. :unsure:

I'm also not sure I'm convinced that EFI in a snow blower is bad. There's certainly debate about that with folks arguing it's either great or terrible. Paul Sikkema said in 2018 that it's great (hi @Toolboxhero!), but I don't know if he's changed his mind since then.

I haven't yet gone to look at the EFI machine...that's later this morning. If I feel like I'm settling, I'll walk.
Yes, I still think it's great. Especially for high altitudes or if you want your snowblower to start on the first pull everytime. EFI handles old fuel a lot better than carbs and it responds to loads faster so it feels like it has more power than a carb.
 

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Discussion Starter · #59 · (Edited)
I just sent them a question about their graph. Let's see if they reply with a substantive answer.
Did you ever hear back from Ariens, @Toro-8-2-4?

I can rebuild a carb in minutes.
I cannot. And in every video I've watched of someone disassembling, cleaning, and reassembling a carb, they take longer than minutes. I don't doubt you can do it, but I I certainly can't; it seems few people can.

Yes, I still think it's great. Especially for high altitudes or if you want your snowblower to start on the first pull everytime. EFI handles old fuel a lot better than carbs and it responds to loads faster so it feels like it has more power than a carb.
Thanks!

They have several Platinum 24" SHOs and at least one Deluxe 28" SHO. That, I think, is what I'm deciding between.
Just to update and close the thread, I picked up a Platinum 24 a week or two ago. Model 921053, manufactured in 2020, the EFI version. With dealers not sure when new machines were going to be delivered, I decided to buy one that I knew I could get. Power-to-size ratio (Plat 24) beat non-EFI (Deluxe 28 SHO) for me. And new beat old for me, partially because of my (lack of) wrenching skills, and partially because with kids at home I want the safety features of new machines.

Thanks everyone for the help! Once we get some snow, I'll post a picture or two.
 
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