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Welcome to SBF Russell
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Thanks for the video


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Thanks for the video, well done, waiting to see your modified/new belt cover.
 

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@Russell,

You will surely want to fix that open cover ... You do not want water and snow in all the belts like you have it there.

Also, ditch the lawn turf tires, and get yourself some nice XTrac snow tires.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
You will surely want to fix that open cover ... You do not want water and snow in all
the belts like you have it there.

Also, ditch the lawn turf tires, and get yourself some nice XTrac snow tires.
Per mention in the video, a cover replacement or modification will be forthcoming. But, for the time being, the modified original will suffice.

Central Ohio doesn't get the levels of snow to warrant a deep concern or additional expenditures for tire/traction issues. But, it's nice to know there are other options, thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
And since it's a completely fresh engine, might as well add a tach/hour meter. No doubt, I'll probably end up putting on a stage one hop-up kit with a 4° advance woodruff key. Might be a good idea to know exactly the engine RPMs.

And from the parts bin, a D handle for the pull-cord.



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This is an awesome thread. I'm excited to see the difference between the stock Predator motor and the throwing distance upgrade with the hop up kit, if you choose to do it!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
We'll see. First, I have to guaranty all the currently-delivered PTO power makes it into thrown snow. Hitting big drifts doesn't bog the engine like I would expect. It does, however, cause snow to dribble out of the discharge shoot. I have a feeling there's a bit of belt slippage going on. The unit does have wipers installed on two of the four impeller blades.

I've done some preliminary research on a possible double belt impeller drive. But, it looks like it will be a rather custom and intensive fabrication exercise. There does look to be some extra belt friction available with some simple modifications to the engagement clutch mechanism -- increasing the throw of the idler pulley into the belt slack. Or, a slightly larger PTO impeller pulley is also a possibility.

It might be better to keep this one as-is and wait for a roached engine chassis to come up on Craigslist or FB Marketplace which will accept the Ariens double impeller belt kit.

I'm already on the lookout for a parts chassis to obtain a chute drive ring for building a taller and straighter example.
 

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I'm patiently waiting for the predator 420cc engines to go on sale at harbor freight and then I'm going to be putting one on my st824. There's a lot of mods for these engines too which makes it fun. I definitely want to straight pipe it haha
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I'm patiently waiting for the predator 420cc engines to go on sale
at harbor freight and then I'm going to be putting one on my st824.
Pull up the owner's manual *.pdf off the Harbor Freight web site and get the 420cc base dimensions from the back of the manual. Keep in mind, the diagram is not to scale so go by the listed dimensions and measure... The 301cc 8HP engine barely fits on the flat part of the engine deck and the 420cc motor is a bit larger base-wise. In stock configuration, the 8HP Predator does cause some belt slippage when hitting drifts and such. The 420cc would be worse. 8HP is kinda the limit without redesigning the impeller belt drivetrain.

Hell, even a Predator 5HP motor properly massaged can get up there in HP -- via billet flywheel, rod, valve springs, etc. So, the same modifications on the 8HP will eclipse the stock-configured 420cc example.

Eventually someone is going to produce a super-charger for these Chinese screamers.
 

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Cool man, the 301 definitely feels more potent then the 318cc tecumsehs. I have one on my Simplicity 860. I used the stock pulley sheaves, but it can easily handle a bigger auger drive pulley.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I've had the Predator engine on the ST824 for about a week and a half or maybe two... I did all the 20 minute break-in runs without the tach/hour meter installed. Well, after last night's snow storm blow-through and the day-long dig out of the neighborhood, I've got 6.1 hours of actual snow blowing on the hour meter... Granted I do about a dozen driveways when the thing is running in addition to a couple of miles of sidewalk passes.

But, some observations... In deep or dense stuff, the belt is slipping. We'll have to start playing with ways to firm up belt friction through a longer clutch pulley throw or larger diameter PTO wheel. Wipers on two of the four blades causes the ejected snow-stream to pulse. I will be adding wipers to the other blades to get ride of the unnecessary vibrations caused by the pulsing.

Other than those issues, the Predator engine absolutely sings. Once its bed-in time gets beyond 10 hours, I'll up the max throttle setting to 4,300 RPM or so.

FYI, the go-kart crowd does same-engine races with the small 5 HP Predator. They install the engines right out of the box and set the max RPM to 4,800 and race to test the drivers and not their hardware.
 

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Im curious how a mod like a billet flywheel would have any effect of a continuous load application like a snowblower?

I also want to hear more about the 8hp.predators. Im on the fence between engines to replace my 8hp tec that's not strong enough for my use. I can get a 10 hp tec but I'm concerned it's also not enough and will still have the same annoyances of the 8hp tec (terrible carb etc ). But, it is a drop in replacement.

To me the carb and governor on the hondas and clones seem much better than the tec. Will the 8hp predator be that much stronger than an 8 hp tec that's in good shape?

The belts concerned me as well. Im also using an 824.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
Im curious how a mod like a billet flywheel would have any effect
of a continuous load application like a snowblower?
A billet flywheel because the OEM cast one may and has disintegrated under higher RPMs of modified engines.

I also want to hear more about the 8hp.predators. Im on the fence
between engines to replace my 8hp tec that's not strong enough for
my use. I can get a 10 hp tec but I'm concerned it's also not enough
and will still have the same annoyances of the 8hp tec (terrible carb etc ).
But, it is a drop in replacement.
The 8HP Predator modified ST824 suffers zero engine power issues. The engine hardly changes RPMs at all. But, there is a lot of belt slipping when large quantities of snow or wet/heavy stuff are tackled.

The stock Predator is just fine until I come up with a way to reduce significantly the impeller belt slippage.

To me the carb and governor on the hondas and clones seem much better
than the tec. Will the 8hp predator be that much stronger than an 8 hp tec
that's in good shape?
From my experience, the Predator engine is far smoother, quieter, and just sounds so much more well put-together. In a little more than nine days I've put 7.9 hours of actual snow blowing on the machine. I'm very satisfied.


The belts concerned me as well. Im also using an 824.
As mentioned above, the belt is the current limiting factor in getting all that engine power into thrown snow.
 
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