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Discussion Starter #1
We just moved into a home with a 200' long driveway, with a steep uphill from the house. The driveway is paved.
I brought along my old Toro 1028 powershift blower that is > 8 years old. It runs fine (enginewise) but tends to clog all the time. I've replaced and adjusted belts. It becomes useless with any wet snow and we are now doing the driveway by hand, with shovels.

I am thinking of getting a new SB and am looking for suggestions. Would like to be < $1500.

My thoughts ...
* give up on width to avoid choking on too much snow
* more horsepower
* newer model may do better

A prime candidate is the Ariens Platinum 24.
24" width, 369CC engine

What do you think?


Thanks a bunch,
Rob

I've heard talk about Cub Cadet but I have no experience with that brand.
 

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hello albireo, welcome to SBF , how about adding an impeller kit to your toro
 

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second the impeller kit idea...my Powershift clogs with anything wet....I'm selling it, but if I kept it....impeller kit!
 

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How steep is steep?

I was in a similar situation with a paved driveway that is 15% in spots. I spent hours trying to figure out whether wheels would work or whether I needed tracks.

About half the people (both here and dealers I talked to) said wheels will do fine, saying the new 16" tires with awesome tread are fantastic. The other half said - get the tracks. They're more of a pain to maneuver but when you need them they're worth it.

I ended up going all out and getting the Ariens Hydro Pro Track 28. I haven't used it yet so can't say whether it was worth it.

Honestly I kind of wish I knew whether a Toro 1028 HD Oxe would have worked fine. They supposedly are fantastic at avoiding clogging due to their chute design.

If you're worried about clogging don't go Honda. Lots of reports of the new chute design having clogging issues.
 

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+3 on the impeller kit . if the engine is running right, the impeller mod will totally change your mind on a new machine.......diy for less than $20.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
where do I find impeller kits??
 

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#4 on impeller kit. search this site for info, including DIY.

You should also use a non-stick lubricant, eg: silicone lube or others. search this site for info

A new blower or more power wont do any better for you when used in slush.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
thanks I'll check out impeller kits first
 

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If your driveway is steep then I'd recommend getting your hands on a tracked snowblower. You can fix the clogging issue but if traction is also an issue then that can be fixed by switching to a tracked machine. Its a good time to sell a machine so get rid of the wheeled model to switch to a tracked one.

I know most folks get by just fine by using a wheeled machine but the tracks add to the safety and traction factor, you'll be able to clear snow very well both going up and down the driveway.

I am located in Nashua, if you want to fiddle around with a tracked machine to get a feel for it then you are more than welcome to stop by and look at my 1132 or 1332 honda.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
well, I checked out my SB more and found some problems. The impeller chute/housing is rusting through (holes in it) and the bearing for the impeller drive shaft is totally shot. The shaft is basically hanging on the belts.
Think I'll spring for a new SB.

OK, now having a strategy decision ... go for a wider 28" SB or the 24" with more power. Our new house is closer to the shore here in Exeter, NH so we will be seeing a wetter mix of snow than I am used to. I am thinking of giving up on 28" wide and going to 24-26"
I am thinking I'd tend to less inclined to "choke" the SB on too much snow. Plus, I could hopefully do a better job of throwing it. It would mean maybe another pass or two on the driveway but, that's ok. My budget is < $1500 so tracked SB are out of the question. Candidates:

Toro HD826OXE - at 252CC, not sure if it has the power to throw wet stuff real well
Ariens Platinum 24" SHO - 369CC engine at 24", could be great at throwing the stuff !!!

Any thoughts out there? Am I overlooking some good options?

Thx,
Rob
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Well, I bit the bullet and bought the Ariens Platinum 24 SHO.
It should be delivered Friday. Can't wait!
 

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Hat's off to any forum member who offers to have another snowblowerforum member stop by their place and try their snowblower out during the process of trying to figure out which blower to buy. That is rare indeed nowadays.

I'm in a much lower populated area than a big portion of the users here, but I too would make that same offer.

Thanks JnC!
 

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Hat's off to any forum member who offers to have another snowblowerforum member stop by their place and try their snowblower out during the process of trying to figure out which blower to buy. That is rare indeed nowadays.

I'm in a much lower populated area than a big portion of the users here, but I too would make that same offer.

Thanks JnC!
I haven't come across anyone else from Toronto on SBF besides myself, but I'd be cool with letting someone try mine if it helped them decide which unit to buy.
 

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I haven't come across anyone else from Toronto on SBF besides myself, but I'd be cool with letting someone try mine if it helped them decide which unit to buy.
That's great. Keep us posted about how the 824QXE works. My sister could be a good candidate for one.
 

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That's great. Keep us posted about how the 824QXE works. My sister could be a good candidate for one.
It's the perfect "in-between" machine. Ideal for people that get 2"-10" 80% of the time, but it will also handle >10"...but if you're in an area that gets >10" the majority of the time, you'll probably want to get a "real" two stage machine.

Toronto is in a funny area, almost like it's in a dome or something... to the north of us about 1 hour away they start getting lots of snow around October/November, and the get lots of it daily...and to the south of us (Buffalo), they also get lots of snow. Here, we normally only get 2"-6"...very rare to get more then 8".

Not sure about your sisters conditions, but I'm sure you'll help her make the right choice.
 

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Don't junk your old unit. Someone could easily put those new bearings in and patch up the chute. If the motor and tranny are still good it still has a life.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I'll post a pic once I get it.
 

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Make sure you get some yak-trax (or the like) for your boots. It can be pretty scary when your feet start to slip either going up or downhill.
 
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