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I've been into Snowblowers and Repairs for the last few Years, Specializing, but not limited to Old School Ariens Machines. Last Week I did a friction wheel on a newer Ariens. I couldn't Believe this Had a PLASTIC GEAR to drive the Wheels! The Founder of Ariens would Spin in His Grave if He saw the Quality of this! Built-to-Fail vs Built-to-Last.
 

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was it onef those sno-tek machines? what model
 

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I've been into Snowblowers and Repairs for the last few Years, Specializing, but not limited to Old School Ariens Machines. Last Week I did a friction wheel on a newer Ariens. I couldn't Believe this Had a PLASTIC GEAR to drive the Wheels! The Founder of Ariens would Spin in His Grave if He saw the Quality of this! Built-to-Fail vs Built-to-Last.
Hi Jack.
Can you tell us what model and year it was produced? I am looking at a newer ST-826 this week and I do not wanna buy something with a plastic drive gears. I am sure the owner will not allow me to remove the belly pan to check.
Thank You
MTD
 

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just serviced an ariens 939003 5 hp 20 inch. no friction disc at all, just a single speed gear drive, all gears were plastic. wasnt impressed by the machine at all. threw snow fine just not impressed.

However I dont know tons about ariens, this was there bottom of the barrel model. orange not a sno tek.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Model

Sorry Guys, I don't Remember the Model Number. It was a smaller unit, and had a small 3 bolt friction wheel. I have found the Newer Ariens Machines
Quality Is Far from what it used to be, and the Only Real Advantage of any Newer Ariens is the Taller Chute. A seller should have No Problem letting you Drop the Chassis Pan, unless there's something to hide. It's like opening the hood of a car.
I have worked on Many Machines, and have Encountered Countless Problems that Just Don't Exist with the Older Pre-ST Series Machines.
 

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i know what you mean about the new ariens vs the older ariens. i was at the toro dealer about a month ago and while those new ones may throw snow they look cheap compaired to the older units
 

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thought you were talking new. If the owner wont let you take the pan off, walk away. unless the price dictates it doesnt matter what wrong. I would let him know before you go there so you dont waste his time or yours.

serviced a 932101 model 8/24 ---- no plastic gears

I picked up a craftsman yesterday with a bad worm gear. price was right, after I checked it out the drive was iffy. a little push to get it going. didnt bother taking the
cover off as it is in such nice shape.

got home and poked around and it needs just the brass gear in the auger and a friction wheel, everything else is perfect. 45 in parts and it will be up for sale.
 

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thought you were talking new. If the owner wont let you take the pan off, walk away. unless the price dictates it doesnt matter what wrong. I would let him know before you go there so you dont waste his time or yours.

serviced a 932101 model 8/24 ---- no plastic gears

I picked up a craftsman yesterday with a bad worm gear. price was right, after I checked it out the drive was iffy. a little push to get it going. didnt bother taking the
cover off as it is in such nice shape.

got home and poked around and it needs just the brass gear in the auger and a friction wheel, everything else is perfect. 45 in parts and it will be up for sale.
where did you get your worm gear? Are they all $50ish?
 

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havent ordered it yet, this is mine, if you look up a murray built craftsman snowblower on sears parts direct, the part numbers come up as murray numbers, I just plug them into any online parts site. one is here;

Outdoor Distributors - Lawn Mower Parts

a bad auger case is usually the kiss of death for a blower, if you add up all the parts if it is blown apart it is very expensive. this one just has a worn out brass gear, everything else is fine.

whats your model number
 

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When I started shopping for my first snow blower this past October, I figured on getting a used 1 or 2 year old Ariens model that was "like new" due to the mild winters we've had here in Philly since the last real snowy season was in 2010. I happened upon an eBay auction by this same guy with a similar auction description and right then and there decided on a 2005 or earlier.

"This one of the last Ariens snow blowers worth buying. It has a real 8.5 hp Tecumseh engine. The new machines have Chinese Built disposable engines. The Tecumseh Snow king engine is legendary for cold weather performance and reliability. This is the same basic engine design that your Dads 40 year old Ariens has that he probably still uses.http://www.ebay.com/itm/Ariens-8524-snowblower-LAST-OFGOOD-ONES-Tecumseh-NO-CHINA-MOTOR-/140913358404
The blower itself has the heavy duty commercial ARIENS built drive case. It has the angular bottom pan for stair climbing in reverse.
New ones are stamped out form another supplier.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Ariens-8524-snowblower-LAST-OFGOOD-ONES-Tecumseh-NO-CHINA-MOTOR-/140913358404
CONTRACTORS AND EQUIPMENT EXPERTS :
Note the gold colored bearing plates in picture number 2. If the Ariens machine you are thinking about buying doesnt look like this, It has plastic auger bearings that will last for 10 hours max in heavy snow . The metal design that this machine has is the same used by Ariens for 40 years. I have never had to replace the metal style no matter how old the machine.
For years i was proud to sell Ariens Snow equipment. After I saw what the company is now peddling as top quality equipment I have resolved to resell older models instead. I have no doubt that old man Ariens would weep if he saw what his name is being placed on currently.
The electric start motor does work intermittantly. But it is not depandable.Therefore i have reduced the price of the machine to sell cheaper. Most of the guys that buy These 24 inch heavy duty units are commercial guys that use em from a truck and dont use electric start anyhow. If you would like electric start, i can replace the motor for the cost of the motor only. The machine starts very easily with the cord anyway.
Before you overspend on last years junk at Home Depot, come see the difference in this machine, You dont have to be an engineer to see the quality contrast."


I've linked his auction above but copied his full text (typos and all) to save the text here after the auction expires.
 

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Something about some crackpot on Ebay screaming in bold red letters on their auction doesn't make me believe he is in a rational frame of mind. "Buy my rusty old snowblower with a broken electric starter, because those new ones are "Junk"! I'm sure he has actual factual test results for the plastic bearings lasting for "10 hours max", and not just speculating, right? lol
 

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fair enough, just another data point on Ariens' alleged cost cutting. If he was a former dealer like the auction says, then he may very well have seen his share of blown plastic bearings. Go easy on him, I respect his passion for old Ariens. It's not like he is telling tales about only it being used only one season and flipping a $50 basement find for $900.
 

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Well, if we are seeing these kinds of things with Ariens, then I can guarantee you will find the same thing with all the snowblower manufacturers..the same "cost cutting" pressures effect them all..(Perhaps Honda might be the only make who still doesn't compromise..but im sure you can some questionable parts with them too..)

Even if all the manufacturers are declining at the same rate, I would still place Ariens near the top of the pile in overall quality..because they always have been, and there hasent been any real evidence that that has changed..
For decades, the top makes in quality have been Ariens, Honda, Simplicity and Toro..
Thats still the case IMO..
it is sad that quality has to decline overall..I blame the American shopping public, in general, for that..we always demand everything "as cheap as possible"..Well, we get what we ask for..

Scot
 

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Ariens quality has been declining since 1978-1979. . .
Thats probably about the right time frame..
the 1980's saw the rise of Walmart and the Big Boxes..and by the 90's it was an epidemic! this has led to the gradual downward spiral in the quality of pretty much everything..

To be fair, its not just Ariens...its all the snowblower manufacturers! and nearly every consumer product..It wouldnt be accurate to single out Ariens alone..Cub Cadet tractors are but a shadow of their former selves, as are John Deere, Toro, and everyone else..its really industry-wide.
Ariens is today no "worse" than anyone else..and they are still a major step up from MTD and a super-super major step up from the "100% made in China" snowblower brands..The "hierarchy of snowblower quality" really hasnt changed at all..I agree there has almost certainty been a decline, that's pretty much undeniable, but everyone has been declining together..

There is however one industry that has undoubtedly *increased* in quality since the 1970's! the American Auto industry..The 70's was obviously a low-point..(and many would say the 80's weren't much better..) But through the 90's and the "00's"..(we still need a good name for the last decade! ;) Its pretty clear American automobile quality has increased dramatically..so, maybe there is hope for American manufacturing yet! :D

Scot
 

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Thats the one reason I'm keeping my 23 year old yardman, it seems to be built better than the new stuff out there, other than needing new dual chains and sprockets..
Was nosing around on YouTube and found a video ... "snowblower, slightly modified"
guy puts a 22hp V-twin briggs on a Ariens old frame, welded impeller, stainless impeller insert, double drive pulleys, and if it doesnt throw 100' it doesnt throw a penny, simply incredible..!
 

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The only comparison I have to my new Ariens is the craftsman that it replaced. it was a 2002 28" 9hp Tecumseh. The body was a murray or MTD I believe. After 8 seasons, the body was loosening up pretty badly. A weld broke and from there on in it was gradually worse. The motor was a champ but it had the notorious carb issues found on the Tecumsehs.

My Ariens is much better in build quality and components. And fortunately it has a USA built Briggs. Seems Ariens went back to cast iron gear boxes on all models in the last couple years (except the Sno Tek).
 

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Older blowers

I have to put my hat in the older blowers camp. Like so many things today, we've become more of a throw-away economy. Use it then dispose of it and get another if something goes wrong with the current one.

Whether it's furniture made of particleboard, televisions with non-repairable circuit boards or snowblowers. Everything had gotten to the point where if it has a problem it's easier to replace than fix, assuming you can get the parts.

IMO an older blower (regardless of your personal preference) have a probability of a longer lifespan than of some of the newer machines I've seen. Heavier construction, heavier materials, more durable materials etc.
Additionally there is a repairability feature to them (they were designed to be fixed when needed), as long as parts are available then they should be able to be put back into service by a person with basic mechanical abilities.

It's all a personal choice, some people like new while others don't. You make your choice and that's what you live with.
 
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