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Reliability and Longevity

  • Ariens AX Engine

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  • Ariens Auto Turn Technology

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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I live in Saskatchewan, Canada and I am looking to upgrade my 16 year old white 10.5 hp/30.5 in snow blower.

I am looking at the Toro 928 ohxe (38801) vs Ariens st28le

In talking to the rep at Home Depot he said he has had customers with oil leaks and oil blow by on the Ariens AX engine from the get go.

The all steel design of the Ariens is a plus but then the Toro has a lifetime warranty on their composite chutes, so pretty much a wash.

The ariens auto turn technology kind of scares me as something that can break - I am partial to the old school paddles that release the wheel you want to turn around.

Does anyone have any details on the reliability of the Ariens auto turn technology and how it works that can put my mind at ease?

Does anyone have any comments between the Toro and Arien engines as I understand both are now made in China as far a reliability and longevity goes?

Thanx!
 

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Look in the Ariens section for opinions on auto turn. There are many. Seems 50/50 on if people like it or not.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I searched for auto-turn in the forums to check out the ariens auto-turn technology.

what is the correct search term?
 

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XQ1. Here is another thread for your reading pleasure.

http://www.snowblowerforum.com/forum/ariens-snowblowers/33561-do-you-own-ariens-snow-blower.html

Also, Mary Lyn of Ariens Corporate is on this forum. Nice resource to have. I don't think Toro has a rep on there. Correct me if I'm wrong Powershift,,,,,

Oh, and welcome to the joint. Pull up a chair and sit a spell. Lots of good information as well as good people around here. Both in the Red camp, as well as the Orange camp!
 

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don't and I mean don't buy a toro or ariens form a big box store
 

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Welcome from the Garden State. Don't buy your new blower from Home Depot, find a dealer. Could be why the Home Depot blowers been returned with problems as you mentioned.
 

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New here.
I have had a lot of Ariens in the past, all solid heavy well built machines. Last was a 926LE-after the dual belt mods-I never had to replace the auger belt, the only nagging mechanical issue it had.
The only other minor issue was the "fillets" on each side of the auger housing to help support the huge housing, were only tack welded, and develop crack were they attached to the blower housing. Tell tale sign is paint flacking off in the exact same areas on the left and right side viewing from the front, and lower on the housing towards the scraper. I welded a full bead on the lower side, along with repairing the crack on each side inside the blower housing. Seemingly held up well, and cut down on some of the vibration.
Performance wise, I was never quite happy with how far it would throw snow, for such a big machine. Not slush, but regular powder.
IMHO I always thought the impeller turned didn't fast enough, especially considering the huge 25" high intake.
After some recent medical issues-plus just getting old, I decided to get a power steering model/heated hand grips etc model.
Decided to give Toro a whirl this time-plastic stuff, I know.
(I see Areins now has HO impellers, that I imagine are better performing then the 926.) The Auto Steer didn't seem like it would work good in my situation, dealing with uneven surfaces/ruts etc, common with a partial gravel drive way.
Best decision I ever made in term of pure performance. It clears deep powder faster and much farther then I could have ever hoped with the 926.
In slush, and/or ice, no comparison.
The Tech l-head very reliable as long as you properly winterize, I kind of miss that, but the Toro OHV is quiet with plenty of power.
Didn't break a shear pin the last year of the Ariens- but with gravel you may break 2-3 a month. Won't miss those.
Jury's out for me, on how the Toro will stand the test of time, but I'm extremely happy with the performance-really it's like night and day.
Been a loyal Areins customer for years (WI residence), but I can honestly say I don't miss any of them.
The Toro just plain works, and cut's my blowing/reblowing time considerably.
 

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I have had my Toro for 1 year and I was impressed with how well it did in wet heavy snow the plastic does work well. I was surprized how well it works. Topic 13 shows the blower after blowing wet heavy snow.
http://www.snowblowerforum.com/forum/snowblower-reviews/30153-toro-1128-power-max.html
Nice video.
None of of my past Ariens ever clogged up, just were not suited well for the heavy slushy snow.
So you end up having to blow the mounds that are being created on each side of your driveway/side walks further into the yard by additional straight on passes-which takes a lot of extra time, especially if the weather is nasty, you want to get it done as quickly and efficiently as possible.
As far as reliability, all my Arien's were excellent, never left me stranded.
Most of this has to do with proper maintenance of course.
Treat them well, and they will perform their best.
I'm assuming some of the impeller upgrades I have seen would help, but when looking at a new machine, IMHO doesn't make a lot of sense.
I bet the HO Ariens are much better then my old units in slush, I just wasn't sold on the Auto Steer. Seems like it would have worse then my 926LE when clearing by the ditches that can get fairly uneven.
One of my main reasons getting a new machine was not having to man handle it when turning anymore.
They all had great traction as long as both wheels were pinned. But of course they don't steer well.
(In hind site I should have moved up one model 8 years ago to the locking diff one-also had the heated grips.
Cant recall the # that was, but it may have worked better in the wet stuff-hard to say.)
When my bad back gets to really hurting (once or twice in a cold damp winter) it pretty exhausting experience and usually has me stuck laying down with a heating pad-no fun!
My wife would not able to handle the beast the 926LE is-so it was a needed purchase, in case I was laid up.
With a partial gravel driveway-plowing ends up pushing lots of gravel on my lawn.
I was thoroughly amazed by the difference in the wet stuff.
I didn't realize there was that much of a difference between these models/brands-in the conditions I find my driveway and sidewalks in the winter.
I was always partial to the Tech l-heads as I found them bullet proof if you keep them maintained, and use good non oxy fuel. I always added a red B/S fuel filter to keep any dirt issues away from the carb.
Amazing how quiet these new motors are. Very nice, and smooth-almost like a v-twin.
So used to that Tech rap a well running L-head has, I was having second thoughts that I should have moved up to a larger engine model.
However, I can't say the 926 is under powered by any means in any of the snow conditions I have run across so far.
If it holds up as well as my Ariens have in the past, I'll be a happy camper.
 

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Curious if anyone has added a fuel filter to their 928?
Haven't gotten around to removing the cover by the fuel shutoff.
The Tech's were a breeze to upgrade.
 

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Yes my huge problem is my driveway is beside my house for 40 ft and a metal roof on the house so when the snow lets go it is a big hard to move after it hits the ground. So that is why I went with the 1128. Powder snow I feel most machines are close to equal but the heavy snow and EOD is a different story.
 
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