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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I wanted a snowblower for 8 years before I finally saved the money to buy one. I did MAJOR amounts of research that had me choose the Toro Power Max. I don't think that I read even one negative review. I've had it for 3 years.

I can't even explain how disappointed I have been with this very expensive machine.

Two Main Problems:

I store my machine in an attached garage. In order to get the machine to where I need to use it most, I have to go UP my driveway. It is NOT a real steep driveway. I'd say maybe 25 degree angle at most. If there is any accumulation of snow more than say 3-4 inches, the snow blower wants to ride UP ON TOP OF the snow instead of driving THROUGH the snow. It rides up on the snow and then the tires just spin. I don't mean this happens every once in a while. I mean every SINGLE time I go at it, it rides up ON the snow, leaving me to have to back up and start over and over and over while PULLING UP on the handles in an effort to keep the machine from riding up and over the snow. At the same time I'm using my body weight to try to PUSH the machine forward. The other day is literally took me 40 minutes to make ONE PATH up the 60 foot driveway. I am not exaggerating in the least when i say that using the snowblower is MUCH MORE physically taxing that shoveling would be. Even if the snow is a foot or more, it would still be easier to shovel and I'm 61 years old. As a side note, on a flat surface, I do not have this problem unless the snow is REALLY packed by the city plows.

When reading reviews, I don't remember ever hearing anyone complain about this problem. It literally renders the machine useless. I'm hoping against hope that someone here has experienced this problem and knows what to do to remedy the situation.

Problem Two:
The last two years in a row, the machine left me sit when I needed it most. Both years, it was a carburetor problem. Last year they said it was dirty. This year, it started leaking gas and although I have not taken it in yet, the dealership is saying that it is probably a stuck float valve. Every year, I run the machine dry as per instructed and I use fuel stabilizer when I fill it back up in the winter to use it.

With a fresh tank of gas it does start up and run but surges all of the time and never settles into a nice purr. Also, I had to keep the choke on full the entire time to keep it running. I'm not handy enough to take care of these problems myself so on top of the high price I paid for this machine, I'm spending $100.00 per year to keep it running. In my area, most years, I could probably have someone else do the snow removal for $140.00 to $210.00 per year so I'm seriously considering selling the thing,..........BUT, I'm stubborn, I would REALLY like to figure out a solution to my two main problems and besides, in order to sell it, I'm going to have to get it fixed again anyway.

So, if you have had any experience with this machine riding up on top of the snow as opposed to driving through it and have figured out a solution, I would LOVE to hear it. I would be thrilled out of my mind to fix this problem.

Also, if you can figure out why two years in a row, on a machine that is only 3 years old, I keep having carburetor problems, I would appreciate your advice.

Thanks in advance for any help. I'm at my wits end with this thing.

Just a side note to help you understand how frustrated I am. This year with the fuel leak, it leaked an entire tank of gas on the cement of my attached garage. The garage and my ENTIRE house smells like gas now. I've done a LOT of research and tried a lot of experiments that have helped somewhat but if I'm outside for any length of time and come back in, I can still smell the gasoline. I feel like the snowblower has RUINED MY HOUSE !!!!! But, that's an entirely different story. :banghead::banghead::banghead:

HELP ME !!!!!
 

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first off at the end of the year. run the whole system dry. DO NOT LEAVE FUEL IN THERE OVER THE SUMMER. why don't you post some pics of this leak. as for the riding up. have you checked to make sure there is equal air in each tire. do you have a snow cab on it??????????
 

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Discussion Starter #4
first off at the end of the year. run the whole system dry. DO NOT LEAVE FUEL IN THERE OVER THE SUMMER. do you have a snow cab on it??????????
As I mentioned in my post, I DO run the machine dry every year as per the instructions. No, I do not have a snow cab. I have not checked the tire pressure. If I do, what would be the suggested pressure for best traction on an incline?

Thanks
 

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As I mentioned in my post, I DO run the machine dry every year as per the instructions. No, I do not have a snow cab. I have not checked the tire pressure. If I do, what would be the suggested pressure for best traction on an incline?

Thanks
the psi should be written on the tire.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
can you post a vid of this traction problem??????????????
THAT would be an excellent idea. Unfortunately, as this time, all of the snow has melted and even if it hadn't, I'm a caveman who still uses a DUMB phone with no camera or video.:icon-embarrassed:
 

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how much snow are you blowing when the 826 starts riding up?
toro's are pretty well balanced you might need a weight kit
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I can't imagine what could be wrong with the drive system. It drives the wheels just fine.

No other Toro dealer. What's a weight kit?
 

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Originally Posted by Jammer View Post
If there is any accumulation of snow more than say 3-4 inches, the snow blower wants to ride UP ON TOP OF the snow instead of driving THROUGH the snow.
A weight kit is extra weight on the bucket end of the machine. It is usually required when owners add a cab to the back end of the machine, to balance out the weight of the cab. Some owners put one on anyway, to help improve the balance and keep the front end down when they have the kind of problem you are having, climbing up the snow instead of going through it.

Just for a test, get yourself a bag of sand, about 20-25 pounds, and lay it on the bucket. You might need a couple of bungi cords to keep it in the right place. See if that improves things. If it does, you can get a chunk of steel of the appropriate weight, and bolt it onto the front edge of the bucket to make the weight permanent.

If your machine does not have a fuel shutoff valve, install one, or have one installed. They are about 6 bucks and allow you to shut the fuel off before the carb, so even if there is a leak in the carb, there will be no gas in there. You might also think about sticking a fuel filter in the line along with the shutoff valve, if there is room for everything.

According to the manual,

"The tires are overinflated at the factory for shipping. Reduce
the pressure equally in both tires to between 17 and 20 psi
(116 and 137 kPa)."

Do not exceed the maximum pressure that is shown on the sidewall of the tire.

Start with 17 LBs, see how that works on the incline, then increase to the max to see if it improves or gets worse.

My machine is set about 14LBS but I have larger tires.
 

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THANKS skutflut. I will try all of those things next time around...........................

What bigger tires do you have and did that help with the traction?
 

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THANKS skutflut. I will try all of those things next time around...........................

What bigger tires do you have and did that help with the traction?
I have xtrak tires, came standard with my machine They are recommended at 14-17 pounds pressure. They have a slightly larger footprint is all. I don't use chains, the tires are good without them, plus the tread design doesn't really lend itself to using chains as they would fall in between the lugs, unless I were to get cross chains.I don't have the incline problem that you have however.

Have you tried going downhill to blow show, if it's even possible? Downhill gets the gravity assist. How high are the walls leading down to your garage at the highest point. Since you don's have the problem on level surfaces, I guess the incline you are going up is enough that your are tipping the blower almost to the centre of gravity as the engine is pointing down. With a 22 degree slope you might also be taking a chance with lubrication as the engines don't like to be tipped more than about 15 degrees.

What year is you machine? I noticed 3 different manuals online for different years so if I go searching for tidbits, I want to look in the right one. Also, post your serial number and model number as shown on the nameplate of the machine, as others in the forum seem to have some magic powers to find out stuff about things that you didn't even know you wanted to know.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Skutflut,

Thanks in your continued effort to help out. I just checked the receipt. It's actually a year older than I had remembered. The date on the receipt is 11-11-11. The serial number is 312000535. It's a B&S engine and if I remember correctly, it was the last year that you could buy the American made version.

I'm not positive as to whether or not they are the exact same size but my tires look identical to yours !

The only way that I could start out on level ground would be to leave my machine outside in the front of my house which would also entail chaining the machine up to railing on my front porch to prevent theft, putting a tarp over the machine and running an extension cord out to the machine in order to use the electric start, none of which I would be really thrilled about doing but it may be better than the alternative.

It's hard to imagine why I have never heard anyone else complain about this. It would have been nice to know before buying a $1300.00 snow blower that it would be worthless on a small grade, (at least in it's present form).

Hanky,
I'm most definitely going to try the sack of salt trick next time. If it works, I'll get one of my handy nephews to make me a homemade weight kit.

Thanks guys !
 

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Those x track tires come in different sizes. When I looked up your machine on the web, it looked like it had smaller wheels in proportion to the body than mine does, but I could have looked at the wrong one.

I did read a couple of reviews that mentioned the toro is a bit light in the front end. Your incline, as I said, tips the machine back and makes the weight of the engine work against you.

Next storm, try the added weight on the bucket to see if it makes the machine usable. If that doesn't do it, then you're only alternative might be a tracked machine, but I don't supposed you want to hear that.

As far as your leaky carb, maybe get your handy nephew to learn how to maintain that. Dealer service comes in various levels of quality. The more you can do yourself, the cheaper it is to own the machine. Mine has never seen any dealer service and so far it always starts and runs.

Like many users, I run the carb dry after each use by turning off the fuel valve, and letting the engine run out of gas. The tank is emptied after the season ends, oil is changed, nuts and bolts checked, unit covered in an old sheet to keep it sort of clean, but not air tight. In fall it gets the preseason check, drive components, lubrication in the transmission area, paint touch ups, inspect belts, plug etc.
 
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