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Both of my Troy-Bilts have been kinda okay (I work snowblowers really hard) but they both had pressure pins either break or fall out which affected moving the chute. I couldn't figure out an easy way to replace these particular pressure pins so I've been using cotter pins which buys a little time until they break. They don't throw as far as I would like but other than that they've been dependable for 10-12 years now, and I really do work them to death. The Craftman blowers I've owned were never quite up to the job. The two I had were both on the lower end of quality, IMO.
Try adding a rubber impeller kit to the impeller blades to increase the throwing distance.
 
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Try adding a rubber impeller kit to the impeller blades to increase the throwing distance.
I plan to try that when I can find a good piece of rubber that I can cut up to make it myself. I guess they sell the kits. I watched a couple of videos related to adding those kits and the difference is phenomenal.

I live on a hillside so on the backside of the development when we have a heavy snow year my Troy-Bilts weren't throwing far enough so I was ending up with a high wall of snow that the blowers couldn't throw over. I just need a little more distance and I suspect the new blower (Ariens) will give that to me... but I still want to try adding the rubber pieces to the impeller on one of the older blowers and see how it goes.
 

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Do you have a Tractor Supply? They sell baling belts. I went to a local rubber place.
 
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Do you have a Tractor Supply? They sell baling belts. I went to a local rubber place.
No, but sometimes I travel to places that have Tractor Supplys. Thanks for mentioning that. Now I know where to look for some good material for the job.
 

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Baling belts have reinforced fibers in them, the belting, so they last longer than solid rubber.
 
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I owned a couple of Jacobsens, a Yard Machine, Craftsman, and then I bought a new Ariens Deluxe 28 a couple of years ago. The current Cub Cadets were a lot like the Craftsman I owned, and that is not a good thing. The plastic panel which can chip at the shifter detents, the spring loaded speed shifter which gets stiffer the further you pull it back, etc. Nice yellow paint though.

But so to talk about the Ariens D28. Here's what I like-
a) The machine is able to ingest the full cut without creating another roll of snow which will need to be cleaned up. One pass, and the driveway is clean.
b) AutoTurn is the bomb. Works like a champ.
c) The throwing distance is excellent. It will throw the stated 50 ft with good snow and calm conditions.
d) It is easy to modify the chute rotation system to gain another 15 degrees (approx) rotation in both directions. Handy for the end of the driveway or if your house extends in front of the garage.
e) Treat yourself to the hand warmers. Yeah, it's too much for what you get, but pay once for the Ariens grips and be done. When it's -15F and windy, you'll be glad you did.
f) The drive belt system has excellent shielding to route the water away from the belts. In two season, not once have the belts slipped. On the old MTD products, it was a constant thing.
g) Not too loud.

Downsides...
a) The controls are kinda weird at first, but you'll get used to them. The newest models might be a different layout though- I saw a picture on a different thread and it looks like the new models have a different control design. (see the thread about the Ariens LED lights)
b) The engine runs basically two speeds- idle or wide open. If you live somewhere and want to slow the engine to reduce the throw distance, it's a little dicey because the deflector only does so much.

Hope all this helps and have fun with the new snowblower!
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
I keep going back the the Toro power max 826. I went to HD to eyeball a what they had on display. They had the 824, no 826. It seemed nice but being 24", it does not seem like enough of an upgrade, i think 26" is a good size.
 
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