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Discussion Starter #1
OK -- I live in Central Mass, and just finished with the first round of snow blowing -- about 32 inches. I've got two Ariens, and I only have room to keep one. Need your thoughts, and I realize that personal preference is a major part of the decision.

I've got a 2004 932104, which I've had since new and has always been great. Works fine -- no complaints.

I've got a 1971 910962 with the pretty teardrop bucket and original 7 HP Tecumseh. I picked this up for $25 cause the guy was moving. It has locking hubs for the chained drive wheels.

Worked both of them hard this afternoon. The only thing I noticed was that the '71's engine slowed down when diving into the large piles -- meaning 30 inches of pile. BUT, it did not stop, and the chained wheels actually get better traction than the 2004 model.

Based upon the amount of writing, it certainly looks like I like the '71 better. So, my question to the Ariens crowd.....what would you do? Which one would you keep?
 

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you would have one heck of a profit margin if you sold the '71 but that's the one you like
 

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For my money, I would stick with the '71. The ease and simplicity of the old machines is what does it for me. Parts are still avail, and if the engine craps out someday you can drop a brand new engine on there very easily.
 

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You've got one of the stealth compacts, full size tires, augers, housing, and impeller, on a compact frame. No differential.

For me that would be a tough choice, but I'd probably keep the older one (easier replacement motor choices, and the differential with knob lock).
The 104 is probably somewhat rare.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the comments. I'm going out tonight to use the 71 again on what's fallen since 3:00 PM (probably about 4 inches), and will use it again later this week and over the weekend from what I hear.

Yep, I must admit I'm leaning towards keeping the 71.....I need some more blowing time with it. It is a solid machine, and I agree with the simplicity of the machine.
 

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The new Ariens are crap. Keep the old one. We only got about 14 inches last night but I have a very large, long driveway. Every time I use my Honda 928 I am just thrilled to smiles at how totally awesome that machine is in every way.
 

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I'll put my two cents in favor of the old gal. Hard to beat an Ariens from that era for quality and dependability. On the other hand if you are lucky enough to have two... find something else to get rid of to make room and keep BOTH :cool:
 

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The 71 is Actually a Nice Machine, Truly Built to Last. It may not Throw as far as a Newer one, but will certainly outlive it. Also, you can repower it if need be.
 

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I dont think there is any reason to assume a 2004 Ariens
is any worse than a 1971 in terms of quality..
and it simply is not true that new Ariens are "crap"..
that is an opinion based on nothing..the evidence supports the contrary.

having said that, If you really can only keep one, I would still choose the '71! ;)
not because I think the 2004 is any worse, but only because I prefer the simplicity
and robustness of the '71, and the 932000 series is designed to be the "compact" series,
made for smaller snowfalls that the "full size" machines, so the '71 might be a better
universal machine that the '04..

I have two '71 Ariens, im 45 years old, I expect my two '71s will serve just fine
for as long as I need to move snow..

I also agree, if you can, just keep both! ;) if you can find an extra 4x4 square of floor space in the garage, it would be great to have both, in case one does temporarily go down for any reason..

Scot
 

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71 Cast Iron Gearbox w/hardened Steel Gears vs. 04 Aluminum Gearbox w/a Soft Bronze Gear. The Choice is Clear For Me. Others Opinions May Vary.
 

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The new Ariens are crap. Keep the old one. We only got about 14 inches last night but I have a very large, long driveway. Every time I use my Honda 928 I am just thrilled to smiles at how totally awesome that machine is in every way.
Really kind of a crappy statement. You like your Honda (and for good reason) but I have the same feelings for my NEW Ariens. I cleared 18 inches of wet snow earlier this year like it was 4 inches of fluff.
Try not dumping all over people's equipment when expressing your OPINION next time.
 

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I dont think there is any reason to assume a 2004 Ariens
is any worse than a 1971 in terms of quality..
and it simply is not true that new Ariens are "crap"..

the 932000 series is designed to be the "compact" series,
made for smaller snowfalls that the "full size" machines

Scot
what is a 932104.
The 104 is different...Ariens took a FULL size 924 series housing and welded the narrower 932 mounts to the back of it. They took the 105 one step further and used a modern style 926pro housing (14" impeller) with LE gearcase then welded 932 mounts to the back of it. Then they stuck a PTO shaft 8.5HP Tecumseh LH318SA to the frame and slapped on full size 15" tires/wheels. They also beefed up the transmission and put a stout Fellows spur gear on there. Axle locking is manual and is accomplished by moving the pin locks. These are rare machines.
I call these the stealth compacts, because from a distance you wouldn't know they are compacts.
 

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I get to use several Ariens made blowers, dating from the late 80s to 2014 and none have given me any concern regarding quality issues.
 

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In CT all of the Home Depots have stopped carrying Ariens. I asked one of my regional Home Depots why they stopped selling Ariens and was told there were SO many complaints, and SO many returns they no longer felt comfortable selling the brand.

Last year I purchased a new Ariens Hydro pro 32 from a local power equipment supplier. I can assure you, first hand, the machine was crap. A joke. An insult to anyone who pays good money, a LOT of good money for what used to be a good snow blower. Now it is just crap.
 

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I think an educated end-user will be intelligent enough to read through the worthless "it's crap" posts and come to a meaningful conclusion for themselves. Just take some time to research for yourself and you'll discover a lot of very meaningful information. FYI: my local dealer sells Ariens to two separate municipaities and it's the only brand those two towns will buy. Always buy from a local dealer, not a big box store which hires a teeny-bopper at minimum wage to rush the half-assed assembly of your machine. That's where a lot of problems happen.
 
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