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TE Writer!
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I acquired a free 2014 Ariens Sno Tec economy snow blower. It had some minor fire damage. It needed a new carb, primer bulb, kill switch and coil. It's in great shape beside the parts that caught fire and currently being replaced as the parts come in then it'll be good as new.
I have a 40 year old Ariens ST824 and the quality between the two are incomparable. Inspecting the friction drive on the sno tec.....it's so cheaply made, I dont understand the big price tags, it's a shame. I'll stick to the oldie but goodies!!!
 

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The entry level Ariens sold through the Homely Despot are made by Husqvarna (formerly AYP), basically a rebadged Craftsman. The Ariens built machines are legendary.
 

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IHcubguy,

Nor do they want you to work on them anymore.

CCMoe
 

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Manufacturers have changed their strategy it seems. If you bought a 2014 blower and it lasted you 40 years, what good is that to them?...The way it is now, you will be buying another from them in 5-10 years. .....Planned obsolescence.
 

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I had an old Ariens 10/26" (rebadged JD). The levers were designed for people under 5'5", the chute deflector was not cable-operated, points ignition, and it threw snow poorly to the right. I did like how you could lock the auger drive into engage though. But I would take a modern Ariens over this any day (currently an 11526LE).

The one thing that plagued all of my machines was mice. Each machine needed some slightly different method of keeping mice out.
 

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I had shied away from the newer Ariens because I like the Tecumseh Snow King engines. However, when I trashed the gear box on my Ariens 1128 I went out and bought a brand new Ariens Platinum 24. While I still have concern about the longevity of the engine in the back of my mind, so far I have experienced a solid, heavy duty machine that throws snow farther than any machine I have owned previously.
 

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That's why I stay with my old Ariens tractors (S-12, S-16 & a GT-16 and a bunch of implements:) )! They are built better than some entry level SCUTs! Yea I know they can be temperamental and a little grumpy, but you just can't beat old school steel parts!
 

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I had several old Ariens snowblowers and they all worked well,the only issues I had with a few was the handle bars always cracked where they bolt to the chassis and I had to weld braces on them...

I'd buy an old "Bobcat" brand snowblower if I were looking for a tank like built older machine..
They were made of plate steel about 1/4" thick and their impeller design throws snow and wet slush at least 40 feet without any clogging up in all but the worst snow conditions..
They are not manufactured by,or have any affiliation with the skid steers bearing the same name,one my dad had was built by the Wisconsin Marine Co...
I saw a nice one on FB marketplace for $150 earlier today near Boston..
 

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I saw a few of them come through the shop and was quite impressed. They were very well built.
 

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Most snow blowers are made by MTD but there are some completely Chinese ones out there. Most of them just have the Chinese engines.

The 24s and above have a friction drive that is about the same as they have been for years- at least MTD machines.

Stay away from 22s as they have a plastic gearbox and strip out the gears inside and were still over $100 last I checked.
Prices change a lot though.
Just 2-3 years ago the a pressure washer pump was like 117 minimum now they are 68.00
Keep these darn tariffs away from my great ebay prices!!!

I fear they are going to creep back up for a while but luckily they have all come way down in the last 5 years more than the tariff will increase them.
I watched briggs riding mower carbs go from 68 to 48 to 36 to 28 to 18.54 on ebay.

Ebay has been kicking Amazon's butt for about 5-7 years on prices on mower parts and still is on most but a few things Amazon is cheaper on.
I check every time now.
Blade deck cable for Troy bilt XP rider....usually 17-25 locally. This one was 49.88+ tax.
Ebay cheapest was 12-15, amazon had it NEXT day for 10.95.
Now next day was like 6PM but still next day.
MTD walk behind engine zone cable all over the place but cheapest is 2 pack. 11.99 on amazon and 14.99 on ebay.
It PAINS me to pay 14.95 for something and find out I could have gotten it for 10.95!!
I am THAT cheap! AND it is NOT MY money.
This is all customers parts. I don't even mark up the parts or charge then the 15 when I get it for 10 since locally is 25-40.
I'm a weirdo but it's what make me tick....I tick loudly too.
My shop is the highest rated in the entire 25+ mile radius or about 35 or so shops and maybe this is one of the reason because I am certainly not the nicest or easiest to deal with.
 

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I have a friend who runs a car repair shop who's attitude is somewhat gruff ,especially when he is busy and someone calls on the phone--being a one man shop with no helper to answer phone calls and deal with walk in customers has earned him the nickname "Grumpy's Garage"--but his customers wont go to anyone else once they see how good his quality of work is..:)

The "Bobcat" snowblowers evidently were only made for a short time by the Wisconsin Marine Co--the one my dad had looked nothing like the "newer" ones like pictured below,that were possibly made by Gilson,as they had a nearly identical one under their name also...The newer ones seem just as good at blowing snow as the "originals",I'd buy one if I came across one cheap..

I have never seen another one just like the one my dad had,can't even find a picture of one on the web,or much info about the company...his looked like it was built in the '50's or perhaps even earlier--it weighed about 200 + lbs and only had a 3.5 HP Briggs horizontal with 6:1 gear reduction,but it threw snow further than a neighbors 10 HP Ariens could..it was all thick plate steel and flat stock--only had two forward speeds,no reverse.and a hand clutch lever...

I regret that we sold the one he had for $50 after a few nearly snow less winters after we moved closer to Cape Cod..the very next year,the blizzard of '78 hit us full force!..

I wish I had it now just for its rarity and I bet it might still be running somewhere today..

It got a whipping when we lived 30 miles north of Worcester MA,we had a 110 foot driveway with a turn a round that took several hours to clear snow off of,and we often got 18"-24" at a time there,being high elevation..
 

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Gee,talk about coincidences..
Not 15 minutes after my last post,I was poking around on Facebook Marketplace,and guess what I came across ?...

A near twin to my dad's old BobCat snowblower !..:tango_face_surprise

I can't buy it at $300 though,but it is the first one I've ever seen since my dad's..I forgot his had a "dual chute",you had to flip a lever to block off one side to change the direction of the snow being thrown..

More photos in the FB ad--I only copied one in case the ad vanishes..https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/item/577398406097543/
 

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There is a "newer" Gilson built BobCat on Facebook Marketplace for sale in western MA --for $40...too bad its over 110 miles away,one way or I'd own it..ad says its just been sitting and needs the usual "waking up"too...guy wants his garage space back..
My truck would probably not make it that far & back again--not worth the risk!..
 
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