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How about some snow blower experts?

Post in 'The Gear' started by Gooserider, Dec 6, 2007.

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  1. jdemaris

    jdemaris New Member

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    I'm surprised you don't have the special snow-blower version engine - which would be a HMSK.

    HM100 is the cheap, bottom-dollar Tecumseh engine. Snowblowers often get cheaped out since the reasoning is - the engines don't get used enough to die before warranty. Aluminum cylinder bore, no ball bearings (just sleeve-bore in block).

    HM100 means - horizontal, medium-frame,and 10 horsepower at 3600 RPM.

    Same basic engine in a better quality is a HHM100 - (horizontal heavy-duty).

    Snowblowers usually got special snowblower engines - and in that size - would be am HMSK - which stands for horizontal medium-frame snow king engine. For snow blower use only - the air cleaner is omitted, and a hand-primer is added to the choke.

    Top of the the line is the HMXL - horizontal, medium-frame, extra-life.

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  2. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    I've sold the Toro now, so it isn't where I can look at it... However it had a solid axle, and a pull knob on each side of the control panel that would disengage the wheel on that side, supposedly to make it easier to steer, but since it only re-engaged with the wheels in certain positions, I never used it for that. It did make the machine easy to move around however. The thing I really didn't like was the gear shift was in the middle of the control panel, which always felt awkward moving my hand so far from the grips, especially in reverse (which you had to hold in). With the Ariens, the gear lever was right on the handlebar, which felt more comfortable. Otherwise it's like you describe.

    I did change the tires, from the "turf" tires it had to a pair of "sno-hog" style and found that they vastly improved the machine's ability to drive, I don't seem to need chains, at least most of the time.

    Thanks for the info on the engine ID, it certainly is the case that this has been a good engine for me so far - one or two pull starts consistently, only minor oil consumption, etc. It appears to be the OEM engine, though who can tell after so many years. If it is the OEM engine, even if it is the cheap model, I can't complain about the lifespan, since this is a '77 or '78 model snowblower according to Ariens tech support. I haven't taken the covers off it, but it does have the primer button, and doesn't appear to have an air filter.

    I'm not expecting it to give me any trouble in the near future, but if it does, will have to think about what I'll replace it with - I know Tecumseh is supposedly shutting down, but I know there are / were lots of places one could get new SnowKing engines for short bucks, or I might try replacing with one of the Asian engines - (Honda, Subaru/Robin, etc...)

    Gooserider
  3. jdemaris

    jdemaris New Member

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    Tecumseh/Lauson/Power Products/Peerless has been near bankruptcy many times dating back to the 70s. Their engines had the repuation for being the cheapest and also the most trouble-prone. But, there were still some good ones. In the 60s, Toro used the models with optional iron cylinder sleeves, ball bearings for mains, etc. Troy Built used a few HH60 or HH70 models with cast-iron blocks and ball-bearing mains.

    This may be sort of esoteric uninteresting stuff - but in brief, I'll mention anyway. I was a small engine, chain saw, and farm tractor mechanic starting in the 60s. That's around the time when Briggs and Tecumseh starting cutting corners on their engines and some were pretty bad. High-end engines were usually cast-iron Wisconsin, Continental, or Kohler. The cheap stuff - from better to worse -was Briggs & Stratton, Clinton, and Tecumseh/Power Products. Tecumseh made one heavy-frame cast-iron engine in 10 and 12 horse and it was a piece of crap - although it was built rugged by appearance (cast iron block, Timken adjustable main bearings, etc.). We sold a lot of commercial stuff - and with that - Briggs or Tecumseh 10 horse engines had a life-span of one summer - and then, in the scrap-heap they went. Late 60s, while attending Briggs & Stratton service-school - I found out some interesting facts. All engines for sale anywhere else in the world - other then USA or Canada - were built much more heavy-duty. The reaon? Foreign buyers were more frugal and would not buy throw-away engines like Americans do.

    Not long after, our shop became one of the first in the country to sell Honda replacement small engines. It was sometime in the early 70s. First engine as I recall was a 10 horse vertical engine to be a direct replacement for 10 horse Briggs or 10 horse Tecumsehs on commerical Bunton and Bobcat mowers. What was the result? We were getting 2-3 years per engine -and then - they were rebuildable - and did NOT land in the scrap heap. That caused a huge shake-up with US engines. As a result - Briggs invented their "IC series" to compete. The rest is common history. Kawasaki made engines. Subaru made engines - first sellling them as "Wisconsin Robins."

    Now? You can buy a 7 horse Chinese engine with overhead valves, electronic igntion, pressure oiling. cast-iron cylinder sleeve, and full ball-bearing mains - for $150 !! That's pretty scary and also amazing. For those kind of prices - I can't find a good reason to buy a new USA engine for anything. I've got a few in use now and they've been fantasic. If one breaks, I can scrap it and buy a whole new engine - and still be ahead.
  4. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    Somewhat off-topic, but while I know the Honda and Subaru-Robin OPE engines seem to be very high quality, and basically identical (I've been told most parts are interchangeable) - what about some of the Chinese "clone" engines that appear to be knockoff copies - such as the ones sold by Harbor Freight? Do you think they are any good, or are they something to be suspicious of?

    Gooserider
  5. TMonter

    TMonter Minister of Fire

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    Goose I have a repair manual for the engine if you want to PM me. I have a Ariens 5HP 1974 vintage myself and it's a good machine. I used the manual for a carb/tuneup on the old girl this year. I think restoring the unit and repainting it may be one of my summer projects this year. Mine is a model 922020 model Ariens. I also have an Ariens Rocket IV tiller that I love.
  6. jdemaris

    jdemaris New Member

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    Loc:
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    I've got three of them (Chinese knock-offs). They'be been fine. I suspect, that when the time comes that I need parts, I'll be screwed. But, they were so cheap, I don't care.

    All stuff from China can't be the same quality, and that is probably more of an issue. When you buy a Chinese engine on-sale, how do you know if it's from an old established Chinese company, or a new small company that might be gone by next year?

    I was buying a lot of similar stuff during the Japanese invasion of cheap stuff in the 60s and 70s. Some was fantastic quality, and some was crap. Same thing now with Chinese.

    Here's my recent experience.

    I needed a small, lightweight portable generator to carry in my diesel truck. The reason being - to run my engine block heater when the truck was left parked in below zero temps with no electricity available.

    I first bought a USA namebrand - from Coleman. They had a 1000 watt, inverter-based
    generator that only weighs 20 lbs. which is pretty amazing. It cost near $500. I had it sitting here for a year and then finally, got to use it. It ran for 20 minutes, and then died (stopped making electricity). So, I called Coleman and explained the situation, thinking they might extend my warranty? Well, no. I then asked about repair parts - again "no", no parts available. I then asked for a wiring schematic so maybe, I could try to figure it out and fix myself- again, "no."
    So, I had an almost new genset, with an American well-known namebrand - with zero support.
    I sold it on Ebay for $50 and took my losses. It was a - Coleman Powermate 1000 Portable Generator and Battery Booster. The model number was PM0301010, serial # HH0360184.
    Funny thing is, I still see a few around, for sale new on store-shelves and Coleman is now, out of business.

    After that mess - I bought a Chinese 1000 watt genset. Four-stroke, overhead valve engine. It's heavier then the Coleman and weighs 45 lbs. I've used it a lot, and it's worked flawlessly. I paid $139 for it, brand new. When I got it, it had a few assembly flaws that I easily fixed. It appears to be a well engineered item that did not get the best assembly. It's well built, and a great buy. If it dies tomorrow, and I can't find parts, I'll either make them, or just buy another.

    Since then, the local ALDI store where my wife goes grocery shopping had a sale on 3000 watt generators. Actually rated 3250 watts surge and have a 6.5 horsepower, overhead valve, four-stroke-cycle engine. $199 brand new! Considering someone made that thing in China, sold it at a profit, paid to ship it to the USA, and then, ALDI makes a profit- I find it amazing. It is very well built and I've run it maybe a total of 20 hours at full load. So far, it's been flawless.

    Based on that, I bought a brand new 6.5 horsepower engine, again Chinese, just to use on something, sometime, when I get around to it. Could be a snowblower, could be a rototiller, logsplitter, who knows? It was made in the same Chinese company as my last genset, but I haven' t used it yet. I paid $139 for it, and for $10 more, I could of had electric start. It has a cast-iron cylinder liner and full, ball-bearing crankshaft support along with overhead valves and is CARB certified.

    Many big namebrand engines, like Honda, Kawasaki, and Briggs & Stratton are either made in China, or have parts made in China. I suspect, since these Chinese companies already have the tooling, they are making knock-offs.

    This stuff is hard to follow. Recently I bought some John Deere parts, over the counter from John Deere, and they were all made in China. I want to my Case-International tractor dealer to get some parts for my International Harvester tractor - and they were made in India and China. I bought some parts for my Tanaka gas-engine - made in China. I bought new injection nozzles for my Ford diesel truck - OEM, from Ford - and they were made in Italy (Stanadyne of Italy). I bought some new CAV injector nozzles for my 4310 Ford tractor - they came in Lucas-CAV boxes, but were made in China. Kind of hard to get away from.
  7. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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