Running my late Christmas present from last year Honda 1332 Snowblower

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peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
6,486
Northern NH
Living up north with a long driveway and the potential for lots of snow, a snowblower is not really optional even if my driveway is normally plowed by a contractor. That may change next year when I stop working so I am getting ready. My record snow fall was 28" in one storm and one year I had 20inches one day and 24 two days later. I started out with a heavy duty Husqvarna when they had started to make their big expansion into outdoor power equipment. I think it was 10 HP and had all the features. It wasnt perfect but it did the job. Like many other snowblower brands it was not made by Husky and parts at some point got harder to get for some of the trickier parts. Things like cables and stamped parts were cheap, threads stripped out and I had to make modifications on occasion plus the cables would usually freeze up every year or so despite lubing them. The carb was starting to show the ethanol blues and in general I came to the conclusion it was time to look for a replacement. I was planning on new but I saw an ad for used 13 HP Honda hydrostatic track drive I went for a look. It was well used and had been patched up around the blower chute but I decided to give it try as they had a great rep. it was quite the beast, I could clear my main driveway in four passes. I could throw snow twice as far as with my Husky. Things like cables were bigger diameter and had sealing boots on the ends. The down side was that this earlier model was designed by folks shorter than my 5' 10 frame. I had to hunch over to move it which got old after not that long of a time blowing snow . The other big issue was turning the beast. My guess is it was over 250 pounds and with the track drive and a straight shaft between the tracks it required manhandling to turn it. I got five years on it before it stopped moving. I did the normal forum searches and checked the normal things which required taking it progressively apart to the point where putting it back together would require quite a boxful of parts and I wasnt even at the transmission. I salvaged the sweet running Honda engine and a few other parts and decided to replace it. I looked at lot of options but I ended up with a hefty gift card on Amazon and decided I might as well buy one to probably last until I didnt need another one and big enough to stop my driveway from being plowed. It got delivered in late February and the snow started melting before I needed to use it. I got about 12 inches over a weekend storm so today was my first time using it.

Honda apparently listened to comments on their older design and went all out on the new 1332a. Its still a beast and will chew up a lot of snow at full speed ahead and will throw snow a lot farther. The snow doesnt flare out as much so its a bit less affected by wind. Strangely enough there is no electric start on this one, the old one didnt have one and worst case it may have taken three pulls on the coldest day. They do have an electric start version but I went with the lower cost pull version. Note these are not inexpensive in any form, they are commercial machines and priced that way. The big improvement is they raised the handles to fit me, I expect someone six feet or taller may wish they raised them higher but it works for me. The other major improvement is they have put free wheel clutches on the drive wheels. Lift up a lever and one drive wheel floats and the rig turns in that direction. Lift up on the other lever and it turns in the other direction. It takes some getting used to but a major improvement over horsing it around. Secondary improvements are an easier scraping height adjustment, the amount of scraping force could be adjusted on the old one by a foot lever and horsing it up, the new rig is a lever that floats it and then locks it in place with no horsing. The other improvement I could live without is an electric chute rotation and lift angle. Honda uses much beefier control cables with rubber boots on the ends and I rarely had freeze up issues with the old one but I am not yet sold on the electrics. They dont offer them with manual controls but I don't look forward to ever replacing them. The only issues I have heard of is that the chutes can pack with slush in slushy conditions. Honda has a New England specific recall to put in a modified chute but I have read there are some tradeoffs. Being in the mountains I tend not to get slush so I am going to give it awhile. It has 3 year non commercial warranty on it so I have awhile. I did order the service manual just in case and will probably order some belts once I see if my old spares do not fit. HD has started selling this model but I think Honda limits their price reduction they can put on them so unless someone gets it on an end of year clearance I think the price is still steep. One of the tricks the big box stores us is they usually have an assortment of prices for a particular piece of equipment. Folks rarely buy the cheapest or the most expensive so they can sell the middle of the line product as a higher margin. My guess is the Honda are just in the line up as the most expensive. Knock on wood it becomes an "appliance" like the other Honda products I own.
 

heat seeker

Minister of Fire
Feb 25, 2011
3,214
Northern CT
I have the same complaints about my Honda 1332. I say that it's an excellently built machine designed by idiots. I'd love to trade it for something else, particularly an Ariens, but I'm told the Ariens have Chinese engines with no throttle control. Changing the belts looks to be a nightmare - I hope I never have to do that!

I guess I should look into trading it on the newer 1332A. I'll have to look into it.
 

festerw

Minister of Fire
Nov 16, 2009
514
Cambridge Springs, PA
It kind of broke my heart to sell my old HS55 track drive. I've used a bunch of them and for sure Honda are at the top of the heap.

I came across a screaming deal on a 1332 a few years ago from a guy moving, 2 years old for $700 unfortunately I didn't have the cash at the time.

I do really like the 42" stage on my 520 Wheel Horse.
 

mustash29

Minister of Fire
Feb 6, 2012
701
SE CT
I ran an 8 hp 26" MTD for many years. The only things I replaced was oil, shear pins and when the factory scraper wore down I added a piece of 1/4" flat bar.

A few years ago I got my hands on a 1994 JD 425 with 54" plow and 47" blower but it has barely snowed down here since. ;lol
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
6,132
Downeast Maine
March 2019 I picked up a demo model Husqvarna two stage walk behind unit. I see all the things you mention with quality control and cables. First use of the season for winter 2019/2020 and the drive cable broke off on the end and I am now using a pair of vice grips and liberal use of cable lube. Most of our snow is cleared with the 3pt blower and FEL bucket on my tractor, but the walk behind is nice for paths. If the budget ever allows I would love to get a Honda track drive.