Well, we got our first dump of snow over night. I'd say ten to twelve inches of moderately heavy, but not too wet snow. Nice stuff for giving the new used Murray SS machine a trial. Have to say, I'm very much happy with it. It's actually a bit better than the Craftsman SS machine I've been using. Probably because the 2006 Murray was virtually new and had very little time on it. Everything on it is fresh compared to the old 1997 Craftsman.
I had some thoughts about how well the TH139 series engine would stack up against the HSK850 engine (both 139cc two strokes). Being that the TH139 was supposed to have been cleaned up (carb main jet change?), I figured it would be down on power but I was pleasantly surprised to see that it gives up nothing power-wise. It actually feels stronger when running at stock rpms and is pretty much the same, if not a bit more powerful when cranked up. One thing I did notice about the TH139 engine in the Murray is that it seems to use considerably more fuel than the Craftsman. Haven't done any scientific study but, the Murray seemed to run out of fuel quicker. One thing that I have to admit though, is that the Murray was working in 10 to 12 inches of fairly dense snow and that likely caused it to work harder. Nonetheless, I'm very much pleased with this $30.00 investment. I'll tell you, I cannot understand how people would dump something like that for $30.00. When cranked up, it works better than machines 20 times the price.
Due to my neighbour's husband being out of town, I volunteered to clear their driveway using their one year old 824 Ariens Deluxe two stage machine. Plenty of gizmos on it and nice enough to use but I'm not particularly impressed with it's performance. A couple times I had to tie down the auger drive to walk around to the front to see if both augers were working. They were ,but for some reason, even at the slowest speed, it left a good 6" high ridge of snow on the cleared side on just about every pass. In order to avoid that, I had to make half width passes. It's like the machine couldn't process the snow effectively. Everything else was fine, engine was running well, very nicely actually (Powermore brand). Now that I think of it, I'm suspecting that the Impeller belt might need tightening because it wasn't impressing me with how far it was throwing the snow either. The Murray, when cranked up was actually pitching snow a bit futher. Something doesn't seem right there for an eight h.p. 24" Ariens? What's a bit confusing is that it did a fairly good job on the 30" high slush/snow mix EOD deposit from the plow. Nothing seemed to be slipping and I didn't smell any burnt rubber for the couple of hours I used it. When the owner get's home, I'll have to tell him to check the belt tension. I'm sure that machine should be more capable than that. Compared to my 928 Simplicity, the 824 Ariens looks pretty whimpy. I have to conceed howerver, that the Simplicity 928 could very well be an 1128 if one takes in the variable h.p. ratings of the 305cc engine.
I took some videos of the Murray. I'll upload one to Youtube and post in a while.
Here's a short video. Nothing special. Not high definition. Just the Murray getting it done:
This message was modified Nov 23, 2012 by borat