Joined: Dec 21, 2008
I've run about 200" of snow storms through this machine and can't find a single good thing about it other than the heated handles.
.) The snowblower is balanced with all the weight under the wheels, so it rides up. If you pull up on the handles the wheels just spin. Unlock the wheels and only one wheel spins. Horrible, horrible traction. Chains? Tried it. Weight kit? Tried it. This machine sucks.
2.) Chute is off center, so snow goes left easier than going right. Does that matter? It does because the battery is on the right, and the wide-open chute spills snow in ever-accumulating piles right on top of the battery housing, evetually building up to the point of clogging the chute, and/or making it impossible to turn using the nifty remote switch. The switch has broken twice-its not waterproof, and the electric motor turning the gears has broken/clogged with water and frozen 4 times. It is not weatherproof, and has simply been sprayed with an undercoating in order to give it a minimum amount of protection.
3.) You will only need 3 gears: Reverse, 1st and 6th. Because the impeller/auger doesn't spin fast enough to get rid of more than 4" of snow at a pass if you go any faster than gear 1, and 6 will get you back to the garage after you get the piece of junk started again. BAD GEAR RATIO!!!!!!! I bet its because the pully is the same one used for a smaller bucket, but no one bothered to do the math on engine speed/auger speed. Piss poor engineering.
4.) It sucks gas. I could do my driveway with 50% less gas with my smaller snowblower, even though it took me the same amount of time with a machine 30% smaller. The disc-o-matic transmission is simple enough to work on, (and believe me you'll get the chance) but it sucks a ton of power. The Snow King engine starts. Power? Plenty, but who cares because the auger doesn't turn fast enough so you stuck waiting anyway.
5.) It cloggs a lot. New belts? Yep. Tighten the belts? Yep. Clean the belts, dress the belts, kiss the belts, silicone the chute? Yep. In 10 years of using my Honda, the only time the chute clogged is when I sucked up a 10x10 blue tarp, and it almost made it out.
I couldn't even tell you where the belt on my Honda snowblower was.
6.) It rusts. Do I take care of my equipment? I'm hard but fair. In 10 years my Honda didn't rust as bad as my 2 yr old Ariens. Cheap. Heated handles and a light. Those are the only positive things. Also, the handles on this piece of junk are the same handles you'll find on the 824, and blowers 200lbs lighter.
Not only is this a out-dated design, the very balance of this machine is wrong. It is out of sync, and doesn't work well. I'm speaking as a mechanic/tech/designer who loves good tools and good machines. This is a very low-grade snowblower, not worth 1/2 the price. AVOID THIS MACHINE.
Date Purchased: 2005
Price Paid: $2600
Heated handles, light
Very unreliable. Old designs. Old technology Cloggs quite often.