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Platinum_2


Joined: Sep 17, 2012
Points: 7

New Ariens Snowblower....or keep old Jacobsen?
Original Message   Sep 17, 2012 12:09 pm
Well, autumn is fast approaching and before long, the snow will start falling.  I have been considering the purchase of a new snowblower, but cannot decide if I should go forward or not.  Currently, I have a mint condition, fully restored 1974 Jacobsen Imperial 830.  It has an 8HP Tecumseh Snowking engine and a 30" bucket.  It has a locked axle.  The unit is reliable, very heavy duty, and has served me well.  However, I am concerned that with both Jacobsen out of the snowblower market, and Tecumseh out of business, finding parts in the future could be problematic.  In addition, the features on the newer machines such as heated grips, remote chute deflector, and power steering/remote pin-lock axles seem attractive.  Even having a headlight would be helpful at times.  I have 2500 sq.ft. to clear, and living in Michigan brings about 45-70 inches of snow each year.  My sidewalks are 5ft. wide which makes the 30" bucket perfect as one trip down and back and I'm done.  My driveway is 14ft. wide by 50ft. long and I clear that in about 6 passes.  I then have a 10ft. X 12ft. parking spot that I clear.  I have a rather long sidewalk along the side of the house and out to the mailbox that is 3ft. wide, again allowing me to clear it in one trip down and back with the 30" bucket.

My ultimate question, do I keep what I have at the risk of not being able to find parts/have it serviced, or do I look at something new that has readily available parts and service?  I am looking at 30" Ariens Deluxe or Platinum.  Not sure anything under 30" makes sense because then I would have to go down, back, down to clear the 5ft. sidewalk, and then walk back to get to the house.  Seems like 2 extra trips I don't need to make?  I have all sorts of dealer nearby so service is not an issue with any brand I go with, but Ariens seems to be a real solid machine.  Ideally, I'd like the PRO series, but they don't have a 30" bucket model.  Any help would be appreciated, thanks!

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hcbph1


Joined: Sep 20, 2012
Points: 16

Re: New Ariens Snowblower....or keep old Jacobsen?
Reply #7   Sep 20, 2012 6:29 am
Platinum_2 wrote:
Thanks for the replies guys!  I think I'll keep her.  I'll upload some pics so you can see just how perfect she is.  The gearbox is rock solid.  The only part I could imagine needing might be a friction disc or chute rotration gear...an obsolete part from what I understand.  As of now, she needs nothing.



Don't rule out a machine for things like a friction disk not being available.  For example a 6" Toro friction disk can be used in an older Roper snowblower.  You do need to machine the center hole open a little and drill new mounting holes but that's minor when it comes down to a couple of mods vs throwing an otherwise perfectly good machine away.

You just need to do some measuring of what you have then start looking at what's still available.

Platinum_2


Joined: Sep 17, 2012
Points: 7

Re: New Ariens Snowblower....or keep old Jacobsen?
Reply #8   Sep 20, 2012 9:25 am
I'm pretty sure a friction disc would be easy to come by.  There was a Ford variant and I believe a John Deere variant of this machine.  My local JD dealer may be able to get his hands on some parts.  He still has parts for my old JD snowmobile.  It's amazing what these dealers sometimes have on their shelves from years past!  I would certainly not throw her away.  It is fully restored, new paint, tires, etc.  A commercial snow contractor would probably give $500 for it knowing that he could not find anything as heavy duty on the market today in brand-new condition, maybe even more. For me, the machine is a bit of overkill.  I like the 30" bucket, but I bet the thing weighs over 300lbs.  It can be a bear to muscle it around during the winter months.  For this reason alone, sometimes I wish I had something a little lighter.  But, I only have about $200 into it and it is now mint and needs nothing.  Hard to justify replacing it.
This message was modified Sep 20, 2012 by Platinum_2
Platinum_2


Joined: Sep 17, 2012
Points: 7

Re: New Ariens Snowblower....or keep old Jacobsen?
Reply #9   Sep 24, 2012 10:19 pm

This message was modified Sep 24, 2012 by Platinum_2
Platinum_2


Joined: Sep 17, 2012
Points: 7

Re: New Ariens Snowblower....or keep old Jacobsen?
Reply #10   Sep 24, 2012 10:28 pm
The pictures above are of my 1974 Jacobsen Imperial 830.  As you can see, it has been fully restored and modernized.
Bill_H


Location: Maine
Joined: Jan 12, 2008
Points: 354

Re: New Ariens Snowblower....or keep old Jacobsen?
Reply #11   Sep 25, 2012 12:50 am
Nice work!!

Who the hell let all the morning people run things?
55utilitysedan


Location: Litchfield County, CT.
Joined: Dec 19, 2011
Points: 41

Re: New Ariens Snowblower....or keep old Jacobsen?
Reply #12   Sep 25, 2012 10:02 am
Beau-T -Ful..........should last another lifetime..........
aa335


Joined: Nov 29, 2008
Points: 2434

Re: New Ariens Snowblower....or keep old Jacobsen?
Reply #13   Sep 25, 2012 12:55 pm
Nice job on the restoration, doesn't even look a year old for a 30+ machine.  With such a nicely restored machine, I would keep it.  I wouldn't have a need to buy a new one.  Unless you want to keep the Jacobson mint forever.
Platinum_2


Joined: Sep 17, 2012
Points: 7

Re: New Ariens Snowblower....or keep old Jacobsen?
Reply #14   Sep 25, 2012 2:02 pm
Yeah, I put some time into the restoration as I determined it was a good candidate for restoration in that it was complete and runs very well.  I sanded the machine and used my HVLP sprayer to layer on 3 coats of implement paint with hardener.  I finished it off with 2 coats of clear coat with hardner.  I was getting tired towards the end of the project and as a result, there are a few blemishes here and there, but no doubt this looks better than probably most any 1974 machine.  It is literally in "like-new" conditon both asthetically and mechanically.  I put new tires on it along with rubber vibration insulating grips.  The warning decals seen on the bucket and chute are original.  All other decals were custom made on vinyl using UV resistant inks and dyes.  Engine has been fully tuned and all bearings, fittings, etc. have been inspected and lubed.  Usually starts with 2nd or 3rd pull.  I fabricated a custom red-iron scaper bar that is 1/4" think with beveled edge.  I just have to put on the shoes which are of the polypropylene type.  On a scale from 1 to 10, I would rate this restoration an 8.5.
j6172708333


Joined: Sep 5, 2014
Points: 1

Re: New Ariens Snowblower....or keep old Jacobsen?
Reply #15   Sep 5, 2014 3:02 pm
Hey, I purchased I think the exact same model snowblower at a garage sale last summer.  Jacobsen SnowKing series, w/  the 8 hp 318 cc engine.  Beautifully restored, but unfortunately about the third time it snowed the engine died.  I'm now looking to replace the engine, but apparently the tecumseh engine is no longer available.  Any ideas on what we could use instead? 
Shryp


Location: Cleveland, OH
Joined: Jul 26, 2010
Points: 532

Re: New Ariens Snowblower....or keep old Jacobsen?
Reply #16   Sep 5, 2014 5:26 pm
The 212cc Predator engines at Harbor Freight are good. Unfortunately that might be a bit under powered for a 30" bucket. You can jump up to the 300 or 420 cc engines, but those are a lot more money.
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