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Name Rusty Johnson
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Date Joined Feb 11, 2009
Date Last Access Feb 27, 2015 8:48 am
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Re: Have you ever asked why Honda snowblowers are so expensive?
#1   Feb 27, 2015 8:48 am
Well, if they are built in Japan, then you are likely paying a pretty hefty import tax on them. 

OTOH, if built in Japan, they are probably getting the best build quality possible.  I know car buffs who are really into Honda cars, and they seek out models that are built in Japan, vs. built in the U.S.  They are more expensive due to import tariffs, but are of higher quality.  Many say that that is why "Japanese" brands of cars have suffered over the last two decades, because they are being built in the U.S. now.  Nothing personal against the U.S., Japan just has a different work ethic.

#2   Dec 17, 2014 8:32 am
banny wrote:
I have a Honda 828 with tracks it is 23 years old, it stills runs strong. My driveway is about 300 feet long and is a double, since I been here my neighbour has been through 3 blowers. He had a mastercraft, craftman, toro snowblower in the last 12 years I been here, and not one of them could blow very far the most was six maybe seven feet. My Honda can blow 30 feet or more and if I was by a telephone pole I can still blow over the light on the pole no joke. If u got a job to do HONDA is the way to go, I don't work with Honda and I an not getting paid for this but if you are looking for the best snowblower out there I am telling you now it is the HONDA. When you go out looking around for a snowblower, Honda will cost a little more but it is worth it and after u use your Honda you will know exactly what I am talking about.

Yes, the Honda is nice, but keep in mind that you can also get an Ariens that will do 97% of what the Honda will, for two-thirds of the price.

As for me, I'm running a 2006 $850 MTD (Craftsman) 928 with a Clarence kit, it throws 30+ feet.  Maintenance on the machine keeps me busy, though, and the chute doesn't like to behave to0 much (either too tight or too loose, can't seem to find a sweet spot).  The trigger wheels are nice, though.

Don't get me wrong, I'd run a Honda if I could afford it, but there are alternatives out there....

Re: Ariens wheel not turning...
#3   Nov 3, 2014 8:54 am
First, check your cables and make sure they are actuating properly.  The left one may have stretched just enough that it no longer triggers the mechanism on the axle to allow free-wheeling.  Check out the cable run and assembly and you will find where you can tighten it (usually at the controls).

If it is something much deeper than that, I would compare the planetary gearset on each side to each other.  I had one of the planetary gearsets lock up on me a couple years ago on my 2006 Craftsman (MTD) 928, and it completely locked up the wheels.  Sears wanted nearly $300 for a new planetary gearset assembly, but I was able to find the parts necessary to fix it online for about $45 and got it working again. 

Re: Craftsman model 917.273080 Transaxle
#4   Aug 28, 2014 10:51 am
Check the easy stuff first.  Belt, which you have checked, is most obvious.  Next would be the free-wheel linkage that comes equipped on most hyrdo lawn tractors (assuming this is a hydro unit, let us know if it is a geared unit).  Next step to check would be the shear keys on the axles.

If all of the above checks out, then look to tranny internals.  On many Craftsman tractors, you can find a spec/label for the transaxle under the seat.  The majority of the hyrdo units in lawn tractors are TuffTorq K46 units.  Many of these are designed to be non-serviceable.  However, you can remove the transaxle from the tractor, remove a plug at the top of the transaxle, tip the whole thing upside down and drain the fluid out.  Then refill the transaxle with synthetic 5w50 oil (hard to find, but ask the counter guy at different auto parts stores).  TuffTorq has some (limited) instructions and info on their website, so would be good to check that out.  If you don't have a TuffTorq transaxle, then you'll have to google for information on whatever brand/model you do have.  There are also repair kits for some of these transaxles.

Youtube has lots of informational/instructional videos once you determine exactly what transaxle you have.

Re: Reliable lawn sweeper
#5   Feb 28, 2014 9:32 am
I have a Sears unit, which I believe is made by AgriFab, got it in 2006 and been using it a dozen times a year since then.  I haven't had any problems with it.  I did adjust it once a couple years ago, as I think they wear a little over time and you need to adjust them periodically to keep them picking up the clippings.  I also use mine to pick up pine cones and needles, although it will sometimes clog if you get into too many needles.  It also tends to skid some when it is empty, but works better once it gets some clippings in it.  I've heard the Brinleys are good units, too.

You might try adjusting yours to see if that helps any.

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