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My Winter Hobby

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  • My Winter Hobby

    I thought that I would test out the new iBoats Forum Site with a post about my winter hobby/sport . . . Snowblowers

    For the past few years I have been expanding my 'fleet' of snow blowers . . .

    I've had a 1988 Toro 521 for quite sometime. Got from a family member who could seem to get it to run. 30 minutes later, I had a running machine.

    Then the machine 'ate' a scarf that was hidden under the snow, and I thought the machine was a gonner. so, I picked up a Troy-bilt 2410 (24" 5 HP) machine. I then was able to fix the Toro and had 2 working snowblowers.
    Click image for larger version  Name:	IMG_9765.jpg Views:	1 Size:	94.1 KB ID:	10524309

    I replaced the original 5 HP engine on the Toro with a 6.5 HP 'Hemi' engine (Predator) from Harbor Freight . . . $99 + tax, you can't go wrong.

    Last year, one of the online stores was having a deal of the lifetime (basically 1/2 price) on a Briggs & Stratton 305cc engine with alternator (to run lights, etc) . So I jumped at the deal, planning to put it on the Troy-bilt, since it is a bigger machine.

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    14.50 Footsie-pounds of torque @ 3600 RPM

    Here are the new and original engines side by side.
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    Here is the new/bigger engine mounted to the snowblower
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    I had to get new pulleys and modify the belt cover . . . fiberglassing skills from boat restoration came in handy

    I added lights to the Troy-bilt, as I often snow blow at night. . .
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    I used an LED automotive utility light, along with 2 side markers.
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    Also added a combo Volt/RPM/Hours meter . . .
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    I then had a spare engine from the Troy-bilt, looking for a good home. so, I got another Toro machine that needed a new engine.
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    While replacing the engine, I took the machine apart and re-painted everything.

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    I sold the second Toro (Model 3521) last week and plan to use the $$$ to buy a bigger Toro machine (Probably an 824 model)

    Along the way I have come to realize . . .

    1) Snowblowers are pretty simple mechanically

    2) The engines only idle down to about 1600 RPM vs. the 600-700 that we are used to seeing with boat engines.

    3) Maximum (safe) RPM on these engines are about 3600 RPM. . . otherwise the oil system cannot keep up and the connecting rod seizes/breaks (Boom !!!)

    4) Most of these engines are set with a governor that tries to keep the RPM constant by opening/closing the throttle as the load on the engine increases/decreases. . . this keeps the engine from over-reving when at full throttle and no load.

    Most snowblowers are powered with single cylinder engines, even in the 6 -18 HP range. By contrast most outboard engines in that same range will have twin cylinders. I have been thinking about taking a powerhead from an 8 HP outboard and retro-fitting it to a snow blower. I would imagine with 2 cylinders, it would run a lot smoother and idle down below 800 RPM.
    Last edited by tpenfield; December 23rd, 2017, 03:30 AM.
    Best regards, Ted . . . . Cape Cod, MA

    Current Boats: Formula 330 Sun Sport, O'Day Mariner Sail #3224, Sunfish
    Past Boats: Catalina 22 Sail #10531, Formula 242 Sun Sport
    Twin Mercruiser 7.4 LX MPI (0F802036, 039), Bravo 3's (0F806198, 199), Mercury 7.5 HP (1969), Johnson 4.5 HP (1980)

    My Boating Web Pages: http://www.tpenfield.com

  • #2
    I have a Yard Machine 521 that I'd like to re-power, but it has two output shafts. Did your Toro 521 have two shafts? If so how did you configure the 6.5hp HF Preditor? You can't beat the price on it.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Big Gee View Post
      I have a Yard Machine 521 that I'd like to re-power, but it has two output shafts. Did your Toro 521 have two shafts? If so how did you configure the 6.5hp HF Predator? You can't beat the price on it.
      Single shaft on the original Toro engines (Tecumseh engines), so the Predator was an easy swap. The frame holes fit the engine as well. . . I think these things are pretty much standard. The only thing I had to do was splice in the ignition key switch into the wiring on the Predator.

      Those dual shaft engines are a pain to swap . . . not sure if you can just run both belts for drive and impeller from the single shaft . . . probably would need to get the right pulleys and belt sizes to get the proper ratios.
      Best regards, Ted . . . . Cape Cod, MA

      Current Boats: Formula 330 Sun Sport, O'Day Mariner Sail #3224, Sunfish
      Past Boats: Catalina 22 Sail #10531, Formula 242 Sun Sport
      Twin Mercruiser 7.4 LX MPI (0F802036, 039), Bravo 3's (0F806198, 199), Mercury 7.5 HP (1969), Johnson 4.5 HP (1980)

      My Boating Web Pages: http://www.tpenfield.com

      Comment


      • #4
        Here's a link that I found of someone making the swap . . .
         
        Best regards, Ted . . . . Cape Cod, MA

        Current Boats: Formula 330 Sun Sport, O'Day Mariner Sail #3224, Sunfish
        Past Boats: Catalina 22 Sail #10531, Formula 242 Sun Sport
        Twin Mercruiser 7.4 LX MPI (0F802036, 039), Bravo 3's (0F806198, 199), Mercury 7.5 HP (1969), Johnson 4.5 HP (1980)

        My Boating Web Pages: http://www.tpenfield.com

        Comment


        • #5
          Toro has their own motors made in China, the upgrades to the Predator (LCT motor) and Briggs was a good one.
          Cheesehead boating the Gulf Coast of FLA 27.51° N, 82.53° W

          1988 Cruisers Rogue 2420 -VP 290 DP now powered by custom 468 - https://forums.iboats.com/forum/owner...988-rogue-2420

          Past Boats
          1970 Wooster Hellion - Merc 9.8
          2002 SeaRay 190BR - 5.0 - A1G2 - "Cheeseheads in Paradise"
          1984 Avanti 170DLI -3.0 stringer- "Ship Happens"

          What’s behind you doesn’t matter.Enzo Ferrari

          Comment


          • #6
            I see an iBoats Snow Blower Invitational Blow-Off weekend is coming after or during the next blizzard. Mark your calendars!

            The pic of the LED light on the Predator looks like the blower scoop on a Top Fuel dragster.

            How about a Merc Tower Of Power hot rod snow blower? Rigging a snow melter for cooling water should be easy!

            Good stuff outta your workshop, Ted!
            BOAT SPECS FORUM HELP STARCRAFT FORUM SHOP iboats
            Please, no PM's (Private Messages) regarding boat/engine problems.
            That is what the forums are for.
            Only forum/moderator issues will be answered in PM's.

            Comment


            • #7
              I left Ariens prior to the MOAST R&D project being finished (Mother Of All Snow Throwers). A mini-excavator style track drive using two of the zero turn transmissions and pro-track setup, a quadrastat joystick to run them, a subaru 18hp EFI motor, 20" augers and the 14" impeller from the pro series with an articulated snow head. it was to be used as the test bed to determine the HP limit of the 14" impeller.... that, and the desire to throw snow back to god (or a minimum of 70+ feet). the track drive and joystick was because Dan Ariens hated the Honda track drive pro unit and wanted something bigger, better, badder.

              we had the exhaust made at Custom Marine Inc (they also do small engine exhaust). it was done in polished stainless

              I see the pro series has EFI now and the automatic differential, however the twin transmissions was very pricey
              Cheesehead boating the Gulf Coast of FLA 27.51° N, 82.53° W

              1988 Cruisers Rogue 2420 -VP 290 DP now powered by custom 468 - https://forums.iboats.com/forum/owner...988-rogue-2420

              Past Boats
              1970 Wooster Hellion - Merc 9.8
              2002 SeaRay 190BR - 5.0 - A1G2 - "Cheeseheads in Paradise"
              1984 Avanti 170DLI -3.0 stringer- "Ship Happens"

              What’s behind you doesn’t matter.Enzo Ferrari

              Comment


              • #8
                With the Briggs 305cc, I've got about 9.5 HP on a 24" machine. I found that the impeller design on the Troy-bilt (MTD family of machines) was not very good, having a pretty significant gap between the impeller blade and the housing.

                I closed up the gap with the 'rubber paddle' impeller modification, which made a big difference in throwing distance. The impeller mod, plus the 9.5 HP(vs. 5.5 hp) engine really can throw the snow. We have yet to have a big enough storm to really test the throwing power. The original Troy-Bilt was probably only good to about 25 feet. I'm hoping the modified machine will be 40+ feet.

                I'm not liking the Briggs engine as much as I had hoped . . . it is the aluminum (Koolbore) block and I am getting about 10% leak on a cylinder leak test . . . whereas the Predator and MTD (Powermore) engines both got an outstanding 2% leak after 2 years of running.

                The engines of today sure start easily as compared to the old Tecumseh "L" head engines of the past. Never seem to use the electric start.
                Best regards, Ted . . . . Cape Cod, MA

                Current Boats: Formula 330 Sun Sport, O'Day Mariner Sail #3224, Sunfish
                Past Boats: Catalina 22 Sail #10531, Formula 242 Sun Sport
                Twin Mercruiser 7.4 LX MPI (0F802036, 039), Bravo 3's (0F806198, 199), Mercury 7.5 HP (1969), Johnson 4.5 HP (1980)

                My Boating Web Pages: http://www.tpenfield.com

                Comment


                • #9
                  also on the Briggs motor, pull the carb apart and clean out the chips from the machining process. many times there are chips left in the carb and they run lean....then rich....then lean. Briggs may have fixed the problem.
                  Cheesehead boating the Gulf Coast of FLA 27.51° N, 82.53° W

                  1988 Cruisers Rogue 2420 -VP 290 DP now powered by custom 468 - https://forums.iboats.com/forum/owner...988-rogue-2420

                  Past Boats
                  1970 Wooster Hellion - Merc 9.8
                  2002 SeaRay 190BR - 5.0 - A1G2 - "Cheeseheads in Paradise"
                  1984 Avanti 170DLI -3.0 stringer- "Ship Happens"

                  What’s behind you doesn’t matter.Enzo Ferrari

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Not sure if I have a carb issue, as the engine runs steady & strong. I do think there is a valve stem seal issue, as I am getting a fair amount of oil in the cylinder. One thing that I noticed, according to the parts diagram, is that there is a valve stem seal only on the intake valve, not on the exhaust.

                    Here is a video from the end of last winter as I was doing a little bit of engine break-in on the remaining snow in the yard.
                    Best regards, Ted . . . . Cape Cod, MA

                    Current Boats: Formula 330 Sun Sport, O'Day Mariner Sail #3224, Sunfish
                    Past Boats: Catalina 22 Sail #10531, Formula 242 Sun Sport
                    Twin Mercruiser 7.4 LX MPI (0F802036, 039), Bravo 3's (0F806198, 199), Mercury 7.5 HP (1969), Johnson 4.5 HP (1980)

                    My Boating Web Pages: http://www.tpenfield.com

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by GA_Boater View Post
                      I see an iBoats Snow Blower Invitational Blow-Off weekend is coming after or during the next blizzard. Mark your calendars!

                      The pic of the LED light on the Predator looks like the blower scoop on a Top Fuel dragster.

                      How about a Merc Tower Of Power hot rod snow blower? Rigging a snow melter for cooling water should be easy!

                      Good stuff outta your workshop, Ted!
                      or a BBC snow blower..... this one has been around a while. http://www.hotrodders.com/forum/albe...bc-262026.html

                      the radiator blows on the operator to keep him warm
                      Cheesehead boating the Gulf Coast of FLA 27.51° N, 82.53° W

                      1988 Cruisers Rogue 2420 -VP 290 DP now powered by custom 468 - https://forums.iboats.com/forum/owner...988-rogue-2420

                      Past Boats
                      1970 Wooster Hellion - Merc 9.8
                      2002 SeaRay 190BR - 5.0 - A1G2 - "Cheeseheads in Paradise"
                      1984 Avanti 170DLI -3.0 stringer- "Ship Happens"

                      What’s behind you doesn’t matter.Enzo Ferrari

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Scott Danforth I did not realize you worked at Ariens. I've only used an Ariens snowblower a few times. Pretty long lasting machines. It seems like all of the engines on the blowers are of China origin these days.
                        Best regards, Ted . . . . Cape Cod, MA

                        Current Boats: Formula 330 Sun Sport, O'Day Mariner Sail #3224, Sunfish
                        Past Boats: Catalina 22 Sail #10531, Formula 242 Sun Sport
                        Twin Mercruiser 7.4 LX MPI (0F802036, 039), Bravo 3's (0F806198, 199), Mercury 7.5 HP (1969), Johnson 4.5 HP (1980)

                        My Boating Web Pages: http://www.tpenfield.com

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by tpenfield View Post
                          Scott Danforth I did not realize you worked at Ariens. I've only used an Ariens snowblower a few times. Pretty long lasting machines. It seems like all of the engines on the blowers are of China origin these days.
                          Yes, was director of global development for the consumer products.

                          we used to get calls all the time about 50+ year old machines. The John Deere blowers of the 70's and 80's were Ariens Pro units painted yellow and green. the students at Michigan Tech are the test users. we contracted with the same testing facility that the DOD, BMW and Chrysler use for winter testing.

                          unfortunately unless you get a Subaru, Kawasaki, Tecumseh, some Kohler and some Briggs, most of the motors either are parts made in China or whole motors made in China. The Ariens branded motors are LCT, which is a US based company making honda-cloned motors in China. Larry and the guys there do a good job with the development.

                          for your next repower, look into a V-twin Subaru with EFI. you will need to run twin belts to your impeller
                          Cheesehead boating the Gulf Coast of FLA 27.51° N, 82.53° W

                          1988 Cruisers Rogue 2420 -VP 290 DP now powered by custom 468 - https://forums.iboats.com/forum/owner...988-rogue-2420

                          Past Boats
                          1970 Wooster Hellion - Merc 9.8
                          2002 SeaRay 190BR - 5.0 - A1G2 - "Cheeseheads in Paradise"
                          1984 Avanti 170DLI -3.0 stringer- "Ship Happens"

                          What’s behind you doesn’t matter.Enzo Ferrari

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Thanks for the Link tpenfield

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Sign up today
                              tpenfield If you go with the EFI do you think you may need to go up some in pitch?
                              2002 Bryant 188 4.3MPI

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