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Piedmont 12-22-2008 09:04 AM

Do all 5hp snowblowers throw the same distance?
 
I have a late 80's Ariens snow blower that's 5hp.

Living in New England our snow is extremely thick and heavy, and I find the Ariens 5hp usually can only throw the snow about 4 feet (the stuff at the end of the driveway that is). That Ariens is now falling apart, things broken include the choke, rope pull, electric start, handle on the right at the base, handle on the left at the crossmember, the bottom of the mouth, and I've been having troubles lately with the engine running right last (it revs up for about 3 seconds then tends to almost stall, then revs back up for 3 seconds I have to time my "snow blowing" to when it revs up in those 3 seconds then give it time to recoup taking me forever). I brought it to an excellent small engine mechanic who rebuilt the carb twice and the thing still does that rev up, then almost stall, then rev back up thing.

If I get say, a Craftsman 5hp is it likely going to have the same problems of not being able to throw that New England snow (the heavy stuff at the end of the driveway) more than 3-4 feet like the Ariens? My driveway is about 12 feet wide so I have to throw the middle snow of my driveway over towards the side and then have to do it again to get it out of the driveway.

Nestor_Kelebay 12-22-2008 07:55 PM

That 3 to 4 feet throwing distance suggests to me that the drive belt to the auger and impeller is stretched, and you're getting a lot of belt slippage. I had a Canadiana 5 hp snowblower, and the only time it's throwing distance fell to 5 feet was when the drive belt to the auger (and impeller) was stretched and needed to be replaced. There should also be a belt tightening mechanism on the machine to tighten the belt. Maybe tighten it just to confirm that it's the belt. Tightening will prolong the life of the existing belt, but the proper fix is to put in a new belt.

To answer your question... The answer is "pretty well the same distance".

Basically, it all goes according to how fast the second stage of the snow blower throws the snow. The faster that second stage is spinning and/or the larger the diameter of that second stage impeller, the faster the snow gets thrown and the further it will go. And, of course, the more horsepower you have driving that second stage impeller, the larger diameter it can be and the faster you can spin it for greater throwing distance. So, if you're after greater throwing distance, the ticket is to buy a machine with more horsepower, not "which" 5 hp machine to buy.

I can see heavy snow taking more power to throw, but a 4 foot throwing distance tells me there's something wrong, and the prime suspect is the belt drive to the auger. I think if you just take that machine down to a Ariens dealer, they could fix the engine problem and put in a new belt and it should work much better for you.

I've read one review in Popular Mechanics that said the 8 horsepower Toro is a very good machine for the price for throwing distance, so if you're leaning toward buying a new machine, I'd go with a 8 hp Toro.

You might want to talk to your neighbors and see what their experience is. I think you've just got a stretched belt.

Tommy2 12-22-2008 08:23 PM

Yep..I agree. I bet you have a loose belt that keeps the throwing distance down..

I have a 5hp Ariens. (probaly the same as yours..)
When I first got it, it could never throw it far enough. I put in new belts and tightened eeverything up..Throws much better.

I have the same problem you do with a wide driveway..I have to throw the snow over, then hit it again. You can only throw snow so far. Sorta like throwing a piece of paper. It faces too much resistance to be able to throw it really far..

I dont know about you guys, but Ive had to snow blow about 5 times so far this week..About 2ft on the ground now.
Were really getting hammered.

Wildie 12-22-2008 11:05 PM

I have a MTD 10.5 hp and it sometimes has its work cut out for it! Its my opinion that anything less than 8 HP is a waste of time and for sure a two stage blower is mandatory.

Tommy2 12-23-2008 07:31 AM

We just got another foot last night. My 5hp Ariens is going through it just fine. Just need to slow it down from time to time if it gets backed up. But thats a result of the size of the augers, not so much the motor.

If you buy a new belt, make sure to undersize it slightly. (maybe 1/2in) To get it extra tight. Make sure all springs are tight as well.

Piedmont 12-23-2008 10:28 AM

Thank you all!

I think it's time for a new snow blower (my Ariens needs a whole lot more than belts :whistling2:). Thank you for the recommendation for a Toro 8hp, I'm looking for it.

Nestor_Kelebay 12-24-2008 04:55 PM

I can't agree with the statement "anything under 8 hp is a waste of time".

I have a 14 car parking lot to clear, along with about 100 yards or so of sidewalk as well.

And, I've been doing that with a 5 hp snow blower for well over 15 years.

Just about every maker of snowblowers offers a 5 hp model. They wouldn't do that if they didn't feel that 5 hp was sufficient to blow snow effectively.

MgMopar 12-25-2008 10:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tommy2 (Post 201681)
If you buy a new belt, make sure to undersize it slightly. (maybe 1/2in) To get it extra tight. Make sure all springs are tight as well.

I would get the correct belt for the machine:huh: If no part number or listing is available maybe try one measuring about 1/2 shorter or so then the old stretched out and worn one. But many units use a idler to engage the belt and if you put a belt too short in it may not let the augers disengage when you what to stop them from rotating. This situation can also possibly drag too much making the unit harder to start.

Tommy2 12-25-2008 11:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MgMopar (Post 202373)
I would get the correct belt for the machine:huh: If no part number or listing is available maybe try one measuring about 1/2 shorter or so then the old stretched out and worn one. But many units use a idler to engage the belt and if you put a belt too short in it may not let the augers disengage when you what to stop them from rotating. This situation can also possibly drag too much making the unit harder to start.

Ive never been able to find lists of factory sizes for lawn equipment belts. For me, if the old one is worn, get one atleast 1/4in shorter. Otherwise you'll be putting on a belt just as slack as the one youre removing.

Nestor_Kelebay 12-25-2008 01:19 PM

I'd be concerned that a belt that's too tight could result in the bearings wearing out sooner than they should. And, of course, a belt that's too tight is going to stretch prematurely as well.

But, the point being made in this thread is that short snow throwing distance is typically the result of a stretched auger belt.

MgMopar 12-25-2008 08:45 PM

Most the manufactures have parts look ups on there web sites. Of course NOT all models will show up. But if you can find itis allot easer to get the proper length intended to fit thre unit. I have found numbers for many types of yard equipment. I also have pulled off many improper belts that things would not work properly because of a guess replacement size. On are yard man lawn tractor I have at our other property I knew the belt was going to need replacement. It was slipping. I found the look up on line then took the MTD PN and went to gates.com and made a crossover (online) then got it before our next trip. It fit perfect. The old one was stretched worn and would of been a bad belt to try to match from. I am only saying it is better to fit the right part on the unit then just to make a educated guess how much your old belt may or may not of stretched or worn. I also have another "set" of belt for that mower so I won't be in a pinch when it starts to happen again.

If Ariens no longer lists parts for your machine then you would probably have to use the old belt as a the reference and with the same type of I asume fhp belt) or if that belt is destroyed go by trail and error until the proper function of the machine is found. and go slightly shorter with the same type of I assume fhp belt. But I am still recommending making a attempt to look up to correct part for the given application first.
http://partsradar53.arinet.com/scrip...r&partner=ARNC


When a belt is acting like a clutch to control a drive from the movement of a idler the actual length can quickly become a issue. Most the belts will begin to slipp more from the sides of the "v" wearing down making the belt actually too narrow for the pulley. This can also make for improper match up of belt size for a replacment. If a belt is too short or wide it will cause other problems.

concretemasonry 12-25-2008 09:21 PM

For 7 years, I lived in northern Michigan (not the upper penninsula), so we had an average of about 90-100 inches, but got 190 inches one year.

Most of the snow was the light "sissy" stuff, but we did get the 12" very wet falls frequently. In general 8hp was the most common, but you could survive with a 5hp if you really wanted to work. The right angle distance is not the only criteria since often you want to blow ahead on an angle or blow it higher.

In town. most homes had 16' wide driveways about 30 to 50' long plus the sidewalk and boulevard width. Because of this, you had the need to blow across the 16' since starting in the center was out of the question because you are fighting the wind and the had to do the sidewalk plus the ever present 16 wide wall created by the city or county plows. That is what killed the 5 hp even if yo went 1/2 widthe or less. Most people never plowed out the ridge until after the city went trough, because it just invited filling.

In the suburbs/county the drives were longer and the drifts higher plus the ever present wall created by the county plows. It took planning and required not always opening up the exit until the county went by. Because of the size and width, the 8 hp allowed you to plow at a good rate and enjoy the experience.

Since snow plowing was a social event, the 8 hp was desired unless you wanted to fight with a 5 hp and beat yourself to death every day or other day. Since you have to do it, make it more enjoyable and get a machine to make it easier.

My neighbor had a corner lot with sidewalks on both sides, an extra 80' lot and a 16' wide by 60 lomg driveway. He usually got out first and before the snow stopped, did his sidewalks and driveways and tried to do as many sidewalks as he could before anyone else di and then started out doing the street in front of his house out 4' from the curb. He loved it and counld blow in the appropriate direct, plan his plowing on the wind and rarely was even seen with a shovel. He even tried to go across the street to the other corner lor, but the owner staked it out for his own pleasure. - None of this fun would happen with a 5hp, but an 8hp makes it a lot less work. It all depends on your needs and how you use your time and effort.

68MHJCs 01-17-2009 11:25 PM

I am also in the market to purchase a snow thrower.
 
It seems that more and more snowthrowers are giving cc's other than HP. Anyone know the conversion for that? 179cc is how much HP and 208cc is how much HP? I also am not sure of the make and model to choose. I do believe that I need at least 2 stage I know that for sure, but how big 22" 24" 26" and is 179 big enough or 208 cc or bigger . Do I need electric start? Drive is aprox 15'X 70' plus the front walk. Your thoughts

(Im up north so we do get several snow falls per year. ( FYI wife did buy me snowthrower but it was too small engine blew after one use, smaller single stage model. Did not work it hard at all 4-5 inch snowfall.)

handy man88 01-18-2009 01:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Piedmont (Post 201735)
Thank you all!

I think it's time for a new snow blower (my Ariens needs a whole lot more than belts :whistling2:). Thank you for the recommendation for a Toro 8hp, I'm looking for it.

Instead of an 8HP Toro, how about an 9HP Ariens (they don't sell 8HP anymore)? Don't know about Toro, but Ariens is made in the USA.

BTW, high powered snowthrowers are usually two staged, meaning they use both the auger and the impeller to throw the snow. Did you check the impeller belt?

MgMopar 01-18-2009 07:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 68MHJCs (Post 214674)
It seems that more and more snowthrowers are giving cc's other than HP. Anyone know the conversion for that? 179cc is how much HP and 208cc is how much HP? I also am not sure of the make and model to choose. I do believe that I need at least 2 stage I know that for sure, but how big 22" 24" 26" and is 179 big enough or 208 cc or bigger . Do I need electric start? Drive is aprox 15'X 70' plus the front walk. Your thoughts

(Im up north so we do get several snow falls per year. ( FYI wife did buy me snowthrower but it was too small engine blew after one use, smaller single stage model. Did not work it hard at all 4-5 inch snowfall.)


one use?? I think maybe you had a two stoke motor on it and failed to as the oil to the gas. The motor will goes toast :furious: without the lube. Most any unit should be able to handle one time with 4-5 inches.


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