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New Toro snowblower already broken


Paul78zephyr's Avatar
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Join Date: Oct 2005
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MA

01-26-06, 10:32 AM   #1  
New Toro snowblower already broken

Hi all,
Back in October I purchased the first snowblower I've ever owned. I live in eastern Massachusetts. I used to plow my driveway with a small doser blade on the front of my Sears garden tractor (the one I posted about the B&S engine that threw its conn rod), did that for 7 years, before that I just shoveled but Im too old and have developed a bad back. Anyway I got the top-of-the-line Toro 1128 OXE model 38650 with the Techumseh 'Snow King' 11HP engine. I had comparison shopped the equivalent Ariens unit but based on everything I read -including on this forum- the Toro was the better unit (they both had the same engine).

Well right after I got it I put a 'Tiny Tach' hour meter on it. I was using last Monday, we got around 5-6 inches of wet heavy snow. The snowblower had less than 2 hours of running time on it (the TinyTach reads only in full hours). I was just about done (it takes about 20 minutes do do my driveway) when all of a sudden I recognized that the unit had lost it drive mechanism. The auger was still working but no forward or reverse. Being a brand new unit still under warrenty (when I purchased it Toro was having a special offer that included a 3yr warrenty - normally they give 2 yrs) I really did not want to start taking it apart and I called my local dealer where I bought it and they said they would come and get it. I asked if it could be something as relatively simple as a broken belt - they thought not but could not be sure. After I spoke with them I decided to look at the belt so I removed the plastic cover (3 small screws) that they are under. When I removed the cover I instantly saw the problem. The belts were fine but each belt - one for drive and one for auger) has a small idler pulley pressed against by a spring it to keep the belt tight. The drive belt's pulley is mounted on a pivoting bracket and is held against the belt with a 'torsion' spring. I could see the idler pulley - it wasnt even sitting agaist the belt. Then I could seen the spring. At first I thought the spring had somehow slipped off the bracket but then I could see that the end 'tang' of the spring had snapped off.

So the dealer has repaired the unit (they called and found just what I did) and I should have it back tommorow, the repair done under warrenty. But it calls into question -in my mind- the reliability of the unit. That a $1.00 spring could take down a $1600 machine is very disconserting. I also called Toro to vent on them my disappointment with this. Maybe it was just a 1 in a million defect in that spring. I could see a unit several seasons old perhaps, but a unit with 3 uses and less than 2 total hours?

What do you think?

Thanks,
Paul
ps My good neighbor across the street has an Ariens snowblower. He loves his, alway touting its ability, and told me to get one. The fact that my Toro quit and was picked up by the dealer (and will be delivered) during the day while he is not home has saved me some embarrisment


Last edited by Paul78zephyr; 01-26-06 at 10:50 AM.
 
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puey61's Avatar
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01-26-06, 10:46 AM   #2  
This is a design that Toro has used for years. While I don't like it as well as the Ariens clutching set-up, it has worked well enough over many, many years. I think you have an isolated incident and needn't worry. If it does become problematic then you likely have an alignment issue and hopefully the dealer is good enough to find the root cause and take care of it for good at that point.

 
flopshot's Avatar
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01-26-06, 05:04 PM   #3  
this can happern with any mfg's product. toro seems a little slow to recognize chronic design faults, if there even is one with the spring, so ask your dealer to keep his ears open on this particular part in the future. if it were mine i'd disconnect the spring and round off any square edges on the tang that retains the spring. but it could have just been a bad bend or material problem in the original spring. always remember, the dealer has a vested intrest in your satisfaction and he always gets paid for the warranty work he does on your machine. if he doesn't keep you happy he'll see no more of your purchases in the future. work with him.

 
Paul78zephyr's Avatar
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01-27-06, 09:56 AM   #4  
Guys,
Thanks for the replies. I understand that the spring failure was probably an isolated incedent but its still frustrating as hell when you have a brand new machine that cr*ps out after only 2 hours use (and thats engine run time, actually snow blowing time was probably closer to 1 hr).

I do not believe there is an alignment issue as the tension pulley's location is goverened by the bracket is mounted on. The spring just holds the pulley against the belt. Also as far a sharp edges are concerned the torsion spring is configured such that it actually winds around the bracket that the pulley pivots on. To replace the spring you need to remove the pivot bolt. One end of the sring has a little hook shape that attaches to the pivot bracket. The other end (the 'tang') is simply straight and is retained by protruding thru a hole in a sheet metal cover that is perpendicular to the tang. It does not look like either end was in contact with very sharp edge but I will double check.

And just for the record I got muy machine back from the dealer this morning. The repair sheet showed the cost of the spring that failed as $2.69. Of course I was not charged for the part, labor, or pickup/delivery as the machine is under warranty.

Thanks again
Paul

 
puey61's Avatar
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01-27-06, 12:28 PM   #5  
Actually, you need to thank your dealer. Toro doesn't pay for pick-up and delivery charges (nor does any manufacturer, that I'm aware of) and therefore the dealer comp'd you on this. Good dealer! Now, keep your fingers crossed.

 
aj-allen's Avatar
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01-27-06, 06:40 PM   #6  
Toro

Posted By: puey61 Actually, you need to thank your dealer. Toro doesn't pay for pick-up and delivery charges (nor does any manufacturer, that I'm aware of) and therefore the dealer comp'd you on this. Good dealer! Now, keep your fingers crossed.
Toro does pay pickup delivery for large frame snow throwers and tractors
AJ

 
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