Starting to think my snowblower is a...


Old 02-06-07, 11:45 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 62
Starting to think my snowblower is a...

Hello Cheese,
Hello all,

I know long time no post.

Well if you live in New England like I do (eastern MA) you know this winter hasnt been anything - until about 2 weeks ago. Since then its been colder but very little snow. Thats OK with me, I hate driving in snow.

Anyway after two or three 'dustings' we actually got about 4 inchs (wow, I know) of snow last Friday night/Sat morning. I had gotten my Toro 1128 OXE model 38650 ready to go back in December. I bought this machine in October 2006. I didnt use it much last winter either. Last year it broke down on me the second time I used it (previous post) and was repaired under warranty. So I get it out on saturday morning and it starts right up but I immediatly notice that the auger 'latch' feature is not working. On this machine if you engage the wheel drive then engage the auger the auger should stay engaged as long as you hold the wheel drive lever - even if you let go of the auger lever. This is to allow you to use your free hand to redirect the discharge chute 'on the fly'. You do not need this to use the machine but its a nice feature. So after I finished my driveway I brought the machine back in my garage and try to figure out whats wrong. There is nothing explaining about how this feature works (technically) in the owners manual. Finally I figure out that the entire mechanism is located directly under the wheel drive engagement lever.There is a little spring loaded lever/arm that moves down when the wheel drive lever is engaged. Now when the auger lever is engaged this little lever locks on a link that is connected to the auger lever and locks it. When the wheel drive lever is released the little arm retracts and the auger lever is released. What was happening was the little lever and its pivot was badly corroded and had stuck in position so it would not engage the auger link. With a good bit of WD40 and proding on the pivot bolt and working the lever back and forth I got it loosened up and its now working as it should.

Im posting this for 2 reasons. One, so if anyone else has the same problem this may help them. But also Im going to rant about how CHEAPLY everything on this snowblower seems to be made. Like I said it was brand new 10/06. With 2 wimpy winters so far I have used it a total of 5 times (most very short uses) and with less than 4 hours total use (I have a Tiny Tach hour meter on it). Almost EVERYTHING on the machine is begining to rust/oxidize/corrode, etc. Every nut, bolt, clip, bracket, spring, etc. The plating or protective finish on fasteners and all metal parts appears to be extremly thin and/or very poorly applied. Im very dissappointed with this. This is going to last? This was Toro's 'top-of-the-line' machine last year. I spent over $1600 on it. Although it is technically 'Made In USA' Im now sure that most of its parts are CHEAPLY made overseas. I know these machines are not made to be pretty, but a machine that is designed for use in snow needs to have a level of corrosion protection on its parts that, frankly, I do not see. I know not that long ago component parts where made much better. I think alot of this has to do with American companies tripping over themselves and each other to have parts made overseas. Not to 'reduce cost' but to MAXIMIZE PROFIT. If you agree/disagree or have similar problems feel free to respond. To all others its something to think about.

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Old 02-07-07, 05:30 PM
puey61's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Upstate New York
Posts: 3,224
Whooowe! You should be in my line of work...small engine sales and service. You hit the nail on the head, my friend. I could go on for pages about this and many other issues within this industry but I don't have the time. Complain until you're blue in the face and it does no good. I can somewhat understand the obstacles they (manufacturers) are up against though. In their defense, most of the movable objects in outdoor power equipment (ope) is, well, small. It would be very difficult to have a greasable or oilite bushing at every pivot point due to sizing constraints. If I were to design any ope, it would be so expensive I'd have a very small market to sell them. The problem you are encountering is an infrequent use issue, mainly. I can't stress enough the need to be liberal with spray lubricants, often. Sure, it is rather messy on both the equipment and your garage floor but this is your only option. Aside from partnering with me and designing government spec, durable, pricey equipment with few potential buyers, that is.

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