Husqvarna 200 series belts, Toro SnowMaster and other stuff.

First, I would like to thank everyone for being patient this weekend . I went to Chicago for my daughter’s baby shower. It is my first grandchild and it’s a girl! Yay! I will get to answering all the comments over the next 24 hours. I moderate all the comments so yours will not show up on MovingSnow until I answer it.

Toro SnowMaster Update:

It appears everyone loves their new Toro SnowMaster Snow Throwers. The 724 series works well and the new owners who spent the extra $100 for the 824 series just love them. The Snow Thrower is listed to handle up to 18 inches but is handling the 20-30 inches from this storm better than “my neighbor’s 2-stage”

Update Dec 2016:

Hi, Paul:
Just wanted to say thanks for your recommendation.  I purchased a Toro SnowMaster after your last email and it’s been in my garage, anxiously awaiting the first snow.  We got some snow (about 8 inches) on Sunday, December 4th here in (south suburb of Chicago) and it was wet and heavy.  I got out my Toro and started it up hoping that I was not in for any disappointment.  It was amazing!!!  I did both my driveway and my neighbor’s driveway along with the sidewalk on my side of the street from corner to corner.  Piece of cake.  Two of my neighbors stopped by to admire the machine.  I’m thrilled to know that I can keep up with the weather and to know that I don’t have to depend on neighbors when the heavy snow comes. 
Thanks again.
Maggie

Husqvarna Impeller Belt: 

The only casualty of the storm so far has been the impeller belt that came with your new Husqvarna ST224, ST224P, ST227P and ST230P. It appears that about 5% of those OEM belts are breaking within the first hour of use. It does not appear there is a mechanical problem or a pulley alignment problem with the snow blower. The belt is just not strong enough to handle this snow. Once you change the belt the problem goes away.

I’ll check with Husqvarna this week but at this point I’m sure this is not a design flaw with the snow blower itself. I have a feeling this will be a problem with how the specifications were written to the supplier of the belt or the manufacture of the belt itself. I personally know of over 2000 of these snow blowers and there are less than 15 owners have stated the belt has broke. Just to be safe, go get a spare belt.

UpDate, 1/27/15: I haven’t talked to Husqvarna yet but I did more thinking about the belt issue and here is what I think.  The vast majority of the belt breaking issues has happened when you tried to clear these really deep snows like the east coast got this weekend. So… There are two basic types of 2-stage snow blowers, residential and heavy-duty. Heavy-duty snow blowers ($1200-$2400) are designed to handle heavy snow, wet snow, lake effect snow, the snow Boston got last year and the “snowman snow” the east coast got last weekend. Residential snow blowers ($600-$1100) are designed to clear the normal snow the rest of us get. Snow that doesn’t pack well, 14-16 inches of light, fluffy snow, 8-10 inches of heavy, wet snow. The residential snow blowers will clear the end-of-driveway snow but are not designed to handle hours of clearing that heavy-wet stuff all at once. If you overwork the residential grade you will break belts, etc. 

The snow the east coast got was some of the worst we have gotten in a long time. 20-40 inches of heavy wet stuff. Trying to clear that with a residential grade snow blower is like trying to mow a field of waist-high prairie grass with your lawn tractor. It works for a while but eventually something will break. It’s like buying a $50 electric mixer for your home and then taking it to your restaurant to use everyday to make 20 loaves of bread. It will work for a day or two…….

So, if you have a residential grade snow blower don’t try to get that much snow moved as quickly as possible. Don’t try to take a full width pass. Instead take 1/2 or 1/4 passes. Keep the snow blower in 1st gear and if the engine is working very hard stop your forward motion and let the snow blower clear itself of snow. Use the snow blower for 1/2 hour or so and then take a 1/2 hour break. That allows bearings, belts and gearboxes to cool down and gives you a chance not overwork yourself. 

It’s also a very good idea to keep a spare auger belt, drive belt, spark plug and 2-4 extra shear pins on-hand and learn how to change them. Yes, even if you have a brand new snow blower you should have those parts on hand.  It will save you a lot of frustration if you do break a belt, hit something or get a vapor lock from over working the engine. 

I’ll list the part number below for the auger belt so you don’t have to go searching for it.

Changing the belt is not THAT hard of a job if you have a set of combination wrenches or a 3/8 inch socket set.  Read the manual twice before you start. Here is a video for changing the belt. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dCqdqkYioYU

If you are not sure about changing the belt but decide to tackle it I suggest taking pictures of the steps as you do them with your cell phone. That way if you get confused you can see what you did.

Belts are not covered under the defects warranty that comes with snow blowers so if by chance your local dealer gives you one thank them profusely.

Husqvarna ST224 Impeller belt. 581 83 24-01. The new 24 inch Husqvarna, Poulan Pro, Jonsered and some Craftsman Canada all use the same belt. Husqvarna does not list the size but some aftermarket shops are listing it as 4LX35 or 4LX35.4 If you can’t get a belt from a dealer you can try a sized belt but I won’t guarantee this is the right size. If you do buy an aftermarket belt BUY a “horsepower” belt. The power belts are usually a different color than black or if it’s black the belt is rough – it’s wrapped like the fabric on your cotton t-shirt. Don’t buy a fraction horsepower belt. These belts you can see strands on the sides of the belts. A good belt will cost you $15 to $30.

Husqvarna ST224P Impeller belt. 581 83 24-01. The new 24 inch Husqvarna, Poulan Pro, Jonsered and some Craftsman Canada with power steering all use the same belt and it is the same as the 24 inch without power steering. Husqvarna does not list the size but some aftermarket shops are listing it as 4LX35 or 4LX35.4 If you can’t get a belt from a dealer you can try a sized belt but I won’t guarantee this is the right size. If you do buy an aftermarket belt BUY a “horsepower” belt. The power belts are usually a different color than black or if it’s black the belt is rough – it’s wrapped like the fabric on your cotton t-shirt. Don’t buy a fraction horsepower belt. These belts you can see strands on the sides of the belts. A good belt will cost you $15 to $30.

Husqvarna ST227P Impeller belt. 581 83 24-01. The new 27 inch Husqvarna, Poulan Pro, Jonsered and some Craftsman Canada with power steering all use the same belt and it is the same as the 24 inch without power steering. Husqvarna does not list the size but some aftermarket shops are listing it as 4LX35 or 4LX35.4 If you can’t get a belt from a dealer you can try a sized belt but I won’t guarantee this is the right size. If you do buy an aftermarket belt BUY a “horsepower” belt. The power belts are usually a different color than black or if it’s black the belt is rough – it’s wrapped like the fabric on your cotton t-shirt. Don’t buy a fraction horsepower belt. These belts you can see strands on the sides of the belts. A good belt will cost you $15 to $30.

Husqvarna ST230P Impeller belt. 587 20 90-01. The new 30 inch Husqvarna, Poulan Pro, Jonsered and some Craftsman Canada with power steering all use the same belt. Husqvarna does not list the size. If you can’t get a belt from a dealer you can try a 587209001 belt but I won’t guarantee this is the right size. If you do buy an aftermarket belt BUY a “horsepower” belt. The power belts are usually a different color than black or if it’s black the belt is rough – it’s wrapped like the fabric on your cotton t-shirt. Don’t buy a fraction horsepower belt. These belts you can see strands on the sides of the belts. A good belt will cost you $15 to $30.

Wrapped Horsepower Belt

Wrapped Horsepower Belt

 

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10 Comments

  1. Steve Carter February 3, 2016
    • Paul February 4, 2016
  2. Mike January 30, 2016
    • Paul January 30, 2016
  3. Mike January 29, 2016
    • Paul January 29, 2016
  4. Mike January 29, 2016
    • Paul January 29, 2016
  5. Brian Lager January 26, 2016
    • Paul January 26, 2016

I'll be glad you help you find the best snow blower. Please tell me the city, state and how large an area you want to clear.

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