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Snowblower Engines...Good, Bad, or Ugly

Posted by mayflower1032 (My Page) on
Wed, Oct 27, 10 at 17:07

Can someone reveal the secrets behind Briggs engines and other Chinese ones. I was looking for Ariens until someone said they are Chinese garbage. Is Polar Force by Briggs a Chinese disguise? And the Toro saids Briggs Snow...something (do not recall the name now). I am not into buying a Chinese engine by any means and will avoid. I went onto the Briggs site, but did not see a Polar Force name.


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RE: Snowblower Engines...Good, Bad, or Ugly

  • Posted by ericwi Dane County WI (My Page) on
    Wed, Oct 27, 10 at 18:17

Good luck trying to find new power equipment that has an engine made in the USA. Most of the engines are made in China, although I think they still make small gas engines in Canada. Poulan, maybe.


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RE: Snowblower Engines...Good, Bad, or Ugly

Is a Chinese engine necessarily "bad?" Doesn't it come down to oversight and quality control Ariens requires. Come on now, do you think Ariens says to some fly by night company operating along the Yangtze River, give me 1000 engines sight unseen? All you Walmart shoppers, 80% of the items you buy in there are from China.

I guess we need to live with the reality that we need to accept Chinese products. We as a nation do not care and we allowed manufacturing to leave. We do not have it in our character anymore and have zero pride to defend what was once great in the USA. What a joke, yeh, Americans standing up and boycotting Chinese or Japanse products. Those days are long gone. Sad thing is, it is our power to control this...the purchaser has the power...but not the will.

Lets all look in the mirror now.


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RE: Snowblower Engines...Good, Bad, or Ugly

The Ariens I have seen with LCT engines say "Ariens by LCT" on them. However, if you search for new B&S engines, their snow engine is dubbed "Snow King", not "Polar Force". It could be that only those B&S engines sold to Ariens are called Polar Force but are identical to the Snow Kings.

As for the quality of Chinese products, it's all up to the QA/QC process. I've got a pair of cordless tools made in China, but the parent company cares enough to make sure the Chinese plants are up to the task. LCT is in the U.S. because MTD tried to open their own engine plant and was shot down by the EPA. There are no individual parts available for a lot of the sub-assemblies on LCT engines. If the carburetor is not metering fuel properly, the only recourse is to replace the entire carb. Another common area of failure are the valve rockers. The studs they sit on crack, as well as the bolts being improperly tightened, allowing the rockers themselves to wallow out and take the rest of the engine with them. Virtually every LCT engine we sell has a pronounced surge at idle, and once again, due to the lack of any parts, it's impossible to fix.


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RE: Snowblower Engines...Good, Bad, or Ugly

Called Briggs customer support. They confirmed to me that the Ariens Briggs is a true Briggs engine and it is made in the USA. In regards to Polar Force....they have no involvement in that. Ariens labels that on their own. In regards to parts support, Briggs does not recognize the Polar Force name, so like with most things, you need the model number off the engine which Briggs does not allow Ariens to remove. I asked if the Snow Series is the same as Polar force...responded...yes, essentially the same. So there could be some differences, not sure. I guess one would need to get the exact model number off the showroom floor and then call them to compare to a Toro Snow Series.

After seeing the Ariens, my vote is for Ariens...seemed more solid. I did not like the Toro plastic...too much. I liked the simple Ariens chute rotation design very smooth operation. And the gear case was suspended with several supports, the Toro was not and only utilizing the supports on the housing ends. The Toro supports between the handlebars was plastic and the handles twisted when moved. The Ariens was more solid.


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RE: Snowblower Engines...Good, Bad, or Ugly

"Can someone reveal the secrets behind Briggs engines and other Chinese ones."
Secrets??? Not sure there are any.

"I was looking for Ariens until someone said they are Chinese garbage."
What makes you think that being made in China is equal to garbage. If that is so then many of us who buy at Wal Mart, Home Depot, Target, Lowes, Costco, etc., must be filling our homes with garbage. How much chinese made merchandise is in your home?

" Is Polar Force by Briggs a Chinese disguise? And the Toro saids Briggs Snow...something (do not recall the name now). I am not into buying a Chinese engine by any means and will avoid."

Please tell us why you have singled out chinese made engines from all of the other chinese made products we consume. Why is it not ok to buy a chinese gasoline engine but it's ok to buy all the other stuff that comes from China. Like the computer you are working on.

" I went onto the Briggs site, but did not see a Polar Force name."

Call Briggs or look at the engine if it's important. The reputation of Briggs is far more important. I wonder how much of Briggs production is outsourced to Mexico and Canada while still retaining the Made in USA brand.


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RE: Snowblower Engines...Good, Bad, or Ugly

"What makes you think that being made in China is equal to garbage. If that is so then many of us who buy at Wal Mart, Home Depot, Target, Lowes, Costco, etc., must be filling our homes with garbage. How much chinese made merchandise is in your home?"

It's not so much that 'Made in China = Garbage', but that the LCT engines in particular have proved to be of the lowest possible quality compared to other available small engine makes. Some of us also value community businesses, and make it a point not to ever shop at Lowe's, Home Depot, Wal-Mart, Target and other big box stores whenever possible. For instance, my vehicle was assembled in the U.S. and 98% of its parts were made in the U.S.

"Please tell us why you have singled out chinese made engines from all of the other chinese made products we consume. Why is it not ok to buy a chinese gasoline engine but it's ok to buy all the other stuff that comes from China. Like the computer you are working on."

Most silicon manufactories are in Tiawan, not China. I know China thinks it controls Tiawan, but Tiawan and the rest of the world don't. After the silicon is laid, the boards are assembled into computers in America for the most part.


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RE: Snowblower Engines...Good, Bad, or Ugly

It is recognized that except for a brief period China controled Taiwan for centuries. They are dancing a slow inevitable dance to assimilating Taiwan without killing the economic engine. The US realized that long ago.
Look carefully at the made-in label found on all manner of electronic products - It's China.

So why are you buying chinese goods if they are inferior quality? Speaking of computers China is now apparently at the head of the list of fast super computers. As I understand it China made the all-important switches that allowed that latest increase in processing speed.


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RE: Snowblower Engines...Good, Bad, or Ugly

May: Don't get overly concerned with the Origin of Manufacturer , unless you are a Die Hard Flag Waver !
Most of todays Major Manufacturers are Iso Certified therefore all Policies and Procedure's are in place for Specification Compliance . Unfortunately it is a sign of the Economic Times we are within and to compete outsourcing is required to keep a float . Where it is made whether USA / Canada / Mexico / Japan or even China or Taiwan these engines at least Honda Clones and now Briggs per your example are still fine units. Don't get me wrong I would prefer North American Manufacturing , but mostly it appears that is a thing of the past within Small Engine Origin . Enjoy your purchase with confidence within it's Design .


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RE: Snowblower Engines...Good, Bad, or Ugly

"For instance, my vehicle was assembled in the U.S. and 98% of its parts were made in the U.S."

98%??? No possible way. Having worked for Ford and having a son-in-law that works for GM, there is no possible way that that statement is true regardless of brand.


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RE: Snowblower Engines...Good, Bad, or Ugly

I tend to agree with Orange on this one , majority of sub component assemblies have been outsourced to Japan , Mexico , Taiwan on the Big - 3. What is your vehicle designation Sky ?


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RE: Snowblower Engines...Good, Bad, or Ugly

What many auto companies do to make it look like they have a greater percentage of US made parts is give data by weight. Since the engine, transmission, frame and body work make up the greatest amount of weight of the vehicle, these numbers can approach almost 90 percent. When I started at Ford in 1990, if I remember correctly, the percentage of vehicle that had to be made in the states to be classified as a domestic automobile was 68%. This was not judged by weight at that time.


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RE: Snowblower Engines...Good, Bad, or Ugly

Is a Tecumseh engine an OK snowblower engine. I was considering buying a 2006 Ariens snowblower professional model, but is has a Tecumseh. I read somewhere they throw rods.


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RE: Snowblower Engines...Good, Bad, or Ugly

  • Posted by baymee LehighValleyPA (My Page) on
    Sat, Oct 30, 10 at 22:25

When I get a blown Tecumseh engine, it's always the rod, but it's a very tiny percentage. 99% of Tecumseh engines never have that problem.

The do have a problem with carburetor varnish from leaving old gas in the tank without a shutoff valve, much more so than Briggs or the Jap models.


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RE: Snowblower Engines...Good, Bad, or Ugly

  • Posted by ericwi Dane County WI (My Page) on
    Sun, Oct 31, 10 at 0:26

Our Ariens snowblower has a 6.5 hp Tecumseh, OHV, and it runs fine, for three years since new. It has a fuel shut-off valve, so I run the carburetor dry every time I am finished with it. And I drain the tank and carburetor in the spring. So far, no problems with the carburetor.


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RE: Snowblower Engines...Good, Bad, or Ugly

May: I agree with both Bay and ER , have had both BS & Tec and majority of the Tecumseh issues are with non maintained units . As for the ethanol related issues with the T yep their more prone to restrictions and dirt intrusion by design . As indicated a little common sense and preventative maintenance solves the majority of concerns within that area . Rest assured the Snow King is a Work Horse that when maintained will give you yrs of service .


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RE: Snowblower Engines...Good, Bad, or Ugly

I'm shopping for a snowblower and think I've got it narrowed down to the John Deere 827E with the 250cc B&S Snow Series engine or one of the Ariens. Both list the Briggs Snow Series engines. The JD is a little higher priced I'm wondering if anyone has a Deere and whether its is worth the extra dollars. I know service support will be more convenient in my area with the john Deere dealer.


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RE: Snowblower Engines...Good, Bad, or Ugly

Things made in china are necessarily "bad" and it does matter. I would rather shovel than spend 600-1000 dollars on a machine that breaks down in 3 months has no replacement parts and zero quality control. A lot of companies are very coy about stating where the engine is manufactured. Very naive to say we have to accept poor quality products because it's too late.


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RE: Snowblower Engines...Good, Bad, or Ugly

myopin: You wanted Free Trade and your reaping the benefits Now !


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RE: Snowblower Engines...Good, Bad, or Ugly

We don't have a free trade agreement with China.


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