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Asurion Lawn & Garden Extended Protection Plan 4 Yearfrom Asurion, LLC
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Husqvarna ST224P - 24-Inch 208cc Two Stage Electric Start with Power Steering Snowthrower - 961930122
|Price:||$999.00 & FREE Shipping|
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- 208cc Husqvarna engine
- Remote Chute Deflector/Remote Chute Rotator
- 3 Year Limited Warranty and 5 Year Engine Warranty
- Electric Start
- 24-Inch Two Stage
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|Sold By||BrandNewEngines, Inc||Amazon.com||Amazon.com||Amazon.com||Amazon.com||BrandNewEngines, Inc|
|Item Dimensions||22.75 x 41.75 x 25.75 in||28.5 x 52.25 x 35 in||29 x 56 x 43 in||31.5 x 52.25 x 35 in||34.5 x 52.25 x 35 in||—|
|Item Weight||198.6 lbs||240 lbs||189 lbs||240 lbs||270 lbs||—|
|Size||24"||Size 15||250cc||Size 15||30"||—|
Husqvarna ST224P 24-Inch 208cc Two Stage Electric Start with Power Steering Snow thrower - 961930122. The Husqvarna ST224P two stage snow thrower works great for snow accumulations of 2-12 inches. Features include a 208cc Husqvarna engine, Power Steering, electric start, LED headlight, 24-inch clearing path, 180 degree remote chute rotation with remote deflector, heated grip handles, 12-inch improved performance ribbon augers, friction disc transmission, aluminum gearbox, 15-inch tires, and 2.7 liter fuel tank. 3 Year Limited Warranty and 5 Year Engine and Auger Gear Box Warranty.
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The crate was nothing more than a small wood pallet covered by cardboard but was packed very well. A few quick cuts with a box cutter and the box was apart and on the ground. I highly recommend you put the handlebar together while it is still on the wood of the crate, it makes getting it off the wood much easier. Putting the handle bars together is as easy as lifting them up into the proper place and sliding a bolt into place and securing it with a star handle. Two of these on each side makes it easy to install and adjust if necessary (one pair comes installed already just needs tightening). I'm starting in the top most position, but may adjust after some actual use and mind you, this is the ONLY 2-stage on the market that I am aware of with adjustable handles.
Next you just install the shoot controls which is fairly easy. The instructions are a bit confusing around the shoot distance control as I was expecting the bold to be much tighter than it is, instead is actually fairly loose. I do have some concerns on the longevity of the spring that gives tension to the shoot control as I will bet it breaks soon. My father has one that is about 7-8 years old and it was designed the same way and his spring broke within the first year. It's an easy fix but the spring could be beefier.
READ THE INSTRUCTIONS on how to start it, also CHECK THE OIL. Mine was shipped with barely a drip in it. Husqvarna has a private branded version of the LCT Stormforce 208 cc engine. According to the instructions for the engine which is shipped with it, the oil reservoir holds 16 oz which is just shy of a half a quart. I used 5w30 synthetic but conventional will work also. I'll probably change the oil after the first 10 hours of use just to make sure there isn't any contamination in the engine.
Start up is a breeze as long as you hit all the switches to the right spot. Since it was the first start, I used the electric start. Used a heavy gauge extension cord, plugged it in and hit the button and she powered up in no time. Took the choke off and seemed to be running great (don't be surprised if it doesn't run smooth at first, these engines need to get up to temperature before they really settle down, and they don't really like warm weather). Went through all the functions, forward, reverse, engaged the augers, checked the hand warmers and headlights and everything was working great! I did notice that the tires were actually slightly over-inflated but I'm not going to mess with them until it gets colder out because then they might be just right.
If you are like me and purchase VERY early in the season (I would recommend it because once the first snow starts to fall, you can't find anything decent) make sure you run it out of gas before you put it away. Read the fine print on the 2 pull start warranty for the engine as they instruct you not to store it with old gas, if you do, you run the risk of voiding the warranty.
The last thing worth mentioning is that this sucker will fit through a common door which in my case is nice since I will be using it in the back yard for the dogs and there is no easy way to get around my house other than a small man door through the back of the garage to the back yard. This also makes it much easier to store and it doesn't take up much room, besides, unless you are looking at a 30+ inch model, 24 is all you need as it doesn't add much more work or time.
Overall this machine seems to be well built. The plastic control panel could be worrisome in the future but it seems to be designed well. A few nice features on this unit that you don't always see are that it has an extended oil drain plug which makes oil changes a breeze. It also has an extended oil fill tube which is pretty common now, but wasn't always. The engine comes equipped with an idle down knob which is nice, it's meant so if you need to leave it running for a bit without using it, just turn the knob a bit and it will lower the idle. The power steering is also a nice feature, most models you have to jump into the higher category to get it but it comes standard on this unit and is an added bonus. Overall first impressions on this unit are that its a solidly built machine that seems to be designed to last a few decades. Once I get it into some snow, i'll update this review but for now, I'm very happy with my purchase.
Since Mike D so eloquently pointed out it was a glowing review for something that hadn't left the garage I wanted to go ahead and update this review to echo my experience in using it.
Since purchasing I have used it numerous times, the first snow of the year for us was prior to Thanksgiving and we had approximately 13" of snow. Got the machine out, primed the pump, hit the switch, turned the choke and plugged her in. I thought maybe since it had been sitting that it wouldn't want to start easily but a quick push of the electric start for less than 2 seconds and it was up and running. Starting idle is rough until you adjust the choke (turn to run) and then it runs nice a smooth. Its fairly quiet (no snow machine is super quiet, the Craftsman models that started last year and continued through their lineup this year are about the quietest 2 stage) and is much quieter than other hulking beasts I have handled before.
Second store of the year was about 2 inches of a snow, sleet, ice mix which was VERY heavy, much heavier than the 13" of snow during the first storm". I didn't have a single issue clearing the driveway, it muscled through everything just fine, even the plow trash left at the end of my driveway. Still a strong 5 star rating here, not a single issue and have used it multiple times and even changed the oil once already (annoying habit I learned years ago that makes me overly protective of power equipment).
This snow blower has continued to perform well. We had a couple of significant storms by me this winter, 12+ inches and the blower worked great. I was more cautious working with the compacted snow at the end of my driveway (from the street plows) then in my driveway, taking in less snow at one time, but the blower handled everything without issue. It has continued to start easily and run well through several storms.
UPDATED REVIEW (February 8th, 2016)
My dealer returned the repaired snowblower yesterday. He told me everything checked out OK other than the auger belt itself. He said he believes Husqvarna has a problem with defective belts, and he has replaced them on about 30% of the new ST224/ST227 machines he has sold. All Husqvarna would tell me is that there is a technical bulletin issued on the model for dealers. I do think I fared better than most folks, because Husqvarna authorized the dealer to pick up and return the snow blower along with the warranty repair, at no cost to me. It sounds like other folks have gotten stuck with paying for pick up and delivery. I won't know if I have an issue until the next snow, but will update this review at that time.
ORIGINAL REVIEW (January 25th, 2016)
My blower broke down after the second day of use (read on) so I will have to update this review after service, but for now:
I purchased the ST224P in late October and it was delivered a few days later via a freight company dispatched by Amazon. All the industry news was that Husqvarna had redesigned their snowblower line. I researched this model and the Ariens 24" models and settled on the ST224P.
Delivery was free. The snow blower arrived in a cardboard box on top of a wooden frame. Set up was reasonably simple. The box broke away pretty easily. I left the blower on the wood frame while I assembled it to make it a little easier. The assembly instructions are accurate and easy to follow. I checked the tire pressure as the manual says they come overinflated for shipping. If they are overinflated, reduce the pressure to 14 to 17 psi.
Everything was in good condition with the exception of the chute. Although it was neatly placed in the box on a cardboard tray, it had a 2 inch scratch down to bare metal. Somewhat shabby QC.
After assembly, toping off the oil, and filling with fresh gas, I tested it. The ST224 starts easily. I started it cold with the rope pull and let it idle for a few minutes. I had to wait about 2 months for our first snow. It was a doozy, over 2 1/2 feet which is more than normal in NJ. Because of the volume of snow, I chose to go out two times the first day of the storm, and again the following morning.
Although the blower has a guarantee to start on the first or second pull, it did not. After 5 pulls I gave up and used the electric start, which turned it right over. I'll chalk it up to the cold and having been started only once before, two months prior. The next morning, it started on the first pull.
STARTING: following the user manual your blower should start fine (insert the stationary key, turn the blower to 'Run', turning on the fuel flow on, and the Choke to 'Start', then prime 3 times and pull the rope handle. What the manual doesn't mention is the little black dial attached to the choke setting that goes from slow to fast (turtle and rabbit symbols). You want to turn that to fast before you start cutting into snow. Do this when you turn your choke to 'run'.
The blower worked well and easily cut through the snow. It throws nicely, as I was shooting over a minivan at one point. It made it easily over and onto my lawn. The forward speeds are nice. '1' is nice and slow, excellent for heavy snow, 2 and 3 are decent for most average work, and unless you've used a snow blower before you may want to stay away from 4 thru 6 until you become comfy with the machine's handling. The St224P has one reverse gear and it is very slow
The traction and auger controls work well, and the chute controls shift easily using the two levers on the control panel. The chute rotates 180 degrees left to right and turns up/downward enough to give you lots of throwing options.
The hand warmer was decent, as was the LED headlights, which I used at night. The warmers are noticeable when on, but I wouldn't depend on them to really warm your hands. The keep the handles from being icy cold though. As for the light, It's not super bright but enough to help you see where you are going.
The power steering is excellent. Really what it is comes downs to a lever on each side which disengages the wheel on that side so that you turn in that direction due to the revolution of the wheel on the opposite side. These are fingertip controls and easy to reach while also using the traction and auger controls.
This thing is a solid 4 or 5. BUT it has an issue. Apparently Husqvarna has found a problem with their impeller belt configuration. On my second day of use, the belt snapped, rendering the blower useless. I came in the house and started to look up the belt part # and saw several other similar complaints.
I do have to say, I contacted Husqvarna through their Facebook page on a Sunday and got an e-mail back Monday morning. Husqvarna explained they have a known problem with this and arranged to have a local dealer come pick up the snowblower, make the repair and return it to me, all under warranty. They have an open TSB (Technical Service Bulletin) on this issue.
I would, of course, expect the repair under warranty, but not necessarily the pickup and delivery. However, in this case (obvious defect) I think the transportation being paid for by Husqvarna is appropriate.
I am making my appointment tomorrow and will go from there, updating the review. Once I understand what the actual repair is I can rate the ST224P more fairly. I am disappointed though at the scratch on the chute, as well as the belt issue. Shoveling snow after the first use of an $800 purchase was not something I anticipated.
Overall, I really like the ST224P and it felt powerful enough to be durable and perform for quite some time. I am hoping the belt issue is not a sign of things to come!