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View Full Version : New Walk Behind Leaf Blower Performs Poorly / Recommendation


Norway11
12-02-2009, 03:34 PM
For years we had a Giant Vac Classic model 52 blower with an 8 hp motor. The machine worked great. Needed another blower so I went out last spring and bought another Giant Vac Classic model 52. Paid about $550. This machine does not work as well as the old one. Doesn't roll as well and most importantly won't move as many leaves. My ten year old son noticed the difference and commented. I called the manufacturer and they suggested having the RPMs checked; however I think the engine runs just fine. I plan to do this, but who makes a good inexpensive machine on wheels. I really like the old basic Giant Vac Classic. I'd like to sell this one and replace it - any recommendations in the $550 price range and about 9hp. I saw a Billy Goat, but didn't like the chute and having to add a plastic nozzle for forward blowing. Thanks for the recommendations.

topsites
12-02-2009, 06:00 PM
Well...

How about giving that $550 unit some TLC in the way of a tune-up?
Change the oil (SYNTHETIC), spark plug, air filter, and start dumping 93 octane in it.

Then just check it over real good, clean it up, fix anything you can, if it is out of line.
Probably needs a new PCV rubber tube, maybe the fuel filter as well, lube it up.

At least do that much for it, so you can say you tried but I would go the extra mile, more than just try, get it running right.

You can also, so long you have a frame drop like a 10hp Briggs on there, or something like it. I'm sure it would hold and you'd
be out some money but buying a whole another machine is really going to set you back, now I'm not too hot on replacing that
engine but I would definitely go to work with that unit you got.

punt66
12-02-2009, 06:40 PM
For years we had a Giant Vac Classic model 52 blower with an 8 hp motor. The machine worked great. Needed another blower so I went out last spring and bought another Giant Vac Classic model 52. Paid about $550. This machine does not work as well as the old one. Doesn't roll as well and most importantly won't move as many leaves. My ten year old son noticed the difference and commented. I called the manufacturer and they suggested having the RPMs checked; however I think the engine runs just fine. I plan to do this, but who makes a good inexpensive machine on wheels. I really like the old basic Giant Vac Classic. I'd like to sell this one and replace it - any recommendations in the $550 price range and about 9hp. I saw a Billy Goat, but didn't like the chute and having to add a plastic nozzle for forward blowing. Thanks for the recommendations.

It does have less power then the old 8hp. To get the same blowing power of the old 8hp giantvac you have to go to the 10hp. The new emission laws are to blame. Besides, 10hp would be a min for commercial use. Nothing but homeowner stuff for 550.

Norway11
12-02-2009, 07:04 PM
I have to admit that I didn't think about emissions making the 8hp not as powerful. Even though the machine is almost new I have changed the oil - probably used Honda or Wolfs Head brand, and usually use mid octane gas. I'll check the air filter, but an sure it is clean. This machine has 8 hours on it. It works okay, just not great like our 15 year old machine. I'm diappointed. I'll have the RPMs check, but I believe the engine is running properly. Until now I've been very pleased with Giant Vac. From a durabiliy perspective our old machine has been outstanding.

So, what do I trade it in on? Anything in the $600 range - I do very light commercial use. The Orange Billy Goat looks funky, and not as durable with all the plastic, the Little Wonder seems too expensive for my needs.

Yater
12-02-2009, 10:24 PM
Well...

How about giving that $550 unit some TLC in the way of a tune-up?
Change the oil (SYNTHETIC), spark plug, air filter, and start dumping 93 octane in it.

.

It sounds like it runs fine. Synthetic and '93 octane will make NO difference. Spark plug and air filter will likely make no difference either, considering this is a new unit. Have you ever worked on an engine? The only trouble it could possibly have would be bogging/stuttering because it was bought last spring (gummed carb). It doesn't sound like that's the case at all. It sounds like a weak pos to me.

Norway11
12-02-2009, 11:04 PM
What does "weak POS" mean?

The engine run's fine and the carb is not gummed up. The machine was new when I bought it and I used it every week during the summer to clean clippings off my drive.

Since purchasing it I don't use my stihl hand held blower anymore. The walk behind is faster and easier, but I'm not loading it on and off a trailer and only doing one drive.

Tharrell
12-02-2009, 11:35 PM
POS=piece of sh_t

Norway11
12-03-2009, 12:19 AM
I wouldn't call it a weak POS. The first one we purchased held up really well and this is the same frame and almost identical. I just don't think it is as powerful - this is proabaly due to emission controls on the engine. I paid $500 and I haven't had anyone recommend another machine to me in this price range.

I think this is more of - you get what you pay for. For a home owner or light commercial use it is fine. If I was going to run it for 8-10 hours per day then I'd have purchased a bigger machine. However, if I get a bigger machine then I have to push and pull the extra weight. I had shoulder surgery this past spring and the extra weight would make for a more painful day.

If I have to spend over $600-$700 for markedly improved performance I'll just keep this unit.

Yater
12-03-2009, 12:35 AM
I wouldn't call it a weak POS.

Doesn't roll as well and most importantly won't move as many leaves

Fair enough. I was just saying there's nothing wrong with the engine.

Tharrell
12-03-2009, 02:12 AM
I wouldn't want to push ANYTHING 8-10 hours a day!

topsites
12-03-2009, 04:54 AM
It sounds like it runs fine. Synthetic and '93 octane will make NO difference. Spark plug and air filter will likely make no difference either, considering this is a new unit. Have you ever worked on an engine? The only trouble it could possibly have would be bogging/stuttering because it was bought last spring (gummed carb). It doesn't sound like that's the case at all. It sounds like a weak pos to me.

Oh no, no, just this last winter I replaced front strut shocks, a muffler, and later a convertible top,
I hope you realize these are among some of the toughest DIY projects anyone could tackle because
right now one car's in pieces as I'm replacing the timing belt plus adjusting the valves and replacing
the spark plugs and the wires and the cap and rotor (which involves pulling the radiator), then I just
got in today the two CV half shafts for the rear end of another one of mine and I have to pull the
fan speed controller this weekend to see where the short is that keeps blowing fuses.

And I really SHOULD have answered this thread with the usual "You need to take this down to Mechanic and Repair (http://www.lawnsite.com/forumdisplay.php?f=35)"
but then the half of y'all wonder why I get like this, why am I such a jerk about things?
Yeah...

Because I got news for the hard-core disbelievers...
ALL I run is 93 premium and synthetic oil.

Now you can say what you like because I realize I'll never convince some of you folks otherwise, but it DOES make a difference.

punt66
12-03-2009, 06:46 AM
I have to admit that I didn't think about emissions making the 8hp not as powerful. Even though the machine is almost new I have changed the oil - probably used Honda or Wolfs Head brand, and usually use mid octane gas. I'll check the air filter, but an sure it is clean. This machine has 8 hours on it. It works okay, just not great like our 15 year old machine. I'm diappointed. I'll have the RPMs check, but I believe the engine is running properly. Until now I've been very pleased with Giant Vac. From a durabiliy perspective our old machine has been outstanding.

So, what do I trade it in on? Anything in the $600 range - I do very light commercial use. The Orange Billy Goat looks funky, and not as durable with all the plastic, the Little Wonder seems too expensive for my needs.

There is nothing in that price range but junk. I only use giantvac as well. But 10hp is the lowest i will go and they are around $900.

punt66
12-03-2009, 06:49 AM
Oh no, no, just this last winter I replaced front strut shocks, a muffler, and later a convertible top,
I hope you realize these are among some of the toughest DIY projects anyone could tackle because
right now one car's in pieces as I'm replacing the timing belt plus adjusting the valves and replacing
the spark plugs and the wires and the cap and rotor (which involves pulling the radiator), then I just
got in today the two CV half shafts for the rear end of another one of mine and I have to pull the
fan speed controller this weekend to see where the short is that keeps blowing fuses.

And I really SHOULD have answered this thread with the usual "You need to take this down to Mechanic and Repair (http://www.lawnsite.com/forumdisplay.php?f=35)"
but then the half of y'all wonder why I get like this, why am I such a jerk about things?
Yeah...

Because I got news for the hard-core disbelievers...
ALL I run is 93 premium and synthetic oil.

Now you can say what you like because I realize I'll never convince some of you folks otherwise, but it DOES make a difference.


please stop giving advice. high octane only helps to prevent detonation. It does not increase power. Synthetic oil is good but will not increase power to noticable levels. What the hell does your POS cars have to do with any of this?

Oldtimer
12-03-2009, 08:35 AM
Check the RPMS.

Every LCO should own a tachometer.


Oldtimer

Richard Martin
12-03-2009, 09:38 AM
If the engine is running at the factory spec then a bigger engine isn't going to do anything but burn more gas. These blower engines don't load and unload like a mower does. Because you run through thicker and thinner patches of grass a bigger engine can, at times, increase a mower's performance. But on a blower, if a 8 HP engine is spinning the impeller at 3600 RPM then a 10, 12 or even 40 HP engine isn't going to help. If the factory spec was 3600 RPM and the engine could only manage 2800 RPM then yes, a bigger engine would help.

Take 4 identical blowers except for the engine. The engines are:

1: Briggs 8 HP
2: Honda 9 HP
3: Kawi 13 HP
4: Kohler 20 HP

If all engines can spin the impeller at 3600 RPM then the only reason to pick anything other than the Briggs is because you may prefer another brand better or it would last longer. Remember, the only work required from a blower is spinning the impeller. Nothing else.

Richard Martin
12-03-2009, 09:41 AM
Oh, as far as a recommendation goes...

You're budget is way too small to really recommend anything. Sometimes the lawn service industry isn't as cheap to get into properly as some people think.

Yater
12-03-2009, 04:10 PM
please stop giving advice. high octane only helps to prevent detonation. It does not increase power. Synthetic oil is good but will not increase power to noticable levels. What the hell does your POS cars have to do with any of this?

Thanks...you saved me some time.

Doc Pete
12-03-2009, 11:10 PM
For years we had a Giant Vac Classic model 52 blower with an 8 hp motor.

I promise the engine is running below what it can output. Tach it and raise the governor to 3,800/ 3,900, if the engine will rev that high. I'll bet it's running at 3,500 at best. All of these engine are way underrated. I have a 15 year old vanguard twin on my Fradan, still running at 3,900 and loving it.
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