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New Walk Behind Leaf Blower Performs Poorly / Recommendation

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Norway11, Dec 2, 2009.

  1. Norway11

    Norway11 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 24

    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.
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2009
  2. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653


    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.
  3. punt66

    punt66 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 8,536

    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.
  4. Norway11

    Norway11 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 24

    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.
  5. Yater

    Yater LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 687

    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.
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2009
  6. Norway11

    Norway11 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 24

    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.
  7. Tharrell

    Tharrell LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,967

    POS=piece of sh_t
  8. Norway11

    Norway11 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 24

    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.
  9. Yater

    Yater LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 687

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

    Tharrell LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,967

    I wouldn't want to push ANYTHING 8-10 hours a day!

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