The Jack's Small Engines Forum - Join Our Online Community
Reply to post

Craftsman 88694

Author
fbarr
New Member
  • Total Posts : 2
  • Scores: 0
  • Reward points: 0
  • Joined: 2018/01/19 17:56:56
  • Status: offline
2018/01/19 18:07:13 (permalink)
0

Craftsman 88694

I hope you guys can help me.
 
I bought the Craftsman 88694 snowblower at the end of last season. No further snow occurred, so I couldn't test it then.
 
A general description of my home is that I live on top of a very steep hill. I also have an extremely steep slope of yard from my shed to the sidewalk. With the previous snowblower, I would often spend more time getting it from the shed to the sidewalk than actually doing the snowblowing. I never timed it, but it often felt like half an hour. However, this snowblower had no trouble going up and down the sidewalk when I got it there.

So far this year, I've used it three times:
 
1. Was a light snow and did what it was supposed to do, although this wasn't much of a test.
 
2. A moderate amount of light snow on a slightly slippery day. It had trouble going up the sidewalk. It also was very difficult to clear the tree belt area for the garbage cans.
 
3. Another moderate amount of light snow, but with heavy plow crap at the end of the driveway. It clogged almost constantly on the plow material. Even after clearing out the chute, it would clog right up again as soon as I pressed the impeller. It would do this even when I backed up to the area that had just been cleared. Although the old machine would clog on heavy snow, it was never so bad that I had to unclog it ten or whatever number of times before being able to make progress. The old one made at least some progress before clogging again, even if not enough.

I'm very concerned about how it will perform when the actual snow itself is heavy. I don't want to think of how long it would have taken if the snow itself had been heavy. I have read about spraying the chute with Pam or WD-40, but (1) should this be necessary on a brand new snowblower and (2) how well does Pam or WD-40 improve it? Does it completely solve the problem?
 
I also hope I don't have any further trouble with going uphill. Should I get snowblower chains? And would they rip up / damage the yard while getting it to the sidewalk?
 
I'm just not sure this should happen with a brand new machine. I'm also very surprised that it did happen, since numerous review sites list this as one of the best models to buy. I hope these issues can be rectified, because if not, I don't have money to buy another even if I sell it. I'm also trying not to sell the old one until I can see how the Craftsman handles truly heavy snow.
Thanks for reading this. I hope it wasn't too long, and I would greatly appreciate any information or assistance.
 
Frank

3 Replies Related Threads

    kchamb1206
    New Member
    • Total Posts : 2
    • Scores: 0
    • Reward points: 0
    • Joined: 2017/12/09 12:56:14
    • Status: offline
    Re: Craftsman 88694 2018/01/19 19:20:34 (permalink)
    0
    Frank,  I have this machine.  Bought it last winter when we had a lot of snow.  I already had a Noma 27" 9HP but my son and I went out and cleaned driveways the day I bought the Craftsman and we almost paid for it in one storm so now I have a backup.  It is a fairly good machine.  I don't know if the hubs lock but if they do you might try locking them for more traction.  You also might consider getting a set of chains for it.  Don't have to do that here, it is very flat.  Although it is the same HP and width as my Noma it is not as strong a snow thrower.  I don't know why that is but the Noma is a beast.  Wet snow gives all snowblowers a hard time and the snow at the end of the driveway usually has a lot of salt in it, so it's mushy and blows hard.  That's simply a fact of life no matter what kind of snowblower you have.  My point is that unless you go for a bigger snowblower with a 12 or 15 HP engine I don't think you can improve on it much.  Some snowstorms are tougher than others.  Make sure you drain the gas out of this machine in the spring.  A big weakness of this model is the carburator which tends to develope leaks and gunk.
    fbarr
    New Member
    • Total Posts : 2
    • Scores: 0
    • Reward points: 0
    • Joined: 2018/01/19 17:56:56
    • Status: offline
    Re: Craftsman 88694 2018/01/19 22:00:37 (permalink)
    0
    Thanks very much for your reply, and I'm glad it's working well for you.
     
    When you say lock the hubs together, do you mean the wheels?
     
    kchamb1206
    New Member
    • Total Posts : 2
    • Scores: 0
    • Reward points: 0
    • Joined: 2017/12/09 12:56:14
    • Status: offline
    Re: Craftsman 88694 2018/01/20 00:26:32 (permalink)
    0
    Some blowers have a pin in the wheel that locks the two axles together for more traction, kinda like positive traction in a car.  I looked in the owners manual and this model does not.
    Jump to:
    Copyright © 1994 - 2016 Jacks Small Engine & Generator Service, LLC