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#3220529 - 12/18/13 10:35 AM 1978 Toro 826 restoration thread
jeepman3071 Offline


Registered: 04/15/10
Posts: 4206
Loc: Storrs, Connecticut
I've been fixing small engines for almost 10 years now. I've always admired the heavy duty construction of the older Toro and Ariens snow blowers compared to the newer flimsy box store machines. My grandfather bought a brand new Toro 724 snow blower sometime in the early 1980s. He passed away 2 years before I was born, and the snow blower was given to my dad, who owned it for 16 years before we bought our current John Deere rider with a snow blower attachment. That Toro taught me a lot about engines. I learned how to change the oil, spark plug, clean the carb, and make other small repairs. It was a bullet proof machine and it ran great when he sold it. Considering it had been used on a long dirt driveway for most of its life(and threw just as much gravel as snow), I'm surprised how it held up.

Don't get me wrong, a 25hp John Deere with a 42" blower is a great machine, but it isn't the most maneuverable. I had thought about picking up an old snow blower to fix up and use for the sidewalks, and remembered our old Toro.

I found one that needed a little love, but was complete and cheap. I picked it up two nights ago, and have already started ordering parts. This machine is a little different than our old one, but it still brings back memories. This is an 826 model, with an 8hp Briggs and Stratton engine, and 26" wide clearing swath. Not many of the old snow blowers came with a Briggs, most had a Tecumseh snow engine, so this machine is even more unique. It also has clutches on each side to help with steering. It was an early version of the "power steer" found on modern snow blowers.

I'm the third owner of this machine. The best part is the original owner kept all of his receipts and maintenance records, even down to the quarts of oil he bought for oil changes. I even have the original purchase receipt from 11/4/1978.

Here are some pics of it from the craigslist ad. I'll put up more once I get home today.






The shrouds are off because the previous owner went to replace the points and lost interest. All of the parts are there, and they drained the gas before taking it apart. The gas tank looks pretty clean inside. I've ordered a newer style coil to eliminate the points and convert it to a Magnetron ignition. It has some rust but nothing too extreme. I plan on stripping it down and painting it. Once I get the engine running I'll see if it needs anything.

I'll keep this thread updated as I work on it. thumbsup
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#3220561 - 12/18/13 11:09 AM Re: 1978 Toro 826 restoration thread [Re: jeepman3071]
Ausfahrt Offline


Registered: 04/07/08
Posts: 1374
Loc: Fl & Vt
Cool.

I am on a steep learning curve with snowblowers so I am very interested in this.
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#3220563 - 12/18/13 11:11 AM Re: 1978 Toro 826 restoration thread [Re: jeepman3071]
2015_PSD Online   content


Registered: 09/26/10
Posts: 7231
Loc: SE Texas
Nice; although we do not have a need for a snowblower very often in my neck of the woods (4 times in all my years), it is interesting to see older hardware like this. Looking forward to the updates.
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#3220598 - 12/18/13 11:53 AM Re: 1978 Toro 826 restoration thread [Re: jeepman3071]
NHGUY Offline


Registered: 10/09/11
Posts: 5040
Loc: USA
Got to love the old Ariens models.They are balanced so well,and dont seem as heavy as they are.

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#3220599 - 12/18/13 11:53 AM Re: 1978 Toro 826 restoration thread [Re: jeepman3071]
threeputtpar Offline


Registered: 08/04/11
Posts: 2085
Loc: Appleton, WI
I had that exact machine that I inherited from my dad who inherited from my uncle who bought it originally in 1978. It is a beast at chucking snow, and even more so at manuevering it around even under power.

Mine eventually was sent packing because the starter recoil never worked (but it did have electric start), the straps on the gas tank both rusted through and are no longer available, the carb needed a rebuild, and the workout I got when using it made me look for something a bit more user friendly. I really needed the pull start as it would intermittantly quit for no reason but fire right back up and the garage outlet was a ways away.

I must admit, the newer blower that I bought doesn't hold a candle to the 826 in throwing abilitly, even with an extra 2.5 hp. It's the drum design around the auger and the larger impeller that really gives the 826 it's oomph.

I'm now looking at an 824 of the same design that a local guy that fixes them in his shed has for sale. I'll probably sell off the newer 10.5 hp 30" Poulan I have before it starts to look bad and looses its vaule. The best thing is that the 824 I'm eyeing up had the Tecumseh HS80 on it, and I'm far more knowledgeable of the Tecs than the B&S lumps.
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#3220601 - 12/18/13 11:55 AM Re: 1978 Toro 826 restoration thread [Re: NHGUY]
threeputtpar Offline


Registered: 08/04/11
Posts: 2085
Loc: Appleton, WI
Originally Posted By: NHGUY
Got to love the old Ariens models.They are balanced so well,and dont seem as heavy as they are.


Ummmmm, it's actually a Toro. smirk

But yes, the old Ariens models are quite nice.
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#3220859 - 12/18/13 04:25 PM Re: 1978 Toro 826 restoration thread [Re: jeepman3071]
2oldtommy Offline


Registered: 10/29/06
Posts: 873
Loc: Ohio
My 1968 Ariens Sno-thro was inherited from my FIL about 10 years ago. It started life in Erie PA, so you know it was well used.I have used it once a day for the past week. It starts on the 2nd pull and I can finish my 100ft. drive in ~20 mins.It is all original except the sliders on the sides which were worn out from sliding on concrete. There is a web site on the net with history and pics of all the models of Ariens. Lots of info for restoration work. FWIW

Oldtommy

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#3220887 - 12/18/13 05:12 PM Re: 1978 Toro 826 restoration thread [Re: jeepman3071]
wog Offline


Registered: 11/19/06
Posts: 165
Loc: massachusetts
Jeep. I purchased the same model 2years ago off guy,he called it the beast. Works good you need to be part octopus to run it. Enjoy your new toy

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#3223379 - 12/21/13 07:07 AM Re: 1978 Toro 826 restoration thread [Re: jeepman3071]
dlundblad Offline


Registered: 09/30/13
Posts: 10002
Loc: Indiana
That's a very awesome machine. Looking forward to the updates.

All these small engine machines are inspiring me to post pics of my dads Wheelhorse restoration job/ work in progress. lol
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#3226817 - 12/24/13 08:39 PM Re: 1978 Toro 826 restoration thread [Re: dlundblad]
jeepman3071 Offline


Registered: 04/15/10
Posts: 4206
Loc: Storrs, Connecticut
Originally Posted By: dlundblad
That's a very awesome machine. Looking forward to the updates.

All these small engine machines are inspiring me to post pics of my dads Wheelhorse restoration job/ work in progress. lol


You should post pics, those old Wheel Horses are awesome tractors.
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2000 Jeep Cherokee 4.0L (179k) - Pennzoil 10w30, Napa Gold 1516, Magnefine trans filter
2009 BMW 328i (32k) - Castrol Edge Euro 0w40, MANN HU816X

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#3226839 - 12/24/13 09:02 PM Re: 1978 Toro 826 restoration thread [Re: jeepman3071]
jeepman3071 Offline


Registered: 04/15/10
Posts: 4206
Loc: Storrs, Connecticut
Here are some pics of it before I started working on it:





I popped off the flywheel with a puller, as well as the old coil.



The coil had some RTV and fence wire on it. Seems like the 2nd owner may have tried to rig up a fix.





The flywheel key was sheared, and it actually broke into two pieces when I pulled the flywheel off.



It came with all the service receipts, original owner's manual, original purchase receipt, and even a sales book from 1978.



Here is a picture of the original purchase receipt. This machine was bought in Groton, CT which is about 50 minutes away from me, and it cost around $735 new.



I wonder if that hardware store still exists.

I've ordered a few parts that it needs and will work on getting it running soon. Once it runs I'll post a video of it.
_________________________
2000 Jeep Cherokee 4.0L (179k) - Pennzoil 10w30, Napa Gold 1516, Magnefine trans filter
2009 BMW 328i (32k) - Castrol Edge Euro 0w40, MANN HU816X

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#3226876 - 12/24/13 09:45 PM Re: 1978 Toro 826 restoration thread [Re: jeepman3071]
Ramblejam Offline


Registered: 11/05/13
Posts: 3210
Loc: Kentucky
Originally Posted By: jeepman3071
I wonder if that hardware store still exists.



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#3226886 - 12/24/13 10:00 PM Re: 1978 Toro 826 restoration thread [Re: Ramblejam]
jeepman3071 Offline


Registered: 04/15/10
Posts: 4206
Loc: Storrs, Connecticut
Awesome thumbsup
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2000 Jeep Cherokee 4.0L (179k) - Pennzoil 10w30, Napa Gold 1516, Magnefine trans filter
2009 BMW 328i (32k) - Castrol Edge Euro 0w40, MANN HU816X

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#3247885 - 01/14/14 09:18 AM Re: 1978 Toro 826 restoration thread [Re: jeepman3071]
jeepman3071 Offline


Registered: 04/15/10
Posts: 4206
Loc: Storrs, Connecticut
Well, I replaced the ignition coil with a magnetron ignition coil and eliminated the points. It has great spark now, but I still need to wire in a kill switch. I'm still waiting on a new head gasket which according to USPS tracking has been in North Carolina for a few days. ???

I'll have pics of the new coil and other stuff once it is all wired up. I also have new belts in the mail, and was able to find some NOS Toro belts. thumbsup

While waiting on the head gasket, I decided to pull the bottom cover to clean it out and grease everything.

Nothing like finding a giant smelly mouse nest...





There was no dead mouse luckily, but all the fluff from the nest had gotten tangled in the drive chains which was a major pain to clean out.



They don't make 'em like this anymore. This machine has a bunch of grease zerks underneath for the drive components. grin

More updates soon!
_________________________
2000 Jeep Cherokee 4.0L (179k) - Pennzoil 10w30, Napa Gold 1516, Magnefine trans filter
2009 BMW 328i (32k) - Castrol Edge Euro 0w40, MANN HU816X

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#3248990 - 01/15/14 09:40 AM Re: 1978 Toro 826 restoration thread [Re: jeepman3071]
jeepman3071 Offline


Registered: 04/15/10
Posts: 4206
Loc: Storrs, Connecticut
Got the new coil all bolted on. It puts out nice blue spark!



Just waiting on the head gasket and it should be running! thumbsup
_________________________
2000 Jeep Cherokee 4.0L (179k) - Pennzoil 10w30, Napa Gold 1516, Magnefine trans filter
2009 BMW 328i (32k) - Castrol Edge Euro 0w40, MANN HU816X

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