Troy-Bilt mowers are excellent machines. There are times when you may have to do a bit of maintenance though. Changing the spark plug, air filter, oil, and gasoline are important to the running of your Troy-Bilt. However, you also need to know how to adjust your belt on the mower.
Tightening the belt on your Troy-Bilt mower may be one of the easiest maintenance jobs you can do. But you have to do it right or you could make things worse. You will only need a few common tools and a little time to do this simple repair job. We have made it easy by listing the steps in order for you to follow.
Get Your Tools Ready
All you should need is a wrench and some pliers, but you may need to remove any gas from the tank to be extra safe. So, grab a siphon and a container to collect the fuel too. It is also a good idea to have some gloves and a few rags to clean up any spills.
Step One: Safety First
The first thing to do is to park it on a flat surface. Activate the parking brake and remove the key from the ignition. Some experts tell you to disconnect the battery while others say it is best to unhook your spark plug wire. The best thing to do is whichever one makes you the most comfortable. Or you can go ahead and do both.
Step Two: Engage the Blade
The parking lever, also called the power take off (PTO) lever, is the lever that engages the blade. It is just to the right of the driver’s seat by the fender. Move it all the way forward into the drive position.
Step Three: Check the Blade Engagement Rod
You will need to lift the mower deck to the highest position. The lever to lift the deck is next to the parking lever. Make sure the rod to the blade engagement shifts away from the parking bracket while it is in the highest position.
Step Four: Check Other Positions
Move the parking lever until it is in the off position. Make sure that the protrusions touch the parking bracket in this position. If either one of these settings is not right, you will have to adjust the rod.
Step Five: Adjusting the Blade Engagement Rod
Put the parking lever in the off position and put the deck as low as it will go. Loosen the nut holding the rod in position. Move the other end of the rod forward until it connects with the adjustment slot. Tighten the nut while holding the rod in place.
Step Six: Check the Adjustment
Repeat steps three and four to make sure the adjustment is correct. If the rod is still not engaging properly, try adjusting it again. If it engages, you are ready to move onto the next step.
Step Seven: Finish Up
If you removed the spark plug wire, lift the mower deck back to the mowing position again and hook the spark plug back up. If you unhooked the battery, go ahead and hook that back up too.
Changing the Spark Plug
While you are at it, why not go ahead and replace that spark plug? A new plug can never hurt the performance of the mower and you should do it once a year anyway. The steps for this are pretty easy too.
Step One: Get the Correct Spark Plug
Make sure you have the exact right spark plug before starting this job. There are so many spark plugs that look alike so you need to know the right part number before getting the plug.
Step Two: Get the Right Tools for the Job
To change the spark plug, you will need a spark plug wrench and a gapping tool or feeler gauge. You may also need some brake cleaner to clean the old plug so you can check it for signs of engine trouble.
Step Three: Remove the Old Spark Plug
Unhook the spark plug wire. Use the spark plug wrench to loosen the plug by turning it counterclockwise. Clean the end of the plug that was inside the motor with brake fluid and take a look at the tip.
Step Four: Check for Signs of Engine Trouble
- There are several types of damage to the tip that can give you an idea if there is anything wrong with your motor. Some of these include:
- White deposits on the tip may mean you need to change the oil
- Black soot on the tip can indicate a malfunctioning ignition
- Having an oily tip could mean a worn engine or ignition system
- Blistered white insulators may be a sign of a malfunctioning cooling system or bad engine timing
Step Five: Setting the Gap
Check for the correct gap in your owner’s manual. If you don’t have a manual, you can find it online. Use the gap tool or feeler gauge to set the right gap on your new plug.
Step Six: Installing the Plug
Put the new plug into the cylinder head by hand. Do not force it. Make sure you do not cross the threads. If you feel any resistance, remove it and start again. Tighten it hand tight.
Step Seven: Hooking it Back Up
Use the spark plug wrench to tighten up the plug. You can make sure it is tight but do not over-tighten it. Replace the spark plug wire to the plug and you are good to go.
May as Well Check the Air Filter
Since you are already in there, go ahead and check the air filter to see if it is dirty or clogged.
- Disconnect the spark plug again
- Remove the wing nuts from the air filter assembly
- Take the whole assembly off and remove the foam part
- Wash the foam in mild detergent and water and let it dry
- Put a few drops of engine oil on the foam and then squeeze it out
- Replace the foam and paper elements to the assembly
- Tighten the wing nuts
- Reconnect the spark plug wire
Checking the Oil
If your mower is still not running properly, check the condition of your oil. Take a look at the consistency and color of the oil. If it is black, change it. If the level is low, add some oil. Make sure it is the correct type and weight. Your owner’s manual or Google can tell you the right one to use.
Maybe Your Mower Has Bad Gas
If your lawnmower is still acting strange, change the gas. Fuel can go bad in as little as a month. Dump the fuel into a container you can seal and dispose of properly. Add fresh gas and some fuel additive to help get your motor going. These additives clean deposits and gum out of the motor.
If Your Mower Still Does Not Run Properly
If you still have trouble with your Troy-Bilt riding lawnmower, you will need to take it in to get serviced. It could be something simple that can be repaired easily and be relatively inexpensive.
Or, it could be something major that will cost more than replacing the mower. If your mower is old and you have gotten over 500 hours on it, you may just want to think about getting a new one.