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Repairing a MTD Riding Mower

Category Lawn Mowers
Many things can go wrong with your riding mower. If you can diagnose the problem and are handy, you can make many of the repairs yourself. This is a guide about repairing a MTD riding mower.
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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

By 1 found this helpful
July 15, 2010

I have an MTD 42a707 18.5 hp riding lawnmower. The engine turns over plenty fast, it is getting gas, and has new spark plugs, but is not getting a spark. Does that model have a coil?

By craig from Zimmerman, MN

Answers

September 12, 20150 found this helpful

If you're not starting and the plug is firing good, it's likely the "anti-backfire valve" has taken a dump. It screws into the bottom of the carb and has a couple of wires on a plug attached. Remove and replace.

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By 0 found this helpful
September 23, 2007

The drive pulley on my MTD riding lawn mower broke. I removed the bolt that holds it on. Do I have to have a "puller" to remove the pulley or just will power and a hammer?

R.Wilson from Emmett, ID

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October 18, 20070 found this helpful

I wouldn't think twice. Slap a puller on it.
If you are going to be fixing things like this you really should have a set of three-jaw pullers.
I do most of my own repairs and I have an old tool box full of different pullers.
My set of three-jaw pullers is just one of those cheap sets from a tool sale.
The screw threads are not as fine as a more expensive set's would be. No big deal.
I just put a strain on it then smack the end of the screw with a hammer.
Works great.

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October 28, 20070 found this helpful

A pulley "puller" is a good idea. Harbor-Freight in Spokane on Sprague and Sullivan has them.
DoctorBill

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By John C (Guest Post)
December 13, 20070 found this helpful

Look for a product called, "Fluid Film" at hardware or farm store. It's based on lanolin/wool wax, and is the best stuff I've ever found for getting really difficult parts to release.

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Give it about 15 minutes to work after application, and you should have a lot better luck removing the part. A puller would be nice, but two pieces of hardwood will generally work, too.

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By ben (Guest Post)
April 8, 20080 found this helpful

i have a 1994 mtd 18 horse lawn tractor. it has a 6 speed control, it's stuck in the third speed and can't start the engine.

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By 0 found this helpful
May 9, 2017

My 14 hp. MTD riding lawn mower will only start with a charger attached at 75 amp jump start setting even with a new fully charged battery. How do I know if it is the solenoid or the starter? I do hear a single click noise each time I turn the key.

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The starter is warm after trying a few times which lends me to believe it is the starter. Thanks for any suggestions.

Answers

May 9, 20171 found this helpful

If its clicking its probably the starter solenoid

is it like this?

https://www.you  ch?v=GAkfS2ovm9Q

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May 10, 20171 found this helpful

The MTD company has a troubleshooting page for all their products: http://www.mtdp  t_10500_20500_-1

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May 10, 20170 found this helpful

Thank you attosa. That is exactly how it is acting. I will test it to be sure but I think that is it.

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May 21, 20110 found this helpful

My right back tire is flat, I took off the screw, but can't pull off the tire. Is it supposed to come off from the front of the wheel? In other words are the things that look like washers just frozen because of rust? Or does it pull off from the back of the tire?

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By Linda W. from Salt Lake City, UT

Answers

May 22, 20110 found this helpful

I have a John Deere but I believe removing the rear tire from your machine would be the same. The wheel is held on with a snap ring. You will need a special pair of pliers to remove the snap ring. You should be able to buy the pliers at an auto store. The ring looks like a washer except it has a piece cut out and two holes drilled into the washer near the opening. The pliers have two prongs that fit into the holes. Squeezing the pliers expand the ring so you can remove it. You could also visit a riding mower repair shop and they will help you. They should be listed in the phone book.

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Anonymous
February 9, 20160 found this helpful

Don't think that has a snap ring if not lots of pb blaster and I hooks an good size puller

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July 13, 20160 found this helpful

I'm having trouble putting the front tire back on a riding lawn mower which has a snap ring type thing on it but it dose not have any holes for the snap ring pliers. It looks like it should snap on if you push it but there is not room to push it and I didnt take it off so I dont know how it came off just trying to use the mower, i tried using a washer on the outside just to push it on but didnt work.

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anysuggestions? I have never worked on anything before just learning and need to get it on Thanks frustrated

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By 0 found this helpful
April 6, 2008

I have a 18hp MTD mower that won't turn over. I've replace the starter switch, starter solenoid, and safety switch, as well as replaced the 7.5 amp fuse. Any ideas?

Chuck G. from CA

Answers

April 6, 20080 found this helpful

I usually try spraying a little carb cleaner in as I turn the key. You can try the fuel filter and make sure your gas is still good after sitting all winter.

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By sir (Guest Post)
April 7, 20080 found this helpful

I was having the same problem. It turns out that a piece of cord was wrapped so tightly around the blade shaft that it was frozen there. Cutting wet grass has jammed my blade also.

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By Crystal (Guest Post)
April 11, 20080 found this helpful

Have you checked your spark plug for carbon, that would be my next check, then the fuel filter to see if it's clogged.

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By 0 found this helpful
May 30, 2017

My MTD RH115B ride-on mower developed a problem last year where the drive belts for the blade and wheels repeatedly came off.

I had it serviced twice last summer by a local plant-hire company, the second time specifically to address this issue. However last weekend I used it for the first time this year and the drive belt for the wheels came off three times in half an hour. The last time the belt for the rear wheels - under the seat - went under the belt wheel and I cannot get it back on without removing the belt wheel. It has what looks like a nut on the top, but turing it just turns the wheel. How do I get the wheel off to replace the belt and why would the belts keep coming off?

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Anonymous
May 31, 20170 found this helpful

Here is the website from the company for troubleshooting: http://www.mtdp  mower-drive-belt

It seems involved. You have to take off a lot of parts. They recommend putting them in the order you took them off in order to get them back on correctly.

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May 31, 20170 found this helpful

Thanks for that. Looks like I'd got as far as step 5 before I gave up. When I try to loosen the nut ( as described ) the 'pulley' just turns with the nut. Don't know how to fix the pulley in order to turn the nut. There is a small hole in it that I've seen be used on other machinery to stop a part turning but it's not obvious how in this case.

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By 0 found this helpful
March 21, 2017

The engine starts with no problem, but begins to surge, RPMs up and down. Why?

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March 21, 20170 found this helpful

You might need to clean its carbs

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July 25, 20170 found this helpful

it drives ok in reverse but not forward

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May 5, 20130 found this helpful

My MTD ride on mower will start and drive with no problem, but as soon as I lower the blade to cut the grass the fuse blows causing the mower to cut out. Has anyone any idea why this is happening?

By Richie

Answers

September 27, 20130 found this helpful

You're belts under the lawn mower are to tight or to loose or the spindle is lose they must be bolt drive tight.

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September 11, 20170 found this helpful

Sound like to me I have a pinch wire under the mower when I lower it it make a ground who's pinchingna wire causing the wire to ground out an there for blowing the fuse, but I could be wrong.

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By 0 found this helpful
May 13, 2017

My MTD 660 (about 10 years old) stalls when making a left turn. I've looked for rubbed wires, been over the steering column and linkages, and checked the safeties. I weigh almost 300 lbs, so the seat switch isn't the problem. I've never run into something like this! Recommendations?

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May 14, 20170 found this helpful

I had that problem once with a car. It was the carburetor.

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By 0 found this helpful
March 31, 2016

I needed to replace the ignition switch on my Bolens riding mower. I never had a picture of which wires went to which tabs on the back of the ignition so now I don't know which wire goes where. Please help. It is a 13WC762065 Bolens lawn tractor by MTD.

Answers

September 11, 20170 found this helpful

If you google Bolens Ingition Switch diagrams you will find plenty of images. However, I think it would be best to watch the film on YouTube of how to change your ignition switch. You can see the film here:
https://www.you  ch?v=vALZezVBrI4

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By 0 found this helpful
September 20, 2015

How do I change the PTO cable on my MTD riding mower, and how do I get the cover thing completely off from under the seat? I took out the four screws that I could see and the one under the foot rest area. But, it still won't come off. Of course I disconnected the battery and took it out.

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September 22, 20150 found this helpful

I found out that there are two screws under the big sticker in the middle of the floorboard thing that is in between the seat and the steering wheel. I took them out and was able to change the PTO cable. It's still a b#tch to get the spring off and back on from under the left side of the seat.

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By 0 found this helpful
April 23, 2010

My MTD model Briggs & Stratton engine 42A707 (700) won't start but keeps spinning. It stops running and will not run again. I replaced the fuel filter, drained off the fuel, and replaced the Magnetron unit. I have also replaced the spark plugs and cleaned the air filter. The choke opened and closed nicely, suddenly it cranked and started for 5 seconds and went dead. It still cranks but just won't start. The battery is new. I noticed that I can crank the engine when I have the gear in forward or reverse without pressing the clutch. Any idea what happen here? Please help, thanks!

By pengteo from Redmond, WA

Answers

May 1, 20100 found this helpful

I recommend that you have the mower serviced by a qualified mech. It sounds like you have an electrical issue in the safety switches.

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By 0 found this helpful
March 29, 2010

I am looking for a wiring harness for a 1997 MTD Power Pro lawnmower, model number - 13al452f120.

By gary from Gadsden, AL

Answers

March 30, 20100 found this helpful

I went to mtdproducts.com put in your part number 13AL452F120 and the return answer was no such part number. Why not call MTD at 1-800-269-6215.

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By 0 found this helpful
August 23, 2015

My Lawn Boy MTD 13AO672G120 suddenly shifted into the fastest gear. It made for an exciting ride back through the woods on trails, but I can't get it out of that gear. It starts fine, but even in reverse, goes shooting out of the garage in the fastest gear. Any ideas on a fix? The brakes don't slow it down. The brake spring was gone, but I replaced it with no results.

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By 0 found this helpful
June 23, 2015

I have a Yard Machine riding lawnmower (Model # 13A176F729). I just purchased it used. I believe I'm having an intermittent problem with the PTO belt. I get the "vacuum noise" when the mower is cutting. About 30 seconds later, that noise disappears, and the mower stops cutting. The mower still moves, but it won't cut. Then, I get the noise and it cuts. A few seconds later, the noise goes away, and the mower won't cut.

Do I need to replace a belt or two?

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April 21, 20150 found this helpful

How do you check the electric clutch on a MTD riding mower? Mine seems to have a lot of free play. Is this normal?

By Kevin P.

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April 20, 20150 found this helpful

I have a 42" 7 speed MTD Gold riding mower with a 19 hp Kohler engine. I can not get it to start. I have checked the fuel filter, replaced the battery and the spark plug and cleaned the carberator. When I hit it with some starter fluid, it cranks but just falls dead, then won't start again. The last time is did start was last summer. My son tried to jump it, but inverted the positive and the negative cables. Any ideas?

By Duane C

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April 19, 20150 found this helpful

I've got an older MTD Yard Machine 17 and a half horsepower, 46 inch cut. I need to know how to put the belt on the deck. It has three blades and I cannot figure out how to intertwined the belt through all the pulleys. I need a diagram.

By Scott from JC, MO

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November 14, 20140 found this helpful

Where is the gizmo on my 16.5 MTD riding mower (15 yrs old about) that will let me push it out of gear. It is stuck in a field and won't start up so. I need to push it. Thank you very much.

By Peter

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September 29, 20140 found this helpful

My garden tractor blows the fuse only when I turn it off.

By Kent W

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April 19, 20140 found this helpful

I have replaced the belts, but the tractor still will not move. Could it be the transmission?

By Tim B.

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By 0 found this helpful
November 24, 2011

How do I adjust the belts so that my gears are all useable? I have a MTD.

By Elli from Nanango

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August 7, 20110 found this helpful

My MTD riding mower keeps throwing the rear drive belt. It is a 14hp, 38 inch cut. It is fine on level ground, but seems to throw the belt on a decline or when turning on an uneven area. I replaced both drive belts in April and started having this problem in early June.

By Tom O.

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May 29, 20110 found this helpful

How do I install a deck engagement cable on my MTD mower?

By seege

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By 0 found this helpful
March 24, 2011

I have a Yard Machine MTD Special Edition, 18 HP Briggs and Stratton. I have installed a new battery, solenoid, and new battery cables. I checked all of the safety switches. When I try to start the engine with the key I get a chatter from the solenoid. I have started the engine by using a battery with jumping cables. What could be wrong?

By Bruce from Marion, IN

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By 0 found this helpful
September 21, 2010

I have a MTD lawn tractor 600series, 42in. It suddenly stoped moving. The engine is still running and the deck is running fine, but the car won't move forward and backward. I checked the gear, it appears to be attached to transaxle just fine. I also checked on the R.H spring part and it appears to be fine. Can anyone help? Do you think the transaxle (part number 618-0163) is done? Thanks.

By pengteo from Redmond

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By 0 found this helpful
June 2, 2010

Both bearings blew out on the double pulley above the deck on my 1996 MTD riding mower. Are they different sizes?

By jeff lee hollenbeck

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By 0 found this helpful
April 30, 2010

I have a 14.5 hp MTD yard machine and it is stuck in gear. How can I get it out of gear? Thanks.

By Richard L Smith

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August 30, 20090 found this helpful

How do I go about changing the front belt on a MTD task force riding lawn mower?

By sharon from Lecanto, FL

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Archives

ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

July 15, 20100 found this helpful

I have a 12hp 38inch MTD riding tractor. The engine drags really slow when trying to start and drains the battery after a few tries. Do I need a new battery or new starter? Can anyone help?

Thanks.

By jay

Answers:

Repairing a MTD Riding Lawn Mower

I am not sure about yours; but mine was doing that, too. My husband noted that the choke was not working; so now I just manually "choke" the engine as I start it, and it starts every time. (04/04/2010)

By Jill

Repairing a MTD Riding Lawn Mower

Start with the battery. Most parts stores will load test them at no fee. (05/01/2010)

By Bill

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July 15, 20090 found this helpful

I am in the process of repairing a 1997 MTD 18HP lawn mower. I am having a problem putting the carburetor back together properly. Does anyone know where or have some pictures I can look at? Thanks for any help.

Adam from Fishers, IN

Answers:

getting gas to the carb

Check the diaphragm in the front of the carburetor, it could be dried out. That's if it is a twin cycle. I'm sure that is your problem, I have fix plenty of those. (05/16/2007)

By Stan the man

clicking when turning the key

If it is clicking I'm sure its the solenoid. Also check the starter and make sure the starter drive is not stuck in the fly wheel. (05/16/2007)

By Stan the man

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May 14, 20070 found this helpful

I have a MTD 18 HP riding lawnmower. I have changed the battery, ignition, fuse, and spark plugs. I have checked the starter and flywheel and they seem fine. I still can't get the mower to turn over. Does anyone have any ideas on what else to try to at least get the mower to turn over?

Robbie from TIMBERLAKE, NC

Answers:

Repairing a MTD 18 HP Riding Lawn Mower

We had the same problem with our MTD riding lawnmower. Turns out, the NEW battery we purchased from Walmart - was a bad battery. Returned it, got another one and it started right up! (04/11/2006)

Repairing a MTD 18 HP Riding Lawn Mower

Check your magneto. If it's too far from the fly wheel, it won't spark at all. (04/11/2006)

By Jake

Repairing a MTD 18 HP Riding Lawn Mower

3 essential things needed for any petrol engine compression, Fuel and spark compression take out spark plug and put thumb over spark plug hole and turn over should feel pressure if none possibly leaking valves may need to be regrinded or rings going.You need compression to draw petrol into engine.Next check that fuel is getting to moter if the moter has been turned over with spark plug in it should be wet with fuel otherwise if spark plug dry suspect fuel blockage follow the fuel line make sure filters are cleared and will need to dismantle jets in carby and blow out with compressor or foot pump if fuel is getting thru check spark by undoing spark plug and with lead attached short against metal part of mower and turn engine overs if no spark will need to check points gap try a new condenser if it has one set magneto gap distance is a cigarette paper width.Clean the magneto with fine sandpaper esp coil points some moters have electronic coils.If still no spark replace spark plug as could be faulty.One tip do not keep turning over engine unless you put some form of lubrication in as you will damage the rings.If moter has the electronic ignition you will have to get that tested at the mower dealer or auto electrician as requires special tools hope that helps i fix mowers as a hobby havent found any that i havent been able to figure out what was wrong with them.Using the above simple diagnostics.brent nz nz (04/12/2006)

By brent new zealand

Repairing a MTD 18 HP Riding Lawn Mower

It could be the safety connections.For example on my riding mower the is a connection under the seat when disconnected will not turn over the mower.If you have the owners manuel look to see where these connections are or trace them by eye to make sure all are connected and making contact. (04/12/2006)

By Dean

Repairing a MTD 18 HP Riding Lawn Mower

Brent New Zealand says: check spark by undoing spark plug and with lead attached short against metal part of mower and turn engine overs if no spark will need to check...

Question: HOW do you do this in detail? Take the spark plug all the way off...and THEN attach some sort of wire to the spark plug connector?...and then touch part of the mower with the wire? (08/16/2006)

By mitch1

Repairing a MTD 18 HP Riding Lawn Mower

Turns out mine was the crank shaft the hole not drilled all the way through for oil flow, trying to get Briggs & Straton to stand behind faulty craftman ship.
If I would have used cheap oil it would have locked up sooner. Just over 100 hrs. but 4 years old (08/16/2006)

By altrammell

Repairing a MTD 18 HP Riding Lawn Mower

I have an MTD Tradesman 18.5 HP and I cannot get the fuel to flow through the fuel line. I have checked the fiel line for a blockage from the fuel tank to the fuel filter, changed the fuel filter, and checked the fule line from the filter to the carb????? I can get it to start if I put a little fuel in the carb but it will only run for 15 sec. or so and I cannot see any fuel coming through the filter? I can blow air into the fuel tank through the fuel line but I cannot get it to flow into the line from the tank??? Any thoughts? (03/07/2007)

By Ronda Bird

Repairing a MTD 18 HP Riding Lawn Mower

check the ignition switch contacts. Pull the switch out, clean contacts. We just got a free one from a friend and it wouldn't start. He had to jump start it. That was all that was wrong with it (plus a totally clogged air filter). Worked for us. (03/19/2007)

By Patty

Repairing a MTD 18 HP Riding Lawn Mower

I have a Power Pro 12 HP IC riding mower. Model #12AL452F120 SER#3B19711-0214. A large spring came loose under the rider and from the deck. I put the mower on lifts and thought that I had the correct area that it went into. However, the entire mower can not be moved even out of gear and in neutral. The mower was having starting problems recently and I had to open the cover and hand turn the top of the motor until it felt like it would release and then it would turn over. Any ideas or suggestions for me to repair this? (05/10/2007)

By Jim

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