Repairing a MTD Riding Mower

June 1, 2018

I have an MTD lawn tractor, Diana t81. When I'm changing the drive speed in the 3rd, 4th, or 5th gear, it still drives slowly as if in the second gear? What could be the problem?



Diamond Post Medal for All Time! 1,246 Posts
June 1, 20180 found this helpful
Best Answer

Try putting it in neutral, then in 6th gear, then letting out the clutch. I've read this re-aligns it.

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41 More Questions

Here are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community.

April 27, 2011

My MTD 15.5HP riding mower won't run unless the choke is pulled out. What could be the problem and how to fix it?

By Ron from Nashville, TN


May 15, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

Ron, I think your carburetor is dirty. Remove and clean it well. Billy Griffiths from South Africa.

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August 19, 2010

I have an MTD riding mower, 18hp twin power. I have a carburetor issue, if I choke the carb and cover the little hole with my finger, the engine starts right up. If I remove my finger, it will die. I run the rider with choke pulled out fully. I am unable to utilize the throttle control or it will die. If I push in the choke just a little it will die, does anyone have an answer to my dilemma?

By Dano77 from Buckner, MO


April 10, 20170 found this helpful
Best Answer

You need to replace the carb.

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September 1, 2019

My MTD ride on lawn mower runs great, but quits when I let the clutch out. It is model 13ab662f516 13.5 HP in perfect, hardly ever used shape.
Thank you.


Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 140 Posts
September 1, 20190 found this helpful

Check filter and spark plugs!

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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


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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March 21, 2017

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


Diamond Post Medal for All Time! 1,246 Posts
March 21, 20170 found this helpful

You might need to clean its carbs

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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


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.

October 28, 20070 found this helpful

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

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.


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.

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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September 25, 2019

My MTD mower rider will start with the drive belt off, but when I put the drive belt on it just jerks and will not turn over. I would really appreciate some help with this issue.

I have replaced the starter, replaced the battery, and checked for loose wires.

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


Diamond Post Medal for All Time! 1,246 Posts
May 9, 20171 found this helpful

If its clicking its probably the starter solenoid

is it like this?

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May 21, 2011

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?

By Linda W. from Salt Lake City, UT


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.

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

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.


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

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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


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.

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.

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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June 28, 2019

I have a MTD l42 riding mower. When trying to crank, the solenoid keeps clicking when cranking.

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May 31, 2019

I have 2007 42 inch Yard Machine riding mower. I forgot which hole my blade cable goes in on my deck.

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November 25, 2018

The mower seems to be engaged, and it is having trouble turning over to start. Is there a way to disengage?

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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?


May 31, 20170 found this helpful

Here is the website from the company for troubleshooting:

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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April 19, 2015

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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May 5, 2013

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


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.

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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January 13, 2020

Where can I find out how to install the rubber arm pads on my MTD yard machine? I am using replacement round arm pads, Wheeltronic Lift/Snapon Lift.

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May 24, 2019

I have a Yard Machine (MTD) from around 2003, that won't start. When I turn it over, it spins, but won't fire. I cleaned up the carburetor, changed the fuel and oil, and changed the spark plug, but it's still doing the same thing.

Any suggestions?

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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?


Gold Post Medal for All Time! 677 Posts
May 14, 20170 found this helpful

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

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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.


Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 105 Posts
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:

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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.


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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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.


Silver Post Medal for All Time! 255 Posts
April 12, 20180 found this helpful

Check your throttle. On my mower, its easy to bump it and throw it to faster or slower...

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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?


Gold Post Medal for All Time! 677 Posts
June 28, 20180 found this helpful

MTD has a help page here.

When you buy something used, you usually buy it as-is. In the future I would advise you to test anything before you buy it. If there is anything wrong with it, you can ask for a price adjustment. I personally would not buy anything not working well unless I was confident it would not cost much to fix.

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