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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have an older 80s Troy Built tiller that the starter wont engage. Starter Spins freely and strongly but clutch doesn't seem to allow the gear to engage? Cant find engine or tiller part/ model number anywhere so in the dark here.

See the video the clutch seems to be sticking .
So the question is can I clean or need to replace, if so how do I find the part number of the starter ? Saw 2 different videos on top end , 1 says do not use any lubricant other used lithium grease and WD-40 to lubricate and keep it spinning freely ....???

 

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Hey Kenneth,
Welcome tothe forum. I see no reason why you can't pull the starter and give it a good cleaning on the drive end. Might free up with just WD40. Bench test it and reinstall. If the starter is bad you might find numbers on it to replace or it might be the solenoid not pulling it in.
 

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I would be inclined to blow and clean with compressed air and if you have any graphite, sprinkle that on the worm and work the bendix up and down on the worm, if no graphite, then a slow job with a lead pencil rubbing over all of the worm, don't use grease at all as this will attract dirt and dust and will make the action much worse after a period of use.

check that the actual armature shaft is not spinning inside the weight under the starter gear?, grab the weight and turn this and the armature should turn with it with a little resistance.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I would be inclined to blow and clean with compressed air and if you have any graphite, sprinkle that on the worm and work the bendix up and down on the worm, if no graphite, then a slow job with a lead pencil rubbing over all of the worm, don't use grease at all as this will attract dirt and dust and will make the action much worse after a period of use.

check that the actual armature shaft is not spinning inside the weight under the starter gear?, grab the weight and turn this and the armature should turn with it with a little resistance.
OK thank you
 

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I just inherited my Dad's Troy Bilt Horse that is a 1981 model I think based on the 544327 serial number and it has electric start also. My starter is occasionally failing to lock in so I am interested in your problem. I am new member so not sure what I am doing but will follow your post to see if you find a solution or a starter replacement. I have the 6 HP Tecumseh engine and am also looking for the model number which I am guessing may be under the flywheel cover per this link https://weingartz.com/tecumseh-power-company-model-number-lookup/4539 but the rain has stopped me from digging into the engine today. Appears the gas tank and two head bolts have to come off. Will let you know if I find it. My immediate problem is that I am missing the front belt closest to the engine. Do you know the function of this belt. I am thinking the rear one that have is reverse.
 

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Only use one belt! You move it back and forth for high and low range. Reverse is your 'gear handle all the way forward.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I just inherited my Dad's Troy Bilt Horse that is a 1981 model I think based on the 544327 serial number and it has electric start also. My starter is occasionally failing to lock in so I am interested in your problem. I am new member so not sure what I am doing but will follow your post to see if you find a solution or a starter replacement. I have the 6 HP Tecumseh engine and am also looking for the model number which I am guessing may be under the flywheel cover per this link https://weingartz.com/tecumseh-power-company-model-number-lookup/4539 but the rain has stopped me from digging into the engine today. Appears the gas tank and two head bolts have to come off. Will let you know if I find it. My immediate problem is that I am missing the front belt closest to the engine. Do you know the function of this belt. I am thinking the rear one that have is reverse.
Hello and Welcome,

Mine only has the rear belt too and it goes forward backward high and low speed so your good in that aspect. I took my starter to my local Autoparts shop where they rebuild car starters he jumped it to a battery and said before you do anything else I would try it again with a jump or battery charger, My battery spun it but maybe you needed a bit more kick, ( free to try so I will ) I am also going to as mentioned earlier above blow it clean with compressed air and maybe add some graphite to help it slide better as it does get hung up sometimes. Snow holding me up here will get on it tomorrow as I think that should be it for the season FINALLY !
 

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Thanks Guys. Good to hear. I may not have have had it fully in gear yesterday. After reading your reply, I remember that my starter problems happened when my HF jump box was down to one of five lights so I hope that is your solution. I was able to start up after recharging the jump box.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I would be inclined to blow and clean with compressed air and if you have any graphite, sprinkle that on the worm and work the bendix up and down on the worm, if no graphite, then a slow job with a lead pencil rubbing over all of the worm, don't use grease at all as this will attract dirt and dust and will make the action much worse after a period of use.

check that the actual armature shaft is not spinning inside the weight under the starter gear?, grab the weight and turn this and the armature should turn with it with a little resistance.
The armature shaft does not spin separately from the armature.... so that's good The shaft spins freely but there is some resistance. I had to use a pencil after I blew out any dust on the worm and gear. Man that thing is now slick as can be. I'm keeping a lead pencil in my tool box for that trick from now on. It does not hang up any more. I'm gonna reinstall it all up, try a jump box in addition if needed. will let everyone know my results.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Well I put the starter on and it spun freely when I tapped the key but armature never went up the worm gear....uumm scratching my head I tried a few times ......wait a minute its spinning in reverse.. My dad always told me "a real man admits to his mistakes" soooo I had the battery backwards as it has a red negative cable and a black positive. STARTER SPUN BACKWARDS. Swapped the battery, cleaned posts and cable ends and viola tiller is up and running, changed the oil ready for work . Just tilled the garden area but snow again on Sunday. Plants will have to wait a little longer.

Occam's Razor . its usually the simplest solution when all things are being equal.


thank you for your inputs.... Love the led pencil
 

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If you really wanted to screw with somebody that had an engine with an old school distributor... You took a lead pencil and "scribbled" all over the inside of the distributor cap. It's like adding a dozen different spark plug leads, but without the benefit of timing. That worked even better than a potato shoved up the exhaust pipe and it's harder to figure out:)

On the back side... If you had a bad distributor cap that let in moisture, or was corroded, you "painted" the studs inside the cap and the rotor tip with a lead pencil. Fires right up 95% of the time
 

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IMG_1558.JPG

If you can get something like this in the States, well and good, can be used for a lot fixes, puffing into door locks to smooth the mechs, I use mine to make the couplings on my model railroad cars work smoothly, a very handy product.

Sounds like Bob may have had a bit of devil in him, I could be accused of stuffing a potato up an exhaust pipe when I was a younger bloke !!.:D
 

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View attachment 55869

If you can get something like this in the States, well and good, can be used for a lot fixes, puffing into door locks to smooth the mechs, I use mine to make the couplings on my model railroad cars work smoothly, a very handy product.

Sounds like Bob may have had a bit of devil in him, I could be accused of stuffing a potato up an exhaust pipe when I was a younger bloke !!.:D
Peanut butter on a recessed door handle usually got quite a buzz out of people. With just a quick glance, they are definitely going to want to kick your butt thinking it's something much worse. My brother once chased me around a 200 acre cornfield, carrying a tire iron, for about an hour over that one:)
 

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Hello and Welcome,

Mine only has the rear belt too and it goes forward backward high and low speed so your good in that aspect. I took my starter to my local Autoparts shop where they rebuild car starters he jumped it to a battery and said before you do anything else I would try it again with a jump or battery charger, My battery spun it but maybe you needed a bit more kick, ( free to try so I will ) I am also going to as mentioned earlier above blow it clean with compressed air and maybe add some graphite to help it slide better as it does get hung up sometimes. Snow holding me up here will get on it tomorrow as I think that should be it for the season FINALLY !
The Troy Bilt has 4 speeds. Forward high, forward low, reverse high and reverse low. You move the belt onto the front pulleys or the rear pulleys for high and low........the 4 pulleys are all different sizes.
 
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