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  1. #1
    Super Member
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    Default Troy Bilt recoil starter replacement

    My neighbor had a 1980's Horse for sale at a good price so now I own it.
    The problem is the recoil starter that only works properly if you pull the starter cord in a fast snap.
    It won't engage if pulled slowly. Other than this issue and an oil seal, the tiller has not been used enough to even wear the tines.

    The recoil starter can't be too big an issue. I see complete new bolt-on units on EBAY for $50 but they can't be all that difficult to rebuild.
    Has anyone replaced or repaired one? Should I just buy the EBAY unit or fix what I have?
    Any advice appreciated. Thanks.
    ******

    May I be the kind of person my dogs think I am,

  2. #2
    Platinum Member Craig Clayton's Avatar
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    Uxbridge Ontario Canada
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    L2250 Kubota

    Default Re: Troy Bilt recoil starter replacement

    I own a 5 HP Troy built tiller. Take your recoil off and wash it in varsol , let it dry and oil the mechanism that does the engaging. If the tines have not been off for sometime it will be worth to work at this. There is a seal behind the tines that keeps the oil in the gear box. On mine a strong piece of grass got under the seal and I thought is was destroyed, oil was everywhere. I pulled the grass out and no damage was had to the seal. Again this year I pulled the tines and in only 3 years they were a little snug. Lots of grease and back on the road again.
    Craig Clayton

  3. #3
    Super Member
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    Default Re: Troy Bilt recoil starter replacement

    Quote Originally Posted by Craig Clayton View Post
    I own a 5 HP Troy built tiller. Take your recoil off and wash it in varsol , let it dry and oil the mechanism that does the engaging. If the tines have not been off for sometime it will be worth to work at this. There is a seal behind the tines that keeps the oil in the gear box. On mine a strong piece of grass got under the seal and I thought is was destroyed, oil was everywhere. I pulled the grass out and no damage was had to the seal. Again this year I pulled the tines and in only 3 years they were a little snug. Lots of grease and back on the road again.
    Craig Clayton

    The recoil was off by the pror owner and cleaned. No dice.
    My seals all are ok but I do have a leak from the front seal when I tip the machine forward. It is the front trans seal and I have to remove the engine for this. It doesn;t sound too hard but that;s for another day.
    ******

    May I be the kind of person my dogs think I am,

  4. #4
    Platinum Member Craig Clayton's Avatar
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    Uxbridge Ontario Canada
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    L2250 Kubota

    Default Re: Troy Bilt recoil starter replacement

    The thing about recoils is that there is a ratio between the coiled steel spring and the rope that is wound on the pulley. I know I have taken them apart and managed to put them back together. The part that engages is a centrifugal mechanism that is why a fast pull engages and it does not catch on a slow pull. WEAR SAFETY GLASSES if you are going to pull the recoil apart and GLOVES. My manual says EP140 in the gear drive but I switched to EP 90, it is much easier to buy.
    Craig Clayton

  5. #5
    Super Member
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    Default Re: Troy Bilt recoil starter replacement

    Quote Originally Posted by Craig Clayton View Post
    My manual says EP140 in the gear drive but I switched to EP 90, it is much easier to buy.
    Craig Clayton
    Make sure gear oil safe for yellow metals. I got 90W GL1 at NAPA for $10 a gallon. Used 3 1/2 quarts. Most synthetic is safe but NAPA cheaper and best overall option.
    ******

    May I be the kind of person my dogs think I am,

  6. #6
    Super Member
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    Default Re: Troy Bilt recoil starter replacement

    I learned something about Troy Bilt tillers--or anything-- with an older Kohler engine that is worth mention for others who may someday look for an answer. Old Kohler engine service manuals that were available on-line had the info.

    On certain Kohler K series engines--mine is a K161 and 7 HP from the early 1980's, they used a lot of different starters. Mine was a the odd type that used a small center screw (maybe a 5/16" head) to hold the dogs and circular retainer pully down. The problem was the starter would only engage if the cord was snapped fast and not pulled slowly. A local shop couldn't figure out why this was happening and others said to just replace everything but the cover for $100-$125. The tiller or tractor manuals where this is used make no mention of anyhing engine related. You have to go to Kohler and their info is sparse and confusing.

    Anyway, in my search I learned that Kohler said to "put a drop of 271 red Lock-Tite" on the threads of this retaining screw and torque to 50-75 inch lbs. My problem was oil got on the threads of this screw and it allowed it to back out sufficiently to prevent the dogs from engaging the starter when pulled slowly. It seemed unique to this starter design. So, a drop of 271 on clean threads and my aggravating problem is now solved. This design problem was corrected on later Kohlers but 1970's thinking solved it with a drop of red Lock Tite.

    Kohler used lots of different starters and maybe everyone knows this solution but me but I could find no mention of the Lock-Tite anywhere in my seach. Hope this helps someone someday since these early Kohlers were used in lots of applications and are one of the sweetest sounding engines around.
    ******

    May I be the kind of person my dogs think I am,

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