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Troy-Bilt Horse Project

10003 Views 16 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  TAHOE99
I'm about to overhaul a Troy-Bilt Horse 6HP Tecumseh, serial number 373992. My grandfather bought it new in 1979. I still have the original manuals, receipts, and even the box it came in from the factory. This tiller hasn't been used in about 6 years. It was very weak the last time I used it and the engine was prone to stalling out. I took 47 photos this afternoon and uploaded them to Flickr.[email protected]/sets/72157628873765851/

All along, it's been kept indoors (in a shed) so rust damage is minimal. I would guess it has 500-1000 hours on it, but I don't know for sure. Maybe the wear on the tines lend a clue? The pictures demonstrate a very definite oil leak. Notice the pool of oil under the belt pulleys. This leak has existed for some time, but because the tiller was stored nose down, oil pooled up where you see it. I believe the culprit is the front drive shaft oil seal. There's oil buildup all over the underside, but I'm not certain if it's originating from one place. I suppose it doesn't really matter because I'm going to replace all of the gaskets, seals, and o-rings at the same time. Anyways, I need a plan of action to move forward with this project.

1. I already have some Tecumseh parts (oil seals, gaskets, etc) but need a parts source for the Troy-Bilt oil seals and gaskets. Suggestions?
2. Can I swap out the transmission gaskets/seals by removing the engine and wheels only, or is further disassembly required? How much time would you expect this to take, assuming no other transmission problems?
3. What do you think about removing the electric start permanently? We've never used the tiller often enough to keep the battery charged, hence the original battery still in place.
4. As far as the engine goes, there are minute amounts of fuel still left in the tank. I can flush those out. Would you rebuild carburetor at this point? Would you disassemble the engine and replace the gaskets or leave it alone for now?
5. Are the tines worn out enough to be replaced?

Take a look at the photos and let me know your thoughts and suggestions. Thank you!
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Not sure what you mean about it running weak, that could be anything from a dirty carb or worn out spark plug to needing a full engine overhaul., Your machine is in much better condition than my 1980 Horse. Mine has the 7 HP Kohler with manual start. MTD carries a lot of the parts for these
That's a good question because I'm not totally sure myself. This was 6 years ago and my memory is vague. All I remember is that it was bogging down under load when tilling -- and it might have been worse in high speed mode. The fact I bought carburetor parts in 2006 (but never got around to installing them) tells me that whatever it was doing, I had reason to believe it was carburetor related.
Take a lot of pictures and drawings as you dis assemble it--bag and tag all the hardware in little zip loc bags--makes it much easier down the road on a re-do!!:fing32:

To begin with,if those are original tines--bet your way under 500 to 1000hrs.use.I would change oil,of course,replace spark plug,and then I'd attack that carb.I do believe you'll find that's your main source of tro.I try never to re-do anything til I got it running good.:trink40:
It looks to me like you got a good bit of blowby coming through the carb. That means the engine might need a set of rings. as for the wheel shaft seals and tine seals, you can get them out with out having to disassemble anything other than taking the wheels and tine hubs off. Look at the sahfts and make sure they aren't grooved up too bad. If they are grooved you try not seating the seals all the way in. That way the new rubber wont be runnign in the old groove. Hopefully you'll get lucky and the wheels are'nt rusted on the shafts. If they are....get ready for some work!!

The front pulley seals, you'll have to remove the engine for that one. Not a real big deal as long as things aren't rusted up and it doesn't look like they are.

Your tines still have a little life left in them. That tiller has comvered some ground !

I know everyone wants to keep their T-Roy as orginal as they can but I repowered my 1972 model horse with an 8hp overhead valve Honda when the old Indian Head Techumse got weak....You can't stop that tiller now!! I dont care how hard the ground is.
Your Tecumseh HH60 is one of the best engines Tecumseh had in their line. This engine has a cast iron block and will last a long time with reasonable care. If ever needed the cylinder can be rebored and fitted with an oversize piston and ring set. Yours appears to be used very little so I would think other than cleaning and servicing you should not need much.

I would clean and rebuild the carburetor. I would not disassemble the engine. Fuel evaporates and becomes gum or crystallizes in engines that have sat for extended periods. The valves may be sticking because of this, maybe not. A compression test will give you a clue to basic cylinder integrity but a leakdown test is the best. Purchase or make a leakdown tester or find a shop that has one and will do it for a reasonable price. When I had my business, I charged $10 per cylinder. With a keakdown tester, you can determine efficiency of combustion chamber and listen to where compression is being lost, e.g. rings, head gasket, intake or exhaust valves. If nothing else just see if it will fire up.

Your Troy-Bilt Horse by Garden Way is a quality tiller and should give years of problem free service. Working on the transmission can be a challenge for the inexperienced, I suggest you hold off. A little bit of oil will attract a lot of dirt. I suggest you clean the tiller, service it and use it to see if there are any significant leaks. Oil seepage is common on these tillers. Leave the eclectic starting system in place and use the recoil starter, no need to remove it. The tines are worn but not that bad, they will still do the job. Parts are available for the tiller. Many tiller parts will have MTD part numbers. MTD owns the Troy-Bilt name.

Tecumseh Technician's Handbook link:

Disassembly, Cleaning and Repair of Tecumseh Series 1 Carb: (this is not the same part number as your carb but the carb is essentially the same)

Troubleshooting & Servicing Fuel Systems

Tecumseh Carburetor Identification Troubleshooting and Service

Basic Troubleshooting & Service 696533 R5-04

Best leakdown tester price I have seen

Make a leakdown tester

Parts information (I think this covers your tiller)

Neat info

Manuals, etc.
Are those tires on backwards? Never saw a set mounted that way.:dunno:
Thanks for the replies everyone. I got the tiller running Friday night and tilled for 15-20 minutes. Amazing what a new spark plug and a carburetor rebuild can do! I still have work to do, however...

I installed this fuel filter and shutoff valve yesterday. Do you think the filter is too big? This was all they had in stock. The one thing that concerns me a little is catching tree branches with the fuel line sticking out like that.

My next project is dealing with the muffler. The noise is nearly unbearable when the engine begins to run lean (run out of fuel). Of course the screws are pretty much welded to the block courtesy of the rust. Over on the Troy Bilt Tillers Club list (on Yahoo) numerous people have twisted these screws off. Apparently the exhaust port is threaded, so one solution is to install a NPT nipple followed by a 45° elbow and install an aftermarket muffler that way.

Are those tires on backwards? Never saw a set mounted that way.:dunno:
Yes, they sure are. I put tubes in the tires recently and reinstalled the wheels on the opposite sides by accident. I'll have to fix this.
I have this same tiller.......will I damage anything if the battery is not hooked up?

BTW, yours looks VERY clean!
No damage will occur to the tiller when disconnecting the battery, even for long or short periods. However, the battery will lose some charge though.
My tiller didn't come with a battery and I really don't want to buy one if its not needed. I know on some machines a battery is a must or you will damage the charging system. :thanku:
That is a very, no, extremely clean original machine! Well worth the time to make it into a good runner. You'll enjoy it!
I installed this fuel filter and shutoff valve yesterday. Do you think the filter is too big? This was all they had in stock. The one thing that concerns me a little is catching tree branches with the fuel line sticking out like that.
The fuel filter is a must. Especially with that engine, your next purchase needs to be a wrap-around bumper. They're on Ebay all the time. Not only for the fuel line, but it will save your carb, ask me how I know...

BTW, why are you tilling anywhere near tree branches?

That is a nice looking Horse. My dad bought one just like it in 1982 with the 6hp Tecumseh. I mean this engine was the best engine ever made by is built to last forever if you take care of it. Even if it was sitting 3 years..put in a little gas..and 1 pull of the starter rope and it up and running.
That is a great looking machine for it's age, looks to be well taken care of.
Here is my dad's he bought new in '76, by far the best piece of machinery he ever had, got it in my possession now.
I too will second that this is a great engine. My dad and sister ran it low on oil back in
'92 I think, snapped the rod. We replaced rod and rings and back in business, still running today. We used to till all summer, throw back in barn, then come spring, it would fire up on second pull even with old gas, never had failed to start. It is beginning to show some age though, engine is getting blow by after some working and needs carb rebuilt. and I don't have any muffler anymore, rusted out and yes, it's loud. I just replace axle seals, the old ones come out will punch or screwdriver, then just gingerly tap the new ones in place.
I have two part numbers for those, can't remember which ones the local shop used.
921-04031 or GW-9609.
I even use it in the winter for snow removal.

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