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Troy-bilt Pony tiller, stuck with gears engaged

16 years ago

About a decade ago, I let a salesman talk me into getting a new "Troy-bilt" (which unknown to me the name had been sold to MTD) Pony, instead of replacing the engine on my old, real T-B, Horse. I sure wish I hadnÂt done that.

Anyway, the pony was bought and IÂve had many problems keeping the belts tight.

I noticed in the manual, that there is supposed to be a kling-ring on each end of the Forward Clutch mechanism (rod). Since the manual was newer than my tiller, I thought this must have been a design change, because my forward clutch rod, did not have the lower Kling (E) ring, that is used to adjust the play in the clutch mechanism.

I was wrong. This tiller is supposed to have the upper and lower e-rings. ThatÂs why IÂve had so much trouble keeping the belts tight.

When tilling the other day: disaster. A release of the Clutch paddles did not stop the forward motion of the tiller. The only way to stop it was to kill the throttle.

Checking further, I found the forward clutch rod did virtually nothing to move the clutch at the belt pulleys, other than to tighten the belt. Releasing the clutch paddles made very little difference. It gave hardly any slack.

Now, the tiller is stuck in gear, with the forward belt, stretched as tight as it will go, across the forward pulley. I guess, even being able to till this long, has been on borrowed time.

I can make the pulley and belt turn, by pulling the rope, crank start; or with great effort, move the belt and pulley by hand. However the belt is stretched so tightly, it is almost impossible to move by hand.

The tiller will start. It will run. It will till. But,it will not come out of "forward." The clutch rod does not release the gears and they stay stuck in "engaged."

I took the clutch rod, completely off, but that did nothing to let it release.

The forward pulley belt is still stretched from the engine to the transmission pulleys, as tightly as it can possibly be.

I tried forcing the belt off, even with a pry bar, but no go. There's just no slack there to get it to move off the pulley.

The missing e-ring has been ordered. But itÂs going to do me little good if I canÂt get the gears back into "disengaged" mode. The forward belt (and thus the gears) are locked and I donÂt know what to do to get the belt to release.

Other than take it to the repair shop, any ideas of what I can try?


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