Troybilt Pony Tiller

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lyle11
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Troybilt Pony Tiller

Postby lyle11 » Tue Apr 04, 2017 2:12 am

Last spring I bought a Troybilt Pony Tiller manufactured in the mid-80s with a Briggs & Stratton engine . I used it once to till a small garden and it worked great with good power. After I was done tilling, I changed the very dirty oil and also replaced the spark plug since it was fouled to the point of the gap nearly closed with black deposits.

I parked the tiller for five months and the next time I used it, it ran poor and had no power and was useless for tilling. The gas was fresh, the air filter is not plugged. I put it away for the winter and recently tried it again. It will start but runs very rough. When I move the throttle slowly to the full position, it runs slightly faster but still very rough. It has enough power to propel the tiller and rotate the tines, but not close to enough to till. If I move the throttle from start to run quickly it will stall. If I let it sit and run after 15 to 20 minutes it will stall.

The new plug also had a lot of carbon on it after just a few minutes of running. So I removed the head and cleaned the head and the top of the valves. This made no difference with regard to the way it ran before I cleaned the head. It still runs poorly with no power. Since I have limited experience and history with this machine, I am reluctant to start tearing it apart. Before I get a manual and try to get up to speed on this engine, I am hoping somebody has some ideas what would cause this dramatic change from running great to running terrible after an oil change and replacing the spark plug. The old spark plug and the new spark plug are the same brand, Champion CJ-8. I was thinking perhaps I got a bad spark plug and that is the only component that has changed so that makes sense it might be the problem. I threw the old plug away so I wasn't able to try swapping back to it. But if I manually work the governor rod, the engine revs up and sounds good which makes it sound like a fuel or linkage issue.I do not see any broken or disconnected linkage for the throttle or the carburetor.

Please let me know if you have any ideas what my problem might be. I plan to use this thing about two hours a year and really hate to put a lot into it. Thanks

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Re: Troybilt Pony Tiller

Postby staninlowerAL » Tue Apr 04, 2017 4:50 am

Did you run the carb dry of fuel prior to storage? B/S recommends this for storage. My guess is you probably have a dirty carb. You could remove the carb bowl and check the small jet on the end of the tube that goes to the bottom of the bowl by inserting a small diameter soft copper wire and check for a restriction. You could also try a healthy dose of SEAFOAM and run the engine for a while.

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Re: Troybilt Pony Tiller

Postby Urbish » Tue Apr 04, 2017 6:54 am

:Dito:
Yep, to me this indicates a varnished carb with plugged jets. Instead it's probably drawing spurts of fuel through an unmetered vent port.

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Re: Troybilt Pony Tiller

Postby Eugene » Tue Apr 04, 2017 10:05 am

I would remove the carburetor bowl, clean out the crud. Open the fuel shut off and run a tiny bit of gas through the fuel line. Replace carburetor fuel bowl. Purchase carburetor cleaner, pour some in gas tank. Start engine, run for a length of time, work throttle through it's range. Usually doesn't take long for the engine to run right.

The guys are correct. When you shut down the engine for the day or season, close off the fuel at the gas tank, let the engine run until it dies from lack of fuel. Add SeaFoam or fuel stabilizer to the gas at the end of the season.

Edit: Harbor Freight has a small engine that will bolt directly up to the Troybilt Pony Tiller, usually cheaper than rebuilding the B&S engine. Done that.
I have an excuse. CRS.

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Re: Troybilt Pony Tiller

Postby SONNY » Tue Apr 04, 2017 1:01 pm

Pump diaphram in the bottom of the carb is shot,(were you using alki gas in it?),--also the 2 gas tubes have small screens at the bottom , and they get plugged.----Next and MOST important thing,--- Get rid of that D--- Champ spark plug!---use NGK or autolite, or ANY other brand! thanks; sonny
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lyle11
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Re: Troybilt Pony Tiller

Postby lyle11 » Tue Apr 04, 2017 1:05 pm

Thanks for the replies. A carburetor issue makes sense. One bit of info I did not add in my original post was that the adjustment screw on the carburetor has no effect on the way the engine runs, whether it is fully seated or backup off several turns. I am going out of town for a few days so I probably won't look into it for a week or two. I will let you know after I follow your recommendations. Thanks, and also thanks Eugene for the info on a replacement engine. Hope I never need one but nice to know.

lyle11
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Re: Troybilt Pony Tiller

Postby lyle11 » Tue Apr 04, 2017 1:07 pm

I was using regular unleaded gas from Costco.

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Re: Troybilt Pony Tiller

Postby sdurnal » Tue Apr 04, 2017 1:38 pm

Depending on the age of the engine, it may have points.. The point cover is notorious for collecting moisture. My old school tiller stored in an unheated barn (as well as my Cub) need maintenance every other year or so.. If so, pull the shroud, pop the flywheel and clean, inspect and re-gap. .020. You may have a pleasant surprise.. (a little sandpaper on the flywheel magnets wouldn't hurt either)

lyle11
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Re: Troybilt Pony Tiller

Postby lyle11 » Thu Apr 06, 2017 8:24 am

I partially removed and disassembled the carburetor. Cleaned it with carb cleaner and blew out the passages. Started the engine and it looks like that resolved the problem. But, the gasket between the carburetor and gas tank was almost disintegrated and as I expected gas is seeping out between the carb and tank so I had to shut it down before I could run it much. I will have to get and install a carb kit before I run it again. But, based on a small test it looks like you guys were right and the carburetor was the problem. Thanks

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Re: Troybilt Pony Tiller

Postby Eugene » Thu Apr 06, 2017 8:45 am

Individual carburetor gaskets and carb kits can be obtained from your local auto parts store. You need to take in the engine model number.

If fuel is leaking out between the carburetor bowl and top, the needle valve is not closing for some reason. The fuel level in the carburetor bowl should not be high enough to leak out between the bowl and top.
I have an excuse. CRS.

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Re: Troybilt Pony Tiller

Postby SONNY » Thu Apr 06, 2017 11:06 am

Eugene,---His carb bowl is the gas tank itself!---He don't have the old seprate tank and bowl. On these engines the carb is mounted right on top of the tank!-----Lyle11,-- am I correct in this statement??? please correct me if I am wrong!!! lol!!! thanks; sonny
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Re: Troybilt Pony Tiller

Postby Eugene » Thu Apr 06, 2017 11:18 am

Sonny. I believe you are correct.
I have an excuse. CRS.

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Re: Troybilt Pony Tiller

Postby SONNY » Thu Apr 06, 2017 12:49 pm

I was going by the Tuffy model that I have which is about the same as the pony.---My engine is the B&S 4.75 hp.
The tank and pick-up tubes are picky bout being clean, as is the pump diaphram ,---I get 2 maybe 3 seasons use then have to put in new ones. thanks; sonny
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lyle11
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Re: Troybilt Pony Tiller

Postby lyle11 » Sat Apr 08, 2017 2:21 pm

Sonny, you are correct. The carburetor has no fuel bowl. It is mounted directly on top of the gas tank.

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Re: Troybilt Pony Tiller

Postby SONNY » Sat Apr 08, 2017 8:23 pm

The gasket that goes in there should be available local, if not Amazon or E-bay has sellers stores that have a lot of these small engine parts!!! thanks; sonny
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