How to Troubleshoot a Toro Lawn Mower That Won't Go Into Gear

Written by steven douglas
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How to Troubleshoot a Toro Lawn Mower That Won't Go Into Gear
(Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images)

Toro lawnmowers have a very ingenious transmission design that not only allows the mowers to be self-propelled but also allows the inside and outside wheels of the mower to turn at different rates of revolution. This feature allows Toro self-propelled mowers to provide one of the most comfortable mowing experiences possible for walk-behind mower owners. Because of Toro's attention to dependability, most apparent transmission problems actually are the result of minor control cable issues, which may be readily solved by a homeowner in less than 15 minutes.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Metric socket set
  • Clean rags
  • Machine oil

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Park the mower on a flat level surface with the engine off. Locate the self-propel cable on the left side of the mower handle. Loosen with a metric socket the cable clamp that secures the cable housing. Do not remove the hex nut, just loosen it. Wipe away any dirt and debris with a clean rag.

  2. 2

    Adjust the self-propel cable by pulling the cable downward (toward the engine) to remove all the slack from the cable. Once all the slack is gone from the cable, push the cable jacket up an eighth of an inch away from the engine. Hold the cable jacket in this position, then tighten the hex nut that secures the cable housing. Apply one drop of machine oil to the top of the cable where the cable housing and cable meet. This will lubricate the inside of the cable the entire length.

  3. 3

    Test the mower for normal operation. If the transmission still does not engage, the traction control cable must be adjusted. The place of adjustment for this cable is the transmission knob, which uses two jam nuts and the clamp assembly on the handlebars.

  4. 4

    Loosen on the handlebars the two jam nuts (metric hex nuts) that secure the transmission knob and cable together. Wipe away any dirt and debris with a clean rag. An adjustment must be made so the transmission begins to engage when the bail (control knob) is one inch below the upper handle bail stop; pushing the transmission knob forward one inch should engage the transmission.

  5. 5

    Slide the transmission cable jacket up or down (toward or away from the engine) until slight resistance is felt in the cable jacket with the control knob one inch below the upper bail stop. Tighten the hex nuts once the correct adjustment has been made. Apply one drop of machine oil to the top of the cable where the cable housing and cable meet. This will lubricate the inside of the cable the entire length.

  6. 6

    Test the mower for normal operation of the transmission in all forward gears. If the transmission still does not engage, there is an internal problem with the transmission.

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