How to Maintenance a MTD Yard Machine Garden Tractor

Seven Methods:SECTION A: MAINTENANCE ACCESS TO TOP-SIDE OF POWER-TRAIN (ENGINE)SECTION B: MAINTENANCE ACCESS TO LEFT-SIDE OF POWER-TRAIN (ENGINE)SECTION C: MAINTENANCE ACCESS TO RIGHT-SIDE OF POWER-TRAIN (ENGINE)SECTION D: MAINTENANCE ACCESS TO FRONT-SIDE OF POWER-TRAIN (ENGINE)SECTION E: MAINTENANCE ACCESS TO ENTIRE POWER-TRAIN (ENGINE)SECTION F: MAINTENANCE ACCESS TO MIDDLE (MID) DRIVE-TRAINSECTION G: MAINTENANCE ACCESS TO REAR DRIVE-TRAIN

Introducing a series of preliminary procedures designed to assist owners in performing maintenance on a 1997 MTD Yard Machine Garden Tractor Model 84A (840-series #14AS84AH062) 46" cut equipped with a 18.5hp Briggs and Stratton Twin-II I/C 42A700-series engine (Model #42A707).


These procedures also serve as a reference to various other servicing tasks (related WikiHows) necessary for removal, disassembly, servicing, and reinstallation of the machine's components.

Method 1
SECTION A: MAINTENANCE ACCESS TO TOP-SIDE OF POWER-TRAIN (ENGINE)

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    RAISE TRACTOR HOOD: Open the engine compartment Hood and allow it to rest back on the two Hood-Stop Cables.
    • NOTE: Most maintenance requirements for the the top-side of the power train can be performed with the Hood in the up-raised position. Use the following steps only if removal of the Hood is warranted.
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    REMOVE ACORN NUTS: Using a 7/16" wrench or ratchet/socket remove the (2)-1/4" Acorn nuts (one on each side) holding the Side Panels to the Hood and Front Grille Assembly.
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    SEPARATE HOOD/GRILLE FROM SIDE PANELS: Gently pull the corners of the left and right Side Panels off the (2)-1/4"x7/8" hex bolts (one on each side) that attaches them to the Hood and Front Grille Assembly.
    • CAUTION! Provide support to the Grille Assembly as it will want to tilt forward due to the downward pressure exerted by the attached Hood otherwise, damage to the Grille itself may occur.
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    DISCONNECT HOOD FROM GRILLE ASSEMBLY: A 7/16" wrench is required to remove the (2)-1/4" hex nuts (one on each side) followed by two(2) Shield Spacers (one on each side), and two(2) Wave Washers (one on each side) in that order. DO NOT remove the (2)-1/4" bolts (one on each side) attaching the Hood to the Grille just yet.
    • NOTE: When reinstalling the Shield Spacers, the narrow-side goes onto the bolt first and seats into the Wave Washer and the bolt-hole in the Hood.
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    DISCONNECT HOOD-STOP CABLES: Disconnect both the left and right cables from where they attach to the Side Panels using a #2-Phillips screwdriver to remove the (2)-#10x1/2" machine screws(one on each side).
    • NOTE: The screws are secured with (2)-#10 hex Sems-nuts that can usually be held by hand while backing the screws out. If not, use a 7/16" wrench to hold them.
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    REMOVE HOOD ASSEMBLY: To remove the Hood, grasp it to prevent it from falling and then carefully remove the two bolts holding the Hood to the Grille Assembly. Maintenance access to the top-side of the power train (engine) is now afforded.

Method 2
SECTION B: MAINTENANCE ACCESS TO LEFT-SIDE OF POWER-TRAIN (ENGINE)

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    PRELIMINARY: Perform SECTION A: STEPS #01 - #03 & #05 applying them to the LEFT-side only.
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    REMOVE LEFT-FRONT-LOWER SIDE PANEL SCREW: With a #2-Phillips screwdriver remove the #10-1/4"x1/2" left-front-lower Side Panel machine screw.
    • NOTE: The machine screw passes through the Side Panel then the Grille Assembly and is secured with a 1/4" hex Sems-nut that can usually be held by hand while backing the screw out. If not, use a 7/16" wrench to hold the nut.
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    REMOVE LEFT-REAR-LOWER SIDE PANEL SCREW: To remove the left-rear-lower Side Panel screw use a 3/8" wrench or ratchet/socket to remove the 1/4"x1-3/4" hex tap-screw.
    • NOTE: There is a 1-3/8" Panel-Spacer that serves as a brace between the Side Panel and the tractor's frame. Use caution while removing the screw as the Panel-Spacer will drop down out from behind the Panel. Before removing the screw completely, reach up between the frame and the Side Panel and grasp the Spacer to prevent it from dropping.
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    REMOVE LEFT-REAR-UPPER SIDE PANEL SCREW: To remove the final screw holding the Side Panel, use a 7/16" wrench or ratchet/socket on the 1/4"x3/4" hex screw.
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    REMOVE LEFT SIDE PANEL: Carefully pull the panel outwards and off of the bolt that attaches it to the Hood Assembly. Lay it somewhere where it will not become scratched or damaged while working on or around the machine.
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    MAINTENANCE MODE (LEFT-SIDE): Maintenance access to the top and left-side of the engine is now afforded.

Method 3
SECTION C: MAINTENANCE ACCESS TO RIGHT-SIDE OF POWER-TRAIN (ENGINE)

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    PRELIMINARY: Perform SECTION A: STEPS #01 - #03 & #05 applying them to the RIGHT-side only.
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    PRELIMINARY: Perform SECTION B: STEPS #02 - #06 applying them to the RIGHT-side only.
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    MAINTENANCE MODE (RIGHT-SIDE): Maintenance access to the top and right-side of the engine is now afforded.
    • CAUTION! Do not perform both the left-side AND right-side procedures in tandem as damage to the tractor's front Grille could result. Rather, perform those steps outlined in SECTION E when full-access to the engine compartment is mandatory.

Method 4
SECTION D: MAINTENANCE ACCESS TO FRONT-SIDE OF POWER-TRAIN (ENGINE)

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    RAISE TRACTOR HOOD: Open the engine compartment Hood and allow it to rest back on the two Hood-Stop Cables.
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    DISCONNECT HEADLIGHTS: With needle-nose pliers, disconnect the headlight wiring-harness by grasping the connectors and gently pulling them off their blade-style tabs.
    • NOTE: The blue-wire which connects to the lower electrical tab is the hot-lead while the green-wire which connects to the upper electrical tab is the ground-lead.
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    REMOVE TRACTOR HOOD: Perform those tasks that are designated in SECTION A: STEPS #02 - #06 in order to remove the engine Hood.
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    REMOVE LEFT-FRONT-LOWER SIDE PANEL SCREW: Perform SECTION B: STEP #02 to remove the left-front-lower side panel screw.
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    REMOVE RIGHT-FRONT-LOWER SIDE PANEL SCREW: Repeat SECTION B: STEP #02 applying it to the RIGHT-side in order to remove the right-front-lower side panel screw.
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    REMOVE HEAT SHIELD BOLTS: With a 1/2" wrench or ratchet/socket, remove the four (two on each side) 5/16"x5/8" screws mounting the Heat Shield to the tractor frame.
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    REMOVE HEAT SHIELD: Remove the (Muffler) Heat Shield by pulling it straight-forward, sliding it off the frame.
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    REMOVE GRILLE U-BOLTS: Remove the (2)-5/16"x3/4" hex bolts on the underside of the Grille using a 1/2" wrench or ratchet/socket that secure the bottom of the Grille to the tractor frame.
    • NOTE: The bolts are secured with (2)-5/16" self-locking U-Nuts that loosely slide over the mounting holes in the bottom of the Grille Assembly. Use caution not to lose them as the Grille is being removed.
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    MAINTENANCE MODE: Carefully lift the Grille off its seat and set it aside to prevent damage. Maintenance access to the front-side of the engine is now afforded.

Method 5
SECTION E: MAINTENANCE ACCESS TO ENTIRE POWER-TRAIN (ENGINE)

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    REMOVE TRACTOR HOOD: Perform those tasks that are designated in SECTION A: STEPS #01 - #06 in order to remove the engine Hood.
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    REMOVE GRILLE ASSEMBLY: Perform SECTION D: STEPS #02 & #04 - #09 to remove the Grille Assembly
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    REMOVE LEFT SIDE PANEL: Perform SECTION B: STEPS #03 - #06 in order to remove the left Side Panel.
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    REMOVE RIGHT SIDE PANEL: Repeat SECTION B: STEPS #03 - #06 applying them to the RIGHT-side in order to remove the right Side Panel.
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    MAINTENANCE MODE: Maintenance access to the entire power-train (engine) is now afforded.

Method 6
SECTION F: MAINTENANCE ACCESS TO MIDDLE (MID) DRIVE-TRAIN

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    REMOVE RANGE SHIFT AND CLUTCH BRAKE KNOBS: Remove both the Range Shift and the Clutch Brake Knobs by turning them counter-clockwise. Allow the threaded Pedal Lock Rod to drop back down through its opening in the Shift Cover.
    • NOTE: The opening in the Shift Cover where the Pedal Lock Rod passes through has a plastic grommet installed. Take care not to either damage or lose this grommet as its replacement part does not appear on the OEM IPL (Illustrated Parts List).
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    REMOVE COVER SCREWS: With a Phillips screwdriver, remove the two machine-screws holding the cover plate to the chassis. Before removing the Cover, refer to the next stop.
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    DISCONNECT SAFETY SWITCH: After removing the screws, carefully TILT the the Shift Cover up (from the rear) to reveal the Reverse Safety Switch and its associated wire-harness attached to the underside. Using needle-nose pliers, gently grasp the red-colored connector and disconnect it from the Switch by pulling it off the blade-style electrical connector.
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    REMOVE SHIFT COVER PLATE: After disconnecting the wiring harness remove the Shift Cover. Access to the mid-drive train is now afforded.

Method 7
SECTION G: MAINTENANCE ACCESS TO REAR DRIVE-TRAIN

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    CHOCK FRONT WHEELS: Securely chock both front wheels (fore and aft) as a safety precaution.
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    LOOSEN REAR LUGNUTS: Using a 3/4" lug-wrench or a ratchet/socket/extension with a 3/4" socket, loosen the (4)-7/16" lug nuts on each rear wheel.
    • OPTIONAL STEP: See SHORTCUT #01 in the "Tips" section below for details.
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    RAISE REAR WHEELS: Using a lift or jack, raise the rear axle and place it on jackstands or a secure, steady platform. Insure that the tractor does not "rock" or tilt while on the platform.
    • OPTIONAL STEP: See SHORTCUT #01 in the "Tips" section below for details.
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    REMOVE REAR WHEELS: Finish removing the lugnuts followed by removing both rear wheels.
    • OPTIONAL STEP: See SHORTCUT #01 in the "Tips" section below for details.
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    REMOVE SHIFT KNOB: Turning the Shift Knob counterclockwise, remove it from the Speed Selector Lever.
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    REMOVE SPEED SELECTOR PLATE: Using a Phillips screwdriver, remove the (2)-1/4"x3/4" machine screws holding the plate to the Fender.
    • NOTE: The screws are held in place by (2)-1/4" hex Sems-nuts located under the Fender. Holding the hex nuts by hand while removing the screws should be sufficient. If not, use a 7/16" wrench to prevent them from turning.
    • OPTIONAL STEP: See SHORTCUT #03 in the "Tips" section below for details.
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    REMOVE FENDER BOLTS (BASE): Using a 7/16" wrench, remove the (4)-1/4"x1/2" carriage-bolts (two on each side) located at the base of the Fender.
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    REMOVE FENDER BOLTS (SEAT): Tilting the Operator Seat forward, remove the (4)-5/16"x3/4" hex screws located under the seat using a 1/2" wrench or ratchet/socket.
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    REMOVE SEAT SPRINGS: To remove the Operator Seat Compression Springs use a ratchet/extension/socket combination with a 1/2" socket to remove the (2)-5/16" hex screws located down in the center-bottom of each spring. Do not attempt to remove the screws from inside the springs, rather remove the assembly.
    • OPTIONAL STEP: See SHORTCUT #02 in the "Tips" section below for details.
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    REMOVE FUEL GAUGE: Unscrew and remove the Fuel Gauge from the Fuel Tank. Place it where it will not get contaminants on it.
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    REMOVE FENDER: Carefully begin lifting the Fender off the tractor, working the Fuel Tank nozzle out through its respective opening. If shortcut #02 is utilized the two springs will also need to be worked out through their openings.
    • IMPORTANT: After the Fender has been successfully removed, replace the Fuel Gauge to prevent contaminants from entering the Fuel Tank.
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    DISCONNECT SEAT SAFETY SWITCH: With Needle-Nose pliers, gently grasp the red wire terminal heads and gently pull both of them free of the switch (the terminals are blade-style).
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    REMOVE SEAT PLATE BOLTS: Using a 1/2" wrench or ratchet/socket, remove the (8)-5/16"x3/4" hex screws holding the Seat Plate (four on top and two on each side).
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    REMOVE OPERATOR SEAT ASSEMBLY: The Operator Seat Assembly(comprised of the Operator Seat and the Seat Plate) is now tilted up and slightly FORWARD. While holding the assembly, back-feed the Safety Switch wiring harness through the access hole in the Seat Plate. Once the wires are free, slide the assembly slightly backwards (the Seat Plate has a locking "lip" on the front) and remove the unit. Once it has been removed, the Fuel Tank Assembly is now exposed.
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    DISCONNECT FUEL-LINE HOSE CLAMP: If the Fuel Tank is NOT being serviced, the Fuel-Line Clamp (Retainer) requires only to be disconnected from the chassis using a 3/8" wrench otherwise, remove it from the Fuel-Line Hose.
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    REMOVE FUEL TANK: The Fuel Tank is freely mounted in a "saddle". If the tank itself is NOT being serviced it can be simply lifted out of the chassis and set off to the side.
    • CAUTION! Even though the tank has either been siphoned or allowed to run dry, there is a high-risk that fuel and "bilge" remains in the bottom of the tank...use caution when removing the unit not to allow any of the sedimentary "bilge" to enter into the Fuel Intake or the Fuel Line Hose! This "bilge" in many instances is a leading cause to carburetor failure resulting in a costly teardown and rebuild therefore, it is recommended that the tank be serviced.
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    REMOVE FUEL TANK SADDLE STRAP: With a 3/8" wrench or ratchet/socket remove the (2) - 1/4"x5/8" hex tap-screws securing the Fuel Tank Saddle Strap to the chassis and then lift it out.

Tips

  • Make use of Nitrile, Latex, or some type of work-gloves that will prevent fuel, oil, and contaminants from coming into contact with your skin.
  • Attempt to keep the work area clean and free of clutter.
  • SHORTCUT #03: Section G Step #06 may be skipped and still allow the Speed Selector Lever to pass through the Plate when the Fender is being removed or reinstalled. When doing so, care must be taken as to not damage the Speed Selector Plate (made of plastic).
  • SHORTCUT #01: Section G Steps #02 - #04 may be skipped if working in the tight-confinement required in step #07 is not an issue. Be aware that the carriage-bolts come into the Fender-mounting at a downward-angle which makes it difficult to manipulate a wrench.
  • Utilize a method for arranging, bagging, and tagging parts to insure proper reassembly.
  • SHORTCUT #02: Section G Step #09 may be skipped prior to removing the Fender unit in step #11. In do so, it will take a slight-effort and patience to remove the Fender, working the Compression Springs through their respective openings.
  • After reassembly, starting of the engine may be difficult if fuel has been allowed to drain from the Fuel-Line and the Carburetor. Have a can of starting-fluid (Ether) handy to help get the Fuel-Line, Fuel-Filter, and the Carburetor primed.
  • Attempt to use a workspace that allows access to the machine from all sides while it is being serviced.
  • Work on surface areas that are clear of debris and obstructions in case parts or tools are dropped and can be easily found.

Warnings

  • Prior to work: Insure that proper safety equipment is worn at all times and is in good-working condition.
  • Gasoline is a highly-flammable liquid with a low flash-point! Adhere to all safety precautions when servicing the machine.
  • Prior to work: Insure that a fire extinguisher properly rated for flammable liquids is readily available in the work-area.
  • Gasoline is a Carcinogen and can be directly absorbed through the skin or inhaled! Use of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) in correct working condition is highly recommended.
  • Perform service work only in a well-ventilated area.
  • Prior to work: Drain any remaining fuel from the tank.
  • Prior to work: Disconnect the battery terminals and insulate them from potential electrical discharges.
  • Prior to work: Insure that the unit is not hot and is cool to the touch.
  • Prior to work: Insure the work-area free of combustible materials.
  • Adhere to and abide by all safety concerns and precautions specified by the OEM which takes precedence over this wikiHow.
  • Use only high-quality unleaded (89 grade or better) gasoline in this type engine to insure its top performance. Verify that the fuel is fresh, clean, and free of contaminates before using. Do NOT use Ethanol-enriched or any other alcohol-enhanced fuels in this engine.
  • While servicing the machine, especially in low-humidity, ensure that you are properly grounded to eliminate possible electrical static discharge.
  • Do not allow children or animals in or around the work-area.

Things You'll Need

  • Floor or Bottle Jack (optional)
  • Jackstands (optional)
  • Lug wrench: 3/4" (optional)
  • Pliers: Needle-nose
  • Screwdriver: #2-Phillips
  • Wrenches: 3/8" 7/16" 1/2"
  • Ratchet and Sockets: 3/8" 7/16" 1/2" 3/4"
  • Ratchet Extension


Sources and Citations

  • MTD Owners Manual:
  • MTD Service Manuals:
  • MTD Parts Manual: Personally self-compiled from various sources.

Article Info

Categories: Lawn Care