Troy-bilt/MTD / poor quality
Approximately 5 years ago, I purchased a Troy-Bilt lawnmower, 830 series, from Lowes. It worked OK for the first couple seasons, although there were a few issues right away. The first thing was the back safety flap at the rear that kept getting stuck up under the deck.
After a couple seasons the lawnmower became hard to start. It would start, but you had to pull the cord about 10 times to get it to. Also, when it first starts, a puff of smoke emits from the exhaust.
Last year it really started screwing up. The transmission for the self-propelled mechanism started making a terrible sound when engaged. No cable adjustment would eliminate it. I knew it was something with the gears inside the transmission. It still moved but sounded really bad. I planned on looking into it the next season since it was late in the season when the noise began.
This year the front axle fell out of the deck right away. I wanted to get the grass cut one time before looking into the transmission. There are 2 plastic split bushings on each side of the front axle that fit up into a hex shaped cut out in the deck. It's part of the mechanism that allows for the single lever adjustment of all 4 wheels. The front axle rotates in these plastic bushings to raise or lower the front wheels. This has to be nearly the most ridiculous engineering I have ever seen. The bushings are split in order to be able to put them on the axle. They are plastic. There is no other way to slide something on the axle because 2 "levers" are welded on each end of the axle. The hex shaped holes that are stamped out in each side of the deck get deformed from the weight and forward/reverse action of using the lawnmower. Basically, the deck of the lawnmower is junk after 5 years of use. A $400 lawnmower lasts 5 years. Not too good of a life for such an expensive lawnmower if you ask me.
I purchased this lawnmower because of the Troy-Bilt reputation. I had no idea that MTD had bought out Troy-Bilt. Had I known that I never would have bought it. Honestly, this lawnmower is a complete piece of crap. The engineering and materials is substandard. I can't speak to Troy-Bilt's quality first hand before they were bought out by MTD, but I'm sure it was much better than after MTD got their grubby, sub-standard mits on them. I have a very small flat yard. Takes me about 15 minutes to mow the entire yard. This lawnmower was not abused in any way.
The "replacement" transmission that MTD came up with (because so many people were having problems with it) is $100! Obviously, after 5 years of use, my lawnmower is no longer under warranty. Many others on the Internet were complaining after one season of use. I think the only reason mine worked for nearly 5 seasons without a major problem is because my yard is so small and the lawnmower didn't get any heavy use. Actually, it got SUPER LIGHT use.
In order to fix my lawnmower, I have to buy a $100 transmission. I, also, have to devise, engineer, fabricate some kind of clever repair for the deck where the front axle mounts in order to put the axle back where it's supposed to be. Or, buy a new deck (ain't happening). Is it worth it? I doubt it.
The lawnmower is junk. I bet all Troy-Bilt/MTD is built just as crappy as this lawnmower. Don't waste your money. Troy-Bilt IS NOT the same company as its past.
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