Maintenance of a Toro 22 Inch Recycler Lawn Mower

All outdoor power equipment requires some maintenance to keep running in top shape. By changing the oil, air filter and keeping the equipment clean, you can extend the normal life by several years. I don’t know about you, but I prefer to get my monies’ worth from something. I believe the average life you can expect from any piece of outdoor power equipment is about 10 years, ± 2 years.

Case in point, last year, my 10 year old craftsman lawn mower bit the dust. The aluminum crank case cracked and leaked oil all over the place. I used this lawn mower at our rental house, which had an acre of lawn, then when we moved here, I used it for four more years, again, mowing about an acre of lawn every week.

Last fall, my 9 year old chain saw broke the connecting rod. The chain saw was heavily used, and a higher quality unit like a Stihl or Husqvarna may have lasted longer. This year, my 10 year old string trimmer bit the dust. The cable that transfers power from the power head to the cutting head unsprung. The whole unit was beginning to fall apart anyway, again, a higher quality unit may have lasted longer. So I have concluded that 10 years of medium to heavy use is about all you can expect from most stuff.

The Toro Model 20071A Lawn mower was brand new last year, and it has been a good unit so far. Always starts on the first or second pull and does a real nice job with the lawn.

Toro 22 Inch recycler lawn mower model 20071 oil change

Maintenance is pretty easy. Changing the oil took about 15 minutes, including 10 minutes of warming the engine up. I like to change the oil when the engine is warm because the it thins out the oil and more of the old oil comes out of the crank case. This unit does not have an oil plug on the bottom of the engine, so it needs to be tipped on its side. This is best done when the fuel tank is nearly empty, so gas does not leak out when it is tipped over. I use a catch pan, then empty the catch pan into my “dirty lube oil” container, which is a 5 gallon gas can so purposed. When the dirty lube oil container is full, I take the oil to my favorite garage, M. Alpert and Sons, for recycling. The lawn mower takes 20 ounces of SAE 30W detergent motor oil.

dirty lube oil recycling container

The air filter should be changed every year. The replacement filter is a Tecumseh 36905, which I found at both Lowes and Home Depot.

filter comparison dirty filter on left new clean filter on right

The old filter is on the left. That is the filter that came with the lawn mower after one season of use. You can see why they need to be replaced every year.

The only other thing that is recommended is to lube the wheel gears for the front drive wheels.

front yard after mowing the lawn

An occasional blade sharpening will also make cutting the grass much easier. You can tell when your lawn mower blade needs to be sharpened by how cleanly it is cutting the grass. A blade of grass that looks torn or shredded where it was cut is a good indicator that the blade is dull and needs to be sharpened.

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148 comments to Maintenance of a Toro 22 Inch Recycler Lawn Mower

  • Fred W.


    When I was a kid I use to go to a family friends house on weekend (he had a computer) and cut his yard for a few dollars and computer time. I remember him cutting his front yard with the old manual scissor action push mower and I’d cut the back with his walk behind self-propelled. Every winter on the last cut we’d put gas stabilizer in all his gas powered stuff. We’d run it for 10 or 15 minutes then empty all the gas out of them (including the boat motor and motorcycle). We’d have to clean them all up real good. Sharpen the blades, wire brush them and paint them a light coat of paint.

    The next spring, other than the chain saw, everything would start right up. The chain saw was finicky. Now I am 36 and I know that was before I was driving so at least 20 years ago. I know for a fact the walk behind and boat motor are still going. I saw him cutting with it the other day and the boat is now mine.

    I most assuredly run everything dry in the winter with stabilizer in it. I am a little lazy with the sharpening and cleaning. In the spring the John Deer goes to the service station for service. I keep it all in good order….FOR MY WIFE.

    Seriously, I can no longer cut grass because of allergies. My wife says she has two reasons for doing it all. She honestly likes to do it (strange woman) and she’d rather not hear me whine and sneeze and sniffle for days afterwards.

    Good Blog.


  • Hey Fred,

    Where did you find a wife that like to mow the lawn? That’s a keeper! As a fellow allergy sufferer I can sympathize. My great aunt had one of those manual push scissor mowers too. We used it often and I think it was 50 or 60 years old when it finally wore out.

    If you guy quality equipment and take care of it, it should last a long time. When I was younger, I looked for the best bargain I could find. Many of those good bargain turned out to be not so good after a few years.

  • mike

    i have a toro 6.5 mower, same model and it leaks from under the frt cover. Ever have that problem”?

  • Herbert Rogers

    I have a 3 month old Toro 27002A 6.5 Mulcher walk-behind. Surprisenly,
    the blade is already in need of resharpening. I can’t remember, is removal
    of blade bolt clockwise or counter- ?

    Herbert Rogers
    Tulsa, OK

  • Fred Ramella

    Hi Paul,

    Thank you for the blog, good stuff. I actually have a wife who does the lawn mowing, she actually will not let me do it, thinks I do a lousy job! At any rate, we have a 1 year old Toro 20074, and all of a sudden the back wheels will not rotate in reverse. Have you ever experience this? I’ve looked around and this appears to be a wheel issue and not a mower problem, like some switch. Is it something that we need to take the wheels appart?

    Thanks for any feedback,


    • Chris Blumm

      Good afternoon Fred,

      I have a Toro 20067 and it’s doing exactly what yours has done. The wheels don’t turn backwards. I took off the drive wheels, and the problem is in the drive cogs — so the wheels aren’t the problem.

      Any clue you can give me would be greatly appreciated! — Chris

  • Fred,

    First of all I would clone your wife.

    Secondly, I have not had any troubles with the wheels on my lawn mower. I would look for something like a stick or something caught between the wheel and the deck like a stick or something. Else I would attempt to take the back wheel off and see what might be the trouble.

  • Ryan

    I couldn’t find the drain plug so came to the internet for an answer and found your post! Thank you for saving me and others time!

  • David

    That pic is how NOT to change oil. On Toro’s there is a oil plug underneath the lawnmower or on the side where you can drain the oil from.

  • David,

    For this model lawn mower, that procedure is right out of the owner’s manual, page 14, figure 22.

    Besides, how do you unscrew the drain plug from the bottom of the mower deck with out turning it over? Once it is turned over, isn’t easier just to drain the oil out of the fill tube?

    Thanks for your input though

  • subhash

    I have 5 year old 22″ re cycler toro lawn mower. The model number is 20016. All of a sudden it stop moving forward when I am mowing. The front wheel rotate and run when it is on clear surface. I checked the belt and it seems loose. Can some body help.

  • subhash

    I have 22″ self propel toro recycler lawn mower. I have to push very hard for mowing. It starts with out any problem. The lawn height is not high. Need help

  • GEO

    Hello—I recently bought a 20018 used, in nice shape..runs well, had to order a ignition switch as the previous owner had caught the cable on something and riped it out….. i can use a screwdriver to “cross” the terminals to engage the starter…seems to work OK, however, it doesn’t want to fire easily . Other problem is, the self-propel seems “weak”…if I hold the back end up and engage the handle, it seems to trun fine, but when on the level ground, it doesn’t seem to “go” very good under a load…I’m not sure how it should be, not having it brand new…question is, any adjustment , like in the “drive belt” make any difference? I appreciate any info ..THANKS!

  • Gil

    Everything works fine with my two year old mower except the drivetrain has become disengaged. It is now like pushing, or pulling a ton of bricks when you get exhausted going forward, around the yard. I have been reluctant to get a repairman when it is probably something simple that I could do in twenty minutes given the correct info. So I am now asking does anyone have a solution to this so I do not dread pushing a ton of lead around the yard in the heat & humidity of Charleston, SC in the summer. Many thanks for your help!

    • claire

      i have the same problem i’m pushing instead of the lawn mower self propelling does any body know what wrong because its to hard to push and pull in hot

  • Carroll

    I have a self propelled 22″ recycler model number 200016. The front wheels locked up and it smelled as if something was hot, perhaps the belt. How do I get the Self Propelled cover off to look at the belt? Any help will be appreciated. Thank you.

  • Stephen

    Hi Paul,
    I appreciate your time and effort in sharing your knowledge and experience for the rest of us. You have inspired me to start sharing my knowledge on the internet (be more of a “giver” than a “taker”). Thank you.

  • Geo

    Carroll, if the the “20016″ is similar to my “20018″, there are three bolts holding it on– one of them being under the battery case, so you need to remove that to access that one bolt—then, with a little manipulation, you can get the cover off from under the deck–one thing I do notice that you say , though–”the front wheels lock up” —is yours self-propelled from the front whells? Mine is from the back wheels–so maybe what I discribe to you is different on your “2001″–either way, with a little inspection, you can tell how to gain access to the belt area—hope this helped a little——- “GEO”

  • Carroll

    I resolved my problem with the self propelled mechanism. The drive belt had come off the engine pulley and moved above the pulley, making it difficult to see the problem. After removing the two bolts securing the drive belt protector beneath the engine and the four bolts on the front drive axle, the belt was able to be put back on the engine pulley and tightened. Thank everyone for their valuable advise.

    • Joe

      Hi Carroll,
      I am having same problem my belt came loose all of a sudden, I bought a new belt thinking the one I had on there was warped but that is not the case, the housing on the front axle is just sort of floating on the axle, it’s not going side to side but tilting forward and back ever so slightly but enough to loosen the belt and cause the drive to not work. What do I need to do to get this to tighten I had the machine apart today and am not sure what you did to fix this? Please advise again? Thanks!

  • Larry

    My 2007 Toro Recycler model 20076 rear drive started makeing noise and would not drive the mower. I check the belts -ok. I desided to talk a look at the single gear transmission by taking off the bottom plate. The transmission was hard packed with dirt. I only have about about 100 hours on the mower. After I dug out the dirt and what little grease remained I found the bearing seal in the grease the seal was bent but not broken. I’m not sure how the seal slid the gears without being broken or how that much dirt entered a sealed transmission. After taking pictures and cleaning it out, clearly the gears are shot. Check your grear box.

  • MikeB

    I have a 5 year old Toro, 20016. 2 problems:

    I try perform regualr maintenance changing plugs, filters, oil, belts,sharpening blades, etc. It is running rough, seemingly loosing power and surging as if it may need an air/fuel flow adjustment to tune its performance. Is there a manual adjustment I can perform myself at my work bench?

    2. The front wheels are locking. What are the possible causes and solutions to this.
    Thanks! MikeB.

  • Doug F

    2008 Toro 20074 – I love the way the mower starts and the Personal Pace drive system is top notch.Comma, However – this mower stinks when it comes to mulching and bagging.  It drops clumps and loose grass everywhere and the bagger clogs up at the entry chute way too quickly and easily.My previous mowers of similar features were a top of the line Monkey Wards that went 10+ years without giving me any of these issues and a Troy Built, high-wheel mower which I loved until I bent the shaft when hitting a garden trowel my wife left out in some tall grass by her garden.  I thought I’d “step up” to Toro and have been hugely dissapointed thus far.In any event, I have read many professional landscapers complaining about the Toro blades (on forums) and have ordered a “Gator” blade for it per what many of them do.  Hopefully this will remedy the situation or it will be craiglist for this dog and another Troy Bilt for me.

  • Barb

    I have a Toro Recycler that I took to the local Jaycees when they had a clinic to change oil and sharpen the blades as a fundraiser. Alas when I went to use it, now it starts on the first pull only to die within two or three seconds. Once I prime it again a few times, it repeats itself and dies out. Any suggestions would be appreciated as the Jaycees is not returning my phone calls.

  • Sounds like the engine if fuel starved.  These is likely some debris in the fuel tank, fuel line or bottom of the carburetor.  It may have to go to a repair shop.

  • Dave

    My experience is the same as Doug F (20).  I also feel the mower isn’t powerful enough to cleanly cut thick New England grass.  I cut the grass once a week and I need to cut only 1/2 strips and then go over at a different angle to make sure no blades are sticking up.  I suspect that the mower is factory set at a lower RPM than I am used to in order to meet “emission standards” or something.  I am interested on if the Gator blade increases its performance.

  • Mike

    Hello,  I was wondering if anyone could help me out.  The brackets that hold the handle in place had some wear on them and the handle was sliping out so I purchsed 2 new plates… I figured it would be simple enough to swap out, but ran into a little problem.  I took off the wheel and am trying to get past the gear that makes the wheel move.  It looks like i might need a special tool to take that gear off.  Does anyone know what tool it is or where I can find it?Thanks,Mike

  • Colin

    When the mower quits moving and makes a loud racket, replace the rear wheels that have a large gear riveted to it and the smaller gears that drive the rear wheel.

  • massimo

    i have a toro personal pace that is 1 yr old,mulching seems to make a tremendous amount of noise.I have the wheels jacked up high and still seems to be under a big load . Is this normal

  • How do you tighten the belt on the 20017A I replaced it but it slips

  • Susan

    Hi, I bought a toro about 3 years ago and its does great however it seams to need service, i would do it myself but i honestly dont have the time so what is the ball park cost to taking it to a certified toro shop for a tune up?

  • confused toro user

    I have the same problem as Larry, My 2007 Toro Recycler model 20076 the wheels are locked. It does not move forward or backwards. I tried pusing it and it started smelling like burned. what could it be?

  • How do you change the blade on a Toro 22″ 20016 mulcher? Which way do you turn the nut?

  • Ty

    Like MikeB I also have a 5 year old Toro, 20016: I try perform regular maintenance changing plugs, filters, oil, belts, sharpening blades, etc. It is running rough, seemingly loosing power and surging as if it may need an air/fuel flow adjustment to tune its performance. Is there a manual adjustment I can perform myself?

  • TJ

    I’ve also had the problem with clogging/clumping when trying to mulch. I have a 20071 Recycler, and I usually end up having to bag the grass if it’s the least bit damp or thick. Really slows down the yardwork. I have an older Toro ( K-Mart model) that cuts with no problem and hardly ever clogs. Must be a design flaw.

  • Debi

    I have a mower like pictured above. Got it this year. Went to cut and front wheels make lould griding noise and won’t work. Do you have any idea has to what to look for? The wheels are all cleaned and I see nothing that it could be.
    Thanks and hope you can help me.

  • I cannot get my line to pull all the way. It stops 1/4 of the way, thus hampering me from starting the mower.

  • Frank

    Thanks. This was a help.

  • Ian

    My Toro simply won’t start, it’s about 2 years old. Went through the basics, it has fuel and spark, and further i took off and cleaned the fuel bowl, the float seems to be operating, and the primer is working.

    The cord doesnt seem to be pulling well, but it never has, really. I took off the air filter just to see if it would fire without it, and no luck.

    I’m pretty lost for options at this point, other than frustration. It’s been one thing or another with this mower since i bought it, any help would be very appreciated.

    • Redtop2

      I had a similar problem, ran through all the steps on spark and fuel, then replaced the gasket for the carburetor bowl. It wasn’t sealing and prevented proper operation of the fuel system. Now it starts on the 1st or second pull.

  • Susan Wilson

    I have the same mower pictured above that is only running on choke. A small engine repair site said to empty the fuel then clean the bowl and the nut and float at the bottom of the bowl. Where is the bowl located? Thanks for the help

  • mike

    I have the rough run issue, too. I just installed a new blade and it now runs rough. thought it was maybe from tipping it up to do the blade, but i let it sit all night and no help. the carb adj. holes have tamper plugs so I have not tried them yet. runs same with or without air filter. sounds rich to me. I will drain the bowl but i am not hopeful that is the problem.

  • mike

    I messed with the carb without it helping much. drained and tried to clean from the outside. then I just used the thing for an hour or so chopping way-too-heavy weeds for this mulching machine (i wired the chute open).

    I think it may be better now.

  • I’ve had the same type clogging problems with my 2007 model year Toro 22″ mower. The bagger clogging is horrible. My dad has a very similar model that is a year or two older and bags great. I use his often too and don’t have any of the issues I do with mine. Was there some kind of change to the bagger/chute from 2005 to 2007?

  • David

    Hello, my Toro Recyler 6.5hp 22″ cut self propelled mower stopped pulling. Went to cut grass and front wheels make loud grinding noise and won’t pull. Do you have any idea has to what to look for to fix this problem?

  • Mark

    I have a Toro 6.5 22″ Recycler, (like the one being tipped above).
    It has worked great until the other day; I was mowing, nearly finished with the front yard, I had to stop to move a stick, when I tried to start it again it would not stay running.
    It would start, but as soon as the momentum of the pull was gone it would stop. It is getting spark and fuel. upon inspection, I discovered the hose from the crank case going to the carb was cracked.
    will this cause the mower not to run?
    Is this the breather line?
    can I splice this?

  • sal petrara

    Hi Paul;
    I recently purchased @ Toro 22in recycler lawn mower.
    I used it about 6 times and now It does not start.
    When I pull the cord it only comes out about 1 inch, it does not move.
    Any ideas?

  • I have a toro that I bought new in 2001. The screw from the briggs& stration carburetor fell out and lodged in the exhaust valve port. Had it fixed & it burned oil. It took 2 dealers and 2 years to get it fixed. Toro wouldn’t even deal with me. They told me to call Wisc. Magneto, who manufactures Briggs& Straton. Then after about 11/2 to 2 seasons of use the cheaply made gearbox for the Personal Pace went out. There was hardly any grease in it. $115 for a new one. The newer Toro’s are junk.

  • c c

    Have 22″ Re Cycler Toro High Wheel lawn mower, Model 20016.

    Where can I find a do-yourself manual as I wish to have it tune up and change spark plugs et al? Simular to Chilton’s Car Repair Manuals.

    I have a manual that came with it but does not show us how to get it tuned up or change spark plugs.

    Your quick reply will be greatly appreciated!

  • I have the battery Start Model 20041 & I will never buy another one. It only cranked up good the first few times after purchasing it at Home Depot; It’s been a fight every since; the pull cord doesn’t start it either anymore; sometimes it’ll start & run & most of the time it doesn’t. It’s been a total pain in the rear.

  • dumpbuster

    I sharpen my blade twice a year instead of buying a new one which needs to be sharpened, anyway. Replacement blades are not sharp enough to cut, rather than shred, the tops of grass blades. Shredding damages the grass blades and makes them susceptible to fungi damage.
    I use my Dremel with a grinding bit on both sides of the two cutting surfaces. When it’s done right, there is about 1/8th inch of shiny blade surface on each side. More, too shallow to put on a keen edge. Less and you’re dulling the blade. It takes out the ‘dings’ and knicks from all the acorns my yard amasses.
    You can shave with the

  • Charlie

    Our Toro #20790 was apparently made in 1982 and worked well enough until my wife ran into a stump last year. The key is intact and the blade (sparkplug disconnected!) turns smoothly. Help!

  • matt

    i have a toro 20071 its a 6.5hp walk behind, ran good fiirst year but now it wont say running. I prime it 3 times it starts but after about 1 min it stalls, does this every time. removed bowl and gas is running through float just fine, seams to me like its starving for fuel, dos any one know what i should do? I am thinking about removing tank and line and cleaning or replacing them.

  • tony

    how difficult is it to change a blade on a toro 22 in rear bagger mower. what are the steps

  • chris

    I have a 2007 20071 6.5 toro and in the second year it won’t start at all replaced plug ( the old 1 Looked black and a bit gas covered) Still 100 pulls later it still won’t start. Primed it but pressure in bulb doesn’t build. Gas is full/oil too. Any ideas? Anyone? Can’t find manual for troubleshooting ideas.thanks!

  • David

    Try the Toro website. There are pdf’s that will show you an exploded diagram of the carb. it sounds like the caarb floats have varnish (a natural byproduct of cheap gas) on them. This varnish will not allow the floats to slide up and down in their slides. Simply removing the bowl on the bottom of the carb (near the air filter)will show you the slides and float. With a clean rag wipe the brown varnish off the slides. drain gas into a can before you remove carb parts, otherwise it will drain onto the mower deck. after replacing all the parts you may have to re adjust the carb needles for air and gas mixture. here is a link to where to find the diagrams. (

  • Carroll

    I have a model 20016 Toro 22″ Recycler selfpropelled lawn mower. How do you tighten the belt that drives the front wheel self propelled mechanism?

  • Greg

    I had the same problem over the weekend with my TORO, I replaced the sparkplug which didnt help then I went to the Gas station and bought new gas. The next time it started it quit seconds later, I did this a few time then I manually primed the Mower for about 5-10 seconds while it was “running” which resolved the issue. Hope this helps.





  • Joe

    SAE-30W I believe

  • Jackson D'Armond

    I have a Toro recycler mower. The right rear height adjustment lever broke. I have removed the wheel, gear etc, but don’t know how to remove the silver, grease bearing. I think this will be an easy fix, but not if I can’t remove that piece. Thanks in advance.

  • I bought second Toro lawnmover in 2006 based on the performance of the old one that I was happy with.
    But second one is no good at all, does not cut clean and blade goes blunt everytime I mow the lawn. My lawn is extra healthy and clean but blade is always blunt, I complained this on Toro Website with no reply. I will not buy Toro again

  • Greg in Delaware

    Great article, Paul! I’ve check 6 or 8 sites, and yours is the first one to even mention lubing the drive gears in the self-propelled mechanism… Good job! I wish you had included photos of that work, so I knew what I was up against… Maybe I can take some when I work on mine (in about 10 min.), and send them to you?


    For Chris with the Toro that won’t start:

    My Dad used to say that engines are simple – they need just 3 things to run: Fuel, air, and a spark. As with most of my Dad’s advice, there is a lot of wiggle room there!

    For fuel: When you are priming the mower, and you don’t feel pressure, do you ever SMELL gas? After 20 or 30 squeezes, you should smell fuel… If you don’t, chances are you have a split fuel line that isn’t maintaining a vacuum, so it can’t get the fuel out of the tank. You may also have a dirty fuel filter, or dirt got sucked into the carb and is clogging the fuel flow.

    For air: Did you check your air filter? Hold it up to the sun – if you can’t see light through the paper folds, then air isn’t getting through. My neighbor used to yank 20+ times on his mower before it would start. I checked his air filter, and it was dirty. He changed it, and now the mower starts after 2 or 3 pulls!

    For spark: Did you check your spark plug? If you had an oil leak, or poor ignition in the previous year, the spark plug could have become gunked up. (That’s a technical term, but you know what I mean, right?) Over the winter, those deposits can solidified and glaze over. Then in the Spring, there is no contact for the spark to arc across.

    Take out your spark plug, and check the contact – the ‘arm’ that spans over, across the plug doohickey (another technical term!) Then take a look at This is one of them best spark plug diagnostic charts I’ve ever seen! The deposits on the arm and pointy doohickey can tell you A LOT about how well your mower is running!! See if your plug has one of the problems shown on that chart…

    If it is gunked up, but doesn’t show any of those problems, then clean the plug contacts. Fold some sandpaper over so the grit is showing on both sides. Then rub it back and forth between the arm and the point. The sandpaper grit doesn’t matter too much – 110 or 220 (medium or fine grit) will do the job.

    Now your plug is all shiny, right? Last thing you do is check the gap between the point and the arm. For the Toro 22″ 6.5 HP GTS, the gap should be 0.035″. If it is off by 0.001″ or 0.002″, don’t worry about it. But if it is off by more than 0.005″, you have a problem. This can cause hard starting, more fouling of the plug, rough idling, and bad fuel economy.

    If the gap is too narrow (less than 0.0035″), get out a flat head screw driver, and pry the span open a scrunch or two. Then check the span again… Rinse and repeat until you have the gap correct.

    If the gap is too wide – the more common problem! – get out your needle nose pliers. Put your 0.035″ gap span measuring thingy in the gap, and hold it there. Use your pliers to GENTLY bend the arm down till it touchs the gap spanner tool.

    Put the plug back into the mower – be sure you get the threads lined up correctly! Don’t force anything – you should be able to turn it by hand most of the way into the engine block. Torque it down, and you are done.

    Well, you aren’t QUITE done… Take a look inside the rubber housing that you push down on the spark plug. You should see a spring in there. Is it dirty, rusty, or covered in crud? That is your problem – no spark (or a very weak spark!) is getting to your spark plug.

    Get out a thin nail, and some fine grit (220 or finer) sandpaper. Tape a strip of the paper on the nail, and wrap the paper around the nail shaft. Now while turning the nail, push it down into the middle of the coiled spring. Keep turning and turning to buff off all the crud. Blow out any dirt, and repeat until the spring looks clean.

    NOW you are done. Push the spring/housing down onto the spark plug, fill the mower with FRESH gasoline, and try again. If your gas is more than 30 days old, put it into your car’s tank. Then go buy some fresh gas. If you have gasahol or ethanol-enriched fuel where you live, that stuff loses its *Bang!* MUCH faster than 100% petroleum gas! So fresh gas is critical…


    For Peter with the dull blade on his mower:

    I’ve done blacksmithing and knife making… Your dull blade problem sounds like the steel in the blade wasn’t tempered correctly. If it isn’t tempered, the steel doesn’t have that tough, durable molecular structure that blades need to stay sharp.

    If the mower is under warranty, contact Toro for a new blade. If you don’t feel like messing with all that, remove your old blade, and take it down to the hardware store. Most after-market mower blades are made with better quality steel (more carbon!), have a better temper on them, and have extra teeth, sharp surfaces, or blade edges to maximize the mulching effect.

    With your mower blade in hand, find the after-market blade that matches it in length and general shape. Then look on the back of the new blade’s package – you should see a chart listing the mower brands and models on which it can be used. If you see your mower model listed, you are all set.

    After-market blades can cost from $18 to $40, depending on the brand, features and quality of steel.

    Reinstall the blade, torque it down to 60 ft./lbs. – that is two or three good, hard pulls, with your foot bracing the blade, and with your hand out at the end of the socket wrench handle.

    Good luck!

  • Richard Faery

    My Toro self propelled will not keep running unless I keep priming it. I put a new filter on, loosened the carb cap, plenty of gas. What’s next? Please help, I am a poor man and can not afford to take it to the repair man. Thanks

  • Gene Gordon

    My Toro self propelled 190cc 6.5hp 22″ mower, the clip thing that holds the selfproplled cable to the lever broke. What can I do to fix it, without replacing the whole cable!



  • Shawn

    My Toro Recycler’s front wheels will not reverse? Back ones are fine front ones roll forward and lock when rolled backward?

  • James Johnson

    Hey guys,

    Same mower w/ same engine and all that. I bought my second-hand and have been having a few problems with it.

    I replaced the air filter and spark plug (the guy at Lowe’s looked at it and said…wow they don’t even have this logo on these sparkplugs anymore, har har), and am planning to do an oil change before the next mow. The old plug looked like it had oil fouling/deposits and when I mow anything more than a few sprigs it starts to bog down and throw out smoke from the exhaust. Sometimes it will do this and sputter for 5-10 seconds then stop smoking and pep right back up.

    I am thinking that it’s got a blown gasket or it is just leaking oil from the crankcase. Either way, this mower shouldn’t be struggling on ankle-deep grass at granny speed. Any suggestions?

  • Mike Armstrong

    I have a Toro 20092 Personal Pace mower whose rear wheels lock up when pulling it backward. The problem developed over a couple of months (2 year old mower). Drives forward fine. I’d like to believe it’s an adjustment of some sort but likely one or both of the gear cases. Any thoughts? Do these need to be serviced periodically?

  • CJ staton

    I have a 22 inch recycler that starts, but when I engaged the self prepare bar it cuts out – any ideas?


  • Paul

    For Richard Faery: Pinch off the fuel line with a fuel line clamp or vise grips or something to keep the tank from emptying when you remove the sediment bowl from the carburetor. Remove the sediment bowl at the bottom of the carburetor (bolt head) with a 7/16″ wrench and drain the fuel from the bowl- clean with carburetor cleaner and reinstall bowl, making sure to align the rubber gasket in the bowl with the carburetor and reinstall the bolt with 7/16″ wrench. Remove the fuel line clamp, let the bowl fill with fuel, prime the bulb three or four times and the mower should start and run just fine. If not, you’ll have to drain the tank and sediment bowl of all the old fuel and try with fresh fuel. I would also check the oil level… If it gets less than 3/4 full, the engine does tend to stall.

    For Gene Gordon: If you haven’t done anything to it yet, I fixed mine using a bit of wire coat hanger wrapped around the cable and bend a hook in the end where it goes into the handle hole. Adjust the cable as needed to get the traction desired.

    For Shawn (and possibly Mike Armstrong): It sounds like the drive mechanism is still engaged -kinda- … My rear drive does something similar when I am trying to reverse immediately after releasing the drive handle. If I release the handle a few seconds before I reverse-while I am still moving forward-then reverse, it doesn’t lock up. You might try that…

  • lizandrooo

    i thought id like to throw my 2 cents on how awesome a review/informative lawnmower blog is! thanks a million !! (i have the same lawn mower and now i know my oil filter type and oil grade!)

  • Shawn Harper

    Hey Paul -

    So I have this mower and it just started cutting out after 5-30 seconds. Bought it from HD about 4yrs ago. Floor model. I admit I’ve been lax on preventative maintenance. Pulled the air filter cover off and whattaya know, no filter!!! Damn HD. Damn me for not replacing it 3yrs ago.

    Anyway, I took the bowl nut off, and it has frayed black plastic encircling the tip. Looks like there was a ~3/16″ dia x ~3/16″ long tube on there that is just nearly gone. Where does that bowl nut connect to (guessing air line coming from air filter).

    Advice on repair? Shop down the road wants $195 for an annual service. Ripoff! Thanks.

  • don

    Ok Fellows.
    Rule #1 is after the winter down time, pour out the old gas and oil. Refill with fresh. I use a gasoline conditioner to keep the gas fresh, but if I have any trouble I replace it.

    Seems to lessen the problems with starting after that. Just my experience.

  • Terry

    Has anyone ever changed the Pull Starter, cheap part, but the way it is coiled in there it may take a rocket scientist to remove the old pull. Any advice?

  • Dan

    I have a Toro Recycler 22″ self propelled model #20016. The front left wheel stripped out and stopped being self propelled (although it rotates fine when you push it). I bought new wheels and took the outside assembly apart, cleaned it, greased it, and put it back together. After only a few weeks, the new wheel plastic teeth stripped out and now only the right wheel rotates. I noticed that the axle is loose on the right side coming from under the mower to the hub. The mower still starts great and cuts the grass great, I would like to just fix it (without a huge repair bill that would likely equal the cost of a new mower). The guy where I bought the mower thought the self propelled gear might have sharpened itself to a point? I am thinking that it is the loose axle. What do you think?

  • Rick

    I have a recycler toro walk behind mower with electric start. The stater does not enguage, it just spins. What is the process to remove and inspect the ring gear for dirt.

  • DJ

    Paul: Reply to tony’s question of 4/16/2010. I found an online Toro parts house Jack has a few free do-it-yourself maintenance videos at the web site under a DIY button…one video involves changing mower blades and another involves changing the drive belts, etc. Jack’s parts seem to be reasonable. This site is recommended for all Toro owners.

    Now…my problem: Our 2005 Toro Recycler Mod 20041 has a growing problem…and I’d like to buy necessary replacement parts. The left rear drive wheel does not engage properly when it is the lower wheel mowing across an incline (only the rear right wheel drives correctly). However, when mowing back across where the left wheel is on the high side of the incline… everything seems fine with both wheel driving. Inspection shows a tooth missing on the medal gear fixed to the inside of the problem left wheel. The medal pinion gear attached to the end of left axle seems to be slightly concave relative to the right side. Do you think I need a new left Wheel Gear Asm (105-3036) and Gear Pinion (105-3040) and/or could it be the Transmission Asm (106-3956) too? Please advise. Thanks.

    P.S. I made several call attempts to Toro at 1-800-421-9684. Using their automated call system is a pain…no matter how you answer the various automated question asked…it seems to drive the caller to the same answer — “Call your authorized dealer”. I know they have staff mower technicians, but suspect that only authorized dealers have special access. Those common folk like us just get the shaft. Conclusion: Toro sucks. dj

  • Kirk

    Look at this link below. This is a 144 page pdf service manual for Toro and Lawn-Boy Walk-Behind mowers. A to Z repairs for everything you can possibly imagine. ENJOY!

  • dominique

    If your machine doesn’t start after you’ve primed it and it’s got oil and gas check the filter. I never had trouble with my machine and then it started not starting on the first try, better on the second but would stop after a few seconds, and then stop after 5 seconds on the third try and then eventually work. I changed the filter and everything is fine.

  • rick

    Does anyone know where to get a service manual for toro super-recycler mowers. Toro only offers user manuals which are too basic for any repairs.

  • Gunslinger

    Toro Recycler 22″ self fron propelled model #20016

    Front wheels locked up when engine not running. Open the top panel to inspect pulley and belt all looks fine. If I remove the bel from the pully front wheels turn. Put belt back on wheels lock. Release a little tension off the poully system and I can get fron wheels to turn. Any ideas?

  • marcus

    i have an older 21″ toro recycler. the engine is not running smoothly and seems to be cycling up and down in rpm. a local shop suggested i change the spark plug (which did not help). then they suggested that it needs a new carburator (which did not help either)? any ideas?

    • Rich

      Hi Marcus. Inspect the gas cap to make sure its venting is properly operational. If it has any small holes about a millimeter in diameter, they are vents to let air in during fuel leaving the tank to go to the engine while the engine is running. Try gently cleaning out any debris you find, by using a sewing pin, maybe also a clean, non fuzzy rag dampened with rubbing alcohol. After it’s clean, let the alcohol evaporate and replace the cap… Should be fine.

  • Toro Recycler 22″ self fron propelled model #20016

    Front wheels locked up when engine not running. Open the top panel to inspect pulley and belt all looks fine. If I remove the bel from the pully front wheels turn. Put belt back on wheels lock. Release a little tension off the poully system and I can get fron wheels to turn. Any ideas?

    mine did the same thing i took the wheels off, then the gears then lubed up the gear holder put it back on. it works fine naw even did the gear box on the right has 4 bolts i would even lube the plastic gears on the wheels

  • H. Teel

    I have a new “always start” (no prime) Toro. The mower, if it starts, will surge and barely run. The plastic arm above the carb can be held in position and it smooths out. So that says the problem is the governor but no idea how to adjust it. Actually it is still under warranty but it takes weeks to get it back. Any instructions on line?

  • david

    I have a toro recycler lawnmower I changed the air filter ,spark plug, and gas but the lawnmower does not want to start, I need to know what to do next to get the mower running again?

  • cashxx

    I bought a new Toro Recycler 20067 22″ and it starts fine, but seems to bog down way to easily when I get into wet grass or thick grass. When you start it and its idle it stays at that speed while mowing as well is that normal? It never revs higher or anything and acts as if its not spinning the blade fast enough to cut the grass. I looked around the carb and see no adjustments, I’m not a fan of the auto throttle on it.

    I cleaned the carb, put a new air filter on it, and new spark plug and new blade. Has acted the same since I first mowed with it and is about the same or a little worse this year.

    Not sure what to do with it. I’m tired of it bogging down and barely able to cut dry semi thick grass at a grandma’s pace and the line of grass it lets.

  • H Teel

    My Toro that I thought had a governor problem is running like new. I spent a little more time with it and decided to clean the carb. I removed the sediment bowl and sprayed the float and valve real good. Put it back together and it starts and runs like it is suppose to . I guess my troubleshooting was’t so great after all.

  • Ken

    A note that might help some out with storing your mower for the winter months. In all outdoor equipment, make sure the gasoline is drained from your tanks. Not doing this will cause your fuel lines to rot (I learned this the hard way). So, next season, after maintenance is performed, it still might not start.

  • B Oney

    I have a 1995 Toro Model 20465 Serial #5913753 mulcher walk behind self propelled mower. Just overhauled the carburetor and machine starts and revs up fine. When throttle is advanced for high speed the engine varies from high to low rpms. You can see the governor changing the throttle position on the carb. What suggestions do you have to keep the governor from varying the engine rpms while engine is not under load in high speed throttle setting?

  • Alex

    After winter storage my self-propelled 4-year old TORO lawn mower (model that has Tecumseh engine and carburetor, and recoil starter) refused to start. Preparing for the winter garage storage, I did not drain gasoline from the machine, but mixed it w/ STA-BIL. After discovering the problem, I’ve already replaced gasoline w/ the fresh one; checked oil, air filter and spark plug; and performed thorough carburetor cleaning. Nothing helps. Would like to poll community for additionals advisories. Thank you very much in advance.

  • George Snyder

    I own a 22 in Toro recycler mower, model no 20017. I just did my annual spring tuneup, including lubricating the wheel gears. As usual it runs great, but the read wheels no longer drive the mover when the handle is engaged. I would appreciate any suggestions

  • Greer

    I have a Toro 6.75hp 190cc push mower. I’ve had it a little over a year and it has given me no problems. I change the oil just 2 weeks ago but had never changed the spark plug and probably was late in changing the filter. anyways, it always starts with one pull and today it did not. So I pulled it 10 times and it started but was spewing out smoke and leaking oil. I then changed filter and spark plug and it started better but is still leaking oil out of the silver box on the side. any idea what is wrong or how to fix it? any idea what caused it so i don’t screw up another mower? Thanks – I appreciate it!

  • B Webb

    Anyone aware whether the blade support piece that goes between the bolt/washer and blade is necessary for any reason? Mine seems to make the engine run much more roughly and I’d like to eliminate it if possible. Thanks!

  • Bob

    I have a Toro 22″ 6hp self propelled “recycler” mower that is a couple of years old. It has about 5 hours on it but has not been maintained properly at all. Mostly becuase it has not been used. However, fuel was not removed after last season so natuurally it would not start this year. I removed the carb and found a mess! Lots of green residue and all the jets in the bowl bolt completely clogged. I cleaned it all up, reassembled everything and still it will not start unles I spray carb cleaner in the air intake. It runs as long as I spray quick shots in the intake.
    The primer bulb does not seem to do anything. If I cover the little red tub in the air intake I can hear air moving when pressing the bulb, but w/o covering it I hear nothing.
    Also, I “tested” things before reinstalling the carb by blowing through the fuel intake and the lifting the float does restrict the flow. However, once I reinstall the bowl, the flow seems very restricted though not completely closed.
    I have good spark and I am certain this is a fuel issue related to the primer pump not working properly, but I have no idea hjow to fix it now. Please help.

  • steve

    i havr a20016 22in. recycler self propelle mower, i have no spark

  • jack

    I have a 22 inch toro recycler rear wheel drive model 20076 A where can I get a maintenance and parts manual?

  • Jeff

    HELP!!! I’ve undertaken the task of helping to fix my neighbor’s Toro {self propelled, mulching rear bagger} about six years old, 22 inch cut. It won’t start! I thought first it may have been the Woodruff key had broken and the flywheel was out of sync. I pulled the flywheel and the woodruff key is good, flywheel alignment is good. I noticed the green ground wire from the coil was laying on the engine. I found where that goes as part of the dead man’s handle assembly and put it back.

    I thought that would fix the problem. I put it all back together and NOTHING!!! I pulled the NEW spark plug out and tried to see if there was a spark by grounding it to the engine while someone else tried to pull start it.. NO SPARK… I took it all apart again and removed the green grounding wire from the dead man switch assembly and isolated it from touching anything. I then put it back together and checked for a spark with the plug removed, grounded to the engine with someone trying to pull start it… Still NOTHING!!!

    HELP!!! My neighbor has my mower while I’m trying to fix his… At this point I’m seriously thinking to take the mower to Lourdes France for a MIRACLE to get it running again!!!!

    Thank you in advance…

  • Am obviously a novice but have recently had trouble keeping engine running – starts easily enough but 8-10 seconds later, conks out. The black case on the front of mower seems to get clogged up with grass clippings – could this be the reason for conking out and if so, how do I get that black plastic encasement off to thoroughly clean underneath? Had mowerservice last year, parts of air filter look bent or collapsed but it’s clean. Thanks.

  • jeff,S

    Same for me. The no spark thing. I beleive it is the coil. Item #100 on the parts list. Looking to ge that tommorow. Looking in other post for parts mail order. Seen 20 to 40 plus dollars.

  • Mike

    I bought this mower thinking that I was buying quality. I had off brand mowers before and they never lasted. This mower is a piece of garbage. The first year it won’t start if it was hot. I called toro, they told me to take it to the local authorized repair dealer. I had to pay the dealer and they fight with Toro to get reimbursed. It needed an ignitor module. Then within 3 years the self propel unit broke. Toro said that I am out of luck. So now it is just a push mower. Will never buy Toro again and will tell everyone that I know the same.

  • Lynn Koiner

    My 91 year old father was sold the 22 inch mulching mower. This is a high maintenance worthless piece of junk for our large yard. I have to clean the underside after every use. If the grass gets a little tall, I have to turn it over the clean it several times so it will not stall out.
    The “starts every time” is not truth. This falsehood needs to be taken off the advertising. I am a woman so I may not pull the cord strongly enough.
    I am sure if I had a small yard with little grass that it would be fine. The Kensington MD dealer should never have sold me dad this mower. It is smaller than our Lawn Boy. The dealer should have known better.
    WHile the Lawn Boy mows are always hard to start, they need little care.
    PLEASE…unless you have a small lawn and you are a strong man, think twice about getting one of these high maintenance mowers.
    When I wrote to Toro about the stalling out, they told me I had “stale gas.” (Rep Mona) Stale gas in a new mower????!!!! I guess they thought that, if I was dumb enough to be this mower, I would believe anything.

  • CEB9611

    Toro’s reputation is so bad that their authorized dealers here (south of Boston) refuse to take in warranty repairs without being paid upfront ! 2 local dealers both told me they spend as much time fighting with Toro as they do working on the 100′s of units that come in. If it starts and runs for at least a second, it’s not covered by the 1-pull promise. Piece of garbage. Spend another $100 and buy a quality product, you’ll be ahead by year 3. Oh, and remember that the big chain stores sell lesser versions of many of the ‘name brand’ products. They squeeze the mfg’s so badly that they’re forced to use sub-par components to make a profit.

  • I bought this unit in 2007, this post regarding maintenance was from the spring of 2008. This unit still runs and runs well, every year I sharpen the blade, replace the air filter, change the oil and this year I changed the spark plug, ensuring that the gap was properly set. I also drain out the gas at the end of each season, usually by letting the motor run until it quits.

    If one where to read through the comments, you might get the impression that the mower was no good. My experience has been, it is a good mower and does what it says it does. As for the 1-pull promise, get real. If you don’t maintain the unit, of course it’s not going to start with one pull, nothing will.

    Being a mulching lawn mower, it will not handle tall grass well unless the side chute is on, and even then, it is only a 6.5 HP engine.

    My best advice it do a little research and buy a unit that will do what you want it to do.

    As this unit is five years old and I have no idea what the units that are rolling off the line today are like.

  • Denis

    I have an 18 year old Toro mower with a cast aluminium deck. I change oil every year, re-oil the filter and sharpen the blade. I clean the deck underside after every cut. THis year I have just completed a stripdown of the deck, repainted and rebuilt with all original parts.

    All parts even for this ancient relic are available direct from Toro. Try that for any other brand.

    Oh…it still cuts grass too.

  • Guest

    Just an FYI, the engine has a drain plug on the underside near the crank, it can be backed out with a 3/8″ drive. Draining the oil that way gets more of the gunk out than tipping it. I usually put the plug back in and add a bit of kerosene or gasoline to the crank case,let it sit about ten minutes and drain that before adding fresh oil. It helps remove the gunk that gets built up.

  • Tom

    I just got home from buying a two year old Toro 6.5 Recycler off Craigslist. The owner didn’t have the manual that came with it (lost in the move to our town).

    Paul, your posts were very helpful. I found this forum as I googled to see how to get a manual for this machine. Is there anything in the manual I really need? I’ve been maintaining my mowers for 40 years now and hope I’m not in for any suprises with this one.

    The old one I’m replacing had (and I wish I’d noticed it before I bought it) a plastic idler pulley that eventually disintergated and couldn’t be replaced. I could find no metal pulley of exactly that size and it has made the self-propulsion a big pain to maintain.

    So should I spring for a manual, or is everything pretty standard on this model?

  • RJ Henley

    6.5 Tecumseh. What is the proper spark plug gap? Where is the air filter?

  • Lance

    Just wanted to say “thanks!” for your blog entry here on the Toro mower. I have this mower as well, and am committed to keeping it in good maintenance order.

  • Jon

    I just bought a replacement drive cable, and it seems to be too long, but is not. Any drawings or pics as to where the spring attaches? I read that it goes on the for front left hole, but that is leaving too much slack. Thanks.

  • donald

    my toro recycler drive wheel spin when lifted, but on the grass there is not enough power to self propel the mower….

  • larry c.

    i have a 21 in super recycler lawn mower. it has worked great since i bought it 2 yrs ago. This Spring i used it a few times with no problems, but now if it starts it will stop right away, if it starts i can keep it running if if i keep pushing the primer button , i took the fule lines off, blew them out, the filter is clean,
    Help please

  • Steve

    Bought my Toro Personal Pace in 2002. After 9 summers worth of mowing (from April to October each year here in Ohio), the rear drive wheels finally wore out. I replaced both for $60 and 20 minutes worth of work. Other than that, I’ve had no problems with the mower. I will say the recommended “pumps” to prime the mower are way low. I always need 8-10 and then it starts right up!

    Tom, you can probably download the manual from Toro’s website.

    And thanks for the hint on the drain plug. I’ll try that next time I change the oil.

    No idea on spark plug gap. Air filter is on the left side of the engine (from mowing perspective). It twists off counter-clockwise.

  • Jack

    Had my 6.5 in for some work. When I got it back it seems that the rpms are not cranking the way it did before the service. Used to suck up everything in sight. Is there an adjustment? I’ d take it back but I live in the woods and I’m a distance away from the repair shop. I’ve had my rig for five years and have gone through one set of rear wheel drive gears and two rear tires. I have a hilly terrain and there is a lot of slippage when climbing the hills. Overall…I find it to be an adequate mower.

  • J.D.

    I have the 2007 model that has become difficult to start. Last year, I replaced the primer bulb (although it never did seem to actually transfer any fuel), and this year it has now cracked and not working. The Tecumseh engine is solid when running, but not easy to start. I have been mowing in 100+ degF weather lately, and if I shut the mower off, then try to restart it will not. After sitting 20 min. or so it will eventually start. Any ideas on the primer bulb/starting issues?

    Also, the RF drive wheel will not free-roll. With some fiddlin’ araound by hand turning it back and forth it will sometimes start turning again. There are not grease fittings, only the small square gear box near the left front wheel. Any thoughts on this issue?

  • TPK

    I have a 2007 model that was running at a very low RPM. I emptied the gas and oil replaced both with fresh oil and gas. I also replaced the spark plug. Now it will not turn over at all after I prime it several times. Any suggestions on what I should do.

    The local repair shop says there is 2 or 3 week turn around time. My yard can’t wait that long, it has been two plus weeks since I mowed it last.

  • L. F.

    22″ recycler lawn mower personal pace Model#20067 6.75hp …Gas tank leaking and needs replacing. How hard is to do ? Any help will b appreciated !!! Thx

  • aj

    why would my backdrive wheels not pull when mower on ground but
    spins if lifted off back wheels?

  • Bill H

    I have a 2004 Toro Recycler 22″ that needs a new battery. I would like to know if a 3.4 Ah 12 V battery with the same dimensions as the original would be enough to start this mower. I cannot get any information off the original battery other than it’s made by BB.
    The OEM part number is 106-8397 and sells for over $30 which seems about double what it should cost. Any thoughts before I order the replacement for less than $15.00?

  • Gregg

    I have a 2000 Toro mulching mower. It runs, wheels spin, blade turns, but it doesnt’ cut the grass. Blade has been sharpened, deck underside cleaned. Might belt slippage be preventing it from reaching high enough RPM to cut?

  • Gary


    The blade is directly driven by the engine (connected to the end of the crankshaft), so if the engine is running at normal speed and the deck is clean underneath, it should cut grass. The belt drives the transmission and wheels, so it could be broken and it would still cut grass. Make sure that the blade is not on backwards. If it is, it may blow the grass down so it can’t be cut, also the sharp part of the blade will be on the wrong side of the blade and not get to cut the grass.


    Your drive belt could be loose and slipping on the pulleys or the transmission is bad and slipping internally. Make sure the drive cable is working well and properly adjusted. I would also make sure your wheel gears are not stipped and the gears are not slipping on the transmission shaft.

  • Brian

    Well i have a 22 in recycler front drive with a tecumseh gts 6.5 model #lev120 engine family 2tpxs.1951bc 195cc and I drained the oil from underneath ( lifted it up on blocks) from drain plug, less mess in my opinion. So anyways I put fresh in, when to take to old plug out and oil shot out like a rocket. I know this isnt normal. This thing ran great last summer. So I pulled the exhaust and carb off to get a peak inside and oil came out them as well. Why would this happen? I never tipped this mower on its side. If i pull the cord it really pours out. Any help would be appreciated thanks

  • Buddy

    I have a 2009 22″ Recycler model#20331, 6.5 GTS Briggs.I emptied the gas tank,changed oil,replaced plug,cleaned air filter,emptied bowl and sprayed everything with carb cleaner.Finally started after about 5 minutes of pulling rope, now it revs so fast it seems like it’s about to blow. Any ideas? Thanks.

  • Ed

    Thanks fo the tips. I was wondering how to get the oil out. I couldn’t find the plug.

  • Scott

    I have a 2004 Toro 22″ recycler 20016. The self propell stopped working. I took off plate to access belt, belt is intact, but seems loose. I tried to adjust cable, that didn’t work. I called a local lawnmower repair place and was told that if belt wasn’t broken, it’s not the belt. I don’t know what the problem is. I have been using it as just a push lawnmower, but it would be nice to fix the self propell. Any advice?

  • AL

    Hi all,
    I have a Toro 20016 model 22″. While mowing the yard Sunday the engine bogged down and stalled out. I can’t get it started it seems that the belt may have come off under the black housing above the front wheels.
    How do I get the housing off to inspect the belt and repair my mower.

    Thanks in advance AL

  • Richard

    “I bought a new Toro Recycler 20067 22″ and it starts fine, but seems to bog down way to easily when I get into wet grass or thick grass. When you start it and its idle it stays at that speed while mowing as well is that normal? It never revs higher or anything and acts as if its not spinning the blade fast enough to cut the grass. I looked around the carb and see no adjustments, I’m not a fan of the auto throttle on it.

    I cleaned the carb, put a new air filter on it, and new spark plug and new blade. Has acted the same since I first mowed with it and is about the same or a little worse this year.

    Not sure what to do with it. I’m tired of it bogging down and barely able to cut dry semi thick grass at a grandma’s pace and the line of grass it lets”

    I am having this same problem…barely mows and never sounds like it is reving up.

  • elvira


    my 4 year old toro 22 ” front recycle GTS 6.5 hp with a rear bagger starts but then dies after about a few seconds. what could the problm be and how costly is it to fix? I’ve tried to start it numerous times and there is gas.

  • Fred

    I have a toro 22in recycle rear whl drive and my right rear wheel grinds and spins if I have to mow a incline. It is model 20070.

  • pat

    I started abd mowed my backyard. Went to front yard, started and was mowing and noticed that the pull handle was down by the engine, thought it looked odd, but finished the front and put the mower in the shed. The next week I noticed that the Plastic holder that holds the pull handle was broken and could not get it start again. Now they have a 3 week wait!!
    Seems that the recoil is inside the mower. Any ideas?


  • Slack

    My wife does everything from cutting grass, changing the brakes on the car, taking care of the kids, changing mower and car oil, writing a book, painting the house herself, replacing the roof. You name it, this woman does it. And she was listed in the top 5 most beautiful women in my state. Ah yes!! I have taught her well.

  • Don

    I have a Toro 20016 model 22″. While mowing the yard Sunday the engine bogged down and stalled out. I can’t get it started it seems that the belt may have come off under the black housing above the front wheels.
    How do I get the housing off to inspect the belt and repair my mower

    Thank you in advance




  • Ed

    Just changed the oil on my Toro mower. The oil drain plug is on the underside. It is removed using a 1/2 inch ratchet WITHOUT a socket on it. I’m not saying that yours is the same, or that one method is better than the other, but this was my experience….

  • Steve Black

    Does anyone know where I can order a fuel tank for the Recycler 22″ Toro lawn mower. Toro customer svs told me about bulletin #128 with some info but can’t find it anywhere. Talked to a couple local dealers and they couldn’t help me with same results on web site (Jacks Small Engines). I have developed a 2 in. crack on the tank so “no gas, no go”. My next step is to try some glue/sealent to fix the leak.

  • Nick

    Anyone know how to tighten the belt on a 20016?
    I just replaced the belt (self-propel wasn’t working) and it still doesn’t work. The belt isn’t tight, so I assume it needs to be tightened.

  • what type of oil for)22″ front wheel drive toro? I mean the best you can get?
    If I can’t get it in Australia I”ll by it over see”sssss)how fuck’n good’s that.

  • andrew matchett

    Hey I have a toro 6.5hp gts ,i did the service on the motor and after i did, its started to leak oil from under the pull starter any ideas on why it be leaking oil or what it it
    thanks andrew

  • Bruce

    How does one get the front wheels, on a Toro 22 inch Personal Pace Mower model#20017, from wobbling? Seems they should set more secure with the axle bolt

  • Rich

    I’ve got a 2008 (I think) 22″ Toro Recycler. The mower was running fine at the end of last season. I drained the fuel and stored it inside a shed for the winter. This season I changed the oil, air filter, put in fresh gas and a new plug (.035 gap). It just won’t start. In fact the pull cord ripped in my frustration. lol

    Replaced the pull cord. Took the cover off and checked all the linkage and ground wire. Cleaned surface rust off the ignition coil and magnets and IT STILL WON’T START!!! It’s getting fuel (the plug is wet). My guess is the ignition coil is bad. Is there any way to test this before I drop another $50 on the part?

  • Emily

    Thanks so much for the advice on this blog! I’m a single gal and first-time homeowner so I can use all the advice I can get. My Toro 6.5hp 22″ Recycler with B&S engine just had the carb. replaced which cost me way too much money, and now the self-propulsion part seems to have gone out. It does not engage when you pull the handle, and what’s worse is the front wheels seem to have basically locked up. They won’t spin freely. Any advice on how I can troubleshoot, diagnose, or fix this problem without spending another hundred dollars or more in a repair shop? Thank you!


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