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YARD OPERATOR'S MANUAL 21 " Rear & Side Discharge Mulching Mower Model Series 540 _ ii _ , i ! i ! i ! i _ ! i , , MTD " # ! ! . : . ; . ( . . _ ! i ! i ! i ! i ! i ! i iiii _ iiiiiiii IMPORTANT : READ SAFETY RULES AND INSTRUCTIONS CAREFULLY Warning : This unit is equipped with an internal combustion engine and should not be used on or near any unimproved forest - covered , brush - covered or grass - covered land unless the engine's exhaust system is equipped with a spark arrester meeting applicable local or state laws ( if any ) . If a spark arrester is used , it should be maintained in effective working order by the operator . In the State of California the above is required by law ( Section 4442 of the California Public Resources Code ) . Other states may have similar laws . Federal laws apply on federal lands . A spark arrester for the muffler is available through your nearest engine authorized service dealer or contact the service department , P . O . Box 368022 Cleveland , Ohio 44136 - 9722 . MTD PRODUCTS INC . P . O . BOX 368022 CLEVELAND , OHIO 44136 - 9722 PRINTED IN U . S . A . FORM NO . 770 - 10019B ( 1o / oo )
TABLEOFCONTENTS Content Page Important Safe Operation Practices . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Slope Gauge . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Assembling Your Lawn Mower . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Know Your Lawn Mower . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Operating Your Lawn Mower . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Making Adjustments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Maintaining Your Lawn Mower . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Troubleshooting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Parts List . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 FINDINGMODELNUMBER This Operator's Manual is an important part of your new lawn mower . It will help you assemble , prepare and maintain the unit for best performance . Please read and understand what it says . Before you start assembling your new equipment , please locate the model plate on the equipment and copy the information from it in the space provided below . The information on the model plate is very important if you need help from our Customer Support Department or an authorized dealer . You can locate the model number by standing at the operating position and looking down at the rear of the mower deck . A sample model plate is explained below . For future reference , please copy the model number and the serial number of the equipment in the space below . ( Model Number ) ( Sedal Number ) Copy the model number here : Copy the serial number here : MTD PRODUCTS INC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . C . . . L . EVELAND OHIO 44136 CALLINGCUSTOMERSUPPORT If you have difficulty assembling this product or have any questions regarding the controls , operation or maintenance of this unit , please call the Customer Support Department . Call 1 - ( 330 ) 220 - 4MTD ( 4683 ) or 1 - ( 800 ) - 800 - 7310 to reach a Customer Support representative . Please have your unit's model number and serial number ready when you call . See previous section to locate this information . You will be asked to enter the serial number in order to process your call .
SECTION1 : IMPORTANTSAFEOPERATIONPRACTICES WARNING : This symbol points out important safety instructions which , if not followed , could endanger the personal safety and / or property of yourself and others . Read and follow all instructions in this manual before attempting to operate this machine . Failure to comply with these instructions may result in personal injury . When you see this symbol - heed its warning . WARNING : Engine Exhaust , some of its constituents , and certain vehicle components contain or emit chemicals known to State of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm . DANGER : This machine was built to be operated according to the rules for safe operation in this manual . As with any type of power equipment , carelessness or error on the part of the operator can result in serious injury . This machine is capable of amputating hands and feet and throwing objects . Failure to observe the following safety instructions could result in serious injury or death . 8 . Do not put hands or feet near rotating parts or under the GeneralOperation cutting deck . Contact with the blade can amputate hands 1 . Read this operator's manual carefully in its entirety and feet . before attempting to assemble this machine . Read , 9 . A missing or damaged discharge cover can cause blade understand , and follow all instructions on the machine contact or thrown object injuries . and in the manual ( s ) before operation . Be completely 10 . Many injuries occur as a result of the mower beiog pulled familiar with the controls and the proper use of this over the foot during a fall caused by slipping or tripping . machine before operating it . Keep this manual in a safe Do not hold on to the mower if you are falling ; release the place for future and regular reference and for ordering handle immediately . replacement parts . 11 . Never pull the mower back toward you while you are 2 . This machine is a precision piece of power equipment , walking . If you must back the mower away from a wall or not a plaything . Therefore , exercise extreme caution at all obstruction first look down and behind to avoid tripping times . Your unit has been designed to perform one job : to and then follow these steps : mow grass . Do not use it for any other purpose . a . Step back from the mower to fully extend your 3 . Never allow children under 14 years old to operate this arms . machine . Children 14 years old and over should read and b . Be sure you are well balanced with sure footing . understand the operation instructions and safety rules in c . Pull the mower back slowly , no more than half way this manual and should be trained and supervised by a toward you . parent . Only responsible individuals who are familiar with d . Repeat these steps as needed . these rules of safe operation should be allowed to use 12 . Do not operate the mower while under the influence of this machine . alcohol or drugs . 4 . Thoroughly inspect the area where the equipment is to 13 . Do not engage the self - propelled mechanism on units so be used . Remove all stones , sticks , wire , bones , toys and equipped while starting engine . other foreign objects which could be tripped over or 14 . The blade control handle is a safety device . Never picked up and thrown by the blade . Thrown objects can attempt to bypass its operation . Doing so makes the cause serious personal injury . Plan your mowing pattern safety device inoperative and may result in personal to avoid discharge of material toward roads , sidewalks , injury through contact with the rotating blade . The blade bystanders and the like . Also , avoid discharging material control handle must operate easily in both directions and against a wall or obstruction which may cause automatically return to the disengaged position when discharged material to ricochet back toward the operator . released . 5 . To help avoid blade contact or a thrown object injury , stay 15 . Never operate the mower in wet grass . Always be sure of in the operator zone behind the handles and keep your footing . A slip and fall can cause serious personal children , bystanders , helpers and pets at least 75 feet injury . If you feel you are losing your footing , release the from the mower while it is in operation . Stop machine if blade control handle immediately and the blade will stop anyone enters the area . rotating within three seconds . 6 . Always wear safety glasses or safety goggles during 16 . Mow only in daylight or in good artificial light . Walk , never operation and while performing an adjustment or repair to run . protect your eyes . Thrown objects which ricochet can 17 . Stop the blade when crossing gravel drives , walks or cause serious injury to the eyes . roads . 7 . Wear sturdy , rough - soled work shoes and close - fitting 18 . If the equipment should start to vibrate abnormally , stop slacks and shirts . Shirts and pants that cover the arms the engine and check immediately for the cause . and legs and steel - toed shoes are recommended . Never Vibration is generally a warning of trouble . operate this machine in bare feet , sandals , slippery or 19 , Shut the engine off and wait until the blade comes to a light weight ( e . g . canvas ) shoes . complete stop before removing the grass catcher or 3
unclogginthgechuteT . hecuttingbladecontinuetos obscure your vision of a child who may run into the mower . rotateforafewsecondasftertheengineisshuot ff . Neveprlaceanyparot fthebodyinthebladeareauntil 5 . Keep children away from hot or running engines . They can suffer burns from a hot muffler . youaresurethebladehasstopperdotating . 20 . Neveorperatme owewrithouptropetrrailshield , 6 . Never allow children under 14 years old to operate a dischargceoverg , rasscatchebr , ladecontrohlandloer power mower . Children 14 years old and over should othesrafetpyrotectivdeeviceisnplaceandworking . read and understand the operation instructions and Neveorperatme owewrithdamagesdafetydevices . safety rules in this manual and should be trained and Failuretodoso , canresulitnpersonianljury . supervised by a parent . 21 . MufflearndenginebecomheotandcancauseaburnD . o nottouch . Service 22 . Only use parts and accessories made for this machine by the manufacturer . Failure to do so , can result in personal SafeHandlingOfGasoline : injury . 1 . To avoid personal injury or property damage use extreme 23 . If situations occur which are not covered in this manual , care in handling gasoline . Gasoline is extremely use care and good judgment . Contact your dealer for flammable and the vapors are explosive . Serious assistance . Telephone 1 - 800 - 800 - 7310 for the name of personal injury can occur when gasoline is spilled on your nearest dealer . yourself or your clothes which can ignite . 2 . Wash your skin and change clothes immediately . 3 . Useonly an approved gasoline container . SlopeOperation 4 . Never fill containers inside a vehicle or on a truck or Slopes are a major factor related to slip and fall accidents trailer bed with a plastic liner . Always place containers on which can result in severe injury . Operation on slopes the ground away from your vehicle before filling . requires extra caution . If you feel uneasy on a slope , do not 5 . When practical , remove gas - powered equipment from mow it . For your safety , use the slope gauge included as part the truck or trailer and refuel it on the ground . If this is not of this manual to measure slopes before operating this unit on possible , then refuel such equipment on a trailer with a a sloped or hilly area . If the slope is greater than 15 degrees , portable container , rather than from a gasoline dispenser do not mow it . nozzle . DO : 6 . Keep the nozzle in contact with the rim of the fuel tank or 1 . Mow across the face of slopes ; never up and down . container opening at all times until fueling is complete . Do Exercise extreme caution when changing direction on not use a nozzle lock - open device . slopes . 7 . Extinguish all cigarettes , cigars , pipes and other sources 2 . Watch for holes , ruts , rocks , hidden objects , or bumps of ignition . which can cause you to slip or trip . Tall grass can hide 8 . Never fuel machine indoors because flammable vapors obstacles . will accumulate in the area . 3 . Always be sure of your footing . A slip and fall can cause 9 . Never remove gas cap or add fuel while the engine is hot serious personal injury . If you feel you are losing your or running . Allow engine to cool at least two minutes balance , release the blade control handle immediately , before refueling . 10 . Neverover flllfueltank . Fill tank to no more than Â½ inch and the blade will stop rotating within 3 seconds . below bottom of filler neck to provide space for fuel DoNot : expansion . 1 . Do not mow near drep - offs , ditches or embankments , 11 . Replace gasoline cap and tighten securely . you could lose your footing or balance . 12 . If gasoline is spilled , wipe it off the engine and 2 . Do not mow slopes greater than 15 degrees as shown on equipment . Move unit to another area . Wait 5 minutes the slope gauge . before starting the engine . 3 . Do not mow on wet grass . Unstable footing could cause 13 . Never store the machine or fuel container inside where slipping . there is an open flame , spark or pilot light as on a water heater , space heater , furnace , clothes dryer or other gas Children appliances . 14 . To reduce fire hazard , keep mower free of grass , leaves , Tragic accidents can occur if the operator is not alert to the or other debris build - up . Clean up oil or fuel spillage and presence of children . Children are often attracted to the remove any fuel soaked debris . mower and the mowing activity . They do not understand the 15 . Allow a mower to cool at least 5 minutes before storing . dangers . Never assume that children will remain where you last saw them . GeneralService : 1 . Keep children out of the mowing area and under the 1 . Never run an engine indoors or in a poorly ventilated watchful care of a responsible adult other than the area . Engine exhaust contains carbon monoxide , an operator . odorless and deadly gas . 2 . Be alert and turn mower off if a child enters the area . 2 . Before cleaning , repairing , or inspecting , make certain 3 . Before and while moving backwards , look behind and the blade and all moving parts have stopped . Disconnect down for small children . the spark plug wire and ground against the engine to 4 . Use extreme care when approaching blind corners , prevent unintended starting . doorways , shrubs , trees , or other objects that may 3 . Check the blade and engine mounting bolts at frequent
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SIGHT AND HOLD THIS LEVEL WITH A VERTICAL TREE ' ql A POWER POLE A CORNER OF A BUILDING OR A FENCE POST _ D O 15 Â° 03 . Â£ cO . _ . 5 WARNING CO3O â¢ Â¢ 0 _ Do not mow on inclines with a slope in excess of 15 degrees ( a rise of approximately 2 - 1 / 2 feet every 10 feet ) _ A riding mower could CO O a . - - _ and you could slip , resulting in serious injury . r _ o , overturn and cause serious injury . If operating a walk - behind mower on such a slope , it is extremely difficult to maintain your footing ' - _ " = Operate RIDING mowers up and down slopes , never across the face of slopes . _ Operate WALK - BEHIND mowers across the face of slopes , never up and down slopes . C
SECTION3 : ASSEMBLINGYOURLAWNMOWER IMPORTANT : This unit is shipped without gasoline or oil in the engine . Be certain to service engine with gasoline and oil as instructed in the separate engine manual before operating your mower . NOTE : Reference to right or left hand side of the mower is observed from the operating position . RemovingUnitFromCarton Remove staples , break glue on top flaps , or cut tape at carton end and peel along top flap to open carton . Remove loose parts if included with unit ( i . e . , operator's manual , etc . ) Figure 2 Cut along corners , lay carton down flat , and remove packing matedaL Remove the hairpin clips from the outer hole in the Roll or slide unit out of carton and check carton weld pins on the handle mounting brackets . Using a thoroughly for loose parts . pair of pliers , squeeze one leg of the lower handle against the handle mounting bracket . Insert the LoosePartsin Carton hairpin clip into the inner hole on the weld pin . Repeat on the other side . See Figure 3 . Grass Bag After moving the hairpin clip , insert the carriage bolt Side Discharge Chute from hardware pack in the upper hole on the handle Hardware Pack mounting bracket and secure with plastic wing nut from the hardware pack . Repeat on other side . DisconnectinSgparkPlugWire Before setting up your lawn mower , disconnect the spark Handle Mounting plug wire from the spark plug and ground against the engine . See Figure 1 . S Bracket k _ _ . _ / _ Carriage B Â° lt Bolt k _ _ / l / _ " insert Hairpin 0 0 Wing N _ Pin Hairpin _ - - - - - - - - - - Clip Figure 3 Spark Fasten the cable to the lower handle with the two Plug Wire Spark Plug cable ties found on the lower handle . Pull the cable ties tight and tdm off the excess . Figure 1 See Figure 4 . Cable Tie , SettingUpYourLawnMower AssemblingHandle Lift up and pull back on the upper handle to raise the handle into the operating position . Make certain the Handle lower handle is seated securely into the handle bracket assemblies . Tighten the wing nuts on each side of the handle ( carriage bolts must be seated propedy into the handle ) . See Figure 2 . Figure 4 NOTE : Your mower is shipped with the handle in the higher position . If you wish to lower the height of the handle , refer to the Adjustment Section at this time .
AttachinSgtarteRr ope Discharge Door The rope guide is attached to the right side of upper handle . Loosen the wing nut which secures the rope guide . See Figure 5 . Starter Handle Rope Nut Rope Guide Grass Handle Figure 5 Figure 7 With the spark plugwire disconnected and To remove the grass catcher , lift the rear discharge grounded , hold the blade control handle against the door on the mower , lift the grass catcher up and off upper handle , and pull the starter rope out of the the pivot rod . Reinstall the mulching baffle and engine . Release the blade control handle . Slip the release the rear discharge door . starter rope into the rope guide . Tighten the wing nut . WARNING : Never operate the mower unless the hooks on the grass catcher are firmly seated on the chute pivot rod , and AttachingGrassCatcherToMower the rear discharge door rests firmly against the top of the grass catcher . NOTE : The mulching baffle , if so equipped , is already in place on the mower for shipping purposes . Your lawn mower may be equipped with both a mulching baffle ConvertingToSideDischarge and a mulching plug . While the mulching baffle is If your unit is equipped with a side discharge chute , you located at the rear of the mower , the mulching plug is can convert to a side discharge mower as follows : located on the right side of the cutting deck . Do not Lift the rear discharge door and install the mulching remove the mulching plug from the mower even when baffle . See Figure 6 . you are not mulching the grass . On the side of the mower , lift the mulching plug and To remove the mulching baffle , lift the rear dis - slide the two hooks of the side discharge chute charge door on the mower . Remove the mulching under the hinge pin on the mulching plug assembly . baffle . See Figure 6 . Lower the side mulching plug . See Figure 8 . Do not remove the side mulching plug at any time , even when you are not mulching . Mulching _ _ _ Baffle _ - - - . _ / / / / , / / _ _ o Mulching Plug Hinge Pi _ Figure 6 IMPORTANT : Make sure cables are routed to the outside of the handle so they are net in the way when attaching the grass catcher . Lift the rear discharge door on the mower . Figure 8 Place the hooks , found on both sides of the grass catcher frame , over the chute door pivot rod at the rear of the mower . Release the rear discharge door . See Figure 7 .
SECTION4 : KNOWYOURLAWNMOWER GrassCatcher Read this operator's manual and safety rules before operating your lawn mower . Compare the illustration in The grass catcher , located at the rear of the mower , is Figure 9 with your lawn mower to familiarize yourself used to bag the grass clippings for disposal at another with the location of various controls and adjustments . site . Once the bag is full , it has to be removed from the Save this manual for future reference . mower and emptied before any further mowing . WARNING : The operation of any lawn . Blade Control mower can result in foreign objects being Handle thrown into the eyes , which can damage your eyes severely . Always wear safety glasses while operating the mower , or while performing any adjustments or repairs on it . Recoil Starter Starter Cutting Height The recoil starter is attached to the right handle . Stand ustment Lever behind the unit and pull the recoil starter to start the unit . See Figure 9 . Catcher BladeControlHandle The blade control handle is located on the upper handle of the mower . The blade control handle must be depressed in order to operate the unit . Release blade control handle to stop engine and blade . See Figure 9 . Mulching is a safety device . Never attempt to bypass WARNING : This blade control mechanism its operations . Figure 9 CuttingHeightAdjustmentLevers MulchingPlug These levers are located on each wheel and are used Both the mulching baffle and the mulching plug are to adjust the cutting height . These levers have to be at used only for mulching purposes . Instead of collecting the same relative positionto ensure uniform cut . the grass clippings in a grass catcher , some mower See Figure 9 . models have the option of recirculating the clippings back to the lawn . SECTION5 : OPERATINGYOURLAWNMOWER WARNING : Keep hands and feet away from Never fill fuel tank indoors with engine chute area on the cutting deck . The running or until the engine has been & allowed to cool for at least two minutes operation of any lawn mower can result in foreign objects being thrown into the eyes , after running . which can result in severe eye damage . Always wear safety glasses or eye shields . StartingEngine NOTE : For shipping purposes your mower is set with Attach spark plug wire to spark plug . Make certain the wheels in a low cutting height position . For best the metal cap on the end of the spark plug is results raise the cutting position until it is determine fastened securely over the metal tip on the spark which height is best for your lawn . See the Adjustment plug . Section for details . Prime engine as instructed in the separate engine manual packed with your unit . Your lawn mower may be equipped with a constant GasandOilFill - Up speed throttle , which is set at full throttle for best Service the engine with gasoline and oil as instructed in performance . the separate engine manual packed with your mower . Read instructions carefully .
Standbehindthemowear ndsqueezetheblade designed to be operated at full throttle to give you the controhl andleagainsttheupperhandle . best cut and do the most effective job of mowing or Grasprecoisl tarterhandleandpullropeoutslowly mulching . untilenginereachesthestartofcompressiocnycle WARNING : If you strike a foreign object , ( ropewillpullslightlyharderatthispoint ) L . etthe stop the engine . Remove wire from the roperewindslowly . Pullropewitharapid , spark plug , thoroughly inspect the mower continuousfu , llarmstroke . Keepingafirmgripon for any damage , and repair the damage thestarterhandlel , ettheropereturntothestarter before restarting and operating the slowly . mower . Extensive vibration of the mower during operation is an indication of UsingYourLawnMower damage . The unit should be promptly Be sure that the lawn is clear of stones , sticks , wire , or inspected and repaired . other objects which could damage the lawn mower or the engine . Such objects could be accidently thrown by Mulching the mower in any direction and cause serious personal For effective mulching , do not cut wet grass because it injury to the operator and others . tends to stick to the underside of the deck , preventing For best results , do not cut wet grass because it tends proper mulching of grass clippings . New or thick grass to stick to the underside of the mower , preventing may require a narrower cut . The ground speed should proper discharge of grass clippings , and could cause be adjusted to the condition of the lawn . If mowing has you to slip and fall . New grass , thick grass , or wet grass been delayed and the grass has been allowed to grow may require a narrower cut . in excess of 4 " , mulching is not recommended . Mow For a healthier lawn , never cut off more than one - third using the side discharge to reduce the grass height to 3 of the total length of the grass . Your lawn should be cut 1 / 4 " maximum before mulching . in the fall as long as there is growth . This mower is SECTION6 : MAKINGADJUSTMENTS the handle mounting bracket and secure with adjustments without first stopping engine plastic wing nuts . WARNING : Do not at any time make any and disconnecting spark plug wire . Reassemble the upper handle to the lower handle . Attach the starter rope as instructed in the Assembly Section . HandleHeightAdjustment Your mower is shipped with the handle in the higher height position . To lower the height proceed as follows : Remove the starter rope from the rope guide . Remove the upper handle by removing the hand _ lotch knobs and carriage bolts . Lay the upper handle out Lower Handle of the way , being careful not to bend or kink the cables . Remove the hairpin clips from the weld pins on the handle brackets and remove the wing nuts and carriage bolts from the upper hole on the handle mounting bracket . Press out on the legs of the Figure 10 lower handle and remove lower handle from the mower . CuttingHeightAdjustment Turn lower handle around so the notch on the An adjusting plate and spring tever at each wheel bottom of the lower handle is facing forward . position provides cutting height adjustment . Each See Figure 10 . adjusting plate has asserted height positions . When the Reassemble , placing the bottom holes in the spring lever is moved from one location to another the handle over the weld pins in the handle mounting height of cut will be changed . Simply depress the lever bracket . towards wheel and move lever assembly to desired Place the hairpin clips in the inner holes in the weld position . See Figure 11 . pins and insert the carriage bolts the upper hole on 10
IMPORTANT : Alt wheels must be placed in the same Height Adjustment relative position . For rough or uneven lawns , move the height adjustment lever to a higher position . This will help stop scalping of the grass . EngineAdjustments See the separate engine manual packed with your unit for adjustments to the engine . Figure 11 SECTION7 : MAINTAININGYOURLAWNMOWER Some adjustments will have to be made GeneralRecommendations periodically to maintain your unit properly . All Always observe safety rules when performing any adjustments in the Making Adjustments section of maintenance . this manual should be checked at least once each The warranty on this lawn mower does not cover season . items that have been subjected to operator abuse Periodically check all fasteners and make sure or negligence . To receive full value from the these are tight . warranty , operator must maintain the lawn mower Follow the maintenance schedule under Customer as instructed in this manual . Responsibilities to get quality performance from Changing of engine governed speed will void your lawn mower . engine warranty . CustomerResponsibilities MAINTENANCE em _ q , _ _ _ me _ e " e - _ SERVICE SCHEDULE _ _ < k . _ , _ . _ < _ _ ' no DATES Lubricate Wheels F - 0 Lubricate Blade Control Â£ : _ _ ) Clean Deck _ ' _ BlaCdeare * Â¢ * Y Check Oil Change Oil _ _ Z Replace Air Filter ' _ Z _ Clean Engine Â£ _ uJ Check Spark Plug _ Check Spark Arrester ( if any ) 11
Lubrication Rear Discharge plug wire before cleaning , lubricating or i _ Always stop engine and disconnect spark doing any kind of service work on the lawn Handle mower . Bracket Blade Control : Lubricate the pivot points on the blade \ control handle and the brake cable at least once a season with light oil . The blade control must operate freely in both directions . See Figure 12 . Handle Rear & Side Discharge Doors : The torsion springs Bracket and pivot points should be lubricated periodically with light oil to prevent any rust or binding . Door must work freely . Wheels : The wheels require no lubrication . However , if Figure 13 the wheels are removed for any reason , lubricate the surface of the axle bolt and the inner surface of the Engine wheel with light oil . Engine oil may also be used . Refer to the separate engine manual for all engine Engine : Follow engine manual for instruction and maintenance instructions . schedule of lubrication . Maintain engine oil as instructed in the separate engine manual packed with your unit . Service air cleaner every 25 hours under normal conditions . Poor engine performance and flooding usually indicate that the air cleaner should be serviced . To service the air cleaner , refer to the separate engine manual packed with your unit . The spark plug should be cleaned and the gap Jbricate reset once a season . Spark plug replacement is recommended at the start of each mowing season . Clean the engine regularly with a cloth or brush . Keep the cooling system ( blower housing area ) Lubricate clean to permit proper air circulation which is essential to engine performance and life . Be certain to remove all grass , dirt , and combustible debris from muffler area . Deck The underside of the mower deck should be cleaned after each use to prevent a buildup of grass clippings , leaves , dirt , or other matter . If this debris is allowed to accumulate , it will invite rust and corrosion , and may Figure 12 prevent proper mulching , discharge , or bagging . The deck may be cleaned by tilting the mower and scraping Maintenance clean with a suitable tool ( make certain the spark plug wire is disconnected ) . NOTE : When tipping the unit or emptying the fuel tank IMPORTANT : We do not recommend the use of a keep the air cleaner side of engine up . Never tip the pressure washer or garden hose to clean your unit . The mower more than 90 degrees and do not leave the use of water will result in shorten life and reduce mower tipped for any length of time . Oil can drain into serviceability . the upper part of the engine causing a starting problem . Cutting Blade Removal , Replacement , and Sharpening ReplacinRgearFlap When removing the cutting blade for sharpening or replacement , protect your hands with a pair of To remove rear flap , cut off the flat end of the wire heavy gloves or use a heavy rag to hold the blade . rod which secures it to the deck . See Figure 13 . Remove the bolt and the blade bell support which Attach the new flap and new rod to deck , bending hold the blade and the blade adapter to the engine the ends of the new rod over to secure to deck crankshaft . See Figure 14 . 12
Remove the blade and the adapter from the Slide the blade adapter onto the engine crankshaft . crankshaft . Place the blade on the adapter . Be certain the blade is aligned and seated on the blade adapter flanges . Blade Place blade bell support on blade . Make sure the Adapter ' _ q notches on the blade bell support are aligned with small holes in the blade . Blade Bell Replace hex bolt and tighten hex bolt to torque : 450 in . lbs . min . , 600 in . lbs . max . NOTE : To ensure safe operation of your mower , the blade bolt must be checked periodically for correct _ x Bolt torque . StoringyourLawnMower Figure 14 The following steps should be taken to prepare your lawn mower for storage . adapter for cracks , especially if you strike i _ WARNING : Periodically inspect the blade Clean and lubricate mower thoroughly as described a foreign object . Replace when necessary . in the lubrication instructions . When sharpening the blade , follow the original angle of IMPORTANT : We do not recommend the use of a grind as a guide . It is extremely important that each pressure washer or garden hose to clean your unit . cutting edge receives an equal amount of grinding to Refer to engine manual for correct engine storage prevent an unbalanced blade . An unbalanced blade will instructions . cause excessive vibration when rotating at high Coat mower's cutting blade with chassis grease to speeds . It may cause damage to the mower , and could prevent rusting . break causing personal injury . Store mower in a dry , clean area . Do not store next The blade can be tested by balancing it on a round to corrosive materials , such as fertilizer . shaft screwdriver . Remove metal from the heavy side until it balances evenly . It is recommended that the NOTE : When storing any type of power equipment in a blade always be removed from the adapter when poorly ventilated or metal storage shed , care should be testing for balance . Before reinstalling the blade and taken to rust - preof the equipment . Using a light oil or the blade adapter to the unit , lubricate the engine silicone , coat the equipment , especially cables and all crankshaft and the inner surface of the blade adapter moving parts . with light oil . Be sure to install the blade with the side of the blade marked " Bottom " ( or with part number ) facing the ground when the mower is in the operating position . 13
SECTION8 : TROUBLESHOOTING Problem Cause Remedy Engine fails to start 1 . Blade control handle disengaged . 1 . Engage blade control handle . 2 . Spark plug wire disconnected . 2 . Connect wire to spark plug . 3 . Fuel tank empty or stale fuel . 3 . Fill tank with clean , fresh gasoline . 4 . Blocked fuel line . 4 . Clean fuel line . 5 . Faulty spark plug . 5 . Clean , adjust gap , or replace . 6 . Wait a few minutes to restart , but do not 6 . Engine flooded prime . Engine runs erratic 1 . Spark plug wire loose . 1 . Connect and tighten spark plug wire . 2 . Blocked fuel line or stale fuel . 2 . Clean fuel line ; fill tank with clean , fresh gasoline 3 . Clear vent . 3 . Vent in gas plugged . 4 . Drain fuel tank . Refill with fresh fuel . 4 . Water or dirt in fuel system . 5 . Clean air cleaner . 5 . Dirty air cleaner . 6 . Carburetor out of adjustment . 6 . Adjust carburetor . Engine overheats 1 . Engine oil level low . 1 . Fill crankcase with proper oil . 2 . Air flow restricted . 2 . Remove blower housing and clean . 3 . Carburetor not adjusted properly . 3 . Adjust carburetor . Occasional skip ( hesitates 1 . Spark plug gap too close . 1 . Adjust gap to . 030 " . at high speed Idles poorly 1 . Spark plug fouled , faulty or gap too 1 . Reset gap to . 030 " or replace spark wide . plug . 2 . Carburetor improperly adjusted . 2 . Adjust carburetor . 3 . Dirty air cleaner . 3 . Clean air cleaner . Excessive vibration 1 . Cutting blade loose or unbalanced . 1 . Tighten blade and adapter . Balance blade . 2 . Bent cutting blade . 2 . Replace blade . Mowerwillnotmulchgras , , 1 . Wetgrass . 1 . Do not mow when grass is wet ; wait until later to cut . 2 . Excessively high grass . 2 . Mow once at a high cutting height , then mow again at desired height or make a narrower cutting path . 3 . Dull blade . 3 . Sharpen or replace blade . Uneven cut 1 . Wheels not positioned correctly . 1 . Place all four wheels in same height position . 2 . Dull blade . 2 . Sharpen or replace blade . NOTE : For repairs beyond the minor adjustments above , contact your local authorized service dealer . 14
ModelSeries540 1 52 23 89 59 8 \ 53 \ 72 16
ModelSeries540 Ref . Ref . Part No . Part Description Part Description No . Part No . No . 1 . 747 - 0824 Pivot Bar - RH Control Handle Assembly 50 . 17488A 647 - 0004 Deluxe Control Handle 17489A Pivot Bar - LH 2 . 710 - 1205 Front Baffle Rope Guide 51 . 782 - 5002 3 . 720 - 0279 Handle Knob 52 . 712 - 0397 Wing Knob 4 . 710 - 1174 Curved Hd . Bolt 5 / 16 - 18 x 2 " 53 . 782 - 5003 Rear Baffle 5 . 712 - 0324 Hex L - Nut 1 / 4 - 20 Thd . 54 . 710 - 1017 Torx Mach . AB - Tap Scr . 6 . 720 - 0314 Hand Knob 55 . 710 - 0896 Hex Washer Screw 1 / 4 - 14 x . 625 9 . 710 - 1270 Screw 1 / 4 - 20 x 1.31 56 . 682 - 3058 Handle Bracket Assembly - - R . H . 11 . 749 - 0438C Upper Handle 682 - 3059 Handle Bracket Assembly - - L . H . 12 . 720 - 0295 Foam Grip t 57 . 710 - 0703 Carriage Bolt , 1 / 4 - 20 x . 75 " 13 . 749 - 0907A Lower Handle 58 . 782 - 0047 Deck 21 " 14 . 726 - 0240 Cable Tie 59 . 734 - 1860 Rear Wheel Ass'y 14 x 2 15 . 747 - 0995A Catcher Frame 734 - 1864 Rear Wheel Ass'y . 14 x 1.8 16 . 746 - 0550 Control Cable 39 " 60 . 734 - 1818 Front Wheel Ass'y . 8 x 2 746 - 0737 Control Cable 51 " 734 - 1781 Front Wheel Ass'y 8 x 1.75 17 . 746 - 0841 Throttle Cable 60 " t 734 - 1841 Front Wheel Ass'y 8 x 1.7 746 - 0847 Throttle Cable 42 " t 734 - 1987 Front Wheel Assembly 8 x 1.8 18 . 664 - 0084 Chute Door Pivot Rod Grass Bag w / o logo 61 . 747 - 0996 664 - 0085 Seres Screw TT 3 / 8 - 16 x 1 Grass Bag w / logo , Yellow 62 . 710 - 0654A 664 - 0086 Grass Bag w / logo , Red 63 . 682 - 7000 Mulching Plug 19 . 731 - 0066 Chute Deflector Hard Top w / logo 64 . 731 - 1409 731 - 0068 Hard Top w / o logo 66 . 782 - 5007A Rear Mulch Plug Rear Mulch Baffle 20 . 714 - 0104 Internal Cotter Pin 67 . 782 - 5004 21 . 746 - 0883 Wave Washer Throttle Housing w / o Lever 70 . 736 - 0182 22 . 682 - 3058 Handle Bracket Assembly - RH 71 . 736 - 0105 Spring Washer 682 - 3059 Handle Brkt Ass'y - LH ( Not Shown ) 72 . 731 - 1426 Hub Cap t 23 . 782 - 7599A Rear Axle Bolt Grass Bag Door 73 . 738 - 0481A 24 . 750 - 0434 Flat Washer Spacer . 375 OD x . 50 ID x 1.02 " 76 . 736 - 0456 30 . 732 - 0700 Wire Rod 80 . 720 - 0312 Foam Grip 31 . 731 - 1236 Rear Flap 81 . 732 - 0866 Height Adj . Lever 32 . 753 - 0588 Blade Adapter Kit 82 . 712 - 3005 Hex Flange Lock Nut 3 / 8 - 16 33 . 710 - 1044 Hex Bolt 3 / 8 - 24 x 1.5 " 83 . 710 - 0514 Hex Cap Screw 3 / 8 - 16 x 1,0 34 . 736 - 0524A Blade Bell Support 84 . 732 - 0731 Torsion Spring 36 . 742 - 0741 Mulching Blade 85 . 747 - 0710 Hinge Pin 39 . 736 - 0356 Bell Washer . 39 " I . D . x 1.38 " 87 . 736 - 0270 Bell Washer , 265 x , 75 x , 062 40 . 712 - 0130 Hex Lock Nut 3 / 8 - 16 88 . 710 - 0216 Hex Screw 3 / 8 - 16 x , 75 41 . 15261A Bell Washer , 39 x 1,13 x , 062 Height Adj . Plate 89 . 736 - 0331 42 . 15262B Pivot Bar 90 . 712 - 0798 Hex Nut 3 / 8 - 16 43 . 732 - 0404 Spring Lever : Front Wheel 92 . 732 - 0809 Torsion Spring 44 . 738 - 0507B Shoulder Bolt . 5 " Dia . x . 357 " 93 . 738 - 0102 Front Axle Bolt 47 . 720 - 0190 Spring Lever Knob 94 . 782 - 7006 Hinged Mounting Bracket Hex Screw 1 / 4 - 14 x , 625 49 . 14578 Height Adj . Assembly Comp - RH 95 . 710 - 0896 14579 Height Adj . Assembly Comp - LH 96 . 782 - 9050 Mounting Bracket tlf Equipped 17
MANUFACTURER'S LIMITED WARRANTY FOR : YARD c . Routine maintenance items such as lubricants , filters , The limited warranty set forth below is given by MTD blade sharpening and tune - ups , or adjustments such PRODUCTS INC ( " MTD " ) with respect to new merchandise as brake adjustments , clutch adjustments or deck purchased and used in the United States , its possessions adjustments ; and normal deterioration of the exterior and territories . finish due to use or exposure . d . MTD does not extend any warranty for products sold MTD warrants this product against defects in material and or exported outside of the United States of America , workmanship for a period of two ( 2 ) years commencing on its possessions and territories , except those sold the date of original purchase and will , at its option , repair or through MTD's authorized channels of export distribu - tion . replace , free of charge , any part found to be defective in material or workmanship . This limited warranty shall only No implied warranty , including any implied warranty of apply if this product has been operated and maintained in accordance with the Operator's Manual furnished with the merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose , applies after the applicable period of express written product , and has not been subject to misuse , abuse , com - mercial use , neglect , accident , improper maintenance , warranty above as to the parts as identified . No other alteration , vandalism , theft , fire , water or damage because express warranty or guaranty , whether written or oral , of other peril or natural disaster . Damage resulting from the except as mentioned above , given by any person or installation or use of any accessory or attachment not entity , including a dealer or retailer , with respect to any approved by MTD Products Inc . for use with the product ( s ) product shall bind MTD . During the period of the War - covered by this manual will void your warranty as to any ranty , the exclusive remedy is repair or replacement of resulting damages . the product as set forth above . ( Some states do not allow limitations on how long an implied warranty lasts , so Normal wear parts or components thereof are subject to the above limitation may not apply to you . ) separate terms as follows : All normal wear part or compo - nent failures will be covered on the product for a period of The provisions as set forth in this Warranty provide the 90 days regardless of cause . After 90 days , but within the sole and exclusive remedy arising from the sales . MTD two year period , normal wear part failures will be covered shall not be liable for incidental or consequential loss ONLY IF caused by defects in material or workmanship of or damages including , without limitation , expenses OTHER component parts . Normal wear parts and compo - incurred for substitute or replacement lawn care ser - nents include , but are not limited to . belts , blades , blade vices , for transportation or for related expenses , or for adapters , grass bags , rider deck wheels , seats , snow rental expenses to temporarily replace a warranted thrower skid shoes , shave plates and tires . Batteries are product . ( Some states do not allow the exclusion or limita - covered by a 90 - day limited replacement warranty . tion of incidental or consequential damages , so the above exclusion or limitation may not apply to you , ) HOW TO OBTAIN SERVICE : Warranty service is available , WITH PROOF OF PURCHASE THROUGH YOUR LOCAL In no event shall recovery of any kind be greater than the AUTHORIZED SERVICE DEALER . To locate the dealer in amount of the purchase price of the product sold . Alteration your area , please check for a listing in the Yellow Pages or of the safety features of the product shall void this War - contact the Customer Service Department of MTD PROD - rarity . You assume the risk and liability for loss , damage , or UCTS INC by calling 1 - 800 - 800 - 7310 or writing to RO . Box injury to you and your property and / or to others and their 368022 , Cleveland . Ohio 44136 - 9722 . property arising out of the use or misuse or inability to use This limited warranty does not provide coverage in the the product . following cases : a , The engine or component parts thereof , These items This limited warranty shall not extend to anyone other than carry a separate manufacturer's warranty . Please refer the original purchaser , original lessee or the person for to the applicable manufacturer's warranty on these whom it was purchased as a gift . items . b . Log splitter pumps , valves and cylinders have a sepa - How State Law Relates to this Warranty : This limited rate one year warranty . warranty gives you specific legal rights , and you may also have other rights which vary from state to state .