Tiller Maintenance

tvaughnMay 13, 2006

My father in law gave me an old rear tine tiller that has been setting for 3 years. After cleaning it up and replacing the gas lines and belts it is running. I've never owned one so I was wondering what maintenance is usually required. It is a 5hp briggs 4 cycle engine and says it was manufactured for the CO-OP, but the serial numbers aren't legible. I'm going to change the oil and sparkplug today. What type of oil do I use? Any other recommendations.

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maineman(z5a ME)

The engine manual probably said 30 weight for summertime use. It probably specified the API Service Category like, for example, category SJ or SL oil.

For an extended usage including cooler spring and fall use, I use Mobile One 10W-30 synthetic oil in my tiller. If you wanted to use the tiller in the winter, which is unlikely, Mobile One 5W-30 synthetic is what I would use. That's not an issue here in Maine, because our soil is frozen as solid as concrete in the winter.

Check the oil before each use and if it begins to get dark, change the oil while the engine is still warm from that use, to get a good drainout. If you had the engine manual, it would tell you how many hours of engine use between oil changes. Better to err on the side of changing oil too frequently.

If you don't know the oil capacity of the engine, make sure it is level when you add the oil. I actually use a bubble level for that, because just a little tilt can make a significant difference. I know my engine's oil capacity, but if it isn't level when I add oil, some oil can run out of the fill hole before I get enough oil in.


    Bookmark   May 13, 2006 at 2:06PM
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For summer use, HD-30 from Castrol is what I use. I believe your engine holds 20 ounces. Change roughly every 20 hours of use, or yearly, whichever comes first. If there is a way to check the oil in the gearcase of the tiller, I would also do that. Make sure to check the oil level in the engine before every use. Also keep the air filter clean, and she should be good to go!

    Bookmark   May 14, 2006 at 10:49AM
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