2-Cycle Tiller

How to Identify and Fix Common Gardening Problems ?

We provide a variety of viewpoints on how to identify and fix common gardening problems. Our sources include academic articles, blog posts, and personal essays from experienced gardeners :

If the wheels on your tiller move but the tines don`t spin, you may need to replace tine shaft clevis pins or replace the transmission. The tiller`s transmission drives the wheels and the tine shaft, so you`ll likely need to replace the transmission when the wheels spin but the tine shaft doesn`t move.
Tiller: Why does my tiller turn the soil poorly? Worn or damaged tines, broken tine shaft clevis pins, a worn drive belt, a faulty transmission, a problem with the clutch cable, improper depth-stake setting or bad soil conditions can cause a tiller to do a poor job turning the soil.
If the rotary tiller still doesn`t start:

Check that the fuel tank isn`t empty: if necessary, add fuel. The fuel must be fresh, of good quality and clean: make sure that no dirt, water or incompatible fuel (such as petrol-oil mixture, if the engine is a 4-stroke) gets into the tank.

Soil Problems

The problem with your tiller`s digging power may not be with the machine; it could be the soil. When soil is dry and compacted, tiller tines basically bounce off it without digging into it or turning it. Combat compaction by watering the area thoroughly one or two days before you till.

Counter Rotating Tines (CRT)

The CRT feature spins the tines in the opposite direction as the wheels while the wheels propel the machine forward despite the force of the tines. Counter rotating tines allow this type of tiller to dig deep and break through even the toughest soils.

Forward and reverse tine rotary tillers operate exactly as described. Forward rotating tines, like those on the RT3062, rotate forward on the shaft in the same direction the tractor is traveling. Reverse rotating tines, like those on the RT3062R, rotate on the shaft in the opposite direction the tractor is traveling.
In general the depth bar should be adjusted so the tiller is tilted slightly backwards. Raise the depth bar to dig deeper into the soil. Lower the depth bar when to till in shallow areas. For hard, compacted soil, it is very important to set the depth bar in the lowest position during the initial tilling.
You should change your tiller oil at least every spring, but ideally after every 50 hours of operation. Between oil changes, check your oil level before each use to ensure there`s enough oil present. Small amounts of oil may burn off during use, so you may need to occasionally top it off.
One of the most common problems, especially because rototillers often sit unused for months, is stale fuel or a clogged carburetor. If you know you have fresh fuel, you can check for carburetor blockage by spraying a small amount of carb cleaner into the intake and attempting to start the engine.
A rototiller, or tiller, is the heavier and more powerful of the two. Tillers are made for digging deeply and aggressively to break open the soil—for instance, when you`re creating a brand-new garden bed or to getting started at the beginning of the season.
Mantis Tiller/Cultivator. This lightweight, compact, and versatile small tiller does the work of tillers twice its size, tearing through the hardest soil in minutes. This tough little tiller has been empowering gardeners around the world since 1980.
Forward-rotating tines will help you push forward through your soil and blend it, while counter-rotating tines will help your tiller dig deep, and dual-rotating tines allow you to switch between modes.
When the “blunt” edge width measures 1/4″ to 3/8″, a new set is probably required. If the tines become so worn that they are pointed, the tiller will not perform acceptably–you`ll be aerating instead of tilling! For the most part, tines need to be replaced as a set (or kit)–not individually.
On front-tined tillers, the gardener pushes down on the handles, which raises the spinning tines, to get the tiller from one place to another. When it`s in the right place, the front end is lowered and the tines dig in, pulling the machine forward.

Discover Relevant Questions and Answers for Your Specific Issue

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

MDT Tiller starts and runs but tines won’t turn
ANSWER : -Won out drive or driven gears.

Good luck


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When I Start Mantis Tilleer it starts in gear ( tines are turning)
ANSWER : The Mantis has a speed controlled automatic clutch.

Lower the idle speed by turning the idle screw counter clockwise. The idle screw is attached where the throttle cable meet the carb. The screw has a pointed end that resembles a pencil point.

The engine speed should be adjusted just above stalling.

If the tines turn even when the engine pull rope is pulled, the the clutch is defective and needs repairing.

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The gears have locked up what is the problelm
ANSWER : Is the motor running and increasing power with movement of the throttle lever? If so then something is possibly caught in the worm gear mechanism.

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Tines turning, mantis 2 cycle tiller
ANSWER : Sounds like a piston seizure. are you using correct oil and ratio. carb could be going lean and causing the cylinder to over heat, adjust high speed mixing screw and hope no damage has resulted.

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My Mantis Tiller 4cycle engine starts well but when I press the throttle completedly, the tines turn very slowly. This is a brand new tiller, used only twice. The engine is sitting all the way down on the worn gear housing.
ANSWER : I had same issue with my 2 year old 4cycle. Check if the carb is moving full stroke with throttle movement. I had almost no movement at carb at full throttle, found the trigger in throttle handle was cracked and bent rather than pull cable. I called mantis and they promptly sent a new handle bar ***’y with new cable, throttle ***’y Etc and that solved my problem.

BTW: If you cannot wait, I did figure out that if I pushed the carb to open with the throttle trigger fully pulled it would run at high, but when you let go…..LOL

Rich in Wethersfield, Ct

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ANSWER : Watch this video.


If everything is fine then replace parts necessary – parts breakdown:


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Blades turn slow and dies out under load – Mantis 4-Cycle Tiller

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The tines on my mantis tiller quit turning, nothing is stuck in them, what can i do?
ANSWER : Here is the parts breakdown for what could be the problem. You should be able to fix it yourself.


Here is a helpful video for continued self-service:


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