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    Changing blades on Troy Bilt 17.5 Mower

    Asked Jul 7, 2008, 04:08 PM 8 Answers
    I have a Troy Bilt 17.5, 42 inch cut riding mower. My son bent one of the blades on it several weeks ago. I now have new blades and my son has moved to AZ for Border Patrol training. My neighbor came over the other day to try to change them but he said it looked like you had to drop the deck to change them. He thought it looked like an easy, off from the bottom and then back on.

    At this time, the shaft looks fine. :) Anyone done this? My neighbor is gone during the week for work, if it's easy enough I'd like to try it myself before my back yard needs a bush hog. Any suggestions or comments appreciated!

    Also, ever since I purchased it new from Lowe's 3 years ago, if I move it to reverse and then try to move it back to forward, I will sit there sometimes for 5 minutes, moving the shifter everywhere trying to get it to go forward again. When I move it out of Reverse and back into Drive, I slowly let off the clutch because I can never tell if it will be engaged and I can go forward or if I can let out the clutch and it still not move anyway. I called Lowe's when I first got it, and he told me to kind of shake the mower back and forth with my body... and yes, I look quite silly doing it, but it doesn't seem to help. Usually have to go back and forth between reverse, neutral and forward numerous times before it will actually go forward when I let out the clutch. Meant to take it back in the following spring for service but didn't have a method to transport it. Any ideas on that? I'm tired of looking like the idiot sitting there waiting for drive to engage.

    Last edited by OWhatAThrill; Jul 7, 2008 at 05:45 PM.
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    8 Answers
    KISS's Avatar
    KISS Posts: 12,510, Reputation: 839
    Uber Member

    Jul 7, 2008, 05:48 PM
    I probably need to make this into an FAQ with pictures and improve on it.

    If you get it off and use the anti-seize compund as suggested and take the blades off yearly to sharpen the blades, there will be very litte effort involved.
    OWhatAThrill's Avatar
    OWhatAThrill Posts: 13, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Jul 8, 2008, 04:07 PM
    Pictures yes... I am woman! ;-)

    And a little more detail. Like, raise the mower with a jack or put on blocks. In the center of the underside of the deck, you will see the bolt that holds the blades on.

    Breaker bar? And holding this piece of wood between the blades and deck? No idea what that means...

    And I'm not ridiculing your answer. My neighbor did say he sprayed something on something so it might be easier if I tried it later this week. From that reply, I'm as blind or ignorant as I was before except knowing that whatever I want to unscrew might be hard to do unless I've taken the blades off regularly. :-)
    KISS's Avatar
    KISS Posts: 12,510, Reputation: 839
    Uber Member

    Jul 8, 2008, 09:05 PM
    This is a 1/2" drive breaker bar:

    1/2" Breaker Bar

    It accepts a 1/2" drive socket at the end of it.

    This is just for reference, it is a 1/4" drive 6 point socket.

    1/4" Drive 6 Point Deep Socket - 1/2"

    Note that there are 6 sides to the socket. Sockets come in 12 sides too. They also fit hex heads. 12 points are for maneuverability.

    Typical drive systems are 1/4", 3/8" and 1/2" and you can adapt to lower drive systems.

    Depending on what you have to work with and the room available 3/8" drive may be adequate. The larger the arm, the easier it is to apply the same force.

    Extensions can be applied to the socket too. If you need a short reach a deep socket can be used. It will be more stable than an extension.

    Hopefully, that solves one problem.

    What can help to loosen rusted screws is a product known as WD-40. It comes in an aerosol can and liquid form. Spray on and wait.

    WD-40 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Anti-Seize compound


    There are lots of varieties, but you'll usually find a small tube of it an an auto-parts store.
    It's made of either Moly, Copper or Nickel, It doesn't like to come off stuff easily so I apply it with a vinyl glove. I just bought 400 gloves.

    OK, those out of the way.

    The bolt is is the center of the blade, but you figured that out. There are many ways to grip the bold, but most will round the head leading to very difficult problems, so I am suggesting a 6 point socket. A breaker bar gives you some manuverability downward. The longer the bar the more force you can apply. It easily breaks nuts torqued at 200 ft-lbs. That's 200 lbs at a distance of 1 foot. Provided you could exert this amount of force at 1", you could exert 400 lbs at 2' and 800 lbs at 4'. So it's a strong mechanical advantage.

    Pro's may use impact wrenches.

    You have to prevent the blade from turning.

    You do that by holding the blade with a leather glove, but blades are sharp and the bolt is tight, so lets abandon that one until you get it off and apply anti-sieze.

    The bolt comes out counter-clockwise for a typical right hand thread.

    You need to create a "wedge" with a block of wood so that when you turn the bolt counter-clockwise the blade won't move. I can't make any suggestions as to where that block of wood should go.

    There are other ways, but this will do no damage.

    Better? Worse?
    MOWERMAN2468's Avatar
    MOWERMAN2468 Posts: 3,214, Reputation: 243
    Ultra Member

    Jul 9, 2008, 10:42 AM
    use a block of 2x4 and wedge it between the deck and blade. Use a breaker bar and socket and loosen the nut. Remove the blade. Replace blade, replace nut, and tighten.
    OWhatAThrill's Avatar
    OWhatAThrill Posts: 13, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Jul 9, 2008, 05:35 PM
    Thank you both! I would be out there now but it just rained. Which of course means I couldn't mow tonight anyway but I will go take a look under the mower as it is still up on blocks that my neighbor did. I would love to get this done as he just had a heart attack 7 months ago, and rarely uses my riding mower. He says he needs the exercise of pushing his and I know he does, but his yard hadn't grown much and I told him if he would try to get these blades on I'd mow his yard while he was gone this week.

    I have plenty of 2 x 4 as my son and ex just put up a privacy fence and I expect to have the tools I need as a "Maxima parts car" is getting ready to be hauled off. My son is one of those "Nissan Maxima" freaks and now has a front end on his like the front end they only make in Japan. Senseless all that I work say... but hopefully in all the tools he left under a tarp in the driveway, I will find what I need.

    Thank you both vetty, VETTY much for the ABC version!
    KISS's Avatar
    KISS Posts: 12,510, Reputation: 839
    Uber Member

    Jul 9, 2008, 08:03 PM
    Your welcome. Remember to put the new blades on in the same orientation.
    OWhatAThrill's Avatar
    OWhatAThrill Posts: 13, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Jul 13, 2008, 12:21 PM
    Thank you all! I finally got out there and tried it but couldn't find a socket the exact size. Found one just slightly bigger but I understand what you meant about keeping the blade still while trying to unscrew. I couldn't get it, but my ex came down yesterday and did it... know I just need a sunny day to dry up the yard from the rain yesterday! Thanks all again for your help and especially the ABC approach!
    tllop's Avatar
    tllop Posts: 1, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Oct 17, 2009, 10:08 AM

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