Springtime Startup of MTD Yard Machines Tractor

This is the first springtime start of our 1993 MTD Yard Machines tractor Special Edition. It has a 16 HP horizontally opposed twin cylinder from Briggs & Stratton which usually purrs like a kitten. For this startup, it cranked quite a bit longer then usual, probably due to the carburetor being empty of fuel.

Before this I pulled the front wheels and cleaned the bearing surfaces…after this I washed and wax it. Last year we sand blasted and painted the mowing deck. For a few more pictures and it’s official webpage, visit:

This tractor probably won’t get used much this year. It has a 42″ mulching deck (conversion from side discharge) but I’ll be using my reel mower for the lawn and I’m about to receive a 1970’s Bolens from my uncle for trailer pulling/dirt pushing. They’ll be lots of video of the Bolens coming up.



30 thoughts on “Springtime Startup of MTD Yard Machines Tractor

  1. I have the same engine in my MTD Yard Machines except it has 0.5 more HP than this, and I think it's already an amazing engine (even though it just started leaking oil from the crankcase breather tube). Contrary to today's V-twin engines, these old opposed twin engines even with lower horsepower ratings than the V-twin's produce more low end torque. It's a shame that the EPA outlawed flathead engines in the early 2000s and caused the I/C twin production to die off, they are much more reliable than anything Briggs and Stratton makes today (even though the Vanguard's aren't too bad).

  2. Them opposed have a nice sound to them I think but, boy that can be a pain to get them to start sometime.  I had a craftsman 19 hp opposed only gave 150 for it.  It could be a pain at certain times to get it started

  3. guy i bought it from said it was a hydro, when i posted that comment i hadnt even looked underneath it yet. it was a 7 speed with that mtd dual belt pulley system. the transaxle was a regular forward-neutral-reverse and they pulley ratio changed when you shifted it. weird system

  4. 7 speed hydro? hydros are infinantly variable…

    manual is good for driving around and pulling, and mowing large feilds, but hydro is best for mowing in small places.

  5. I have a 16hp opposed twin Briggs on my 99 Yard King. The engine is a 1985. It was hard to start to. I rebuilt the carb and fuel pump and put a new starter on it. Now it starts easy.

  6. @cameramonkey2 Yep..it is pretty much the time it takes for gas to the intake. This video tractor has a fuel pump, the the fuel is the same level, so the system primes fast.

  7. nice tractor! I just bought a 1997 yard machines tractor with a big 18.5hp opposed twin on it. i just use mine for towing stuff around, not mowing since i have a very small yard. mines got a 7 speed hydro trans, which i dont really like. i like manuals because theyre more fun since you can rev up the engine and drop the clutch like in a car lol

  8. @Turbo231 Yeah, mine is stored outside, has a short intake, and thankfully no emissions settings on the carb, but it does have a points and condenser ignition.

    Battery size is also a factor, my Gravely has a small car battery in it, not a lawn and garden battery (twice the CCA).

  9. @DamnStraightM35A2 I wouldn't go that far, depends on how your tractor is stored. Given she's been parked over the winter, that's fine…it's also not how long an engine cranks, that just describes the availability of fuel to the system, length of intake runners, etc. Its how a tractor runs that's what should be measured. Modern engines also have emissions to look for, which usually means running leaner and thus don't quite have as much fuel available when cold in order to run better when hot

  10. Now, I'm just sayin' here, but I have NEVER, EVER had to crank my good old Kohler K301 on my Gravely for more than 3 seconds before it started, even on the coldest (15F) of days and with over 1000 hours it burns NO oil. Modern engines(especially briggs and tecumseh) just aren't as good.

    Modern "tractors" suck.

  11. ever run the 89 or 93 octane gas in it? we bought it as a fixer upper and to cut grass we want to get a club cadet when we win the lotto lol
    your tractor special edition- white letter tires lol

  12. @MrVideoman44 Gas doesn't really loose much kick when stored. Some people drain, some people put fuel stabilizer in it. I just put fuel stabilizer in my fall gas and that way everything that gets fueled is covered for the season. About the only thing I wouldn't do is just leave regular gas in it, it will varnish and leave things sticky…which carburetors don't like for sure.

  13. @Turbo231 no, it just heats up and might wear the gear, I was always told to try to keep yourself from cranking it forever, make sure theres gas, air, and spark, and have at it. i pulse the starter instead of a long crank. its no big deal, just try to avoid it, in your case its fine. it want THAT long. love your vids, thanks.

  14. @JohnDeere1317 or…it won't work? Seems 16 years, she's doing fine. The battery is far more likely to die then the starter giving out. No worries.

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