1989 Troy-Bilt mulching mower 8654R , I fixed it


Aug 6, 2018
Here is my 1989 Troy-Bilt mulching mower, model 8654R builtin 1989 by Troy-Bilt Mfg. Co., Troy, New York. I bought it new and have owned and operated it for 32 years. It is a front wheel drive mower. The engine is a 4 HP Quantum Power. This is close to the first run of Quantum engines by Briggs and Stratton. Raising the wheels is done with a crank handle on the mower deck, and it raises all four wheels.


It ran fine and started on one pull first tank of the season. I store it with tank empty and run it until it runs out of gas. It ran fine on the first tank of fresh gas of the season. Second tank: not so good. Must have got some bad gas. I drained it but with fresh gas would not start.

The carb on this model has been out of production for many years and is unobtainable. There are still rebuild kits (expensive) but no original carbs and no aftermarket ones either. I did the whole repair with the carb still on the engine, after removing the air cleaner.

Here is the carb bowl. It needed a good cleaning, and got one.


On mine unlike most Briggs and Stratton mower engines, the bowl nut is not also the main jet. On mine the main jets are separate. I took a picture from underneath. I removed and cleaned the float with detergent and a soft brush.:


Here it is in a short video you can see the jets. I had to work on it from underneath and not much clearance between the mower deck and the bottom of the carb.

Working like a surgeon from underneath, using a hand mirror, I cleaned both jets. I used wire from twist ties.


I also used Gumout on the jets, the float bowl and the carb. I drained the gas and put in fresh gas. Oil was low and dirty, I changed it



Here it is back in action. With fresh gas and some Sea Foam in it, the mower started on the first pull no starting fluid needed, and have been running it again ever since.

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The gas is probably fine. Most likely, the fresh gas broke some of that crap loose, which plugged the main jet. The gumout did the trick of course, since that's what almost all of them need once in a while.
Thanks. My Jerry can must had had water in it. I have been using a Mister Funnel for 20 years, I did not realize that after many years they can and do wear out, and no longer separate water from the fuel as they are designed. Later I found they are only good for 10 years. I tried the test, which is pour water in the Mister Funnel, it should not run out. Water ran right through, so my next order of business was order a new Mister Funnel. The gas I drained did have some water in it. When I cleaned the idle jet with the fine piece of wire there was quite a lot of dirty gum on it. I had to coat the wire with Gumout and dig it through there about 20 times until I felt satisfied.
I've had a bunch of mowers in that condition. Your lucky you got that to run again. A trick I do with mowers that have been cleaned, is to throw about an once of liquid carb cleaner in the gas after I fill it up before a mow. It works as you mow, and after 2 or 3 mow's it starts way easier. Wouldn't hurt if you put some carb cleaner in your gas tank before you fill it up.,,,
I had the same mower as a Bolens,I bought it 1988 ,it came with electric start and it faithfully ran without incident for 12 years. I got tired of mowing my 1/2 acre lawn so l gave to a coworker in need. It was a great mulcher and it served me well.
I was happy to find this thread as I just acquired one of these mowers. Got it running after doing some carb work and replaced a leaking gas tank. I have yet to figure out the leveling control since the previous owner took it all apart. Have not been able to figure out the correct assembly yet. Of course there was no owners manual and none to be found online. For a 30 year old mower, it runs pretty good. I would appreciate any info you can share about the leveling system. Thanks in advance.
Got it sorted the other day. The left rear wheel mount has a 3 point mount to allow the adjustments to take place. The center mount is permanently attached to the adjustment rod by weld. The weld was cracked all the way around and the deck never could move. Did some welding (not my thing) twice and it seems to be holding. Deck now moves up and down as it should.
This is what mine looks like. Doesn't fit my needs very well so it will be sold. Front wheel drive don't climb the hill in front of the house.


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