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Old 04-28-2018, 01:07 PM   #1
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Toro Personal Pace Self-propelled mower - engine revving up and down


Hi,

Bought a new Toro Personal Pace Self-propelled SmartStow mower model 20340 - used for about 6 times,

and the engine is now having a constant rev-up rev-down cycle with heavy engine whine when revving up.

I changed oil recently and the problem is same right now.

Wonder what's causing this.

When the mower is moving forward and cutting thru' grass, occasionally the engine rev will sound a bit smoother (less rev-up rev-down) for a moment.

I use regular 87 octane gas from Shell. Added Sea Foam.

The mower's user manual says the following:

"For best results, use only clean, fresh (less than 30 days old), unleaded gasoline with an octane rating of 87 or higher ((R+M)/2 rating method)."


I had a Lawnboy mower for several years before and it never gave me this kind of problem.

Last edited by joemc3; 04-28-2018 at 01:15 PM.
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Old 04-28-2018, 01:20 PM   #2
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Re: Toro Personal Pace Self-propelled mower - engine revving up and down


Carburetor throttle plate position on lawn mowers isn't controlled by
the throttle lever. Throttle cable pulls one way on a wind vane and wind
from the flywheel pushes the vane the other way. The vane then controls
the throttle plate. They're designed this way so that will they automatically
speed up when the load and increases and vice versa. Springs are in
place to allow the 2 inputs to work.
Possible problems are missing spring or stretched spring. Don't recall
for sure but think the flywheel cover has to come off to inspect.
Haven't worked on one of these in a decade or so the details may not
be exactly as above but in general, that's how they work.

Last edited by CodeMatters; 04-28-2018 at 01:28 PM.
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Old 04-28-2018, 01:27 PM   #3
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Re: Toro Personal Pace Self-propelled mower - engine revving up and down


There's likely a video on youtube showing how this works and how
to fix it. Haven't watched this one but the title sounds promising:
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Old 04-28-2018, 01:57 PM   #4
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Re: Toro Personal Pace Self-propelled mower - engine revving up and down


Surging is often caused by gas contamination.

Id dump the gas in the tank and put in fresh gas. Fresh meaning bought from the gas station, not the gas that is left over from last year.
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Old 04-28-2018, 02:41 PM   #5
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Re: Toro Personal Pace Self-propelled mower - engine revving up and down


Thx all.

I just put in fresh gas from Shell station I got last week -- there was a little mix w/ old gas but I can dump all that out and put in fresh gas again just to be sure.


The air filter is a bit dirty but I removed the air filter and it's same problem.

There's also pinging noise or two when the engine revs up.
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Old 04-28-2018, 04:29 PM   #6
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Re: Toro Personal Pace Self-propelled mower - engine revving up and down


My first guesses: Choke stuck partly on? Gummed up carb?

They fresh gas may help. Not sure how the choke on that one works, but it's worth a look. If all else fails, clean or replace the carburetor.
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Old 04-28-2018, 09:53 PM   #7
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Re: Toro Personal Pace Self-propelled mower - engine revving up and down


Pretty recent mower, carb can die so soon?

I noticed, when I had decent amount of grass to mow thru', the surge stopped, once I ran into area where grass was low, the rev problem resumed. Not sure what to make out of this... .
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Old 04-28-2018, 09:56 PM   #8
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Re: Toro Personal Pace Self-propelled mower - engine revving up and down


If you only used it 6 times isn't it still under warranty? Certainly should be and if that's the case take it to the dealer and have them fix it!
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Old 04-29-2018, 06:22 AM   #9
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Re: Toro Personal Pace Self-propelled mower - engine revving up and down


Quote:
Originally Posted by joemc3 View Post
Pretty recent mower, carb can die so soon?

I noticed, when I had decent amount of grass to mow thru', the surge stopped, once I ran into area where grass was low, the rev problem resumed. Not sure what to make out of this... .
I've seen lots of gummed-up carburetors and fuel systems caused by poor off-season storage practices. And around here, it's often this time of year when that gets discovered. Obviously I don't want to point any fingers here, I'm just trying to help.

Interesting that putting load on it stabilizes it. A lot of small engines will do that when they're first started, before they warm up. That's what led me down the fuel/air mixture path.

One thing that surprised me was that small-engine carburetors can be pretty cheap. You can get them on eBay or Amazon. Sometimes it's cheaper and easier to just change out the carb than worry about cleaning it, or troubleshooting it.
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Old 04-30-2018, 12:27 PM   #10
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Re: Toro Personal Pace Self-propelled mower - engine revving up and down


Quote:
Originally Posted by Msradell View Post
If you only used it 6 times isn't it still under warranty? Certainly should be and if that's the case take it to the dealer and have them fix it!
Yes still under warranty. Will probably take to the dealer and get it fixed. But want to know what the problem is on it if it's easy to spot.

The plastic guard at the rear end is already falling out, just sort of cheap plastic... .
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Old 05-13-2018, 04:36 PM   #11
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Re: Toro Personal Pace Self-propelled mower - engine revving up and down


My old Craftsmen mower (Honda engine) used to do that for years. Last few years I had problems starting it and needed to give a shot of starter fluid in the carb to get it to start. Last spring it died out after a couple of minutes and refused to start. Turns out that the ignition coil failed. Bought a new one on Amazon and it started right up and no more surging either.
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Old 05-13-2018, 05:43 PM   #12
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Re: Toro Personal Pace Self-propelled mower - engine revving up and down


Quote:
Originally Posted by Oso954 View Post
Surging is often caused by gas contamination.
I would say this is likely. Beyond just the old gas, could be debris in the carburetor or in the tank.
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