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Does anybody have experience with tiller repair? We had to replace the used tiller that we bought 20 years ago with another used tiller. This one is a rear tine monster that should be a workhorse for years to come, but we need a little help diagnosing a problem with a bolt engaging with a circular metal gear of some sort.

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Chris - I've attached 3 pics of the main shaft and pulley we're having trouble with. The long bolt that looks like it should fit into the grooves in the pulley should fit, but there's some back & forth play in the main shaft that causes the bolt to spin in front of the pulley. You can see the metal on metal scrapes on the face of the pulley. If you have any ideas, let me know and I'll have my husband give you a call. Thank you!
Thanks, Chris! We'll try this out and see how it works! If it doesn't work well enough, Scott will call you.
Chris, I can't find much of anything online about this machine. I do have the sales tag and owners manual from the previous owner, but there's no date on any of the documents anywhere! My best guess based on the printing of the documents is maybe early to mid 1980's.
My husband was thinking along the lines of a missing part, too, because of the grooves in the pulley and the play in the main shaft. He's out of town for work next week, so I'll give him your number and have him call you the following week. Thanks so much for your help. We're a couple of novices and just know something's not right.
Hi Denise,
We're a permaculture farm in Oregon.
You have a magna tillsmith similar to ours, WITH A MANUAL??! I have been trying to find that manual for YEARS! Years, i tell you, with no luck. Can you be persuaded to copy that manual to a pdf and email it to me @ Ours is big 'ol nasty temperamental but working beauty, a front-tine model #500847, serial # 1837. I'd really like to find a way to replace the belt & get that reverse gear going again.
You are going to love that mighty tiller, it's just the ticket for us on 5 acres, tractor-free.
Hi Bunchgrass - I would be happy to scan it to a .pdf and send it to you. I have to hook up an old scanner I have at home to do it, so probably sometime over the weekend. It is the owner's manual, not as detailed as a Chilton's guide or anything like that, but probably more than you have now. I was pretty surprised to get it, actually.
We wore out the front tine tiller we had for 20 years (shared it with a few friends now & then), so we were looking for a workhorse and this one looks like it fits the bill. Good to know it's a reliable product.
Hubby comes home tomorrow and will hopefully get to it this coming week. I need to plant my garden!!
Hi Denise,
I wonder if you have found time to hook up that old scanner and scan the Tillsmith manual. No hurry, but still very interested! We got snow yesterday & big wind: 30 amps + for easily 20 hours!
Hi Denise,
Checking back in on that manual for the Magna Tillsmith tiller...any luck with the scanner? You are my only lead on this so far. Pat.
The one I'm working on is the Tillsmith 509809 with a 5 horse Brigg Stratton and front tines. I don't know if they are similar but it's mssing the linkage between the shift rod on the handle and the rod attached to the pulley assembly. I'm waiting to get pictures of this tiller.
I just wote to Denise about a Tillsmith that I'm working on. I don't know how much different the belt and pulley system is on them are but the one I'm working on is the 509809 front tine with a 5 horse Brigg & Stratton. It is missing a linkage between the shift rod on the handle and the rod connected to the belt pulley. It has both belts on it though it doesn't look right to me. The belt for the reverse is towards the motor and is twisted into a figure 8 between the top pulley and the bottom.
My digital camera was stolen but I took some pictures with a disposable. I have to wait until it is developed. I did do a rough drawing which is attached. The motor is a Brigg & Stratton model 130202-0140-01.
I'm heaing impaired and it is difficult for me on the phone. My Email is I'm going to try and get some photo's instead of "cute" drawings.


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