Tiller: Tines won't turn but wheels turn

If the wheels on your tiller move but the tines don't spin, you may need to replace tine shaft clevis pins or replace the transmission.

The tiller's transmission drives the wheels and the tine shaft, so you'll likely need to replace the transmission when the wheels spin but the tine shaft doesn't move.

If the tine shaft turns but the tines don't spin, check the tine shaft clevis pins. The clevis pins are shear pins that connect the tines to the rotating tine shaft. The clevis pins are designed to shear off if the tines hit a fixed object during cultivation to prevent damage to the engine and other tiller components. Replace broken tine shaft clevis pins to restore tine rotation.


These repairs may help solve your tiller problem

Replace the tiller tine shaft clevis pin

Replace the tiller tine shaft clevis pin

A clevis pin attaches the tines to the rotating tine shaft. The clevis pin is designed to shear off if the tines hit a fixed object while cultivating to protect the engine. Replace the clevis pin on the tine shaft if it breaks.

Replace the tiller transmission

Replace the tiller transmission

The transmission controls the motion of the wheels and/or tines on a tiller. An internal gear failure in the transmission can prevent the tines from turning or the wheels from moving. Replace the transmission if it won't drive the tiller components properly.

Symptoms common to all tillers

Choose a symptom to see related tiller repairs.

Main causes: leaky engine head gasket, damaged sump gasket, damaged oil drain plug seal, loose or cracked fuel line, leaky carburetor seal
Main causes: broken shaft clevis pins, transmission failure
Main causes: worn or broken drive belts, bad transmission, clutch cable problems
Main causes: clutch cable problems, faulty transmission
Main causes: dirty carburetor, engine needs tune up, stale gas
Main causes: carburetor failure, bad gasoline, dirty spark plug, broken recoil starter
Main causes: damaged tines, broken clevis pins, worn drive belt, faulty transmission, clutch cable problems, improper depth-stake setting

Repair guides common to all tillers

These step-by-step repair guides will help you safely fix what’s broken on your tiller.

May 1, 2013
By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a tiller recoil starter

The recoil starter spins the engine when you pull the starter rope, and the rope retracts when released. If the recoil starter assembly is broken, follow the steps in this repair guide to replace it.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 15 minutes or less

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