Question about Bolens MTD lawn mower. Won’t shift into gear
Hey all, hoping someone can point me into the right direction here.
So I have a mid-2000s MTD Bolens 6-speed shift on the go lawnmower, model 13am762f765. Overall it’s worked like a champ. until this weekend.
For whatever reason it suddenly will not shift into gear. Did just fine a couple of weeks ago when I mowed the yard but now stays in neutral.
First thing I noticed was when I went to pull it out of the garage the rear tires were locked up. Now what I did was that if I adjusted the speed lever that undid the wheels seizing up. I could then manually pull or push the mower and the wheels would move.
Starts up fine, blades engage fine. For whatever reason though it goes from shifting into forward or reverse fine to not wanting to shift at all.
I did wonder if maybe something got loose. but I’m not sure just where to look. I don’t think, and don’t want to think, that the transmission or differential has gone bad, too expensive to replace, and I think I would have heard or seen something beforehand. This is just so sudden.
Are all the belts still in-position? I had an MTD with a multi-speed variator transmission. In terms of machine layout, my speed-select lever was on the right rear fender, and FNR was down on the flat area between the seat and steering wheel.
Sometimes the rear transmission belt would come off the big pulley and get stuck. Then I couldn’t drive, of course, though I don’t remember if that made the FNR lever get stuck.
At other times, like maybe if I parked on an incline, I seem to recall having to nudge the machine forward/back to allow moving the FNR lever. With the transmission “loaded”, it would make the FNR lever kind of bind up in whatever direction was selected.
Apologies if these having nothing to do with your problem. And I got rid of that machine a while ago, so I can’t check anything for you, and I’m going by memory.
2013 Cub Cadet GTX 2000, 48″ fabricated deck, sleeve hitch, Swisher bucket with winch, homemade weight box
Yes, the FNR is on the left side from where you sit. When I try to shift the lever goes to F or R but it doesn’t kick into gear, like there’s something off.
My routine has always been to go out and manually pull it out of the garage and start it up in the yard. have garage cats (and kittens) from time to time so that’s just been my thing. Never been an issue until this last time. The rear wheels would not budge, like I had the parking brake on, which I did not. Now I took a jack and lifted the rear up. I noticed when I turned one wheel the other wheel spun in the opposite direction. I started it up and it would not shift into gear, that’s when I realized something was really off. but when I went and adjusted the speed lever that unlocked the wheels to where I could at least manually move the mower out of the garage on my own. I got down and looked underneath but didn’t see anything out of the ordinary. But I haven’t done too much when it comes to lawn mower repairs. I’ve fixed appliances, replaced parts on my car and van, but never really messed with lawn mowers before.
It is normal for one wheel to move in the opposite direction like you found. It will do that when jacked up if in gear or the brake is on. One test would be to jack it up again. Place shift in neutral with parking brake off. You should be able to turn both wheels in the same direction. Then put it in forward. You should not be able to turn them in same direction.
Hey, just an update. I’ve looked over the belts and everything looks good on that end. If the weather cooperates (was raining today) going to jack it up in the morning and try the wheels out again, see what they do, while checking out the belts again from underneath and see if I see anything different.
and enter the Bolens info for a owners manual and download. It normally has general trouble info about your issue. You will need a serial number. If you don’t find your manual send MTD a email requesting a manual that indicates adjustments and parts list and they will email you one and they will also mail you a copy if you request. You will get best results in about 5 days if you email them instead of phone calling. Once they answer your email you are in the loop, they will respond promptly. If they send wrong or not enough data just reply. they (MTD) have a good online CS relations dept for manuals.
Just a hint. You seem to indicate that the mower was traveling fine before it was parked. If so do not change any of the linkage adjustments, because if you do and then later you find the problem it will be out of adjustment. (the adjustments do not change while at rest due to kitty cats around the mower)
MTD/Bolens tractors with a variator drive will do that when a variator center pulley starts sticking when the rig has been resting for few days.
With the mower outside the shop, start the engine and at slow engine speed, depress the clutch pedal fully, shift the lever into F and the speed lever into the highest gear and be ready for a launch as you let out the clutch. Watch the clutch pedal and if the pedal stays forward as you slowly release and does not start coming back the variator center pulley is most likely seized. (or a broken belt) You can also try pulling the clutch pedal back slowly with your heel on some mowers.
When you find your owners manual post us a link to view such and maybe we can be of more help?
Be careful when one is acting like that, (and don’t run over a kitty cat) sometimes the MTD tractor will all at once launch and start operating normally due to a stuck variator drive or stuck/seized clutch spring swivel area.
AM762F065. Bolens Lawn Tractor (2008) Parts Diagrams Parts Lists Diagrams
BS Model 28 w Low Muffler Model 21
Label Map 762F
Seat Fender Assembly
Attachments For This Model ( 1 )
OEM-190-116. MTD Mulch Kit (2008)
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USA Mower Blades for MTD Bolens Troy-Bilt 942-0610A 38in. Deck
USA Mower Blades manufactures high-quality, OEM replacement lawn mower blades. USA Mower Blades are made in the United States.
Six (6) pack of USA Mower Blades replacement lawn mower blade for Bolens, Massey Ferguson, MTD, and Troy Bilt mowers.
- Quantity: 6 Pack
- Blade Type: Straight
- Lift: High Lift
- Length: 19-5/16 in.
- Width: 3 in.
- Thickness: 0.150 in.
- Center Hole: 6 Point Star
- Requires two (2) blades for 38-inch decks.
- Oregon Number: 198-058
- Rotary Number: 1024
- Made in USA
Bolens: 942-0610, 942-0610A
MTD: 4720610, 490-110-M114, 742-0610, 742-0610A, 742-0610A-0637, 742-0654, 942-0610, 942-0610A, 942-0654, GW-7420610, OEM-742-0610
Troy-Bilt: 742-0610, 942-0610, 942-0610A, 742-0610-0637
Fits Models (Including But Not Limited To):
MTD: Deep Decks, 1997 and newer, auto drive step through frame lawn tractors
To ensure the blade will fit a certain mower, please make sure the part number and measurements match the original blade.
WARNING! This product can expose you to chemicals including nickel_oxide and chromium_hexavalent_compounds, which is known to the state of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm. For more information, go to www.P65Warnings.ca.gov.
Center Hole: 5/8 in. Blade Length: 19-5/16 in. mower_blade_blade_side_hole 5/16 in. Blade Thickness: 0.150 in. Blade Type: High Lift Blade Width: 3 in. Center to Center: 2-1/2 in. Deck Size: 38 in. Fits Brands: Bolens, Massey Ferguson, MTD, Troy Bilt Fits Model: MTD: Deep decks, 1997 and newer, auto drive step through frame lawn tractors Lift: 1-1/4 in. Lift Style: High Lift Model No.: MTD-610S Replaces OEM: Bolens: 942-0610, 942-0610A Massey Ferguson: 942-0610 MTD: 4720610, 490-110-M114, 742-0610, 742-0610A, 742-0610A-0637, 742-0654, 942-0610, 942-0610A, 942-0654, GW-7420610, OEM-742-0610 Troy-Bilt: 742-0610, 942-0610, 942-0610A, 742-0610-0637 Offset: 1/2 in. Oregon Number: 198-052 Stens Number: 335-586 Pack Quantity: 6 Pack Overall Depth: 20 Overall Height: 4 Overall Width: 4 pack_quantity 6 mower_blade_rotary_number 1024 mower_blade_mfg_oem Bolens: 942-0610, 942-0610A Massey Ferguson: 942-0610 MTD: 4720610, 490-110-M114, 742-0610, 742-0610A, 742-0610A-0637, 742-0654, 942-0610, 942-0610A, 942-0654, GW-7420610, OEM-742-0610 Troy-Bilt: 742-0610, 942-0610, 942-0610A, 742-0610-0637 type Riding Mowers color Black material Steel
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Hi-Lift Blade List Price: 20.74 Direct Price: 15.14.- 20.74. 30% Discount 15.14. Direct Price Blade Specs: Fits Deck Size: 38″ Cut Length: 19 1/4″ Type: Standard Blade Replaces OEM: MTD 942-0610 MTD 742-0610 MTD 942-0610A Troy-Bilt 942-0610A Troy-Bilt 942-0610 Troy-Bilt 742-0610 MTD 742-0610A Bolens 942-0610 Bolens 942-0610A
Mulching Blade List Price: 16.22 Direct Price: 11.68.- 16.22. 30% Discount 11.68. Direct Price Blade Specs: Fits Deck Size: 22″ Cut Length: 22″ Type: Mulching Blade Replaces OEM: Partner PR1055007 MTD 742-0742 MTD 942-0742 MTD 942-0742A MTD 742-0742A Bolens 742-0742A Huskee 742-0742A
Mulching Blade List Price: 17.34 Direct Price: 12.66.- 17.34. 30% Discount 12.66. Direct Price Blade Specs: Fits Deck Size: 38″ Cut Length: 19 1/4″ Type: Mulching Blade Replaces OEM: Partner PR3055001 MTD 942-0610 MTD 742-0610 Troy-Bilt 742-0610 MTD 942-0610A Troy-Bilt 942-0610A Troy-Bilt 942-0610 MTD 742-0610A Bolens 742-0610 Bolens 942-0610 Craftsman 33020
Hi-Lift Blade List Price: 14.60 Direct Price: 10.96.- 14.60. 30% Discount 10.96. Direct Price Blade Specs: Fits Deck Size: 46″ Cut Length: 16 1/4″ Type: Standard Blade Replaces OEM: Partner PR3055006 MTD 942-0611 MTD 742-0611 MTD 942-0611A Toro 112-0304 Troy-Bilt 742-0611 Troy-Bilt 942-0611 Cub Cadet 942-04125 Cub Cadet 742-4125 MTD 742-0611A Toro 112-3691 Cub Cadet 759-04106 Cub Cadet 742-04125 Bolens 742-0611 Bolens 1
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MTD Products is an American manufacturer of outdoor power equipment for the mass market. Headquartered in Valley City, Ohio, the company began in 1932 and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Stanley Black Decker. Prior to Stanley Black Decker’s acquisition in December 2021, MTD Products was a majority family-owned, private company. It originated as a tool and die maker (Modern Tool and Die Company). MTD’s main competitors are STIHL, Ariens, Briggs Stratton, John Deere and Husqvarna.
Over the years, MTD acquired the Troy-Bilt, Bolens, Cub Cadet, Craftsman (owned by its minority partner), and Yard-Man brands and/or companies. MTD Craftsman mowers utilize the Sears “247” model prefix
MTD bicycles [ edit ]
Starting in 1966, MTD released their line of bicycles that were sold throughout the U.S. These bicycles were mostly muscle bikes and in 1969 they released a chopper, the MTD SS5 Chopper which merged Columbia and MTD. Both brands were strong players in the high-rise bicycle market, eventually they would join forces in the coming years; eventually the bicycle brand MTD would fade out while Columbia would continue.
The green bicycle is a stock MTD The King, the red bicycle is a lowrider built using the frame. Muscle bicycles are often used for lowrider bicycles due to their style.
Timeline [ edit ]
Theo Moll, Emil Jochum and Erwin Gerhard formed a partnership to purchase the assets of Modern Tool and Die Company located on Power Avenue in Cleveland. The initial capital investment was 4500. MTD’s first products were perforating dies and a rolling machine for making window channels for Standard Products. MTD employed 12 employees in 1933. By 1934 there were 60 employees.
In 1936 the company produced its first automotive stampings products, grilles for Graham-Paige automobiles.
In 1952 the controlling interest in Midwest Industries Inc. was purchased. With this MTD began to manufacture pedal bikes, velocipedes, kiddie cars and playground equipment.
In 1954 MTD entered the garden equipment industry with its introduction of a line of wheelbarrows.
In 1958 MTD entered the lawn and garden power equipment industry with the production of an 18″ power rotary mower.
In 1959 MTD began manufacturing self-propelled lawn mowers, garden tractors and other power equipment.
In 1962 MTD purchased Sehl Engineering Ltd. of Canada which would later become MTD Products, Ltd. and then MTD Canada.
In 1966 MTD purchased Industrial Plastics Company in Cleveland.
In 1967 MTD started to manufacture bicycles.
In 1968 MTD started snow thrower production. At the same time Yard-Man buys George Garden Tools. 
In 1975 MTD purchased the Yard-Man name from Montgomery Ward.
In 1980 MTD built its 160,000 sq ft (15,000 m2) manufacturing plant in Brownsville, Tennessee (now defunct).
In 1981 the Cub Cadet product line was acquired from International Harvester, and the White Outdoor Products Company was acquired from the old White Motor Company.
In 1985 the company’s Martin, Tennessee plant began operation, and Arnold Corporation was acquired.
In 1986 Aircap Industries in Tupelo, Mississippi was acquired.
In 1994 MTD built the Modern Transmission Development Company plant in Leitchfield, Kentucky.
In 1996 a joint venture with Lesco created Commercial Turf Products.
In 2000, a Hungarian manufacturing facility was opened with expanded capacity for electrical products. MTD acquired Ryobi Limited’s North America outdoor products business, giving them the capacity to produce 1.5 million engines and related hand-held garden products.
In 2001, MTD acquired Garden Way including the Troy-Bilt and Bolens brands.
In 2003, MTD’s Ryobi Outdoor Power equipment division ceased manufacturing products under the Ryobi brand name and sold the rights to the use of the Ryobi brand name for the manufacture and sale of outdoor products to Ryobi Tools/TTI
In 2006, MTD began building lawn equipment under the fmc brand for sale in Europe.
In 2007, MTD began building the low-end lawn and garden tractors for its otherwise competitor, Toro.
In 2008, MTD began having a third-party company (located in China) manufacture a new line of engines for the Craftsman 2008 line of snowthrowers. They are no longer building them with Tecumseh engines.
In 2009 MTD acquired the brand Remington Chainsaws from Desa International.
In 2010 MTD (Australia) acquired the brand Rover Mowers from GWA International Limited. 
In 2012 MTD began building Murray brand products which was acquired by Briggs Stratton Motors in 2005.
In 2017 MTD acquired Robomow, a.k.a. “Friendly Robotics”. 
In September 2018, New Britain, Conn.-based power tool maker Stanley Black Decker announced that it had an agreement to acquire a 20% stake in outdoor power equipment maker MTD Products for 234 million. The transaction was expected to close in early 2019. In addition, Stanley Black Decker had the option to acquire the remaining 80% of MTD starting July 1, 2021,  which it did on August 17, 2021. Furthermore, with the acquisition of Craftsman by Stanley Black Decker, the brand’s products are now produced by MTD through this partnership.
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