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#1189813 - 07/09/08 04:37 PM New Lawnmower! Troy-Bilt Honda, Oil Change Q's
ThirdeYe Offline


Registered: 02/23/07
Posts: 8114
Loc: Grand Rapids, MI
We just acquired a like new Troy-Bilt Pro Cut lawnmower with a Honda GCV160 5.5 engine. It was barely used and the oil still looks like new, apparently it was owned by an elderly couple that had lawn service instead. My question is this, how do you change the oil in it? I found the dipstick but there's no drain plug underneath by the blades, any ideas? Also, does it use SAE30, and how often should I change it? Thanks!
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07 Honda Accord - 587k - Pennzoil Platinum 10W-30/Fram Ultra

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#1189841 - 07/09/08 05:10 PM Re: New Lawnmower! Troy-Bilt Honda, Oil Change Q's [Re: ThirdeYe]
crw Offline


Registered: 05/31/05
Posts: 1713
Loc: Pocatello, ID
I usually just take the cap/dipstick off and tip the entire mower over and let it drain into a pan.

Anyway, I assume that you don't have any sort of user manual. If not, tipping it over is what I'd do. As for weight, 30 is fine, right now I think I have 15w-40 in mine.
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2005 Nissan Maxima, 6-speed manual; many others...

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#1189850 - 07/09/08 05:19 PM Re: New Lawnmower! Troy-Bilt Honda, Oil Change Q's [Re: crw]
crw Offline


Registered: 05/31/05
Posts: 1713
Loc: Pocatello, ID
A few more tips,... or bad advice, who knows?

I'm not an expert, but I usually change the oil once a year. I NEVER drain the gas for the winter. That, and changing the spark plug once in a blue moon, and you're set.

I'm not an expert, but I had one basic mower last 25 years, and was still running strong when I gave it to my BIL. This particular mower mowed not only my lawn but several others (I was a teenager earning cash, mowing lawns). The wheels wore out, but the engine kept on running strong. Briggs and Straton from Sears.

My current mower is about 15 years old, heading for 30. So whatever I'm doing can't be all that bad.

Use it in good health!
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2005 Nissan Maxima, 6-speed manual; many others...

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#1189851 - 07/09/08 05:20 PM Re: New Lawnmower! Troy-Bilt Honda, Oil Change Q's [Re: ThirdeYe]
TYVOLS Offline


Registered: 01/31/08
Posts: 21
Loc: TENNESSEE
Tip to the side is correct to drain, unless you have an oil extractor. That engine actually should have 10w30 oil.

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#1189853 - 07/09/08 05:25 PM Re: New Lawnmower! Troy-Bilt Honda, Oil Change Q's [Re: TYVOLS]
ThirdeYe Offline


Registered: 02/23/07
Posts: 8114
Loc: Grand Rapids, MI
Thanks for letting me know, I have a spare quart of 10W-30 Trop Artic I could use in it. I'll change it before the winter, even though it still looks clean, from what I understand it's been in there for quite some time as it sat in someone's garage for years. From what I gather, it's a OHC which is the better Honda engine (or so I've been led to believe?) and I think it should last a long time. I'm glad you only have to tip it to drain it, MUCH easier than the B&S we replaced, where you had to drain it from the plug underneath the blade.
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07 Honda Accord - 587k - Pennzoil Platinum 10W-30/Fram Ultra

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#1189859 - 07/09/08 05:44 PM Re: New Lawnmower! Troy-Bilt Honda, Oil Change Q's [Re: ThirdeYe]
paul246 Offline


Registered: 09/26/07
Posts: 388
Loc: Canada
I have the same engine in my mower. I use 10w30 Redline, change every fall. Be sure not to tip the mower with the air cleaner side low, you will have oil running out the air intake, ruining the filter in the process.

I understand the Honda OHV engines to be superior to the OHC units, the overhead valve engines are the engines supplied in the commercial models.

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#1189873 - 07/09/08 06:02 PM Re: New Lawnmower! Troy-Bilt Honda, Oil Change Q's [Re: paul246]
stockrex Offline


Registered: 01/08/06
Posts: 2324
Loc: Michigan
one word of caution, re-fill does not take an ENTIRE QUART of anything near it. just carefully fill and check, fill and check...
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07Ridgeline:33k,08Dmax:14k,10Fit:40k:90Toyota1Ton:88k
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#1189954 - 07/09/08 07:46 PM Re: New Lawnmower! Troy-Bilt Honda, Oil Change Q's [Re: stockrex]
FrankP Offline


Registered: 01/13/08
Posts: 42
Loc: Northern Minnesotta
The oil capacity is 18 oz.
I use whatever oil I have laying around as long as the viscosity is minimum 10 and max 3-40. This is a splasher lubrication system.

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#1190103 - 07/09/08 10:33 PM Re: New Lawnmower! Troy-Bilt Honda, Oil Change Q's [Re: ThirdeYe]
ksJoe Offline


Registered: 07/09/08
Posts: 715
Loc: Ks
Its a quiet engine, isn't it?

If you'd like a manual, you can download it for free.

Honda manual

A month ago I bought the GCV190 (6.5) for my snapper that sheared the cam gear.

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#1190200 - 07/10/08 01:09 AM Re: New Lawnmower! Troy-Bilt Honda, Oil Change Q's [Re: ksJoe]
ThirdeYe Offline


Registered: 02/23/07
Posts: 8114
Loc: Grand Rapids, MI
Thanks for the manual! Much appreciated, and thanks to whoever posted about not tipping it so that it gets into the intake/air filter. I haven't heard the engine yet, we just got it today \:\! I'm excited to see how it does!


Edited by ThirdeYe (07/10/08 01:10 AM)
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07 Honda Accord - 587k - Pennzoil Platinum 10W-30/Fram Ultra

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#1190273 - 07/10/08 06:57 AM Re: New Lawnmower! Troy-Bilt Honda, Oil Change Q's [Re: ThirdeYe]
Craig in Canada Offline


Registered: 04/06/06
Posts: 1995
Loc: Toronto-ish, Canada
 Originally Posted By: ThirdeYe
TFrom what I gather, it's a OHC which is the better Honda engine (or so I've been led to believe?) and I think it should last a long time.


Honda uses OHC in the "consumer" grade GC engines and OHV-only in the "commercial" grade GX engines.

The OHC engines have a timing belt which will eventually fail down the road. This isn't anything I'd lose any sleep over though. I've found the OHC to be noticeably quieter than OHV.

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#1190379 - 07/10/08 09:51 AM Re: New Lawnmower! Troy-Bilt Honda, Oil Change Q's [Re: Craig in Canada]
ThirdeYe Offline


Registered: 02/23/07
Posts: 8114
Loc: Grand Rapids, MI
I was looking at that service manual and it looks like it also needs valve adjustments, but I know someone who's more handy with mowers than I am and he might be able to do both the valve adjustment and timing belt for the lawnmower since I know next to nothing about lawn-mower engines. I bet it's a little different than the DOHC Honda engine in my car
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07 Honda Accord - 587k - Pennzoil Platinum 10W-30/Fram Ultra

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#1190388 - 07/10/08 09:57 AM Re: New Lawnmower! Troy-Bilt Honda, Oil Change Q's [Re: ThirdeYe]
crw Offline


Registered: 05/31/05
Posts: 1713
Loc: Pocatello, ID
Timing belt??? I think I'll stick with my Briggs...
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2005 Nissan Maxima, 6-speed manual; many others...

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#1190417 - 07/10/08 10:43 AM Re: New Lawnmower! Troy-Bilt Honda, Oil Change Q's [Re: Craig in Canada]
1999nick Offline


Registered: 01/14/04
Posts: 1087
Loc: Germantown TN 38138
 Originally Posted By: Craig in Canada
 Originally Posted By: ThirdeYe
TFrom what I gather, it's a OHC which is the better Honda engine (or so I've been led to believe?) and I think it should last a long time.


Honda uses OHC in the "consumer" grade GC engines and OHV-only in the "commercial" grade GX engines.

The OHC engines have a timing belt which will eventually fail down the road. This isn't anything I'd lose any sleep over though. I've found the OHC to be noticeably quieter than OHV.


I have the Honda OHC 160 on my Craftsman mower which I purchased in 2000. I have an hour meter on it, and I use it year 'round, cleaning up leaves in the fall and winter. I use it about 60 to 65 hours a year. It now has over 460 hours on it.

I change the oil once a year, using Mobil 1 synthetic. For the first 7 years I used regular Mobil 1 5W30. This year, I changed it over to Mobil 1 High Mileage oil, 10W30. It has NEVER required additional oil to be added between yearly oil changes. The dipstick has always been on the full mark.

I am very curious as to the usual failure mode of this engine. Is it the belt that drives the cam? I have read that the valve clearance might need periodic adjusting, but this would probably be prohibitively expensive to have done professionally, especially since these engines can be purchased online for about $160.00 complete with all accessories.

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#1190429 - 07/10/08 11:02 AM Re: New Lawnmower! Troy-Bilt Honda, Oil Change Q's [Re: ThirdeYe]
JoggingGuy Offline


Registered: 06/21/03
Posts: 209
Loc: Spring TX
I bought a mower with the same Honda GCV160 engine a few months ago. I didn't like the idea of having to tip the mower on it's side to drain the oil, but it's set up for that and it is actually faster and easier than using a drain plug. Plus, you don't end up burning yourself on anything when draining the oil hot.

I've been through 3 of the quick oil changes to flush out the shiny break-in debris and it's very easy to do with a coffee can. When you tilt it over to drain, you can rest it on the can to hold it steady. Takes exactly half a quart to refill. Total time spent is about 10 minutes, start to finish.

Been running some cheap Pennzoil 30W during the break-in and debris flush and will switch to the PP 10W30 Synthetic after I get some hours on it.

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