Troy-Bilt 160cc 21" Cut Gas Push Mower 11A-542Q711

by Josh
(Graham, NC, USA)

This is an excellent lawn mower. I've had it for six months now and I have no complaints. I purchased the mower from Lowe's for $240 plus tax. I also had a 10% off coupon for being a new homeowner . It comes from the store pre-assembled and out of the box you can be mowing in no time at all. It even comes with the oil. The large back wheels make navigating hills and turning very easy.


My yard is quite hilly so this was essential. The plastic comfort-grip bar that you hold down to make the mower mow is quite comfortable to hold and has not yet given me any blisters. The engine is a honda which as far as I am concerned is the best engine you can buy.

The bag is high enough off the ground that you are not constantly dragging it and is easy to empty. I read that Troy-Bilt's mowers with small back wheels had problems with bags dragging and eventually tearing. You don't have to worry about that with this mower. Its light weight also makes it easy to push even up really steep hills. I have noticed that when you turn the mower rather quickly, it sounds like it is about to turn off.

I am sure this is just sloshing of gas, or a safety feature to turn the mower off if it flips over. It has never actually turned off and has never caused me any problems. I would certainly recommend this mower.

Comments for Troy-Bilt 160cc 21" Cut Gas Push Mower 11A-542Q711

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Aug 17, 2015
Rating
starstar
STALLS... no won't start! NEW
by: Anonymous

Bought lawnmower from neighbor who was moving to condo. Mower worked for 5 mows, then started to stall. After letting it sit overnight, would start up and run for 30 seconds, then die. Now that's all it does. Won't restart unless it sat for a while. About to remove carb and do a cleaning and put in new gas. what a pain. Any thoughts?

Apr 17, 2014
Rating
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Solid Value, Terrific Engine NEW
by: Brian

I bought mine in 2006 or 2007. I had one problem the first couple of years; hard to start. Then one day the cable to the engine brake/idiot handle broke, and I improvised with a small C clamp to finish the job. I found out it cranked great when the engine brake was REALLY off, and it has ever since.

Love the big back wheels, the adjustable height at all four corners, and the superb mulching ability. I'll never buy another side discharge. The clippings just disappear into the lawn, which can only be good for the soil (and the grass by extension).

Still going strong in 2014. Way to go Honda and Troy Bilt.

Sep 16, 2013
Rating
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21 " Troy built I got free
by: Anonymous

I got a troy built 21" given to me 9/15/2013 a friend of a friend had it .Said they hit a rock
and mower quit and would not start. I puled the plug and spun the engine { Honda} well I didn't see any bent shaft as they thought check key on flywheel it was also fine . So I opened air filter and gave a shot of starter fluid after about three pulls it started rite up.shut it down and started it again first pull. So went to LOWES
got a new blade and installed it ,and just mowed my front yard ,thanks to dumb people who don't maintain there mowers I now have 4 ridding mowers and 5 self propelled mowers they people all said was a peace of junk .LOL keep given them away and ill get them on the curb and sell the heck out of them next spring Oh and one tip if you run all the gas out of a mower and drain the tank it wont be on the curb next spring but gont tell anyone around OKC ok

Aug 08, 2013
Rating
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honda engine the best
by: Anonymous

It consistently starts with one pull. Enough said? I have used mowers with Briggs engines and with Honda, and I can tell you that Honda is far superior. It is not even close.

Sep 25, 2012
Rating
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Great Mower - Tips for others
by: Dale in Little Rock, Arkansas

I bought my Troy-Bilt Model 11A-542Q711 mower equipped with a Honda GCV160 Engine from LOWE's on 3/24/07, over 5 years ago.

It has been virtually trouble free up until recently, over 5 years after I purchased this mower. The recent problem was the carburetor. I merely replaced the carburetor, Honda part number 16100-Z0L-853, for less than $25.00 and it runs like new again. If you do not have a local Honda small engine parts dealer you can find these on eBay. Just be forewarned that the prices vary greatly on eBay for this carburetor. To install a new carburetor you will need 5 gaskets also.
Quantity 1 Part number 16212-ZL8-000 Gasket
Quantity 2 Part number 16221-883-800 Gasket
Quantity 2 Part number 16228-ZL8-000 Gasket
The carburetor & gaskets are the ones for my mower. It is very possible that yours would not be exactly the same as they can vary by your engine serial number.

I believe this lawn mower is far above average in design, quality & dependability. As I read the comments of others that are negative I think most of them could have been avoided by following my
maintenance schedule. (1) Use only PREMIUM high octane gas (2) Never use gas that is over 90 days old (3) Make sure that your gas is very clean and contains NO debris or contaminants - NOT even just a little bit (4) Completely drain the gas from your mower at the end of each growing season & run the engine until the carburetor & lines are empty. Discard any gas in your mower gas can. (5) Use ONLY a FULL SYNTHETIC oil of the brand of your choice in your engine. This engine only holds a total capacity of 18.5 ounces not much over 1/2 a quart. Change your oil at the beginning of every mowing season. (5)Keep a NEW replacement air filter cartridge on hand & replace it when it becomes dirty(6) If you have the same engine as I do instead of using the recommended spark plug, an NGK brand BPR6ES, upgrade to an E3 brand Spark Plug. My mower uses an E3 part number E3.18 - Note: E3 brand spark plugs are expensive at about $7 each but I have found them to outperform & be SUPERIOR to ALL other Spark Plugs. You will see why when you look closely at the electrode. If you have a lawnmower of any brand that frequently fouls spark plugs. cross your current spark plug to the correct E3 Spark Plug and I am confident you will see a real noticeable improvement. E3 Spark plugs can be bought at a number of places including Advance Auto Parts stores.

I hope my comments will help each of you in some way.

Sincerely,
Dale in Little Rock, Arkansas

Jul 28, 2012
Rating
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bad gas/small carbs ALL
by: Anonymous

All small engines have very small jets in the carb and get plugged because most mowers do not have a fuel filter and if the fuel is clean then gas looses it punch and if gas still has it's punch it has ethanol in it so it forces you to re build or replace carb after a year or so. Some carbs are more prone to plugging than others due to design. A good rule is after 90 days 5 gallon of gas or less in can and carb, fuel lines,filters,tanks exct. will STALE

Jul 02, 2012
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Its the fuel
by: WSER

Starting last year I have seen more carb. problems than ever before. I think the percentage of ethanol in the gas is higher than they are telling us. I tried buying gas that was supposed to be ethanol free, but guess what...its not, it tested at 7 percent. Now I as using a product that is supposed to correct this problem, there are several products on the market so just pick you one.

Apr 07, 2012
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There is a trick
by: Trick To Use

i have had this mower for three years.

no problems. you need to turn the gas off two minutes before running it to the end. it will then sit with no gas in the carb.

works great. keep the carb clean.

Mar 30, 2012
Rating
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I like mine
by: Doug

I've got the Honda 160cc on my TroyBilt. (It looks a little different than the picture with a 4 speed knob in the middle of the handle.
I bought it from Lowe's as a previously returned unit.
I've owned it for three years and I like it just fine. I drain the tank in the fall and run the gas out of the carb. I store it in the shed here in Chicago.
It starts every spring with fresh gas. Never any trouble starting it. The idle was a little slow and rough this year. I used carb/choke cleaner and sprayed the crud away from the linkage. Problem solved.
This is a good mower.

Feb 07, 2012
Rating
star
Troy-Bilt Honda Lowes
by: Anonymous

Purchased Troy-Built 160 cc Honda frrom Lowes. I used it for 4 months. Used premium gas I put in my Mercedes. It wouldn't start, went to web site and was told to replace spark plug. Bought spark plug at Lowes but it didn't fix it. Returned it to Lowes 11-17-11. Today is 1-15-12 and they still have my lawnmower. They said carb gummed from bad gas which is my fault and the manufacturer won't cover it. I said that was unacceptable. They've now offered I go get it fixed myself, bring back receipt and they will give me $100. I was told a new carb is about $87. So I find that is unacceptable. I feel Troy-bilt, Honda and Lowes should be held accountable. Do not purchase this engine. I am fed up with lack of corporate ethics and usery. I love sites that allow the truth to be heard and spread, thank you for tools that help (no pun intended).

Oct 22, 2011
Rating
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works perfectly
by: John

Don't want to jinx the thing but mine has worked great since day one- completed 2 summers.
Miles quieter than a Lawnboy. Starts first pull and never quits on me.
Bought in Canada from Can Tire for great price and runs great on reg. gas. Sounds like a US ethanol gumming issue for all these complaints re: stalling.

Sep 08, 2011
Rating
star
frustrated
by: John in Madison Heights, Va

I agree with all the "single stars". I purchased this mower about four summers ago and it has worked for the first summer. Purchased from Lowes, returned there for repair, got it back worse than before. Took it to two local small engine repairs, got it back each time it ran for a few weeks then wouldn't run after starting. Gas was emptied at end of each summer. Start the next year with the same frustration of not running after first engine firing. I would love to keep the body/frame if I could replace the motor. It's been basement/shed kept since purchase. Any motor/carberation recommendations.

Any recommendations!!!! I have spent as much and more than what I paid for it. Will try this for recommendations before purchasing a different mower.

Troy-Bilt you should be ashamed.


Sep 05, 2011
Rating
star
grass blower
by: Anonymous

I have my unit for over a year it blows more grass out the sides and top then in the chater bag last tory i will buy . my pullan was 100 time the mower then this,,,junk junk

Sep 04, 2011
Rating
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Experience
by: Anonymous

I just went on the internet to see what brand and type of oil are recommended for this unit, and was astounded to find all the bad reviews. I have had ZERO problems with the engine in the 5 years since I bought it. I just used it about 20 min. ago, and it started on the first pull after sitting for a month! (yeah, I know, 5 years is too long to wait for an oil change) I grew up using small engines, and the fact is, they are ALL prone to fuel problems because of the small jets in the carb and typical intermittent use. All I can do is relate what I do to address it. I always use a small can and go get fresh gas in small quantities. There is a local station that sells methanol-free gas, which is better. I use a CLEAN container and CLEAN funnel, and use a brush to remove all the fuzz from around the mower gas cap before removing it. A shot of Sta-Bil in the container helps keep it and what's in the tank fresh over the mowing season. I add more when I get gas. The best maintenance is PREVENTIVE maintenance. I learned that the hard way! Premium gas probably has better additives to prevent rust and gumming, but isn't needed because of octane in this engine. Using premium might replicate what I do with the Sta-Bil, haven't tried it. At the end of the season, I put extra Sta-Bil in the tank (about 1 1/2 or two capfulls) and let it run out. A spring type woodworking clamp works great to hold the blade brake handle. There is also a bowl drain on the carb. Make sure ALL the gas is run out. Just my two cents on the fuel problem.
This mower does tend to collect a lot of clippings on top of the deck. I always mulch. I have to maneuver a lot, so I removed the pesky "foot protection flap" at the rear of the mower. Otherwise, it's been a great machine so far, works for me.

Aug 28, 2011
Rating
starstar
poor performance
by: ronnie in edmond

i have this mower it is on my sidewalk with a free sign on it . poor running , poor performance and i am tired of tinkering with it. as of right now i csnt find anyone that has the sparkplug , not sure that would even help.

Aug 20, 2011
Rating
star
Terrible mower
by: Anonymous

This is a terrible mower? I have not been able to keep it running after about 40 hours use. Actually, this is my second of this model, I threw such a fit with the last on Lowe's replaced it. I think I am going to try to by a 20 year old one at a garage sale, they used to last for years. One technician told my the epa (socialistic, communistic org) has put such controls due to trying to make them with low emissions that you cant keep the mower running. Never use old gas, never buy new!!

Jul 04, 2011
Rating
star
glad i was't the only one
by: yardmann

I have had the Troy-bilt 160cc for a year and some. tired of tinkering with it. free to junker.

May 22, 2011
Rating
star
bought it because of 'Honda' engine
by: Anonymous

How many times it will be used in a year? Less than 20 times in general. If it breaks within a year, that's junk, and that's what I bought.

May 20, 2011
Rating
star
BAD CARB
by: TOM

I HAVE THE 11A-543Q711 WITH THE "HONDA" ENGINE AND GUESS WHAT? SAME PROBLEM WITH THE CARB.GUMMED UP,FROM OUR FAMOUS 10% ETHONAL. GO FIGURE,NOT THE MACHINE IT'S WHAT YOU PUT IN IT. BECAUSE THE ENGINE IS A "HONDA" THE KIT COST TWICE AS MUCH!!!!

Apr 29, 2011
Rating
star
11a-542Q711 stalling
by: Anonymous

I have the same mower and it stalls shortly after it is cranked. I went through the carb and it is clean. I put a timing light on the plug wire and it looks like it is losing spark when it shuts down. Looks like a magneto problem to me.

Apr 29, 2011
Rating
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Same Carb Problems here
by: Chris

Have the sister mower (119A I believe) with the Briggs 165cc Engine and it had carb problems right after the first mowing. I returned it to Lowes and they replaced it. Second mower worked fine until 6 months, then started acting funny so had it serviced -- assuming it would be for free given the warranty. The repair guy said it was just a dirty carb and I'm thinking WTH? I live in residential area, not a lot of dust or other junk getting in gas tank in only a dozen uses. Well after cleaning it worked, but yet again this season it's now failing (removed all the gas from last year before winter). Have now had it just over 2 years and now it's junk....

Apr 16, 2011
Rating
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Flustrated
by: Anonymous

Bought my Troy Built 160cc mower 4yrs ago. At end of last year I noticed mower would not continue to run unless chock was closed.This year I started mower fired up on first pull, walked a few steps and mower stalled. Mower will no longer cont. to run. Fires up everytime but stalls as fast as it starts. Any Ideas?

Apr 11, 2011
Rating
star
carb problems
by: Anonymous

Disassembled carb and cleaned throughly with special cleaner . . . fresh premium fuel in the tank . . . finally got the mower running after many pulls (needed to play with the throttle spring and hold the choke almost fully open) . . . needed to tape the choke almost fully open while mowing in order to keep from stalling out . . . this was a few weeks ago. Today I go to use again but it starts and stalls . . . I can't keep it running . . . approximately 40 hours of use . . . this mower is junk and should be recalled given some of the other reviews I've read!

Apr 09, 2011
Rating
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CARB PROBLEMS
by: Anonymous

THE REASON FOR YOUR CARBURATOR PROBLEMS IS YOU NEED TO EMPTY LAST YEARS GAS AND START WITH NEW PLUSYOU NEED TO BUY PREUIM GAS THE OCTANGE IN REG IS TO LOW PLUS REG HAS TO MUCH ACLOHOL IN IT CLEAN CARB AND START A NEW

Apr 06, 2011
Rating
star
Same carb problem as others are having
by: Searogue

I've had this unit for one year. I'm now having same issues with low power and the need to partially choke the engine to keep it running. Now it won't start. I bought this unit "reconditioned" as new from Lowe's and the service bill which came with the mower stated "Inspect, will not start. No compression. Pulled head and free up stuck intake valve. Rebuild carburetor. Service engine and test run. So much for the Honda small engine reputation. Geese, you'd think it was a Toyota.


Mar 04, 2011
Rating
star
junk
by: Anonymous

We are having problems similar to those reported by other users . . . we have had the mower for a little over 2 years and its been used 40 hours tops over that period . . . the engine is either starving for fuel or getting too much fuel (but most of the time it is starving for fuel) . . . we adjusted the throttle spring and got it to work for an hour but the same problems returned the next time we attempted to use . . . we cleaned the carb and got it running for a couple minutes but most of the time it starts and then coughs a few times before stalling . . . the carb on this thing is not adjustable and I think its junk . . . I've been using lawn mowers for 30 years and have never had one give so much trouble as this one . . . our Lowes warranty expired and they won't do anything . . . I will contact Honda and see what they say.

Nov 29, 2010
Rating
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no problems
by: usartwag

Have had my Troy-Bilt TB-130 for 2 years. No problems. Always starts on first pull. The sound of a Briggs & Stratton is nice, but this Honda engine has me sold. Thanks for the advice on the fresh gas!

Nov 23, 2010
Rating
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Good Bang for the Buck!
by: Cobber

Bought at Lowe's - did not take extended warranty
Set up was clear and simple. From opening the box to cutting first blade of grass took 10-15 minutes.
Light, handles easy, cuts evenly, starts well w/ Honda engine; Well made; solid construction.

Nov 23, 2010
Rating
star
junk
by: Steve

Broke after 20 month and lowes can't fix it.
Troy bilt = Junk

Sep 18, 2010
Rating
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fuel flow issues
by: Scott

My buddy bought a Troybilt 21" 160cc Honda powered push mower, mod 542Q at a garage sale for $75. It looked like new and ran like crap.....
It either floods - gas pours out of carb or it starves for fuel. If you cut across a hill one way it runs ok when you go back the other way it quits or runs poorly. Sound familiar?
I have been trying to fix it for him and have discovered the following:
- the float is plastic and may be too light
- the needle valve sticks to the seat - sometimes
- the needle valve gets cocked in the bore and
will not control the fuel level in the bowl-
-sometimes
- I think that the needle valve is the wrong
diameter allowing it to get cocked in the valve
bore
- the float/needle assembly is not adjustable
Will try to see if there is a differant float/needle assembly available.



Sep 09, 2010
Rating
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Gas
by: Doorkeeper

I would appreciate it very much if one of You could send Me a e-mail explaining how to and what the gap setting is for adjusting the valves on a mower like this.I am having severe gas problems with this mower.So I am doing a maintenance check of the mower before I put it in the shop.

Any information You could share would be greatly appreciated.I have a owners manual that does not help much in mechanican.

Sincerely
Arnold
acallicutt43@yahoo.com

Aug 24, 2010
Rating
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Good for one year
by: Tim

I bought this unit about a year ago. It ran great last summer but this summer I am having a lot of difficulty with it. It seems to have lost a lot of power, stalls constantly, and won't start up easily. I guess that this mower is really picky about having fresh fuel.

Jun 07, 2010
Rating
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hard starting
by: Anonymous

if you do not make sure your gas is fresh, carb will gum up and you will have hard starting and stalling problem the only way to fix is thouroughly clean carb with carb cleaner

Feb 23, 2010
Rating
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Problems with motor
by: Rick

It run good for a summer and by the next summer started to not run unless the automatic choke was closed up somewhat and to increase closing the choke or else it would not run then it quit and is fairly new. Still don't know the problem. Know how to do maintenance but no luck. Why would it do this?

Aug 20, 2009
Rating
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Lost HP
by: dalebank

My 160cc engine has lost power, all the basic changes haven't helped. Mower has been well kept and stored, fouls spark plus faster than I can replace them. Hoping to find the problem soon as I do like the machine if I can get her back the HP.

May 11, 2009
Rating
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TROY BILT MOWER 11A-542Q711
by: Anonymous

I'm happy you had good luck with the Model 540 Troy-Bilt. I just posted my bad luck with this unit. The first mower would not start. Lowe's exchanged it for an identical unit that started on the second pull. I busted my knuckles trying to adjust the front wheels. WD-40 didn't help. After 1.5 hours of use all four wheels would barely turn. I do have some sandy spots on two vacant lots I mow. Had to remove and oil all 4 wheels to get them to turn freely. My old Murray mowed these lots for several years with no problems. Sorry the Murray died.

Jan 04, 2009
Rating
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Perfect for small yards
by: Brad

I bought the Troy-Bilt this past summer when my old mower cut out on me (no pun intended). Anyway I was in need of the new lawn mower and did not want to get one that may be just a one season deal.

I have a fairly small yard which makes the size of this mower perfect for moving around the yard easily. I used the mulch feature this past summer which was a huge bonus! I think it really did wonders for my lawn! The only issue I have with it is that sometimes I have had a hard time getting it started, but that is probably just my unit, and my brother in law is going to look at it this winter before we get into the spring and grass cutting season again.

And if he can figure it out I have a 4 year warranty which came with the unit, I believe which is standard from Troy-Bilt. Absolutely I would recommend this mower to anyone looking for a sturdy mower that should last you at least a couple years, it can come in very handy when you need to clean up the yard for company, or as it did in my case, when I got back from 3 weeks on the road for work and my lawn was nearly up to my knees, ha ha.

So to kind of sum this up, it?s a great mower; I paid about $350 CDN for it at Canadian Tire, for all those fellow canucks out there, defiantly a great deal for me anyway!

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