Toro Personal Pace 20017 weak self propelled


Old 11-11-09, 10:22 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: SC
Posts: 2
Toro Personal Pace 20017 weak self propelled

Bought this 2004 Home Depot special and very happy with it all these years.
Looked at the other threads first, hope I am not repeating one.

The self propelled function lately seems "weak". When in taller or thicker grass, I really have to push, like it is not self propelled. When in shorter grass it works OK, but not at a very fast walk speed like when new. Lifted back end & wheels up, pushed handle, and the wheels spin.
No unusual noises, vibrations, etc. Just seems like the belt has stretched a little.

Is there a belt tension adjustment? Or some other gremlin?
Found nothing at the Toro site.
I'm somewhat mechanically inclined with good instructions, moreso with good pictures.
Many thanks in advance.
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Old 11-17-09, 05:13 AM
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Texas, USA
Posts: 1
Drive wheels

Hey Mr. Geezer.

It sounds like the problem is the drive belt. Something is giving up under load. I would check the belt. It may be slipping (see if it is polished, shiny) or it could be stretched. I would change the belt and see if that fixes the problem. Otherwise I would trace the power train for the drive and look for other problems. The reason the wheels seem to work OK when the wheels are elevated is it is not being asked to do any work.


Ray Lang
Old 11-18-09, 05:46 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: SC
Posts: 2
Thanks Ray.
I will change the belt.
Even after I tightened up the cable, it still is not as robust under a load.
Old 11-22-09, 07:54 AM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: South Florida
Posts: 53
If you haven't already bought the belt, geezer, they are cheaper if you go to an automotive or industrial supply house than the dealer. I bought a replacement for my Toro model 20016 front-drive walk behind, which uses the same belt as yours (91-2258), from Tractor Supply Co. It was a couple years ago so I don't remember the price but it was probably ten bucks cheaper than the Toro dealer. The size is 3L350 and it works fine.
BTW, another reason the drive might be weaker than normal is the wheel teeth wearing down enough to let the wheel slip over the drive gear. They will work fine with minimal load, but start slipping when there is enough load. I have one wheel that slips on mine now but haven't gotten around to replacing it yet.
Old 12-04-09, 06:11 PM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Ohio
Posts: 1,376
Slow Personal Pace

I just rebuilt the drive system on a Toro Model 20022. I used all Toro Brand Parts, "belt, wheels, clutches, rockers, bushings etc, and I hardly have to touch it for it to move as it's supposed to. (my oldest Toro is a 1947 reel mower. I would use it more but it has a rope starter that is not a recoil.)
Old 12-05-09, 07:42 AM
daswede's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: massachusetts
Posts: 2,215
My front wheel drive was struggling as yours was for a couple years. I thought it was the belt,but changing it didn't help.

A friend thought that the engine wasn't running very fast so i kicked up the RP M's and now it moves like it used to.

Just thought,but make sure your running at the correct RPM's. At the end of the mowing season when i prep the mower for the winter,i take the wheels off and clean,and oil the gears.

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