Mantis Tiller Maintenance Tips & How-To Instructions

We’ve compiled these helpful Mantis Tiller maintenance tips and how-to instructions to help keep your Mantis Tiller running at peak performance. If you require additional service or assistance, please contact us.

Mantis Tiller Parts

Tiller Assembly VideosStarting and Operating Tips & VideosTiller Maintenance How-To Tips & VideosTiller Troubleshooting FAQ & Videos
Assembly how-to Mantis 2-Cycle Tiller
Assembly how-to Mantis 4-Cycle Tiller
Assembly how-to Mantis Deluxe XP Tiller
Assembly how-to Mantis Electric Tiller
Assembly how-to Mantis Electric Tiller 3550
Assembly how-to Mantis 58V Cordless Tiller 3558
Setting the Tiller Tines for Tilling or Cultivating
Remove and replace tines Mantis Deluxe XP Tiller
Starting Your Mantis Tiller 2-Cycle
Starting Your Mantis Tiller 4-Cycle
Starting, fueling Mantis Deluxe 2-Cycle or 2-Cycle Plus Tiller
Starting, fueling Mantis Deluxe 4-Cycle Tiller
Starting, fueling, operating Mantis Deluxe XP or XP Extra-Wide Tiller
Extension Cord Size for Mantis Electric Tiller
Make sure the extension cords are in good condition before use. Based on the total length of cord that you are going to use, check the chart below to make sure the cord meets the correct minimum cord gauge (AWG) requirements. IMPORTANT NOTE: Using an undersized cord, a larger number cord gauge (AWG) than recommended in the chart, will cause a loss in power and overheating of the tiller. Using a smaller number cord gauge (AWG), than recommended in the chart, is acceptable.

Mantis tiller maintenance tips

We want to help you keep your Mantis Tiller running at peak performance for many years to come. Here are a few simple maintenance tips to help you.

Part Maintenance Frequency
Air Filter Clean
Daily or every 4 hours use
Every 3 months or 90 hours use
Fuel Drain
End of season
When stored for longer than 30 days
Fuel Strainer Inspect
Spark Plug Inspect
Carburetor Empty Fuel
Every 25-30 days
Every 300 hours of use
Exhaust Port Inspect/Clean Before every use
Muffler Screen Inspect/Clean Yearly
Transmission Check Grease Level Yearly

Maintainenance tips Mantis Deluxe 2-Cycle Tiller
Maintainenance tips Mantis Deluxe 4-Cycle Tiller
Maintainenance tips Mantis Deluxe XP Tiller
Ethanol and your Tiller Engine
How to locate the SV number of your 2-cycle tiller engine

SV NumberWhen ordering parts for your Mantis 2-cycle tiller, you may need to locate the SV number of your engine. The SV number is located between the gas tank & the carburetor, behind the gas line, on a black and silver tab on the silver engine housing.

It will consist of the letters “SV,” a number and another letter.
Examples: SV4A, SV4B1E.

How to locate the GX number of your Honda® 4-cycle engine

GX NumberWhen ordering parts for your Mantis Honda-powered 4-cycle tiller, you may need to locate the GX number of your engine. The GX number is located on top the engine above the pull start.

It will consist of the letters “GX” and numbers.
Example: GX25

How to check or replace the air filter 2-Cycle Tillers

View Deluxe 2-Cycle video. Or scroll down to view other 2-cycle step-by-step instructions.

Here’s how to check or replace the Air Filter.

Step 1

Step 1. Remove the Wing Nut to take off the air filter cover.

Step 2

Step 2. Remove the air filter and air filter cover.

Step 3

Step 3. Remove the air filter from the air filter cover.

Step 4

Step 4. Replace the air filter into the air filter cover; be sure the filter fits snugly inside the lip.

Step 5

Step 5. Replace the air filter cover and the wing nut.

How to check or replace the fuel strainer (2-cycle tiller)

SV NumberHere’s how to check or replace the Fuel Strainer.

The fuel strainer allows a steady flow of clean fuel to go to the carburetor by straining out any sediment that has entered the fuel tank. It is located inside the fuel tank and can be accessed by removing the fuel tank lid and pulling out the fuel line through the fill hole.

The strainer should be changed whenever it is hard to the touch or creases to allow fuel to reach the carburetor.

Stale fuel will shorten the life of the fuel strainer!

How to check or replace the spark plug (2-cycle tiller)

Here’s how to check or replace the Spark Plug.

NGK and Champion spark plugs are the only recommended spark plugs to be utilized in Echo engines. The use of the correct type, brand, and heat range of a spark plug is of paramount importance in today’s emission certified engines. Never uses spark plug manufacturers cross-reference charts. Cross-reference charts are approximations and may recommend spark plugs that are as much as 1-2 heat ranges out of the recommended heat range.

The plug will depend upon the SV number of your engine; the gap will be the same for each engine – .024-.028.

The SV number of your engine is located between the gas tank and the carburetor, behind the gas line, on a black and silver tab on the silver engine housing. It will consist of the letters “SV,” a number and another letter. Sample: SV4A, SV4B1E.


Engine NGK Champion (Equivalent)
How to check the grease level of your tiller transmission (all tiller models)

Here’s how to locate and check the grease level of your Tiller transmission.

Step 1

Back of tiller when standing upright

Step 2

Close up of back of transmission

Step 3

Pull out Retaining Pin & remove tilling tine for safety

Step 4

Side view of worm gear cover / Side view of Transmission with tine removed

Step 5

View of back of Transmission, with worm gear cover on

Step 6

View of back of Transmission, with worm gear cover off

Step 7

Gear Case, No Grease

Step 8

Gear Case: Illustrating the correct amount of grease

Carburetor information (2-cycle tiller)

In accordance with current EPA Regulations and CARB requirements, limiter caps have been installed on the high and low screws of the carburetor. Removal of these caps by anyone other than an authorized Mantis dealer will void your warranty.

Replacement carburetor, rebuild kits and gasket/diaphragm kits are available. Please contact us directly.

To order parts, you will need the SV# of the engine.

Cylinder exhaust port and cooling system information (2-cycle tiller)

All cooling fins must be kept clear in order for the engine to operate efficiently.

Exhaust Port
Exhaust Port
Exhaust Port
Muffler screen and spark arrestor information (2-cycle tiller)

The Muffler Screen is also known as the Spark Arrestor. It is a small screen layered within the muffler system in accordance with current EPA requirements. This screen is in place to catch all burned off carbon deposits.

By virtue of the parts function, it can get clogged with the same carbon deposits it is created to catch. Once clogged, the screen must be cleaned or replaced for efficient operation of the engine.

Do not clean Spark Arrestor with anything flammable!

If your engine bogs down under a full load, your muffler screen (spark arrestor) may be clogged and not allowing the engine to breathe properly.

Additionally, if you find the starter rope hard to pull, it could be because the muffler screen (spark arrestor) is clogged.

Directions for cleaning the muffler screen for your specific engine can be found in your owner’s manual. Here are some basic instructions:

  • Lift engine off of the transmission by loosening the brass colored screw located at the base
    of the clutch case.
  • Remove the spark plug.
  • Remove the red cylinder cover.
  • Remove the muffler cap.
  • The muffler screen (spark arrestor) will be layered beneath the muffler cap
  • Clean or replace the muffler screen (spark arrestor) with carburetor cleaner, using a soft brushNote: If the screen remains plugged after attempts at cleaning it, it must be replaced
  • Reassemble the muffler, the cylinder cover, and replace the engine onto the transmission
Transporting and storing Mantis Deluxe XP Tiller
Why should I walk backwards when using the Mantis Tiller?
Because of the design of the blades (tines) and the light weight of the machine, the tiller digs into the soil by using resistance. The Mantis tiller is designed to be used in a fashion very similar to running a vacuum cleaner. Its not necessary to continuously walk backward, many users find it comfortable to stand in one spot, allow the tiller to walk forward and then slowly pull it backwards, allowing it to dig into the soil. Then go forward at a different angle and pull it back again. If you prefer, it will also work to walk slowly backward the length of your garden. By tilling this way, you dont have to walk through your freshly tilled soil.
Should I replace the air filter on my Mantis Gas Tiller?
Clean air filters will assist in ensuring optimum performance for your Mantis Gas Tiller. The filters do not clean very well and once dirt infiltrates the fibers of the air filter, the possibility of your engine seizing from dirt ingestion increases. Our air filters are available in a package of six (Part Number M9994).
How do I get replacement tilling/cultivating tines?

Tilling/cultivating tines are guaranteed for life against breakage. If your tines are broken, please contact our customer service department to obtain a replacement.

If your tilling/cultivating tines are bent or worn and you wish to replace them, you will find them on our Tiller Accessories page. Or call us toll-free at 1.800.366.6268 to purchase new ones.

How do I maintain my tines?
After each use, remove and clean the tines. Then spray both the tines and the tine shaft with WD-40 or some other light lubricant to protect them from rust. This will also prevent the tines from “freezing” onto the tine shaft.
How often should I replace my fuel filter?
Your fuel filter should be replaced every 3 months or 100 hours of use.
Can I use any lithium grease in my transmission?
No, you cannot; you must use lithium 0 weight grease, double-zero weight is too free-flowing and may not lubricate the gears properly.
My rope pulls out with no resistance, why won’t it turn the engine?
There may be some dirt or debris in your pawl catcher assemply causing them to stick. Remove the 4 screws on the starter assembly and lift it off the tiller. Looking down on the tiller, on top of the flywheel, you will see a gold-colored dish with 2 black levers inside.The levers are called pawl catchers. Use a piece of 80-grit sandpaper and slide it under each pawl. Move the pawl back and forth 10-12 times. This will clean the debris out and smooth the pawls. Replace the starter assembly.
Why won’t my tines turn when the engine revs up?

Most likely the engine has come unseated properly from the transmission. Check the base of the engine to make sure it is sitting all the way down on the transmission and the gold colored bolt is secure.

Why is my 2-cycle engine getting really hot?
You may not have enough oil in your gas mixture to properly lubricate the engine. Always make sure you use the proper 50:1 mixture ratio; that is 2.6 ounces of oil to 1 gallon of 89 octane or higher gasoline. Convenient, pre-measured bottles of premium 2-cycle engine oil are available via our online shopping. Also, there may be a buildup of dirt or debris on the cooling fins of the engine; make sure they are kept clean.
Why is my engine bogging down when I give it full throttle?
Your air filter or your spark arrestor (muffler screen) may be clogged and not allowing the engine to breathe properly. This will cause it to act as if the choke is on and bog down under a load. Replace your air filter and check the muffler screen to make sure it is clean.
How often do I change my air filter?
We recommend cleaning the air filter daily or after every 4 hours of use. It should be replaced every 3 months or 100 hours of use.
Why don’t I see a spark on my spark plug when I test it, I think my coil is bad?
Most likely the coil is not bad on your machine. It is rare that a coil can fail because it is completely sealed and electronic. The coil is a very low sparking one and can only be properly tested with a 3-point ignition tester. You will not see or feel a spark by grounding the plug. We recommend having the coil tested by your local Mantis dealer.
Why won’t my tiller start it has been stored away for a few months?
You may have to clean the carburetor of old fuel or replace the gaskets and diaphragms. If the tiller is stored with even a small amount of old fuel (older than 30 days) in the tank, it can clog the carburetor and cause deterioration of the gaskets and diaphragms.

Drain out the old fuel and dispose of it properly. Once the fuel tank is empty, push the primer bulb on your tiller 7 or 8 times to clear out any fuel in the carburetor. Empty the fuel tank again. Next, mix fresh fuel in the correct ratio and fill the fuel tank. Push the primer bulb 11 or 12 times to pull the fresh fuel through the carburetor and let the tiller sit for about thirty (30) minutes. Then press the primer bulb an additional 11 to 12 times to flush out any residue. You should now be able to start your tiller using the standard starting procedure.

If parts are needed, visit the Mantis Tiller parts page or contact Mantis customer service.

Note: Do not use carburetor cleaner. Doing so will void Echo engine manufacturer warranty.

The 58V Cordless Tiller is rated at 650 Watts; how do you get 650 watts out of a 2.5 amp 58 volt motor?
Under no load power, 58V x 2.5 Amps = 145 Watts. But under a heavy load, such as tilling/cultivating, the current may increase to 10-11 Amps, so the motor is rated 650 Watts in order to handle heavy loads.
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Call 1-800-366-6268
From outside of the US: 215-355-9700

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Warranty Information