2013 Troy-Bilt XP Horse 46-in 22 HP Kohler Model 13WX79KT211 Lawn Tractor Review

The XP Horse is Troy-Bilt’s largest, most powerful riding mower!  The Horse™ XP lawn tractor features a powerful 22.0 HP* Single Kohler® Courage engine and a cast-iron front axle.  The fender controlled hydrostatic transmission, Soft Touch steering wheel and high-back seat, make this lawn tractor the best Troy-Bilt has to offer.

by: Paul Sikkema

This is another great value lawn tractor for the price. On sale at under $1400 it is one of the least expensive lawn tractors on the market with a Kohler motor and hydrostatic transmission. It is not a “cheaply built” mower though and has the dependability and workmanship you come to expect from Troy-Bilt.  Read the reviews at Troy-Bilt here: Troy-Bilt Reviews. It features a good 46 inch deck, a 22 hp Kohler Courage engine, and an easy to use fender controlled hydrostatic transmission. This mower can be equipped with a bagger, mulch kit and will pull a small yard cart! You can mount a snow blade but not a snow thrower.

Is this the right lawn tractor for you? Please read this entire review before you buy this tractor. I am going to spend some time and go over this mower completely. This mower is a great value but it is not for everyone.

See the full specifications at  Troy-Bilt

Here are some highlights:

  • 22HP Kohler engine — I have always had good luck with Kohler engines.
  • Infinite-speed dual hydrostatic transmission. I like the “notch” in the speed control so you mow at the correct speed.
  • 46 in. twin blade deck provides great cutting performance. Deep-design of the deck lifts grass up , for a superior cut. 5 cutting heights from 1 in. to 4 in.
  • High back seat and large 13 in. steering wheel
  • 18 in. turning radius with Cast-iron front axle with lifetime warranty. The same turning radius as the John Deere 100 series.
  • 2-year limited warranty backed by Troy-Bilt. 4 year Protection Plan available.

Is this the right mower for you? The positive:

– If you just want to mow your lawn and you have a fairly flat lawn about 1/2 to 2 acres, this tractor will do the job. It does have anti-scalp wheels on the deck and it does have a deluxe seat. If you have a lawn without a lot of trees and other landscape features to mow around this may be a good choice for you. This tractor will mow up to 1 1/4 acres an hour.

– Most owners today prefer a tractor with a hydrostatic transmission: A “hydro” is easier to use than a gear drive transmission and saves you time when mowing around many obstructions. This mower uses a fender mounted control lever.  Using a fender control instead of a foot control is a nice feature if you are under 5 ft 5 in and have a hard time reaching a foot pedal or if you physically have a hard time holding a speed control with your foot.

Is this the right mower for you? The negative:

This mower is a great value, but it is not for everyone. It is designed to primarily mow lawns. If you need a rider that will pull a heavy yard cart, sweeper or ground engaging attachments look at a different tractor.

This mower is lightweight and not recommended for more than 15 degree slopes.  Customers who have steeper slopes say it does not have enough traction. For flat and gently sloping yards the owners like the quality of cut. If you are NOT going to use a bagger Troy-Bilt does offer a rear weight kit.

This deck is a high air-flow deck. It has vents in the top to let in a lot of air.  This is a great design because the extra airflow lifts the grass well and it cuts your lawn very evenly. This mower side discharges and bags well. But, if you install a mulch kit it restricts this airflow and a lot of customers complain that the grass clippings get blow out the right front side of the deck and all over you and the tractor.

This mower will mow in reverse but some users complain there are a lot of steps to get it to mow in reverse. To mow in reverse you have to move the keep to the reverse position, push the button and then shift the fender mounted hydro control into reverse.


If you do not purchase the Lowes Extended Protection Plan be sure you understand how to get your new mower repaired if there is a mechanical defect. Talk to the store where you picked it up and read the operator’s manual warranty statement.

Reliability – New to 3 yrs: This tractor is serviced by an authorized Troy-Bilt repair center. There have been no issues with the build quality. After reading over 150 reviews of this tractor the only issues I really see is operator error. The most negative reviews comment about it not going up steep hills or the owner did not store it properly over the winter.  The tractor itself is put together well.

If you decide this is the right mower for you take advantage of all the special offers Lowes has: After you click on the link below and go to Lowes, look in the right hand column to see the current offers.

Lowe’s Extended Protection Plans

Face it, your new mower is a mechanical device and eventually it will need some repairs. Lowes offers protection plans on lawn tractors.  This is the BEST and easiest way to have a hassle free experience with your new Troy-Bilt.  No worries about finding and taking your machine to an authorized dealer for repairs.

Please give your city and state when you comment

    • @Drummerboy, Kohler twins take right around 64 oz. Put 1 1/2 quarts in it and then check the level. Then add a few ounces at a time until the oil level is up to the top mark (or hole)

  1. I have a Troy Built XP46 inch deck rider mower. Model number 13WX79KT011. When I put the lever down to engage the blade, it just went down and did nothing. Now it just flops back and forth like it is attached to nothing. What could be the problem ?

    • Hi Robin, I’m no mechanic but it is very common for the cable from that lever to the deck to break. Usually the spring on the deck end of the cable breaks. Look under the fender and follow the cable hooked up to the flopping lever down to the deck. The spring is usually broke off the cable by the deck.

      If you want to do this yourself here is the operators manual and parts list. Manuals.

      You want the MAN:IPL 2011 (Parts) and MAN:OPER:ENG (Owners manual)

      The owners manual will show you where the end of the cable hooks up on the deck on Page 24. The parts list will show you the cable. It’s No. 41 on page 14. It is part 946-04173C

      You can get one at any Troy-Bilt, Cub Cadet or Yard Machines Repair Center. I also checked Amazon and they have them in stock: DECK ENGAGEMENT CABLE FOR MTD, REPLACES MTD 746-04173A, 746-04173B, 746-04173, 946-04173, 946-04173A, 946-04173B.

  2. Paul I have a 2013 Troy built XP and I’m trying to figure out how to put the drive belt on if you could help me I would dearly appreciate it

  3. hello paul. I have had the 2013 Troy-Bilt XP Horse 46-in 22 HP Kohler Model 13WX79KT211 for a little over 2 yrs and have had the same problem since day one. THE GAS TANK IS TO LOW FOR THE GAS TO FLOW OUT OF THE TANK TO THE CARBURETOR. The gas tank cannot be raised so how do I fix the awful problem? Thanks, Allen Kinder Rural Retreat va

    • @Allen, Two reasons your Horse is running out of fuel. First, the gas cap vent is plugged. When it tries to quit loosen the gas cap 1/2 revolution. Second, You are trying to mow on slopes steeper than what the manufacture designed the tractor to do. Reading your manual the maximum is 15 degrees.

      That said, Fuel Pump / Kohler 24 393 16-S

  4. Lee Florence. s.C. The transmission belt keeps coming off and I have a three year warrantee but the first time it came off I had Lowes come out and get it they took it somewhere in N.C. It took me nearly eight weeks to get it back my lawn is own fertile ground and needs mowing every week it cost 40 bucks a week to hire out non contract in. Two weeks the neighborhood ass. Is complaining since it take so long to fix I have it fixed at a local shop it takes an hour to put it back on . And 50 bucks why does it take lowes so long.

    • @Lee, You’ve run into one of the problems of buying from a retailer or local dealer that does not do their own service. In your case they contract with a company to do their service. That company may be nationwide, but in many areas you’ll have to take your mower 50 to 100 miles to that authorized repair center (my closest Lowes repair center is 87 miles away)

      An you also know now why I like Sears service. They have over 10,000 repair personnel and they come right to your home.

  5. Paul, I have pushed it, pulled it. Everything is in order, when I engage the hydrostatic it engages and all just wont move or reverse. I know that free wheel is not catching or allowing it to engage. I was wondering if you knew how or a website that can show me how to fix it myself. Cause the drive belt and everything is working great. The free wheel seems stuck in neutral, and I can push it anywhere I want to.

  6. Update from 27 Sep 2013. Need help. The mower will not move forward or reverse. The lever in the back of the Troy Bilt 46 inch Horse Hydrostatic moves forward and back but wont engage into drive. I can push the mower freely and it wont engage into drive. This means the mower wont go forward or reverse. I see the lever and it moves freely. Is it possible something came loose and I can do something to make it work again. I KNOW THIS LEVER IS THE PROBLEM. Can anyone guide me on how or if I can take the top off and fix it or can it be. I have the guy coming to take the mower Friday 6 Dec but who knows when I will get it back. Please Help me someone.

    • @Ray, It sounds like the transmission free wheel lever is in the wrong position. At the back of the tractor above and to the right of the hitch is a wire rod about the size of a coat hanger. That is your transmission free-wheel release. That rod needs to be pushed ALL the way in for the transmission to work. If it looks like it is in right now, push and pull it so you are sure it is moved to the front position. Here is a diagram if you need it. (page 16 of the manual) Transmission free wheel

  7. I have a troy bilt Horse Hydrostatic 46 inch 2012 mower, bought at Lowes. 2 weeks ago as I was driving it, it started to sputter ( fast then slow, fast then slow). I know it’s time to service it, so I figured I do that and my problem would be fixed. I drained all the fuel, oil, changed fuel filter, oil filter and changed spark plug and made sure the plug was 0.02-0.03 width, and changed both the filters the air and the big sponge like one. made sure there was no junk in the fuel tank. I cleaned up the top of the engine before I screwed the plastic top down. I started it up and just sitting there in idle it was great, but once I went forward it sputtered again. I looked at the carb and seemed to move side to side with ease and cleaned. I am at a loss here, WHY after changing everything is it still sputtering.

    • @Ray, I’m not a real mechanic, but it sounds fuel related. Make sure you are using clean, fresh fuel.

      The first thing I would do is with the engine running pour a couple of tablespoons of SeaFoam down the carb throat. It will billow white smoke until the SeaFoam burns off but that’s ok. I would then put about 3 tablespoons of SeaFoam in the gas and run it for a while. (at least 10 minutes) If there is any buildup in the carb that will clean it out.

      If that doesn’t fix it the next thing I would do is remove the carb float bowl and clean that out. If you are unsure how to do this just go to youtube and search “Cleaning a carb on a Briggs”

      More than that I would take it to a service shop. I will warn you that todays carbs are very precise and he may decide it is cheaper to just replace it instead of rebuilding it.