It's a walk-behind with a variable speed transmission that powers the
rear wheels. Works okay forward, but can no longer pull it backwards. If
I turn it on its side, I can turn both rear wheels in the forward
direction only, and I hear a ratcheting sound from each wheel. Try the
reverse direction, and they lock firmly, without even the slightest
movement in the reverse direction of the drive axle.
Thanks for you suggestions.
No suggestions, but this is a good example of why I'll never buy a
self-propelled mower (unless it is a tractor, of course.) I suppose for
some people with large flat unobstructed lots, they make sense, but I
have to do so much backing and pulling to get around all the
obstructions in my yard, the self-propelled would just get in the way.
On Mon, 16 May 2016 22:43:02 -0700 (PDT), email@example.com wrote:
I would not buy a self propelled mower either, and for the same reasons
mentioned. Plus they are a lot heavier. And when I mow and push
manually, I can control the speed the mower moves, depending on how
thick the grass is, and if I'm trying to chop up a large burdock or
other weed. I may be cutting a part of lawn thats only 4in tall and then
run into a section that's 15in tall.
As far as the OP's problem. I'd check to make sure the lever that shifts
the self prop. is moving the lever properly. It could be as simple as a
cable needing adjustment, or might be stripped gears that require a
complete rebuild. If nothing else, take off the cable and shift that
lever by hand, being sure to push or pull it as far as it goes. If that
dont do it, you may have to take it to a mower shop, unless you're handy
enough ti rip apart the "transmission" that shifts the wheels. (I call
it a "transmission" for lack of an actual name for that part)!
On 5/17/2016 2:18 AM, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
The OP wrote in 2011, five years ago. Do you think the
OP 1) has the same mower, and 2) is reading this group
eagerly for ideas how to fix the five plus year old
lawn mower? I think we've been had by another
replying to Sam E, rabbitinred wrote:
Von that would never happen! and so far all I've gotten was nothing but reviews
by the men's home shopping network. maybe I should have just stuck with the
"*repair clinic" site, where the responses are actually helpful.
replying to Sam E, Tom wrote:
You aren't alone. Mine quit backing the first year I had it. I lost the
purchase receipt so I couldn't get any warranty work done. Took it to a Honda
shop. Cost me $75.00. Worked for about four more mowings and now it won't back
up again. Sad that Honda, a usually good company puts out such an unreliable
piece of equipment.
A standard push mower might be OK for a small flat yard, but when you've
got close to an acre of hilly yard a self-propelled mower is a necessity.
The alternative is a riding mower which: a) Takes too much storage space.
b) Is harder to work between plants and in narrow areas. c) You don't get
the exercise of walking behind the mower.
(Side note: Using a pedometer and a GPS tracker, I discovered I walk a
bit over a mile each week mowing our yard.)
I have had a Honda HR214 self propelled mower for over 27 years. It is a
shaft drive (no belts to stretch, slip, or clog with grass) and has been
very reliable. About the only thing I've done to it is replace the
control cables a couple of times, the pull cord assembly, and I've put a
couple of grass bags on it. I also put a new rear wheel on it last week
since the tire was cracked. It still starts on the first pull and runs
Mine has two forward speeds, slow for working in tight areas, and fast
for the open areas of the yard. I can always push it faster if I want to
(going downhill for instance), or disengage the self-propel and manually
push it at any speed I want to.
If you can't pull the mower backward easily, remove the rear wheels and
clean out the ratcheting mechanism. Don't lose any parts. :) Lubricate it
well before putting it back together. Unless you have a broken part, it
should work fine after that.
I can pull my self propelled Honda backwards just as easy as a standard
push mower. Just release the propel level. For that matter. I can release
the lever and push it forward just like a standard mower. There are no
downsides in tight areas, but a huge advantage over long distances or on
I rinse off my mower after every use. If I don't return the levers to the
off position (putting the cable back in the sheath) the exposed cable can
corrode and sieze up inside the sheath. I went through a couple of cables
in a short time before I figured out that simple trick.
On the Honda's, the cables control the forward speed and the propel
lever. Backward movement is provided by ratcheting gears behind each rear
wheel. The bolt holding the wheel on can be tricky to remove, but it
comes off easily with an impact wrench.
replying to phillipsdf, Roger32713 wrote:
My Honda self-propelled rear wheels were stuck as stuck could be. However, this
is only a minor problem. Some people are mechanically inclined, others are not.
I cleaned and lubricated the rear wheels and the shaft that drives them (I don't
really know if this was necessary or not), then I followed the simple procedure
for adjusting the drive cable. You may have to adjust two or three times to get
it right, but a 5th grader can do it. My mower now works like brand new and has
not had any problems so far this season (since May 1). If the wheels do bind
again, I may utter a blessing (S***!), but I know it can be fixed with a simple
replying to aemeijers, sandlersh wrote:
I have the same problem, apparently this is a common issue with these Honda
mowers. Mine is only 4 months old and all of a sudden the back wheels locked up
when I pull it in reverse.
Mine's OK. Is nice to be reminded/know that there is 4 year warranty.
I think manual says there should be cable adjustments and the like done
at dealer after a year, but who pays attention to these things?
If this is a known problem, maybe Honda can be persuaded to do it under
warranty even after warranty period. I had a similar situation with my
car and manufacturer rebated about a third of cost.
I had a Honda Harmony and the transmission failed after
not too many years and not all that much use. The tranny
is a real bitch to replace. Lot of little parts to take off and
hopefully get back together again if you put a new one in.
Took it apart and found that the main drive bearing just
wore out and fell apart. It sounds like the tranny on this
one is shot too.
I even bought the service manual, and I'm good at doing
all kinds of mechanical work, but given how complicated
it was and the cost, $135, I never did put one in. Mower is
still here in pieces.
I bought a Sears for $175 instead. The Honda does the
best, neatest cut and the twin blade design is the best
mulcher I've seen. But at $600 I expected it to last longer
than it did. The Sears has significantly more power and
uses a belt slip system to give infinite speed control. And
there is no transmission to crap out.
I have abused the heck out of my HRX217 for 5 years and just started to have
1 wheel would not go backwards and then the left wheel would not propel. Take
off both rear wheels and the gears that drive them. Take out the keys from the
drive shaft grease them up and make sure they are loose, put back together and
problem was solved! p.s. the keys have a spring don't lose it!
This mower has not let me down, but the gears and keys need to be greased every
couple of years, it is a shame that Honda does not make this clear in the owners
replying to Michael Clarke, rabbitinred wrote:
that's because Honda likes to juice its loyal customers for aftermarket
"ad-ons" that aren't generally necessary it would seem but in the long run if
not purchased a $89. auto rain guard could prevent needed your whole trunk/gas
tank mechanism/cable from falling apart.(I know we are talking about movers but
I am bitter)
Since posting my initial message, I spend 50 minutes cutting the lawn.
For whatever reason, most of the time I was able to pull it backwards. I
couldn't find a pattern (eg. pulling while on a slight up slope vs. a
After finishing, I turned the mower on its side and turned the rear
wheels. The axle between each wheel and the transmission in the middle
of the mower now turned. Suggests something in the gear box.
Caution: The gear box is filled with oil, not grease, and it will come
running out unless the mower is completely inverted. Before inverting,
drain the engine oil. If there is a little gasoline in the tank, the
tight-fitting cap will probably prevent it from leaking out. But be
prepared, and work outside.
On my Honda HHR217HXX there was a black plastic flap that hung down
and dragged behind the rear wheels. When the mower was pulled
backward, the flap would dig in to prevent such action.
The flap was removed. Now, pulling backward is no problem.
Not what you describe; however, it might be worth a look should you
have a similar flap.
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