View Full Version : Honda HRC216HXA Varrible Speed Drive Problem

05-12-2007, 09:44 PM
I have a Honda HRC216HXA its about 15 years old and up to now I've had absolutely no problem with it. It cuts great and the hydrostatic system is awesome, but I recently started having problems with the variable speed drive system. I was mowing my yard and the drive completely stopped working and all I heard when I engaged it was a grinding noise. I took it to the local repair shop. They told me they blew whole mower down and the drive system was working again. Since getting it back I've mowed my lawn 3 times. The first time everything ran great. The second time I noticed the drive wasn't working very good at all and today (the third mow) it was horrible. It starts out working fine and had it's typical variable speeds. For instance, if I feel like jogging I can move the speed control all the way up and I'll be jogging. I don't run the mower that way just giving you guys the range. I typically run it at half speed, a nice walking/cutting pace. After I did a couple laps around the yard at a walking pace it gots really slow. I pushed the mower up a hill faster than the drive could (and most of you know it's a heavy mower). This even happens when I'm mulching and not bagging. At this point with the mower at max speed it is a very slow crawl and I hear the grinding noise. What do you guys think I can do? Does anyone have a the diagrams of the drive system and its components? I appreciate the help.


05-12-2007, 10:40 PM
Well Will, I would start with the rear wheels. Remove them and check for any worn/stripped cogs/ratchets etc.


Hopefully you will find the problem there and not have to get into this complex looking trans. system.


Good Luck

Bill Kapaun
05-13-2007, 12:55 AM
I'm ignorant about these, but it kind of sounds like maybe a low fluid condition?

05-13-2007, 11:12 AM
Restrorob, Thanks for the great diagram. I'll check it out within the next couple days. Can you post the part name number correlation page?

Bill, I did ask the guy if the fluid was good when I picked the mower up the first time he said it was good. I will check for myself to make sure. Thanks Bill

05-13-2007, 12:19 PM
This is the only way I could figure to get them posted since I had to copy/paste.....

05-13-2007, 10:08 PM
Restrorob, thanks for the information I requested.

I had about 15 minutes to look at it today. I didn't see much wrong with the wheel assembly. The ratcheted and the housings looked a little rounded but not really that much. One thing I did notice is when I had the mower running and lifted the back wheels and then ran the drive there was absolutely no grinding noise and the wheel seemed to move at the appropriate speed. When I put the wheels back on the ground (no bag on) the grinding noise returned and it was slow.


05-13-2007, 10:41 PM

I'm not that familiar with this drive system but a couple things to check.

With the unit off and rear wheels raised see if you can get a pair of pliers on the drive axle and try to rotate it. If the problem is in the trans. you should be able to get it to slip.

Also check part ref. #9 on the drive shaft below and make sure it's not sheared and slipping.

If both these check fine I would look at the ratchet assemblies again.

Good Luck


05-17-2007, 10:25 AM
I took a look at the mower again. I raised the rear wheels and was checking out the drive axle. Without the drive handle engaged the axle moved freely (with pliers) in both direction. With the drive handle engaged the axle moved freely forward (with pliers) but not backwards. I attached some vise grips to get an awesome grip on the axle. With the vise grips the axle did slightly slip when I applied alot of pressure. I cleaned out the ratchet/cogs and reassembled the wheels. I'll use it this weekend and see how it works out.

The pin #9 is in good condition no shearing barley any wear.

05-17-2007, 12:31 PM
I actually forgot recheck the trans fluid like Bill suggested until just a few minutes ago. It's very low (not sure why). I've looked through my owners manual and I can't find a part number. Any idea what it is?