Honda HRC216HXA Self Propulsion Issues

Discussion in 'Mechanic and Repair' started by DFW Area Landscaper, Dec 16, 2006.

  1. DFW Area Landscaper

    DFW Area Landscaper LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 2,120

    Ok, if anyone can help, I need help...bad.

    This part is the wheel sprocket, at least that's what I call it, and it has failed repeatedly. A brand new retails for $15 to $19.

    As you can see, these fingers sticking out of the structure are spring loaded, such that they engage the wheels in one direction.

    Honda Sprocket Brand New.JPG
  2. DFW Area Landscaper

    DFW Area Landscaper LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 2,120

    The problem is, as these wheel sprockets get old, the fingers start to get stuck, such that they no longer stick out of the body of this thing and no longer engage the wheels.

    Here is a picture of one that is just on the verge of failing. As you can see, the fingers are barely sticking out and in just a very short time, they'll get completely stuck in the "closed" position, causing the self-propulsion to fail completely.

    Honda Sprocket Fingers Beginning to Stick.JPG
  3. DFW Area Landscaper

    DFW Area Landscaper LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 2,120

    In the past, when I've replaced these "sprockets" with new ones, I've greased them up. The problem is, dust and dirt stick to the grease and cause premature failure.

    So then I started using a spray lubricant, thinking it wouldn't attract dust as bad. That didn't work either. They were still coming in broke down in short periods of time.

    So then I started installing them dry, but that caused them to rust out and fail from rust prematurely.

    So far, I haven't been able to get one of these to last as long as they do when they come from Honda on a brand new machine.

    So now I am thinking the problem is that in the past I haven't ever cleaned the inside of the wheel, where the sprocket fingers engage the wheels. Perhaps the immediate exposure to dirt was causing the premature failures.

    But now I am wondering if I should just replace the entire wheel assembly (the part that makes contact can't be purchased indidually). The entire wheel assembly is around $26.

    As you can see from this picture, even after cleaning, the interior of the wheel has a lot of rust. Does anyone thing running a new part against a rusty part will cause the new part to fail faster?

    DFW Area Landscaper

    Honda New vs Old Wheel Assemblies.JPG
  4. Restrorob

    Restrorob LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,029

    I really don't believe that little bit of rust on the wheel you cleaned is causing the problem with the dogs getting stuck in the ratchet assembly.
    Maybe more cleaning is in order ? Like maybe at service time pop the wheels and blow the ratchets out ?

    Have you tried Fluid Film on these ?
  5. DFW Area Landscaper

    DFW Area Landscaper LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 2,120

    I think I solved the problem.

    I just ran over to the storage unit and pulled the wheel off a brand new mower I bought last week that's never been used.

    There is a black, rubber seal that sits directly behind the sprocket. I had been thinking this seal was there to protect the wheel bearing, which is on the other side. Well, what Honda is doing is using grease, and lots of it, to form a sort of air-tight seal between that rubber seal and the back side of the sprocket. They are also using grease on the cap end of the wheel lug nut. The grease forms a seal that prevents dusty air from flowing around the sprocket. Honda had the sprocket completely covered with LOTS of white grease.

    All my seals are worn completely out. I was surprised to see that Honda's seal, new, is about 1.5 to 2.5 times as thick as my worn ones. But because I've never taken apart a new mower, I didn't know these seals were wore out.

    Worth noting...when I turned the machine over onto it's side, I noticed Honda had some fresh grease up around the front axle. I thought that was odd since the front axle doesn't rotate or anything like that. Anyway, there is rubber seal that sits just inside the front height adjustment. Honda is using grease to form another one of these air-tight seals between the rubber seal and the inside of the height adjustment parts. It keeps dirt and water out. That explains why these things get so hard to ajust the height as they get older.

    I am ordering these seals from tonight. Additionally, until I get to where I can keep all of these machines running smoothly, I am going to keep one of the brand new machines in my garage as a model mower, only to be used to figure out how things are supposed to fit together.

    DFW Area Landscaper
  6. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,690

    We only run one commercial Honda but it is 7 years old and it has pretty heavy usage. I have never had to replace the drive pawl ring yet but replaced the rear wheels twice due to the hubs cracking. I was told several years ago to run those pawls dry and keep them cleaned out and I clean them about twice a year. I have no rust similar to what you show in the picture. I assume those pawls are oil impregnated and the mating ring also. I

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