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  1. #1
    l008com's Avatar
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    Question Honda Harmony HRT216(2TDA) Bad Clutch?

    I was given a free Honda Harmony mower when I bought my house last summer. I wanted to buy a new mower but they are just so expensive. So I figured I'd see if I can fix up this Honda and use it for a year or two before getting something new (hopefully a husqvarna awd model).

    So anyway, the motor absolutely purrs like a kitten. This is before putting any seafoam in it to clean up the fuel system. Its almost laughable how good the motor runs after 15 years. The drive system is another matter...
    The speed selector has 3 speeds. In 1st, you pull the drive lever and after a bit of hesitation, it starts going. In 2nd and 3rd, it pretty much doesn't go at all. Unless you lift up the drive wheels, then they spin.

    So we cleaned everything pretty thoroughly, including the belt and the pulleys, but no change.

    Then we replaced the belt, thinking that's got to be it. But again, no change AT ALL with a brand new belt.

    So then I started to think, it must be the gearbox. But after looking at videos on youtube of people opening the gearboxes, it doesn't see like that is the problem. The gear box is literally a gear box. So you're not going to get hesitation from that. The gears either work, or they're broken. Not much room for middle ground.

    So today, what I did was adjusted the drive-engagement cable, pulling out all the slack. Basically, I slide the housing down through the clamp that holds it, so its a much firmer pull. This was the first thing I did that had SOME effect!!
    NOW, 1st gear works pretty good. 2nd and 3rd work about as good as 1st before. That is, not great. But with a little push start, and on level ground, the gears will work.

    But that's not good enough. My yard has lots of slopes, I really need the drive system to work like new. I need it to be able to easily and aggressively climb my slopes.

    All of the behavior so far, adds up to a bad clutch in my head. But I have no idea how the clutching mechanism even works on this mower. I haven't been able to find any diagrams or videos that actually explain it. And it's not apparently by looking from underneath. I suspect that whatever kind of clutching system it uses, just adjusting or replacing it will fix the drive problem on this mower.

    .... but that's just a guess, I have no idea. Hopefully you guys can help?

  2. #2

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    robert@honda's Avatar
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    Re: Honda Harmony HRT216(2TDA) Bad Clutch?

    Quote Originally Posted by l008com View Post
    The gear box is literally a gear box. So you're not going to get hesitation from that. The gears either work, or they're broken. Not much room for middle ground.

    So today, what I did was adjusted the drive-engagement cable, pulling out all the slack. Basically, I slide the housing down through the clamp that holds it, so its a much firmer pull. This was the first thing I did that had SOME effect!!
    NOW, 1st gear works pretty good. 2nd and 3rd work about as good as 1st before. That is, not great.
    The cable could be stretched or damaged, and not getting enough mechanical pull on the control arm; there is some adjustment, but it may not be enough.

    The transmission does not have any internally-servicable parts; Honda only offers it as a complete unit (Honda Part Number 20001-VG4-H02) with a list price of $109.97. It includes an input pulley, control arm and spring, but you'll need to move over the tension spring if replacing. If you go that route, carefully clean and inspect all the adjusters, bushings, etc. and fit new ones if worn. Lubricate with regular wheel bearing grease, and note some parts can be fitted in the wrong direction (left and right side pinion gears, for example). Might want to invest in a factory shop manual, which has the full, illustrated procedure to remove and replace the transmission.

    Google any part number to find a Honda Dealer selling it online, or use this link to find a Honda Dealer in your area: Find A Honda Dealer

    Shop Manuals (sold by Honda direct):
    Honda Power Equipment Shop Manuals on eBay
    Honda Power Equipment Shop Manuals on Amazon
    - - -
    Robert@Honda
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    Caveat: I work for Honda, but the preceding is my opinion alone.

  3. #3
    l008com's Avatar
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    Re: Honda Harmony HRT216(2TDA) Bad Clutch?

    Well, I don't want to replace the transmission if it's not even the problem. When you press the wheel engagement lever to pull that cable, what exactly happens between the cable and the wheels?

  4. #4

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    Re: Honda Harmony HRT216(2TDA) Bad Clutch?

    Quote Originally Posted by l008com View Post
    Well, I don't want to replace the transmission if it's not even the problem. When you press the wheel engagement lever to pull that cable, what exactly happens between the cable and the wheels?
    Not sure, but seems it would be some kind of clutch-type engagement. Might try some bench-test to fully engage all the way, and see how it responds. If it starts working fine, then you know the trans. is okay. If, even with full lever engagement, it does not perform, it's likely to be some internal fault. Honda has no internal troubleshooting, diagrams, etc., so I'm in the dark for trying to resolve that. I will guess it is not complex to figure out if you open it up, but the lack of parts if/when you do find any fault sorta makes it a moot point.
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  5. #5

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    Re: Honda Harmony HRT216(2TDA) Bad Clutch?

    Honda Power Equipment HRT216K1 TDAA TRANSMISSION (4) | CyclePartsNation Honda Parts Nation take a look at prices here for your mower, they ship to your door, fast. Make sure your drive pulley is in good shape also, item 6 under drive system.

    http://cdn.powerequipment.honda.com/...s/31VG4641.pdf owners manual

  6. #6
    l008com's Avatar
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    Re: Honda Harmony HRT216(2TDA) Bad Clutch?

    I moved on to other things and just returned to this mower recently. I decided the new transmission costs more than this mower is worth, so instead I removed the shifter, clutch lever, and everything related to the transmission I could, including the transmission itself... minus the three drive gears, which are just dangling on the axle because I didn't want to remove the axle. Its a little heavy for a push mower but it should do for a while until I get rid of it.

    You have to open up the transmission to remove it from the axle, and that was interesting. The transmission actually seems to be built very robustly, except that it's an oil bath, and the clutch is inside. Which doesn't seem like an ideal setup. It does look like clutch slippage was the issue, but I'm not sure how to fix it. Doesn't matter now because i destroyed it while removing, which was the plan. Plus all sorts of dirt and junk fell inside. It's a shame this system doesn't have some kind of user serviceable clutch, it would probably mow for the rest of time if it did.

    Here is a picture of the inside of the transmission if anyone is curious:


    The clutch is sort of middle, top. The pin rotates, which pushes the bent plate so it squeezes the to pieces together, and presto-drive-o.
    Also it was screwed and then glued together, so not worth the hassle of fixing especially at this point.

  7. #7

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    Re: Honda Harmony HRT216(2TDA) Bad Clutch?

    Your call.
    That is a very beefy looking box and should last forever.
    The landlord has 8 real tractors and the PTO clutch on all of them is an oil bath clutch.
    The T40 box used in a lot of consumer grade JD lawn tractors has the disc brake also inside the box running in fully synthetic oil so not all that unusual .
    Obviously the clutch engagement mechanism is not rotating the actuator far enough to engage the clutch.
    That looks like a typical self locking clutch.
    And the wheels do come off without splitting the box.
    When you finally get them off put some grease or anti sieze on the shaft.

  8. #8

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    Re: Honda Harmony HRT216(2TDA) Bad Clutch?

    My neighbor has a Honda Harmony II HRR 216 with the 3 speed transmission. He has a big hill he has been cutting for 10 years.
    The transmission has gone out. I took it apart and the gear that is driven by the vertical worm gear is worn down. See pic.
    I can buy a new one for $150, but would really like to find just the gear for under $10. :-)
    Any advice?

    IMG_6779.jpg

  9. #9
    l008com's Avatar
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    Re: Honda Harmony HRT216(2TDA) Bad Clutch?

    Quote Originally Posted by scarlislek View Post
    My neighbor has a Honda Harmony II HRR 216 with the 3 speed transmission. He has a big hill he has been cutting for 10 years.
    The transmission has gone out. I took it apart and the gear that is driven by the vertical worm gear is worn down. See pic.
    I can buy a new one for $150, but would really like to find just the gear for under $10. :-)
    Any advice?

    IMG_6779.jpg
    Too bad, I could have sent you mine. But that is longgggggg gone now.

  10. #10
    upupandaway's Avatar
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    Re: Honda Harmony HRT216(2TDA) Bad Clutch?

    Quote Originally Posted by bertsmobile1 View Post
    That is a very beefy looking box and should last forever.
    With all the honda mowers with the busted clutch that I've come accross, this clutch design is honda's Achile's Heel.

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