Can't Pull Mower Backwards - HRR216VLA to bearing conversion

Briantii

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Glad to hear these ideas are working. As an update my mower is still flawless after nearly a full season of mowing twice a week since I converted and added the extra seal. So far so good here too.
 

civic

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UPDATE: Finally installed the sealed bearings now my initial pull back on cement is 5 lbs and rolling 3.5 lbs. It rolls back without effort it feels the same forward and back. Now I need to mow to test. Also when I first disassembled I noticed grass in the pinion gears so my felt helped but not so much. However I did notice once I took the adjuster off the bushing was clean, no dirt and the axle was clean so maybe the felt helped. I also notice there are 3 places grass and dirt gets in and there is very little one can do.
1. where I put felt which is a help
2. where the bolt goes in on the plastic cover there is a small area where dirt can get in
3. where the cover goes around the wheel
 

civic

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Finally dry enough to mow and this mower is awesome. Easier to use. Thanks Briantii for starting this thread and thanks for everyone else responding to it. Will keep you posted if anything changes or not.
 

Dickman

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Just an update. I was on the verge of dumping this machine. Oh, it started great, and ran great. But the wheel lock-up when pulling in reverse was unforgivable. I still think Honda is grossly negligent on this design of the drive system.

Back in early June I installed the needle bearings and JB-welded the inside seals, as recommended by Briantii. At the time, the outside seals - felt or silicone rings, had not been suggested, so I didn't do those.

Also, I am a mulcher. I think there is a tendency for clippings to be thrashing about under the deck for a longer period of time, compared to bagging, which will contribute to more debris getting into the drive axle areas. I live in Minnesota, so our mowing season is winding down.

So far, there has been no change in force required to pull in reverse. I am delighted in the results. I won't be disappointed if I have to clean and re-grease after a season's worth of mowing. That sure as heck beats having to do it after every 2 or 3 mowings.

Thanks to Briantii and everyone for their suggestions and observations.
 

RetireeRon

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Wow, I had no idea how wide spread this problem is. Since my mower is still under warranty it’s ready to go back to the dealer for the second time to fix the “won’t roll backwards” issue. It’s really hard for me to accept that Honda knows full well this is a design flaw yet won’t accept responsibility for it. They should do the right thing and come up with a permanent counter measure free of charge. There is absolutely no way I will ever buy another Honda mower after the many issues I’ve had with my HRX mower.
 

Briantii

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Wow, I had no idea how wide spread this problem is. Since my mower is still under warranty it’s ready to go back to the dealer for the second time to fix the “won’t roll backwards” issue. It’s really hard for me to accept that Honda knows full well this is a design flaw yet won’t accept responsibility for it. They should do the right thing and come up with a permanent counter measure free of charge. There is absolutely no way I will ever buy another Honda mower after the many issues I’ve had with my HRX mower.

Thats surprising to hear since the hrx (at least the newer ones) look to actually have dust seals on both sides of the bushing. It SHOULD be better than my HRR. Once you fix this issue though they are pretty decent mowers. Also all brands will have <something > but I agree this one is unbelievably stupid and difficult to forgive.

Good news is mine is still doing great, but Id recommend the ball bearing setup that Civic is running as I believe it’s a better solution.
 

gotomow

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Thats surprising to hear since the hrx (at least the newer ones) look to actually have dust seals on both sides of the bushing. It SHOULD be better than my HRR. Once you fix this issue though they are pretty decent mowers. Also all brands will have <something > but I agree this one is unbelievably stupid and difficult to forgive.

Good news is mine is still doing great, but Id recommend the ball bearing setup that Civic is running as I believe it’s a better solution.
I agree that the HRX is not as bad as the HRR given the same conditions. However in my case it was aggravating enough for me to sell my HRX and get a Toro super recycler which I love. I applaud all you guys with the creative solutions that you have come up with!
 
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