Can't Pull Mower Backwards - HRR216VLA to bearing conversion

civic

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Thanks to all for this thread. Years ago I came here and Robert the Honda guy advised me just to clean and lube that plastic bushing. Worked for only a short while. I noticed he has since vanished from sight. I am now tuning (3) HRR216VKA's (my 10yo, and 3yo, and the neighbor widow's) so I returned to find out how widespread this issue is. My neighbor had completely worn out her rear tires this year. I basically solved the problem by always cutting my grass is circles, and not backing up much.

Hopefully this thread comes back to life when the weather warms up. Love to hear how all the solutions endure, and make some necessary modifications.
Welcome Pixburd, yes this is a very wide spread issue and thanks to Braintii that started this thread. Other members and I have added to it. I am still mowing. My last mower was 2 weeks ago and still have no issues with my mod. I was about to give up on mower, not anymore. Like most here were cleaning and re greasing the plastic bushing way too often. Will update more as season starts up in a few months.
 

Pixburd

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Welcome Pixburd, yes this is a very wide spread issue and thanks to Braintii that started this thread. Other members and I have added to it. I am still mowing. My last mower was 2 weeks ago and still have no issues with my mod. I was about to give up on mower, not anymore. Like most here were cleaning and re greasing the plastic bushing way too often. Will update more as season starts up in a few months.
Thanks civic. I should have hung out at the forum and done some "product development" with ya'll. I'm reading thru this thread a 2nd time. I had 3 mowers in pieces, but now am waiting for numerous parts to arrive.
 

Briantii

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Thanks to all for this thread. Years ago I came here and Robert the Honda guy advised me just to clean and lube that plastic bushing. Worked for only a short while. I noticed he has since vanished from sight. I am now tuning (3) HRR216VKA's (my 10yo, and 3yo, and the neighbor widow's) so I returned to find out how widespread this issue is. My neighbor had completely worn out her rear tires this year. I basically solved the problem by always cutting my grass is circles, and not backing up much.

Hopefully this thread comes back to life when the weather warms up. Love to hear how all the solutions endure, and make some necessary modifications.

Glad it's been helpful for ya. I made it through my mowing season without needing to touch it. I'm still on the fence if I'll tear it down / re-grease for next year. Civic's ball bearing solution IMHO is the best if you're looking to do it.

Robert from Honda took a different job @ Honda as I recall and is no longer really involved in the support side.
 

Pixburd

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Glad it's been helpful for ya. I made it through my mowing season without needing to touch it. I'm still on the fence if I'll tear it down / re-grease for next year. Civic's ball bearing solution IMHO is the best if you're looking to do it.

Robert from Honda took a different job @ Honda as I recall and is no longer really involved in the support side.
I took my oldest mower all apart, cleaned it up, shortened the bushing inside the adjuster, then added a 2nd dust seal on the wheel side, using the 0.1 inch gap on both sides of the bushing to pack with grease. It was a minimalist method. Cleaned up the axle with sandpaper and coated with Fluid Film. I was surprised that there was still a little drag pulling the mower backwards, and must be coming from the transmisssion.

Meanwhile I did order bronze bushings and sealed ball bearings. Not sure about using epoxy to hold the dust seals in place if and when I drill out the adjuster's diameter for the ball bearings.
 

Briantii

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I took my oldest mower all apart, cleaned it up, shortened the bushing inside the adjuster, then added a 2nd dust seal on the wheel side, using the 0.1 inch gap on both sides of the bushing to pack with grease. It was a minimalist method. Cleaned up the axle with sandpaper and coated with Fluid Film. I was surprised that there was still a little drag pulling the mower backwards, and must be coming from the transmisssion.

Meanwhile I did order bronze bushings and sealed ball bearings. Not sure about using epoxy to hold the dust seals in place if and when I drill out the adjuster's diameter for the ball bearings.

You will always have some drag pulling backwards because of the transmission like you said. Freshly cleaned / greased plastic bushings typically do just fine until they get gunked up - unfortunately with no dust seal on the wheel side they can get gunked up crazy fast. About an hour on my yard.

The dust seals tend to "pop out" if they aren't epoxied in which leads to the bushings / bearings getting gunked up in record time. You can use the transmission drive shaft as a "jig" to hold it all together while your quick set epoxy sets up since after you drill it they will not fit snug on their own. I think it's a good idea, but obviously not mandatory. If you come up with a better idea / have feedback by all means please let us all know. This thread is designed to be "the source" for people who are sick of Honda's mistake in this area. :)
 
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Pixburd

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Freshly cleaned / greased plastic bushings typically do just fine until they get gunked up - unfortunately with no dust seal on the wheel side they can get gunked up crazy fast.
The dust seals tend to "pop out" if they aren't epoxied in which leads to the bushings / bearings getting gunked up in record time.
Thanks Briantii. To your 1st point, I wasn't sure if anyone had tried to add a 2nd dust seal, shorten the bushing, and packed with grease. I'll have to wait a few months to test it out.

To your 2nd point, using any bushing/bearing/sleeve with a different OD will create issues with the dust seal, UNLESS we can find one that matches our shaft ID and bushing OD. I have looked without success.

The bronze sleeve I found has a smaller diameter than the plastic bushing, which means that it will flop around inside the adjuster. It sounds like some used the dust seals and an auxiliary rod to align the bronze sleeve within the adjuster while the epoxy hardened and filled the small annular gap. Am I right?

The sealed ball bearings plan requires enlarging the Adjuster diameter. The dust seals then will no longer snug against the adjuster ID, so epoxy was used to grip the dust seals to the shaft. Am I right?
 

civic

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Thanks Briantii. To your 1st point, I wasn't sure if anyone had tried to add a 2nd dust seal, shorten the bushing, and packed with grease. I'll have to wait a few months to test it out.

To your 2nd point, using any bushing/bearing/sleeve with a different OD will create issues with the dust seal, UNLESS we can find one that matches our shaft ID and bushing OD. I have looked without success.

The bronze sleeve I found has a smaller diameter than the plastic bushing, which means that it will flop around inside the adjuster. It sounds like some used the dust seals and an auxiliary rod to align the bronze sleeve within the adjuster while the epoxy hardened and filled the small annular gap. Am I right?

The sealed ball bearings plan requires enlarging the Adjuster diameter. The dust seals then will no longer snug against the adjuster ID, so epoxy was used to grip the dust seals to the shaft. Am I right?
If you use the sealed bearing method you will need to drill out the adjuster to 3/4 in and if you look hard enough you can find a 1/2 by 3/4 seals. One other thing about the sealed bearings, now when I first start mowing my rear wheels will lock up only on the first pull back. These bearing looked light duty so I added 3 bearings to each side. Now I am wondering if I should not have done that. I bought a pack of ten and I could have put 5 on each side but decided on 3. Not a big issue unless it gets worse. I am still mowing about once every 2-3 weeks. My front yard has started to green.
 

tonymy01

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I have this issue with my Aussie HRR216K9VYUA, and I pulled the box/axle assembly out to have a look after digging through this thread, thanks for all the detailed discussions. This issue started happening maybe when the mower was ~3years old only, now it is only about 5 or 6 years old and I only use it about 4 weekends per summer/sping! The shafts weren't too scratched up, and looking at the bushes, there is a tiny bit of axle to bush play (suggesting maybe this mower is new enough to have the so-called updated bushes with the oversize hole?). I find with the assembly out, turning the shaft by hand has a bit of resistance in the transmission, which looks to also be a contributing factor. When I push the axle into the box at the same time as turning, I can feel something inside the box giving a ratchet like noise and more binding than not putting any sideways push on the axle and rotating. When using the mower, like most in this thread have mentioned, the issue gets worse when used for 15mins or so, suggesting perhaps when the oil in the box is warmed up that this could be part of the cause.

Am about to disassemble the box to see if there is anything inside that can be freed/improved, I might throw some synthetic 10W/30 into it rather than the Honda mineral 10W/30 engine oil, has anyone had any issues using synthetic oil in the box?

Trying to find a new shaft/box online to purchase here in Australia (at a reasonable price) is impossible, I can't believe it is like $60US or so, but about $300AU here (half the price of the mower!!). I see there are 2 part numbers-
Honda 20001-VL0-S00 ( replaces 20001-VL0-P00)
The picture at the amazon site shows cooling fins, mine doesn't have those fins, but essentially looks the same, so I am guessing I have the 20001-VL0-P00 part number & this looks like mine-

Is there any improvement in the S00 vs P00?
 

bertsmobile1

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Usually we ge the European Hondas down here & not the USA ones and very little will be the same.
While the $ Aus is 77¢ USA it is viable to get parts from the US .
The links posted previously for pats are all good.
PAy with your credit card and that avoids the GST that Ammo-Zone and PayPal automatically charge.
Currently parts from most US suppliers are about 21 days in transit.
My last 2 from Jacks Small Engines were both 13 days .
 

tonymy01

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Usually we ge the European Hondas down here & not the USA ones and very little will be the same.
While the $ Aus is 77¢ USA it is viable to get parts from the US .
The links posted previously for pats are all good.
PAy with your credit card and that avoids the GST that Ammo-Zone and PayPal automatically charge.
Currently parts from most US suppliers are about 21 days in transit.
My last 2 from Jacks Small Engines were both 13 days .
I got it at Masters before they went belly up, from memory it has Assembled in US markings on it.
Looking at Fleebay, they want over $100US to ship (global shipping program anything from the US is just too expensive), so that will end up being all up about $200AU purchase... for a $60US item..
I will see how I go once I open up the box and see if it is salvageable. Then investigate the international shipping rates from some of the recommended places here.
 
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