Can't Pull Mower Backwards - HRR216VLA to bearing conversion

tayto

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yes you are correct, once i cleaned all the grime away it is clear there is plastic bushings in place. i reassembled for now and the self propelling is functional, cut about 20 minutes off my mow time. wish I would have fixed last season.... i have some bushings and seals picked out from. mcmaster-carr, i will post back when things move forward.
 
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Briantii

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yes you are correct, once i cleaned all the grime away it is clear there is plastic bushings in place. i reassembled for now and the self propelling is functional, cut about 20 minutes off my mow time. wish I would have fixed last season.... i have some bushings and seals picked out from. mcmaster-carr, i will post back when things move forward.
Awesome! I look forward to hearing how it works for you. It’d be great if there was a way to upgrade it without having to drill to accept the needle bearings.

Amazing how much better they mow when this i working properly. I suspect only 5-10% of them actually work right. Even in the store most have way more drag than they should.
 

de3

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I just ordered all driveline oem parts for the rear of my hrx...going on 6 years old and roughly 500 plus hours,I would say for the last 2 or 3 years I've just made it work and its apart every two weeks.......even my c-clips are paper thin.I think with new rear wheels i'll have around 150 dollars in it........love the mower
 

Briantii

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I just ordered all driveline oem parts for the rear of my hrx...going on 6 years old and roughly 500 plus hours,I would say for the last 2 or 3 years I've just made it work and its apart every two weeks.......even my c-clips are paper thin.I think with new rear wheels i'll have around 150 dollars in it........love the mower
The hrx uses a different part that’s better designed. Not really relevant to this thread, but glad you love your mower. I love mine with the bearing conversion! Still doing great!
 
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Dickman

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Hey guys,

I've been working for a while on my mower (hrr216k8vya) trying to permanently fix the "can't pull backwards" issue. The problem is always inside the adjuster bushings. They get dust and gunk in them and start to seize up. I've tried adding a zerk fitting and that was moderately successful until it got so full of gunk / plugged up that it would simply push the dust seal out.

Looking at the typical consumer Honda design it seems to me there are potentially two issues:

1) Plastic bushings - are these REALLY the best plan or just the cheapest?

2) The dust seal is ONLY on the deck side of the mower. Any dust blowing around inside the wheel cover / drive gear area can go straight into the bushing with no seal. The HRX217 series it seems they have a seal on BOTH sides of the bushing.


I'm currently testing my latest idea - replace the bushings with needle bearings AND add a second dust seal. So far after one mow, it seems to be working great and doesn't need to be re-greased / refreshed (unlike the Zerk fitting which required constant greasing to keep the bushing lubed)


I figured I'd share what I've got in case it helps anyone - keep in mind I've NOT performed extensive testing with it yet, but I'd argue that it rolls backwards better than any of the new Honda's in the store... so I'm hoping I'm on to something. The real test is if I can get through a season without messing with it. :)

To convert to bearings

Required parts / tools:


  • Bench Vice
    Drill
    11/16th drill bit (hard to find, check Amazon)
    (4) 1/2 x 11/16 x 1/2 bearings (hard to find, check Amazon)
    (4) Honda 12.7mm dust seals
    Your existing adjusters for modification
    Quick Set Epoxy - I used Harbor Freight cheap stuff

The idea is pretty simple, there are no bearings that fit inside the adjuster so we have to modify the adjuster housing to accept them.

1) AFTER pushing out the existing plastic bushings, Drill out the existing adjuster from the OUTSIDE (wheel side) in, leaving about 3mm un-drilled on the deck side. This un-drilled side will ensure we get the "best" dust seal fit on the deck side of the mower.

View attachment 45819

2) Put two bearings down inside the adjuster and CAREFULLY use epoxy to secure them. Do not get epoxy in the bearings :)

View attachment 45820

3) Epoxy the dust seals in place on both the inside and outside of the adjuster. I recommend using the transmission shaft to ensure alignment of the outside dust seal since that's the side we've drilled from and it will NOT self align.

View attachment 45821

4) Allow epoxy to set up. It should look about like this when you're done.

View attachment 45822

5) Grease the bearings and reassemble. I used a dry lube around the dust seals and tried to avoid getting grease around the dust seals. Basically grease will grab any dirt / dust so I tried to avoid that.

Good luck and I'll update the thread with the good (or bad) results as I get more use out of this setup. Frankly if this doesn't work (provide at least a solid season of trouble free mowing) I'm ditching this mower and getting something else.
Just curious: when drilling out the adjuster, did you use a drill press, or freehand it with a hand drill with the adjuster in a vice?
Thanks.
 

Briantii

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Just curious: when drilling out the adjuster, did you use a drill press, or freehand it with a hand drill with the adjuster in a vice?
Thanks.
If I had a drill press I would have used one. Instead I was just very careful and used a regular drill and bench vice. A drill press would be much better.
 
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