Replace GCV160 with Predator Engine

Twister

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I have a Honda mower, model number HRR2167VKA with the GCV160 engine. I sat for a couple years, the my friend gave it to me. I got it running but it would revv through the roof. Tried messing with the governor, got it to the point where it would run ok, but would stumble here and there and surge a bit occasionally. I noticed that it smoked a decent amount from the exhaust and the breather tube. The deck is fine and the self propel still works. I want to replace the engine with a new one, and i found the Harbor Freight one, the specs point to it being able to be used a replacement. I am looking for any input from anyone who has done this. I need the self propel to still function as i have a couple steep hills that i need the self propel for.

I have found an older thread on here about someone doing this swap, but he just says its works and then nothing more on the thread.

TIA
 

zeke1975

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I have a Honda mower, model number HRR2167VKA with the GCV160 engine. I sat for a couple years, the my friend gave it to me. I got it running but it would revv through the roof. Tried messing with the governor, got it to the point where it would run ok, but would stumble here and there and surge a bit occasionally. I noticed that it smoked a decent amount from the exhaust and the breather tube. The deck is fine and the self propel still works. I want to replace the engine with a new one, and i found the Harbor Freight one, the specs point to it being able to be used a replacement. I am looking for any input from anyone who has done this. I need the self propel to still function as i have a couple steep hills that i need the self propel for.

I have found an older thread on here about someone doing this swap, but he just says its works and then nothing more on the thread.

TIA
Hello,

I just did a similar swap. I have a troy-bilt (2006) with GCV160 on it. I hit something that wrecked my blade, front mulching baffle, shattered the blade adapter and bent the crankshaft on the GCV160. Other than that the mower is still in good shape :wink: I picked up the Predator 173cc to replace the GCV160 with. My GCV160 had a 1" shaft, the Predator's is 7/8", so I needed a new blade adapter (no big deal mine had shattered anyhow), Lowe's stocks them and it was around $7. My GCV160 did not have a throttle control, the predator requires one, so I picked one of those up at Lowe's for about $7 as well. It mounted up using the same holes in the deck that the GCV160 did, however, I couldn't use the existing bolts from the GCV160. The Predator comes with only two mounting bolts, I used the shorted of the two (in the only threaded mounting hole on the predator), and for the other two mounting holes, I had to purchase 2 5/16 bolts, locknuts and lock washers, as the holes in the Predator (other than the one I used the provided bolt on) aren't threaded, you could also tap them if you preferred. After bolting the engine to the deck, I just had to attach the brake from the handle bar to the engine, and hook up the throttle control to a existing hole on my handle bar and to the engine. Added oil/gas and it fired right up and runs well. The only thing I don't like is it doesn't come with a fuel shutoff, I'll probably add one.
 

Clayslayer

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Yes you can. I acquired a Honda HRX217 plastic deck mower that had a busted GCV160. At first I was going to just fix the GCV but the previous owner had taken a lot of it apart, tried to fix it himself, and had lost or mangled a great deal. I just went and bought a Predator 173 and junked the Honda. The Honda had a 25mm shaft, the Predator is 7/8. I bought a little sleeve to put over the crank of the Predator and still had to grind it quite a bit before the original Honda blade adapter would fit. As previously mentioned there are two holes in the bottom of the Predator that will line right up and a third is threaded one instead of four simple holes. I'm assuming that the engine was designed this way to cause frustration and require return trips to the hardware store for odds and ends. The underside of the HRX deck is a bit.... complicated. Everything in the self propulsion mechanism is held together by tension. Once you take the belt off, no tension, everything falls apart, mess. You'll likely need to watch a YouTube video or two to see how it all goes together. Nothing really difficult, just tedious. The Predator requires a throttle cable. I was lucky that the HRX217 had a manual throttle and engine brake. Once everything was hooked up the engine fired right up. The bit of frustration in the install was well worth it. The Predator 173 has been a very good engine. To the point that I can't really tell a performance difference between it and the Honda GCV190 on my other HRX217. Yes I now have two near identical HRX217 mowers...
 

Chris Parman

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Hi Clayslayer, here is my Honda Resto-Mod.

I found a economical solution for a replacement engine for a Honda HRR216 I bought for $40. This Honda HRR216 (GCV160 engine had a bent blade shaft (wasn’t worth repairing). I researched online and the cheapest price was $285 plus shipping. Then I found the Predator 173cc vertical engine and began to read reviews, youtube videos, etc, for weeks before I finally bought the Predator 173cc vertical engine. I had to tap two 3/8 inch mount holes in the engine to 3/8-24 thread. I used anti-size compound on the blade shaft to eliminate the two metals bonding. Added a fuel shut off valve (which I used from the Honda GCV160 engine). Followed proper brake-in procedures. I recommend 30W oil and Trufuel ethanol free fuel. I believe this engine will last atleast ten years of domestic use.

Predator 173cc vertical engine
TB Woods AK2578 Pully
Arnold Keyed Blade Adapter kit (748-0376C)
Arnold Universal Throttle Control (SL-305)
Mulching 21-inch blade
Stainless bolts and stainless washers

I like your idea of using a 7/8" to 1" sleeve, because I would of rather used the stock pulley and the stock blade holder so I could utilize the Honda stock two blade system. Clayslayer, which engine performs better, the Predator 173cc or the Honda GCV190?

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tadawson

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Myself, I'd fix the Honda, since it sounds likemit doesn't need much. No way would I go near anything from Horrible Fraud . . . those will be beer cans before the Honda is fully broken in!
 

Scrubcadet10

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if i remember right, a crank for the GCV160 is in the neighbor hood of $50.00 USD.
 

Chris Parman

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I would luv to revive my GCV160, but I'm having a hell of a time getting the flywheel off. I found a crank shaft for $26.00 and a thrust washer for .26 cents. I have tried a two prong puller and almost destroyed the top of the crank shaft threads. Damn flywheel won't come off. If anyone has any tips send them my way, thanks.
 

Scrubcadet10

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A 3 prong puller is A lot better,
youtube has a plethora of videos for the flywheel removal on that engine.
 

Scrubcadet10

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Also if you have an Impact wrench that could help to, with shocks from the impacting might help it break loose off the taper.
 

tom3

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Make sure you have the nut on the top of the crank if the threads go clear up. Have had some luck with heating the center of the flywheel while using a puller. And sometimes you can hold the motor up by the flywheel and whack the top of the crank with a hammer to break it loose. The impact seems to help.
 
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