Buying Advice Review of my Honda HRX217HYA

TLAR640

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I just received my HRX217HYA today. My initial inspection sparked a question. Being here at work I have not started it yet, but after pushing the yellow button and moving the blade lever to the handlebar, when I release the bar, the yellow button does not pop back up on its own. Is this normal? Maybe only an issue when the engine is not running? Thanks! TLAR640
 

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I just received my HRX217HYA today. My initial inspection sparked a question. Being here at work I have not started it yet, but after pushing the yellow button and moving the blade lever to the handlebar, when I release the bar, the yellow button does not pop back up on its own. Is this normal? Maybe only an issue when the engine is not running? Thanks! TLAR640

The yellow button (technically called the "ratchet push rod") on top of the blade control lever is spring-loaded, and should extend when the lever is fully released.

When the blade control lever is fully released, can you press down on the yellow button and does it pop back up when you let go? If so, the spring is probably okay. If not, the button could be binding in its slot or the spring that extends the button has come loose or is not installed correctly.

The yellow button will stay locked down when the blade control lever is held against the handlebar. When you release the lever, the button should pop out / extend.

The yellow button should operate as described with the engine ON or OFF, does not matter.

Check the highlighted parts:
handlebarhrx_zps3f0347af.jpg
 

TLAR640

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Thanks for the diagram. The spring is attached, but the button must be binding. I have to press kinda hard to get it to go down, and then help it return by pushing from underneath when the lever is extended. I will investigate further when I get it home.
 

J-D-H

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Having left a message in this thread a few weeks ago about the plastic housing of the HRX217HYA collecting dust/dirt, I now find I have a far worse problem -- BAD surging. The mower starts okay, but whether cold or totally warmed up, it surges or hunts terribly. And even once warm, it will quit if you try to to pull it back to idle. The only cure is to engage the blade -- the instant the blade brake clutch bale is pushed forward, the engine runs perfectly. You can then mow for 30 min.s, etc., but the instant the blade is stopped, the bad surging starts again. Neither calling Honda in Georgia nor calling the local dealer were of much help -- no one could say if this is likely to be a minor setting adjustment or something more major. Meanwhile, web searches have turned up many, many complaints about surging, and especially about the automatic-choke which many don't like. So I now wonder whether I have made a huge mistake by buying this mower. Time to borrow someone's truck and take this brand new (less than 45 min run-time) machine back for service.....

John
 

TLAR640

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To follow up on my yellow button issue, after a better look last night I think the handle sustained an impact during shipping and has a ding right at the lock lever pivot. After some bending and a little lube, the ratchet push rod works properly most of the time. Both the blade and drive levers were quite stiff, but have loosened up after 1.7 hours of use this morning. :thumbsup:

So far, I really like this mower. I ran out of fuel after 65 minutes as opposed to 95 with my GCV160 powered mower, but I never have to slow down for a thick or tall grass..

Also, can I turn reasonable corners (90 degree, moderate speed) without releasing the drive lever or is that hard on the trans.?
 

NickD

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I just purchased a HRX217VKA from Home Depot with free shipping to my door. Wanted a self propelled mower, 75 years old with a hilly yard. Ha, hate to admit it, but getting old.

Kicked around a Craftsman for $360 with a 190 engine, but old mower is a Honda and has been 100% reliable, and my son has a similar 8 year old Honda with the dual blades, and says its great for picking up debris.

Reason why I am here, just downloaded the operating manual and was disappointed Honda did not include the parts breakdown or other repair information that always use to be included with an appliance of this type with the purchase. My four year old Troy Built snowthrower came this way and sure needed it for major repairs.

But I see Honda wants 35 bucks for this shop manual, sounds kind of steep, these things are not that complicated, but the manual is helpful for proper adjustment. Am an old retired automotive engineer, been repairing my stuff for the last 60 years.

As a tip from an old timer, only use top tier 91 Octane ethanol free gas in my small engines and leave the tank full over the long winter months so moisture cannot accumulate and never had problems. Feel it crazy with these new things not to have a drain on the tank like they use to and tell you to run the engine dry. Also an old pilot, we always left our planes with full tanks, an FAA regulation so moisture would not build up.

And always use Mobile One oil, especially in an air cooled engine, has a much greater temperature breakdown point. Have to use 91 octane, because in central Wisconsin, the only way I can buy ethanol free gas. Cost about 25 cents extra a gallon, but sure worth the grief that ethanol causes.
 

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Also, can I turn reasonable corners (90 degree, moderate speed) without releasing the drive lever or is that hard on the trans.?

Not at all...you should see what the engineers do to these mowers during testing. :eek: The hydrostatic transmission is bulletproof, and should last for the life of the mower.
 

yukon202

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3 years on any major complaint? I have a 3 year old HRC 216 for commercial mowing and need a back up mower and looking at this model and a new HRC216. Tks
 
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3 years on any major complaint? I have a 3 year old HRC 216 for commercial mowing and need a back up mower and looking at this model and a new HRC216. Tks

Still no major complaints. I still use the 3 year old one on many lawns, as well as the newer one. The newer one I think needs the throttle cable adjusted, because you have to put it past the fast speed to get it to drive idle at the right speed, but other than that they have been flawless. Never "broken down" on me; the only thing it had to be taken in to be fixed was when I broke the handle. My fault.
 

TLAR640

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My HRX now has 86 hours (yes, I keep track) and has not skipped a beat. It continues to be a pleasure to use. :thumbsup:
 
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