Why an HR215K1 Masters Series ???

golfergordy

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Jun 28, 2014
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I have noticed that people on lawnmower forums seem to covet the HR215 Masters series mower over the previous HR215 model. I believe the Masters was the last of the non-commercial HR series, so you would expect that it had all the latest improvements. I'm usually skeptical about assumptions like that and have wondered if Honda just cheapened out on the manufacturing to produce a lower cost version of the HR series mower, which is something I would also try to do (w/o sacrificing quality) if I were in charge at Honda.

I have an HR214 which I've had for 33-years, but it now smokes at start-up, so I bought myself a used HR215 on CL to use while I replace the rings on my HR214. I have also obtained 2-HR215 series mowers to give to 2 of my sons, and one is a Masters series, and the other is an HRC215 (the commercial version). I believe both of these were manufactured in the late 1990's. The Masters mower had 2-oil leaks when I bought it - one at the upper crankshaft seal, and one at the lower oil fill tube "O"-ring. I fixed both of those leaks, but oil still appears to be leaking slightly which I haven't diagnosed yet (if you read on, I now have a good idea where to look for this leak). The HRC215 had a slight oil leak which I found was at the cylinder head cover. When I removed the cover, the gasket was in 2-pieces, with some of the gasket needing to be scraped off. I have an HR214 parts donor mower, so I looked at this mower's head cover and gasket. The cover as well as the gasket seemed heavier than its counterpart from the HRC mower, but looked like it would fit. I mic'd the gasket thicknesses and found that the Masters series gasket was .020", whereas the HR214's thickness was .070", more than 3-times thicker. I installed the HR214's cover & gasket on the HRC215 which stopped the leak.

I checked the gasket part numbers for the HR215 Masters, HRC215, HR215, and HR214 mowers and found that the Masters and HRC models have the same part number (the thinner gasket), whereas the HR214 & 215 have the thicker gasket. I recommend that anyone with the masters or HRC mowers who are replacing the head cover gasket, to replace it with the thicker version gasket from the HR214/215. I hope that I don't discover any other design changes in the Masters and HRC mowers which will result in a shortened parts service life for the sake of reduced manufacturing costs. Honda made mowers in the 80's and 90's with great durability and us users who have one want it to run forever.
 

tranchinh

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Aug 12, 2018
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HR215 K1 they start making hydrostatic trans. with model HXA,It moving more smooth less jacking as gear trans.You are right they start cut cost on part,I like the metal cover better and air filter is much better on older models .I think it make the engine last longer with cleaner air
 

mahaffeymj

Member
Joined
Sep 11, 2013
Threads
10
Messages
32
I have noticed that people on lawnmower forums seem to covet the HR215 Masters series mower over the previous HR215 model. I believe the Masters was the last of the non-commercial HR series, so you would expect that it had all the latest improvements. I'm usually skeptical about assumptions like that and have wondered if Honda just cheapened out on the manufacturing to produce a lower cost version of the HR series mower, which is something I would also try to do (w/o sacrificing quality) if I were in charge at Honda.

I have an HR214 which I've had for 33-years, but it now smokes at start-up, so I bought myself a used HR215 on CL to use while I replace the rings on my HR214. I have also obtained 2-HR215 series mowers to give to 2 of my sons, and one is a Masters series, and the other is an HRC215 (the commercial version). I believe both of these were manufactured in the late 1990's. The Masters mower had 2-oil leaks when I bought it - one at the upper crankshaft seal, and one at the lower oil fill tube "O"-ring. I fixed both of those leaks, but oil still appears to be leaking slightly which I haven't diagnosed yet (if you read on, I now have a good idea where to look for this leak). The HRC215 had a slight oil leak which I found was at the cylinder head cover. When I removed the cover, the gasket was in 2-pieces, with some of the gasket needing to be scraped off. I have an HR214 parts donor mower, so I looked at this mower's head cover and gasket. The cover as well as the gasket seemed heavier than its counterpart from the HRC mower, but looked like it would fit. I mic'd the gasket thicknesses and found that the Masters series gasket was .020", whereas the HR214's thickness was .070", more than 3-times thicker. I installed the HR214's cover & gasket on the HRC215 which stopped the leak.

I checked the gasket part numbers for the HR215 Masters, HRC215, HR215, and HR214 mowers and found that the Masters and HRC models have the same part number (the thinner gasket), whereas the HR214 & 215 have the thicker gasket. I recommend that anyone with the masters or HRC mowers who are replacing the head cover gasket, to replace it with the thicker version gasket from the HR214/215. I hope that I don't discover any other design changes in the Masters and HRC mowers which will result in a shortened parts service life for the sake of reduced manufacturing costs. Honda made mowers in the 80's and 90's with great durability and us users who have one want it to run forever.
great info and I may have same problem. are you talking about the cylinder head gasket or the valve cover? and would you mind sharing the part # that you are referring to? thanks
 
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