Honda HR214 Clutch/Brake Problem


Old 05-05-09, 07:23 PM
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Honda HR214 Clutch/Brake Problem

Have had this mower since 1987 and has operated good but took it to a Honda dealer last Fall for tune-up. Had difficulty with the clutch/brake. They installed a new cable and it operates the Ball Control Plate about 5/8" travel OK. The engine is hard to start unless the orange-buttoned engagement lever at top of handle bar is pushed forward to the "engaged" position, then the engine cranks easier, but yet the blade turns. I started it and found this handle when in the rearward "disengaged" position tends to put more load on the engine. I can hear a difference between the two positions. I cut several swaths of heavy 1' tall grass and the blade remained engaged in either position and never seemed to free up in the "disengaged" position. I see several forums and sounds like this is a common nonconformance with this mower, but I have seen no recommended fixes. The clutch/brake mechanism seems simple, but this problem has me perplexed. I called the dealer and he didn't seem to have an answer either. Hope someone here can help me with how to self-fix this problem child! It's still a good mower other than this.
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Old 05-05-09, 08:27 PM
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The clutch uses a plate with beveled notches that increase/decrease the pressure by moving the balls up or down against the pressure plate. These "notches" get rusty and the balls sometimes get rusty and/or flat spots on them from sliding instead of rolling. These parts may need to be removed and cleaned or replaced if too badly worn. That's usually the cause of the problem you described in my experience.
Old 05-05-09, 09:48 PM
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It's possible that when the lower plate (blade holder) was reinstalled, an incorrect fixing washer was used on the retaining bolt. If the washer is too big, it will bind on the outside of the bearing race on the blade holder, causing it to turn with the engine all the time. When the blade is engaged the brake is disengaged and this allows the engine to turn freely, when the handle is released the brake is engaged but the lower plate will still turn with the crankshaft. I have run across this before.

A worn driven disc can also cause a similar condition, when the friction material wears down then the drive disc does not get pushed away from the brake and they cause a bind.

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