Honda Harmony dead -- Thrown Rod?

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  #1  
Old 03-15-15, 09:23 AM
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Honda Harmony dead -- Thrown Rod?

So my brolaw gave me this older Honda Harmony riding mower. It hasn't run in years. The oil was black sludge. I drained it and put new oil in, cleaned the carb and it was running great for about two days. Then I changed the oil (I figured I should since it had sat so long.. let new oil run through for a while then change it) So I drained the new oil which came out black. Put in new oil. After that the engine would run and then die. I needed to replace the gas cap. So I did that.. then the engine ran for about 3 minutes, then there was this horrendous CLUNK. Now the fly wheel will turn about 1/2 and stop on something... then backwards I can go about 1/2 turn and stop on something.
So did I throw a rod? Did I mess it up by changing oil again? I did switch from sae30 to 10w30 (both are recommended in the manual).
Can I fix this?
 
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  #2  
Old 03-15-15, 09:52 AM
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Could be a rod. Take out the spark plug and move the blade back/forth and see if it's locked up. If it is there is likely something inside the engine that has come apart.

The oil changing you did probably didn't have anything to do with it. Long term useage with the wrong grade of oil would have more of an effect, but just a few minutes wouldn't do anything.

If it is the rod you would need another rod and the crank would have to be cleaned up, then new gaskets and whatever else you found in the engine. If you're good with a used mower, may be better to go that route.
 
  #3  
Old 03-15-15, 09:54 AM
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So I take out the plug, I can move the piston up by moving the flywheel, but it takes some force, but it doesn't want to go back down on it's own. I can use a screw driver to push it back down. But I can only get about 1/2 turn on the wheel.
 
  #4  
Old 03-15-15, 10:05 AM
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That would be a rod. It would be hard to tell the expense of fixing what you have without having it apart. Probably it would go beyond the value of the mower.

I would look for another used mower.
 
  #5  
Old 03-15-15, 10:32 AM
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What would cause it to break? It ran just fine two days ago. It has oil. Even now it shows oil.
 
  #6  
Old 03-15-15, 11:58 AM
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It could be that the internal lubrication system remained clogged, and oil never got to the rod bearing(s) under your ownership . Even though you removed most of the old sludgey oil, it could have solidified within the internal oil passageways, and you could never know without taking it apart.

I'm not a mechanic; but I have Friends who would take an old engine like that and fill the crankcase to the brim with kerosene and let it soak for a few days, rotating the crank a few times manually before draining it and putting that first batch of fresh oil in and attempting to start it.

But only you and your Brother-in-Law can evaluate how much neglect the engine (and probably the rest of the unit) suffered before he stopped using it, or how long it then sat idle before he saddled you with the project.

Are there used engines available in your area ?
 

Last edited by Vermont; 03-15-15 at 01:44 PM.
  #7  
Old 03-15-15, 01:36 PM
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Just guessing, based on timing of things, I would say the rod was on its way out when you got the mower and the rod could well have been knocking a little but you didn't notice it since the mower was new to you. It was just matter of a few hours use to send it off.
 
  #8  
Old 03-15-15, 02:37 PM
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So I got the head off. The cylinder looks ok from the top. So here is my question. with the fly wheel I can rock the cylinder down and then up a bit, but I can also push the cyclinder down with my finger when it is up. Is there anyway to get the piston out without tearing open the rest of the engine.
 
  #9  
Old 03-15-15, 04:15 PM
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When you describe "rocking the cylinder and pushing it down with your finger," are you talking about the piston?

To take all that out you have to take off the oil sump. That will open up the lower end and show you the crankshaft and the rod. Take off the nuts on the rod and it will push up through the top of the cylinder where you took off the head.

When you have the engine off the mower you can see the bolts on the underside of the engine. If you plan on fixing it yourself, take pictures of everything before you take it apart.
 
  #10  
Old 03-15-15, 04:32 PM
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So am I at the .. its not worth it point? I have $60 into this so far.
Yeah piston. BTW with the head off I see some minor oil leaking from the piston edge. So it did have oil.
 
  #11  
Old 03-15-15, 06:00 PM
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You really don't know until you get it apart, but keep in mind the crank will likely have to be removed to dress it up. If it was in good shape what would it be worth in that area? And how much do you have to mow?
 
  #12  
Old 03-15-15, 11:40 PM
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Well.. they sell for $300-$400 in great condition. This one is in good condition. Also.. I am already beyond my technical know how. Getting the head off was quite a feat for me. So getting an engine apart may be beyond my abilities and even if I do get it apart I am not sure I will know what is really needing service (outside of obvious issues).

Mowing a little over an acre.
 
  #13  
Old 03-16-15, 05:02 AM
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From a distance, I would say replace the engine with a used one or have a shop do the work. With a shop and the crank is serviceable the expense shouldn't be too great or they may have a replacement engine. Plus that would give you some backup in the way of a loaner should that mower go down again. With an acre to mow that bit of security may be significant.

There's some variables in what could go wrong with a DIY job and leave you with a mower that doesn't work, having invested enough in it to replace or get it repaired. When you're on strange turf things have a habit of going wrong.
 
  #14  
Old 03-19-15, 11:21 PM
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Alright. So I broke apart my first engine. The rod has broken just like you thought. The piston has some damage on the lower edge and the rings are pretty loose (are they suppose to be?). Lots of oil in the engine so oil wasn't the cause. There doesn't seem to be any major damage to the block. There is some scoring around the edge of the piston housing, but not in the shaft itself. Lots of metal shavings in the engine.
I don't know enough to know if it is salvageable. There is kit on ebay that includes piston, rod and rings for $50. Another that includes the crank as well for $70. It is a honda gx340.

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  #15  
Old 03-20-15, 04:41 AM
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First you have to find out if the parts kit you saw are good quality/OEM Honda parts or cheap Chinese clones. Quite often you get what you pay for. GX340 are not cheap engines. If doing the repair I would not go cheap on the parts as the labor is a big part of the rebuild expense and if done right you'd have a really good engine.

If you want to learn check with your local high school or technical college and see if they offer small engine repair classes. You could fix your engine as part of the class, learn something, and have access to any tools and expertise you might need.
 
  #16  
Old 03-20-15, 05:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Zarich
". . . with the head off I see some minor oil leaking from the piston edge. So it did have oil . . ."
True; the cylinder walls may have had plenty of oil while no oil (or inadequate oil) was getting to the Rod Bearing(s) which could overheat and cause the Rod to succumb.

Where did the Piston Rod break ?
 
  #17  
Old 03-20-15, 08:22 AM
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It broke where the rod connects to the shaft.
 
  #18  
Old 03-20-15, 06:27 PM
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Well I was wrong. Block is cracked where the rod hit it. so.. am I done? Or is there a way to fix the block.
 
  #19  
Old 03-21-15, 11:09 AM
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It's common for a broken rod to crack or poke a hole in the case. The case can be welded but you are approaching the point where you need to consider how much you want to put into the engine. It will need a good going over to see what else might have been damaged by the sludgy oil.
 
  #20  
Old 03-21-15, 11:59 AM
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So... $60 into this so far. The actual rod is $60 piston more. So... it looks like to fix this I would be a couple of hundred into it. I would love to fix it, but finances are not kind right now. I am gonna put this up and try later.
 
  #21  
Old 03-21-15, 01:56 PM
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Check with your local high and technical schools if they have a small engine class. Even if you don't take the class they might take your engine as a project. You might only have to pay for parts.
 
  #22  
Old 03-24-15, 09:47 AM
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Okay.. so another odd problem. When I try to locate the part I need I pull the number out of the manual and look it up online. In the manual the rod has no nose. But in the world of parts they all sell this part with a nose.
I am confused.
This is the part # with a nose:
Honda 13200-ZE3-020 Connecting Rod Assembly (Standard)
 
  #23  
Old 03-24-15, 01:23 PM
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Looks like an oil splasher. That rod could be used with either splash lubrication or pressure fed (with oil pump/filter - if that lube system is available on that engine) since you can cover both applications with one rod that would be the one most parts supply would stock. The one without the splasher is likely available for pressure fed only, but from a more limited number of sources.
 
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