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#1164131 - 06/02/08 12:24 PM honda hrx mower hydrostatic transmission fluid ?
1 FMF Offline


Registered: 08/12/02
Posts: 1522
Loc: CT
have a honda hrx217hxa mower, has the variable speed "hydrostatic" transmission, or differential.. whatever you want to call it.
I have looked all over on line, on partstree.com and other parts websites and there's no mention of the fluid. and the mower book doesn't even mention it, at least that I can remember and i thought I remember specifically looking for that piece of info before I started the mower the first time although that was 2-3 years ago.

does anybody know what fluid is used and where you can get it?

and if you have any other info/advice pertaining to maintenance of this particular part please post.

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#1164139 - 06/02/08 12:34 PM Re: honda hrx mower hydrostatic transmission fluid ? [Re: 1 FMF]
JTK Offline


Registered: 08/14/03
Posts: 7312
Loc: Buffalo, NY
Honda almost exlusively uses TuffTorq hydrostatic transaxles. TuffTorq almost always specs 10w30 engine oil for thier units. A 30wt synthetic or HDEO would be my personal choice.

Joel
_________________________
2014 Subaru XV Crosstek 2.0L, 5spd, 2013 Dodge Grand Caravan SE (Babe magnet III)

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#1164167 - 06/02/08 02:33 PM Re: honda hrx mower hydrostatic transmission fluid ? [Re: JTK]
1 FMF Offline


Registered: 08/12/02
Posts: 1522
Loc: CT
well holy poop,
thank you.

now i need to find what my transaxle id is.
but they say for walk behind mowers it's either
TL3C, KL3C, KL1C, and KL5C.
and all those use Alvania #0 grease.

http://www.tufftorqservices.com/cgi-bin/tts.storefront

http://www.tufftorq.com/newmain.asp

have an email to them, guess i will crack the drain plug on it, should be easy to tell if it's grease or 30wt oil.

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#1164507 - 06/03/08 05:08 AM Re: honda hrx mower hydrostatic transmission fluid ? [Re: 1 FMF]
JTK Offline


Registered: 08/14/03
Posts: 7312
Loc: Buffalo, NY
It can't be grease if it's a hydrostatic drive. It wouldn't 'go' if it had grease in it. I know the little gear drive transaxles on Honda push mowers do use grease and typically won't have a drain plug.

Joel
_________________________
2014 Subaru XV Crosstek 2.0L, 5spd, 2013 Dodge Grand Caravan SE (Babe magnet III)

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#1164591 - 06/03/08 09:17 AM Re: honda hrx mower hydrostatic transmission fluid [Re: JTK]
1 FMF Offline


Registered: 08/12/02
Posts: 1522
Loc: CT
just got an email back from tufftq,
the guy said in the email that it uses Alvania Grease RL2
he also sent me a pdf of the gearcase exploded parts, showing the grease at $13 for an unknown amount.
and that's one of the most expensive items, the most expensive is the transmission case kitat $37 then the axle shaft at $22. Everything else is $0.40 to $10-15.
I pity the fool who has to buy a replacement drive and spends $200+ or whatever I was hearing that shops were charging.

and from the parts view, it doesn't look like a hydrostatic drive. i know little about it but i thought hydrostatic transmission means there's a variable displacement pump. this shows what looks like a simple ring and pinion gear???
did honda exaggerate the drive system?

i wasn't able to get the model/serial off mine, I think it's on the top of the case which means i have to pull the whole unit out to see it.

KL2 HND 000001-999999; KL2 honda / 79215884000

on second thought, i may have gotten the parts view for the 3-speed transmission (tda model) and not the variable speed one (hxa model).


Edited by 1 FMF (06/03/08 09:29 AM)

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#1164694 - 06/03/08 11:36 AM Re: honda hrx mower hydrostatic transmission fluid [Re: 1 FMF]
JTK Offline


Registered: 08/14/03
Posts: 7312
Loc: Buffalo, NY
Right. If it's filled with grease, It can't be hydrostatic. Those need a liquid to operate. I have a ring/pinion single speed job on my Honda pushmower. I checked it once several years ago, but the grease looked like new in there. Had to pull the whole cover. I re-RTV'd it and slapped the cover back on.
_________________________
2014 Subaru XV Crosstek 2.0L, 5spd, 2013 Dodge Grand Caravan SE (Babe magnet III)

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#1232989 - 09/09/08 08:51 PM Re: honda hrx mower hydrostatic transmission fluid [Re: JTK]
1 FMF Offline


Registered: 08/12/02
Posts: 1522
Loc: CT
update: cutting the grass i always have the thing on full speed. The mower slowed to a crawl on me, problem was the speed control cable going to the hydrostatic trans starting fraying at the transmission end and stretched out. I was able to adjust the cable at the operator handle end to get me through the day.

Just pulled the trans out tonight, will post some pics of what things look like if i get a chance.
the bad news is it's not very easy to pull the trans, you have to flip the mower over and remove the blades and part of the plastic deck to get at it. Then you need a good set of snap ring pliers to get the snap rings off the axle shafts so you can slide the whole trans out from the deck.
You can probably change the cable without having to remove the snap rings on the axle shafts, but being that far in 4 snap rings is no big deal. But be warned they aren't easy to get off unless you have a good set of snap ring pliers.

The good news is once you get the trans out and on a bench, it's very easy to drain the oil out and refill. There's a fill cap on the top of the trans underneath the pulley the belt rides on. The cable cost me under $15 after tax at a local lawn service shop, they had it in stock which leads me to believe it's a common breakage. Planopower had it for $14 also but not including $10 for shipping.
Honda HRX217HXA lawnmower, bought in 2006, just out of my 24 month warranty, figures.

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#1233214 - 09/10/08 08:55 AM Re: honda hrx mower hydrostatic transmission fluid [Re: 1 FMF]
JTK Offline


Registered: 08/14/03
Posts: 7312
Loc: Buffalo, NY
Yep, that's the nice thing about Honda OPE, parts availability is great. I've mail-ordered from Planopower. That's a great source. The cables are garbage on ALL mowers now, no matter what the price range of the unit is. I caught a tree limb and tore the cable right off the drive on my 1999 model year Honda mower. It's a push-mower now :(.

Joel
_________________________
2014 Subaru XV Crosstek 2.0L, 5spd, 2013 Dodge Grand Caravan SE (Babe magnet III)

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#1234220 - 09/11/08 05:08 PM Re: honda hrx mower hydrostatic transmission fluid [Re: JTK]
4esorselrahc Offline


Registered: 11/30/06
Posts: 570
Loc: MS
I have an 08 HRX217HXA. So far no issues. It does actually have a three year warranty though.

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#1239739 - 09/20/08 02:06 PM Re: honda hrx mower hydrostatic transmission fluid [Re: 4esorselrahc]
4esorselrahc Offline


Registered: 11/30/06
Posts: 570
Loc: MS
Also, reading about your issue with the cable made me a little nervous, so I had a look at mine. So far it looks perfect with no fraying at all. Seems pretty robust actually (thick). I'll be sure to check it frequently though. So far absolutely no issues with mine. I hope it stays that way.

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#1256453 - 10/13/08 12:45 PM Re: honda hrx mower hydrostatic transmission fluid [Re: 4esorselrahc]
tangojetta Offline


Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 204
Loc: MN
Mine just blew out after 11years of service.
_________________________

06 Ford Freestyle awd ltd

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#3414197 - 07/04/14 07:18 AM Re: honda hrx mower hydrostatic transmission fluid ? [Re: 1 FMF]
cbcguy Offline


Registered: 07/03/14
Posts: 1
Loc: LA, USA
Came across your post related to the Honda HRX 217 HXA transmission. I have taken mine apart to repair leaks from the oil seals. When dis assembling some of the parts fell out and I do not know how they go back. Does the washers and spacers go behind the roller bearings? Where does that small odd shaped washer go?

Your knowledge in helping to repair my Trans is appreciated.

Cbcman

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#3420921 - 07/10/14 03:47 PM Re: honda hrx mower hydrostatic transmission fluid ? [Re: 1 FMF]
1 FMF Offline


Registered: 08/12/02
Posts: 1522
Loc: CT
i sent you a PM. if you post pics i can probably tell you what goes where.

as a follow up, i posted elsewhere in this forum with pics of the honda hydrostatic transmission disassembled. I have used regular atf successfully for 2 years, along with amsoil 5w30 hydrostatic fluid briefly. I am currently using honda hydrostatic fluid which i bought for $7/qt from the same parts store i got the cable from.
I've found that filling this hydro trans and getting the air out is the most important thing. I've tried 15w40 motor oil but had problems, i believe mostly due to air still in there. whether or not sae motor oil will work i honestly don't know as i have not used it.
last year i switched back to honda hydro fluid and then had some loss in power because i did not get all the air out, this season i refilled and got it working 100%. I found the trick is filling it and putting on the cover, then spinning it with a hand drill while holding it upside down, and with short axle side up long axle down i believe (or it's the other way) so that the open end of the pistons will be facing upward and air will rise up out. stop, let sit, top off with oil, repeat. simply spinning it sitting on a bench in one orientation i found may not be good enough, not with honda fluid that's room temp and fairly thick. this trans is a small unit with no air space, it has to be completely full of oil. now that i know i got mine 100% again and it has honda hydro oil, maybe i'll measure temperature of it next time for a baseline.

and regarding make/model of this unit, i don't believe it's made by tuff torque. i never found reliable information anywhere saying who makes it. if you need a new one, i found boats.net to have a complete unit the cheapest.


Edited by 1 FMF (07/10/14 03:50 PM)

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#3421567 - 07/11/14 09:00 AM Re: honda hrx mower hydrostatic transmission fluid ? [Re: 1 FMF]
JTK Offline


Registered: 08/14/03
Posts: 7312
Loc: Buffalo, NY
Yeah, as the years have gone by, I'm not sure they're TuffTorq either. One thing I've learned with these Honda mower hydrostatics since this thread began, is it's almost always the axle bushings that ultimately trash the hydrostatic drives on the Hondas.

The axle bushings corrode over time, causing the axle to bind and put too much of a load on the hydro, eventually burning it up.

The gear drive Honda 21's suffer the same issue. I went through it with mine. You can remove, clean up and lube the bushings to buy you some time, but the only real fix is to replace them every few years.
_________________________
2014 Subaru XV Crosstek 2.0L, 5spd, 2013 Dodge Grand Caravan SE (Babe magnet III)

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