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Honda Harmony 215 Transmission Problems

Eddie spent 35 years in the automotive business with Honda. He is an ASE Certified Master Technician and has bruised knuckles to prove it.

Let’s face it: the Honda Harmony 215 is a great lawn mower. It’s self-propelled, it has more power than your standard mower, and it mulches great with a killer mulching blade. But, it seems like everyone is looking for information on how to fix its transmission. I watched videos, read all kinds of forums, and checked out Yahoo Answers, but nothing seemed to answer my question, “How do I fix my Honda Harmony transmission?”

When I couldn't find a good answer to this question, I decided to take matters into my own hands and fix my transmission problem myself. Now I am passing on this valuable information, along with two other transmission issues other do-it-yourself mechanics have identified, and a bonus carburetor cleaning process. Please leave a comment if you have any questions; maybe I can help.

Transmission Problem #1: Drift Key on Axle Shaft

I was reluctant to remove the transmission because it is buried inside the lawnmower. But because I really wanted my self-propulsion back, I sucked it up and dug in. It really wasn’t too bad once I got the lower cover off under the mower deck; that gave me a really good view of the transmission. But in fact there is no need to go this far, if you have the problem I did. In my case, the problem was the drift key on the drive gear.

Replacing the transmission would have been one way to fix my problem, because along with the transmission I would have replaced the part that was giving me the problem. The new transmission comes with a new axle shaft, and the axle shaft is where the problem exists.

The Drift Key Was the Problem

This drift key is what causes the ratcheting noise when you pull the lawn mower backwards. The key is spring-loaded, and the spring is part of the shaft. This spring needs to move freely in and out of the axle shaft. If the key is sticking in the shaft, the rear wheels will not engage completely, and will cause a jerking or a stutter when trying to engage the transmission.

Honda Harmony 215 Drive System

Drive Gear

Drive Gear

Notice where the drift key would seat

Notice where the drift key would seat

Gear, drift key, snap ring and washer set

Gear, drift key, snap ring and washer set

Rear wheel with metal gear

Rear wheel with metal gear

Axle shaft with drift key slot. The spring is located inside the axle shaft.

Axle shaft with drift key slot. The spring is located inside the axle shaft.

Remove the Rear Wheels

If you’re anything like me, you probably have had the rear wheels off your Honda Harmony 215 many times, and you probably have had the small drive gear off as well. There is a small drift key between the drive gear and the shaft. The drive gear is directional, which means it needs to go on the shaft a certain way. If you reinstall it in the wrong direction, it won’t drive the wheel.

Care of the Axle Shaft

Clean any debris and dirt off the shaft and make sure there are no burrs on the axle shaft. If there are, lightly file them down. Grease the shaft and the key so all parts move freely.

Proper Installation of the Drive Gear is a Must

Reinstall the drive gear in the proper direction and reinstall the snap ring. When you turn the drive gear clockwise, it should move freely, and you should hear the ratcheting noise. When you turn it counterclockwise, the drive gear should grab the drift key and rotate the axle shaft. Reinstall the wheels and give her a test run. See my video below.

Adjusting the Transmission Shift Cable

One other adjustment I needed to make was the transmission shift cable (this is different from the cable to engage the wheels). The linkage on the transmission seemed to have gotten a little sloppy after 14 years of use, and the cable was not engaging the transmission completely. Just play around with the adjustment on the shift cable so that it will engage the transmission completely.

Drive Gear Needs to Be Installed Properly

A Peek Inside the Honda Harmony Transmission


This is just a quick note for the curious folks. When I went further and opened the transmission on my Honda Harmony 215—here's an article with pictures, and here's a video—I was very surprised at what I saw. I was expecting to find plastic gears all chewed up and worn out. But all the gears are hardened steel; this transmission is bulletproof, although the linkage can get pretty sloppy. Someone would have to thoroughly abuse the mower to kill this transmission. I make my lawnmower work hard, but after 14 years of use, the transmission looked like new inside, except for the old grease. I own a lot of Honda machines, and taking this lawnmower apart proved to me once again that Honda makes a great product.

The Transmission Problem Paul Found on His Honda Harmony Mower

Who is Paul?

Paul and I have been going back and forth with the issues with his Honda Harmony 215 SD mower, as you can read in the comments below. Paul's Honda mower is not the exact same model as mine, but he found a different problem and made some awesome funny videos to help anyone who may have the same problem; they are above and below this paragraph.

Thanks, Paul, for all the feedback and the videos, it was a pleasure helping you get through this tough repair.

If anyone else has a problem with their Honda Harmony mower and they know how to fix it, make a video and I will post it right here just like I did with Paul's videos. The videos have to be about the Honda Harmony mower and no other brand. I'll see you in the comment box at the end of this article.

Paul's Honda Harmony Fix Video #2

Donald's Honda Harmony

1994 Honda Harmony Mower Model # HRM215K1SDA

1994 Honda Harmony Mower Model # HRM215K1SDA

1994 Honda Harmony Mower Transmission Issue, Model # HRM215K1SDA, by Donald

Donald is a wild and crazy guy who loves to tear apart anything that will challenge his abilities. He came to me for advice about his Honda Harmony transmission and ended up teaching me a thing or two. He said his Honda Harmony transmission would walk along the axle shaft until it hit the grass chute. It took me a while to understand what he was talking about, and eventually he sent me a video explaining it with great detail, using a hammer and a transmission! See the video below and you will understand what I mean.

He ended up tearing apart the transmission, only to find our transmissions were not alike internally or externally. He did find a broken c-clip inside the transmission that was causing his problem. The c-clip was what held the bearing race in place on the shaft; because the c-clip was being broken, the transmission would walk down the shaft, and eventually hit the grass chute and stop. Below I added some pictures from Donald's transmission; he kindly shared them for the world to see. Keep in mind that this mower sat outside for most, if not all, of its life; it's a crying shame for such a beautiful mower!

Donald's Honda Harmony Transmission Issue

Inside the Honda Harmony Transmission #HRM2151KSDA

Levers, clips and seals

Levers, clips and seals

Internal parts

Internal parts

Gears and shaft

Gears and shaft

Broken c-clip or snap ring

Broken c-clip or snap ring

Grease in transmission mixed with water, from the mower sitting outside its whole life

Grease in transmission mixed with water, from the mower sitting outside its whole life


Cleaning a Honda Harmony Carburetor

Donald shared a great tip for all you DIY guys and gals: instead of cleaning the carb with toxic chemicals like carb cleaner, Donald likes to boil the carburetor in lemon juice, yes I said lemon juice, and it smells much better then carb cleaner. Take a look at the pictures below: the carburetor looks brand new, even the float looks super clean!

The last time I talked to Donald, he said he was making a video about this 1994 Honda Harmony HRM215K1SDA, so check back often to see if he or other readers have added even more information to this Honda Harmony page. The more we learn, the longer we can keep these bad-ass machines alive!

Using Lemon Juice to Clean a Carburetor

Rusted carburetor

Rusted carburetor

Carburetor after boiling in lemon juice

Carburetor after boiling in lemon juice

How to Remove a Stud from a Lawn Mower Carburetor

Lawn Mower Carburetor Cleaning Tips

Honda... What Will They Think of Next?

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.


Eddie Carrara (author) from New Hampshire on May 16, 2020:

Hi Mike,

I have never found parts only new transmissions by part number. There must be a snap ring or c-clip inside the transmission that came off. I recommend you crack open the transmission and see if you can find out what happened. At this point, you have nothing to lose. Let me know what you find, thanks.

Mike on May 12, 2020:


I have a transmission problem on a HRM215 HXM model. I first found the transmission pulley well broke off the shaft. I thought that would be a simple replacement. When I went to pull the pull off the shaft, the shaft came right out of the transmission. There is nothing holding it in. I can slide it in and out. No gap, so I can't figure out what may be missing I heard you say that there are no replacement parts so do I have to go and buy a new transmission kit? I was going to get a new pulley and see if it still works. Its never popped out before or even leaked.

Eddie Carrara (author) from New Hampshire on May 05, 2020:

Hi Steve,

I recommend you remove the carburetor and clean the jet, check the float, and check for any moisture in the bowl, but the jet is the most likely cause. Let me know if you need help getting to the jet. I will be taking my carburetor apart this week and will make a video of the process.

steve montgomery on May 04, 2020:

My Harmony starts but quickly bogs down and dies...any insight?

Eddie Carrara (author) from New Hampshire on April 06, 2020:

Hi Ron,

Does the transmission have plastic or metal shift levers? Did the transmission come with new levers or did you have to transfer the old levers to the new transmission?

Eddie Carrara (author) from New Hampshire on April 06, 2020:

Hi Steve,

I would use a light wheel bearing grease, nothing to fancy, there is not a lot of heat generated in there and a light wheel bearing grease will keep things lubricated.

Steve A on April 06, 2020:


I reopened the gearbox casing, cleaned out the grease and was able to get the shift lever to click through the gears. BUT, while removing the grease, one end of small metal, hollow tube(under half inch long and about the width of the ink tube inside a bic pen) was found. This tube runs through the center of a metal disk located near the casing wall. The other half of the tube remains intact.

Additionally, I found a single ball bearing in the grease and have no idea where it came from.

So my plan is to reassemble without the half the tube and without the ball bearing. I tried to find a diagram of the transmission parts, but drew a blank.

Finally, I never realized how complicated selecting a packing grease is. Any suggestions?

Thanks again for all your guidance.

Ron Miller on April 05, 2020:


I'm hoping you can help me with my Honda HRM2153SXA. I had to buy a new transmission axel assembly. I figured out to remove and replace the assembly. I installed the new trans, pully and belt supplied with the kit. I get the mover back together and gave it a try. I mower moved and shifted in all 3 gears, Great. I then started to cut my grass. The mower moved for about 30 feet then stopped driving. I looked things over to see if anything came loose. Nothing seemed out of place. I adjusted the main drive cable both ways. Still nothing, no forward movement. I can lift the back wheels-mower off the ground, engage the drive and the rear tires will move. Set the mower back on the ground, nothing will drive or moved forward. I can push the mower with the engine off forward and I do hear the clicking ratcheting noise. What do you think is bad or possibly need adjusting or replacing. Did I overlook the basics?

Thanks for looking,


Brownstown, Mi

Eddie Carrara (author) from New Hampshire on April 02, 2020:

Hi Steve,

If you didn't remove anything when the case was open, maybe the shift lever is not aligned properly? I recommend you open it back up and inspect all moving parts, be sure all parts are working as designed before closing it back up.

Steve A on April 01, 2020:


I opened the case and shifted the insides around until the axel turned by hand, then reassembled. When I try to get the shift lever to click (twice since I have 3 gears), it doesn't move so I must not have internal gears aligned properly. I did not take the insides out throughout the process so I have not idea what's out of place. I did take a picture of the inside just after opening the case initially, but the black grease obliterates some detail.

Eddie Carrara (author) from New Hampshire on April 01, 2020:

Hi Steve,

Yes, the transmission axle should turn by hand, make sure the shift fork is not between gears before you split the case again. Let me know if this helps :)

Eddie Carrara (author) from New Hampshire on April 01, 2020:

Hi Sarvjot,

I found that you can't buy parts for these transmissions but if you're looking for a bearing there is a company in my town called Eastern Bearing that may be able to help you https://www.easternbearings.com/

Let me know if this helps, thanks.

Steve A on March 31, 2020:

One more question. I put the transmission case back together and am working on the shims. Should I be able to turn the axle by hand? I didn't try doing this before taking the casing apart and don't want to put it back in mower without knowing. right now, it doesn't budge.

Sarvjot Locham on March 31, 2020:

Hi Eddie,

I have Honda HRB215FK and same transmission you showed in your video but in my transmission, the pully with shaft came off from the gear i opened the transmission and saw there was a lock broke off which was holding the gear on shaft and also noticed there are bearings right inside the hole where the pully shaft moves I have no idea from where I can get those bearings by chance you can guide me on this issue please. Thanks for the great information on this lawn mower I really appreciate that .


Eddie Carrara (author) from New Hampshire on March 31, 2020:

No problem Steve, I don't think they were meant to be serviceable but as you said, you may find an unseen problem. Keep me posted on how you make out, thanks :)

Steve A on March 31, 2020:

Sorry about repeating my grease question...you already covered it. Thanks for your help.


Steve A on March 30, 2020:

Thanks Eddie. Your info is very helpful, and the video a life saver.

I was considering soldering the shim to the lever rectangle, but am thinking the screw will keep it in place.

As for cleaning & regreasing the internals, any thoughts on that? I guess it couldn't hurt and may uncover an issue I can't see through the grease.


Eddie Carrara (author) from New Hampshire on March 30, 2020:

Hi Steve,

Thanks for the feedback.

No benefit to replacing the grease but it won't hurt.

You can use Honda bond, Yama bond, or any quality liquid gasket sealer to seal the case.

On the levers I just used a cotter pin and created a shim to take up the slack, there was no movement between the levers and the shaft once the shims were installed.

That would be about it, I did play with the cable adjustments a lot to get the best performance, the mower wasn't perfect but it was usable and self-propelled :) Let me know if this helps.

Steve A on March 29, 2020:

My Harmony Harmony HRM 215's self propell was working intermittently.

Using your great video on fixing HRM Tranny, I have fully dissembled the trans. I have 3 gears, but otherwise all looks the same. I have the case open and can't see any obvious problems except old grease. Is there any benefit to cleaning off old grease and applying new grease?

Also, I see no signs of a gasket between the casing

Also, my shift & wheel engagement levers move some(about 1/4"), but no visible damage to lever rectangles. After you added shims, how much play was in the levers? What material did you make your shims out of?

Since I have everything apart, any other suggestions or videos I should view before reassembly?

Thanks so much.

Eddie Carrara (author) from New Hampshire on January 09, 2020:

Hi Gary,

If you have the ability to adjust the clutch cable I recommend you start there if not you'll have to look and see what type of shift levers are installed on the transmission, you may need to inspect them for wear.

gary Greg on January 09, 2020:

I have a Harmony HR216 and the wheels move in all speeds when you lift the mower up on its front legs and appear to change speeds but when on the ground the mower will not push through the grass like it used to. It needs me to push it. Have had it for over 7 years and this just started. Also seems to get stuck when you lift it up ons its rear wheels to turn direction and the wheel digs into the turf

Marlene on October 26, 2019:

The right rear wheel broke off Sheereed the metal. I cant tell from tne diagrams if it is the wheel bolt or the axle. How long is the bolt that attacbes tne wheel. Just need to know if i can buy a new bolt or axle.

Bern on July 19, 2019:

My Honda Harmony 215 SX will roll forward for a few steps then the back wheels will lock up an not move. I took the Right wheel off and the entire gear,clip, washer set fell off when I pulled the wheel off. Any insight on what the problem may be would be greatly appreciated. This more is truly a great piece of machinery.

Jamie on June 02, 2019:

I have a HRR216 S3DC Mower. I recently replaced the belt and drive cable. Worked great for one month and today the transmission seams to have seized. Is tit worth taking apart before replacing the transmission? I'm wondering if it is the grease in the transmission has dried up

If you can please give me insight as to what the possible cause might be.

Thank you,


Robert on May 19, 2019:

All that is required to stop Rhonda's Honda is one simple chip of wood getting wedged between the belt pulley and transmission housing guide. It locks up the transmission and you can push it forward, but the great design won't allow you to pull it backwards.

George on April 26, 2019:

Wow ! The transmission looks like it could drive a small riding mower

Eddie Carrara (author) from New Hampshire on April 22, 2019:

No new axle just took it apart and cleaned the shaft and springs then verified all moving parts were free.

Vdub74 on April 21, 2019:

I read ur article on your honda 215 about transmission..i know u said it was the drift key on axle how did u fix can u replace drift key or did u have to get new axle??


Eddie Carrara (author) from New Hampshire on November 12, 2018:

Hi Tony,

It sounds like maybe your cable is binding and not releasing. I recommend trying to remove the cable from the clutch lever near the transmission end of the cable.

Tony Tedesco on November 10, 2018:

I have a HR215MZAM 06231101 that runs great but I cannot get the transmission to disengage when I release the handle. Is there and adjustment that I should look for?

D. Bremer on July 30, 2018:

Please help if you can.

I have a HRM215-SXA. The drive clutch cable broke AND the shift cable did also.

2 problems:

1.) I'm not sure if I have the right drive clutch cable, I know I'm also missing the clutch return spring, but I can't find any photos or useful drawings (yes I did find the owners manual online) that can help me verify how this connection to the handle is supposed to look. Any photos or drawings of those connections would be immensely helpful.

2.) I can't even find a "shift cable" to order for this model. Every search I do on it comes up with either a clutch cable or a throttle cable. AND, I can't see on where on the transmission the shift cable connects. (The clutch cable is easy to see where it connects)

Any help greatly appreciated.

Eddie Carrara (author) from New Hampshire on June 19, 2018:

Hi Scott,

Check those levers if you can, it made a huge difference with my mower after I fixed them. Thanks for all you feedback :)

Eddie Carrara (author) from New Hampshire on June 19, 2018:

Hi Scott,

I was hanging the mower from my garage door with a tow strap lol, There is no easy way to get to it. I installed the spring first and then used channel locks to persuade the transmission forward enough to install the belt, it wasn't easy and I think I remember saying a few words that describe really bad people I don't like lol.

Scott from Vermont on June 13, 2018:

I have two questions How are you propping up the mower so you can easily get under the mower deck? How to you put the transmission back with the belt on? I'm guessing that would be difficult as it is difficult to get off.

Scott from Vermont on June 12, 2018:

I have Honda Harmony HRM215 CB Serial Number: MZBB6004459 SXA. In second gear, the wheel will spin when they are in the air but when they hit the ground they stop. Every now and then the mower will spurt forward for a second in second gear but then stop. It runs perfectly fine in first gear. A few months after the slipping started, the drive stopped disengaging when I let go of the Drive Clutch Lever. It eventually disengages, usually when I'm going down hill or I manually lift up handle bars and the rear wheels off the ground and then push the handle downs and lift the front ones as it seems when the rear wheels are higher than the front it disengages. If I go down a very step bank it ALWAYS disengages.

For the slipping in second gear issue, I've tried the simple fix of removing the left real wheel and then fixing the gear piece right there to make sure all the parts are situated correctly. It helped making sure the wheels spun when in the air in second gear but that's it.

I've also seen your video that talks about the Clutch and Shift levers becoming lose due to stretching in the rectangular slots. Haven't pursued that yet.

I don't want to give up on this mower as I really don't like that you have to keep the blade running on the new mowers to keep the engine running which sucks when you have to go over something but don't want the blade running or you want to stop and move something out of the way.

Greatly appreciate your help. Thanks.

Glenn on May 07, 2018:

Hi Eddie-

I am trying to repair my HR215HXA mower.

I need one small ratcheting drive gear on the end of the axle shaft (shown in the first photo of your article), and also the oil seals and nylon bushings that fit the axle ends. All of the parts diagrams that I find on the internet show a rear wheel that is driven by a racheting hub that is totally different from my mower. Do you know the part numbers of these three parts? I am on the VT/NH border...any idea where I might find them near here? Thanks for the help.

Eddie Carrara (author) from New Hampshire on April 19, 2018:

Hi John,

There are drift keys on the pulleys and at each wheel but nothing inside the transmission that I know of.

John Galligan on April 18, 2018:

Eddie, gear shift lever does change the gears twice in the transmission, but pushing on it when its fully down does not make any change in the Xmsn.

Believe my son must have hit a stump trying to clean up a non-lawn back yard. Similar to an older outboard motor, does the lawnmower xmsn have a sheer pin to shear off when one hits an obstacle? There is absolutely no connection or movement between the drive pulley and the axle.

Eddie Carrara (author) from New Hampshire on April 17, 2018:

Hi John,

Try putting pressure on the gear shift lever and see if that improves the operation. If it does, your levers or cables could be the issue. Let me know, thanks.

John Galligan on April 16, 2018:

Eddie, Honda HRR 216: Turning transmission pulley does not result in wheel shaft turning. Rotating wheel axles does not result in drive pulley turning. Does this mean transmission has to be replaced, or rebuilt?

Honda HRX217 Blades won't disengage on July 16, 2017:

The subject line says it all

Eddie Carrara (author) from New Hampshire on July 10, 2017:

Hi Frank,

That may be a little tricky, I'm not sure how that engine is timed. I'm pretty sure it's an overhead cam. I recommend checking YouTube, you will most likely find a video explaining it in detail, lol.

Frank on July 10, 2017:

Hey Eddie! Well I'm thrilled that you have this resource..... I purchased a Honda hrm 215 last month with the owner telling me that it was working the year prior and it prob needed a tune up.... anyway I bought it in hopes of using it.... little did I know that he canabalized it! Linkages were missing and off... carb was loose etc.... anyway got it all out back together... cleaned it and put a new bowl on it cause it had pitted badly..... I GOT IT TO RUN! I could believe it.... but much to my disappointment I noticed a small oil leak buy the cylinder head..... I'm hoping it's the gasket? :( any suggestions? And how difficult is it to change? Thanks

David on July 07, 2017:

Thanks for taking the time to post such great info! Cheers!

Eddie Carrara (author) from New Hampshire on May 01, 2017:

Hi Joe,

I don't believe you can buy parts for these transmissions, you'll need to buy the whole transmission if you can find one.

JosephCalabrese on April 27, 2017:

So I have a problem with the top pinion Bering it is very loose and the pulley is very wobbly?

Does anyone know what the Bering part number is?

Or has anyone else ever seen this problem before?

I have the transmission out of the Mower already just haven't taken it apart yet.

If anyone has any ideas for the fix please let me know.

Aoneil60@verizon.net on July 23, 2016:

Hi Eddie,

I have an older Harmony HRB215 SXA MZBA 6339444, it's gotta be maybe 15+ yrs.old easy. So heres my problem I have , when I engage the drive I feel a studder like something is slipping and it will not go UNLESS I give it a shove OR lift the back up, the wheels start spining and I put it back down and the thing takes off strong most of the time sometimes a little slower ,then other times it wants to pull out of my hands, very inconsistent .....Mine has a plastic deck and I love the thing,it's nice and light and dont really want to get rid of it Any ideas.....Thanks!!!!!, Andrew

E Layne Green on July 17, 2016:

I have a Honda Hormany 215- 5horse.The belt for the self propulsion keeps coming off. Does the mower have an adjustment for this belt?

Eddie Carrara (author) from New Hampshire on July 11, 2016:

Hi Dbr63,

Sorry it took so long for a reply. Glad you figured it out, yes those gears can be deceiving, and when installed backwards, it can really stop the self propelled mower in it's tracks lol. Thanks for all the feedback dbr63, it really helps other readers with similar problems :)

dbr63 on July 03, 2016:

To close the loop on my questions about not getting enough torque, i figured it out. I thought I had put the axle gears on the right direction, but I didn't. They were backwards. So what was happening was when the mower was lifted up there wasn't enough friction to allow the wheels to move, but as soon as it was put down, the gears didn't engage. I turned the gears in the proper direction and my mower's working great! Lesson learned?--make sure gears are in proper direction...

dbr63 on June 20, 2016:

Hi Eddie, you certainly seem like you know what you're doing. You were the only one that was able to help diagnose my initial transmission problem, which was being caused by stuck drift keys. So I got that fixed. Thanks! Now, I'm not getting enough torque to self propel the mower. When I lift the back wheels off the ground they freely move. As soon as I place it on the ground they stop. I replace the belt and tightened the tensioner. Any suggestions? Could really use some help! Thanks

sirhada on June 13, 2016:

To take tension off the spring I wrapped bailing wire around it and used a short screwdriver to tighten it. I've heard this called a Alabama u bolt.

Layne on May 27, 2016:

Good Day Larry,

I recently had the transmission on my Honda HRB 215 Harmony mower worked on, got it back, and the rear wheel height adjustors will move forward and backward but does not raise or lower the mower. Go figure. I would take it back, but it took the repairman 4 months just to fix the transmission. The question I for you is is there away to and how to adjust the height adjustors?

Eddie Carrara (author) from New Hampshire on June 29, 2015:

Hi Larry.

It sounds like a broken spring on your carburetor or a cable fell off.

larry on June 25, 2015:

Why would a hra 215sxa have uncontrollable high rpms?

Eddie Carrara (author) from New Hampshire on April 26, 2015:

Wow Mark!!! I wish you had taken video and pictures during the process, this would have been great information to share with other readers, although everything you have written is awesome too. What exactly is the problem with your mower? Is the clutch not engaging? Or are the wheels skipping?

mark-walter on April 24, 2015:

unfortunately my fix doesn't work when the mower is all back together. It's weird because I tested it out before re-installing the transmission.

mark-walter on April 23, 2015:

I figured out that put the spring on first before putting on the belt.

mark-walter on April 23, 2015:

Found a video of a guy removing and putting the spring back to change the belt. He makes it look so easy to do with only his hand. My spring requires long pulling to get it back in the hole. Makes me wonder if someone put a different spring on here than the original one. I started to think I was using the wrong spring but I double checked that's the only large spring that removed from the mower. I'm considering to go buy a longer spring.

mark-walter on April 23, 2015:

Yikes it's difficult to pull the spring and line it up for the belt tension. I cannot do it. I tried pulling it with a clothes hanger to do it without it slipping from my pliers but it's almost impossible to pull it enough and then line it up properly to slip it into the hole.

Is there some special tool for pulling a spring?

mark-walter on April 23, 2015:

Wait. My lever has some play in it but it's not worn at all where yours was. In fact, my lever is plastic instead of metal and clearly designed to eliminate that point of failure that you found. Seems mine is a new model where the engineers tried to improve that weakness. It's now a large lever with a large body that fits down over the "arm" so that is has a lot of surface area to contact the arm and avoid wear and tear. In fact the lever is in perfect condition after many years of abuse.

However, I found the problem in my case was at the opposite end of the arm to engage/disengage the transmission. At that end the metal arm has a round plastic piece that is slotted to fit over the arm and fit into the transmission housing to give is a point to swivel. However, that plastic piece was broken at one side so it was flopping and giving play.

Then I noticed the other level to change gears was designed the same and the plastic piece there was not broken so I swapped them. And I think I was able to reassemble the transmission so that the it doesn't matter the other one is broken, it is firmly seated and won't come lose since the gear shifter gets much less abuse than engage/disengage.

Now it only remains me to re-install the transmission!

Thanks for all the videos and help, you really gave the confidence to give it a while and fix it myself.

mark-walter on April 23, 2015:

Oh wow. Good idea to create a shim. But how did you do create a shim? I'm googling this. But never created a shim before. I'm one of those, just replace it guys but I love to repair things rather than replace if possible. That just feels more awesome. So I want to learn how to make shims.

mark-walter on April 23, 2015:

Nevermind. There's 2 holes in the pulley. When put a screw driver into each of them then it held still enough to pop the knot off with a 1/2 inch drive breaker bar. Wow it was on tight. Now I'm watching your video about the fix to the transmission.

mark-walter on April 23, 2015:

Well found out about flipping on its side via google. Got the snap ring off and the transmission is out!

Now how to get the pulley off it to get to the other bolts to open up the transmission? There's whole in the pulley..looks like to put a shaft through it to hold it still but the nut (even with wd-40) seems to be frozen...it won't move even with a 1/2 inch breaker bar.

Am I doing something wrong?

mark-walter on April 23, 2015:

Yes. There is another snap ring! I looked for one before but didn't see it. Now I do see it. But it's difficult to get to it unless I flip the mower on the other side. The guy who sold it to me told me it's "dangerous" to flip the mower on one of it's sides. Is that true? I saw in your video you had it flipped on the short shaft side to work on it. So I guessed that is okay. But what if I flip it to the long shaft side to get this o-ring off?

Eddie Carrara (author) from New Hampshire on April 22, 2015:

Hi Mark,

It;s been a while since I had my height adjuster off but I believe there is another snap ring on the back side of the height adjuster. Check that out and let me know what you find, thanks. Welcome to Hubpages :) but you didn't need to join to get notified.

mark-walter on April 22, 2015:

I joined hub now. hoping to get notified when you reply.

Mark on April 22, 2015:

Eddie. Wow your Honda Harmony video is so helpful. However, the height adjuster won't come off. I already remove the 1st snap ring, the gear, then the plastic cover and the second snap ring. But the height adjuster still won't come off. I put lot of WD-40 on it, banged and pried on it but only moved about 1/16 inch. My next try will be be to buy a "puller" tool.

It's annoying since the transmission and shaft can freely move back and forth and so it's almost free. But since the height adjuster is still on, transmission shaft cannot swivel out enough to come off.

What am I missing? or is getting a puller the right move?

Eddie Carrara (author) from New Hampshire on April 07, 2015:

Hi Stan, I don't have an answer for you, I never had to replace any parts, I went to the local Honda Power Sports Dealership but they couldn't help me.

Stan Jablk on April 05, 2015:

Where can I find internal parts for honda transmission? Looking for the clutch arms that shift speeds and engage forward motion.

Eddie Carrara (author) from New Hampshire on August 25, 2014:

That's awesome Phil, having the right parts can make a world of difference. Thanks for all your feedback, I really appreciate it, and if you every have any other issues with the mower, please fee free to share your insight, I'm sure your not the only one to run into this problem., thanks again Phil.

Phil Baker on August 25, 2014:

Amazing how things work properly when you have the right parts! Picked up the new wheels on my way home from work on Friday. First thing I noticed was how much beefier the wheel sprocket is on the new wheel as opposed to the old wheel. I also noticed that the new sprocket is a little larger so it meshes with the axle sprocket better. No slop or play in the wheel. Both sprockets now line up perfectly.

I got home, $80 lighter and sitting at my front door were the new parts for the drive assembly. Twenty minutes later and the mower was back in business.

Phil Baker on August 21, 2014:

I did a search also and I couldn't find the 42710-VE2-800 wheels any cheaper than my local guy's $40 per. I did see a bunch of the 42710-VE2-MOOZA wheels for alot cheaper. They also popped up when I put in the 800 number, had to take a real close look at the associated information and pics to make sure.

Anyway, I'll send you the pics when it's back together...parts are due in Friday.

Eddie Carrara (author) from New Hampshire on August 20, 2014:

Hi Phil,

No, $40 for a set according to Amazon, lol. I did a Google search on your part #'s and Amazon popped up first page, I love Amazon :)

You can always send pics to me via email, drop box or Picasa. Don't worry about that now, just get it fixed first, lol. Thanks Phil.

Phil Baker on August 20, 2014:

Wow, $40 for a wheel!! But my local outdoor power equipment dealer has 6 in stock . And $80 is still a cheap price to keep this mower running for many more years.

Figure I'll take the old MOOZA wheel with me to compare it to the 800 model. If it's a go, I'm replacing both rear wheels. If it works, and as soon as I figure out how to post pics, I'll update this thread.

Eddie Carrara (author) from New Hampshire on August 19, 2014:

I think you're on to something here Phil, it looks like they are two totally different wheels altogether. It's going to cost you $40 to find out if it truly is the problem. Keep me posted on what you find out Phil, this is great information for other readers. Maybe you could take some pictures or a video (or both ) and I can put them up here to add to the collection of information, it's up to you tho. Keep me posted either way, thanks Phil.

Phil Baker on August 19, 2014:

No, I have looked at the transmission and the axle and it's all r9ock solid....BUT, I do believe I have figured out my problem. I think the current rear wheels are a 42710-VE2-MOOZA. What I should have put on were 42710-VE2-800. If you look at the placement of the sprocket on the 800 you'll see that it's more in line with the end of the wheel bearing. It looks like the sprocket on the MOOZA is set back about 1/4". I think the 800 wheels are what I need.


Eddie Carrara (author) from New Hampshire on August 19, 2014:

Hi Phil,

Is it possible that the axle is walking out one side of the transmission? I know that Donald (one contributing reader) had a broken clip inside the transmission and the axle was off center. Let me know if this is a possibility, thanks.

Phil Baker on August 19, 2014:

So after looking at the current wheels I see that the wheel gear needs to be about 5/16" closer to the outside of the wheel. Almost in line with the end of the wheel bearing.

So any suggestions? How do I find out if there are different sprocket dimensions for other wheels?

Phil Baker on August 19, 2014:

Thanks but I know it's not a washer. With nothing on the shaft but the wheel and with the wheel fully seated on the shaft, it only catches the outer 1/8" of the drive gear.

I'm beginning to think that maybe, just maybe I was sent the wrong wheels when I first repaired the mower. Once I get home I'm breaking out the micrometer and taking some measurements of both rear wheels.

Ellisimo on August 19, 2014:

Sounds like you may have a washer mounted on the wrong side of the wheel. The wheel should fully mesh with the gear drive.

Phil Baker on August 19, 2014:


Great, great information. I have a HRM215K3 SDA that I rescued from a neighbors trash about 3 years ago. For $75 in parts, I had an awesome machine. I have encountered a slight problem that I didn't see mentioned in any of your previous postings.

The internal gear on the left side rear wheel engages the drive gear on the very outside edge. Only about 1/8". After awhile, the edge of the drive sprocket wears away and the drive stops working.

This is what caused the previous owner to dispose of it.. I'm now in the process of ordering another drive sprocket.

Any suggestions as to what I can do to get the gears to line up better?


Eddie Carrara (author) from New Hampshire on July 12, 2014:

Hi JT,

You shouldn't have to replace the transmission if you run out of adjustment, it just means some wearable part needs to be replace. Who ever told you that may have been smoking some grass instead of cutting it, lol. I would get a second opinion next time it needs adjusting. Thanks for the feedback JT, I really appreciate it.

JT on July 11, 2014:

I got mine running with cable adjustments. Had a shop double check and told me that it would need a new trans in the next year our two as it has maxed out adjustments. Thinking of selling this one now and then buying a new one this fall on clearance. Best cut over!

Eddie Carrara (author) from New Hampshire on June 27, 2014:

OK Al, sorry I can't help any more on that subject. Let me know if you do find an exploded view, thanks

Al on June 26, 2014:

Hi Ed I looked at that site briefly but didn't see any Honda stuff. I will look at it more carefully this coming weekend. I seems that Honda wants you to buy the service manual.

Eddie Carrara (author) from New Hampshire on June 11, 2014:

Sounds good Al, try this place ( www.tufftorqservices.com ) if you don't have any luck finding a manual, Matt Hunter left this site in the comments on my YouTube page. Let me know if it helps.

Thanks for stepping in Ellisimo with all that information, I really appreciate all your feedback, this is growing into such a great community, awesome!

Al on June 11, 2014:

Hi Ed been there and everywhere,any parts diagrams that I have seen don't show the trans parts that I need to see. I think I may have to buy a Honda service manual. I will probably start by looking this evening. I'll keep you posted. Maybe someone has one on ebay to start things off.

Ellisimo on June 11, 2014:

Al - go to PartsTree.com and look up your mower's model and serial number. They have generally helpful blow-up diagrams of the various subsystems of your mower, which will help show you how parts are arranged. Not quite as detailed as a service manual, but probably enough for you to know how things fit together. It worked well for me when I rebuilt the driveshaft bushings attached to the rear wheels of my Honda HRM215HXA. Also, your problem with one wheel turning freely opposite the other most likely means you installed the pinion gear (part # Honda 42661-VE2-800) backwards on one side. There are a number of YouTube videos that show how to install it correctly, and the issue is covered at the top of Eddie's original posting, telling you the drive gear (the pinion gear) is directional.

Al on June 10, 2014:

Hi Ed just an update. I pressed the shaft off part of the trany housing. I guess I bugged it up bad enough to buy a new shaft and the spring clips that go with it. My problem is finding the schematic to put it back togetherDo you have any ideas in that area? Thanks again Al

Eddie Carrara (author) from New Hampshire on June 09, 2014:

OK Al, sounds good. I think you'll be able to fix it because like you said, the trannys are bullet proof. Keep me posted Al, thanks.

Al on June 09, 2014:

Hi Ed thanks for the quick reply,I have now taken the trany apart and I think I broke something inside by banging on the axle trying to get it freed up and turning. It seems that I forced a snap ring into the housing and it's suck or wedged there for now. I will take it to work in the am and press it out to see what can be done with it. The bad part of this story was that before I changed the seals on the trany after adding quite a bit of hydraulic oil the trans worked fine. The mower was a great find for $30.00 bucks,so I will definitely try to fix it. By the way thanks for the site and these mowers are built like tanks. I will let you know what happens.

Eddie Carrara (author) from New Hampshire on June 09, 2014:

Hi Al, did you try flipping one gear over without changing sides? Does the gear have a notch in it where the drift key ratchets? Let me know, thanks.

Al on June 08, 2014:

Hi Eddie I have a 215 hxa hydrostatic drive mower that I recently changed the seals for the trans on. Before I did this job the mower would wheels would rotate in both forward and backwards directions no problem.Now the wheels will turn freely in one direction or the other depending on witch way I have the drive gears on the shafts. I can actually have one wheel lock up when going backwards and have the other wheel lock up going forwards.I've tried switching the gears from one side of the mower to the other and have the same problem. Any help would be greatly appreciated

Eddie Carrara (author) from New Hampshire on May 19, 2014:

Hey Ellisimo,

That's some great info for the readers here, keeping the old machines alive until you can't squeeze any more life out of them, lol. Thanks Ellisimo, I really appreciate your feedback.

Hi JT,

I would start by checking all the cable adjustments, sometimes the easiest repairs are right under your nose. Keep me posted on what you find JT, thanks.

JT on May 18, 2014:

Wow, what an amazing resource. A neighbor just threw his out because it wasn't running well. It's old, but it looks brand new! I know the engines are strong, but having some issues with the drive train. It will do self-propelled, but only in gear 3. It seems to be maxed out as the other 2 do nothing. It's somewhat inconsistent. I thought it was possibly the trans, but looking at all those amazing metal gear I agree with you that it's built to last. Where do you suggest I start trouble shooting?

Ellisimo on May 18, 2014:

Hi Eddie - I just wanted to share with your readers that just because you have a 15+ year old Honda mower, doesn't mean you need to forego modern features! I just ordered off eBay auction # 281261759274, a universal John Deere mower deck washdown kit for just $12.99. You just drill 2 small holes in the deck: one to accommodate the washdown port, which uses a quick-disconect to connect up to your hose, and the 2nd, smaller hole is to anchor the mounting piece. After you mow the yard, you just connect up your hose, turn on the water and turn on the mower with blade running for about 2 minutes. It'll completely clean out your mower's underside and get rid of clumped-up grass bits so you have a clean mower for your next yard job. I've been envying the built-in ports on new Toro's and Husqvarna mowers, but now I can incorporate this same feature on my Honda HRM215 for a measly $12.99 and that includes free shipping! What's more, the unit is made of aluminum, so it won't get corroded when installed through the Honda's

Xenoy deck. Who says our HRM 215's are outmoded?

Eddie Carrara (author) from New Hampshire on May 18, 2014:

Hi Brandon, You're very welcome!

Spring is finally here in NH :) The pulley is located close to the motor, you need to remove the mower blade shroud to see it. Watch my video on how to remove the shroud (or swing it out of the way. Let me know if this helps Brandon, thanks.

Brandon on May 17, 2014:

Hi Eddie, thanks for this amazing hub!

Fellow New Hampshirite Here. I have an HRM 215 sxa. I cannot figure out where the drive belt sits on the drive shaft end. Any pictures or info you have would be greatly appreciated. I just can't make sense of the two part pulley deal. Thanks again!


Eddie Carrara (author) from New Hampshire on May 15, 2014:

Hey Larry,

That's awesome!! Glad I could help :)

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