Honda Mowers - Wheels locking on pullback

My love/hate relationship continues with Honda

So ... the ongoing problem has got worse now. The rear drive wheels on my my Honda mower (self propelled) that used to intermittently locked on pull back have now locked solid when pulling back. Going forward is no problem.Having researched this it seems a common problem. I have also been to a local lawnmower guy who recognises the problem and said its just a matter of stripping wheels and rear drive shaft and lubricating. This is fine with me if was going to be a permanent fix but i have concerns it will need doing as much as monthly.

Has anyone else experienced this problem .... and even better is there any kind of modification that solves this issue (long shot i know)

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  • PRO
    We have had this, you have to take the roller apart and it will be full of soil/grass that has gone hard, I clean it out then grease the cogs and it’s good as gold for ages depending how much you use it. I have not had it for ages but I clean off the machines more than I used to and get rid of them after 2-3 seasons.
    • PRO

      Mines is less than a year old. Problem first appeared within a month of purchase. Mine is 4 wheel mower though, but think its similar solution cleaning drive wheel rod

      • PRO
        Sounds like a warranty issue to me as I have never had this on a new machine, had to use them for more than a year to get an issue although we only mow say on average 20 hours a week.
  • I’ve experienced this with one of my older Hondas, but that’s an early “80s HR194, so I’ll forgive it for that! Take wheels of and you’ll see the pawl mechanism, take this off the axle/wheel and give it a good clean and a light grease, check that the spring clip is in good order and is retaining the pawls sufficiently. 10 minute job, replacement pawl mechanisms are readily available.
    • PRO

      thanks for response ... i have already had the real wheels off and lubricated the cog, the spring and the little key but no joy. 

      • PRO Supplier
        It is unlikely to be the internal ratchet mechanism because that only comes into play when pushing forward and freewheeling. Most of the Honda rotary 4 wheel models freewheel the ratchet forwards then when you pull back the ratchet locks and the axle spins freely in the gearbox as long as it is neutral. Things to check are that the axle is well lubricated where it comes through to mower body. They need plenty of oil around the axle which you can normally do from the underside. Also check the cable on the drive. If it is not fully disengaging or sticking then you are attempting to pull back with drive still partially engaged. Again worth running oil downcable and avoid pinching if handles are folded regularly.
        • PRO

          Thanks Derek ... Your posts confirms what i have found online. It feels to me to be so solid that its unlikely to be axle as would think it would still turn intermittently or under force.

          The handle/drive cable not releasing is my gut feeling but ive checked it over but cant see the handle sticking, The clutch plate seems to be returning to home. Ive also loosened off the cable tension to the max. I might try disconnecting the cable and see if that is the problem

          • PRO Supplier
            Hi, agree it sounds like cable and removing it would be good way to check I would also lubricate the axle and leave it overnight as In our experience this is probably the more common problem. No need to strip anything just loads of oil on both ends and leave it
            • PRO

              What oik do you use Derek?? and do you just oil from underneath or take the wheels off and oil from there??

      • Might be time to have the gearbox off and check internals and fill with fresh gear oil. Perfectly doable, just a bit time-consuming.
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