Resurrect, or start over? Honda HRM215 (old) or new 21" push?
Through thick and thin, my old HRM215-DN Harmony 215 (MZBB-6102559) has lasted at least two decades. The mower was purchased by my (late) ex-hubby, I acquired it after the divorce, and have used it every season to mow my small suburban yard since 2001. It's been an amazing, reliable mower, faithful to start come springtime, running solid with minimal maintenance. Despite the self-propel going out, I just pushed it around - good exercise - and made do. Alas, finally last season (2012) it seemed to be on last legs. It had run well up to the time I let a local service shop replace the pull cord (which finally broke in 2011), and when the mower came back, it leaked oil like crazy (something not connected right?). I just kept filling it up, didn't have confidence in the shop that repaired it, to have them touch it again. At the end of last summer, it started to die on me while mowing (not sure of issue, maybe the spark plug). Just would not stay running.
I haven't tried to start it yet this season, as everyone's urging me to just pull the trigger and buy a new mower, given the HRM215's age.
So what's the best thing to do?
I've looked at a Troybilt TB130 push mower at a local big box store, featuring the Honda GCV160 OHC, and also considered an online Husqvarna 7021P with same. Both are priced where I could feel alright taking the plunge, and I slightly favor the 7021P, but.... will they last more than a few years?
I feel disloyal walking away from my ancient Honda, but given its probable age, I don't know -
a.) if it's nearing full-scale detonation of parts, or
b.) if the cost to fix it up, even if I found a reliable local repair place, would be prohibitive.
Reviews suggest that newer mowers simply don't have the same quality as models of 20+ years ago did, but surely there are some in the mid-range that can be trusted? I'm on a lean budget but willing to pay a little more to get a decent machine. I don't need or want self-propel, but *do* need mulching+bagging options. If I found someone local and trustworthy who knew how to work on vintage Hondas, I'd ask their assistance, but haven't found that person yet. I'm willing to do some maintenance myself, but lack of tools, time and know-how limit what I could do toward a full re-build. I would definitely keep it until it completely gave up the ghost IF I knew how to do more of my own "fixing".
Thoughts or advice on what to be aware of?
Anyone with personal experience with the TB130 or 7021P? Alternative mowers to consider?