Honda HRR216 question

RevMIGJune 23, 2011

I hesitate to explain my mower problem because the experts have such quick and certain solutions, and I really think I have ruled out a carburetor issue. I don't pretend to be a small engine maven myself, but I have had to become somewhat knowledgeable just in self-defense. The mower is a Honda Harmony HRR216TDA, which has given me no trouble for five years.

I will admit that this year, after hauling it out of storage, I changed the oil and filter. I had run it dry last fall and put new gas in it this year, and put in a nice new E-3 spark plug. It ran fine. The next week I took the Quadra blade(s) off and sharpened them. But I turned the mower over the wrong way, and after it wouldn't start, I took the paper air filter cover off and found that it was partially soaked with oil/gas. After letting the mower sit for a day, I changed the spark plug (and bought a new filter) and after a few pulls the mower started but was blowing dark smoke from the muffler. It kept running, and after a few seconds I pulled the lever back from the choke position, and then the smoke began to clear. But then the idle started to slow and I needed to return the lever to the choke position to keep it running. And that is how it has been since. It starts fine with the choke on but won't run with the choke completely off or completely on. There is a spot where it will idle, but not fast enough to engage the self-propelled mode or actually mow.

When I called a Honda repair place I was told I needed a new carburetor, and that the repair would take weeks to complete. I decided to learn how to do this myself, and I ordered a new carb from Plano Power Equipment. When the carburetor arrived I realized that I hadn't ordered the gaskets, and so I went over to a local repair shop and they had all the gaskets (but didn't stock the carb, so it was fine that I ordered the carb from Plano).

With the new carb (and gaskets) installed the mower runs exactly the same. If I spray carb cleaner around the outside of the carb to check for air leaks, it makes no difference. If I spray carb cleaner into the air intake, the motor stumbles, then recovers.

Next, I took the main jet out of the old carb and cleaned it with carb cleaner. Holding the jet up to a light source shows all the jet holes clean and open (even the litle ones). I took the main jet out of the new carb and cleaned that too. I replaced the new jet with the old jet. I switched back to the old carb. I checked the fuel lines. I checked the fuel shut-off valve. I took out the float pin and checked the float and float valve (on both carbs). Fuel flows nicely when the float is down, and the float shuts off and stops when lifted up.

The mower starts easily with one pull, but will not stay running with the choke completely on or off, and the mower won't increase to a normal speed. I can play with the choke and the throttle plate lever and get it to think about running faster, but it just seems not to be getting enough fuel. So, yes, it would seem that that jets are gummed or the float needle valve is not working, but having the same symptoms with two different carbs (and cleaning and interchanging the parts) makes that unlikely to me.

Instead of continuing to borrow a mower, I bought a cheap mower with a Briggs, and that works fine. But I still have this obsession to fix the Honda, especially since I now can get a carb off and back on in just a few minutes. I would like to be able to find the problem and fix this too. Any ideas?

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rosemallow(z7 Md)

Maybe the gas cap is defective. Try running it with it off. Also, since it was on its side the gas filter in the gas tank could be restricted.
Gas flow can also be tested by removing the drain plug on the carburetor. Just turn off the gas remove the plug open the valve to see if you have a good flow.
You may have to use the original carburetor bowl. The replacement ones usually do not have the drain plug.
Last is the gas fresh?

    Bookmark   June 26, 2011 at 7:03AM
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Thanks for the suggestions. With the carb bowl off and the fuel shut off on, when I lift the float bowl up the gas stops, and when I let it down the gas flows fine. I have used both bowls on both carbs. The gas is fresh.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2011 at 7:53AM
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rosemallow(z7 Md)

I really thought it was the fuel cap.
Are all the springs in the correct position?

If you did all that then check the valve settings.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2011 at 8:03AM
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The governor spring question is a good one. If all ok, a more common scenario goes back to the storage. I find often enough that the valves can be sticky on these. Where you sprayed carb spray into the carb venturi - repeat that process a few times and see what happens. Did you put less than 20 oz of oil in it and is there sign of fuel contamination in the oil?

    Bookmark   June 27, 2011 at 9:01AM
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I really appreciate the suggestions. Very kind of you. Gas cap is ok. I have a neighbor with a similar mower, and I borrowed it for a little bit. He knew I was having trouble with mine, and he pleaded with me not to take his apart. I convinced him that I just wanted to take some pictures of the linkages, which I did. The cables, springs, etc. seem all correct.
Keep in mind that the mower was running fine a few weeks ago (after winter storage), until I tipped it the wrong way and drenched the engine, and soaked the carb and filter with oil. And then I did get it started and up to speed, even if smoky, before it started with the low idle situation.
I'll try shooting carb cleaner into the venturi. I'm nervous about messing with the valves, but hey nothing ventured nothing gained. Thanks again.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2011 at 3:17PM
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I was reading your problem with your hrr216 about having to have the chock on when you removed the carb did you get the insulator back in place the right direction the black one make sure the air passages are out away from the engine if you put it on backwards you will have this problem

    Bookmark   October 17, 2011 at 11:14PM
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