Honda Lawn Mower Air Filter Cleaner Cover Falling Off!

love_the_yard(z9A Jax FL)August 25, 2011

I am posting this to help others with the same problem. The air filter cover on my Honda lawn mower kept falling off. The two tabs on the top of the plastic cover were intact - they weren't broken - but the plastic is so flexible that with the vibration of the mower, the tabs kept slipping under their holders and the cover would fall off. One pass across the yard and dang! - the cover was on the ground again! Argghhh! I'm not that ingenious and I tried lots of different things, including duct tape, but no success.

Finally it dawned on me to try heavy-duty coated wire and it has been a 100% success! And it was so easy! I have been mowing my yard all summer with it this way and I have not a moment's problem with this any more. Thought I might help someone else. I just wrapped the wire around and under the tabs. It is easy to remove the wire when the air filter (air cleaner, element) needs changing.

Uh, yeah, the grass stuck to the plastic is from the duct tape residue. :(

Here are photos:

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rosemallow(z7 Md)

Nice pictures. Good enough to see that the tabs are not locked in the upward position. Especially the one towards the rear.
If it will not lock then you need a new cover 17231-Z0L-050. The price is under $4.00.
Some of the generic filters can cause the cover to be hard to close and lock properly.
I am using the K&N filters on all my Hondas. They cost a lot more, but they are forever.
You could try bending the tabs up prior to installation and maybe use a screwdriver to make it lock.
Anyway, it is a easy fix.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2011 at 7:18AM
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tooltime79(Midwest US)

Get rid of it and get a Toro or Snapper. Hondas are overrated junk.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2011 at 7:15PM
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It might have cost $00.02 to use a machine screw closing rather than molded plastic snaps on the filter housing. Poor design on a well regarded engine.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2011 at 11:15AM
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love_the_yard(z9A Jax FL)

Yup, the point of posting this was to provide an easy fix. Using the wires, the cover fits tight, snug, firm and sealed on all sides in the exact, correct position. Only the *tabs* have sunk down, NOT the cover. Trust me on this as I have the ability to see it from all sides and angles and would not use it like this if there were any gaps. No need to purchase a replacement as the wires hold the original cover in place just as well as a new cover.

The air filter is a genuine Honda filter. It is inserted and seated correctly so did not contribute to the problem.

Bending the tabs up was among the early attempts to fix. Since tabs are very soft, pliable plastic, they did not hold any change in position whatsoever. Screwdriver was not necessary. Tabs would lock into place and hold cover on until I removed my hand. Once manual pressure was removed and weight of cover held by the tabs, within a few minutes the tabs would sag, slip out and cover would be back on the ground. Wires hold the entire cover firmly and tightly, locked in correct position.

Well, the point of this was to give a quick, cheap and effective fix to those who may be looking. Anyone can go out and buy a replacement. :)

    Bookmark   September 3, 2011 at 11:36AM
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It is a crummy design. The tabs just barely hold on a brand new assembly. Your fix did give me an idea though, 'O'-rings. The right O-ring will secure each tab and be basically invisible. At the minimum, use black wire. I mean, really. :)

    Bookmark   September 3, 2011 at 1:26PM
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Sax, I'm sure LTY used yellow wire purely for illustration purposes! Thanks for posting.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2011 at 1:32PM
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Good point. Well done.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2011 at 9:20AM
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Yeah, those Honda engines make really great canoe anchors!

    Bookmark   September 4, 2011 at 2:05PM
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It's good to see that LTY keeps his deck at it's
maximum cutting height. Everyone around this neck
of the woods scalps their lawns.
But LTY really should get some solvent and get
that 'duck' tape residue off of his air cleaner.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2011 at 1:50PM
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love_the_yard(z9A Jax FL)

Hehehehe... "his"... hehehe...


    Bookmark   September 5, 2011 at 3:06PM
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I agree. I think there should be a before and after pic, of course using the inconspicuous color wire. So much for this being a boys club.... :)

    Bookmark   September 5, 2011 at 5:08PM
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I am amazingly surprised. All the womenfolk
'round here would have grabbed the first available
male and said: "Here, fix it". I am proud of
Carol for thinking the problem through and finally
coming up with a solution. YOU GO GARL !!!!

    Bookmark   September 6, 2011 at 9:52AM
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love_the_yard(z9A Jax FL)

lbpod, thanks! I had an awesome father.


    Bookmark   September 9, 2011 at 11:38PM
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You're welcome. I'm sorry for your loss.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2011 at 7:58AM
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Why should this cover even fall off to begin with. Why are designs so crappy today?

    Bookmark   September 10, 2011 at 5:10PM
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Now that's a good question. I have to admit that my cover has not fallen off yet. So, you can feel free to question my 'crummy design' comment. I made it because in normal maintenance/handling of the filter cover, I noted to myself that it most likely was going to be trouble some day. That's because the locking tabs hardly make enough contact to stay in place, and retainer 'rings' look very fragile. The way the filter assembly stands out from the engine, you have to keep it in mind when cutting under bushes/obstructions on the carburetor side, because one good hit on the filter housing might break a retainer ring. At that point, you could rig a makeshift keeper for it but the filter housing should be replaced. This opens another can of worms because the housing screws are self-tapping in the aluminum, and might strip out easily. Does it sound like I have been there with this? Indeed I have. My LB 22271 I got from Wise Equipment was poorly packed (they had set it up on display and repacked it for shipment) and the filter cover got knocked off, breaking a retainer ring. I had to get them to send a replacement along with some other parts. There were no more 22271s, and I didn't want to deal with shipping it back anyway. So, that's when I found out about the housing screws which brought lots of aluminum shavings out with them. They tightened back up, but I was holding my breath. Next time they probably will strip. If that happens, I hope to be able to tap a slightly larger size in those holes and use conventional screws.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2011 at 10:32AM
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