honda snowblower problem

rudallFebruary 5, 2006

i have a honda 928 snowblower...

good machine, but I've got a problem maybe somebody

can help diagnose...

machine start and runs well, blows snow, problem is in


symptoms: doesn't go as fast as it used to and if it

encounters any kind of obstruction (like going uphill)

then it will stop moving forward, begin shuddering..

if i put it in reverse it will back up, then move forward

again, problem seems to be getting slowly worse

this machine has tracks and hydrostatic drive... i have replaced the hydrostatic fluid...

i've been reading about a dowel pin breaking (in other posts)

do these symptoms bear any resemblance to that?

other ideas?


Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
fredbarber(z4 CO & z6 MA)

Hi, Randy. I have a wheeled 928 and have broken a couple dowel pins. In my experience, when the pin sheers, the machine won't move at all, forward or back. I don't have my repair manual here at work, so I can't say for sure whether it's used in the track application, but on the wheeled version it picks up power from the big gear in the final drive (inside an aluminum gearcase on the right side of the machine) and transfers it to the axle. It runs through a hole in the axle and engages in matching slots in the gear. There's no way to inspect it or replace it without taking all kinds of stuff apart.

I'm just guessing, but this sounds like a problem in the hydrostatic drive system itself. May call for an expert.

Good luck!


    Bookmark   February 6, 2006 at 12:58PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


Thanks for your help. I was hoping you would
respond. Your earlier email/description of the pin
repair was great.

I'll let you know what I discover.


    Bookmark   February 6, 2006 at 3:37PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Good luck with that honda;I know parts are exspensive,hard to get,and they are hard to work on(for nothing) That's why I stay away from their stuff.......I remember another post like this...I think the tranny has to replaced,..............sorry to dissapoint ya'

    Bookmark   February 10, 2006 at 3:57PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
fredbarber(z4 CO & z6 MA)

FWIW, I checked my parts book and it appears the tracked model uses the same scheme as the wheeled model but a different part number shaft (different arrangement of holes at the ends). The dowel pin doesn't even have its own part number, so it's not intended for replacement, stupid as that is.

Figured out your problem yet?

    Bookmark   February 11, 2006 at 11:26AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

It's a metric dowel pin, in case that helps. The part it fits into is on the expensive side, but you can get pins from industrial suppliers.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2006 at 10:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
fredbarber(z4 CO & z6 MA)

Hey, Randy, what did your problem turn out to be? The hydro drive? (Hope not...) Any lessons in it for the rest of us?

-- Fred

    Bookmark   March 16, 2006 at 9:27AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Your description is too brief, I am wondering if you do not have some kind of an engine or linkage problem. Is the engine running as strong as it always has or is it bogging down or under powered somehow. Those Honda's from what I seen, heard and read are normally nearly bullet proof, However nothing mechanical no matter how good normally is perfect, nor is any particular brand even Honda.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2006 at 8:22PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
thekneebiter(z6 MA)

slipping belt. belt drive from engine to transmission.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2006 at 6:11PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

i have a HS70 Honda snow blower, the problem i installed anew belt a napa belt no 5l320w is suppose to be a replacement for the original belt22432-736-a01 i adjusted the belt tensioner and the cable to it but it doesnt operate the tension enough to engage it, if i take the belt off the tensioner will move over alot if the belt is on it doesnt seem to move over enough to engage any help would be appreciated

    Bookmark   January 6, 2008 at 6:39PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Could someone elaborate more on this dowel pin? I have a HS828 hydrostatic transmission and it wont go forward or reverse. THe wheels and axle spin freely an in fact never actually lock up so it cant move at all. Any help from anyone please. The wheels turn freely if I engage the transmission or not with the small switch on back of machine.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2008 at 6:48PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
fredbarber(z4 CO & z6 MA)

I think I've done most of the posting on this dowel pin. I've broken two in my '928. :(

Here's the deal: There's a gear case mounted to the inside of the right side (looking forward) of the main frame of the machine. It transfers power from the hydro drive to the axle via a couple gears. The only connection from this geartrain to the axle is a dowel pin pressed through the axle. If that pin shears, you'd have exactly the symptoms you describe -- engine and transmission appear to be working, no drive to the wheels, you can push the machine freely (or with a little resistance) regardless of the position of the little "engage" lever.

There's a good illustrated parts list on the Hayward site (see link below). Browse to the American Honda catalog, find your machine and select the "wheel" drawing. It doesn't show the final gear train, but it shows the axle with the dowel pin.

Honda sells the axle and pin as a single piece (for beaucoup bucks). It's a pretty easy matter to drive out the broken pin and put in a new one. I've never been able to find exactly the right size at my local HW store, but it doesn't matter much. Buy a couple.

The thing is a royal pain (IMO) to disassemble and reassemble, partly because you have to remove the wheels and there's no good way to support the machine. There's a bracket you'll have to remove that secures the ends of a couple springs in the clutch system and it's important that they go back in correctly. I bought a maintenance manual after having done it the first time and was glad to have done so -- it's helped with a couple things.

To my tastes, this is a great machine with one terrible flaw. The flaw isn't the *use* of the dowel pin, it's the difficulty of replacing it. Having a sacrificial component in there to protect the hydro drive (which isn't, I suspect, what they really intended but is how it worked out) is a perfectly fine feature -- as long as it's reasonably easy to replace.

Here is a link that might be useful: Hayward catalog

    Bookmark   November 24, 2008 at 10:43AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hey Fred,

Do you have the sizes of the dowel pins you used and where did you purchase them. That is exactly my problem with my 828. Can the in dowel pin be knocked out? Did you take the axle all the way off or knock it out while still installed?

    Bookmark   November 25, 2008 at 2:40PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
fredbarber(z4 CO & z6 MA)

Sorry, I don't know the size. I've always been in a hurry (it's never happened to me off season), so I just went to the hardware store and got the closest size from their stock, which was never really close to the right diameter. The length is much more critical, as it has to fit into a slot cast into the bigger of the two gears.

I had no trouble driving the pin out with a punch. It's tight, but if you don't flail on it you're gonna replace the whole axle anyway, so what the hell.

The axle has to come all the way off 'cause the pin is buried inside the gear case. That's what makes it such a pain. If I remember right, you need to take off the bottom plate from the frame, remove one or two bearing blocks that support the axle, take out all the machine screws holding on the gear case (and the co-fastened bracket for the clutch springs I mentioned before) and then slip it all out of the machine. All the stuff inside the gear case is loose, but it sticks together pretty well from the grease, so it shouldn't be much of a puzzle to get back together.

In my experience, the three worst parts are (1) getting the wheels off (the pins corrode, bend and seize), (2) figuring out how the hell to keep the machine off the ground during the work and (3) not screwing up getting those damn springs back in (that's where the shop manual helps -- they are all different lengths and tensions, and the clutches won't work right if they're installed wrong).

If you're mechanically inclined, this isn't really a difficult repair. I did it the first time without any manuals or exploded views, but you can do it more easily with reference to the drawings on the Hayward site at least.

Lemme know how you make out.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2008 at 8:41AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My 928 has a problem with the left track - it only spins intermittently. The right track is spinning fine. The result is a pull to the left and frustration.

Has anyone encountered this?

    Bookmark   December 10, 2008 at 7:49AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My 928 wheel model has a similar problem - it pulls hard to the right whenever the skidplate is dragging on bare concrete. I just adjusted the skid plates so they are even from right to left side.

My left arm is getting very tired of this :-). Any ideas?

It also seems like when you push down on the handles to life the blower, the right side of the blower hits the ground when setting it back down well before the left side. It's like the machine is twisted but its never seen any abuse? Anyone with similar problems?

    Bookmark   December 23, 2008 at 4:20PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Regarding the right side seemingly hitting the ground first when the snowblower has been lifted up problem. If it is the right wheel that is hitting the ground before the left one your problem might be a missing stepper pivot bolt on the right side. Turn the thing on it's left side and push the right wheel up and down by hand. If the wheel seems to move too easily look at where the stepper bar pivots on the right side and see if the bolt and it's washer are missing. If you don't have a parts diagram you can reference the left side to find the pivot bolt location. I have seen these bolts fall out several times over the years for no apparent reason.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2008 at 10:04PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Oops, I realized that the previous question was asked in regards to a WHEELED Honda 928. My answer applies to a TRACKED 928 only as the wheeled machines do not have a stepper bar. Other than a bent bucket I can't imagine why a wheeled model would seem to do what yours is doing.

    Bookmark   December 25, 2008 at 8:00AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I found the problem - the snow grip II tire is shot - it must have let go since it's much bigger than the other one and it has the correct air pressure.

I can't seem to find replacement tires anywhere online for the 14x5-6 tires. Any ideas?

    Bookmark   December 29, 2008 at 1:07PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My '93 Honda 828 track hydro trans clutch quit engaging...I found a service person who said it was the drive belt. The tracks do not move when I drag it, so it doesnt sound like the shaft pin. I have been through 5 tanks of gas in 2 weeks, and will be snowed in if this is not working. Taking it in would be 2 weeks!!! any Ideas??

    Bookmark   December 29, 2008 at 2:30PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
fredbarber(z4 CO & z6 MA)

Glen, one source for tires is Plano Power Tools (see link below). Also, if you Google 'Honda 42751-732-013' (the latter being the part number courtesy of the Plano site), it comes up with over 200 hits. Happy shopping!

Here is a link that might be useful: Plano Power Tools Honda snowblower parts

    Bookmark   December 30, 2008 at 10:35AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Fred could you help me out with my Honda snoblower. I have the same problem you have and installed a new dowel. However the parts manual I am looking at is not correct and I am having problems putting this machine back to gether. THe aluuminum case is backwards to how it should be on the machine. Once I put the large gear on the axle that engages the dowel is there any other part that needs to go on the outside of this gear? Or does the gear butt against the black metal enclosure that closes up the trans box? I am not sure which direction bother this gear and the smaller gear goes in. I just had another foot of snow here with more on the way. I need to get this machine finished. Plus any help with the springs would also help. Thank again Jim

    Bookmark   January 8, 2009 at 11:24AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

You people would never have a problem like this with a Ariens snowblower;their design is simple,and thats what makes them superior,and bulletproof......

    Bookmark   January 9, 2009 at 10:19AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
fredbarber(z4 CO & z6 MA)

It's been a couple years since I've done the repair myself, so I can't tell you from memory. I'd suggest checking the exploded views on the Hayward catalog web site (link below; select "American Honda' in the "Catalogs" pull-down, then use the navigation stuff on the left to get to what you need -- when you get to your model, look for "right transmission case"). There are a number of submodels that may or may not be exactly the same, but one representative model shows a washer, a bushing and a dust cap in there. If you're in eastern Massachusetts (I'm on the North Shore), send me an offline email (I think you can through this site) and I'll loan you my manuals if you need 'em.

Here is a link that might be useful: Hayward catalog

    Bookmark   January 9, 2009 at 12:55PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks for posting the link to Hayward. One thing I am a little confused about is finding the appropriate catalog. I have a Honda HS621 and the serial number starts SZAN 1101, but the lists shows HS621 A/C and then a serial number range, and then HS621 AS/C and then a serial number range, and both of those ranges have my serial number, so how does a person determine whether you use the A/C OR AS/C catalog? I checked all over the machine as well as on the bill of sale and these letters are not listed anywhere.

Thank you

    Bookmark   January 9, 2009 at 10:30PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
fredbarber(z4 CO & z6 MA)

If you look at the title page, it appears that a single catalog covers both variants.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2009 at 10:08AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

hello everyone, hope this isn't too off topic. i'm a recent buyer of a used honda snowblower. while i was looking for information, forums, or a fansite for honda snowblowers, i found nothing, just a bunch of uncategorized information on all over the place. so, i've started a new site for honda snowblower owners: (or you can click the link at the end of this post)

it's a little bare now, i'll admit, since it just went up yesterday, but i'm hoping we can get some good members in with some experience with these awesome machines. If you have a minute, feel free to drop by and visit us!

Here is a link that might be useful: Honda Snowblower Fan Fourm

    Bookmark   January 18, 2009 at 10:17PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Good morning, so why do these pins always break just before a noreaster is going to hit? Does anybody have an exploded view of how this shaft goes into the machine. I can't access the hayward web site, may have to go at it blind. Any hints by Fred or anybody else will be appreciated. Does anybody know how long it takes to do the disassembly or put back together.

Gerry (from the Northshore!)

    Bookmark   December 25, 2010 at 11:34AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
fredbarber(z4 CO & z6 MA)

Gerry, are you from the North Shore in Massachusetts? If so, I've got a maintenance manual and parts manual that you can borrow. There's an "email me" link on my page -- give it a try.

I strongly recommend that anyone who's mechanically inclined and has one of these machines buy the manuals -- they're not terribly expensive (under $60 for the pair, maybe less on eBay) and can save tons of frustration. You should be able to get them through any Honda Power Equipment dealer or check out Plano Power Equipment online or the site below.

The Hayward catalog seems to have gone away, unfortunately. Too bad -- it was a great resource! The site I've linked below appears to have all the exploded views from the parts manual. The page you're most interested in is the one labeled "right transmission case" if you have a wheeled machine.

A pro could probably do the job in a couple hours. The way I fumble around, it takes the better part of a day. Every time I've done it in the past I've done so without removing the blower assembly from the front. Having had it off since, I think this job would be easier with it gone. That lets you remove and replace the drive and auger control tensioner springs (which attach to a bracket you need to remove) much more easily. You need to remove the big plate from the back of the frame, then take off the right transmission case, being very careful to remember how it goes back together. (It has a couple bearings, a couple gears and a bunch of washers inside -- along with a bunch of grease.) The pin in question goes through the axle and engages a slot in the driven gear.

Caution: I'm describing this from memory and haven't done the job in several years. It's not difficult, but there are a bunch of parts that have to go back right for it all to work properly.

Here is a link that might be useful: Honda snowblower parts

    Bookmark   December 27, 2010 at 11:47AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
coroa(z6 MA)

I too have the same problem with an 828. The left track intermittently engages, and the left track is full steam. Very frustrating! I have checked the axle pins and to see if the stepper bar is missing any bolts. Everything is there.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2011 at 10:54AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Sorry to resurrect an old (but related) thread. I have owned a Honda HS928WAS (wheeled) blower since 2000 without any issues - until now.

My drive clutch lever does not seem to be working. The transmission is always engaged whether or not the lever is depressed. Reverse is painfully slow while forward is too fast. Trying to find a "neutral" position where the machine will not move is very difficult.

Any advice before I contact my local Honda dealer?

Thanks in advance!

    Bookmark   December 3, 2011 at 2:05PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
fredbarber(z4 CO & z6 MA)

Don't apologize for your post -- it's helpful IMO to have various Honda snowblower problems collected on one thread.

Your problem falls outside my experience, but I can tell you how I'd start, at least.

First, make sure your hydrostatic transmission fluid level is correct. I don't check mine as often as I should, and if it slowly dropped (or quickly due to a seal giving way or something) I might not notice right away. I have no idea whether low fluid could cause this condition, but checking it is a good idea regardless.

Second, if you don't already have one, consider buying a service manual. You may be able to find one at a dealer but if not they can definitely order it or you can get it online. It may or may not help you diagnose this problem, but it allows you to approach any repair with greater confidence -- or figure out in advance that you're in over your head.

Next, make sure you've got access to exploded views of the whole machine. You can find them using the link below.

After that, flip the little transmission engage/disengage lever that you use to allow the machine to be pushed. If the problem persists with the transmission disengaged, it's almost certain that you have a problem internal to the transmission.

Next, assess the overall feel and action of the controls. Does the drive clutch lever feel normal? Does it have that slight "over center" feel (i.e., a relaxation of the spring pressure) as you get it close to the handlebar? Does the normal interlock action between the drive clutch and the auger clutch work normally (i.e., if you hold the drive clutch and then engage the auger, can you release the auger lever without it disengaging until you release the drive clutch)? Does the hydrostatic transmission control lever feel normal and have its normal range of travel? If any of this is wrong, I'd start looking at the engagement levers and the adjustment of the cables.

Beyond that, if it were me, I'd probably be looking for a pro.

Good luck!

Here is a link that might be useful: Honda snowblower exploded parts views

    Bookmark   December 4, 2011 at 1:32PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I recently rebuilt my 928 Hydrostat one of the splines in the front of the transmission was spun out. I install two new cylinders,new neutral spool and a new seal and screen filter. The machine works well and strong for about a minute or so then it will not move until i give it about ten to fifteen minutes. Then it will only move again for about a minute or so then stop again and so on. I'm a pretty handy fellow but after taken this 928 completely 4 to 5 times is getting pretty old. I have about $350 gone into a rebuild compare to $650 for new, which by the way the wife don't let me forget that. Does anyone have any ideas of what could be going wrong? Is their a vent pulled somewhere? Not really sure anymore. The oil level is good

    Bookmark   January 4, 2013 at 6:54PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Matt44 I just totally reassembled my hydrostatic transmission for my honda HS928 WAS snowblower. New fluid. I am 70 years old. I didn't find anything worn or broken. 2002 model. It was a long job. It has been apart for over a year. Snow got deep enough to make me put it back together. It took off like a spring colt. Was blowing snow as good as ever. I have used this machine hard for many years. Then, just like last time I used it, the transmission quit. New belt. Shaft is turning going into the transmission. Shaft is not turning coming out of the trans. Trans is full of oil. It only lasted about 10 minutes. I am a retired mechanic. I have rebuilt my share of automatic transmissions. But this has got me stumped. I washed the screen real good. I used Honda's oil. I did have some black fine mud when I took it apart and I did have some very fine steel particles. From the pinion gear. But I washed everything clean. Blew out with dry air. I really fussed with it. Totally taken apart and inspected. Has anyone got any ideas? I really hate to take this thing apart again. Matt

    Bookmark   March 2, 2015 at 3:46PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

OK, I have taken apart the gear box on the right side of my 928 WA and have discovered the broken pin that connects the gear to the drive shaft. Now my problem is, how do I get the piece of the pin out of the drive shaft? I have tried a punch, heat and punch with no success. Any ideas? I have also tried to slide (pound) the drive shaft out, but I believe it is rusted into the bearing on the left side. Any ideas would be appreciated. Fredbarber maybe you have a tip. Thanks.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2015 at 2:04PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
New Ryobi S430 engine dies on full throttle
Just bought a new Ryobi straight shaft 4 Cycle S430...
Temperature alarm app for Android?
I am wondering if anyone knows of an Android app that...
What’s a good safe cure to stop or slow root entering sewer line?
What’s a good safe cure to stop or slow root entering...
Looking for a new "top box" for my tool chest.
My old one died of old, old age and I didn't replace...
Older Troy Built Tiller Model ID
Trying to indentify model number of my unit. It is...
Sponsored Products
Grass Gator Weed I Replacement Blades - 3 Pack - 1223-0926
$21.99 | Hayneedle
Grass Gator Weed II Replacement Head - 1223-0934
$26.99 | Hayneedle
Grass Gator Load N Cut Trim Line Replacement Head - 1223-1007
$24.99 | Hayneedle
Grass Gator Trimmer Line - Pack of 20 - 1223-1015
$21.99 | Hayneedle
Grass Gator 3 Piece Brush Cutter Replacement Blades - 1223-0967
$23.99 | Hayneedle
Grass Gator Weed II Replacement Blades - 3 Pack - 1223-0942
$21.99 | Hayneedle
Grass Gator Universal Bump & Feed Trimmer Head - 1223-1023
$24.99 | Hayneedle
Grass Gator Brush Cutter Head with Metal Blades - 1223-0959
$30.99 | Hayneedle
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™