Hydrostatic Days. A tale of Woe. - Lawn Mower Forums : Lawnmower Reviews, Repair, Pricing and Discussion Forum
Hydrostatic Transaxles / Hydraulic Pumps & Wheel Motors A place to discuss hydraulic powered wheel drive systems.

 3Likes
  • 1 Post By Ericjr16
  • 2 Post By gnm109
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-11-2017, 07:42 PM Thread Starter
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Northern California
Posts: 23
Thanks: 2
Thanked 4 Times in 4 Posts
Hydrostatic Days. A tale of Woe.

I thought that I would be one of the first to post here to tell my hydrostatic story.

In early 2001, I bought a brand new Honda Harmony, H1011 rear-engine riding mower. I ordered the one with a hydrostatic transaxle even though it cost a bit more because it was for my wife and I thought it would be easier for her to use.

It worked great until last month when I got it out after a couple of months being parked. It started right up. I always used a Battery Tender Jr. on my mower batteries. I have two H1011's, the other one has a standard Trans axle.

Anyway, we started it up and when we engaged the forward speed, we got nothing. There was no reverse either. The transaxle had died on its own after mowing an acre of grass perfectly and being ridden right into the garage when we were finished with it.

No amount of fooling around would make it go so I figure it's toast. I removed it and ordered a used standard transaxle that I found on eBay. I tested that when it came and it's in perfect condition. I'm in the process of converting the machine to standard five speed shift. I ordered and received all of the necessary parts and I'll get started on the work as soon as the rain stops in my area. The good thing is that Honda still sells parts for these machines, even though they quit selling them shortly after we bought our unit.

So now the hydrostatic transaxle sits sadly on the floor. There is no data for repairing it, no exploded diagram, no part numbers and no parts. I have the service manual for the model with the standard transaxle but I've been told that even the manual for the hydrostatic version doesn't tell anything other than what it looks like. I'm thinking it might make a conversation piece for my big coffee table once it's cleaned up. I checked and they retail new for anywhere from $750 to $900 depending upon the company. That's definitely a non-starter.

So, I'll be OK once the conversion is done, but I'm just wondering why all of the mowers that I see for sale at places like Lowes, Home Depot and Tractor Supply Co. seem to have hydrostatic transaxles? I'd be willing to bet that they aren't rebuild-able and there are probably no parts for them either.

If I ever bought a new mower, I'd be looking for a standard shift model but I don't know of any company that makes one.

So that's my tale of woe. LOL.
gnm109 is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to gnm109 For This Useful Post:
wh55 (01-12-2017)
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-11-2017, 08:19 PM
Administrator
 
Ericjr16's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Hudson Valley NY
Posts: 9,015
Thanks: 2,908
Thanked 792 Times in 676 Posts
Garage
That is very strange for a transaxle to stop working overnight? I've had hydros for many years and bought/sold them. Most of them have warning signs as in not easy to go uphill or other issues. Glad you got the switch going!!


John Deere LX172 bagger
John Deere 180
1997 John Deere 345
1967 Sears Suburban SS10
1971 Bolens 1256
1972 Ford LGT145 plow tractor
1972 Sears Custom 8M Tow tractor
Craftsman 9HP snow blower
Honda HRB215SDA mower
Change is the normal with my tractor list!
John 3:16 Psalm 28:7 1 Corinthians 15:57
"Complain and remain, praise and be raised! "

Ericjr16 is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Ericjr16 For This Useful Post:
wh55 (01-12-2017)
post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-11-2017, 09:00 PM Thread Starter
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Northern California
Posts: 23
Thanks: 2
Thanked 4 Times in 4 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ericjr16 View Post
That is very strange for a transaxle to stop working overnight? I've had hydros for many years and bought/sold them. Most of them have warning signs as in not easy to go uphill or other issues. Glad you got the switch going!!
Yes, it was strange. My wife was the last to use the mower but I was there when she rode it into the garage to park it. Then, later on, as I said, it was not working. There is a time limit on every thing.

When I get the time, I intent to dismantle it and see if there is anything obvious. It's possible to turn the input shaft with an electric drill so that it could be tested. Have to take a look when I get the conversion finished.

Regards
gnm109 is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to gnm109 For This Useful Post:
wh55 (01-12-2017)
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-11-2017, 09:18 PM
Administrator
 
Ericjr16's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Hudson Valley NY
Posts: 9,015
Thanks: 2,908
Thanked 792 Times in 676 Posts
Garage
The bypass isn't on is it? Any obvious oil leak?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


John Deere LX172 bagger
John Deere 180
1997 John Deere 345
1967 Sears Suburban SS10
1971 Bolens 1256
1972 Ford LGT145 plow tractor
1972 Sears Custom 8M Tow tractor
Craftsman 9HP snow blower
Honda HRB215SDA mower
Change is the normal with my tractor list!
John 3:16 Psalm 28:7 1 Corinthians 15:57
"Complain and remain, praise and be raised! "

Ericjr16 is offline  
post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-11-2017, 11:11 PM Thread Starter
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Northern California
Posts: 23
Thanks: 2
Thanked 4 Times in 4 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ericjr16 View Post
The bypass isn't on is it? Any obvious oil leak?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

No, The bypass control lever was set correctly when it was tested in the machine with the engine running. Once I removed the transaxle, I was able to check the oil and it was full nearly up to the top. There were also no leaks. It's mystery for sure.

Even if I could get it working again, I'll still go ahead and make the conversion since in operation, there's very little difference between the two versions.
gnm109 is offline  
post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-02-2017, 07:39 PM Thread Starter
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Northern California
Posts: 23
Thanks: 2
Thanked 4 Times in 4 Posts
Update on Transmission Conversion to Standard Shift.

The conversion from hydrostatic to standard shift on one of my two Honda H1011 Riding Mowers is now complete and we are back mowing with it again. All necessary changes have been incorporated. That included modifying the mounts at the rear of the frame to adapt to the standard 5 speed transaxle as well as the installation of the clutch rod and pedal. There were numerous other parts required such as the shift lever and mount since it was completely different. The frame on the right side where the shift lever mounts was different so that an adapter had to be fabricated, but all is well now.

The total in parts came to just over $500. That included the used transaxle from eBay and all the other new parts from the Parts Tree Co. Thankfully, there are many other sellers on the Internet that carry nearly all of the parts for this mower since Honda still makes parts, although they no longer sell riding mowers. Although $500 is a lot of money to us, we are pleased that we avoided purchasing a new mower at current prices so I figure that I've saved a lot of money. It also took about 50 hours of labor that I did myself but I didn't charge myself for that. LOL.

I would encourage anyone to try to repair their older mowers if at all possible. Get the manual and go for it!

Here are pictures of the completed machine. I mowed a half acre of weeds and grass with it today and suffered no failures! The oil leak which I covered in another thread is also now a thing of the past. I have another acre of weeds to mow after they dry out. We have had an incredible winter of rain here in Northern California so everything is quite green at this point.



Happy Trails to all.

2001 Honda Harmony H1011



Modified Shift Gate for Standard Shift Transaxle.


Left Side View Sporting the New Clutch Pedal. Note the seat from Tractor Supply. It's supported
on Harley Davidson Shovelhead Valve Springs Left Over from My Biking Days. LOL.
Ericjr16 and DusterP94 like this.

Last edited by gnm109; 04-02-2017 at 07:46 PM.
gnm109 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Lawn Mower Forums : Lawnmower Reviews, Repair, Pricing and Discussion Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome