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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been offered an older Snapper RWD 21" mower which I've been told has engine (4.0) and transmission problems. It's one of the ones with the raised "SNAPPER" lettering in the cast iron deck.

I've never been a fan of self-propelled lawn mowers. Wondering if anyone has successfully removed the transmission from their Snapper of this era (80's?) who can offer any feedback.
 

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There is a planetary gear set in the transmission that you can remove. Take those off of the drive shaft and cut the belt and you should be free.

Look at a parts diagram for the transmission on partstree.com for your model. I have a 21401ps so that's what I used as a reference. Most should be similar.
 

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on honda models like the hrts i just go in with an angle grinder and cut the shafts off the box. then i remove the wheel and pull out the rest of the shaft and put bolt where the shaft was for rear wheel support. real easy fix and it makes the mower way lighter
 

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Just saw a steel decked Snapper at the scrap yard. All the self propel apparatus was removed except for the transmission. It pushed just as easily as most non-self propelled mowers. If not for the fact that all the other parts were missing, I'd have brought it home and re-powered it.
 

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There is a planetary gear set in the transmission that you can remove. Take those off of the drive shaft and cut the belt and you should be free.

Look at a parts diagram for the transmission on partstree.com for your model. I have a 21401ps so that's what I used as a reference. Most should be similar.
It sounds like you've done this before. :cool
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
So I brought home not one, but two Snappers. One is a model 21355P; S/N 84236135 and the other is a model 21401P; S/N 64170642

Oddly, the one with the 3.5HP engine seems more modern, with the plastic gas tank. I would have thought the 4.0 engine was the more modern one. Do the serial numbers tell the story?

My plan is to make one good one. Here's some pics...









 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
on honda models like the hrts i just go in with an angle grinder and cut the shafts off the box. then i remove the wheel and pull out the rest of the shaft and put bolt where the shaft was for rear wheel support. real easy fix and it makes the mower way lighter
So I started tearing down one of the two Snappers last night and I took this ^^ approach in removing the differential, leaving axle stubs towards the inside. The bearings are shot so the wheels now lean inward, but I don't think it would work regardless. I think even with bolts it might not work well, but not sure.

Do the push versions of this mower use a single solid axle for both wheels?
 

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Do the push versions of this mower use a single solid axle for both wheels?
Yes, and it's fixed (wheels rotate on it). If you can't find one, it probably wouldn't be that hard to source a piece of 7/16" (or similar size) round stock and make your own rear axle. Heck, for that matter, even a piece of all-thread would work, so long as you use rear wheels with insert bearings in them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yes, and it's fixed (wheels rotate on it). If you can't find one, it probably wouldn't be that hard to source a piece of 7/16" (or similar size) round stock and make your own rear axle. Heck, for that matter, even a piece of all-thread would work, so long as you use rear wheels with insert bearings in them.
Thanks for the info. I wonder if I could just use the spare front axle from the second machine?
 

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I'm using an old Hi-Vac that was originally a self-propelled model that I converted to a pusher. Pretty simple:
Unbolt and remove all the drive mechanism from the rear of the deck.
Remove the drive pulley from engine crankshaft if you want. (not necessary).
Yes, you should be able to swap those axle shafts without a problem. Note one end will be square, one end round.
Make or procure the block-off plate to cover the hole where the main drive belt went through the deck (at rear just below the engine mounting flange). (I made mine out of a piece of sheet metal and attached it with two small machine screws and nuts.)
Be a good idea to find the correct trailing skirt (flap) for the rear axle. (Can be fabricated from sheet metal or black rubber sheeting. The OE steel flap is really the way to go, however - bulletproof.)
If you want to get fancy you can find plastic pop-in plugs ("body plugs") to fill all those holes at Ace Hardware.

Here's the beater:

snapper_beater_01.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I'm using an old Hi-Vac that was originally a self-propelled model that I converted to a pusher.

Yes, you should be able to swap those axle shafts without a problem. Note one end will be square, one end round.
Thanks for the confirmation of the conversion. I'm not quite sure what you're saying about the axle shaft though. Are you talking about using the front axle on the rear? That's the way I'm currently headed with this project, as they both measure 16" across the inner flanges.

Both rear wheels have a sorta D-shaped through hole for the axle, so I was planning to use some other wheels I have with a round hole. Seems I'll need to bore them out a tiny bit though.
 

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when in doubt:
partstree dot com
click on the "snapper" logo down near the bottom of the window
put your model number in at the next prompt - click 'enter'.
next window will give you a list of exploded-view diagrams with part numbers.
looking at both your model numbers, it appears the front and rear axles should the same on the non-self-propelled unit, so you should be able to go ahead as you've planned.
the "square"/"round" thing is on the end of the axle shaft - axle bracket on one side has a square hole, other side is round.
can't answer your question on the rear wheels... that RWD model I just did already went out and I don't recall whether the rear wheels had round or D-shaped holes in them.

don't believe you're going to run into any big hurdles on that one. I can't read the model number on my beater (posted above), but it took me all of maybe a couple hours to take the RWD mechanism off.
 
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