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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been working on putting together a "hybird" mower of sorts from the parts of five different mowers. Each of the mowers used to create this mower were of the same brand, Honda, and some small modifications were made by me, and I improvised one item while building it to both improve it in some areas, and it insure it's operation in others.

Let me begin by saying that the neither original manufacturer, nor it's employees or agents have offered any advise, recommendations, or endorsements to this mower. It is something that I undertook myself through examination of the fit and operation of the various parts and pieces used to build it to be certain of it's safe operation.

So here is Franken Mower Sr.


It started out as the deck to a Honda HRT216TDA.


A nice thing about the HRT216TDA deck is that it can be used as a side discharge, mulcher or rear bagger.

The HRT216TDA was originally equipped with a GCV160 engine, zone start and a three speed gear driven transmission.

The original engine on the deck had failed due to lack of maintenance by its previous owner, and the condition of the transmission was suspect as well but the deck, wheel adjusters and handle mounts were solid. When I removed the transmission, I saw that the drive mechanism and belt tensioner for the HRT216TDA were similar to that of the HRM215 mowers I'd worked on in the past, which got me to thinking...would a hydrostatic transmission from an HRM215HXA fit? By golly, I just happened to have one on hand so I took some measurements, made some comparisons,


...and it did...

The controls for the hydro transmission on the handles are different than gear driven models, so the handle from the HRM215HXA was used as well,


The sweet thing about the hydrostatic transmission is that it can be adjusted from no movement all the way to full speed while on the fly, with the shift lever, and minor changes in speed can be made with the engagement lever at the handle bar.

Next was the engine. I had a GCV160 that would have bolted right on, but then I thought Franken Mower deserved a commercial grade engine, and I happened to have a GXV140 from an HRM215SDA like this one available.


I wound up using the blade adaptor from the HRM215SDA as well. It wasn't my first choice because those blade adaptors were known to bond almost permanently with the PTO, but it was available and I greased the PTO liberally with anti-seize.

I chose to use the blades for the current HRX217 series of mowers because they've been rated very highly for their quality of cut.



The HRR/HRS/HRT series of mowers have an under deck that is made of three individual pieces that are bolted to the outer deck and each other except in one area at their lower edge. I drilled where the three come together and bolted them at that point which seems to strengthen the deck from side to side besides holding those three pieces together.


Finally, the controls on the handles of the HRM215HXA are for operating a Roto Stop blade brake while the HRT216TDA was a zone start. I wanted to use the Roto Stop lever to operate the flywheel brake on the engine, but I had to improvise a bit because the cable for the flywheel brake fell about 1/2" short of reaching the control lever for the Roto Stop. A trip to the hardware store and I picked up a link to join two lengths of chain together that works out just fine.


Finally, some new wheels all around and a new mulch plug. I've got the side discharge chute, and may eventually find a bag. It could use some touch up paint here and there, but for now, the mower runs and operates great.

 

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Real nice job my friend!! Look factory is right!! :)
 
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Nice job putting that all together! :ThumbUp:
A custom project like this can be even more rewarding than simply fixing something up as you have your own ingenuity into it so it is built around the way that you want it. In that sense, the final outcome is quite the payoff.

I think it's great how it has a lot of the highlight features/parts/aspects shared throughout the Honda walk-behind lineup. You definitely did a good job pulling it all off because to the unsuspecting person, the mower looks completely stock just like the way it could've come from the manufacture which is a good thing. :cool

Don't ever sell this one! :cool:
 

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Very nice job, thank you for putting all that together and sharing it with us. I'm sure you will start quit a few conversations with that one. If you did sell it, you would have to include @ 5 different manuals to go with it! ;) I think you should paint it a heavy metal flake silver and put some really cool HONDA decals on it. :ThumbUp:
 

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Very nice job, thank you for putting all that together and sharing it with us. I'm sure you will start quit a few conversations with that one. If you did sell it, you would have to include @ 5 different manuals to go with it! ;) I think you should paint it a heavy metal flake silver and put some really cool HONDA decals on it. :ThumbUp:
I don't know why , but I was thinking that too regarding the paint. :ThumbUp:
 

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Very nice job, thank you for putting all that together and sharing it with us. I'm sure you will start quit a few conversations with that one. If you did sell it, you would have to include @ 5 different manuals to go with it! ;) I think you should paint it a heavy metal flake silver and put some really cool HONDA decals on it. :ThumbUp:
I was thinking more along the lines of a Commercial grey, Like the kind used on the Comm Honda's.

Here's a pic.. Frankly I think a Flat paint looks best on a mower.. I'm not a huge fan of shine.



-Stan
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
If it's O.K., I'm going to label it HRT215HDBW1, serial number 1.

HR = Hybrid Rotary
T = Steel deck, side discharge, rear bag, mulching deck
21 = 21"
5 = GXV140 engine
H = Hydrostatic transmission
D = Zone start
BW1 = BWdbrn1
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Frankenmower SR. underwent another transformation today! Once upon a time, Honda offered a walk behind mower with caster wheels on the front called the HRZ216. They were an odd looking mower, weren't in production for very long, and some folks who owned them actually had them switched from the caster wheeled version, HRZ216, to the conventional wheeled version, HRR216.

Since the HRZ216 was so odd, I naturally wanted to find one, and as luck would have it, my dealer called the other day to say that a customer had brought one in to have the casters removed and conventional wheels installed. The customer didn't want the bits and pieces that made up the front wheel mechanism, so guess what came home with me today, and guess where they went?

You might remember Frankenmower SR. as he first rolled off of my garage assembly line. Back then I took the liberty of calling it an HRT216HDBW1.



With the addition of the caster wheel set up, the Z part of the HRZ, Frankenmower SR. has become an HRTZ215HDBW1.





The HRZ216 mower had a three speed transmission and the gear selector shared a mount with another lever that allowed the mower operator to lock the casters, preventing them from turning, or unlock them, allowing them to turn freely. I found that the mount split in half and I was able to remove the gear selector lever and a spacer, put the mount back together with just the caster lock and put it on the mower's handle bar.



Just the little bit I pushed it around the yard, it seemed sort of like mowing with a grocery cart, but hey, ain't nobody else got one like Frank.:2th:
 

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I wonder how those compare to Ariens Casters.. I had a snapper with casters once before (Remember Spamcan?) And it's casters were horrible.. At least compared to an Ariens..

Once again Bruce, Looks great!

-Stan
 

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That's pretty cool how that deal worked out!
 
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