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Premium Member
6,109 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Following the thread on the rebuild of a GXV120 engine,
the next obvious thing to do is attach the engine to a mower deck. So, with that in mind, I'll cover some of the maintenance steps to follow with the HR214SX mower.

The HR214 mowers were available in three models, that I know of. The HR214PX, which was a push mower with recoil start, the HR214SX, which had a 2 speed gear driven transmission with recoil start, and the HR214SM, which had the same 2 speed gear driven transmission with electric start and a recoil start back up. Seems the one seen most often is the HR214SXA.

Each one had what is called a Roto Stop, a blade brake clutch, that allowed the engine to run independent of the cutting blade, and the blade was put into motion by activating a lever on the handle bar.

I'll start with the Roto Stop. It's made up of a number of pieces. Here they are laid out from left to right as the go onto the PTO of the engine.

And here they are stacked up as they will go onto the PTO from top to bottom.

Laying the mower up on it's right side, you see the thing called an arm stopper, with the cable end, at the top, and bolts and spacers that the return springs will attach to on either side near the engine mounting bolts.

First thing to go on is a thrust washer. The manual says...Do not forget to install. It rests against the shoulder on the PTO and keeps everything else to follow in place as it should be in relation to the bottom of the engine.

Next is the part called the Ball Control Assembly. Notice the placement of its arm into the arm stopper and the cable end inserted into the slot.

Then the return springs, one on each side. Hook them into the Ball Control Assembly and use a screw driver to hook them over their bolts and spacers.

You can kind of see them on each side here.

Then the part called the Ball Retainer. The three ball bearings fit into the recesses.

Then the Brake Disc. This part is what stops the blade and holds it. It also has detents for the ball bearings in the Ball Retainer.

The Brake Disc is held in place by three Brake Holders and Springs.

Next the Woodruff Key.

Then the Drive Disc. This is what drives the blade.

Next the Driven Disc. This is what is driven by the drive disc. Pretty much makes sense, but stick with me.

Here is the business side of the Driven Disc. Notice the two ridges. The one on the inside is what comes into contact with the Drive Disc and makes the cutting blade spin. The outer one is what comes into contact with the Brake Disc, and stops the blade. The service limit for those two surfaces is 4.6 mm each.

Next is the Clutch Spring.

Followed by the Blade Holder Assembly.

The Clutch Spring is compressed between the Driven Disc and the Blade Holder Assembly. The two studs on the Blade Holder fit into the two holes in the Driven Disc with the nylon bushings.

You push the bolt and washer against the Blade Holder with a 14 mm socket and wrench, compressing the Clutch Spring while eyeballing how the parts are lining up, and get the bolt started into the end of the PTO. Then you use your special compression tool, the length of rope in the combustion chamber, and tighten the bolt to 36.2 to 43.4 ft-lb of torque.

I don't know if you can see it, but I'v tried to show the how the Driven Disc sits against the Brake Disc in the first picture. Here the lever at the handle bar has not been activated, and the cutting blade will not spin. The engine would be running and the PTO spinning in the two bearings that you saw in a couple of the parts.

In this picture, the lever at the handle bar has been activated. The cable pulls against the BAll Control Assembly allowing the Brake Disc to pivot on the three ball bearings, raising it away from the Driven Disc. The Clutch spring pushes the Driven Disc against the Drive Disc, and the blade spins. The distance things move isn't much, so it's hard to tell the difference in these pictures.

Finally the blade, and blade holder are attached to the Blade Holder Assembly with two bolts and two special washers.

In this case, I used a single blade and the blade holder. This set up is best suited for side discharge or bagging. A second blade would be installed on top of the blade pictured for mulching, and the blade holder would be replaced by a spacer, and longer bolts, like the one on the left, would be used. The blade bolts get tightened to 36.2 to 43.4 ft-lb also.

And there you have it. Here it is in action. Sorry for the jerky movie.


Premium Member
5,898 Posts
Very nice piece of information there Bruce. That should take some of the mystery out of it for folks. :)

Premium Member
6,109 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Now that that's out of the way, here's some other points about these fine old mowers to watch that I've learned from experience with them.

Of course, keeping the deck clean is important, even though it's aluminum. One place that gets forgotten is under the transmission cover. Take it off and clean out the debris that collects under it.

It's not a bad idea to pull the drive shaft off of both the engine and transmission ends every now and then. They tend to rust up, and when you have to get them off, they can be a challenge. Here's the engine end.

The drive shaft needs some lovin' ever once in awhile too. There's two ends that slide together. Put some light grease on the splines so they slide easily. The two ends are connected to the engine and transmission by pins, and the earlier models had a thin wire that went over the pin to hold them in place. There are two universal joints that are covered by rubber boots. Pull the O ring off to pull the boots back and throw some grease on the U joints. When you put the shaft back on the mower, the two pins are to be in line with each other like this. Evidently any other orientation sets up some kind of weird vibrations leading to potential problems. I've heard folks say these drive shafts have failed, but I don't honestly know what kind of abuse it would take to get one of these to break.

Here's what propels your HR214. There's two very small pawls that spring out to engage notches in the rear wheels. These are the things you hear clicking when you push the mower forward. They act as your differential when making turns too. There is also a right and a left to these things. One way to tell you have them right is to spin the wheel forward when it's back on. If it clicks it's right, if the transmission turns, it's on the wrong side. A light greasing helps them along.

Here are the notches inside the drive wheels that the pawls engage to propel the mower.

Be sort of careful when putting the Pawl Assembly back into the wheel. Sort of slide one pawl in while holding the other in. It's fairly easy to dislodge the pawls when reinstalling in the wheel. Turn it with your fingers to make sure it's working as it should before slipping it back onto the final drive.

This pin is what links up with the pawl assembly to make it drive. The large disc behind it goes on with the cupped side facing out.

The wheel and pawl assembly slip over the end of the final drive shaft. A bolt holds them in place on the final drive. You'll most likely have to put a vise grip on the final drive to tighten, or remove a wheel as it will turn otherwise.


Premium Member
6,109 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I'll go over more about the transmission, the cables and how to adjust them later. For now, I want to point out probably the weirdest part of maintenance on the HR214 mower. The way to drain the oil.

See that bolt sticking out on the side of the engine below the dip stick tube? That's the drain plug. Yep, right there above the deck.

So, where does the oil go, you ask. Well, in theory, that little ridge is supposed to act as a dam of sorts, and the oil runs down and around the deck to a hole just below the cylinder head where it drains out below the deck.

Here, you see the whole picture.

Like I said, in theory it works. Some of it does make it's way over that ridge, and it is a mess to clean off of the deck afterwards. I have the bottom of an old kitty litter bottle cut to just the right height that I can sit under the mower to catch the oil. Just remember to take the spark plug out first and turn the blade so it isn't under the drain hole in the deck, otherwise the oil really does wind up going everywhere but where you want it.

Specs call for .6 liter of 10W-40 for most general all temperature use. Oil changes is recommended every 6 months or 100 hours, and of course it's recommended to check the oil level before each use.
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