Storing Your Honda Tiller

Storing Your Honda Tiller

After tilling your garden this fall to turn over sod and mix in organic matter, it will be time to put your Honda tiller into storage. Taking steps to protect your equipment now will make it easier to get it up and running in the spring.

Inspection

Addressing issues now will mean your tiller will be ready to work when it’s time to break ground in the spring. Give your machine a look over and answer these questions:

Are the tines straight? Do they show severe wear or signs of cracking?
If the tiller has a belt drive, is the belt still tight? Is it starting to crack?
Is the spark plug, fuel hose, and air filter still in good condition?

Cleaning

Let the engine cool for at least a half hour before cleaning: rapid cooling caused by water making contact with hot engine parts can cause warping.

A garden hose or pressure washer can be used, but the water should not be aimed at the controls, cables, air filter, belts or muffler. A rag or stiff brush can be used to remove dirt trapped near these sensitive areas.

Once clean, wipe any remaining moisture off of the tiller. To get rid of the last bit of water, start the engine and let it run until it reaches normal operating temperature. If the mower has a clutch, operate the clutch lever several times to remove any water clinging to the pulleys and belts.

Fuel

Even stabilized fuel should not be kept in your tiller’s engine for longer than three months. Before putting it into long term storage, the fuel system should be drained completely.

Start by disconnecting the spark plug. If there is an engine switch, make sure it’s set to “off.”

On models with a Mini 4-Stroke engine, open the gas cap and tip the tiller so that the gas pours out into a container. Once the tank is empty, squeeze the priming bulb to remove any remaining gas in the carburetor.

On models with larger engines, place a fuel container underneath the carburetor and unscrew the gas cap. Open the fuel valve and unscrew the fuel drain bolt or knob at the bottom of the carburetor. Newer models like the FC 600 also have a sediment cup to the right of the drain knob: once the fuel has drained, unscrew this cup, clean out any fuel and debris, and reinstall the cup, fitting a new O-ring to ensure a tight seal. Screw the bolt or knob back into the carburetor once the tank and carburetor are empty.

Oil

If your tiller has a separate transmission, the fluid inside does not need attention before you put your equipment in storage aside from checking the level. On all models, the engine oil should be changed, and the cylinder should be lubricated to prevent rust.

To lubricate the cylinder, first, remove the spark plug.

For Mini 4 Stroke engines, pour a quarter teaspoon of clean engine oil into the spark plug hole. For other engines, add one teaspoon of oil.

Pull the starter handle several times to circulate the oil inside the cylinder, then reinstall the spark plug.

Pull the starter handle gently until resistance is felt. This positions the valve train so that both the intake and exhaust valves are closed, sealing the combustion chamber.

When the tiller is put back into service, it’s normal for the motor to smoke for a few seconds as the oil in the cylinder is burnt off.

Rust Prevention

To keep rust from forming during storage, chipped and damaged paint should be covered in a touch-up paint, while bare metal surfaces should get a light coat of oil or silicone lubricant.

Storing

Even with the fuel tank and carburetor drained, there may still be enough fuel inside of your tiller to release flammable vapors. Keep the tiller in an area that doesn’t have an open flame or sparks nearby. This includes avoiding power tools, heaters, clothes dryers and water heaters.

To prevent rust, the tiller should be stored in an area with low humidity. Placing a tarp over the tiller can trap moisture, accelerating rust formation.

If you fold the handle to make the tiller more compact, make sure the cables aren’t kinked or wedged between the upper and lower handle.

Getting Parts for Your Honda Tiller

From small maintenance parts like O-rings and spark plugs up to major components including tines and engine covers, if it’s Honda, you can find it at Hondalawnparts.com. We’re a certified Honda Small Engine and Power Equipment dealer, and our massive parts stock lets us ship parts quickly across the U.S. and Canada.

Servicing a Honda Mini Four Stroke

GXV50 engine

Honda’s mini four strokes are designed to replace two stroke engines in applications ranging from string trimmers to tillers, which means they need to function in any position. To do this, they use a unique internal design that makes caring for them a little different from standard two and four stroke motors. Here’s what you need to know to maintain the GX25, GX35, GXH50 and GXV50 engines in this lineup.

Fuel

These engines can run off of straight automotive gasoline that has at least an 86 octane rating and contains a maximum of 10% ethanol or 5% methanol. Fuel freshness is important: gasoline should be used within one month of purchase, or within three months if it has been treated with a fuel stabilizer. Briefly running the engine on fuel mixed with two stroke oil shouldn’t damage it, but this fuel should be drained out as soon as possible. The tank and carburetor should also be drained before putting the engine in storage.

To remove fuel from the engine, make sure the oil cap is screwed in fully, then unscrew the fuel cap. Tip the engine so that the gas flows into a fuel container. Once empty, squeeze the priming bulb until all the gas has been drawn out of the carburetor.

Oil

Despite a unique oiling system that mists the oil through the entire motor no matter the position, checking and changing the oil isn’t much different from any other Honda engine.

To check the oil, the engine needs to be positioned so that the gas tank is below the motor. On vertical shaft GX22 and GX31 engines, this may involve tilting the equipment over. Remove the oil filler cap/dipstick, wipe it clean, then insert it back into the filler neck without screwing it in. The oil should come up to at least the bottom mark on the stick. Honda recommends checking the level before each use or every 10 hours of continuous use.

To change the oil, remove the dipstick and tilt the engine, letting the oil flow into a container for recycling. Doing this while the motor is still warm will help the oil pour out faster. Set the engine in the oil check position and add oil until it comes up to the edge of the filler neck. 10W30 oil is recommended, while 5W30 can be used if the motor will be operated at temperatures below 32°F (0°C.) The oil should be changed after the first 10 hours of use to remove contaminants from breaking it in. After that, replace the oil every 6 months or 50 hours of use.

When storing the engine at the end of the season, remove the spark plug and pour a teaspoon of oil into the plug hole. Pull the starter handle a few times to distribute the oil inside the cylinder, then reinstall the spark plug. When the motor is started again, it’s normal for the engine to smoke a little as this oil is burnt off.

Air Filter

Honda recommends checking the air filter for contaminants before each use and cleaning it every three months or 25 hours. On tillers, the air filter can be accessed by squeezing the tabs on the top and bottom of the cover and sliding the cover outward. On all other engines, simply push in the tabs at the top of the cover, then tilt the cover downward.

To clean the filter, remove it from the air box and either rinse it in water and a mild detergent or spray it down with a non-flammable solvent. Once the element is dry, soak it in clean engine oil and squeeze out any excess oil. Wipe out the air box before reinstalling the filter.

Spark Arrester

The spark arrester can collect carbon deposits that should be scrubbed off with a wire brush every 100 hours of use. Let the engine cool for at least 15 minutes before attempting this repair to avoid burns.

Depending on the motor design, there will either be a small cover over the muffler, or a cover that goes over the entire top of the engine. Large covers serve as a mounting point for the spark plug wire; the wire bracket will need to be unbolted before unbolting the cover itself.

Once the cover is off, the arrester can be removed from the exhaust opening by removing a single screw. When scrubbing off the deposits, inspect the spark arrester and replace it if it has holes or cracks.

Getting Parts for Your Mini Four Stroke

Hondalawnparts.com is a certified dealer for Honda Engine and Honda Power Equipment, so we have all the OEM parts you need to keep your motor in top condition. Our search engine lets you see where parts fit on factory diagrams, making it easy to order what you need. We can ship your order to any address in the U.S. and Canada.

Using a Honda Generator for Construction

Honda-Commercial-Generator

While the proliferation of Lithium-Ion technology has made portable tools a more viable choice in construction, there’s plenty of equipment that needs AC power. To serve these users, Honda makes the EB-Series of generators. They’re built for the demands of commercial and rental use, are offered a range of outputs, use low noise designs and are OSHA compliant. How do you know which one is right for you? Here’s what you need to know to work out your use case.

How Many Watts Do I Need?

As a general rule of thumb, Honda recommends a 2,000 watt generator to run a single tool, 3,000-4,000 watts to run two tools and over 4,000 watts to run several tools. However, your specific use case can vary a lot depending on the equipment that will be drawing power from the generator.

The easiest way to calculate the power needed for a tool or appliance is to check the data tag, usually located on the body of the device. If this tag has worn off, the same information can usually be found in the owner’s manual, or measured using an appliance load tester. To convert amps into watts, multiply the rated amps by the voltage, either 120 or 240.

Electric motors create a “reactive” load, requiring a lot more power when they start than when they run. To compensate for this, Honda’s generators have a maximum load capacity that can be sustained for a few seconds to help deal with these load spikes. Devices with these loads include air compressors, power tools, grinders and pumps. Manufacturers of commercial equipment will usually state both the starting and running power in amps or watts on the data label. Some labeling systems use a letter to indicate the starting amps per horsepower:

A – 26.0
L – 83.3
B – 29.5
M – 93.3
C – 33.3
N – 104.0
D – 37.4
P – 116.6
E – 41.6
R – 133.3
F – 46.6
S – 149.9
G – 52.4
T – 166.6
H – 59.0
U – 186.6
J – 66.6
V – Over 186.6

For example, if you have a ¼ hp drill press with a “P” code, it requires 29.15 amps to start or 3,498 watts. If there is no code or second number, assume the starting power will be three times as much as the running power.

When calculating power demands, remember that you probably won’t be turning all your devices on at the same time. The generator you buy should be able to support all the equipment you may be using at one time plus the highest single reactive load for your equipment.

Can I Power Electronics with an Industrial Generator?

Inverter generators including CycloConverter models like the EB3000c create a clean power waveform, making them safe to use with electronics as well as tools with computerized control systems. This means you can use them to power Li-Ion charging stations, computers, and radios.

Can I Power Three Phase Equipment with a Generator?

No. While most EB models can provide 240-volt power, this electricity is single phase, switching fully between negative and positive polarity. In a three phase system, three power waveforms are combined, keeping the polarity fairly steady. Welders and some large electric motors need three phase power to work properly.

NFPA and OSHA Compliance

OSHA establishes what needs to be done to ensure a safe work environment, while the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) regulations handle how those standards are met when involving fire safety. NFPA rules also apply outside of work use. For generators, these standards bodies come into play in two ways:

OSHA has specific requirements for generators used in the workplace covering fire safety, grounding and circuit protection. The NFPA issues rules for fire compliance to meet OSHA’s requirements. All Honda EB Series generators are OSHA compliant.

The NFPA issues guidelines for using generators for emergency backup power for all users, commercial and private. All Honda generators comply with NFPA regulations if they’re installed and used correctly.

Full compliance requires correct usage of the generator, which includes keeping it outside of buildings and away from walls to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. When adding a generator to your equipment, you’ll need to have a way to get that power to the work area via cables and weather protection to prevent shorts from rain.

Getting Parts and Accessories for Industrial Grade Honda Generators

Hondalawnparts.com is a certified Honda Power Equipment dealer, so we can offer OEM parts and accessories to keep your generator working including cables, transfer switches and load testers. Our massive warehouse lets us keep most popular parts in stock for fast shipping to any address in the U.S. or Canada.

Best Honda Lawn Equipment for Late Summer Lawn Care

Honda Lawn EquipmentThe high temperatures and low rainfall of midsummer are hard on your lawn, which makes it important to do what you can during this stressful period and before winter hibernation. While you may need to rent some specialty devices, the Honda equipment you already own can aid and sometimes replace these devices when preparing your lawn for fall.

Aeration

Foot traffic and construction can compact the soil over time, which can keep oxygen and water from reaching the root system. A coring aerator gets the best results since it removes compacted soil instead of pushing it to break it up. The cores left behind can be chopped up by your mower, but this is hard on the blade, so it will need to be sharpened before you next mow.

Dethatching

If the thatch layer, the dead material on the surface of the soil, is over a half inch thick, it should be removed using a dethatching rake or power dethatcher. This loosened thatch can then be mowed and bagged for disposal. Mulching the grass can reduce thatch buildup by keeping the microorganisms in the top layer of the soil well fed so they be able to tackle woodier plant material.

Fertilizing

Fertilizing starts with your mower: mulching breaks down the grass into small pieces that are easy for microorganisms to digest, returning nutrients to the soil. By using a mower with Honda’s Twin Blade system, you can even mulch when the grass is wet for maximum nutrient recovery.

There are plenty of specially blended fall fertilizers on the market, but before you start the application, you need to have the soil tested to make sure you’re feeding your lawn what it needs. After application, the lawn can be mowed after granular fertilizers have been applied after watering, while liquid fertilizers should be allowed to dry for 24 hours.

Applying Herbicides and Insecticides

In the late summer and early fall, broadleaf plants like dandelions are preparing for winter by transferring carbohydrates to their roots. By applying herbicides during this period, these poisons will be drawn into the roots, killing the entire plant. Have a grub problem? Now is the time to apply an insecticide to stop their growth.

Seeding

Once the soil preparation is finished, it’s time to overseed any bald spots so they can take root and get ready for the winter. Mowing the grass at your mower’s lowest height and bagging the clippings will help the seeds get maximum contact with the soil, and it will help the new grass grow along with the old, evening out your lawn.

Pruning and Trimming

Late summer is the perfect time to trim shrubs and bushes, and with Honda’s VersAttach pruner and hedge trimmer, you can have all the tools you need to get the job done quickly.

If you’re dealing with an old or overgrown shrub, cutting back a third of the oldest, thickest branches will encourage the growth of new stems from the root of the plant. Once the shrub is at the right height, cut the top off after it’s had a chance to grow another 6-8 inches. Shaping the plant so that the base is wider than the bottom will increase sunlight exposure.

Mowing

Tall grass helps retain moisture at the peak of summer temperatures, but it’s also a good idea to keep the turf layer thick into early fall to push out weeds, make it harder for grubs to hatch and more easily identify areas that need to be seeded. Most grass varieties should be kept at a height of two to three inches for optimum coverage. Unless you’re overseeding, never remove more than 1/3 of the grass at one time: this helps the grass recover faster. After mowing, check the grass for tearing at the tips, which indicates a dull mower blade.

Edging

Using your string trimmer or brush cutter, you can create narrow trenches around landscaping features and between the lawn and paved areas. The resulting borders help features stand out, and they can halt the ingress of plant roots into your sidewalks and driveway. Doing this in the fall will help these borders survive the winter, making it easy to re-establish gardens and thick mulched areas underneath trees next spring.

Keep Your Equipment Ready with Parts from Honda Lawn Parts

Hondalawnparts.com is a certified Honda Power Equipment and Small Engines dealer, so we carry everything you need to keep your lawn care equipment working. Our site has built-in parts diagrams to make it easy to find what you need, and we can ship those parts anywhere in the U.S. and Canada.

What Type of Pump Do I Need?

What Type of Pump Do I Need?From powering fountains to cleaning construction sites, Honda makes a pump that will do the job. Which pump is right for your needs? Knowing how each design functions can help you narrow down your choices from Honda’s 16 model lineup.

Flow Rates in the Real World

The flow rates below are in ideal conditions, but there are two factors that can reduce the actual flow rate once put in use:

The head, which is the difference in height between the end of the intake hose, the pump and the end of the outlet hose, will affect pumping performance. If all three points are at about the same height, the pump should work at the rated gallons per minute. If the height difference is high, say, when pumping water out of a well, the pump has to overcome gravity, reducing the flow rate.

When it comes to trash and chemical pumps, the fluid being moved may be heavier than water, which further decreases pumping speeds.

Before you buy a pump, check the detailed specifications to make sure the pump will be able to support the total head you’ll need the pump to handle. If you need to maintain a specific flow rate, download Honda’s free “Pump Select software“. It can do the flow calculations for you and make model recommendations.

The gallon per minute rating may get the most attention, but the main factor when selecting a pump is its intended use:

Portable De-Watering

The WX Series is built for high portability with the WX10 weighing just 13 lbs. These models are great for occasional use for gardening, boat maintenance, and general household usage, moving between 32 and 74 gallons of water per minute.

General De-Watering

The WB series trades the WX’s low weight for more pumping power. Commercial grade components including silicone carbide seals and anti-vibration mounts help with long term reliability. They can move between 164 and 290 gallons per minute.

Nozzles, Sprinklers and Long Distance Applications

The WH series is built for high-pressure applications while still being portable, making them a great choice for irrigation and fire suppression. These models can pump up to 119 GPM under pressures as high as 64 psi.

Chemicals

The WMP20 is designed with materials that resist corrosion and damage from a wide range of industrial and agricultural chemicals as well as salt water. Keep in mind that while it can handle both base and acidic fluids, it can’t pump just anything: Honda keeps an updated list of approved chemicals on their site. This pump has a maximum flow rate of 220 GPM.

Trash, Debris, and Big Jobs

The WT Series is built for moving massive amounts of water that is mixed with solids up to 1 1/16 inches in diameter. A quick clean out port and design features for easy maintenance make these pumps more than up to the task of handling the demands of contractors and rental businesses. These pumps can move between 185 and 433 gallons of water per minute, although high trash content will reduce performance.

Severe Duty and Slow Seepage

The WDP30 uses a positive displacement diaphragm pump that can move water that contains up to 25% solids including mud and trash. This design can also run dry without harming the seals, while a rock channel in the volute case and spring-loaded connecting rod protect the components from impacts. That capability comes at a cost of pumping speed, limiting it to 80 GPM.

Fixed Locations

Honda’s WSP electric pumps are powered by 120 AC current, making them a great choice in areas that have frequent need of pumping and have ready power access. These units have switches to pump automatically once the water reaches a certain level, and they’re also set up so they can be put in continuous use. Electric pumps are great for draining water from tanks and containers including pools and hot tubs as well as removing seepage in basements and powering fountains and garden irrigation systems.

Most models are designed for plain water, but the WSP 50 and 100 models are both trash pumps, able to handle solids up to two inches in diameter. Pumping speed ranges from 40 to 150 gallons per minute.

Servicing and Accessories

Need to fix your current Honda pump or replace the hoses? Hondalawnparts.com has everything you need. As a certified Honda Power Equipment dealer, we carry parts and accessories for all of Honda’s small engines and equipment. Our site makes it easy to find the parts you’re looking for by integrating factory parts diagrams into our search engine so you can see where the part fits on your pump. We ship across both the U.S. and Canada.

Modifying Your Honda Engine for High Altitude Use

High Altitude Honda EngineIn most Honda engine manuals, there’s a section called “Carburetor Modification for High Altitude Operation.” This simply states that “specific modifications” need to be made for the motor to run correctly at higher elevations. What are these modifications, and why do they need to be made?

What Does Altitude Have to Do With My Honda’s Carburetor?

The higher you are, the less dense the air is. Local air density can vary depending on temperature and humidity, but, all things being equal, the air at an elevation of 10,000 feet is one-third as dense as the air at sea level. During the intake stroke, the piston moves down, filling the cylinder with air. If the air is less dense outside the motor, there will be less air inside the cylinder, even if the volume stays the same.

If there’s less air in the engine, there needs to be less fuel to get the right air/fuel ratio. The main jet and pilot jet determine how much fuel is added with each intake stroke, and it doesn’t vary even when the amount of air does. Honda sets up their carburetors from the factory for use at low altitudes, which makes the mixture much too rich at higher elevations.

How Do I Get My Engine to Work at High Altitudes?

The pilot jet, which provides fuel when the engine is idling, can be adjusted by screwing it into or out of the carburetor body. The main jet, which provides fuel when the engine is running at speed, needs to be replaced with a smaller jet.

What size of main jet do you need? Fortunately, Honda has already figured that out for you and offers carburetor jet kits designed for specific altitude ranges. For most engines, there are three jet options: one for sea level, one for elevations starting at 5,000 to 6,000 feet and one for elevations above 7,500 to 10,000 feet.

How Do I Change Jets?

If you’ve changed jets on a car or motorcycle carburetor, this process should be familiar. First, remove any gas from the carburetor. Depending on the model, this may be as simple as closing the fuel line and running the engine until the fuel in the carburetor is used up, or it may require draining the fuel system through a port on the bottom of the carburetor float bowl; consult your engine manual for instructions.

Once the carburetor is empty, unbolt it from the engine. The screws on top of the carburetor can be removed and the unit can be separated into two halves. On one-half, you’ll see the main jet, located in the center of the body, and the pilot jet, located near the side. Both jets are brass with a wide slot designed for a flathead screwdriver. Unscrew the main jet and screw in the jet included in the kit. Turn the pilot screw to the position specified in the service manual to match the jet kit you are using. Reassemble the carburetor and reinstall it on the engine.

Why Does My Engine Make Less Power at High Altitudes?

Internal combustion engines make power by detonating a mixture of fuel and air. Even with the correct jetting, there is less fuel and air in the engine at higher altitudes, which means less power can be made. On average, the motor will lose 1.5% of its output for every 1,000 feet above sea level.

I Use My Honda Engine Near One of the Altitude Limits. Which Jets Should I Use?

Using jets that are too small will cause the engine to run lean, leading to high combustion temperatures that will cause the engine to overheat. It’s safer for the engine to run rich using the larger (lower altitude) jet, although Honda designs these kits with some wiggle room: a 5,000 ft. kit should work at altitudes as low as 3,000 feet.

How Do I Tell if I Have the Wrong Jets?

Honda recommends that installers place a tag on or near the carburetor that notes the change in jet size. If you’ve bought a used engine that is running lean or rich and you suspect the jet has been changed, open up the carburetor and remove the jet. There should be a small number on the side that specifies the jet size; if it doesn’t match up with the jet kit for the altitude you operate at, it should be replaced.

Where Can I Get an Altitude Kit for My Honda Engine?

www.hondalawnparts.com is a certified Honda Small Engine Equipment dealer, so we carry everything you need for your engine from jets to complete carburetors. Our site uses factory parts descriptions, making it easy to determine which jet kit is right for your engine’s carburetor. We can ship what you need to any address in the U.S. and Canada.

The EB2800i and EG2800i: Honda’s New Open Frame Inverter Generators

Honda OFI Generators_EB2800i and EG2800i copy

This year, Honda has added two new fully framed inverter generators to their lineup: the EB2800i and the EG2800i. These units are small enough to be portable while still delivering reliable performance for both industrial and home users, helping to bridge the gap between Honda’s small portable generators and their large, rolling full frame units.

EB2800i

This industry-focused model is powered by a GC190LA engine. This prosumer power plant balances reliability with ease of use by including features like automatic decompression, electronic ignition and an automatic choke make this motor easy to start. The choke, engine switch and performance indicators are built into the control panel for easy access.

As the name suggests, this generator produces a peak of 2,800 watts for load spikes with a constant maximum output of 2,500 watts. This electricity runs through an inverter, creating a clean waveform that’s safe to use with electronics. Honda’s Eco-Throttle system adjusts engine speed automatically to match the load for up to 12 hours of runtime from the 2.1 gallons fuel tank. Even if you manage to keep it at 100% load, the engine will run a little over 5 hours before refueling. While operating, this generator produces between 61 and 69 dBa, which is about as loud as a conversation or being inside a busy office.

A pair of 120-volt duplex outlets provide four places to plug in devices. These outlets have independent GFCI protection, shutting off one outlet when there’s a short while the other outlet will keep functioning. This generator is both OSHA and ETL compliant and it comes with a USDA-qualified spark arrester/muffler, so it’s safe to use in almost any work environment.

The generator’s components are built into a full frame to protect them from damage while providing plenty of areas to lift it for transport. Total weight is just 67 lbs, making it easy for two people to carry the unit or lift it into the back of a truck. Want to make it easier to move around? Honda offers a kit to add wheels so it can be rolled to the work site.

EG2800i

While this may be the residential version of the EB2800i, that doesn’t mean it skimps on features. Everything from the engine to the inverter carries over with the only difference showing up at the control panel. Instead of two duplex plugs, there are two individual 20 amp 120-volt outlets and a 30 amp 125v outlet for a locking plug. This third outlet makes it easy to hook this generator up to a home electrical system using a transfer switch. Want more flexibility? The locking plug outlet can be used with an extension cord to provide an indoor power point with multiple standard outlets while leaving the generator outside where its exhaust fumes won’t get trapped. As for the 120-volt outlets, each one has its own circuit protection so a short won’t shut off the other outlet.

Warranty

Honda covers both models for three years of residential use and one year of commercial use.

Getting Parts for the EB2800i and EG2800i

Whether you have the newest generator or an old mower, you can get parts for it from www.hondalawnparts.com. We’re not just an official Honda Small Engine Equipment dealer, we’ve built Honda’s own parts diagrams into our site, making it easy to find what you need to keep your equipment running. We can ship anything you need to any address in the U.S. and Canada.

The HRC216HDA: Honda’s Latest Commercial Walk-Behind Mower

Honda-HRC216-Lawn-Mower-side-right

While the commercial market is dominated by riding mowers with massive decks and engines, walk-behind mowers are still a necessity for trimming hard to reach areas. Honda’s HRC mowers are designed for these users, integrating professional level quality and riding mower features into a walk-behind. The latest model in this lineup is the HRC216HDA, which bridges the gap between the push PDA and hydrostatic drive HXA.

Engine

The HDA is powered by a GXV160 engine. It has a dual element air cleaner which has a reusable foam element that stops larger debris, providing a longer life for the inner paper filter, while the Oil Alert system prevents the engine from running if it doesn’t have enough oil, preventing damage to internal components. A fuel shutoff valve is included to keep the carburetor from flooding during transport, maintenance, and storage. On this model, it comes with a manual throttle, letting you bring the motor down to idle so you can keep it running while emptying the clipping bag.

Deck

The motor sits on a 21-inch deck made out of 16 gauge steel with rolled edges like you’d find on a stamped riding mower deck. A large front bumper protects the deck from scrapes and impacts and provides a tie-down point so the paint doesn’t get scraped up when loading the mower on a truck or trailer.

The deck uses Honda’s MicroCut twin blade system, slicing grass twice with each pass. This design creates an excellent finish and can handle mulching and bagging in conditions that would bog down other mowers; Honda is so confident of its performance that they make side discharge an option since most users won’t need it. The deck can be set to one of 8 mowing heights ranging from ¾ to 4 inches, while the onboard bag can carry up to 2.5 bushels of clippings before being emptied.

Drive System

The HDA has more in common with a riding mower than just the deck: it also uses a hydrostatic transmission. Using the handle-mounted lever, the forward speed can be set to anywhere between 2.1 to 4 mph. The cruise control function lets you keep the speed set when shutting off or idling the mower: once you close the bail, the mower will return to its original pace. If you need to make a short stop to pick up branches or empty the bag, the flywheel brake engages as you leave the handle, stopping the blades immediately for safe stops without shutting off the engine.

Maintenance

The transmission is connected to the engine by a shaft drive, so there are no belts to replace on this mower. Sealed, adjustable cables are used for the controls for years of smooth action. The wheels are made out of Honda’s super durable NeXite polymer and ride on sealed ball bearings. These features make servicing the HDA more like a push mower, eliminating everything aside from engine maintenance and blade sharpening.

Warranty

Honda warranties the mower for one year of commercial use, while the engine is guaranteed for two years. For residential owners, the mower and engine are both covered for two years.

Servicing and Parts

Getting parts for maintaining and repairing the HRC216HDA is easy: just visit www.hondalawnparts.com. We’re a certified Honda Small Engine Equipment dealer, which means we offer OEM replacements for everything Honda from portable generators to professional mowers. Our site makes finding the right part easy by showing factory parts diagrams and descriptions so you can quickly identify what you need, and we can ship those parts to any location in the U.S. and Canada.

The Honda Miimo: Automation Comes to the Lawn

honda-miimo-4

It’s been a long time coming: 5 years since it was first shown to the public and four years on the market in Europe, we’re finally going to get Honda’s robotic mower. While the Miimo has been compared to the Roomba, this tiny rechargeable mower takes a new approach to mowing that makes it unlike anything on the market. However, that doesn’t mean you should throw out your walk-behind mower just yet: it comes with some limitations that make it more of a niche product than a replacement for human-operated devices.

A New Way to Mow

The Miimo can handle slopes up to 25 degrees and can cut to a height ranging between 0.8 and 2.4 inches like most mowers, but it doesn’t cut grass like a traditional mower. It uses three tiny blades mounted to a fan designed to increase mowing chamber vacuum. This combination cuts off just 0.12 inches (three millimeters) of grass with each pass. These tiny clippings are absorbed into the top layer of the soil without requiring the multiple cuts of a mulching mower, and since it doesn’t need an operator, the Miimo can cut far more often to maintain grass height for an even finish through the season.

Navigation

The Miimo’s navigation is controlled primarily through a set of boundary wires that are installed by a certified technician when the mower is first purchased. This wire outlines the edges of the yard as well as obstacles including trees and landscaping features. Depending on the area, this wire can be under or on top of the ground surface, making for a clean installation.

When mowing, the unit uses sensors to both pick up the positions of the boundary wires and scan around its immediate location for obstacles. The fully floating cover has its own sensor system that tells the mower if a collision is detected.

Cutting Modes and Times

This mower uses two independent wheel motors, letting it maneuver like a ZTR; Honda says this lets the mower turn around obstacles without ever needing to back up, saving considerable time when mowing. The onboard computer can be set to approach mowing in 5 different ways:

– Random mode turns the mower at a wide angle when it detects a boundary wire.

– Directional turns the mower at a narrow-angle when it detects a wire, helping it maneuver in narrow areas near gardens and sheds.

– Mixed mode lets the mower switch between random and directional modes as needed.

– Spiral mode tells the mower to concentrate on areas that are likely to have the highest growth.

– Edge mode tells the mower to mow along the boundary lines first.

Why so many cutting modes? In most cases, the Miimo won’t be able to cut an entire lawn all at once, so it needs to make the most out of each charge. The Miimo HRM 310 can mow for up to 30 minutes between charges, while the HRM 520 comes with a bigger battery that can last up to 60 minutes. The cutting width is only 8.7 inches, which severely limits the coverage per charge. Once the battery is at 30%, the mower drives back to its docking station and will need to recharge for about a half hour before mowing again.

Security

What if someone decides to walk off with your fancy robot mower or it tips over? If the Miimo loses contact with the ground, it will shut off immediately and sound an alarm. The only way to reactivate the unit is by typing in a PIN.

Is This Mower a Good Choice for My Yard?

If you have a small lawn and you want to take out a significant chunk of the maintenance, the Miimo may be a good fit. However, it isn’t going to eliminate yard work. It can’t cut large amounts of growth at one time, and it can’t bag clippings that could spread weeds, so you may still need to pull out a walk-behind mower now and then. With the ability to cover ¾ of an acre at most, its use is limited to small suburban lawns.

No Matter What You Choose, We Have the Parts to Keep Your Honda Equipment Working

Whether you let an HRM 310 do the cutting or you use a walk-behind HRC for your landscaping business, you can get everything you need for your Honda small engine equipment at www.hondalawnparts.com. As a certified Honda dealer, we’re able to supply you with parts for all of their small engines and equipment from mowers to water pumps, and we can ship those parts to any address in the U.S. and Canada.

Using a Honda Generator During Storms

Honda GeneratorA Honda generator can keep power going when a storm cuts your home’s connection to the grid so you can keep televisions, radios, and phones on to monitor the forecast while keeping a few appliances running for comfort. However, getting the generator up and running can be daunting during bad weather. With a little planning, you can make the switch from grid to generator power a lot easier.

Storage

Like any piece of small engine equipment, a generator needs to be kept in a cool, dry place. However, it also needs to be in a place that will be accessible during a storm, letting you position it where it can be used. That means carrying it or rolling it to a place that keeps it at least three feet away from buildings so that carbon monoxide from the exhaust won’t reach lethal concentrations. Make sure you can easily move the generator from its storage spot to its operating spot, taking care of any obstacles that may be in the way.

Cords

Since you can’t bring your generator into your home, you need a way to get power from it to the appliances you want to use. When shopping for extension cords, make sure to check the amperage: it needs to be at least as high as the maximum amp output of the socket it will be plugged into.

Larger generators include a twist lock outlet. This keeps the cord attached at the generator end when running long distances, but it also requires a special extension cord with the right end. The type of twist lock cord you’ll need will depend on the power mode and attached appliances: all Honda generators can produce 120-volt power, while some have the ability to make 240-volt power for high-demand appliances and can even switch some outlets between 120 and 240-volt output. Cords are available with ends including multiple 120-volt sockets that use power directly, converter cables that turn 240 volts into 120, and 240-volt sockets for high power demand devices like water pumps. 120-volt power is fed through an inverter to get a clean waveform that’s safe for sensitive electric devices, but 240-volt power comes directly from the generator and shouldn’t be used for these devices.

Fuel

The fuel used in your generator should be no more than 30 days old, or 90 days old if it’s been treated with a stabilizer. Instead of storing fuel just for the generator, keep some fuel on hand for the generator and other power equipment including mowers and lawn care tools so it’s used up quickly. Honda’s generators can run for several hours on a tank of gas, so one full tank should be enough to keep appliances going until the power is restored or it’s safe for you to leave your home and buy more fuel.

Oil

Honda’s Oil Alert system will shut down the engine to prevent it from being damaged if there isn’t enough oil, but that also means your generator won’t be able to make power. Keep some extra oil on hand and check the oil level before moving the generator out of storage.

Linking the Generator to Your Home Wiring

Your generator can feed into your home’s electrical system directly using a transfer switch. This device is required by law when linking a generator to home wiring because it isolates your home from the grid. Without this switch, power can enter the grid, shocking workers who are trying to repair the lines. This switch needs to be installed by a professional electrician to make sure it’s working correctly. Once installed, the generator can be moved to the switch and plugged in so it can supply electricity when the power fails.

Keep Your Generator Running with Genuine Honda Parts

As a certified Honda small engine equipment dealer, www.hondalawnparts.com carries everything you need for your Honda equipment. Along with replacement parts for your generator, we carry genuine Honda accessories including transfer switches and cable adapters so you can rest easy knowing you’ll be ready when storms strike. We ship across the U.S. and Canada.