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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a Honda 3813 lawnmower that doubles as a snow plow in the winter. It worked fine 20 years ago, but now it's having trouble pushing snow. It seems the cold weather causes the tranny to not work properly. It can push a little snow in first, second and maybe third gear. But in fourth and fifth it just doesn't move, especially up hill or pushing any load.
Any ideas on how to fix this problem?
Randy
Ithaca, NY
Honda 3813
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It takes a second, or longer, for the tractor to start moving after the clutch is released. That's after I adjusted the mechanism using the bolt above and in front of the right rear tire.
It engages and goes in low gears, but won't get going from a standstill in fourth or fifth unless I'm going downhill. It certainly won't go uphill or through any amount of snow in those two gears.
Randy
Ithaca, NY
3813 Honda
 

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It sure sounds like the clutch disc to me. Maybe someone else will have other ideas. Try Boats.net they still have the clutch plates. 22560-750-003 $61.63
I agree with dmac601. If you are the original owner and the clutch disc has never been replaced it might be the clutch disc or some other part in the clutch assembly that is not releasing the clutch disc to force the disc to lock in place against the pressure plate as a result of friction of the disc against the plate.

If you decide to attempt to fix yourself, I would examine and replace, if necessary, the rubber dampers during the repair. The front rubber damper always wears faster because it points downward as it rotates in the front driveshaft housing. The rubber knubs on the dampers wear to the point where metal shows. If the rubber wears enough - the damper can possibly wear through the metal in the drivshaft and spin without turning the driveshaft. So - the remote possibility exists that the rubber dampers are worn to the point that the driveshaft is not turning. I doubt it - but I would check those two items first.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/5838752789/in/set-72157626516992426/

Lastly: there are plastic bushings in the driveshaft dampers. Don't loose them when you remove the driveshaft. They help to align the dampers. They are cheap - you might want replace them as well.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/5838756913/in/set-72157626516992426/

There is a radial bearing in the clutch assembly. IMO - I would replace it. After twenty years of use the grease in the bearing will probably have solidified or turned to dry sludge and rust. I have some pics below of a bearing that was completely worn out - disintegrated.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/5628025790/in/set-72157626516992426

http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/5628029216/in/set-72157626516992426/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/5669935491/in/set-72157626516992426/

Some say you can pull the driveshaft without removing the engine. I was never able to pull the drive shaft low enough because of the aluminum plate shown in the pics. As you can see in the pics, the plate is held in place by bolts that are removed from the top which means that you would have to remove the floor plate to get access to the driveshaft and/or remove the plate. Once the plate is removed there is enough clearance to pull the driveshaft down far enough to remove the rear rubber damper and clutch assembly.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/5669941497/in/set-72157626516992426

If you search this Honda forum - BobV has a very good writeup with steps explaining how to take the clutch assembly apart.

http://www.boats.net/parts/search/H...3-5099999/CLUTCH + PROPELLER SHAFT/parts.html

Or - you can simply split the plate with a cutoff blade and then pull each side down enough to remove the driveshaft. But that is up to you. Some will argue that the plate is necessary for safety reasons or you are hacking your mower. IMO - no one except you will see or know that the plate is split in half.

You can get access to the front rubber damper by removing the batter tray - (three bolts).

http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/6322387135/in/set-72157626516992426/

hth

One last thing - does the clutch appear to be slipping in the summer as well (when it is warm)? If not, then it might be the 'clutch arm damper' isn't completely releasing because of the viscosity of the oil in the piston in the clutch arm damper. I myself question how the damper works at zero degrees in the winter compared to 85 degrees degrees in the summer. Or what to do if Honda discontinues or runs out of stock for this part and it becomes obsolete.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Before I replace the clutch I want to follow up on the last comment made about the how the outside air temperature affects the operation. In the summer, while mowing lawn, the tractor is fine. That is, I can mow lawn in fourth gear without a problem, and shift to fifth if I want to go fast back to the garage.
It's only in the winter that the tractor is having trouble moving. That's why I am thinking if might be that clutch arm damper. Is there a replacement for it? I tried adjusting it, and it made a difference in how quickly the clutch engaged. But, it seems like in winter it may not have enough force to engage the clutch properly.
Randy - Original owner
Honda 3813, closer to 25 years old - no drive train work ever
 

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The shifter handle in conjunction with the clutch arm damper releases the clutch instead of forcing pressure to engage the clutch.

# 11 in the parts schematic below is the spring which forces the clutch disk against a plate (#5) in the schematic. The spring pressure is constant - static pressure. The spring pressure is so great you need to use c-clamps to compress the spring in order disassemble the clutch assembly. It is the constant pressure/force of this spring which keeps the clutch engaged.

http://www.boats.net/parts/search/H...3-5099999/CLUTCH + PROPELLER SHAFT/parts.html

When you pull on the shifter lever (to your left) to select gears a plate in the assembly (#2) is forced against the spring creating enough clearance so the clutch disk doesn't make contact with the plate (#5).

http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/5669935491/in/set-72157626516992426/

The purpose of the damper essentially softens or delays the speed of the pressure against the spring as the spring uncompresses. So pulling on the shift lever is the same as using your foot to disengage the clutch if driving a car with a manual clutch and transmission.

As you release the shift lever into a gear selection slot on the shift panel the clutch damper slowly releases the pressure of the spring and the clutch engages causing the splined clutch disk to spin (turning the splined shaft on the front of the transmission). The Honda engineers have determined that 1 second is the approximate time required to engage the clutch without a lot of slipping of the clutch disk. We know what happens when you slip the clutch - premature wear on the clutch disk.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/5633743426/in/set-72157626516992426/

To diagnose further - you will have to remove the seat panel in order to see how the damper works as you shift the transmission. After selecting a gear observe how the damper moves to the right and as it does the plate (#2 in the parts schematic) moves to the right as well releasing spring compression. If #2 does not move completely to the right then the clutch assembly is binding somewhere. You can actually pull the damper upwards with your finger to get full extension of the damper as it releases.

IMO - if you have to remove the seat panel - there is not too much more labor involved to dissassemble the clutch assembly, replace the clutch disk and inspect and/or replace the radial bearing. Total parts cost is less than $100.


More references:

http://www.mytractorforum.com/showthread.php?t=131603&highlight=clutch+assembly

http://www.mytractorforum.com/showthread.php?t=94885&highlight=clutch+assembly
http://www.mytractorforum.com/showthread.php?t=211515&highlight=clutch+assembly
http://www.mytractorforum.com/showthread.php?t=206652&highlight=clutch+assembly
http://www.mytractorforum.com/showthread.php?t=98365&highlight=clutch+assembly
http://www.mytractorforum.com/showthread.php?t=98365&highlight=clutch+assembly


Note: I have never found a post in this forum that states that the clutch damper is worn out. As you can see there are several posts explaining how to replace the clutch and/or radial bearing.

Usually when a shock fails there is NO resistance when compressing and decompressing the shock. If there is no resistance in the shock the clutch would engage immediately. However, I suppose the damper mechanism assembly might be causing a restriction whereby the clutch doesn't fully engage.

But why not in the summer - but it does not in the winter ???????????????

The damper is not in stock - it shows that it is obsolete.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/HONDA-HT381...633?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item5890307ff1


HTH
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I called the dealer that sold me the lawnmower, and he said it is probably the damper. When it's cold the damper doesn't put enough pressure on the foot pedal (clutch/brake) to bring the pedal back all the way. It would work in 1-3 gears, but not in 4 and 5, he said. The test is to pull back on the pedal and see if that assists the damper enough to engage the clutch. I'll try it tomorrow, and let you know what happens.
Randy
 

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I would put my money on the clutch damper. They are an oil filled shock absorber and with age and especially cold weather, the oil flows slower or not at all from one side of the piston to the other. I had to replace one years ago that had the same symptoms.

They are NLA from Honda or any of the parts houses, but there are two currently listed on eBay for the HT3810 - the 3810 and the 3813 use the same damper (part # 24117-750-013). I have attached the listings below. The first one is used for $42.00 with free shipping. The second one us new for $69.95 with $5.95 shipping. When they were available the retail was $92.48, so either of the two below are priced right.

Hope this helps...

http://www.ebay.com/itm/HONDA-HT381...906?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2567a606c2

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Honda-Dampe...712?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2a1746b2e0
 

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I tend agree with Bob and why I made the final comment about the damper at the end of my first reply. But the MAT system is pretty complex, so it's best to examine all possibilities.

I checked my 4213 and it doesn't release fully either - now that it is cold. To get the piston to go to full extension (release) I have to pull the piston rod up with my finger and doing so also releases the lever which allows the clutch plate to fully engage. It hangs about an inch from full engage.

Who know how must rust and debris accumulates inside of the cylinder over 25 years - especially if the accordian boot on the bottom of the cylinder has failed? The piston's on brake calipers do the thing if there is any restriction.

I was going to buy the new damper on ebay - it is already sold.

Tip: you might want to eyeball your clutch disk - if it has been slipping for a long time, it might be on its last leg.

FWIW - on the same mower (4213) I did the replace the disk same time as the radial bearing (it was 22 year old). I would not have had to replace it - it had plenty of thickness left - so they do last a very long time. I ordered it before taking the assembly apart. The radial bearing was toast instead.
 

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FWIW - on the same mower (4213) I did the replace the disk same time as the radial bearing (it was 22 year old). I would not have had to replace it - it had plenty of thickness left - so they do last a very long time. I ordered it before taking the assembly apart. The radial bearing was toast instead.
Had the same experience with my HT3813. Bought it in the summer of 1985 and I took it down two years ago just because I knew that the original clutch had to be close to the end - even though the wear indicator showed differently. It had been doing it's job for 25 years compounded by the fact that here in Florida you have to cut 12 month a year. In my mind it had to be living on borrowed time - wrong! I was amazed to see the disc still had about 50% remaining on it. But, since it was apart, I knew I would be foolish not to replace it. In my case the three bearings were all still in good shape, but again, it would have been foolish not to replace them. At the same time I did the PTO and the findings were about the same. The disc probably had 40% remaining and the bearings were still good, but getting close to needing to be replaced.

It is funny to look back to 1985 when I bought it. I bought the first one in the area and paid $2050.00 for it. My friends gave me a huge amount of grief over paying that much for a yard tractor. At the time you could buy a Dynamark or MTD from the large box stores for about $800.00. As I look back, the friends have replaced their tractors many times now over the 27 years and my little red rider is still humming along. In addition to my replacing the drive clutch and PTO clutch, which did not have to be replaced, it has gone through several sets of blades, about six batteries, one clutch damper, about eight air filters, one fuel filter, a set of starter brushes, a complete set of bearings in the deck and a new set of tensioner pulleys. Considering that those are all normal consumables and wear items, I have to say that it has served me very well over the years. It is in such good shape now that I would imagine that it will be going longer than I will. All in all, one of my better decisions. :trink39:

Here are a few pictures I took today. She still looks good for going on 27 year old...
 

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Looking good Bob - the condition of your 3813 is a good example of how long something will last if it is built right from the factory and then taken care of by the owner. The decals on the floor plate are really holding up well. On each of the mowers I have (4) the floor plate decals are worn off and not nearly as good condition as yours.

As for the wear characteristics of the clutch disk - IMO I think it has a lot to do with the hydraulic clutch damper and the timed release.

You can't slip the clutch when engaging the clutch, or ride the clutch when driving with the MAT transmission - so if the damper timing is set properly and/or the damper is not worn out, the clutch is either engaged quickly as it should be or it is not.

Same goes for the PTO clutch - engage it quickly as stated in the manual and there will be less slippage and therefore less wear on the clutch disk.

Electric clutches (AC clutch for example) work the same way. They engage quickly and last a very long time.
 

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Had the same experience with my HT3813. Bought it in the summer of 1985 and I took it down two years ago just because I knew that the original clutch had to be close to the end - even though the wear indicator showed differently. It had been doing it's job for 25 years compounded by the fact that here in Florida you have to cut 12 month a year. In my mind it had to be living on borrowed time - wrong! I was amazed to see the disc still had about 50% remaining on it. But, since it was apart, I knew I would be foolish not to replace it. In my case the three bearings were all still in good shape, but again, it would have been foolish not to replace them. At the same time I did the PTO and the findings were about the same. The disc probably had 40% remaining and the bearings were still good, but getting close to needing to be replaced.

It is funny to look back to 1985 when I bought it. I bought the first one in the area and paid $2050.00 for it. My friends gave me a huge amount of grief over paying that much for a yard tractor. At the time you could buy a Dynamark or MTD from the large box stores for about $800.00. As I look back, the friends have replaced their tractors many times now over the 27 years and my little red rider is still humming along. In addition to my replacing the drive clutch and PTO clutch, which did not have to be replaced, it has gone through several sets of blades, about six batteries, one clutch damper, about eight air filters, one fuel filter, a set of starter brushes, a complete set of bearings in the deck and a new set of tensioner pulleys. Considering that those are all normal consumables and wear items, I have to say that it has served me very well over the years. It is in such good shape now that I would imagine that it will be going longer than I will. All in all, one of my better decisions. :trink39:

Here are a few pictures I took today. She still looks good for going on 27 year old...
She is a beauty!
 
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