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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
apparently honda is still offering lawn tractors in europe

biggest deck is a 48", with a couple of smaller decks - but a neat central discharge chute feeding to an integral grass hopper in the rear, that on the 48" deck model raises by an electric cylinder for emptying without leaving the seat

not having a discharge chute on the side would seem to make it easier to cut up to borders on either side and would definitely save me some time cutting, plus the straight path would be a shorter path to the hopper and make it easier to fill - iirc, the UK price is about $4500 (with VAT backed out) - shame they don't bring it to the US market

 

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Larry,
Just got my 4518 for free and am new to this site. I am in the process of rebuilding my 46" deck. I have read that a lot of the radiator screen clogging issues have to do with dust being kicked up off the deck, especially with a mulch kit installed. I am considering cutting open the bottom of the back of the deck as a discharge after installing the mulch plug in the side discharge. I plan on using a 72" rear mount Woods finish mower as a guide. Any thoughts?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
don't know if that will work, as the rear chute deck had it's blades counter rotating to throw the clippings to the center rear - not sure where the mulching blades are set to direct the clippings. iirc, that tractor honda offers was built by snapper, and they did offer it here in the states but stopped sometime ago. when i looked at the belt pulley arrangement to effect that counter-rotating blades, it was crazy complicated - and even in the svc manual for the PTO belt changeouts it recommended it was a dealer performed svc only. Here's a link to the honda uk lawn tractor webpage: http://www.honda.co.uk/garden/ride-onmowers/. Not sure if this next link will work but this is to the brochure for download. Scroll down for the center chute riding mowers (on the way there, there's an interesting 3 wheeled walk behind mower, hysdrostatic drive, WITH A 61" CUTTING DECK.

I looked at moving the radiator on my 3813 to the rear of the engine, ie in front of my knees when seated on the tractor - there's a spindle honda uses on the 3813's engine when installed in a generator or waterpump frame, that bolts to the boss on the 3813's waterpump, with that spindle having it's own radiator fan (basically just correcting for the reversal of turning direction). My thinking was a lot of other tractors (kubota for one) with water cooled engines position their radiators there to ease the clogging issue but in talking to a kubota owner, he said he still had radiator clogging issues and it didn't sound like the effort to move it would be worth the return.

I suspect, with water cooled engines on a lawn tractor that is going to be an issue, unless it was feasible to mount the radiator about 12' up above the tractor, which it isn't
 

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Thanks Larry,
I'm not looking to bag the cuttings, just give them an easy path out. I have to take a closer look at my big mower. With the back of the Woods mower open, I don't get the 'wind rows' like I do with the other decks. It spreads the clippings across the whole cutting width.

I'll keep everyone informed how it works out. Worse case, I have to close it back up. TIG wire isn't that expensive.

Have you ever painted the inside of a deck? I'm trying to figure out what would hold up, and help keep it clean in there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
i've tried a number of coatings on the deck's underside and nothing is going to hold up for more than one season, for me anyway. I cut 2 & 3/4 acres, and there are some sandy patches, so the clippings, sand & dirt etc act like a low power sandblaster under the deck.

What seems to be the most durable (lastest for most of a season) was a double or triple coat of the coating trak auto sells for lining truck beds. I've used heavy body paints, and even tried some ceracote (ceramic coating)

Whatever you put on will be at best, a sacrificial layer. One coating i thought about trying was some heavy bodied epoxy (think 50 wgt motor oil) with some stainless steel powder blended in - that's the most abrasion resistant coating i can suggest, and it might last a full season because of the thicker layer or buildup from the epoxy. But even that i doubt will go much beyond a full season, and the epoxy i use (aviation application) is expensive, @$300 a gallon. There are cheaper epoxies i'm sure, just need to look for them

back on the subject of opening on the back side of the deck - another issue is, the deck tunnel and wells (wells where the blades are) are set up to create something of a low pressure zone (like in a vacuum) to help pull the grass straight up so it cuts evenly. Opening up a larger section of the rear side of the deck, i would think would lessen the deck's ability to lifting the grass to stand up straight.

The debris that clogs the radiator, a lot is from dust, dirt, clippings & debris that is blown up from in front of the deck as well as some escaping from under the front & sides of the deck. If the vacuum effect directing the clippings to the exit chute or tunnel is lessened, i'd have to think more debris would be thrown out under the front and side edges of the deck, which would simply mean the radiator clogging faster.

I've got a couple of those blowers that honda sold that mount on the deck and are driven by an auxillary pulley - pulling extra vacuum from under the deck might do more to minimize the debris being blown out from under the deck and blown up from in front of the deck. Mine clogs mostly from leaves & grass clippings that were mulched from the previous lawn cutting

I'll be interested in your results
fwiw
 
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