sorry to get off topic a little but I get asked this question all the time from people who are buying a used Honda. A lot of people think the friction disk system is cheaper to repair such as just replacing a disk compared to the hydro unit having a problem and needing repair or replacement.
what is your experience with hydro repairs? I have never heard of hydros having problems other than a leaking seal or a pushed out seal and then needing nothing more than bleeding system and refill with oil.?
Even a used hydro is around $300-400 and the labor is close to same so I can understand a person's concern. I tell people that some parts on the older HS50-55-70-80 are no longer available and that alone could be a reason not to buy one. On the other hand I have told them the hydros are very reliable from my ( limited ) experience.
Do you agree or can you tell me more info from your experience? ( disk vs. hydro )
The Hydro's can be expensive to repair. I have seen seals go bad, but not too often. I have seen the little pistons and the cylinder blocks that they sit in wear out, but that is a rarity.
The older Honda transmissions were made by Honda, and were much better than the newer ones. A lot of the Hydro units are made by Hydrogear on newer units, and many Hydro tractors, and I have repaired too many of those to count on tractor equipped Hydro's, almost all of them HydroGear that are a very common part in many different manufacturers machines.
The Eaton and Vickers Hydro pumps and motors were built a lot better.
In over 28 years time, I have only seen one older Honda HS828 that had a bad Hydro Trans. It had worn pistons and cylinder blocks. And that machine was used commercially and extremely hard.
Honda used to be good for having old parts available years ago, but after Mr Soichiro Honda died, they decided it cost too much to keep all the old parts in stock and they scrapped a lot of their new old stock, not just with power equipment, but with motorcycle, ATV and scooter divisions.
Your Hydro's are very reliable and it is usually pretty rare that one goes bad.
I would take a Hydro over a disc drive any day. For the extra money spent on a Hydro, they are well worth it for the trouble free usage and longevity out of them.
You definitely get your monies worth out of them. You would end up spending more money replacing discs and repairing disc drive systems over a long period of time than what a Hydro would cost, and for the extended time you would get out of a Hydro. You figure people who use their snowblower commercially for over 25 years at a time might replace 25 discs or more, and the Hydro unit is still going strong without any problems at all. It is the longevity and trouble free time you get out of a Hydro that makes it worth the extra money, plus the ease of use with infinitely variable speeds that can easily come to a very slow craw speed and speed back up without de-clutching or stopping to shift, and just by moving the shift lever to reverse or forward without having to come to a complete stop and de-clutching.
Every time you do that with a disc drive, it is like when an airplane lands, the stopped tire suddenly has to skid against the drive plate, or pavement in an airplane's case, to start rotating suddenly, and it causes wear and flat spots on the tire, plus if you get the "tire" wet on the disc drive, they will slip excessively and wear prematurely. And they do get wet while operating under normal conditions. Not only that, but a Hydro has a much more solid, powerful drive when under a severe load like going up steep hills, steps, or when "Bulldozing" thru snow, which you are not supposed to do.