Countax mower repairs – C600 – year 2008

A page where I record successful repairs as they happen. The parts list on my 2008 C-series is downloadable below.

Steering

Problem – can’t steer

The Countax steering mechanism is surprisingly simple – a pinion or gear on the steering column (pic below) turns a ‘quadrant’ attached to a track rod that tugs the wheel. After several crashes where the tyre hit a fence post and jerked the steering to an extreme position, or a full on crash, the pinion (or ‘gear’ or ‘cog’) now slips and grinds when I turn the steering wheel.

Solutions to Countax steering problems

  • Buy a new gear or quadrant or steering bearing – I’ve replaced just the gear with temporary success. The trick to this is to remove the battery to have access to the void holding the steering mechanism. From underneath remove 1 x 13mm nut and washer at the very bottom of the steering column. The steering column can now be raised as bits probably fall off the column. Remove the C-clip above the gear and don’t lose the ‘key’ that fixes the gear. (Yours may be so corroded that nothing falls off). To reassemble: slide on the gear, position the key and replace the C-clip. Slide on the big T3 5/8″ washer below the gear, then the collar [21] and place in the steering bearing. Reattach the retaining 13mm nut and washer from below.
  • Nudge the position of the steering bearing [23-53] so that the pinion is closer to the quadrant. To do this you need to loosen two 13 mm nylock nuts underneath and the two 13mm bolts above – these hold the bearing in slotted holes. As a minimum, remove the battery to access the bolts with a socket wrench. Access to the nuts from underneath is easier without the cutting deck but you may get by without needing to do this. When the nuts are loose the steering bearing can be pushed slightly so that the gear meshes with the quadrant as it should.
  • If the steering is sloppy at the wheels, there’s possibly a bigger problem at the wheel or connecting rods. A Youtube channel called ‘Andrew fixes’ shows how to do a more serious repair of the steering bearings on each wheel. He also shows how to adjust the toe-in.

Engine

ENGINE SPEED

I’ve been advised that the adjustments on the engine might best be left alone. There is a control on the idling speed and there may be others. In my case it was only necessary to adjust the fixing of the throttle/choke cable. I wish I’d not fiddled with other settings as my running speed while cutting is 2800 rpm and it used to be 3000 rpm.

IRREGULAR RUNNING – MISFIRES – WORKS FOR A BIT

Solutions to these issues are many. You could end up replacing the spark plugs; air filter or fiddling with engine settings. For me, after checking the fuel connections and looking for debris in the fuel tank, the first thing to replace is the fuel filter. A splash of Briggs&Stratton fuel additive is another thing that’s part of a solution, especially if the fuel is old.

STARTER MOTOR FAILED

The starter motor failed because the start button was sticky – it stuck ‘on’ and allowed this motor to crash and burn. The starter motor is an easy replacement part on this Honda engine. There are plenty of online sellers with inventory. My part was Starter Motor Honda GXV530 GCV520 GCV530 GXV520 31200-Z0A-003

BROKEN STARTER BUTTON

As above, this failed due to water ingress. The starter button is a standard part in a standard diameter found on boats and other machinery. It’ll be labelled waterproof and push to make and have two lugs to keep it in place. Lever out the old starter button, attach the spade terminals to the new switch and push back in the hole.

Tyres

As far as I could tell, the supplied rear wheels have tubeless tyres. A puncture can be repaired; or you can fit an inner tube or you can fill the tyre with OKO/GOOP as below. When a tyre fails, most obviously, your grass cutting gets very uneven!

Asking a friendly garage to fit an inner tube was the way to go. However I was later, and better, advised to use Tyre Sealant to prevent further punctures: jack up the mower and use a valve remover to let the air out of the tyres/tube. A valve remover is supplied in the bottle tube of the OKO tyre sealant. Attach the bottle tube to the tyre valve, and squeeze the required amount of OKO into the wheel. I used about 450ml on each wheel. Clean the valve stem, reinsert and tighten up the valves and reinflate or read the instructions.

I took the dealer option to get the mower wheels filled with tyre sealant when new. By some accounts it lasts the lifetime of the tyre. In my case, it lasted 8 to 10 years.

  • The 20″ tyres have part numbers 198001200 / 198002500 and cost £75 for a pair.
  • The inner tube for these is a 20 x 8.00-8 inner tube with straight rubber valves, TR13 about £10 each
  • OKO Tyre Sealant 1.25 Litres Puncture Free is about £10 – enough to fill only two rear tyres.

Service parts

  • Honda GCV530 Lawnmower Engine Oil Filter
  • Yellow Sweeper Brushes COUNTAX Lawn Tractor pack of 51 WESTWOOD
  • Non-genuine Air Filter compatible with Honda GCV520 GCV530
  • 2x NGK Spark Plug Quality OE Replacement 6130 / BCPR5ES
  • Tractor CLEVIS PIN 12.0 X 50MM x5 set TM6633 (for cutter deck)
  • Westwood Countax tractor 38″ combi mulching blade set of 3
  • Replacement grass box is a good value repair. There are newer models that require you to replace the fixing arms.

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