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Hayter Harrier 41 problems

Started by ufop, May 31, 2021, 12:41:09 PM

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I am new to the forum but been looking about and looks like a great place to ask for advice.

I have acquired a second hand old Hayter Harrier 41 which works well but does have a couple of little issues which I really want to get sorted.

The drive on it even when on full power is so very, very slow but does work.
The electric start doesn't work when its cold although it does turn it over (starts first time every time on the pull)
The front 2 wheels seem to be sticking out a bit which I think seems to make the mower try to wander all over the place a bit like an old supermarket trolley.

Annoyingly the mower doesn't seem to have the ID plate on it so I'm not 100% sure on the exact version/model of the harrier 41.
The drive being slow I wonder if it just needs new belts? but I'm not sure which to buy as I'm not sure if they are different for all the different versions of the harrier 41.
The battery I'm not too bothered about, I have tried charging it with a car battery charger as I don't have the original charger but I know I can easily replace the battery if that's just the problem.
The front wheels look ok as I have taken them off and checked them but I'm wondering if the front axel got hit a little or bent a little? I know I can get a replacement axel on ebay for about £10 to £20.

The mower does give a great cut despite of its problems which is why I want to get it fixed up.

I have changed the spark plug and given an oil change as the oil was horrible and I thought this might help with a couple of the problems but sadly hasn't.

Any help gratefully received.



Hi, and welcome to TGMF.

The old Harrier 41 was notorious for bent front axle's, I usually just grab the wheel and pull them straight again.  Electric start, these can be a bit lazy on the old models, they really need a good battery work properly. I would actually recommend first start using the pull cord, and once warm use the electric start. 

The drive.  Now that would depend on what version 41 you have, but if it is a side drive model with a single drive belt from engine PTO to roller then to be fair they are slow. Does it feel like the belt is slipping?



that's a great bit of info, I have looked at getting a replacement battery but have given the old one a bit of a charge and like you say it works fine when its warm... think I will stick the the cord and then battery  :)

I wouldn't say it feels like the belt is slipping on the mower at all but its so slow, I have used another petrol rotary mower and also a Qualcast classic 35 (I think) and they both fly when on full power.
The Hayter gives such a great cut but just runs so slow over the lawn.
I think I will have a go now at bending the axel straight

Thanks again


I reckon you have the old side drive model, which as I said is pretty slow.  On some they had a split pulley on the side PTO on the engine which you could add or remove washers from between the two pully halves, to increase or decrease the speed slightly,  Those parts are now obsolete, so I wouldn't disturb them now if working ok to be honest.

At the slow speed you will get a good cut, and good collection, so if you can put up with it then all's good.  The modern ones are too fast IMO. ;)

If you attach a couple of photo's to a reply here we can identify the version for you.


Hi Ufop,

I agree with Mick that the older Hayter Harrier 41 is not a spritely machine, more of a plodder. Some issues that can slow it down are as follows:

Belt tensioning plastic pulley is seized on the metal shaft. Tip the mower backwards and look for the pulley between the back of wall of what I call the cutting swept area and the rear roller. You should be able to turn the plastic pulley by hand with the drive disengaged. If it seized then the belt might be wearing it away, I have known this to happen.

Check your drive cable adjustment. I tend to tighten the adjustment until the machine cannot be pulled backwards (again with the drive disengaged), then slacken the adjusting nut until the machine rolls freely backwards and the drive operating bar moves easily towards the handlebar. Bit of trial and error to be honest.Drive cable adjustment will rule out any belt slip as the belt has to be really worn for the slack not to be taken-up by adjustment.

Make sure your engine is running fast enough. on some models there is a maximum speed screw which acts as a max speed stop. This screw is on the front of the throttle linkage and usually has a spring behind it to stop it from winding itself in or out. make sure your throttle linkage is free at all points and that the speed governing spring is undamaged and has a fairly strong tension.

I hope this all makes sense.