Hi all, thought I'd share some tips that I learned over the years to improve the 216 as many are going back to useing them. The biggest pain has been long thick grass when caught blocking the shute. Put your blades in a vice and bend the back of the flute up and on a more acute angle, this creates more lift and will pack the catcher fuller.
Up the revs to at least 3600, you should do this regardless even though using full throttle all the time is not needed. this helps throw the grass when wet too. The standard catcher is no good in the wet and the fabric blocks up and will not breath causing the shute to block. Get one of the thin bags from Waverly Mowers, it breathes and with the other mods will fill with the wettest grass, just to add it will only last one season and will shower you in dust in the dry. This is when you use the old catcher and your spare disk with standard lift blades.
Mulching, not the best compared to a 217 but can be improved greatly by flatening the blades so there is no lift (flute) on the back of the blade. This tends to re-circulate the grass and cut it finer resulting in an improved appearance. As for wheels and air filters go for Honda brand only never the E/bay cheepies. I run my back wheels untill it's got no tread as I find the little bit of slippage is kinder to the gearbox. Use your blower to keep around the drive shaft clean of chaff and keep an eye on cotton or fishing line wrapping around the crankshaft and driveshaft it will bugger the seal very quick.
I've got more to write and I'll add to this thread when I've more time, if you've got some other tips please share them here. Arfa could probably go for hours but anything to improve this tank of a thing has got to be good. You'll notice I've not posted any links or photo's as these mods particularly the blades could be considered an illegal act. Be assured I've never had an accident since 1998 apart from windows and the golf ball drama.
Hope this helps and we'll add to it in the comming day's. Give me a pm if I can help.