The pull cord to start the engine broke on my gas mower. Can anyone help me? Im tapped on cash and i'm being overwhelmed by grass!
You can fix the broken pull cord, but it'll require you to take apart the entire "pull-start assembly," according to my handy husband. (04/06/2004)
You can get a new pull cord at any hardware store for a few dollars but they can be tricky to replace. If you go to a repair shop they will do it for you. The last time we had to do ours it cost about $20.00 (04/06/2004)
A lot of people will mention how easy it is to "get a new pull cord" BUT they're not telling you that once you take the cover off of the side or top of the lawn mower, there's a REALLY STRONG SPRING that has to be reattached before the face plate can be put back on, I know because I found out the hard way. It took two of us to hold the spring and two to keep it wound tight and hope you have it pulling the right way.. let a professional do the job and save your hands and nerves. (04/06/2004)
The cord can be purchased at a hardware store. Hubby, just replaced one, wasn't that hard. (04/08/2004)
Recoil (pull) starter repair
Broken starter ropes or failure to retract are both repairs that are fairly easy. However, the spring can be nasty as it is under tension (or should be when reassembled). This can be risky if you are not familiar with the internal construction as you disassemble the unit.
The cause of a broken cord is obvious. The cause for a failure to retract could be a broken spring, tangled or frayed rope, or some other mechanical failure. A broken spring will require total disassembly of the starter mechanism - fortunately there really isn't that much involved.
With some designs, it is possible to replace the cord without fully disassembling the starter mechanism - by threading the cord in and tying a not in the end - but after rotating it several turns to put the proper tension on the spring. This is relatively safe but may be frustrating as 3 hands are sometimes needed.
Where safe disassembly is not obvious, I would recommend that you refer to a book on lawn mower or small engine repair from the library or the service manual for the mower, if possible. You may be able to find specific step-by-step instructions which will minimize your risk of injury from an encounter with an uncontrolled spring.
When the rope pulls out and retracts normally - but doesn't do anything else - the most likely cause is a problem with the one-way clutch. This may be part of the spring-rope assembly - usually removable as a unit - or attached to the flywheel. The most common problems are gummed up lubrication or a broken spring or other damaged or worn parts. For common engines:
On Briggs & Stratton starters, the clutch is often part of the flywheel nut assembly. The entire unit can be easily removed and replaced if it fails to engage reliably.
On Tecumseh starters, pawls in the starter assembly engage a serrated cup held in place by the flywheel nut. Check for damaged parts or gummed up lubrication.
WARNING: Take extreme care should you need to disassemble the portion of the starter that includes the mainspring - that can be nasty.
By Les Cuff
It's not so difficult.
Here's the procedure on a Tecumseh:
Take off the top housing that holds the cord/clutch assembly. Two screws on my model. Remove the assembly.
Use a small screwdriver or similar to pluck out the end of the broken cord. Unroll the cord all the way then pull it out by the knot.
Get your new cord at Walmart for $1.97.
Install the new handle according to the instructions.
Here's the part not on the instructions:
You need to wind the spring all the way. You can hold the spring tension with one hand while you thread the cord through the eyelets. Then get your wife, husband, kid, whoever to tie a knot in the cord.
You have two options at this point: Let it go. Or slowly let it wind the cord in. I chose the latter. Reattach the cord/clutch unit. (07/22/2005)
By Boba Fett
Easy to replace! I am a level 2 mechanic on a scale to 10. Read some other forums online for "recoil starter replacement". The only thing they don't tell you is that it is underneath the cover, not on the engine itself. Took a total of 20 minutes.
By Mike Dayton
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