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Lawn Mower Starter Rope Stuck

Craftsman 6.0 horsepower 22" side discharge lawn mower won't start: The starter rope simply makes half a turn only. It sounds (metal touching sound at half turn) like something blocking the starter rope from turning in the flywheel.


The manual suggests this could be "Engine flywheel brake is on when control bar is released". And I followed its suggested solution, "Depress control bar to upper handle before pulling starter rope." But it doesn't work at all.

Note: the mower was fine and it refused to allow its starter rope to be pulled again after the engine automatically stopped while mowing. Please help.

David Lee


Lawn Mower Starter Rope Stuck

I had a mower that would only pull half way one day, after I had just used it. Turns out the rope was "off track" on the wheel. We had to remove the cover to find this out and re-align the rope. Works fine now. (05/11/2005)

By kidseatfree

Lawn Mower Starter Rope Stuck

I just had this happen to me and it turns out that the blade was clogged up by the grass, which was very long and thick. Just cleared out the stoppage and it worked again. That's all that was needed in my case. (05/22/2005)


By Pete McDonnell

Lawn Mower Starter Rope Stuck

Honda rope change is a serious action and challenge. (05/31/2005)

By sefira

Lawn Mower Starter Rope Stuck

Try to remove the shroud. If it is a Briggs, it will be three 3/8" bolts. Move the flywheel (the thing on top with fins) by hand or with a screwdriver or pry bar. Make sure you safely disconnect the spark plug lead first! It should hopefully free up. if you hear a clunking sound about 1/2 to 3/4 of the way around in revolution you might listen carefully to determine if you have a serious thrown rod (metal on metal sounding clunk) or crankshaft inside the block (engine).

If it does turn freely, you know you have an ordeal with the starter assembly. Take it to a repair shop. If the flywheel turns but is sluggish perhaps you have collected debris amongst the external blade, flywheel, etc. Usually it is line. If it is still sluggish take it to the shop. Another thing you could try at home is to (again disconnect the spark plug lead) and turn the mower blade by hand to determine if you have a broken flywheel key or something more serious. Before diving into something major do yourself a favor and take it to a repair shop! Hope this helped some. (03/11/2006)


By bubbba mechanic

Lawn Mower Starter Rope Stuck

Thanks for the tips. This definitely helped me with the problems that I was facing. (05/20/2006)


Lawn Mower Starter Rope Stuck

I had the same problem and it was the plastic inserts that catch the wheel when you pull the rope. They're easy to replace and cost very little (even for the entire set-up). Simply take off the top plastic cover/s then the three little bolts on top and flip the tank assembly toward the handle (watch the gas line).

Remove the four bolts that hold the metal housing and flip it over to see the pull assembly. If you unscrew the center bolt it lifts off to see two plastic parts the wing out when you pull the rope. This will allow you to pull out the coil so be careful. If you need parts MandD mower has great prices. (11/10/2007)


By John

Lawn Mower Starter Rope Stuck

Great suggestions here. This all helped me fix my Briggs push mower. In my case, the starter rope would move when disconnected. The fly wheel would not. I looked under my mower and the blade housing was bent and preventing the blade from turning. Thank you all for the help. Back in business with my old, cheap push mower. (08/16/2008)

By Clay

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