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Lawn Mower Starter Cord Won't Pull

June 17, 2010


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.

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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

Answers:

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 Michael Carter

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)

By MV

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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August 15, 2008

I purchased a new lawn mower the end of July this year. I've mowed my lawn approximately 6 times. I went out today to mow.

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14 Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

April 22, 2011

Recently I bought a new Briggs and Stratton 550 series push mower. I pulled it out, assembled it, put oil and gas in, and primed it. When I went to pull the starter cord, it wouldn't budge. Advice? Anything I missed? I followed the owners manual word for word.

By Silas Gold

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August 2, 20120 found this helpful
Best Answer

If you've mowed before and then have problems pulling the cord to get it started, it could be that your mower needs cleaned from underneath where the blade turns. When mowing damp grass, it tends to cake around the bottom and it dries up making it hard for the blade to turn which locks up the pulling cord. Turn your mower sideways and see if it needs cleaning. Scrape off all dried up grass, then try to start up as usual. Should do the trick. Good Luck! Handy-Mama

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April 28, 20131 found this helpful
Best Answer

I recently bought a Troy Bilt self propelled mower, model TB210. I experienced a similar problem, followed the assembly and set up instructions and the starter cord would come out about 5 inches and not budge. No knots in the cord, and I was holding the blade control bar against the upper handle, as instructed. I checked the blades and realized that I did not extend the handle bar as much as I needed to. There was still about six inches of handle bar extending into the rotating blade area and it was preventing me from pulling the starter cord out fully. Once I readjusted the ends of the handle bar I had no problem.

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June 17, 2010

My Craftsman 6.0 mower pull cord is stuck. I've checked gas, oil, spark plug, and blade. Everything is good on those, but the blade won't turn by hand. What options do I have, or should I take it to a shop?

By vince from Richmond, VA

Answers

June 19, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

You might try spraying a little WD-40 on whatever part(s) you think are stuck. If that fails, then you'll probably have to take it to the shop.

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June 20, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

The rope sometimes gets stuck on the coil winding mechanism underneath. In this case, you need to take it apart, get a new rope and put the whole thing back together. I asked my DH and this is what he said. Good luck.

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Anonymous
October 5, 20120 found this helpful
Best Answer

Thanks everyone for this thread. I just fixed my Toro mower after reading it. The pull was stuck, metal clank. While my attention had been focused on the motor and pull cord, the mower had actually picked up an old piece of rope which was tightly wound above the blade preventing it from turning..

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August 23, 2013

I have a Troy Bilt mower, model 12AJ836E011. The starter cord will pull out a few inches then stop. I can jerk it and it will come out a few more inches then stop again, etc., etc. I cleaned under the mower and that didn't help. I tried to remove the cover to see if there was anything lodged on the top, but it is held on by three screws, maybe.

They don't look like Allen screws, because they are not octagon shaped, rather round - like rivets. How can I get the cover off? Or, what else can I look for to get this darned thing started. My neighbors are starting to make nasty comments about my lawn. lol

By Kat

Answers

January 19, 20150 found this helpful
Best Answer

Extreme Caution note: FAILURE to disconnect the spark plug when turning the blade may cause the mower to start and cause serious injury especially for mowers that may not have safety devices to prevent accidental starting and subsequent injury from the blade.

Before attempting to clean underneath the mower or turn the blade for any reason, make sure to DISCONNECT the wire connected to the spark plug from the end of the spark plug, making sure none of the metal part touches the spark plug at any time. The end of the spark plug and wire may be very HOT if the engine has been running. Allow it to cool or remove it with pliers or gloves.

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May 28, 2013

I just bought a Craftsman lawn mower and I am trying to pull the rope and it's not coming out.

By Bharti

Answers

January 26, 20150 found this helpful
Best Answer

Are you holding down the safety bar while pulling the cord? Your manual should mention your problem under "trouble shooting".

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May 24, 2011

My starter cable is locked and I am unable to pull the chord to start my lawn mower. I noticed that the oil had dried up. I decided to fill it up with oil, but I need to unlock the jammed or locked starter cable. Even the blade below is stuck. Any suggestions, please?

By Chris

Answers

Anonymous
February 23, 20200 found this helpful

You must have a wire wrapped on shaft check if its the problum

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May 13, 2013

Please, is someone able to help me? 1 day ago I brought a second hand Honda self propelled lawn mower from eBay. I had been told it had recently had a service, (before the winter) and had full tank of petrol and oil. It took a few times to get going, but once going and I got the hang of starting it and using it it was working fine.

I then went over some longer wet grass and it cut out. I am now unable to pull the start cord out any more than a few inches. I checked the underneath and removed all wet grass that was clogging it, but I still can't pull the cord out or the blade to turn. I have removed the cover that holds the cord and when not attached to the mower the cord pulls fine. But whatever that is suppose to turn won't budge. I don't know where the spark plugs are or what to look for.

I am desperately wanting advice as to whether I should return it for refund of £100 or if it's worth while taking it somewhere to be fixed and the possible costs of getting it fixed. It looks well looked after. It has not been left outside or rusted. Please help!

By Charlene

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May 7, 2013

I ran over a piece of metal with my lawnmower and now the cord is stuck it won't pull out. The blade looks fine, but won't turn.

By Janie

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October 10, 2012

I have a Honda self-propelled lawn mower. At the end of last use, the self-propel stopped and it smelled like burned rubber. I checked the oil, which is fine, checked the blades, no blockage or build-up on inside of mower, and the belt looks fine (I thought the belt might be hung up on something or broken, but it looks O.K.) I can turn the blades manually with no problem. The spark plug is new. The cord is extremely difficult to pull and I can't get it all the way out. Also, when looking under the mower, what is the best way to tip the mower? Lift the front, or turn it on its side?

By Nutty Nana

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August 5, 2010

Last week my Briggs and Stratton push mower worked fine. This week I cannot pull the cord out far enough to start it. Can you point me in the right direction toward fixing it, please?

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April 22, 2011

I am having trouble with a pull type mower. The rope was added and I can't get the string to work.

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May 10, 2010

I replaced the starter cord on my Troybilt lawn mower. It works perfectly until I re-bolt the cover, then it locks up and can't be pulled. Any ideas of what the problem is?

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April 23, 2009

I put my new Tubobilt lawn mower together. It started the first time I pulled the rope. Then, it stopped and the rope will not come back out.

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