Introduction: How to Replace an Engine's Pull Cord

Picture of How to Replace an Engine's Pull Cord

Video tutorial on how to replace the pull cord on a small engine. This is a generic procedure which applies to most small engines with some small differences. Normally overtime the rope will wear out, causing the fibres to fray and finally break. Sometimes you can be ahead and replace the pull cord before it breaks, other times it’ll just break on its own if it’s older such as mine. For replacement pull cords, there are various materials available, along with braiding and strength rating. It is best to use a higher quality rope which will withstand kickbacks and is resistant against abrasion.

Tools/Supplies Needed:

  • new pull cord rope
  • sockets and ratchet set
  • cutters
  • lighter or torch
  • standard/flat screwdriver

Step 1:

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First start by removing the recoil assembly, this will depend on your model, the one shown in the video is easily accessibly and can be separated from the engine cover. It is held on with four nuts and has a small cover on the top side. If yours is similar to this and if it does have threaded studs welded to the cover, be extremely careful not to break them off.

Step 2:

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Remove the pull cord, just cut off the knot using side cutters so you don’t have to run the full length of rope through the hole. Either have an assistant, hold it yourself, or clamp the assembly lightly into place if you do not want the recoil to loose it’s spot of tension. Considering this is plastic, they are known to break which is why I won’t bother clamping it and will be holding it instead. Remove the old pull cord from the pull start handle. Designs will vary depending on models. For the one shown in the video, it has a metal insert which can be removed using a standard screwdriver.

Step 3:

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Re-wind the clock spring/spool on the recoil assembly, here I did four turns. Three turns of pull cord rope and an extra turn to keep tension on the handle. Insert the new pull cord through the hole and tie a stopper knot. Tuck the knot into the pocket. If the working end is too long, cut off the access length and fuse the end using a lighter. Allow the recoil unit to coil the rope three turns or depending how many times you chose. Reinstall the handle, if yours is a two piece handle, make sure you install the casing first and then the metal insert. Then tie a stopped knot in the correct spot.

Step 4:

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Cut off the access rope and fuse the end. Reassembly the pull cord handle and ensure everything is functioning correctly. Assemble in reverse of removal.

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