Instructables

Small Engine Rewind Starter Pull Cord and Handle Replacement

I recently came into the possession of an extremely used snowblower (thanks Scott). It came with an electric start, but without a pull-cord. It must have been pulled out, or snapped but I didn't mind much, that is until the electric start no longer engaged whilst attempting to dig us out during our latest batch of Canadian snowstorms.

After shoveling our driveway, I decided that a redundant starting mechanism on the decrepit snowblower was definitely my ticket out of further back pain. (Electric starter repair/replacement might be my next instructable.) I also had to fabricate a handle since I wasn't about to fork over any money for a plastic handle.

As it turns out, the only disassembly was to remove the rewind starter housing from the snowblower (4 bolts).
 
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Step 1: Tools/Materials Required

Picture of Tools/Materials Required
I used the following tools to complete my task:

1. Hot Glue Gun (optional, I just like to glue stuff)
2. Sharp Knife
3. Lighter (please be careful with fire, do not use this near the snowblower or any other source of gasoline)
4. Locking Pliers and Drill Bit (I have yet to aquire a free drill, so I improvised)

Materials needed for Repair:

1. Dowel for replacement handle.
2. Latex Cork
3. The new pull cord. (I found some snowmobile pull cord at my favorite hardware store)

Step 2: Remove old pull cord.

I used my needle nose pliers to remove the old length of rope that must have snapped off.

You can discover how the rewind starter operates by turning the pulley both clockwise and counter clockwise. The "dogs" or teeth engage when the pulley is turned counter clockwise.

When attached to the engine they function to grab the interior of the flywheel and turn the engine over, then they retract as the pulley turns clockwise. The "dogs" are angled in a way to minimize the damage caused if they were to fail to retract, or if the cord is pulled again while the engine is operating.
The cord in my lawnmower somehow got its outer fabric cover cut somewhere in the middle of the length, and now the outer fabric bunched up inside just before the hole. Anyone know how I can handle this?
yes take the top gard off and get a new pull rope or an old bood lace and replace it.
okay thanks! gonna try that out sometime soon
Good idea on the Instructable. I fix these things all the time and it just becomes second nature that you just never think about passing on the information. Here are a few extra points and tricks of the trade. The knot that most manufacturers use on their new recoils are either the over hand knot, figure of eight, or a slip knot. Depending on how big the hole is and how much room I have will depict what knot I will use. If you cannot find any recoil rope, head to your local small engine repair shop. They will be able to match the rope size (there is about 8 different sizes) and give you the correct length. It's usually 4 feet for a lawn mower and 3 feet for a chainsaw. Also when you are tensioning the rope be sure not to over tension or you will straighten the hooked end on the spring. A simple way to make sure it is not over tensioned is that once you think you have is right and the handle sucks all the way in, continue to turn the rope pulley 1 full turn, if you can do this, it is not over tensioned. and please people only use a light lubricant on it if you must, don't use grease cause it just gums everything up.
brndmg (author)  s6666666666666 years ago
Thanks for the extra details s612, that really helps.
Nice job! You added a lot of detail into it, nice!