Tip & How-To about Hardware & Accessories

Prevent rope from fraying and unravelling

Whenever you are using rope for a long period of time there is always the chance that it will break or start to fray on the ends. You don't have to fret when your rope begins to fray because all is not lost! There is very simple fix and the best part is you probably have all the things that you will need.

What you are going to need is the rope that is fraying, a knife (like a box cutter), electrical tape and a lighter.

Depending on the type of rope that you have you might be able to by pass using electrical tape. Some ropes have a bit of plastic in them so you can just melt the end a little bit and it will fuse the end together. In this case all you have to do is hold the frayed end of the rope over the lighter until the end is melted. Wait for the rope to cool and you are ready to use it.

In the case that the rope you have does not have a plastic in it you will have to follow a few more steps. Start by wrapping the frayed end of the rope with a little electrical tape. Don't wrap it right on the frayed part, you want to tape the part that is still whole. Use two or three layers to make sure that it is tight and secure.

When it is wrapped tighly, take you box cutter and on a hard surface saw through the taped rope near the frayed end. Its a good idea to use a strong thick knife for this because you don't want to break the blade when you apply pressure to it. Depending on the tickness of the rope this should be fairly easy.

After its been cut you can stop here, the rope will hold together inside of the tape. If you want a little more insurance that it wont unravel you can melt the end of the rope. To do this carefully hold the tape end over the flame of a lighter and allow the tape to melt down into the rope. This will create a sort of plastic end on the rope keeping the strings together and inside of the tape.

Both of these methods will work to fix a freyed end of a rope and will prevent the rope from fraying further. I have seen soliders use these methods to fix the frayed ends of their shoe laces, if its good enough for them, its good enough for me.

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1 Answer

i pull the cord to start my tiller and it does not engage the engine how do i fix


Hello sir,This usually happens at the most inopportune time. You go out mow the lawn, pull the rope and it comes out in your hand. Here's how to fix it yourself.
First, we'll talk about a simple rope replacement. In most cases you will have to remove the blower housing from the engine,remove any plastic outer cover, empty and remove fuel tank lay on the deck,tecumseh engines remove the screw on the oil filler cap,remove the four bolts holding housing on. to get to the underside of the rewind starter where the rope is. We'll assume at this point that the spring is ok and you can just wind it back up again.or you will need a new rope,you can get new rope at most home improvement centers that sell mowers, comes with handle, You can check the spring by turning on the hub in a counter-clockwise direction and see if the spring gains tension. Do not try to remove the spring from its holder or you may end up having to take the mower in for service.
1. Remove the rope from around the hub. Since there is no tension, it should come right out. If you are lucky and it broke near one end, you can probably just re-use it. If it is badly frayed or too short, you will need to find a replacement at a local hardware store.
2. Attach the handle or tie a knot in one end of the rope so it will not wind all the way into the hub. You also may want to burn the rope ends to keep them from fraying and causing a problem in the future. Set the rope aside where you can grab it once you wind up the spring.
3. Wind the hub in a counter-clockwise direction using your thumb to keep it from unwinding, until the spring is tight. Then let it come back slightly so the rope hole in the starter housing lines up with the rope hole in the hub.
4. Stick the rope through both holes while holding the hub from unwinding. This is tricky because you don't want the hub to unwind on you before you have the rope secured in it. A pair of needle nose pliers or a small screwdriver or pick may help get the rope through.
5. Tie a half hitch knot in the rope after you have it through both holes. While holding the rope, release your hold on the hub and let the rope slowly pull itself back into the starter.
6. Put the blower housing back on and your ready to start the engine & mow. hope this helps,don't forget the 4 thumbs up,any comment welcome,thank you. Hello sir, Pull rope installation, place mower on a good work surface, empty the fuel,remove the fuel tank,lay tank on mower deck,remove any plastic outer cover,now remove engine metal cover housing,there should be four bolts or screws in housing,remove old rope,get new rope from your local repair shop you will need 5 ft of # 5 rope,ok remove pull handle from old rope,burn both ends of new rope to prevent fraying,lets install new rope,place housing in your left hand holding against your body turn pulley right to left until stops,back off until holes line up,you might want to put a screwdriver through the cover grates to keep pulley from turning,tie a knot in one end of rope,put other end through holes from the inside out through pulley,pull until tight,now let rope wind up slowly until stops mark where rope stops,pull rope out about half way clamp rope or tie so rope don't go back in,cut rope at mark put handle on untie rope let rope retract.you should be good to go,hope this helps,,any comments welcome.thank you. !!

Feb 11, 2012 | Garden

1 Answer

replace start rope


Hello sir,This usually happens at the most inopportune time. You go out mow the lawn, pull the rope and it comes out in your hand. Here's how to fix it yourself.
First, we'll talk about a simple rope replacement. In most cases you will have to remove the blower housing from the engine,remove any plastic outer cover, empty and remove fuel tank lay on the deck,tecumseh engines remove the screw on the oil filler cap,remove the four bolts holding housing on. to get to the underside of the rewind starter where the rope is. We'll assume at this point that the spring is ok and you can just wind it back up again.or you will need a new rope,you can get new rope at most home improvement centers that sell mowers, comes with handle, You can check the spring by turning on the hub in a counter-clockwise direction and see if the spring gains tension. Do not try to remove the spring from its holder or you may end up having to take the mower in for service.
1. Remove the rope from around the hub. Since there is no tension, it should come right out. If you are lucky and it broke near one end, you can probably just re-use it. If it is badly frayed or too short, you will need to find a replacement at a local hardware store.
2. Attach the handle or tie a knot in one end of the rope so it will not wind all the way into the hub. You also may want to burn the rope ends to keep them from fraying and causing a problem in the future. Set the rope aside where you can grab it once you wind up the spring.
3. Wind the hub in a counter-clockwise direction using your thumb to keep it from unwinding, until the spring is tight. Then let it come back slightly so the rope hole in the starter housing lines up with the rope hole in the hub.
4. Stick the rope through both holes while holding the hub from unwinding. This is tricky because you don't want the hub to unwind on you before you have the rope secured in it. A pair of needle nose pliers or a small screwdriver or pick may help get the rope through.
5. Tie a half hitch knot in the rope after you have it through both holes. While holding the rope, release your hold on the hub and let the rope slowly pull itself back into the starter.
6. Put the blower housing back on and your ready to start the engine & mow. hope this helps,don't forget the 4 thumbs up,any comment welcome,thank you. Hello sir, Pull rope installation, place mower on a good work surface, empty the fuel,remove the fuel tank,lay tank on mower deck,remove any plastic outer cover,now remove engine metal cover housing,there should be four bolts or screws in housing,remove old rope,get new rope from your local repair shop you will need 5 ft of # 5 rope,ok remove pull handle from old rope,burn both ends of new rope to prevent fraying,lets install new rope,place housing in your left hand holding against your body turn pulley right to left until stops,back off until holes line up,you might want to put a screwdriver through the cover grates to keep pulley from turning,tie a knot in one end of rope,put other end through holes from the inside out through pulley,pull until tight,now let rope wind up slowly until stops mark where rope stops,pull rope out about half way clamp rope or tie so rope don't go back in,cut rope at mark put handle on untie rope let rope retract.you should be good to go,hope this helps,,any comments welcome.thank you. ~~

Feb 05, 2012 | Yard Machines Cultivator

1 Answer

replaced pull cord on craftsman push mower but wont retract back like its's been pulled all the way out it's all slack. What do i need to do to get it to spring back? It's 5.5hp self propelled mower about 7yrs old.briggs and stratton


if you get this the first time get a lottery ticket fast.
take the recoil off and apart, check to see if the spring end is broken off. (sometimes you can bend a new hook into it but it will usually break because its hardened).
buy the way, Usually you can wind a rope around what the recoil connects to, to start the engine at this point.
take the handle off the end of the rope and wind it around the drum/spool leaving a few inches hanging out.
hook both ends of the spring to their stops and wind the spring tighter about four turns, then thread the end of the rope through the hole and pull on the rope and test the recoil. Don't lt it go.
pull the rope out and put a "marline hitch" in it or use a visegrip pliers to hold the rope out and tie the handle back on.
replace recoil.
if the rope looks fuzzy most all hardware stores have it.
good luck

Apr 29, 2011 | Garden

1 Answer

replacing start rope of the b&s model # 120600


Take off the three-four bolts holding on the starter cover and lift it off the engine. Make sure you dont leave the oil dipper attached too.
Remove its bolt at the cover so it doesnt come out of the engine block and make a mess.

Flip the cover over and you should see the pulley the rope rides in. Pull out the broken end piece of the rope from the inside-center of this pulley. Get a new piece of rope from a power equipment store. Make sure you get enough to cover the length needed to make it all the way out to the handle! Snake into the recoil cover from the outside hole into the pulley *(you align the pulley with the hole in the cover) with small needle nose pliers you can pick the rope through the pulley hole and then tie a knot to secure this end of things. A butane lighter is good to use on the frayed end to "melt lock" it. Nothing crazy now...just melt the tip where you see the frayed material.

Then put the t handle on the other end and tie it off too. Also melt the frayed end before pulling the rope into the t handle.

Now that the rope is in place all you need to do is prewind the pulley. This is done by using a small section of the rope near the pulley to turn it in the direction of starting about 6-8 turns and then carefully release the pulley so it winds the rope onto it. You can do this slowly by keeping tension on the T handle and slowly walking it into the starter cover. Be careful. You dont want to get your fingers caught on anything spinning or pulling here. The rope will be twisted so the person holding tension on the rope can help by untwisting the rope so it can rewind smoothly.

That is about it. You can then pull the rope a few times to make sure you put enough prewind on it so the rope doesnt stop pulling even though you have more rope to pull *(this is to prevent causing the recoil spring binding from insufficient prewinding)

Put the recoil cover back on. Put the t handle back into the fixture on the mower handle. Thats it! Start her up and go cut some grass!

Good luck and be careful!

Oct 12, 2010 | Yard Machines 11A54MC006 21Inch 139cc MTD...

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